New and innovative. Two traits that business customers expect and value. In fact, the Nielsen Global New Product Innovation Survey found that over 80% of customers considered innovation a key reason they chose to buy from a company. And, as for new products, more than 60% placed a higher value on companies that offered new products. Yet, the majority of new products fail. So, how do you uncover new business opportunities that maximize revenue opportunities and minimize failure rates?
Uncover New Business Opportunities
What are the two reasons new products fail? The inability to pinpoint customer needs and demand. It seems obvious but for a new product to succeed it must fulfill a customer need. But, companies don’t intentionally develop a product that their audience doesn’t need. Instead, they miscalculate the value their new product provides. Meanwhile, by targeting your customers’ value chain, you can uncover new business opportunities that increase user acceptance and the revenue you drive from them.
Target Your Customers Value Chain
Before Harvard Business School's Michael E. Porter coined the term "value chain", organizations looked at fulfilling a customer need as a catalyst to expand their services. For example, photography, design and other premedia functions were common added-value services that were complementary to a print service provider. In addition to serving current clients, these services opened up new business channels and, at times, became a meaningful revenue source.
Analyzing a value chain is similar but does more. It helps you dissect business activities and identify opportunities that are less obvious but no less important.
For example, marketing and sales are primary activities engaged in by all companies. Whether it's a 1:1 email from a rep or a multi-step direct mail or email campaign, data is an essential element companies need to effectively connect with prospects or interact with customers.
Contact List Management
One of the top reasons for poor email open and click-through rates is bad data. And, the same is true for direct mail response rates. Whether your customers include small- and medium-sized clients or Fortune 500 companies, it’s a virtual guarantee that data is an issue. And, with the large amount of information organizations are collecting, it will only get worse.
Data challenges come in a variety of shapes and sizes. For example, a direct sales team may use a few thousand contact names to assist the prospecting process. While a marketing team running direct mail or email campaigns lists are significantly larger. In both situations, they often start with a purchased list. And, like any business, list providers vary in quality and price. Plus, there are rules on how long you can use those contact names before you have to pay for them again. But, if contacts engage, they become your property, meaning it’s essential to manage them properly to keep your costs in check.
List management is essential but difficult. It’s often done poorly, especially if there is no dedicated person to manage the process.
Furthermore, CRM systems, usually maintained by the sales team, also need attention. And given the sales reps I know, they are good at paying attention to customers but not data. Unfortunately, when that data is used in a follow-up email or feeds mailings it often results in undeliverables. That translates into more aggravation, fewer engaged prospects and a reduction in sales-ready leads.
But, when lists are cleansed, updated, segmented, appended and otherwise maintained, the success of marketing programs increase.
Succeeding At Contact Data Management
In fact, succeeding at contact data management requires both an expertise and a commitment to the process. Hiring an FTE or contracting with an experienced source is essential. But coding or software development skills aren't necessary. In addition, there are SaaS contact database tools that allow you to provide this service to multiple clients. Plus, it also allows you to scale, providing services to additional clients with minimal incremental cost.
Discover More Opportunities
In addition to contact data management, there are additional data analysis challenges that companies face. Analytics, funnel analysis and lead scoring are three areas many organizations don’t effectively address today.
For example, website, email and social media analytics provide insights into customer behavior and, when analyzed effectively, can guide changes that improve the customer experience. Funnel analysis relates to the steps a prospect follows before they decide to purchase an item or fill out a lead form. Eliminating bottlenecks, reducing churn and improving communications by identifying segmentation opportunities are key elements here. Lastly, lead scoring can assist the sales team by identifying prospects that are more likely to have an immediate need. Each area has revenue implications.
Furthermore, expertise in these areas elevates your role as a consultant and guide marketing program development that are both electronic and print.
Are you looking to expand your services? InterEdge Marketing works with organizations to analyze the market opportunities that best leverage your business strengths to identify new products and services that will grow your business. In addition, we specialize in developing and deploying effective marketing programs that will maximize the return on your investment. Contact us for more information.