Why are business models necessary?

The Importance of the Business Model

The concept of having a business model came into vogue during the dotcom internet boom era. Most assumed that if you had an internet presence, you had it made. Profits would beat a path to your bank account, customers would go out of their way to buy from you, and your firm would prosper.

You know those dreams never materialized. Remember the dot com bubble burst?

The reason for the collapse was not that these companies had an internet business model. It was more likely that they had a faulty business model. Business models matter and it’s best to create the optimum one for your business.

Having a business model is akin to pre-writing a biography for your business. You may have an innovative idea, a new product,  a product or redux, or a renovation of your company.  Business models also help you align the right resources with the right projects at the right time.

Your business model requires sound analysis, good judgment, and forward thinking because it outlines the way you will earn money.

Not only do you need to know a lot about your business, you need to understand the clients, each customer segment, and the environment in which you will operate. This requires accurate appraisals and assumptions about each.

This requires analytical thinking and design skills as well as a healthy dose of creative thinking. If you’re renovating your current firm, you need analytical and recreation thinking. Out with the old and in with the new if you like.

A business model is the foundation of your enterprise.

 

Customer Experience of the Worst Kind

Have you encountered any horrible customer experiences lately?

If not, you may be visiting different places than me. Lately, two outlets for major chains have taken to playing some pretty terrible music. The singers have weak voices and this requires that the recordings be overproduced. This is to cover up the fact the singers really can’t sing.

The issue is that they play the music very loudly. This is worse due to the early morning hour.

It’s not just me. Many of the regulars at these two locations have the same complaint. Think about the word-of-mouth impact this will have on the business. I used to go to one of these locations two or three times a week. Now I go maybe twice a month.

One of the companies sent me a survey, which I filled out advising of the negative experiences. They answered (surprise) with an apology, A couple of days later, they urged me to return.  When I did, the music was blasting. I walked out remember the cold food that was supposed to be hot and the weak coffee.

This is akin to the cumulative experience a customer might have over a number of visits.

Don’t businesses create competitive advantage by giving customer a positive customer experience?

Have you had any experiences like this?

 

How to Make Marketing Soup

Do you own a small business?

If you do, then you know that this is true. Marketing is an integral part of your business. It’s the process of understanding, reaching, and satisfying your customer. It’s placing the concept of your value proposition in the minds of your clients. Marketing is like making soup. You need to get the right ingredients and mix, slice, and prepare them in the right way.

In other words, marketing is getting your message about your products and services to the right market with the right words. You deliver value to prospects and customers. You employ marketing research to detect any unfilled needs in the marketplace (No easy task.) Next, you try to create messaging that appeals to the market segment to which you are marketing.

Once you have the right message, you select the right channel to reach the desired segment. When the right message reaches the right segment of the market, a sale is made.  The marketing soup is complete.

It all sounds so easy, but we know it requires a lot of effort and thought to get this done properly.  One way to make it easier is to remember the basic ingredients of marketing that you want to keep in mind when create a marketing program.

 

Marketing Soup Ingredient List

Segmentation

 

Positioning

 

Needs

 

Wants

 

Environment

 

Brand

 

Demand

 

Competitors

 

Programs

 

 

 

Marketing Soup

 

Marketing for You

It’s been a long time since my last posting because I’ve been involved with other projects. They became larger than life for me. I completed the last one two weeks ago. It was on time and under budget, and the client was thrilled.

Now, I’m getting back into the flow, and it looks exciting. Since my last offering I have become a certified Business Model Specialist and gotten back to writing copy. These are nice, useful additions to my offerings.

Offerings

  • Business Modeling
  • Value Proposition
  • Copywriting

Business Modeling

The business modeling helps get your new business or your renovated business up and running on the right track.

Business Model Canvas

Value Proposition

The Value Proposition informs your customer why it’s a good idea to do business with you.

Value Proposition Canvas

Copywriting

The copywriting helps you get the right message to the right people at the right time to create more revenues and greater profits. It’s the written portion of your offering that help buyers make a decision to buy form you. It increase the customer’s awareness of your brand and provides reasons why they will benefit from doing business with you.

Future Implications

 

The Future

It’s 2186. Everyone has a computer chip implanted in his or her brain. This allows thousands of minds to collaborate on projects such as Lifebots that allow people to live hundreds of years or longer, and figure out how to program plant DNA to grow structures that reach 62 miles to the edge of space. At least that’s the future in my 2008 science fiction novel, Elevator 37. Two factors helped to originate the idea of this form of collaboration: Microsoft SharePoint, and crowd-source marketing. We see an example of the crowd at work on blog-post LEGO, BUT NOT MY EGGO. How farfetched is the idea? Follow this link to BrainSwarming: Because Brainstorming Doesn’t Work.

Pace of Change

Considering how computers have changed, Braniac, Univac’s first computer in 1952, IBMoved from the mainframe to the mid-range AS400, to personal computers. Now we have tablets, smartphones, and Google glasses. In addition, we have wrist-smart phones, now. Where will this take us? Considering Moore’s Law, and the miniaturization that occurs, that chip in the brain might not be too far off.
If we get the chip in our brains, our thoughts might be deluged with intrusive advertisements all day, and all night. That represents disaster. Somehow, the message recipients must have the ability to control the messages, even on the smartphones, Google glasses, and wristwatch computers, else pandemonium will rule. That middle of the night ad for suds detergent must go. That users need to control the inputs suggests they will select brands to follow and that some form of crowdsourcing will prevail. The crowd will rally around brands. Social media will fill the role of the strange attractor, as in chaos theory.

A Return to Humanity

There is one important issue. Technology can only take marketers so far. Researching human behavior will take the lead position in the marketing effort. A recent Harvard Business Review article, An Anthropologist Walks into a Bar, speaks to this issue. A major European brewery with great store sales lagged behind the competition in bars and pubs. After conventional research failed to deliver the answer, they turned to anthropologists to conduct ethnographic studies.

The researchers visited the drinking establishments, observed the people, and produced 150 hours of videos. The patterns indicated that most of the promotional materials held little value; female servers resented the playfulness required for the job, and felt trapped. Armed with this information, the brewery customized promotional items for different kinds of establishments and educated salespeople to know each bar owner (target market) better. They used the bar owners’ input to create promotions. In addition, they trained the staff about its brands, and provided taxi service for employees who worked late. Sales rebounded.

The Harvard Business Review is not alone. The June 2014, American Marketing Association concurs. In an article, senior staff writer, Christine Birkner says, “…when it comes to researching customer behavior, there’s no better method than direct observation” (Birkner, 2014, p. 23).

Both articles recommend ethnographic studies to gain the best comprehension of the target market, which is where it all begins. The conclusion is that while technology is a wonderful tool, directly observing human behavior matters more. This provides a better understanding of what the customer really wants.

Uses in Social Media Marketing

Whether utilizing traditional marketing or social media channels, marketers can use this information to fine-tune their marketing communications efforts.

Findings for the Future

  • Marketers cannot rely completely on technology as the be-all, end-all solution to marketing their products and services.
  • As Kotler and Keller write, “Marketing planning begins with formulating an offering to meet target market needs or wants” (Marketing management, 2012, p. 347).
  • Understand the target market. Human behavior matters.
  • Know which communication channels will reach the market. Don’t rule out traditional forms of marketing that may be effective. Read, Most Millennials’ Store Choices Influenced by Print Media for a revelation. A Nielson study says that most millennials state that print media affects their store choices.
  • Create great messages.

Conclusions

It appears that social media technology is an extension of the marketing effort, and the wise marketer begins with the target market and its behavior. Traditional marketing still holds sway in the marketplace; don’t abandon it—yet. Social media amplifies the message when used properly.

Happy Marketing!