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Monthly Archives: February 2017

Ways Behavioral Targeting in Business

Let’s look through some ways behavioral targeting is reshaping businesses.

1. Tailored Web for You

With behavioral tracking, the code can track your cursor and browsing history. The world’s famous online store – Amazon, especially, is the biggest publishing platform for target marketers. The algorithms and related data points have been modified as a result to bring you more tailored experience.

Another example is that of Google Instant. It has completely changed the way searching happened in the bygone days. You see results as you start typing in the search bar and are shuffling according to the more focused keyword in your search and often times provides you with the most relevant information.

Hence, the more relevance the more chances of interacting with the content and from a business perspective, more conversions.

2. Possibility of Customized Web Interfaces

There is a possibility that you can play with a website’s interface. But it is being said that cost, time and resources, at present, are limited which is stopping it from happening. Expert assignment writing help can be sought online in this regard. Nevertheless, incorporation of different widgets of certain websites, and in turn different ads are no less example of a customized interface.

These widgets carry a different set of ads and are based on user preferences. Therefore, in light of the argument, customized interfaces are not far from reality instead pretty achievable and businesses with an online presence can continue to thrive.

3. Not Just One-Dimensional Being

Visiting ESPN does not mean that behavioral targeting will from now only pitch you Nike and Adidas ads. No, instead everything sports related that you think is in sync with your personality will be shown to you while you surf. It could be ads about sports updates, athletic built (exercising and gym equipment) protein supplements, tips on storied careers, drug abstinence and the likes thereof.

These algorithms work in a manner that tends to determine what else you might be interested and then try speaking to you with ads. Trust me when I say this but they study you in depth which means flourishing trade, more businesses are aware what customers’ tastes, needs, and wants are.

4. Millennials and On-the-Go

On the face of it, behavioral tracking may appear as privacy intrusion and too much information giveaway to people and businesses you don’t know but there are certain cyber laws and policies that protect your privacy by not leaking any personally identifiable data.

The generation gap, however, is a real bummer here. With millennials broadcasting every activity on social media from buying a new pair of shoes to their trip to the Bahamas, you can’t cap the information overload that is being put out there every day by them. It’s like an unequivocal declaration of participation for marketers and advertisers.

In addition to above, with web going mobile businesses can tap into the data being accessed through smartphones and tablets also.

Business Innovation

Overview
Early research on innovation tended to address the organization’s ability to respond and adapt to external and/or internal changes (Burns and Stalker) (Hull and Hage). Subsequent work on innovation stressed more on proactive innovation and distinguished between the types of innovation. There are three types of innovation (process, product/service, and strategy), each of which can vary from incremental to radical and from sustaining to discontinuous.

Emphasis was on the organization’s ability to promote both process and product innovation, regardless of an immediate need for change (Kanter).

Innovation vs. Invention
Joseph Schumpeter defines innovation as the combination and creative application of existing and new knowledge of elements to improve existing and/or develop new products and services, production processes, organization-methods, and commercialization, in order to create or preserve added value.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines innovation as ‘making changes to something established’. Invention is the act of ‘coming upon or finding discovery’. It is important that we do not mix innovation with invention.

Business Innovation
Innovation is generated at individual, organizational, and environmental levels. Let’s look at various types of innovation.

1. Innovate Market or Innovation from Market (Consumer)
2. Innovate Industry or Innovation from Industry (Competitor)
3. Innovate Product or Innovation from Product / Process (Operations)
4. Innovate Team/Organization or Innovation from Team/Organization (Management)

Innovation from Market
“A business has only two basic functions marketing and innovation”, says Peter Drucker. However, Robert Tucker suggests five necessary steps to make a business innovative.

1. Innovation must be approached as a discipline, practiced and taught to employees.
2. It must be cross-functional, and not just left to the R&D department.
3. It must be proactive, and not just responsive to what competitors are doing.
4. It must involve everyone in the organization and everyone’s performance evaluation should include it.
5. It must be customer-centered.

First, second, and forth steps belong to innovation from organization. Third and fifth belong to innovation from market. Market surveys and research enable an organization to be innovative.

Innovation from Organization
Jim Biolos in Harvard Management Update offers the following six steps that need to be followed while making a team innovative:

1. Make sure that the members of the group are communicating with one another in a free-flowing or maybe even a freewheeling way.
2. Make sure that all the team members have equal and enough responsibility.
3. Show confidence in the team.
4. Provide the appropriate resources to the team, and make sure the members know that those resources are available.
5. Make sure that each team member has a challenging role in the work.
6. Monitor the pressure.

Team’s Success
A team usually consists of up to ten people, who devote about one-quarter of their time to the project for three to four months. Participating in a team is considered a plum assignment, because it provides exposure to top executives.

Employees of China’s multinational electronics company Haier, for example, discovered by visiting rural customers, that they frequently used their washing machines not only to wash clothes, but also to clean vegetables. Taking this new information and the potential market into consideration, Haier made a few modifications to its machine, and was able to make it versatile enough to wash both clothes and vegetables. This helped Haier become the market leader in rural areas of its home country.

Innovation from Management
“Managers don’t simply copy something they see elsewhere. They take pieces of practice or technology that they find and recombine them in novel ways to solve customer problems”, says Philippe Pommez, Natura’s R&D Director, “The hard part is not finding the new technology; it is knowing what you are looking for. This is where our conceptualization of new products and new lines that serve local needs becomes indispensable.”

Managers of companies situated in developing countries, sometimes despair of closing the gap with larger and better-funded multinationals. Clearly, there is hope for companies anywhere in the world to win through innovation and creativity.

Innovation from Industry
There are three important fundamentals of innovation and entrepreneurship.

First, an Industrialist searches for innovative opportunities and develops an innovative idea into a practical business or a service. Second is the industrial strategy that brings innovation successfully to the market. Third is free enterprise itself, and it focuses on the organization that is the carrier of innovation.

Innovation in Products
Switching to a new market with the same product can be considered innovative to some extent.

However, innovation in products is always the basic goal of any team, within an organization. Views of the customers through research and surveys are carry forwarded to the R&D team for further product innovation. Ultimately, it depends on how good you are at learning from the market, industry, and your team. Johnson & Johnson, the American multinational corporation, is a great example of constant and successful innovation in its products.

Virtual Office for Small Business Owners

Many small business owners need efficient ways to be successful while saving cash. Most small business owners don’t want to test their businesses after signing a lease for an office space or getting a mortgage for a building. This method is too risky. Some businesses, however, can operate efficiently in a virtual office environment.

To determine if a virtual office space is the best choice for your business, you must consider a few things. Your employees must have no issues working from their homes or cars. Because virtual offices are a better way to handle business tasks, there is less impact on the environment.

When business owners use virtual office services, their offices are mobile. Because technology is available in many locations, business owners can conduct business projects in various locations. For most small business owners, the office is usually located at home. To run a business successfully, the setup must be efficient. The location should be in a quiet spot. They should be no distractions, such as children and outside lawn projects.

Although traveling to the virtual office won’t require much effort, business owners must have discipline. The office must be in a location that provides benefits. For example, a basement isn’t a suitable location because it is dreary.

The address of the business is very important. If the business address is at home, the home address shouldn’t be used as the business address. Depending on the business, a home address won’t provide any benefits. Instead of using a home address, consider using one of two options. A post office box or a Commercial Mail Receiving Agency mailbox service are suitable for small business owners.

However, each mail option will require travel. Although, there are some services that bring mail to users. Post office mail services also have a few issues. To avoid problems, consider using a service that provides a business suite number. The option gives business owners 24-hour access and information when they get packages.

Business owners who travel a lot will need portable devices. If traveling is not a requirement, a few important devices must be considered. For example, plenty of memory is needed to run many programs at the same time. A big hard drive is important for storing files. Also, the processor must be fast. If the virtual office will be used for illustration, the graphics card must be efficient.

Success depends on the virtual office software. There are several options to choose from. Business owners who handle tasks in their own don’t need advanced software.

To gain the advantages of using a virtual office with many employees, you must use proper software. The software should include many features, such as scheduling, access to important files, and more.

There are also several online management services. They are not tough to use. They provide features that help business owners promote and coordinate information to other team members. Most services charge a small monthly fee for each user, and there is a flat rate for unlimited use.

When using a virtual office, an efficient telephone service is needed and other technical equipment. For example, consider using a surge protector. It provides more outlets for various business equipment, and it protects the devices. The desk is also important. The desk should be big enough for projects and paperwork. The desk must also have space for a scanner, printer, and other technical devices.

A virtual office also requires cabinets for organization. Also, the chair used should be comfortable.

Developing a Business Plan

Developing a business plan is not exactly an easy proposition, as there are innumerable things involved in it, from the very basic to the extremely complicated and tedious aspects. Basically, while creating such a plan, you should include an executive summary involving:

  • A brief description of the history of the company.
  • The company’s objectives
  • Description of the company’s products or services.
  • The market the business intends to compete in.
  • A persuasive statement as to reasons and method for the success of the business.
  • Projected growth for the company and the market.
  • Mention of the core management team.
  • A description of funding requirements, with a time-line and the usage of the funds.

Homework on the Service or Product
Forget the business plan for sometime. Decide what the product or service is that you are going to offer. Without that, it is impossible to go ahead and consider what comes next in your proposal. Researching on the market trends and what the products and services are which will be a hit with the consumers is fundamental. If you have had an experience in a product or service, then your task might become easier. In addition, also think of the name and the overall profile of your company.

Money Matters
Once you are done with the overall profile, think of the capital required for it as well as how much you intend to make from it or can make. To be clear about that, you will have to chalk out and create a financial profile of the company. When you mention this while writing the plan, it should include your current assets, your liabilities, projected income, and monthly expenses within a range of six months. Having all this data will help you establish a viable financial objective for your business. Be very careful about this.

Who are the Competitors?
The market is going to be like a big bad world out there. Therefore, you also would need to study your competitors and how you propose to deal with them, and what gives you an edge over them. You will have to mention that while writing a business plan. Again, this will involve a little bit of homework.

Finally, once you are done with all these things, put all this on paper. Tackle the points mentioned above, and elaborate on them as per the research and statistics you have got. Make it all as crystal clear as you can.