The headline keynote speech at Technology for Marketing and Advertising (TFM&A) 2012 was presented by Richard Robinson, Industry Leader at Google. Robinson heads up the B2B Practice in the UK.
Responsive business is a buzzword that you hear a lot now. I had never seen Robinson present before, and I was interested to see what Google’s take on this subject was.
The presentation was informal and laid out the five principles that Google believes businesses need to adopt in order to succeed in this tumultuous and fast-paced digital environment.
This animated YouTube video on B2B marketing in a digital world gives you a flavor of his introduction to the keynote.
Robinson then went on to describe how you can build a truly responsive business by following these core principles—The 5 P’s:
Make sure that you have your finger on the pulse for trends with your audience, marketplace, and competitors. There is a risk of information overload.
So be discerning about how much data you gather and the sources that you gather it from.
There are plenty of tools out there to help you with this type of monitoring.
Some of the ones from Google are
Apparently, there is a saying at Google that “Fast is better than Slow.”
If you build, deploy, and maintain any type of website, then the likelihood is that you already know this, as Google seemed ever so slightly obsessed with page-load-speed for some time. This translates to making your business processes more responsive:
Use the insights that you track to move fast and take advantage of opportunities that arise.
Constantly test to see what your customers like.
Move fast to change anything that doesn’t work.
Learn from any failures, but do not let them deter you from experimenting.
A truly responsive business has a decision-making process in place that allow for agility and flexibility.
You can’t just broadcast your brand message hoping that someone will listen, as that’s a marketing and business tactic that simply does not work.
You need to tailor your message to your audience and to where they are in the buying cycle.
So do your research and target the right audience. Know who they are and what interests them. By doing so, you will achieve much better results.
More than just participating in social media, make your business a social enterprise (not to be confused with a Social Enterprise in the UK).
How do you do this? Your business needs to be entirely transparent both within and outside of the organization. From the way that your employees collaborate, right through to crowdsourcing with your audience.
For an example of how to apply this to a marketing campaign, check out Red Gate Software’s campaign ‘DBA in Space’.
Measuring performance is perhaps the hardest one to get right, but also probably the most important.
It’s vital to refocus your business efforts towards the key processes and actions that generate revenue.
Avinash Kaushik of Google has come up with a model that will help you to take a fresh look at this. See “Win With Web Metrics: Ensure A Clear Line Of Sight To Net Income!” for his insights and the model.
Interestingly, Robinson said when he applied the model to what he does that the outcome was not pleasant. In fact, he said it was rubbish, but after the shock, it did at least allow him to see where he was going wrong and therefore address the issues.
5 P’s to Take Your Business Forward
I think the 5 P’s that Robinson introduced in his keynote present sound advice.
During the presentation, Robinson stressed that as businesses gets larger and more mature, it is hard for them to remain agile. Responsiveness is something that you have to build into all of your processes, so that the willingness to adapt and experiment does not get lost.
You have to be prepared to go the extra mile to compete. You have a lot of information readily available and you need to learn to gather and filter it wisely, so that it provides your business with the advantage it needs to succeed.
There is no excuse for not knowing who your audience is, or what your competitors are all about.
Use the information that is available to make your business stand out. When you have the opportunity to present your proposal, be prepared and know that those to whom you are presenting have also fully researched the solutions to their business needs online.
It is easy to be sidetracked and to start expending hours of your valuable time on tasks that do not add any value or income to your business. We all need a reminder that we need to stop and take stock of what we are doing, so that we can refocus those efforts if necessary.
What do you think of Google’s 5 P’s? If you have recently moved to, or have any thoughts about, responsive business models, please share your ideas and experiences with us in the comments section.
Creative Commons Image Source: flickr Dell's Official Flickr Page