The web may have broken down many geographical barriers. But a raft of cultural and communications challenges remain for SMEs targeting international growth… Reaching and engaging with international audiences demands an intimate understanding of their cultures and customs, laws and languages, practices and tastes. Browsing the local Rough Guide simply isn’t going to cut it. But how many would-be international marketers really take this truism to heart?
Producing content that customers want to share is the Holy Grail for marketers. Within the automotive industry, nobody does content – and especially video – better than Volkswagen. Students of advertising will be well aware how the company has headed the field – in terms of impact, penetration and sheer creativity – since Doyle Dane Bernbach created VW’s Beetle press campaigns in the 1950s and 1960s.
The recovery may be well under way. But business growth could yet be stalled for lack of key skills – in particular in the digital space… At first glance, UK PLC is on the up. Gross domestic product grew by 0.8 per cent in the last quarter (Source: ONS), taking the economy 0.2 percent above its pre-recession peak. And expectations are that the next quarter will see similar growth.
Business leaders are, by their very nature, DIYers… That’s not to say they spend every spare moment prowling the office corridors, spanner in hand: even the most sanguine of entrepreneurs would draw the line at servicing the company boiler.
Shouting about innovation won’t get you sales. Rather, B2B marketers must define and demonstrate their ‘value proposition’: their new products’ true value to customers.
Ever feel like your business is driving you, rather than the other way around? If so, you may be suffering from a Goal Alignment Problem – aka GAP… Chances are, when you launched your business, you didn’t give too much thought to its long-term impact on your domestic life. Rather, you may have been more concerned with value propositions, marketing plans, cashflow projections, production challenges and the myriad other considerations.
Retailers don’t come much bigger than the ‘world’s online marketplace’ – eBay; home to over 100 million buyers and sellers. Enabling sellers to list products in more than 30,000 categories through 30 localised sites, eBay stands or falls on its ability to harness, analyse and draw meaningful conclusions from the 50 terabytes or more of data that it creates every day.
“Content Is King” It was the 3rd of January 1996 when Bill Gates coined the phrase ‘Content is King’. Back then, Microsoft ruled the world, Yahoo was king of the search engines and Mark Zuckerburg of Facebook was only 11 years old. Yet despite the passage of time, explosion of technology and buzz of social media, those words still ring true. In fact, more so now than they ever did.
Effectively harnessing the enormous quantities of data your business accumulates day-to-day can help you get ‘up close and personal’ with your customer base – delivering razor-honed messages and offers directly to the most narrowly defined ‘micro’ market segments. It’s over two decades since former Hewlett Packard CEO Lew Platt remarked, “If only HP knew what it knows, it would make three times more profit tomorrow.”
Social media misconceptions: These days, most firms acknowledge the need to incorporate some form of social media into their marketing – not least because, well, “everyone’s doing it”. And no wonder. Facebook alone provides an online home to 1.19bn active users (Source: Econsultancy, Dec 2013).