Tag Archives: Elton Mayfield

Plan Towards Innovation

3 Jun

 Stand out from the crowd

Create a New Future with Innovation-Focused Strategy

As most marketers navigating the building supply channel know, strategy and innovation go hand in hand. I’ve discussed in past articles how creativity can play an important role in innovation, but often overlooked is the strategy that goes into actually implementing the changes necessary to make a creative innovation a reality.

A recent article by Vijay Govindarajan describes this dynamic between innovation and strategy – specifically, how innovation should always inform strategy-making.

Govindarajan suggests that there are four key factors to consider with innovative strategy-making:

  • Know Your Industry – It’s not enough to assume that the same strategies that innovated faster-paced, larger industry will work in a smaller, slower one. Some innovations can take a decade, while others can take ten decades. Don’t confuse the two.
  • Innovation Is Complex – Innovation can be linear or non-linear, which is to say: in line with current business practices or deviating slightly from current business practices. But as Govindarajan points out, these linear or non-linear business practices can also unfold into even more complex layers with incremental or radical innovation: happening over time or overhauling a pre-established system in a sudden, disruptive manner. Whatever the innovation you’re considering, make sure to know the implications.
  • Just Do It – If an idea gets pushed down the table time and time again, it’s a money drain. Plus, the more times it gets pushed down the table, the greater the likelihood that it will eventually fall off the table entirely. You can talk about an idea or even set strategy all you want, but there’s something to be said for actually making it happen.
  • Innovation Isn’t Top Down – Folks at the bottom tend to know customers better – use their knowledge to set strategy that disrupts the status quo. In fact, Govindarajan argues that senior-level employees have often played such a key role in the setting status quo, which makes it difficult for them to consider an innovation that could disrupt past ways of doing things.

For more information, give Govindarajan’s article a read.

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Google Glass – Did We Forget to Look at the Channel?

26 May

glass2 glass1

How Google Glass Could Change the Face of the Building Industry

With all the chatter surrounding Google Glass, I’ve often found myself wondering how such a unique piece of technology could become integrated into real world, practical situations. Most of what we hear about Google Glass—whether good or bad—involves its use as a consumer product. But what about its capabilities for users in business settings? Have we been forgetting to look at the Channel in all our talk of Google Glass? A recent New York Times article seeks to address this issue by pointing out that a much more likely use for Google Glass will be professional settings: medical, technical support, and yes, maybe even the building products industry.

To recap the article, just a few of the many industries the New York Times outlines as having the potential to be impacted by Google Glass:

  • Engineering
  • Car repair
  • Architecture
  • Lumberjacking
  • Construction

What does a builder in the Channel do when he or she runs into an issue while installing a product? Today, he might make a call, consult a handbook or even search for a solution on a mobile device. But with wearable devices like Google Glass, new solutions are right in front of our eyes…literally. Imagine a builder being able to watch an instructional clip as they attempt to troubleshoot a tricky product or installation – or better yet, imagine that same builder is able to use his Google Glass to video conference with a room of experts who can offer their assistance. Is it as flashy as getting walking directions to the nearest Starbucks? Probably not, but it seems a much more likely scenario to me.

While it’s impossible to look into a crystal ball and see the future of this technology for consumers (though that might be a good idea for an app in the Google Play store), one thing is clear for Google Glass: it has the capability to change the way we look at the building industry.

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How B2B Building Product Marketers Use Twitter

25 Oct

Wireless Mouse and Keyboard

Learn about the top content sources, handles and apps

I recently read an interesting article in Marketing Profs, “How B2B Marketers Use Twitter: Top Content Sources, Most Retweeted Handles,” and wanted to share some stats about how B2B marketers are using Twitter.

Most shared content:

  1. Industry media sites: 62% of Twitter shares
  2. Mainstream media sites: 25% of Twitter shares
  3. Social media sites: 11% of Twitter shares
  4. E-Commerce: 1% of Twitter shares

Most shared industry media sources:

  1. Mashable
  2. Business Insider
  3. Business 2 Community
  4. Other notable sources: Hubspot, MarketingProfs, Tech Crunch, Venture Beat

Most retweeted people:

  1. @ValaAfshar
  2. @jaybaer
  3. @BrennerMichael
  4. @jeffbullas

Most retweeted vendors:

  1. @HubSpot
  2. @salesforce
  3. @Eloqua
  4. @marketo

How B2B marketers share:

  1. Twitter.com
  2. Tweet button
  3. Twitter for iPhone
  4. Other notable apps: Instagram, foursquare

While it’s beneficial for building product marketers like yourself to know the trends in B2B marketing, it’s even more important to use the content, sources and apps that make sense for your business. Does your Twitter strategy reflect the trends of the B2B masses or have you found solutions that work even better?

Want to know the full findings? Read the article here.

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What You Need to Know about Google in the Building Products Industry – Part 2

9 Oct

G+

Google+ is More Than Another Social Network, Its a Valuable Tool for Your Business

In Part 1 I shared some of Google’s basics: Google AdWords and Analytics and Google Apps for business. In Part 2, we’ll talk about Google+.

Google+ launched in 2011 and is best known as a social network, although it has the power of Google behind it – making it incredibly powerful and important.

  • #2: Second-largest social networking site in the world (it surpassed Twitter in January 2013)
  • 1M+: Business and brand pages created in the first 6 months
  • 500M+: Google+ users and growing fast
  • #4: Google+ was used by 30% of smartphone users between April–June 2013, making it the fourth most used app

While every social outreach component needs to be carefully considered, Google+ needs to be part of the mix. Google+ is how your company manages its Google Places listing (recently renamed to Google+ Local) which dictates how your information shows up in Google search results.

Your Google+ Local profile features relevant contact and business information, your profile image and recent posts. But it’s not only available on Google+, when a user searches for your company, your Google+ profile appears on the right-hand side of the search results. So at the very least, your building products company (and you!) need a Google+ profile.

Still not convinced? Google features social annotations which let people see endorsements from your Google+ followers by linking your Google+ page to your AdWords campaigns. So instead of seeing a lonely ad, users see an ad endorsed by people that already know and trust your brand. Ads with social annotations have a 5-10% higher click-through rate!

Want to take it to the next level? Make Google+ part of your content marketing strategy, add a +1 to your site and encourage customers to connect with you on Google+.

Sign up for Google+ today!

 

 

 

 

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What You Need to Know about Google in the Building Products Industry – Part 1

8 Oct

G+

Google Goes Beyond Search: AdWords, Analytics and Google Apps

We all know Google’s awesome search functionality, but do you know everything else it has to offer? This 2-post series will teach you about:

  • Part 1: Google AdWords, Analytics and Google Apps for business
  • Part 2: Google+

Let’s start with the basics – by now you should be familiar with Google AdWords and Google Analytics:

  • Google AdWords: AdWords (commonly referred to as Pay-Per-Click or PPC) is easy to set up for your building products business and allows you to target specific search terms, manage your budget and see what is working and what isn’t.
  • Google Analytics: Google Analytics allows you to track visitors, and their activity, on your website. If you’re ready to take it to the next level, consider upgrading to Google Analytics Premium which provides even greater insights.

Google has also developed several apps that your building products industry company may want to use. Google Apps is a full suite of cloud-based productivity tools that let you (and your team!) connect from any device. They are simple to set-up, use and manage. Here is an overview of some of my favorites:

  • Gmail: Provides unique functionality like ‘labels’ that allow you to store emails in multiple folders. Also provides 30GB of free storage.
  • Drive: A place to easily organize all of your files on the Google cloud.
  • Docs: Perfect for creating and sharing documents in real-time with your team.
  • Sheets: Spreadsheet functionality with discussion style comments.
  • Slides: Work on presentations with your team in real time.

A couple other notable Google products:

  • Google+ Hangouts: An easy (and free) way for up to 10 people to have a live video call.
  • Google Wallet: Not only does it allow users to purchase products with 2 clicks, it now features a loyalty program component.

Look for my second post on Google coming shortly to determine what your company needs to do to stay relevant in search listings and beyond.

 

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