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Addressing Competitive Analysis Questions

7 Dec

Ongoing Competitive Analysis a Must

Good competitive analysis is essential. And that applies to large AND small firms. This post covers addressing competitive analysis questions. But first, let us begin with three observations by us.

  1. Detailed, accurate information helps firms make better decisions. And firms then enact better tactics. Yet, getting comprehensive, targeted data is not always simple.  (1)
  2. In the competitive global marketplace, marketers face a tough balancing act. On one hand, they must promote their products as superior to other offerings. But, customers may become unhappy because they buy something not meeting expectations. Then, they may be lost to the firm that over-promises forever. (2)
  3. Entrepreneurship can be both exhilarating and scary. It gives a person a chance to carry out a vision for a business. However, it may also entail risk. Motivation and an innovative business concept are great building blocks. Yet, they are not sufficient to prosper in a competitive market. Success as an entrepreneur — and growing over a long horizon — requires diverse skills and a solid approach. After starting up, entrepreneurs may look back and ask “what if”? What if I picked a different opportunity? And what if I listened to advice I got? Also, what if I better planned my cash flow? etc. etc. (3

 

Addressing Competitive Analysis Questions

With the preceding in mind, ask competitive analysis questions. And address them.

As Christine White reports for HubSpot:

“When was the last time you ran a competitive analysis? If you’re not sure, or if the last ‘analysis’ you ran was brief, you are missing important intelligence. And it could help you grow. Yes, each firm can benefit from regular competitor analysis. By performing a competitor analysis, you’ll be able to: (1) Identify gaps in the market. (2) Develop new goods and services. (3) Uncover market trends. (4) Market and sell more effectively. By learning any of these four skills, you will go down the path of achievement. But don’t get too excited to start. We need to nail down a few important basics.”

White offers 57 different questions to consider in a competitive analysis.

And by clicking the image, you can access a FREE competitive analysis toolkit: “HubSpot and Alexa.com teamed up to give you our competitive analysis campaign kit. Don’t know where to start? We have a guide to walk you through it. Ready to dive in? Check out the template.”

From the download link, save the zip file. Then open it in the folder where it is saved. You will find two resources: a guide and an interactive toolkit template. 

Addressing Competitive Analysis Questions. A HubSpot Toolkit.

 

Booming Growth Means Enterprise IoT Security Imperative

1 Dec

The Internet of Things (IoT) has a bright future. And we have posted on this topic many times. One huge field is Enterprise IoT. Thus, we discuss it in the first part of our post. Then, we look at the enterprise IoT security imperative.

According to TechTarget.  “IoT relates devices, objects, animals, or people with unique IDs. And it offers the ability to transfer data over a network. As such, it works without human interaction.”

Now, let’s review the IoT:

 

Background: Enterprise Internet of Things (EIoT)

To begin, what is the Enterprise Internet of Things?

According to John Greenough for Business Insider:

“The EIoT will be the largest IoT sector — enterprise, home, government. Because firms have the funds to buy IoT devices and services. Their EIoT benefits will accrue and spur adoption. IoT devices range from robot-like units to chips that hook into machines. They let users control the device or collect specific data.”

As

“Connected IoT products allow for in-depth knowledge of how their use. Besides new ways to interact with customers over the product life cycle. And to deliver large amounts of product data and information.”

In sum, McKinsey states:

“EIoT is rather new. Yet, 98% of survey respondents said most firms in their industry have EIoT plans. And they lift service operations and make operations clearer. Thus, they enable new business models and create new product offerings. For instance, a firm can create IoT services for better product quality. Besides lowering customer costs, these uses could transform business models.”

To understand this better, look at the McKinsey chart.

Booming Growth Means Enterprise IoT Security Imperative. Infographic Tips.
 

The Enterprise IoT Security Imperative

With the importance of EIoT comes the need for strong security. And at all costs, we must protect data.

Steve Hashman is Director of Marketing at CUBE. In that capacity, he has prepared the following infographic. And he titled it: Are we creating a secure Enterprise Internet of Things?”

Our thanks for the infographic. As you see, it cites valuable tips. So, be secure with your EIoT!

By clicking the infographic, see a larger view.

Booming Growth Means Enterprise IoT Security Imperative. An Infographic.
 

Certain U.S. Travelers Like Loyalty Programs — And Use Them

30 Nov

As we know, there are various types of loyalty programs. And these include programs tied to banks, retailers, gas stations, etc. Among the promoted programs? Travel-related programs. They offer loyal customers free rooms, airline travel, upgrades, and more. This post focuses on travel programs. Certain U.S. travelers like loyalty programs — and use them.

 

Background

Often, firms go to great lengths to attract loyal shoppers. And with the competition today, that is not easy. In some instances, shoppers dislike loyalty programs. Period. In other cases, they use the programs infrequently. So, firms need to get their acts together. The goal: active customer loyalty.

Consider these posts:

Click the infographic.

As we know, there are various types of loyalty programs. Among the most popular programs? Travel-related offerings. They offer loyal customers free rooms, airline travel, upgrades, and more. This post covers travel programs. Certain U.S. travelers like loyalty programs -- and use them.

 

Certain U.S. Travelers Like Loyalty Programs

Travel loyalty programs offer tangible benefits. To wit, earn specified points. And receive a reward. Yet, travel programs are NOT in the top tier of loyalty programs. Surprising? Maybe. Maybe Not.

eMarketer reports that:

“Travel loyalty programs are popular with travelers. But they don’t have the same following among consumers overall. And this applies to young people. A survey of Internet users in North America from CrowdTwist found retail programs had the highest adoption among those 18 to 37. Meanwhile, travel and hospitality programs were in the middle.”

Thus, the bottom-line question: Travel-related firms have to work to increase use of their loyalty programs. So, what could they do to attract young adults?

Certain U.S. Travelers Like Loyalty Programs. But they rate low.

On the plus side, travelers like loyalty programs. In particular, they use hotel and airline loyalty programs. And business travelers have higher engagement than leisure travelers.

For further information, we again turn to eMarketer:

New data from Phocuswright and Acxiom found that 4 in 5 U.S. travelers were members of a travel-related loyalty program. Naturally, the point of such programs is to help drive revenues and add to the bottom line. eMarketer estimates that digital travel sales in the U.S. will total $189.62 billion this year. And that figure will grow to $219.69 billion by 2021.”

“The Phocuswright and Acxiom survey found that business travelers were more committed to loyalty programs than leisure travelers. This was across pretty much every segment of the travel market. The obvious reason:  They are apt to travel more frequently. For instance, 62% of business travelers had signed up for a hotel’s loyalty plan, compared with 54% of leisure travelers.”

Certain U.S. Travelers Like Loyalty Programs -- And Use Them, B2B vs. B2C.

Small Business Saturday 2017. Support Local Businesses.

24 Nov

Thanksgiving weekend is a big selling time. Consider that for firms of any size. But, most attention focuses on larger firms. Yet, tomorrow, we encourage you to participate. Small Business Saturday 2017. Support Local Businesses.

As we know, small businesses need all the help they can get:

 

What Is Small Business Saturday?

In 2010, American Express founded Small Business Saturday. The goal: To stimulate local shopping:

“It’s 2010. And small businesses hurt from an economy in recession. To support these firms, American Express launches Small Business Saturday. And schedules it on the Saturday of Thanksgiving week. By one year post-launch, local officials across the nation took notice. And they promoted the day. In 2011, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution for Small Business Saturday.”

“By 2012, officials came from all 50 states. And it got a shout-out from the U.S. President. In 2013, 1,450+ people and entities entered to be Neighborhood Champions. They rallied their communities with events and activities. By 2016, that number increased to 6,700+ Neighborhood Champions. They represented all 50 states. In addition, business groups, nonprofit trade groups, cities, towns, and others engaged. To that end, they formed a Small Business Saturday Coalition. And 100 corporations lend their official support.”

In sum, as we noted before. Nestled between Black Friday and Cyber Monday lies “Small Business Saturday.” And it generates billions of dollars in revenues each year.

 

Small Business Saturday 2017. Support Local Businesses.

 

Small Business Saturday 2017. Support Local Businesses.

Small Business Saturday has come a long way. To start, check out the Facebook page. Click the image.

 

The U.S. Small Business Administration participates. “Saturday, November 25, 2017 is Small Business Saturday®. On that day, celebrate and support small businesses. And all they do for their communities. Please join the SBA and others across the country, Support local small business by shopping there.For shoppers, find small businesses in your area.

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