If did not have the opprotunity to watch the WhichTestWon.com award ceremony, you missed a fun and insightful Webinar. If you did miss it, you should check out the winners on their website in addition to their case studies. With more people submitting tests ever year, the…
It is the time of year again where Marketers submit their top Wins from years past to WhichTestWon.com
WhichTestWon.com was launched in 2009 to help inspire and educate the marketing community about testing. They now have nearly 175 test Case Studies, featuring Web, email and even direct postal mail tests from the…
Isn’t it interesting to site back and watch the old become new again?
While speaking with marketers after my session on Personas at Conversion Conference, it seemed to me a trend was (re)gaining traction. Over the past few months, the digital community at large has taken up the Personas mantle, and there…
I would like to start this blog post by stating I am NO Analyst! However, I am on the front lines, talking to the people contacting FutureNow Inc. and answering their sales related questions. My unique lack of expertise in the day to day analytical reporting allows me…
For the last post of our site search series, we are going to show one example for how using site search has increase the ROI of one of our clients, thepartyworks.com. This post should inspire you to think outside the box and give you some ideas on how to optimize the…
This is the second post in our site search series. If you missed the first part, read it here. It will help you get a good understanding of what kind of sites should implement site search and some reasons it might be worth your while.
In this two part post, you will begin to understand why your prospects use site search, how to track what they are searching for, and what your new found information can do for you. In part one of this two part series, you will get an idea of what kind of visitors…
Here at FutureNow, one of the first things that we do when we start our relationship with a new client is to conduct a kick-off call. We ask our client some uncovery questions so we can get an understanding of our clients’ site and goals before we dig…
This holiday, I would like to share with you a comprehensive list of resources I have found to be useful in my career as an analyst. When I started out, I spent weeks just looking for quality information on the web that would help to break into the…
Help your customers find their wallet this season by fine tuning the art of the call to action this holiday. Every properly placed and worded call to action brings your prospect one step closer to converting. All of your visitors have come to you voluntarily – each made the choice…
Very few people trust you. It isn’t your fault, that is the nature of ecommerce sites. Between television programs about identity theft, holiday gifts that never showed up last year, and the coffee thermos they ordered online to mount on their bicycle handlebars that doesn’t fit,…
Part of your early SEO strategy this holiday was probably to conduct keyword research to find highly searched keyword terms in your industry, with relatively low competition. By driving traffic that is searching for “ornaments” to your site, you’re going to work harder to convert this traffic than let’s say…
What better time for online wish lists than the holidays! I have a lot of personal experience using wish lists to help my grandma with her holiday shopping. She has some trouble with basically any and all things online, so usually my dad will help her…
People love to comparison shop, especially when they are trying to find gifts for another person. They compare websites, shipping costs and delivery times, star ratings, and prices. Help your prospects find both your site and the perfect gift this season by optimizing their comparison shopping…
This year, IBM has predicted that 15 percent of Americans will use mobile devices for their holiday shopping via Coremetrics benchmarking. With phones getting smarter, ipads and tablets being used more heavily, and many people on the go all around, mobile devices are going to be helping people more…
In May of 2008 I went to the Olympics of Graphic Communication trade shows in Dusseldorf Germany called drupa. The show comes only once every 4 years and it's 14 days long. Fourteen days of trade showing is A LOT of time on your feet, listening and sharing information! I needed a way to organize myself and in the back of my brain I developed a simple framework that has been getting stronger and stronger each day since then.
I began to hone a particular business mindset that frames much of what I see and do in business today. I believe it's worth sharing because I have found others have benefited from it and I'm looking to make it stronger and welcome input to any and all of it.
Below are six areas of business that can be used to organize yourself in your own business or you could even use it as a filter to look at your customer's business too!
6 Focus Areas of a Profitable Business
- Strategy: This is all about where you are and where you want to go. It's the high level look to help you work ON your business even though we typically send the day-to-day working IN the business.
- Does the current direction align with where you want to be?
- Does the current direction align with current customer needs?
- Does the current direction align with new customer needs?
- If so, how's it going, where are the roadblocks?
- If not, how come? What will it take to move in that direction?
- Product/Service Offering: As an organization you DO something. This represents the products/services you offer to keep the customers you have and obtain new ones.
- What one product/service do you sell the most of? Why? Is it profitable enough? Does it lead to more profitable business?
- What is the most profitable product/service you offer? Least profitable? What are you doing to align your marketing and selling efforts to sell more of this?
- If you could add any product or service not currently offered what would it be? Why? How does it align with current customer/new customer needs?
- What are you doing to find out if what you deliver to your customer meets/exceeds their needs?
- What else does your customer need (not know they need) that you could be offering?
- Marketing: Represents the processes by which you identify what people want and lets them know you have it for them.
- Do you actively identify and continue to find out what customers and prospects want?
- Do you follow a process as you do it? Is it measurable? Is it repeatable? If you do, do you take the time to review and improve it?
- How do people who don't know you/your organization hear about you?
- What are the perceptions of what you do for your customer?
- Have you considered using a marketing approach to review and help your customer with their business?
- Sales: Creating business transactions that gives people/organizations what they want or didn't know they could have.
- Do you have a sales process? Why/why not?
- Is it measurable? Is it repeatable? Do you take the time to review and improve it?
- What is the most successful way you/your organization interacts with a customer for the first time?
- What channel do you use (direct mail, web based, face to face, phone, etc.) and what do you say? How does it change as a suspect becomes a prospect and then a customer?
- How do you get to what makes your organization more profitable/successful?
- Workflow: Represents the people, processes and technology working together to enable profitable work to happen. This is how you create, develop, build and improve what it is that you DO for your customers.
- Do you have a process to identify the bottlenecks in your existing workflow? Why/why not? If you do, what do you do about it once you find them?
- What holds you back from doing more in less time at less cost?
- What could you spend (time and/or money) and be more efficient at the work you do?
- How can you use this thinking to go after business from your customer? What if you made their workflow "better?" What would it take to make it happen?
- Finance: Represents the cost of doing business, the tracking of time, money and resources to make it happen as well as the ability to report on the profit/loss of the organization.
- How do you track the costs of operation?
- How do you set pricing?
- How do you set/interact with the budgets for each area of the business?
- Is there a documented process, is it measurable and repeatable?
- What, if any, investment is made in the development of future success?
Think of each as a frame by which you can look into your business, or any business for that matter and identify what is working and what isn't. Although you may think like this, do all the employees think about all six of these even though they may only work in one of them?
If we used this type of business mindset think about the benefits of a more holistic look at what gets done, isn't getting done or isn't being done well. This could help justify the change each and every organization needs to do every day to be successful.
What do you think of this list? What would you add, take away, do better? I'd like to know, please tell me.
~Keep the learning going, pass it on!