Monthly Archives: December 2009

Big Opportunity For Those First-To-Market Entrepeneurs

As we roll into the New Year, it seems like a good time to think about the markets that are yet-to-be-made, and what they mean to us. One big potential opportunity resides inside all the data that is housed in consumer and marketing databases all over the world. So much information is collected every time a product hits the market, and so very few have been able to monetize it, or put it to maximum effectiveness. Our friends at Entrepeneur.com have an insightful commentary on the significance of data-mining as a service. It is well worth some time to consider.

Imagine visiting a car-dealer and falling for a late-model BMW (or any other brand). Then imagine opening up an app on your iPhone and quickly assessing the price, value and competitive offerings in your geographic market on that very same model, year, and color, all comparably equipped (either new or with similar miles). What if Kelly Blue Book had an app for that?

Seems to me that every dealer in the business would want their inventory listed. And who better than KBB to bring a credible name to the application, while adding a revenue stream via DaaS? Now what if data were mined to predict who would be in the market for that same BMW, and could notify (subscribing) dealers that the likelihood of buyers in a given ten-digit zipcode was higher based on search data, economic and demographic profiles and other merged insight? I use this example only because I know that this data exists and could readily be turned into an economic advantage.

Now explode that thinking into all sorts of other B2C and B2B applications. The data is everywhere, and yet it is dramatically under-utilized. I think that Entrepeneur is onto something here. And another market will surface in coming months that will make many new companies successful if they can capture, mine and distribute smart data.

Change is good. It’s what will save the US economy from shrinking irrelevance. Happy New Years to all. And Best Wishes for embracing the changes that are all around us. The future is ours. Let’s make it great!!

Is DaaS The New Information Goldmine?

When Is Too Much Too Much?

One more thing…

Here is a terrific piece culled from Smashing Magazine, which is a wonderful place to visit and spend time. Primarily for creative designers and those in the visual media, many of the articles have a much broader application. I found this one helpful in addressing the notion that, sometimes, the strongest impression is delivered by willful restraint. I hope you enjoy it too.

http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/12/28/discuss-how-many-ideas-do-you-show-clients/

Various Architects’ eco-office inspired by Copenhagen

Consider how one event, widely publicized and embraced for the perceived relevance of the subject matter, can trigger practical applications of innovative thinking. Whether you agree or disagree with the POV expressed in Copenhagen, you cannot dismiss the creativity of the design that it inspired in this example. How can you leverage synergy within your organization or marketplace?

Various Architects’ eco-office inspired by Copenhagen – Building Design.

Morgan Stanley walks before it has to run MarketWatch First Take – MarketWatch

You have to wonder why Morgan Stanley would incur the risk of a potential (highly likely) media backlash in an environment where executive bonuses are receiving such massive scrutiny. The fact that they are paying out 63% of their revenue in bonuses is astounding in itself. How they are going about determining the bonus levels the executives receive is altogether unique and likely to be a bit controversial in the press.

Either way, it points to more change on Wall Street and in the financial sector, which is sure to continue to undergo massive re-engineering in the coming year. Stay tuned….

Morgan Stanley walks before it has to run MarketWatch First Take – MarketWatch

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Whose business are you developing after all?

Let’s face it, the term “salesperson” has a shallow ring these days. What to do? Here’s an idea: We will redefine the role as “business development”. Sounds much more, how should we say it, “sophisticated”? Definately more contemporary, and vastly more high-brow. And it beats being termed a “consultant” which has been burdened by all sorts of (mostly well-earned) baggage.

So if you have the “B” and the “D” words in your title, you need to consider exactly whose business you are trying to develop. If your response is anything like, “Whose business? My own, of course!”, well, I am afraid you are really a salesperson who is likely to be received as such by your “clients” (the new word for “customer”). In other words, maybe you should re-focus your thinking, and your approach, to spend less effort serving your own needs, and more energy helping your customers build their business.

There is a certain karma to business, and the more you pursue self-interest, the less receptive your target accounts are to hearing what you have to say. On the other hand, if you invest fully of yourself in learning and understanding what their needs are; their goals, objectives, strategies, marketplace and opportunities, the more likely you are to be welcomed into their circle of business partners.

I have seen this play out for the last 35 years that I have been involved in business. Now, more than ever before, the “salesperson” is on the brink of extinction. Whether you go by the title of Account Executive, Account Manager, Relationship Manager, Business Development Manager, or any of the other alternatives the reality is the same: People don’t sell anymore…people buy. The web changed all that. Virtually every product and service has a commoditized alternative, available at the same (or better) price as what you present to your clients.

How are you going to add a unique value? Why should your accounts buy from you? What makes you so special that they should pay extra for the luxury of having you call on them? Well…one certain differentiator might be that you represent their best interests and are more committed to helping them what they need to get done. You see, it is all about results, specifically their results, that will make you more valuable than the next person who is queued up to win their business.

So the next time you are prepping to make a call on an important account (hint: every account is important in 2010), first ask yourself “Who’s interest am I acting in?” If you want to vastly improve your chances at success in a crowded, uncertain market, your answer had better be, “Why, theirs, of course”.

We will spend some time digging into how you go about executing this critical shift in thinking over the days and weeks ahead.

NOT another “Best of 2009″ List

I promise to not give you one more point of view on what was good, bad, or ugly about this year. Frankly, I am through with 2009, and the notion of thinking more about the year is reprehensible to me. I don’t want to read or hear another word about Michael Jackson, GM, Nancy Pelosi, the Inauguration, Movies, Music or Tiger Woods’ mistresses. All that happened. Time to move on.

To be fair, I might be talked into a conversation about my favorite television series (Dexter). But that’s about it. And really, who wants to talk about a serial killing forensic analyst anyway? So, I guess that means we have nothing left to say for the year just ended, other than “goodbye and good riddance”.

Now, the new year, 2010, is a subject that I find endlessly fascinating. Will the economy rebound? Will the healthcare initiative pass in Congress? What will become of Afghanistan, or Iraq, or Iran or Yemen? How will all this impact the American consumer? The job market? The Global economy? And what are we going to do differently in order to get ahead of the impending changes that we all know are going to come bearing down on each of us in the coming months?

If you are in Sales, how will you hit your numbers? If you are in Marketing, how will you position your brand for growth? If you are in Communications, what is the message that will resonate with your target audiences? If you are in Finance, how will you keep your company solvent?

There is an old movie from the 1960′s (Italian, I am pretty sure) in which a Grand Prix driver jumps into a car, immediately rips the rear-view mirror off the windscreen and shouts, “What’s behind you does not matter!!” – I can relate. How about you?

If you are timid about dealing with change, I suspect that the next couple of years are going to be pretty difficult on you. If, on the other hand, you get your rocks off by cutting a new swath through your paradigms, you are likely going to love what comes next. Maybe not every minute of it, but enough to keep you moving at a high rate of speed into the darkly shrouded uncertainty of a new year.

I’m with you, in body and in spirit. Let’s hit it hard. What do you say? Up for a pulse-jumping sprint to the future? On your mark, get set……