"Seven mobile operators across the world have teamed up to create an alliance to collaborate in the M2M space. KPN, NTT Docomo, Rogers, SingTel, Telefónica, Telstra and Vimpelcom have agreed to cooperate to address the complex and fragmented nature of the M2M market.
The operators will agree on standards and technologies to use in the M2M space and expect to offer better value propositions to connected device manufacturers in different markets and geographies.
The collaboration will develop a global product featuring a unique SIM, united web interface and centralised management of status and usage of M2M devices globally, via M2M specialist Jasper Wireless’s Control Centre.
The firms said they expect the alliance to result in cost reduction and an improved user experience. They added that their goal is to stimulate the sale of M2M communications across industries such as consumer electronics, automotive and energy."
Decision making, in particular by small business owners, is a critical skill; one which can make the difference between building a viable and sustainable business or operating a struggling business, where every day is a battle for survival.
Anyone can make a decision, but the quality of one's decision making is influenced by many factors, not the least being having knowledge of a workable decision making framework.
This excellent article from HBR, suggests that the every increasing fast pace of business is killing our decision making, and it provides a four step framework that you can adopt to make the quality decisions you need to make, to outperform your competition.
Return On Digital have put all their hints and tips into an Infographic.
Covering how to interact and increase brand engagement within the three main social platforms, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, in order to create a starting point for those who may be new to this arena.
Social Media Executive, Tim states: “Social is still really new in the grand scheme of things, and is evolving all the time. We know from experience what techniques are more likely to work for SMEs and which ones could be harmful to their brand image. With more than 900 million users on Facebook, approximately 360 million users on Twitter, and at least 161 million LinkedIn accounts, these growing networks can be targeted for business leads and sales with the correct strategy.
However, without an effective strategy and an understanding of their customer’s online behaviour, it could be a waste of valuable business hours.”
This fun Infographic is a quick and easy to use guide to ensure businesses ‘stay on track’ in social media.
Communication skills, are a key element in a successful business owner's armoury, and in order to improve one's skills in this area, one needs to understand that there are different styles of communicators.
In addition to understanding that there are different styles of communications, successful business owners also understand that they need to vary their style of communication to suit the communication styles exhibited by each person with whom they interact.
This excellent article, identifies the four styles of communicators, and it also demonstrates how to determine the style of communication used by others, in order to match their style to achieve greater understanding of your message.
Business is tough, and small businesses without the strong cash flows of large corporates, find the going a lot tougher and as a consequence need to work much harder to remain competitive.
Remaining competitive in any market, requires a pro-active approach to your business, and a firm understanding of where your business should focus its efforts.
This excellent article, suggests that it is important to assess where you are now and how you can maintain, regain, or create a competitive edge over your competition, and it offers five things you should consider to help your business to remain competitive.
Social Business must deliver business value to all stakeholders in the ecosystem, internally and externally.
Social Business Planning is the blueprint for the transformation of an organization—bridging the external with internal, resulting in a more connected way of doing business and shared value for all stakeholders.
Keyword here – shared value for all stakeholders.
As much as social business planning can help solve a multitude of business challenges, it must also provide shared value for the entire organizations. This model was created to illustrate this point:
(1) Certainly there is business value when customers and partners purchase your products or services. An increase in sales, revenue and market share are good for business. There is also value when they indirectly sell your products through customer advocacy. And lastly, customers love to give feedback, even when it doesn’t always make business sense.
So, here we have a one-way value exchange (customer to brand). If your company makes good products or services and customers are buying from you, there is value obviously.
(2) In order to complete the value exchange externally, brands must build engagement with their customers. Several studies and research reports support this and it’s also an intuitive way of acting just as it is with any relationship. Brands do this by providing meaningful content, either by solving specific customer issues, helping customers make smarter purchase decisions and even just saying thank you.
The two-way value exchange is completed when there is an authentic conversation happening between a brand and its customers. This is what’s referred to as a social brand. Most companies are social brands. They are using social technologies to build community and add value to the overall conversation. Some brands certainly do it better than others.
The real benefit of a social business, however, is that it can drive value internally. And, if done right, it can enable better marketing, better customer relationships, employee innovation, employee advocacy and much more.
(3) Usually a Social Business Center of Excellence will be responsible for driving the execution of internal social business initiatives. In this case, they will deliver value to employees and partners in the supply chain (and marketing/support teams) by building collaborative workflows and processes that will result in knowledge sharing; and social enablement i.e. equipping teams with training, best practices, technology that will allow them to better communicate both internally and externally.
This completes one half of the internal value chain, which is focused on employee and partner enablement.
(4) In return, and the natural result of enablement and empowerment, are the great ideas that are sparked by employee and partner collaboration. Whether it’s improving or revamping a new process or product innovation (Amazon Prime was an employee idea), there is value delivered back to the organization. Employees are more productive, morale is improved and workplace happiness will reign. Lastly, when employees are enabled to engage externally with customers, there is conversation value since “employees of a company” are seen as trusted and credible sources (via Edelman Trust Barometer).
A Social Business not only solves complex business problems. It can also deliver maximum business value to the entire stakeholder eco-system.
Here is a presentation that colleagues David Armano, Kazim Ali and Michael Brito put together illustrating how social business can solve complex business problems.
It’s a business-eat-business universe and B2B Marketers today must utilize social media channels if they want a chance at surviving alone in the deep recesses of space. Businesses that understand the importance of adding social elements to their marketing campaigns empower customers and prospects to share with their networks. This peer-to-peer word of mouth messaging is highly trusted and very effective in amplifying the impact of your campaigns.
In the following Infographic, Marketo examines the elements of a successful B2B Social Marketing Campaign to help you learn how to make your business move at the speed of light.
A Harvard Business School professor reflects on what she has learned from senior executives about the unique value that strategic leaders can bring to their companies. A McKinsey Quarterly Strategy article.
"To get good at driving real change, you’ve got to define a CRO methodology. The real trick to improving your conversion is pretty simple: identify, and target the core barriers to conversion and then, scientifically test the changes. This is the good path that we advocate for all inbound marketers to follow.
At the heart of conversion rate optimization is the notion of removing barriers to conversion. These are the forces stopping your site from converting visitors into sales.
Barriers to conversion can include usability errors, weak persuasive techniques and often, page relevancy issues.
Here’s how we do it:
Step 1 – Set up Funnels
Setup your funnels and analyse the points where your users enter, until the point they exit. Try to identify the “missing links” or barriers to conversion.
Step 2 – Analytics
Find out what’s actually happening when people land on your site, analyse what they do, what keywords they discovered you for and where they land.
Usability tools such as ClickTale are also great for funnels and their form analytics reveal where users drop off along your forms. CrazyEgg is another simple and effective tool that we use for click density analysis.
Step 3 - Barriers
To identify barriers to conversion, you’ve got to build up a profile of people’s objections and opinions.
Tools such as Kissinsights, Pop-Survey, Kampyle are really good for page level surveys and pretty simple to setup.
Step 4 – Go Offline
If we know our target then the objective becomes easier. Study your website and understand your customers.
Speak to sales staff to learn the likely barriers they face when they sell and use the site.
Step 5 – Prospect for Missing Links
Study your website carefully and consider what you’re missing. For example, showing expert reviews, customer reviews, testimonials, or even taking the time to build a community.
Step 6 – Strengthen Average Order Value (AOV)
Step 7 – Wireframe the Solutions
We use tools such as Balsamiq and Cacoo to wireframe the solutions and then prepare hypotheses for testing. Test scientifically, the most important thing to take away from testing is to learn what works and what doesn’t and to keep building structurally to increase conversion rate. No guesswork!
Step 8 - Testing
We primarily use Google Website Optimiser (which is now becoming content experiments) and Visual Website Optimiser. There’s loads of split testing and multivariate software. But remember: it’s not the testing tool that increases your conversion it’s the ideas you put into it.
Step 9 - Review
Review your test, analyse the analytics, click density and form analytics (ClickTale) and compare it to the original page, check the difference.
Tracking AOV and revenue is so important when testing. Structure your follow up tests and build on your success, or failure.
Step 10 – Rinse & Repeat
Repeat the process and keep building successful tests. Each time you test and find winning variations, you build up a portfolio of increases. Conversion rate optimization is an iterative process, which builds on the success of the previous test.
CHENNAI: The current landscape of enterprise mobility in India is dominated by mobile e-mail market. However, future growth engines are core business applications and mobile-to-mobile (M2M) markets. The mobile e-mail market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15% by 2017. Core business applications are estimated to grow at a CAGR of 37%, and M2M services at 41% by 2017.
"In the next few years, an important mega trend we expect is that IT Infrastructure would be around 80% wireless on a single integrated platform,"said Thejaswi Parameshwaran, program manager (Information and Communications Technology Practice) at Frost & Sullivan, South Asia and Middle East. He was speaking at the Enterprise Mobility Summit 2012, hosted by Frost & Sullivan.
By 2020, an estimated 80 billion connected devices will exist, and telecommunications would move from a consumer-centric role to a smart-enabler role. "An increasing demand for anywhere, anytime access to data and need for interconnected mobile solutions have led to CIOs and organizations adopting mobility solutions,"" said Sunil Lalvani, Director - Enterprise Sales, Research In Motion India."
Are you up against competition that has deep pockets and can outspend you in traditional advertising methods? Click here to find out how you can bring traffic and leads for next to nothing...
Traditional outbound marketing can end up being a poor investment. You have to rely on channels like cold-calling, paid branding and print advertising.
All of those channels can get really expensive really fast.
Inbound marketing, on other hand, will help you capture attention, generate leads, convert customers and keep those customers…all at a lower cost to you than your competition.
Let’s look at a few steps to get you there.
Step #1 – Ignore Sales And Focus On Marketing
It’s much better to create a marketing strategy that feeds that team qualified, warm leads…instead of cold, and possibly dead leads.
Instead, focus your efforts on building a marketing team with excellent marketing skills.
Hire brilliant marketers – Focus on tightly targeted markets – Close qualified leads –
It comes down to the answer of these three questions:
Do they have the authority to buy? Do they have the budget to buy? When do they plan on buying?
A Leads (ready to buy in 3 months or less), some B leads (is ready to buy in three to twelve months). C leads marketing can keep.
Step #2. Focus On Multiple Inbound Channels
The key behind an effective inbound marketing strategy is to create and deliver valuable content.
Here is a template to use for your inbound marketing strategy:
Blog – Your team should focus on publishing quality content two to five times a week. Quality means search-engine friendly, highly-researched and compelling. Engage in comment marketing – Someone on your team should focus on visiting sites within your industry to interact with bloggers and readers in the comment section. Publish guest blog posts – Guest blogging is one of the fastest ways to grow your subscriber base. Produce online video – Video can help improve your search rankings, raise the amount of time people stay on your page and even boost conversion rates on your landings pages. Interact in the social bookmarking world – While this isn’t one of the most popular ways to generate leads, it is definitely one you shouldn’t ignore. Establish authority on Q+A sites – Quora has really established itself as a place for professional exchange of ideas. Design brilliant Infographics – Visual.ly, is a one-stop shop for Infographic creation, has this inbound marketing technique nailed. Build a social media audience on the big four – Focus your audience-building efforts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.
If your target audience is on Pinterest or Tumblr, then use those sites as well. Keep in mind—don’t spread yourself too thin. Pick two or three that you can maximize your exposure.
Implement a solid startup SEO plan – If you run a startup, then you are in an excellent position to take advantage of everything that SEO has to offer.
All of the efforts behind a good inbound marketing plan won’t cost you a dime except for the sweat equity you invest. This means you can compete with bigger competition that is better funded.
For each of the inbound marketing efforts above you’ll want to break them down into steps.
Step #3. Dominate LinkedIn Groups
While the big three social media sites get all the attention, LinkedIn is quietly becoming a powerhouse. With over 150 million users, you have a lot of opportunity to generate some serious attention.
The specific strategy I want to focus on is with Groups. Contribute and engage with LinkedIn Groups with this quick 5-step strategy and you’ll generate some high-quality leads.
Find the best Group to join – LinkedIn has lots of groups that are divided into categories. Find three to five small groups that most accurately represent your target demographic. Target popular discussions – You’ll waste your time if you simply try to join every discussion. Instead, search for the most popular discussions—these will have the most visibility. Start a new discussion – Before you start your own discussion, make sure you spend some time in other discussions. Get a feel for the culture of the group and find out what is important to them. Follow up – It’s not easy keeping track of discussions, so you’ll have to be proactively visit your groups and monitor the discussions—especially the ones you started. Start a Group – This is a perfect way to establish your authority. But you have to be strategic here. Make this group center on your brand and how your message is different than the competition. Brands That Defy Gravity is a great example of a group that stands out in a crowded market.
Step #4. Never Attend A Trade Show Again
Trade shows can be very expensive.
There is a more effective—and cheaper—way to leverage the power of trade shows.
Here’s what you could do also:
Blog about the main points of each speaker – Summarize the conference –
Inbound marketing is truly a gift to startups who are strapped for cash. Depending upon how big your team is, you will all probably end up working like a slave to get it all done…but it will be worth the effort.