All posts on November, 2016


ApprovedBusinessBusiness and finance

How companies should treat their most enthusiastic customers

THE hero of Nick Hornby’s novel, “High Fidelity”, cannot get enough of vinyl records. By day Rob Fleming runs a record shop where he spends his time sampling the stock and constructing fantasy compilations with his equally obsessive assistants. By night he moons over his favourite songs. “Is it so wrong, wanting to be at home with your record collection?” he asks himself. “There’s a whole world in here, a nicer, dirtier, more violent, more peaceful, more colourful, sleazier, more dangerous, more loving world than the world I live in.”

Rob is an example of what management gurus dub “super-consumers”, “lead consumers” or “high-passion fans”. Only a tenth of customers are super-consumers but they account for 30-70% of sales, an even greater share of profits and almost 100% of “customer insights”, says a new book, “Super-Consumers”, written by Eddie Yoon of the Cambridge Group, a consultancy.

These people are not defined simply by the amount of stuff they buy (though they tend to be heavy users), but by their attitude to the product. Like Rob, they regard the things that they consume as answers to powerful…Continue reading

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Tech Buzz

Here’s Looking at You, Alexa

Amazon is developing a premium version of its Alexa-powered Echo speaker, which will have a 7-inch touchscreen, in a bid to stave off competition from Google and other companies developing rival offerings, Bloomberg reported Tuesday. Designed for use in the kitchen, the new device would have an upward-tilting touchscreen that would permit a user to swipe controls from a standing position.

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Exclusives

Demandbase’s CEO Chris Golec: Finding the Companies That Should Be Buying From You

“Account-based marketing is really about marketing to the accounts that are aligned with your sales team,” said Demandbase CEO Chris Golec. It’s been done for years, but today there’s a whole technology and practice around being able to market to accounts at scale, and this wasn’t possible until about four or five years ago. It’s a focused, targeted marketing approach.”

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Tech Law

China’s Business-Unfriendly Cybersecurity Stance

China’s parliament earlier this month passed a law aimed at addressing the country’s concerns about hacking and terrorism, which has spiked concerns among foreign businesses and human rights advocates. One interpretation of the new law is that it only codifies China’s existing cybersecurity practices. However, 46 global business groups across a variety of industries didn’t see it that way.

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Business and financeButtonwood's notebook

Schrödinger’s Brexit

SOMETIMES an analogy strikes you on the head with the force of a plummeting cricket ball. On Radio 4 yesterday, Hamish Johnson, editor of physicsworld.com, had the brilliant insight to explain the British government’s policy in terms of physics; Schrödinger’s Brexit.

The poor cat is stuck in a box with a radioactive substance and a poison; when the substance decays, the poison is released. Since it is impossible to predict when the substance will decay, the cat may be deemed simultaneously alive and dead. The only way to know is to open the box.

Before Britain voted to leave the European Union in June, then prime minister David Cameron promised to trigger Article 50 (the exit mechanism) immediately. Five months on, Article 50 has yet to be triggered. The new prime minister, Theresa May, has promised to do so by the end of March. But in terms of what Britain wants, we have heard nothing but platitudes: “Brexit means Brexit”, or “have our cake and eat it”. Pushed for details, Ms May has said there will be “no running commentary” on negotiations. In fact, it is quite easy to do a running…Continue reading

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