Marketing and Sales: Better Cooperation Needed

29 Jun

Even though, a company’s sales personnel are typically viewed as part of the marketing function, there are also differences of opinion and sometimes conflicts between marketing and sales. Instead, mutual respect and cooperation need to rule the day!

As Hadar Duek observes for HubSpot:

“In my job, I chat with marketers very often about what problems they’re facing. One of the most common issues I hear about is lead flow — a marketing department generates hundreds of leads per month, but many of them aren’t closing. Nobody knows where to turn. Sales points fingers at marketing. Marketing points fingers at sales. They both shrug, unsure of how to proceed. To get the partnership running effectively again, there are three things I recommend marketers start doing with their sales team.”

1) “Provide sales training on how inbound leads are different. Many sales reps are trained to aggressively go after leads who will close ASAP — and ignore the ones who won’t. When I was in sales, I did the same thing. If a prospect wasn’t ready to send in a purchase order in the next week, I was onto the next lead. With limited time and an endless universe of opportunities, I had to prioritize. This mentality needs to shift when your company is generating inbound leads. Just because someone became a lead by downloading an E-book doesn’t mean they are ready to buy something immediately. On the other hand, they may very well be a great fit for your company down the line.”

2) “Develop a feedback loop between marketing and sales. How often have you seen leads go sales, receive follow-up, and then fall into a black hole? In my work with HubSpot customers, I see it all the time. This is a huge missed opportunity. To prevent this lack of communication, set up a way for sales to pass leads back into the nurturing funnel based on what they learned in the initial qualifying conversation. They like pink? Put them into the all-pink text E-mail nurturing campaign. They like chocolate sandwiches? Put them into the E-mail nurturing campaigns with lots of chocolate sandwiches.”

3) Set up regular meetings between marketing and sales. Some marketers pass all leads directly to their sales team and others only pass over the ones that meet criteria they determine as ‘sales qualified.’ For the latter group, if sales is passing back a lot of leads, this indicates the criteria for transitioning a lead needs to be tweaked. Look at examples of leads that were passed back and what about their criteria missed the mark. Set up a meeting to review these examples.”

Click the image to read Duek’s full article.

 

 

Consumers Down on Data Mining

28 Jun

As we have reported many times (see, for example, 1, 2, 3, 4), privacy and identity theft are important issues for all of us. With that in mind, a critical question for data miners is: How do consumers feel about data-mining practices being deployed by companies and other organizations?

Consider these observations from Natasha Singer, writing for the New York Times:

“Should consumers be able to control how companies collect and use their personal data? At a dinner honoring privacy advocates this week in Washington, Timothy D. Cook, the chief executive of Apple, gave a speech in which he endorsed this simple idea. Yet his argument leveled a direct challenge to the premise behind much of the Internet industry — the proposition that people blithely cede their digital bread crumbs to companies in exchange for free or reduced-priced services subsidized by advertising. You might like these so-called free services,’ Mr. Cook said during the event held by EPIC, a nonprofit research center. “But we don’t think they’re worth having your email or your search history or now even your family photos data-mined and sold off for God knows what advertising purpose.”

Now a study from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania has come to a similar conclusion: Many Americans do not think the trade-off of their data for personalized services, giveaways or discounts is a fair deal either. The findings are likely to fuel the debate among tech executives and federal regulators over whether companies should give consumers more control over the information collected about them.”

 
Click the NY Times infographic to read more of Singer’s article.
 

 

A Provocative Take on the Future of Self-Driving Cars

26 Jun

Self-driving cars are in the late stages of testing in the United States. Besides safety issues, consumer skepticism, the regulatory environment will have a major impact on how quickly and widely that self-driving cars make it in the market.

Given that self-driving cars will/may be sold in the very near future, we need to better understand where the marketplace will be headed. Recently, McKinsey’s Michele Bertoncello and Dominik Weewe published a thought-provoking view of self-driving cars: “Ten Ways Autonomous Driving Could Redefine the Automotive World — The Development of Self-Driving, or Autonomous, Vehicles Is Accelerating. Here’s How They Could Affect Consumers and Companies.”

  1. “Industrial fleets lead the way.”
  2.  “Car OEMs [original equipment manufacturers face a decision. Automakers worldwide will likely define and communicate their strategic position on AVs in the next two to three years.”
  3.  “New mobility models emerge. While OEMs are developing autonomous vehicles, a variety of other transport-mobility innovations are already hitting the road.”
  4.  “The car-service landscape changes.”
  5.  “Car insurers might shift their business model. Car insurers have always provided consumer coverage in the event of accidents caused by human error. With driverless vehicles, auto insurers might shift the core of their business model, focusing mainly on insuring car manufacturers from liabilities from technical failure of their AVs, as opposed to protecting private customers from risks associated with human error in accidents.”
  6.  “Companies could reshape their supply chains.”
  7.  “Drivers have more time for everything. AVs could free as much as 50 minutes a day for users, who will be able to spend traveling time working, relaxing, or accessing entertainment.”
  8.  “Parking becomes easier. AVs could change the mobility behavior of consumers, potentially reducing the need for parking space in the United States by more than 5.7 billion square meters.”
  9.  “Accident rates drop. By mid-century, the penetration of AVs and other ADAS could ultimately cause vehicle crashes in the United States to fall from second to ninth place in terms of their lethality ranking among accident types.”
  10.  “AVs accelerate robotics development for consumer applications.”

 
Click the chart to read the full article.

McK1
 

Regulatory Issues In Europe for U.S. Tech Companies

24 Jun

For quite a while, the European Commission has been rather tough in regulating large  American companies doing business in Europe and penalizing them when their practices are deemed unacceptable — sometimes, billions of dollars in fines as well as changes in business activities.

As Kelly Couturier  recently noted for the New York Times: ” The biggest American tech companies face intensifying scrutiny by European regulators — pressure that could potentially curb their sizable profits in the region and affect how they operate around the world.”

Here are some examples from Couturier:

  • Amazon — Antitrust: “The European Commission opened an investigation in June 2015 into whether the company used its dominant position in the region’s E-books market to make it harder for rivals to offer lower prices.” Taxation: “The European Union released a preliminary finding in January 2015 that a tax deal between Amazon and Luxembourg appears to amount to unfair state aid that may have enabled the company to underpay its taxes.”
  • Apple Antitrust: “European competition officials confirmed in April 2015 that they had sent questionnaires to music labels and rival music streaming companies to gather evidence and decide whether to open an antitrust investigation into Apple’s new music service.” Taxation: “Officials opened an investigation in June 2014 into whether Ireland gave preferential tax treatment to Apple.
  • Facebook Data privacy: “French, Italian, and Spanish privacy officials announced in early April 2015 they had opened investigations into the social network’s privacy policies; similar inquiries have already been started by Dutch, Belgian, and German officials. The regulators are asking whether Facebook gained sufficient approval from users when the company gained access to their online data.”
  • Google Antitrust: “In April, the European Union’s antitrust chief, Margrethe Vestager, formally charged the company of abusing its dominance in Web searches, accusing it of diverting traffic from its rivals to favor its own products and services, particularly Web sites for shopping.” Right to Be Forgotten: “Europe’s highest court ruled in May 2014 that citizens have a so-called right to be forgotten, and that search engines, including Google, must honor some requests from users to delete links to personal information.”
  • Microsoft Antitrust: “In a long-running antitrust case involving Microsoft’s software and interoperability, the company paid almost €2 billion in European fines over a decade, including a penalty in 2013 for failing to adhere to an earlier settlement.”Right to Be Forgotten: Microsoft, which operates the Bing search service, signaled in July 2014 that it planned to follow the lead of Google, by creating an online form that lets individuals request removal of links to material they say violates their online privacy.”

 

 

Click the image to read Couturier’s full article.
 

Shown here: An Apple store in Berlin. Credit Adam Berry/Getty Images for Apple

 

Go Hofstra’s Zarb School of Business! See the Effie Video for the Target Challenge

22 Jun

Under the supervision of Dr. Songpol Kulviwat, one of the Hofstra University, Zarb of School of Business student teams earned semi-finalist status in the ©2015 Collegiate Effie Awards Target Brand Challenge: “Congratulations on your entry, ‘Perfect Spot,’ being selected as a Target Brand Challenge semi-finalist. Attaining semi-finalist status is a notable achievement and your team should feel proud of your success in this year’s competition.”

The Collegiate Effie competition (North America) is a National/International student competition open to both undergraduate and graduate students. This year, the competition was about the Target Brand Challenge (Back to College). To enter the competition, students were required to create a ‘mini’ strategic marketing plan/communication along with a 4-minute creative reel.

Members of the “Perfect Spot” team were Mara Weiss; Daniella Scaglione; Christina Cappucci; and Lilli O’Connell.

Here is their creative reel. :-)
 
 

 

Resume Tips: An Infographic

19 Jun

Although high-tech digital job application tools are gaining in usage by companies — especially larger ones, the resume remains a key document in most employment searches. So, it is  essential that we do everything we can to have our resume stand out from our job applicant competitors.

As Mark Wallace writes for Akken Cloud:

“Finding the right candidates has always been and will continue to be a top challenge for recruiters and their clients. And, with the job market as strong as it is now, often times, active and passive candidates for employment are relying on the available new media channels and not spending as much time as they should on dusting off an old resume or perhaps creating a new one.”

“Let’s face it, the traditional resume or CV, will likely go away in the not too distant future. However today, how a candidate formats his or her resume is often the primary reason why a technology platform, a recruiter, or talent acquisition team will select and follow up with a potential candidate. The below Resume Do’s and Don’ts infographic includes some great tips to help your employees, customers, and your team to be successful.”

 

Click the image to enlarge it.

Via AkkenCloud

 

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