Tuesday, April 29, 2014

"Selling is not about the product but about trust & credibility!"


Thursday, April 24, 2014

"The purpose of life is that we live our dreams and not our fears!"


Thursday, April 17, 2014

"People don’t need to be friends to do business, but they must avoid being enemies!"



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"Business is not about people’s EGO. So leave yours at home!"


Thursday, April 10, 2014

THE WILD WORLD OF SOCIAL MEDIA




by Emmanuel Kuehn

Like many seasoned professionals, I started working during the 20th century. It seems like yesterday, although in reality it has been 24 years ago and we are now in 2014.

When I started out, client orders were placed via telex and later by fax. The company I worked with had only one PC. Every time we visited a customer or a prospect we would record the information by writing it down and keeping the information in a paper-based file system. When looking for potential customers, we would 'surf' through the yellow pages to find suitable companies.

Our challenge was to get our product "known" on the market. To do so, we incurred expensive advertising costs by booking space in specialized magazines. It was a costly exercise. Companies, who could afford to do so drove their branding campaigns primarily on TV adverts. TV advertising seemed like the best way to build and enhance name brand recognition. It certainly was a concrete way to reach our target market and eventual end-user of the products we offered.

Although this will seem unfathomable to today's younger generations, all the tools we rely on today did not exist such as the Internet, mobile phones, iPads or even social networks. The likes of Google Trends, Facebook, Linkedin, Viadeo, YouTube, and Linkedin were something we couldn't have even have imagined. Business and relationship building were done in the "old fashioned" way.

Tools and networks did exist but they were more constrained and tied to the physicality of location. Travel was more important if you planned to do business overseas or outside your home country. Despite your best intentions, doing business outside home markets was more constrained. However, despite these conditions, we worked hard and did the best we could do given the context and conditions of the time.

The difference between what we did and our competitors was creativity. Creativity is equally as important today, although it can be leveraged differently.

The concept of walking around and doing business from a laptop or mobile phone was worthy of science fiction. The idea that we would build "relationships" with people from around we would never physically meet was unthinkable. Were we really missing something?

2014 Is The Time For Forward Thinking

The 21st century has revolutionised the work environment. Electronic tools make the "old" environment appear like the Stone Age to the youth of today who have never known anything else. On a positive level, we have learned never to take anything for granted in a global economy, which is in a constant state of flux and functions on the dynamics of change now more than ever.

Social Networking has become a cornerstone of the marketing process. Even just two years ago most corporations did not have a Facebook profile. Today, this is unthinkable. Facebook has become a necessary and dynamic tool to interface with clients and end-users in a direct and almost personalised manner. The best sites are constantly updated and show a strong interaction and engagement.

A website has become the the firm's window on the world and to the world. It exhibits what the company does, stands for, and highlights products and or services, which are on offer to potential clients. Despite the fact that these sites are designed for broad constituencies, they are geared to professionals. If you think of the site as a type of "catalog" then you are aware that a website must be updated to be relevant to an audience who are constantly surfing and comparing your site with others online.

If you are a professional in Marketing & Advertising, these are indeed exciting times. The market and its communication channels are constantly changing and favour those people who are innovative, creative and dynamic. To capture attention, communications must engage the audience. The logistics chain of wholesaler, retailer and customer should be a seamless flow.

Retailers know to push sales that they must be in touch with the end-user. The constant challenge for manufacturers and producers is to know and anticipate the needs of their customers, which brings me to the real theme of this text: the impact of social media.

The Impact Of Social Media

Social Media is the opportunity for companies to really get in touch with the people buying and using their products on a regular basis. Although it is expensive to advertise on TV and magazines, traditional promotions and PR/Marketing campaigns can harness the usual tools. However, for a company willing to seize the initiative, it costs far less to create a profile on Facebook and post corporate videos on YouTube.

The Social Media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and others can generate and channel opportunities by bringing the customer into the actual campaign. Ultimately the best "advertisement" is to read the testimonials of satisfied clients.

Social Media should be more than just a "shop window". It is seen as an interactive "meeting place" where people discuss, share ideas, and post suggestions. Marketing professionals gather the information, weigh the possibilities, and can draw on the data collected to enhance or change products and services currently being offered. The reaction time is immediate and you need not wait to implement changes.

Because Social Media has the air of spontaneity, it appears easy to manipulate and exercise. You would be quite wrong if you draw this assumption. In reality, it requires meticulous work and research. The communications strategy you seek to employ should be based an analytics.

My counsel to Corporates is to thoroughly think through the following points:

1) Website: use the web as a company catalog. However, if you want the firm to really capture attention, then the firm must also engage the potential client. Make the website more than a "shell".

2) Blogs: for blogs to work, they need to be updated consistently and in a style to which the reader and client can relate to and respond to. If communications centre on products, give the articles variability. If you constantly repeat the same thing or the articles come across as just a sales pitch, the customer will feel "turned off".

3) Linkedin: Linkedin is the leading professionals social network. Professionals speaking to professionals look for a different target message and have different expectations than the general public. You can use this network to recruit and expand the professional network of your organisation.

4) Twitter: This network is one of the least understood and utilised channels to use effectively. According to recent reports over 30m tweets are sent out across the network per day. The goal is to generate interest in a space of just 140 characters. Although you can promote and advertise, the best use of twitter is to drive your strategy to the next level. There must be something to back up the "tweet" if you really want someone to follow you.

Facebook: The traditional use of this social media has outgrown its original intentions and is now harnessed by the corporate world. Give your audience a reason to visit this channel. Contests and games have been used by some. Others use it to deliver corporate information. The best way to use Facebook is to create an interactive community, which is responsive to need and questions.

YouTube: Videos are an excellent means to show the engagement of your firm in its field of expertise. Creating a "corporate media channel" requires a budget and coherent strategy. This should not be used unless the videos are professionally executed otherwise despite your best intentions, the firm will look ridiculous.

Please Note: Although there are many social media to pick and use, your firm must have a consistent and well thought out marketing strategy. The last thing you want is for social media to backfire on your intentions.

One of the things you should also take into consideration is not just what you or your experts say online but what the community says about what you do online. By generating the "right" feedback, you will give your firm the voice and practice of authenticity online. In an Internet driven environment, this is crucial not just in theory but practice.

If you feel uncomfortable

Oddly enough, there are many people who are still uncomfortable with social media. There are many experts and firms who specialise in this domain. Contact one of your choice, and talk through your objectives. You can no longer afford not to use this media.

When considering the future know there are infinite opportunities for companies that can launch great marketing campaigns online with limited financial resources. The only drawback is that many firms will also try to do this. Just remember that those firms who succeed will be creative and audacious. This is the way to separate your firm from the crowd.

Social media is a great way to advertise. Use the tools judiciously and not as a "trash" bin.

Ultimately, human beings can only absorb so much information. With sensory overload, people quickly block out any information stream, which does not capture their immediate attention. Many people "surf" the web ceaselessly. Your job is to get them to remain on your site with intent to purchase or get involved.

The Challenge Of Now

Today's challenge for seasoned players is not to worry about what "we" did before the Internet and social media have reshaped our business environment. It is to evaluate the new tools and shape the message delivery to what people expect today from the Internet and the positioning and buying of products online and off line. By doing so, your use of social media will be an asset. Not to engage will put your firm's activities at risk, and you will no longer be able to meet the competitive challenges as the global economy continues to mutate.

About The Author

Emmanuel Kuehn is a Management Consultant, Business Coach & Trainer for both corporate organizations and individuals.


Business Is A Matter Of People
Emmanuel Kuehn | WisePoint B.V.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

"Business is not a rocket science. It's mostly common sense!"


What does one need to do business:

  • INTEGRITY
  • VISION
  • PASSION
  • ENTHUSIASM
  • COMMITMENT


No need to go to school for that...

Wishing you to do business in a wise way!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

"Being proactive is to think before talking!"