Here is some basic business sense on dealing with a fast-changing business environment, feel free to use it
It is a truism that reputations and brands take years to make and moments to destroy. Two ways to keep a good reputation are:
- Being completely transparent about your business, and being at the forefront of developments and being seen to be driving your industry towards increased transparency, better self-regulation and better business integrity is good
- In addition, use some of the fruits of your commercial success to support initiatives that allow others to do both of the above.
Another way to build your reputation is use a process steeped in economic behavioural psychology whereby “true” advocates internal to the company are identified and deployed. To find external advocates analyse a customer database using behavioural psyche surveying. When identified and deployed these groups create a powerful recommendation economy around the business that drives business forward as well as protects the business through the power of word of mouth.
Advocates will make up no more than 6% of your customer base and they have a 3C personality; they are charismatic, connected, and credible. They display a higher and larger influence sphere on and offline, with a strong socio-economic trace within their communities. They participate in conversation and have strong opinions about the category and are trusted participants. With the advent of social media, when advocates are identified and engaged, they become recommenders, which is the cornerstone of utilising the true power of social media. It is recommendation not “likes” that drives sales, leads and delivers customers of a higher quality and LTV. This is not a baseless NPS program; find the promoters and activate them.
Many markets/industries have witnessed huge disruption with more to come, and competitors hidden in places you don’t even know about. Add to this the collaborative demands of the consumer today and being on the front foot is more important than ever. Business people who have disrupted whole industries and understand what disruption means and how to incorporate this into a “business as usual” framework form disruptor panels to advise and support CEOs and boards on what is happening and what potentially can happen to their businesses. They offer advice on both protecting and enabling innovation.
Such a panel supports the C-suite by asking the questions they don’t know they need to ask.
Open innovation program
This a process where by an organisation puts out a challenge to the startup community to build apps and technology that enable innovation to benefit an organisation. This model harvests talent from resources more likely wanting to be working for Uber than a traditional incumbent; it drives a startup mentality for big business.
Open innovation (OI) is not intra-preneurship, nor is it the incubation model. It is where the startup community works with big business collaboratively. It may be that if a successful app or piece of technology transpires, the business may want to invest in that startup, but that is not OI core function.
OI is a platform devised for large business to organise and communicate with the startup community to contribute to its business. It’s a win, win when it delivers.
A last minute note on content strategy
Using a mix of IPTV, digital and mobile channels, with direct response mechanics and engaging content to cast a wide net, enables your business to maximise its proposition. By creating, managing, distributing and monetising content to new and existing audiences you can create a unique data-centric ecosystem and fully leverage the power or advocacy.
This is the very minimal of basic of business strategy for a disruptive community.
Fi Bendall is the managing director ofBendalls Group, a team of highly trained digital specialists, i-media subject matter experts and developers.