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  • Tech Forecast Digest

Enterprise Management and Technology

Technology is just one (important) aspect of an enterprise.


Whether you have your own business or other enterprise or work for someone else, following are the key elements of any enterprise that must be planned and managed. All these elements are influenced by technology.


1. Plan

2. Principles

3. Prospects

4. Places

5. Providers

6. Products

7. Pricing

8. Promotion

9. Processes & Platforms

10. Partners

11. Public Policy

12. People

13. Performance

14. Portfolio, Programs & Projects



1. Plan

Use this section to provide a concise summary of your entire plan. This summary includes a very brief high-level description of each of the major elements of your planning as outlined in the table of contents.


This section tells your high level “story” and provides an easy and quick understanding of your plans by your staff, investors and others who may need to know it.



2. Principles

Describe the two to three key principles by which you run your business. These descriptions provide clarity for everyone in your business about these principles with which you operate.


Examples:

a) Trust in every way is the essential principle. The greater the mutual trust, more worthwhile the relationship.

Can you trust me and can I trust you to:

· Understand that individual self-interest is best served by serving the self-interest of others (as they define their self-interest) and act on that understanding

· Continuously improve individual professional and interpersonal competency


b) Success is dependent 80% on good relationships and 20% on the best tools and techniques



3. Prospects

Identify the types of business segments and Prospects within those segments who have the applications for which your products can be used.


Determine who, in general, are the influencers and decision makers (e.g., engineers, purchasing managers, CFO’s, CEOs) for your Products with Prospects in your business segments. Then identify those specific individuals and their contact information for your target Prospects. Maintain that information in your marketing database.


Determine the mix of smaller and larger Prospects that you want to target. Smaller Prospects often have shorter sales cycles and the influencers and decisions makers are easier to identify than with larger Prospects. Larger Prospects, however, can mean larger sales opportunities.

Channel partners can be valuable for marketing, distributing and supporting your products. Large channel partners (sometimes called master agents) serve smaller distributors. Working with master agents can give you access to a large number of distributors without having to deal individually with each of the small distributors.


Channel partners must be marketed to and supported similar to end user Prospects but in a somewhat different manner. Working with channel partners should not be an afterthought but a thoughtful well-supported effort.


Information is provided in the Promotion section (section 8) about how to identify and market to your target Prospects.



4. Places

Given the requirements to market, deliver and support your products, determine the locations where you want to offer your products. You may find it best to phase in additional locations over time as you expand.


Considerations that may affect your geographical focus include:

· Concentration of Prospects

· Practical locations for your business

· Locations of key channel partners

· Locations of suppliers

· Taxation

· Regulatory requirements

· Personal preferences


Understand the value you can obtain by selecting lesser known regions that have vitality and resources you need, and additional operational benefits that are not apparent.


Within those regions select the types of retail and wholesale distribution affiliates you will use in addition to your internal distribution capabilities.



5. Providers

Providers include your competitors.

Identify the strengths and weaknesses of your key competitors. Describe the capabilities of their products, support and other relevant aspects of their business.

The description of each key competitor’s capabilities should include:

· Marketing message

· Product features and customer benefits

· Pricing structure and levels

· Customer support

· Customer experience (end to end)

· Locations

· Organization and staffing

· Financial position

Then compare each key competitor to your strengths and weaknesses. Describe how your strengths can be of more relative value for a customer. These advantages will be part of the basis for your marketing and selling.



6. Products

Describe your Products in terms of the customer problems that they solve and other benefits the products offer. Identify how the Product features and other capabilities directly contribute to those solutions and benefits.


Include a description of how your products are used by an end user. Indicate why your product is easy to use and how their ease of use is superior to the use of other Providers’ Products.


As your business grows to a significant size, you may be able to establish a recognizable brand. Build your business with an eye toward creating a brand and brand platform that conveys a solid value proposition. In the meantime, prospects and customers will associate your business and your products with that value proposition.



7. Pricing

Establish your Pricing strategy. Are you priced versus your competitors at a premium, the same or as a discount to the typical industry price level?


Determine your Pricing strategy, structure and levels including any discounts. Include non-recurring and recurring charges. Does your Pricing strategy and include aspects such as “anchor” pricing (seed desired price with a larger number), “charm” pricing (ending in “9”), “Freemiums” (free alternatives or free trials), straightforward simple Pricing (may match a message to customers of your offerings being simple)? Specify the role your Pricing plan in your overall business strategy and marketing plan.


Describe how your pricing structure and levels compare to those of other providers with which you compete. Indicate the advantages of your Pricing structure.


Will you provide financing for customers?


Define any Pricing experimentation you plan to conduct. Following is one example of a Pricing experiment:


· 3 different plans/packages; intention is to sell the middle one.


· The first plan is a decoy. It’s similar to the middle plan but offers less value while costing almost as much.


· Second plan, the one you want to sell, offers good value for money. The price ends with 9. Shows it has been reduced from a previously higher price .


· Third plan is to serve as a contrast to the middle one, it is a high figure as an anchor. It is much more expensive than the middle plan. You don’t actually intend to sell it, but make sure you can actually deliver on it if someone purchases it.



8. Promotion

Effectively marketing your business is your biggest challenge.


The average person is bombarded with more than 5,000 marketing messages per day. For your business message to break through that clutter, you must consistently apply principles of effective marketing and sales to the following:


A. Marketing Message

B. Collateral

C. Web & Social Media Marketing

D. Advertising

E. Direct Sales

F. Channel Partners

G. Events

H. Affinity

I. Referral


A. Marketing Message

Purpose

• Master Message documentation (with variations for targeted segments/channels)

• Using document content, source the messaging content for customer touch points (sales scripts, product sheets, web site, blogs, etc.)

• Document is not static, takes feedback from market/customers and evolves


The message is essential

• It defines the business inside and outside

• It takes effort and time to create it well using key principles


The goal of your message is to help you:

Separate yourself from your competition and then eliminate them as a choice in your prospective customers’ minds


Example Search Engines

Market Share

1998 2013

Alta Vista #1 Defunct

Google Unborn #1

Google now has a dominant 85% market share


Effective marketing is based on proven principles

Following these principles and methods does not guarantee success but significantly increases the probability of success … and provides a framework to adjust the message going forward in a controlled manner.


Most marketing is based on puffery, platitudes and price cutting and leaves the prospects frustrated and unable to make an informed purchase decision. They instead decide solely based on price or recommendations from others.


Good marketing educates the prospects and leads them to an informed decision.

The provider that helps inform the customer typically is viewed by the prospect as more valuable than other providers. Other providers could inform, but don’t.


The prospect is led to the conclusion that he/she should buy from you.


Develop the message until you would rate it at least an 8 out of 10 in effectiveness.


Remember that for any claim, the prospect probably is thinking: “prove it”.


These principles help you break through the marketing message clutter and have your message heard.


1) Have something good to say

Your Products, Processes and Platforms have the functionality and capacity to separate your business from your competition and eliminate them as a choice in the minds of your prospects.


Don’t waste your money on marketing until these things are in place.


2) Say it well

Using the following framework


a) Interrupt (with something familiar and/or problematic. Clever if possible, but clever is not easy to do well and is not essential)


b) Engage (with the promise of info to follow that’s valuable to the prospect)


c) Educate (deliver the info that truly is valuable to the prospect including real evidence to support your claims)


d) Offer (low risk next step in the buying process)

Ensure the message responds to the key interest (aka “hot buttons”) of the decision makers.

You have about one second to Interrupt and then another second to Engage a prospect. If you deliver in a useful way valuable information promised in the Engage claim, a real prospect likely will spend as much time as needed to absorb the Educate and Offer portions of your message.


3) Say it often

The average prospects must see a message 8 to 15 times before they become fully aware of it.


Only 1% to 2% are ready to buy when they do become aware … so, continue communicating your message until they are ready to buy and then at that time think of you as their most logical choice.


In this context, design and orchestrate all media formats and channels matters to best communicate your target audiences. And a proper marketing model and monitoring is key.

Frequently communicate valuable information to each prospect until they are ready to buy.

Then they will remember you and consider you as their best choice.


Use message plus comprehensive disciplined marketing and sales tactics to separate you from competitors



10. Processes, Platforms & Partners

Outline your plans for the following Processes and the Platforms you use and Partners you work with to help operate your Processes.


Enterprise Management

· Culture

· Strategic and Operational Planning

· Organization, Human Resources, Compensation, Incentives