There has been little talk by big media executives of the innovation necessary to create new income to replace the old revenues that will not return in a recovery. A deep, protracted recession is one thing; a permanent digital shift in industry economics is another.
One of my favorite questions when a brand leader tells me how much they intend to grow over the next 12 months is to ask them how much they think the market itself will grow. In other words, how much organic growth can they expect the market to give them just for participating versus how much do they think they’re going to have to “find” somewhere else?
Google's built a multi-billion-dollar empire largely on the strength of search ad sales. But that's starting to change as the years Google has spent nurturing side businesses that have nothing to do with search are beginning to show small, but growing returns.
The language of “more” pervades discussions of the topic. Ask any group of executives or nonprofit leaders about scaling, run a web search on “scaling” or “taking to scale,” pore over articles, cases, or research on the topic, you’ll find the dominant words and phrases have to do with addition and multiplication: grow, expand, propagate, replicate, amplify, amass, clone, copy, enlarge, magnify, incubate, accelerate, multiply, roll it out to the masses, and so on.
Since the financial crisis of 2008, most established firms have reduced costs, focused their resources, and become more lean and efficient. Now, however, they face the challenge of how to grow — which will require the development and implementation of truly innovative products, services, and business models. Making that happen might be hard work, but that doesn’t mean innovation has to become a dirty word.
To many skeptical consumers in developed markets, Brand China still means lower quality. As has been the case elsewhere in Asia, companies in China traditionally focused on asset-intensive industries and low-cost manufacturing and paid little attention to intangibles such as brands and human capital. To become major branded players away from home, Chinese companies must address their challenges in three strategic ways.
Where are teenagers going instead? Not surprisingly, it’s mobile chat services like WeChat, and photo-sharing apps like Instagram and Snapchat.
If you’re leading a startup business with potential for high growth, one of the most valuable things you should do early on is to set up an advisory board.
By venture capitalists’ individual actions, they are limiting growth and innovation. By their collective choices, they are risking our very lives.
Women-owned entities in the formal sector represent approximately 37% of enterprises globally — a market worthy of attention by businesses and policy makers alike.
Companies tend to repeat what has worked for them in the past. In our research on the telecom industry, for example, we found that the great majority of the executives we surveyed preferred internal development to external sourcing when they needed to develop differentiated products and services. We get similar results in other industries, though the preferred growth mode may differ.
What does winning look like at your organization? Defining success may sound simple, but few strategic plans come to grips with this question. Instead, management teams fall back on broad-brushed vision statements. "To be the best ... the biggest ... the leading ..." that lack the specificity employees need to implement the strategy or provide the benchmarks that leaders can use to measure progress. Should growth strategies be visionary? Certainly. But they should also be concrete. That's what Plan to Win is all about.
After coping with the global economic crisis, companies are beginning to aim for growth again. But their approach to managing innovation and the challenges they face haven’t changed. The survey results suggest a few ways to improve.
While the focus at General Motors Co. in the last several months has been on the change to VP-Marketing Joel Ewanick, on re-shaping Chevrolet and Cadillac, and on the automaker's impending initial public offering, very quietly the Buick brand has become a driving force for the company. A new design and a marketing shift to a younger audience have helped U.S. sales of Buick's Enclave, Regal and LaCrosse skyrocket since last year -- and even more so in China, where it is the No. 1 brand. To steal a line from the classic Oldsmobile campaign, this is not your (grand)father's car any more.
PayPal, the online payments service, lifted the fortunes of Ebay in its latest quarter as the US e-commerce company continued to struggle to turn round its core marketplace operations, according to figures released on Wednesday. PayPal’s strong growth was reflected in a 43 per cent increase in the volume of payments in its merchant services business, the company said – an indication of how quickly it is being taken up by other websites.
Consensus Advisors just released their 2009-2010 Retailer Health Ratings (RHRs) report. The RHRs measure and compare retailers over a five-year period on: healthy growth, asset utilization, pricing power and balance sheet strength.
In retail, success comes with a curse. A long line of retailers have been tempted into rapid store growth to maximize sales, only to hit a wall and need to shrink. Starbucks may be the best example. It likely set a record for the fastest long-term expansion of any big retailer. Morgan Stanley's John Glass says Starbucks added U.S. stores at an annual 27% rate from 1995 to 2005, reaching almost 12,000. That is even faster than the 17% rate of McDonald's from 1965 to 1975.
Executives are paying more attention to customer service in an effort to increase sales and gain market share in the economic recovery. Drug-store chain Walgreen Co. is training pharmacists to spend more time helping patients with chronic illnesses. Comcast Corp. is putting call-center agents through new training and instructing supervisors to coach their agents more. American Express Co. is expanding a program aimed at getting agents to build better relationships with customers. Just over a quarter of the 1,405 companies surveyed by Accenture late last year said customer service would be the first area they'd increase funding for as the economy recovers. Some companies have begun that practice this year.
Rather than seek increased revenues and profits by expanding products and markets, companies should follow a seven-step strategy for achieving more with less.
Nike Inc. Chief Executive Mark Parker took an unusual path to the top: The former Penn State University runner spent years as a shoe designer before starting to climb the corporate ladder. Now, he's taking Nike in a new direction, targeting overseas expansion—and not just with the Nike "swoosh." Last week he set the ambitious goal of increasing sales 40%, to $27 billion, by 2015. To achieve that while Nike sales growth in the U.S. is slowing, he's betting on such markets as China, India and Brazil, and on their burgeoning middle classes.
After a concentrated period of regrouping and refocusing, Starbucks is on the move -- and its expansion of Via Ready Brew in the U.S. and other markets is a pivotal component of a worldwide push to leverage synergies across business segments, channels and media platforms. It's still early in the game for Via, introduced last September, but the new line's roles within that global game plan as a revenue stream, door-opener and template for ongoing brand expansion is becoming increasingly visible.
Fast-fashion retailer H&M is a bit frosty toward warm climates. The trendy company has stores in 37 countries, but none in Texas. Miami shoppers won't find a place to purchase H&M's cheap chic clothes, either. The problem isn't a lack of demand. It's that the chain's Swedish parent company, H&M Hennes & Mauritz AB, isn't sure how to sell clothes in cities that are always warm.
Yesterday may have seen a plummeting stock market, but that's yesterday. For the next five years, the world's leader in athletic shoes is planning to run with the bulls. In the company's first meeting with analysts in three years, Nike boldly proclaimed it has plans to fuel growth by more than 40% over the next five years, hitting $27 billion in annual sales versus its $19.2 billion sales tally for last year.
Forty years after the first Earth Day, greater pressure is being applied to brands to address environmental problems along with the problems of dirty clothes, financial services, technology, and convenient, quick-serve meals. Yes, more consumers hear the phrases "fuel-efficient," "organic,""energy-efficient," "natural," "green," and "sustainable" more these days, consumers are on to all that. They want brands to walk-the-talk, and "green" has become the cost-of-entry in many categories, making larger and larger contributions to brand engagement and loyalty.
Here we continue the post on why I think Nespresso is the best brand in the world.
While Twitter’s growth is apparently stalling, Facebook goes from strength to strength and is now, arguably, the world’s largest digital media ‘owner’ other than Google. Its audience is now a very international one, with 70% of users being outside of the US, and its largest audiences are in countries as varied as the UK, Indonesia and Turkey. With this massive growth has come massive opportunities; not just for Facebook but for brands too. But it has also brought challenges, including one that is cropping up more and more frequently – how should multinational companies manage their Facebook profiles? Globally? Locally? Or, dare I say it, somewhere in between: glocally? For brands with a presence in multiple markets, understanding how best to manage their resources to best provide users with relevant content and ensure the highest possible chance of success in the social marketing efforts, this is a challenge that deserves attention.
Facebook's growth, which we already know is massive, is truly a global phenomenon, it turns out. And nations with the fastest membership growth rate are in South America, and Asia. Is Facebook becoming the global phone book? The data's surfaced at InsideFacebook.com, with detailed analysis of both the numerical growth rate of members per nation for the month of March 2010, and the penetration Facebook's achieving among each nation's population. Check out the table above--some of those figures should stagger you. Particularly the monthly growth rate for Indonesia, the Philippines, Mexico, Argentina, and Malaysia--each of which showed around a 10% jump in Facebook membership in a single month. That's frankly astonishing.
The premise of this essay is that the explosive growth of mobile communications can be a powerful tool for addressing some of the most critical challenges of the 21st century, such as promoting vibrant democracies, fostering inclusive economic growth, and reducing the huge inequities in life expectancy between rich and poor nations. The benefits of mobile communications are particularly profound for developing countries, many of which are “leapfrogging” the traditional fixed telecommunications infrastructure. As a result, billions of people in developing countries are gaining access to modern communications of any sort for the first time.
Procter & Gamble Co. got to be an $80 billion company and the world's-largest marketer almost entirely by selling goods, but it's increasingly looking to services ranging from concierge physicians to car washes and dry cleaners to fuel its thirst for growth.
Online retail is set to grow but marketers won't keep up if they don't figure out how to integrate online with offline efforts, per a study from Boston-based Forrester Research. The firm says the U.S. and Europe will both see double-digit growth in Web retail over the next five years, with U.S. online retail growing at a 10% compound annual growth rate during that five-year period to reach nearly $249 billion.
The other day, one of my colleagues asked me, "What exactly do you mean when you use the word 'innovation?'" Answering the question led to a productive discussion about what really inhibits innovation inside large organizations. When I use the word innovation, I think of three interlocking components.
Facebook now has more than 400 million active users, up from only 50 million as recently as 2007. If social networking still resembled a young, hip downtown nightclub scene — one day a site is hot, the next it’s not — we might expect the crowds to decamp soon. Facebook would become another Friendster, still around but ghostly, forgotten by most. Facebook, however, isn’t likely to have such a fate.
Facebook announced that active users of its mobile platform surpassed 100 million, each and every month. And, this usage happens on almost every carrier in the world. If interaction and participation serve as the foundation for social media, then Facebook is setting the standard. Facebook is reporting that mobile users are twice more active on Facebook than non-mobile users. According to estimates, the number of mobile Facebook users far exceeds the total active user base for Twitter, including mobile, Web, and through third-party applications.
General Mills spelled out its recipe for profitable growth: Hispanics, baby boomers and millennials. The Minneapolis package-food company revealed products and marketing plans designed specifically for those segments at the Consumer Analysts Group of New York conference this morning. "We think our categories and our brands are well-positioned for strong future growth because they are on trend with the evolving consumer needs," said Ian Friendly, chief operating officer and exec VP-U.S. retail.
The last 10 years of growth at Reckitt Benckiser are pretty impressive. The market value of the company has increased an eye-popping seven times, to £21billion, according to an article in The Times. And if you had been smart enough or lucky enough to buy shares in 2000, you'd be sitting on a return of 400%. At the heart of this success is the power of focus, a key theme in our new book. Let's look at what Reckitt have done well.
Hello, Hollywood. On the heels of the Foursquare-Bravo TV deal, news of several additional major media partnerships involving the location-based social networking app have dropped this evening. According to various reports, Zagat, Warner Bros., HBO, the History Channel and ExploreChicago have all been added to Foursquare’s media and entertainment mix. Here are the partnerships that appear to be live or coming very soon:
In December 2008, global consumers spent an average of just over three hours on social networks. In December 2009, they were spending over five and a half hours on average. An increase of 82%. According to The Nielsen Company, social network sites have grown in importance globally in 2009. Alongside blogs, they are now the most popular category online when ranked by time spent on site. The survey (which looked at the US, U.K., Australia, Brazil, Japan, Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain and Italy) shows not only that overall time on site has increased, but also that the global audience for social networking has increased.
Google Inc. reported its strongest revenue growth in a year and issued its firmest public statement saying it would like to continue doing business in China, a week after it said it may pull out of the country due to a sweeping cyber attack. The Mountain View, Calif., company said its revenue rose 17% in the fourth quarter to $6.67 billion from a year earlier, up from only 7% revenue growth in the third quarter and 3% growth in the second quarter. Meanwhile, Google's profit more than quintupled in the fourth quarter to $1.97 billion, or $6.13 a share, from $382 million, or $1.21 a share, a year ago. During the 2008 quarter, Google took a charge related to investments in AOL Inc. and wireless service provider Clearwire Corp.
Still struggling after its worst recession in generations, Japan announced a long-term growth strategy Wednesday that seeks to tap into the dynamism of its Asian neighbors, create millions of jobs in new industries and fuel economic expansion of at least 2 percent a year over the next decade.
In order to compete in this new economy, chances are you've already pared down your operations. You've also probably adopted "flat revenue" as the new measure of growth. Even typically profit-focused Wall Street is looking at sales growth to see how people are spending money again. I have news, growth is the only real measure of growth. And with your operations streamlined, now is the perfect time to grow.
The world’s largest media markets will return to growth in 2011, according to the latest advertising spending forecast, but with only a “meagre” recovery as emerging markets take a greater share of global ad budgets.
The Web simply can't get enough funny cat pictures. Or dog pictures. Or sleeping cat pictures. Or pictures of people failing. Or creative approaches to fix things. The Cheezburger Network has grown dramatically, racing to the point where they are seeing a billion page views every four months, after it took nearly two years to reach the first billion. Growing the company on rapid scale is no accident, as the network has focused its business objectives on its customers, aiming to remove distractions and obstacles that could hinder potential growth.
With all the news coverage today on financial mismanagement, I can tell you from first-hand experience about a company that continues to prosper amid all the chaos. And I think it is worth trying to understand why.
Is Google’s OS the end of the OS – the long-predicted moment when Google and the web take over the PC? Or is it merely the disruptive OS throwing marbles on the floor for Microsoft and to some extent Apple and the software industry? Or will it be a platform and boon for app developers and PC makers and cloud companies? Or all of the above? Yes.
Today my series on brand value creation comes to a close with a look at companies’ Learning and Growth. Previous posts have examined how brands create value for companies from the Customer, Financial (2 posts), and Internal Business Process perspectives. The Learning and Growth quadrant of the Balanced Scorecard asks, “To achieve our vision, how will we sustain our ability to change and improve?” The results produced by a strong brand relative to this quadrant may be the most difficult to quantify, but they are perhaps the most significant. Here are 3 ways a brand creates value by impacting an organization’s Learning and Growth:
As the dust settles from the collapse of the financial markets, one thing seems increasingly clear. One of the key drivers of corporate growth moving forward is going to have to be marketing. The sources of corporate growth and "profitability" for the last several decades, the practice of leveraging and more straightforward uses of easy credit, are no longer possible in the ways they once were. These were the growth strategies that made corporate finance and the CFO the center of attention in the boardroom and they have evaporated in shocking fashion, right along with earnings.
According to the research firm comScore, the Hispanic online population is now 11 percent of the total American market and in the last year has significantly outpaced the rest of the market. Hispanic users, tending to be younger, have gravitated to community and entertainment sites.
Is social media the new search? Pardon the clichéd phrasing, but it's a question I've been hearing a lot lately, and one I am at least somewhat qualified to answer.
I read with interest today the removal of Chris DeWolfe as CEO of MySpace. According to the "growth" model of capitalism, MySpace has a problem. If senior management can't renew growth, change is called for. But what if this growth model is, at least for new media purposes, mistaken? If we embrace a new model of the kind someone like Henry Jenkins, David Weinberger, or Don Tapscott might endorse, then this might be precisely the wrong way to think about things.
Facebook, by its very nature, is mostly about our past, sometimes about our present, but very rarely about our future. Being symmetric, it’s important that we have some sort of a prior relationship with a person in order to friend them on Facebook. Your classmates, neighbors and the folks you met at a party — these are all relationships from your past. Facebook doesn’t really allow you to discover new people — and that has been the part of its charm (and utility).
You should listen to the people who tell the most people about you. Listen to the people who thrive on sharing your good works with others. If you delight these people, you grow.
When Facebook signed up its 100 millionth member last August, its employees spread out in two parks in Palo Alto, Calif., for a huge barbecue. Sometime this week, this five-year-old start-up, born in a dorm room at Harvard, expects to register its 200 millionth user.
Social media is seen by many marketers as the next gold rush. To understand how marketers are using social media, we commissioned the Social Media Marketing Industry Report: How Marketers Are Using Social Media to Grow Their Businesses.
Did Twitter just make Facebook blink? If not, why did Facebook suddenly get so much more Twitter-like?
What's the secret ingredient to finding double-digit revenue increases in an almost universally brutal first quarter for media companies? In the case of Food Network, guacamole.
If you want to grow, you need new customers. And if you want new customers, you need three things:
If the secret of becoming big and successful meant staying small, would you stay small? Making a company bigger has a way of changing a company for the worse. There are few experienced-based retail brands that have successfully gone from small to big without losing their brand identity and specialness.
The number of people in the U.S. who use social networks at least once a month will increase 44% to 115 million in 2013 from 79 million in 2008, according to a new eMarketer report. With use already high among teens and young adults, growth will come from boomers, Generation X and tweens.
Despite the potential for information overload, short-message sharing services like Twitter appear to be taking hold with an ever-larger share of U.S. consumers.
While many companies are firing staff, shelving renovation plans and pinching pennies, the owners of Raj Manufacturing in Tustin are expanding. The swimwear maker is betting that it can boost its market share while its competitors are cutting back -- and the hot sales of its daring Animal Instinct swimsuits seem to support the move.
Given its recent financial struggles—at the core of which are weak sales that have forced the closing of about 600 of its U.S. stores through the first half of fiscal year 2009—the question many people are asking right now is: Can Starbucks get its mojo back?