Tag Archives: Strategy

Five Valuable Tools to Facilitate Your Social Media Strategies

Check out the most popular tools to help you organize the growing social media campaigns.

Excerpt:  Utilizing social media in your online endeavors should be an essential component of your overall strategy. Search engines are being modified to reflect the popularity of powerful sites like Facebook, Twitter and other big-name players. Maintaining a social presence and building a reliable reputation are vital to effective online marketing and networking. Now, as Google+ and Pinterest join the mix, it can become overwhelming to keep track of the multitude of social sites to update regularly. Here are some of the most popular tools to make your job easier.

Read full article via Five Valuable Tools to Facilitate Your Social Media Strategies.  From Blogtrepreneur

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Filed under Marketing, Branding, Sales, Advertising, eCommerce & Social Media

Make the Most of Guest Blogging: Second-Tier Link Building

Guest posts on this site also enjoy a byline link back to the author and author’s affiliation or business plus exposure as to their expertise on subject.

Excerpt:  Link building is the website promotional strategy for acquiring direct inbound links to your site. It’s an important driver that helps your website rank higher in the search engines. Second-tier link building is a bit more complex: it’s an often ignored strategy for where you acquire links to webpages outside your domain that link to your pages.

Read full article via Make the Most of Guest Blogging: Second-Tier Link Building.  From KISSmetrics

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Filed under Small Business, Website & Digital Media

Traditional Marketing Planning Is Wrong for Your New Venture – HBR

Good read — however, for those with current startups and small businesses if you have not already realized this, you may just be LUCKY to be here.

 Excerpt:  Traditional marketing planning (TMP) activities have been a mainstay for the past four decades, but the theories behind them have limited relevance for new ventures facing extreme uncertainty. The old routine of analyzing existing markets, predicting an optimal outcome, and then designing marketing plans to capture that outcome is too slow and cumbersome for today’s startups.

To be successful, new ventures must eschew these theories and instead rely on effectual marketing planning. This strategy uses a different set of management processes focused on speedy action, learning through failure, and a premeditated approach to market experimentation that creates instant feedback. It can help new ventures be more successful, more informed, and more fully understood.

Read full article via Traditional Marketing Planning Is Wrong for Your New Venture – Peter Whalen and Samuel S. Holloway – Harvard Business Review.

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Filed under Entrepreneurs & Startups, Marketing, Branding, Sales, Advertising, eCommerce & Social Media, Small Business

Where to Start with Your Content Marketing Strategy

Guest Post by Charlotte Rivington

Need to be ‘doing’ content marketing, but don’t know where to start? Here’s our guide to building your first effective content marketing strategy

1. Know who you’re talking to
One of the biggest differences between on- and offline readers is that online, people are task-focused: they’re trying to solve a problem, get something done or answer a question. What are they going to be doing when they come to your site? Before you start planning content, get to know your audience and what they want.

2. Decide what you’re trying to achieve
Are you trying to improve sales? Get more sign-ups? Or are you looking to be a thought leader in your field? Set your own objectives. Not only will this help you generate content ideas, it’ll also give you something to measure your success by.

3. Pick your specialist subject
Especially the case for B2B marketers, understanding the niche expertise you have and developing a way to share that expertise is an essential step for your content marketing. Ask yourself: what do you know more about than anyone else? Then write about that.

4. Channel hop
Once you know who you’re talking to, what you’re talking about and why, choose your platforms. Are you going to be putting content up on your site? Will you be running a blog? Can you guest-post elsewhere? Do you have a social networking strategy you can capitalise on? Make sure you understand the channels your audience prefer, and use the COPE principle: create once, publish everywhere.

5. Bring your own discipline
Traditional publishing houses have a strict hierarchy to make sure quality content gets produced on time and to its brief. Learn from them: plan your content in advance. Keep an editorial calendar. Set deadlines and meet them. And do everything you can to make sure quality is high – proofread, fact-check and stay up to date.

6.  Make things easy
Pick formats of content you can repeat on your website over and over. Things like top tips, buyers’ guides and case studies can follow a pattern every time, making it easier for your users to scan-read and making it easier for you to produce. And remember that content often begets content – planning a competition? Run a blog post announcing it, use the results as research findings and create a press release, create a follow-up interview with the winner…

7. Be realistic about your resources
Content production doesn’t just happen. It takes time to do it at all, and tremendous skill, expertise and more time to do it right. If you haven’t got the resources to do this in-house, you need to allocate your budget and outsource the work to a content marketing agency.

Author: Charlotte Rivington is a freelance writer on social media and marketing, actively blogging covering everything from marketing tips and intriguing fresh new content. When she is free she loves to travel whilst she writes.

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Filed under Small Business, Marketing, Branding, Sales, Advertising, eCommerce & Social Media, Business Blog & Miscellaneous

The Role of the Chief Strategy Officer

Interesting read.   Their study indicates all CSO are not created equal — given this is a new C-Suite member, the study gives us what one can expect or need to find in each category.

Excerpt:  From the outset, it was clear that there was a variation in CSO roles, focused on two dimensions. The first dimension was the stage of the strategy process in which the CSO was involved. Our findings identified a significant demarcation between whether the CSO was focused on the formulation of the strategy or the execution of the strategy.

The second dimension of variation was how the CSO engaged in the strategy process. Some CSOs were facilitators, advising business units during the strategy formulation or assisting in the execution. Other CSOs were enactors, far more likely to execute the strategy process by themselves or with their team.

Based on variation in the roles carried out by the CSOs, we have developed a typology of four CSO archetypes.

Read full article via The Role of the Chief Strategy Officer.  From MIT Sloan Management Review

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Filed under Leadership, Operations & Innovation

Deloitte | Econometric Analysis | Scenario-Based Planning

Download the paper that helps you with important what-if scenarios for your small business.

Excerpt:  Suppose your boss, the Chief Financial Officer or Chief Strategy Officer, asked you how your company’s revenue would be impacted by a changing economic climate in coming years. How would you quantify the potential impact of specific events or variables?

Scenario-based planning is a tool designed to assist the development of strategies for operating in any of several contrasting business and economic environments that could lie ahead.

Download the attachment above to learn how to use statistical techniques of econometric modeling and multiple regression to project financial performance within scenario-based planning.

Download paper here via Deloitte | Econometric analysis | Scenario-based planning | CFO Center | Strategic analytics.

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A Faster Horse: It’s Time for Enterprise Personal Computing 2.0

Good read.  Article gives you insight into trends and the takeaways are in developing how-to to take advantage of the trends and needs today.

Excerpt:  Technology Vendors for IT Focus on IT Spend

Forrester’s technology vendor clients prefer data over analysis, whereas our IT clients prefer analysis. The vendors are gracious and will sit through a few slides of customer problem examples and politely let me wax on about where their real opportunities are, but most only really perk up when I get to the data slides. Having been responsible for product strategy for software product lines myself, I understand precisely why this is the case: When you’re in middle management, your ability to get oxygen (read: funding) to sustain your team depends on your ability to make a case, and the case is usually predicated on IT spend.

Read full article via A Faster Horse: It’s Time for Enterprise Personal Computing 2.0 | Forrester Blogs.

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Filed under Business Intelligence, IT, Data Management, Metrics, Cloud & Mobile, Management

Hedge Funds and Risk-Decoupling — The Empty Voting Problem in the EU — The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance

Small business of-interest and news-to-watch.   Definition and an explanation

Excerpt:   I address the implications of negative risk-decoupling, otherwise known as empty voting, for corporate governance and corporate finance, and I develop suggestions for a regulatory response. These suggestions are framed for the European context, but the underlying policy considerations may prove useful for other regulators worldwide, including the SEC.

Empty voting is a popular strategy amongst hedge funds and other activist investors. In short, it is the attempt to decouple the economic risk from the share’s ownership position, retaining in particular the voting right without risk. This paper uses three perspectives to analyze the problems created by such negative risk-decoupling:

Read full article via Hedge Funds and Risk-Decoupling — The Empty Voting Problem in the EU — The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation.

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Filed under Leadership, Operations & Innovation, Small Business

Content Marketing: Master The Content Loop in 7 Steps

More today on content and your marketing campaigns.   Article has good tips and takeaway how-to in a ‘no-nonsense’ format.

Excerpt:  And when it comes to creating and distributing content as a key part of your content strategy, keep two objectives in mind: creative and marketing.

The creative objective is to regularly come up with contextual material that the audience finds relevant enough to opt-in to receive, compelling enough to share with friends, and engaging enough to demand and come back for more—thus building a community around content.

The marketing objective is to amplify reach for all content. The ideal goal? Create content that goes viral.

Read full article via Content Marketing: Master The Content Loop in 7 Steps | V3 Kansas City Integrated Marketing and Social Media Agency.

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Best Ways to Stop Your Business from Going into Debt

Guest Post by Nick Anderson

The past few years have seen the development of tough economic and business conditions. Many companies suffered going into debt or they had to terminate their activities altogether. As a business owner, it is your duty to figure out the best strategy that will help your business stay out of debt. Several techniques can be used to achieve the goal. Preliminary planning and sound business practices can help you run your company efficiently and without accumulating debt. Rational spending and good managerial practices will be essential, as well.

Market Research
A great business needs extensive research for a successful start. Stopping your company from going into debt begins with proper planning. You will first have to examine the market, your competition and the monetization potential of your idea. Entering a niche that is already having several competitive, well-established players will make it very difficult for you to begin generating profit rapidly enough. You will also have to find out whether customers are interested in purchasing the products that you have to offer. Finally, examine the costs associated to getting your company started. These include production expenses, staff wages, office and business premise rental, marketing expenses and employee training-related expenditure.

Effective Expenditure Management
Many beginners have a problem dealing with spending in a rational manner. Irrational expenditure is the easiest way for a company to begin accumulating debt. Learn to monitor all financial transactions and to easily figure out the ones that are excessive. Prioritize business expenditure that you cannot go without. Office rentals and staff salaries are two of the expenses that your business needs but these can be rationalized. Having a virtual or a serviced office will decrease office rental significantly. You can rationalize the production process, as well, to minimize the costs and to increase the product’s profitability potential. Marketing expenditure is something else that you should focus on, especially if you are just getting started. Many companies spend irrationally large amounts of money on promotion. Better alternatives are available and they will help you reach a large audience without spending a fortune on it. Internet promotion and viral campaigns are just two examples of effective and cheap advertising.

Be Careful with Loans
To get started, many people take business loans. These provide the financial resources for a great start but the loan is a double-edged sword. You will probably have to get a loan, unless you have managed to save enough money for the successful establishment of the company. Start with a reasonable, manageable loan. Once you see that your business is beginning to grow and evolve, you will be free to take a second loan and plan an expansion. In the beginning, you will have to make some compromises in order to keep the costs limited. Many people start running a home-based business. Expansion is the logical continuation if the company is doing great. A minimal loan will give you some money and prevent you from going into debt before your company has even been established.

Hire the Right Professionals
Accounting and consultancy services are of vital importance for the success of every company. Working with the right professionals is another way to rationalize expenditure and to bring up revenue. Forensic accountants can help you investigate monetary issues and deal with the financial obstacles in your way. Fraud can easily lead your business into debt. Fraud can be committed by a business partner, an employee or a contractor, which will ultimately lead to financial difficulties. Forensic accounting is often called forensic or investigative auditing because these professionals look into legal aspects of the accounting niche. They will be capable of preventing or detecting fraud, acting as expert witnesses in the case of a trial and performing risk assessment. Preventing your business from going into debt is a complex strategy that involves many steps. Proper planning, employee hiring, production process rationalization, marketing and work with the right professionals are all essential for smooth financial operations inside the company. Take your time to do some research and to evaluate your business idea. Managing expenses and knowing which risks taking will also help you evolve and keep your company from accumulating debt.

Nick Anderson is from Forths Forensic Accountant http://www.forthsonline.co.uk which is providing forensic accounting services with different types of quantum disputes. You can follow Nick on twitter @NickNikanderson.

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Filed under Accounting, Bookkeeping, GAAP, IFRS

The Complete Guide to Global Social Media Marketing

The ebook is free but you do have to register your name and such.  Clicking on the link below takes you to site with a blurb on each of the 6 chapters in the ebook, a form to use for registering and a download button.

Excerpt:  Social media is a great way to connect with your audience and have a two-way conversation. But it can be easy to forget that not everyone who finds your social media pages will speak your language, or be able to relate to your region’s latest trends.

Creating a global social media strategy early on will prepare you for all of these challenges, and will keep you from overextending your resources.

Download HubSpot’s guide which will help you create a social media strategy that caters to your audience, whether in a specific country or across multiple nations. This free 71-page guide includes the following chapters:

Read blurb on each chapter and download guide here via The Complete Guide to Global Social Media Marketing.  From HubSpot

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Industry Analysis Is Out of Date – HBR

How about a reality check this morning, guys.  Good read  …….  do you disagree?

Excerpt:  For some time now, I’ve been observing that one of the central principles of strategy — that industries are a fundamental building block for strategic analysis — is being challenged. It’s been interesting to watch computer companies go after the entertainment business, Internet time-wasters competing with televised time-wasters, and games played on social media sites scooping up revenue that traditional game companies might at one point have called their own.

The Wall Street Journal published a story which shows just how blurred traditional industry lines have become.

Read full article via Industry Analysis Is Out of Date – Rita McGrath – Harvard Business Review.

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Content Marketing: McGladrey’s 4-Step Process Increases Content Production 300%, Web Traffic 100%

Recommended read for all small business.  The article includes great takeaway how-to in website content design and management for impressive results.   The example in the article is a tax and consulting firm but the tips and advice hold true for all businesses.

Excerpt:  SUMMARY: If the website is the center of the marketing universe, content is the cement that holds that foundation together, according to Eric Webb, Senior Director of Communications & Brand, McGladrey, a global assurance, tax and consulting firm.

This case study covers how McGladrey completely revamped its content marketing and website design, streamlining content production in the process. The company increased Web traffic, boosted its content production, and, in a less than three-month period, can now attribute $427,000 in business to its content marketing strategy.

Read full content via Content Marketing: McGladrey’s 4-step process increases content production 300%, Web traffic 100% | MarketingSherpa.

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Filed under Management, Marketing, Branding, Sales, Advertising, eCommerce & Social Media, Small Business, Website & Digital Media

The 7 Commandments Of Silicon Valley

More on innovation today with a special  look at Silicon Valley’s methods to help you enhance your own strategies.

Excerpt:  Silicon Valley is the world’s iconic ecosystem of innovation, the “Florence” of our time. Yet the lessons that most people draw from it are often wrong. It is not simply the result of mashing talented people, great ideas, and lots of money together, as many assume. Those are just the starting ingredients. Many places around the world also have smart, creative, rich people. What is special about the Valley is the mixing of those ingredients, and that requires a recipe, which is the unusual culture. That recipe, however, has remained elusive to most outside observers.

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Mining Big Data to Find New Markets – HBR

A webinar for help and how-to use Big Data  —  the effective data management  — for gain.

Excerpt:  Historically, companies have decided which markets to focus on and have allocated sales resources based on looking at past results and using gut instincts. But today, “big data” and deep analytical capabilities give sales and marketing leaders a better way to make decisions. Managers now have the ability to use data to precisely identify lucrative micromarkets and better align sales resources to maximize opportunities. Companies that use analytics to pursue a micromarket strategy are dramatically increasing sales without spending more.

In this HBR webinar, McKinsey partners Manish Goyal and Homayoun Hatami describe how to use data to drive sales — without increasing costs.

Check out webinar here  via Mining Big Data to Find New Markets – Jason Sylva – HBR Events – Harvard Business Review.

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Filed under Business Intelligence, IT, Data Management, Metrics, Cloud & Mobile