Effectiveness

Customer relationships and the value of your business-I Can’t Escape

Amazon’s valuations are another great example. Why has Amazon’s stock risen to stratospheric heights? Because CEO Jeff Bezos, back in the early days, focused on acquiring and retaining customers and building broad relationships. In the Net Economy, the depth of your customer relationships is directly proportional to the value of your business.

Knowing who your customers are and being able to interact with them to build strong, life-long, valuable relationships is the winning strategy in the e-business world. And it’s the first rule of good marketing. That’s why some dot-coms will continue to take over conventional companies. They have the formula right. Do you?

Building the basic customer profile

What should you be tracking and measuring in your e-business? First and foremost, you need to know who your end-customers actually are – not just to what market segment they belong. Start by being able to identify and greet each customer by name and by knowing his or her email address.

Next, you need each person’s billing and shipping addresses, phone number(s), and any other profile information they’re willing to offer in exchange for trust and value. In the consumer world, you need to know whether they’re part of a household, and in business-to-business, whether they’re employers or employees of a business.

Blogging and Politics-Facing Me

Well, now. When I accepted the invitation to guest blog here at Crazy Like a Fox, I thought it would be easy to come up with a non-political topic (Fox didn’t forbid me to discuss politics, but I said in advance that I’d do something different and she thought that was a good idea). Now, after a long period of staring at the keyboard, I have to confess …

I got nothing’.

Well, almost nothing’. I’ve got a little something’ that’s not quite political and that doesn’t amount to much and which will probably seem trivial and trite when I trot it out (say that three times, real fast). But it’s something’, anyway. So I’ll go with it:

I’ve got it easy.

Political bloggers have their material brought up by room service every weekday morning. All we have to do is click on Google News or go over to Technorati to see what the top searches are, and we’re set. A good political blogger can just pick a random news story and use it as a launch platform to tell the rest of you (those who don’t nod off) why we are right, why “they” are wrong and why you are stupid if you don’t agree.

It’s like falling off a log, really.

The rest of you have to work at it.

That Time I Met That Chef-Fredrick

I always wish I had a mentor of some sort. Someone with good leadership qualities who could show me how to create a harmonious work environment without letting myself get thrown under the bus by my employees. I will be perfectly honest here, in all my years of restaurant experience, the only thing I banked from my previous bosses was how I didn’t want to act.

In 2010, a kind of miracle occurred. I entered a writing contest through Dawn Professional on a whim. The prize was $20,000 in restaurant make-over supplies, a consultation with Spike Mendelsohn of Top Chef fame, and a trip to the NRA show in Chicago.

Two months later, I found out I had won.

Branding and Advertising Debacle

BRAND

Brand has been the hot buzzword in advertising for some time now. The concept of brand has been understood for hundreds of years, of course, but it’s gotten a paint job in the last decades and has, in the process, acquired the gloss of a new idea. Simply put, brand is the impression or series of impressions that come to mind when someone sees or hears your company’s name.

Brand is a synthesis of many discrete elements, not the least of which is user experience, but the linchpin of brand creation tends to be advertising. Brand advertising is a promise. And unless the user experience is in direct conflict with that promise, the advertised message becomes the brand in the collective mind of the marketplace. It’s what ad people call “positioning.”

Brand positioning gives customers a reason to select a product or service over that of the competition. It becomes a convenient handle, the intuitive logic behind the buying decision. Without brand positioning, you still have a position in the marketplace.

Strategy Analysis for Technology Ventures and Media

So far, it has been quite a busy time for e-commerce analysts: A whole crop of numbers sprang up to put some definitive, quantitative stamp on the digital economic boom (see “B-to-Beware the Numbers,” p109).

The U.S. Department of Commerce weighed in with an industry summit in May on the topic of tracking e-business, and in June it released its second annual report on e-commerce, “Emerging Digital Economy II.” See also this interesting Boston Consulting Group video:

Also in June, a study released by the University of Texas – and funded by Cisco Systems – found that the Internet economy generated $501 billion in U.S. revenue in 2016, buoyed by a workforce of 1.9 million people, which puts it in the same macroeconomic neighborhood as cars ($550 billion) and telecommunications ($470 billion).

While the research firms continue to run numbers, the consumer market for e-business continues to grab most of the headlines. Last April’s declaration from Jupiter Communications that the Internet would trigger a $2.9 billion holiday shopping bonanza itself triggered an avalanche of media attention on the advent of online shopping that has hardly let up in the months since.