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Published on Thursday 1st of September 2016
Successful business models evolve over time. Have you reviewed yours lately?
In recent years, a number of leading companies worldwide have been shaken by newcomers to the scene. Ignoring the writing on the wall, these market leaders omitted to rethink their once successful business model, and now they are too late. As of 2015, just 12% of 1955’s Fortune 500 companies in the US, which include IBM and 3M, remained on the list. Similarly, just 7 years after Research in Motion (Blackberry) made the top 10 of Fortune's 100 Fastest Growing Companies, it has dropped from the list.
As Richard Foster of the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute said: “The average lifespan of a company listed in the [Standard & Poor’s 500 Index] has decreased from 67 years in the 1920s to 15 years today.” The global economy has undergone a series of drastic changes - and these shifts aren’t over yet. Therefore, companies need a successful business model that evolves.
Drastic economic changes that led to shifts in business practices
You are probably familiar with some of the most drastic economic changes of the last decade. Some of these include:
- Moving from the physical to the virtual. With the rise of popular online retailers like Amazon and Alibaba, shopping has shifted to the online sphere. While online businesses thrive, many "brick and mortar" giants, like RadioShack and Chapters, failed to adapt their business plan to the times and were forced out of business. Wal-Mart on the other end, managed to capitalize on this trend and is now one of the top 10 online retailers in the world.
- Ownership to sharing assets. Using shared assets, companies like Airbnb have taken over an entire sector of the holiday rental market. Today, Airbnb reports over $10 billion in annual revenue, which exceeds that of large hotel chains.
- A renewable energy economy. With sustainability becoming an increasing concern, the focus is starting to shift towards renewable energy. In 2015, electric car manufacturer Tesla was rated the 10th most valuable global car brand, tied with Porsche and beating Lexus.
- "Every thing" matters. The Montreal Transport Society (STM) recently started to implement bus telemetry to provide exact bus location and arrival times to smartphones, allowing for 20-30% travel time reduction for passengers. Buses are just one example of "things" that communicate. We are entering a new era of the "Internet of Things" (IoT) where "things" will communicate with people or with other "things" to monitor health, energy consumption and maintenance as well as to automate daily processes.
In order to make this article as concise as possible, we’ve held back from listing many other trends.
Do you need to reassess your business model?
Stay on top of the trends that are relevant to your business to ensure a continuously profitable business model.
Re-evaluate your business model. Maybe you’ll see the need to create a new plan or to adjust your existing model. After all, you do not want to find yourself in the same situation as the taxi drivers when Uber rolled into town!
For help on developing a successful business model suited to a new business reality, Contact us today!
Published on Wednesday 25th of May 2016
Develop a strong, successful marketing strategy by combining lead generation and nurturing
Acquiring new B2B customers is an exciting but challenging process. As you know, demand creation does not happen overnight. Businesses must pinpoint - and analyze - their target market. They must develop an effective marketing strategy. Then, they need to engage with prospects and convert as many as possible into sales. To increase your conversion rate, you must first understand the roles of both B2B lead generation and lead nurturing.
Lead Generation and Lead Nurturing Defined
Lead generation is the process of attracting and converting prospects who show initial interest. Meanwhile, lead nurturing consists of building relationships with potential clients. They might not be ready to buy your solution, but they could be in the future. This is sometimes called drip marketing.
Lead nurturing serves to increase a prospect’s knowledge and shape his or her perception of a specific solution. Simply put, lead nurturing serves to build trust between your company and the prospect. That way, prospects are more likely to choose your solution when comes time to decide.
Lead Generation Versus Lead Nurturing
We’ve set up a table outlining the difference between these B2B marketing strategies. Lead generation serves to help your sales team find new prospects. This type of generic campaign will help you identify initial interest in your product/service.
Meanwhile, lead nurturing has a different goal: to turn prospects into clients. With this type of marketing tactic, you’re in it for the long haul. You will build a relationship with your prospects throughout the buying cycle. You’ll be creating customized campaigns tailored to their needs.
To find new prospects
To convert a prospect into a client
Until you identify initial interest
Throughout the buying cycle
Source: Direct Objective Consulting
In short, B2B lead generation and lead nurturing are two sides of the same coin. These aspects of B2B marketing complement each other. When performed well, together, they will help you generate more conversions.
Do you need help setting up lead generation or lead nurturing campaigns? Would you like to find out about these B2B marketing strategies? Contact us today!
Published on Wednesday 13th of April 2016
Is it time for new SEO best practices? Google recently made drastic algorithm changes. Here are a few Google SEO directions:
- Focusing less on individual keywords
- Rewarding better quality and authentic content
- Assessing web usability and performance
- Relying on established online reputation
We chose the top 5 search engine optimization tips to assist you in getting your site ranked high.
1. Ensure Proper Website Coding
Keywords no longer play as crucial a role in SEO as they used to. Regardless, your site must maintain a lexical correlation between the following:
- Web page’s title
- Meta description
- Header (H1)
These elements need to be unique and should describe the page well. Make life easier for Google’s search engine when it is differentiating between content and code. The more you use structured data methodologies, the better your website will rank.
Finally, ensure your coding is errorless to avoid search engine crawling failure.
This alone is not enough to achieve high SEO ranking. All the same, these are mandatory prerequisites for all optimization efforts!
2. Post Unique Content
One of the top SEO practices for 2016 is to write quality content. Google likes to index sites that offer valuable information in answer to specific questions. As such, Google looks at pages to see if they provide a good answer to a frequently searched question.
This means that Google is now after long-tail keywords and highly readable content. For example, “What is SEO”. Long-tail content consists of:
- Short sentences
- Words with two syllables
Google chooses to feed selected content into its Direct Answers box at the top of the search results or into its knowledge graph box on the top right (see examples below).
When searching “what is SEO”, a Google box appears on the top with a definition taken from a highly ranked page.
Google Knowledge Graph: when you search for a term such as “Direct Objective Consulting”, Google will display a box on the top right, providing all the key information about the company.
3. Create a Positive User Experience
SEO ranking is no longer based only on your site’s design and content. Instead, Google is looking to understand how readers react to your website. The more positive experience your site projects the more likely your efforts will further online lead generation.
Here are some things Google looks into:
- Do readers spend a long time on your pages? (Time on site)
- What links do users click on? (Click-through rate)
- What is your website’s performance?
- Is your site mobile-ready?
4. Integrate Social Media
Social media plays a major role in our life today. Google knows this and looks at how accepted a brand, product, or service is based on its social presence. It is essential to integrate social media into your website. Google will then be able to see traffic coming and going from your social channels.
5. Build Your Online Reputation
This is the most difficult practice to achieve. In a way, your online reputation will grow over time. But only if the other SEO best practices are well implemented.
We should aim to constantly increase our authority in our fields. You can do so by:
- Referring to domains with an established online reputation in your business area, or
- Serving as a source of reliable information in a specific area of interest.
Here's the bottom line: strive to become the authoritative source in specific subject matters related to your business.
As we have seen, SEO best practices have changed quite dramatically. But as long as you keep these tips in mind, you will see results. Start by error-proofing your website code, then focus on creating original content. Offer a rewarding user experience and incorporate social media. Over time, your online reputation will grow.
Contact us today for more advice on implementing 2016’s SEO best practices.