Posts Tagged ‘market share’

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THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GOOGLE

June 3, 2013

If your daily life revolves around access to the Internet, as mine does, it might surprise you to learn that more than half of the world’s population doesn’t use the Web. That’s a big potential market. That’s why Google is on a not-too-secret mission to control every aspect of a person’s connection to the Web across the globe. A recent Wall St. Journal story by Amir Efrati puts Google’s efforts into perspective.

Google is working to connect a billion or more new people to the Internet in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. In the U.S., it has deployed fiber-optic cable systems in Kansas and plans to build similar systems in Missouri, Texas, Utah and elsewhere. Google also hopes to launch Wi-Fi networks in those markets. And last year, Google held talks with satellite-TV provider Dish Network to partner on a new U.S. wireless service. Plus, Chief Executive Larry Page has spearheaded secret research on alternative methods to provide more people with Internet access for years.

The company also makes smartphones and tablets (Motorola Mobility) and owns Android, the most-used mobile operating system in the world. Soon it will be selling Google Glass, a wearable device that could transform computing. Of course, they continue to be king of search, maps and website data (Google Analytics).

The depth and scope of Google’s efforts are a dramatic example of Powershift Marketing; i.e. keeping your foot on the gas and taking daily action to stay ahead. What are you doing this week to stay ahead of your competition?

 

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WHEN YOU ARE LEADING, LEAD MORE

May 3, 2013

One of the core beliefs of my PowerShift Marketing approach is never take your foot off the gas of your marketing effort. A great example of this is Samsung. They recently announced the launch of a new eight-inch tablet and a new smartphone built to withstand harsh environments, which should appeal to business and government (a segment they have been targeting). These new products will supplement the Samsung seven-inch and 10.1-inch models currently in the market. The company also plans to launch a more rugged version of its flagship Galaxy smartphone and a compact version of the phone.

Samsung’s strategy is to develop a range of products to dominate the mobile market. It seems to be working. Strategy Analytics, a market research firm, said the company’s smartphone shipments grew to 69.4 million units in the 2013 1st Quarter, giving it a 33% market share, almost twice that of Apple.  Coasting may make sense in a soapbox derby, but it never makes sense in marketing.

What are you doing today to keep ahead of your competition?

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ARE YOU LOOKING AT A MARKETING FREE FALL?

February 8, 2013

If you have seen the Oscar nominated film “Flight,” you certainly know how scary a “free fall” can be. But you don’t have to step into a movie theater to see how changing markets can create dramatic free falls. Just look at Research in Motion’s BlackBerry.

Three years ago, some 2,500 employees at Land O’ Lakes Inc. used company-issued BlackBerrys. Today, it is down to 12. In 2007 corporate customers made up 71% of BlackBerry’s business. Now it’s down to 20%-25%, estimates Kris Thompson, an analyst at National Bank of Canada. Some people are still optimistic that the company’s two new phones—the first BlackBerrys in about 18 months—will help turn around nearly two years of delayed products, network outages, and falling sales. Don’t count on it.

So now here’s the question for your small business. Look at your core customer base six years ago (2007). Has it changed dramatically, and if so, what are you doing about it? Playing catch up doesn’t work real well in a Super Bowl and it doesn’t work well in marketing either.

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CAN YOU STOP COMPETITION?

August 29, 2012

Most of us can remember the dot-com bust of 2000 when the NASDAQ plunged 78% from its peak in March 2000 to its bottom in October 2002. In my opinion, it was driven by numerous dot-com startups that, although they had plenty of investor money up front, when they went public they didn’t offer products or services of any real value to consumers. If you’ve been following recent dot-com IPOs, we’re seeing another dot-com bust, but for an entirely different reason.

But first a few numbers based on a Wall St Journal story (August 20th). Groupon has shed more than three-quarters of its stock value, or about $10 billion, since its IPO. Shares of Facebook are now about half their May IPO price. Zynga (online gaming firm) shares have dropped 70% since its December 2011 IPO.

Now, unlike the 2000 dot-com bust, the current companies have services people want and are generating solid revenue and some are even turning a profit, so why don’t investors like them? I can’t answer that, but they are all facing one marketing issue that is a challenge to their long-term success: They have no “barrier to entry.” In theories of competition in economics, barriers are obstacles that make it difficult for others to enter a market.

What prevents other coupon-deal sites from competing with Groupon? What prevents new social media sites (like Pinterest) from taking away Facebook’s 900 million users? What stops gamers from finding a better site than Zynga? Answer to all, nothing. And that’s the challenge. Many of the most successful businesses today have markets that have significant barriers to entry. This is not true with many dot-com businesses.

The lesson for your business? You need to find ways you can create barriers to entry to your market. There are dozens of ways you can do this. Email me (Mark@dennettgroup.com) and I will share them with you.

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WHAT WENT WRONG WITH FACEBOOK?

May 27, 2012

This is a marketing blog, not an investment blog. But I have to comment on Facebook’s botched initial public offering (IPO) since I think marketing played a role in why the stock is now 16% below its IPO price. Fortunately, in the clubby world of Wall Street and Silicon Valley, the billion dollar losers are mostly major investment firms, not many of the 900 million Facebook users.

If you simply looked at Facebook’s advertising revenue model, before the IPO, any marketer would have known they were in trouble. Facebook’s new timeline re-design isn’t liked by millions of users. Ad sales are down and cramming more ads into every nook and cranny is making it harder for advertisers to be noticed, and the ad clutter is annoying loyal users. Perhaps that is why millions now access Facebook by smartphones that don’t have Facebook ads. Also, hot new social media sites (like Pinterest) have no barrier to entry, so competition will grow and social media popularity is fleeting at best anyway. So, why would someone think the firm that I just described was worth $100 billion? Marketing hype.

In my book I reveal the danger of “reading your own news releases.” I use this phrase to outline the fact that highly successful companies often lose touch with reality. With success, you begin believing what you are paying people to say about you. Soon, everyone is caught up in the “buzz.” People that try to point out reality are often described as “not being on the team” or “hurting the company.”

A Memorial weekend message from one Mark (Dennett) to another Mark (Zuckerberg) and to anyone else who wants a successful company: Stop reading your stories and re-focus on what your customer wants. That’s what made you successful, not a good PR team.

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WHAT DO YOU DO WITH A 60% MARKET SHARE?

February 14, 2012

You try to increase it. That’s another lesson from my Powershift Marketing philosophy, and Apple is a great example of this principle at work. The iPad represented more than 61.5% of world-wide tablet shipments in the third quarter (down from 68.3% in the second quarter, according to market researcher IDC). That’s why the Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is considering a smaller screen iPad at the same time they are preparing to announce a super speedy iPad3 in March.

A decline in market share should immediately alert you that you are not keeping up with your customers’ tastes and desires. In the past year, Apple has seen Samsung Electronics selling its Galaxy Tab in three screen sizes: a 7-inch, an 8.9-inch and a 10.1-inch. Amazon.com Kindle Fire has a 7-inch screen size with a highly competitive price point ($199) that makes tablets accessible to a whole new consumer. Apple realizes that they are falling behind.

Are you falling behind your competition? Another lesson from my book: It’s easy to read your own news releases and think you are doing just fine. But the real measurement of success is your customer’s acceptance of your product or service. Any decline in market share requires immediate action.