The lingering pandemic, the Ukraine war, supply chain problems and inflation has all types of organizations reviewing their “value” proposition. The idea of an explicit contract in B2B and an implicit contract in B2C used to involve fewer parties. If there was a serious dispute there was arbitration, courts or government regulators who would step in and try to sort things out. No longer true in the world of instant social media. Think of Elon Musk’s Twitter purchase situation.
For everyday business it’s simply keeping your promises to your customers. To be fair, our experience is that Elon Musk is pretty good with Tesla in keeping customer promises. No matter how the Twitter acquisition plays out.
Since marketing is about customer value, it’s important to clarify the idea of value proposition in these challenging times:
Gen X( Born 1965-1980) was willing to go along with the Baby Boomer/Jack Welch leadership style. Gen Y or Millennials ( Born 1981 to 1996) and Gen Z or Zoomers (Born 1997 – 2012) are very different. Gen Y and Z in the workforce and with the Great Resignation since the pandemic and 2021, we thought it was timely to rethink the Jack Welch style as discussed in our very popular posts on Jack Welch. When Satya Nadella took over as CEO of Microsoft in 2014, he made the reading of “Nonviolent Communication” by Marshall B. Rosenberg compulsory for the top management. Nadella’s predecessor Steve Balmer followed a version of the Jack Welch approach without the candor that Jack promoted at GE.
The most exciting thing for business over the 2019 summer was when the Business Roundtable put out a Statement on the “Purpose of the Corporation.” Signed by 181 American CEO’s all of whose brands are well known to consumers or businesses, the statement reflects the changing times. Download the Roundtable Statement here and check out the 181 signatures from many CEO’s of companies you are already familiar with.American politicians have been telling us what we know to be true – the “American Dream” eludes most folks today due to rapid changes in globalization and technology. Thankfully, leaders of American businesses have taken notice and have decided to move their focus from the “next quarter” to “long term shareholder value” on the shareholder element and have included all stakeholders in the “Purpose of the Corporation”. The times have truly changed in the last decade with all stakeholders having a voice on social media and the old dictum of “just focus on shareholder (short-term) value” can no longer work. See Eric Posner’s article “Milton Friedman was wrong” in the Atlantic.
We get frequent questions from innovative solution sellers about how to deal with the power and politics of B2B Buying Centers. This is after you have started talking with people at a prospective customer organization. And yet a deal doesn’t seem to be coming through.Here is our take and we hope this makes our dear readers feel better:
Frank,regular and constructive feedback is hard to give or receive in any work relationship. For example, HR performance appraisals are dreaded by both the boss and the employee. If you are a great leader your employees deserve to know how they are doing on a frequent basis , according to the legendary Jack Welch (Also seeContinue reading “Why it’s hard to share feedback in B2B Markets”
The primary challenge for their innovation teams, according to the Innovation head of a Fortune 50 corporation, is to consciously engage the bosses at the front end of the project. The bosses sign off on initial costs and then when things progress to the stage of making prototypes and trial production- the bosses suddenly wake up. “I never realized that there are such big costs involved,down the line…” is a common refrain.
Here is an old Blockbuster video membership card, what nostalgia! Renting video cassettes from Blockbuster video seems like so long ago .. How Internet affects business is one of our favorite topics but there is an underlying larger idea in strategy. That idea is sustainable competitive advantage by which a business maintains enduring success. CompetitionContinue reading “What is your sustainable competitive advantage?”
If you have enabled demographic reports on your B2B marketing website in Google Analytics, you would have noticed it: there are lots of visitors from the 18-24 and 25-34 age group. We would not be surprised if you sell some non-glamorous industrial product (eg. valves or switches.. with no offence to readers from these industries)Continue reading “B2B Buying Center members getting younger”