All posts by N. P. Menon

Capitalising on Indian Online communities

It’s been many years now since Chris Anderson first proposed his long tail theory to explain how demand trends are shifting in the age of online buying and virtual communities. Although the long tail has been questioned, there is no denying that our openness to (and opportunity to buy) niche products has increased. Virtual communities, large and small have played a key role in driving demand for non-mainstream products. They have also made it easier for marketers to find specific interest groups that their products…

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The long and short of sales cycles

This data chart above, from an interesting survey done by MarketingSherpa (a firm that specializes in researching Marketing itself) with over 1000 B2B marketers reveals the wide gulf in the average B2B sales cycle. From lead generation to sales conversion, while 17% claimed to take less than a month on average, at the other extreme were a sizeable 11% who said that it took them over 12 months! What makes the difference? Well, a good many things impact the average length of the sales cycle,…

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Positioning: judged by customers and nudged by competition

Watching well-made ads like IBM’s “Let’s build a smarter planet” or even the latest “Incredible India” campaign, it’s easy for even those of us trained in the practice of marketing to sometimes end up confusing these with Positioning. What is worse, we think that Positioning is relevant mainly for consumer-facing businesses and not B2B firms, which the majority of technology product companies are. Positioning is not about advertising campaigns or memorable taglines. Al Ries and Jack Trout define Positioning as “the sum of all activities…

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A Different Mindset for Ecosystem Innovation

While much has been written on Innovation and how to enable it in an organization, one of the most useful concepts I’ve come across on the subject is the ‘12 vectors of Innovation’ developed based on research conducted by Mohan Sawhney and Rob Wolcott, faculty at the Kellogg School of Management. A framework to help companies identify innovation opportunities, it is built around 4 broad areas: Offering (What), Customers (Who), Process (Who) and Presence (Where). Those interested can read up more here, on the 12 vectors…

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3 Essential Vectors for High Tech Product Firms

2011 promises to be a challenging year for the many technology product firms emerging from and growing in India. Companies want to go global, yet must contend with distinct local buying practices and customer expectations. Buyers look to technology to simplify processes, reduce costs and add value to their customers; at the same time, they look to tech product firms to anticipate their needs and offer products that are intuitive and relevant. These will continue to be some of the biggest challenges that technology product…

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