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by Larry Pendergrass, Principal

Tenet #7: Know your competition and their strategy… well.

My last blog entry, Ten Tenets of Strategy –Tenet #6, I espoused the value of fully understanding the landscape of possible customer outcomes. There is a wide array of possible customer outcomes that will produce a successful strategy. Of course, this situation is dynamic as industry forces change, as new competitors emerge and as customer demands increase. The landscape of possible customer outcomes will shift, and as a result, market share shifts to those firms that have accurately assessed these changes and their ability to respond to them. You need to be vigilant in watching the changing landscape of possible customer outcomes. And yet, the core of what you deliver to your customer, the core that results in your business processes and corporate strategy will need to be relatively stable. So much of what you build in your value chain will be based on this competitive picture. Large investments will be made and will be difficult to change.

This idea is part of the Ten Tenets of Strategy I have presented in the Blog space. These tenets were gained through years of personal experience and discussions with key thought leaders and are offered as guidance for the development of your strategy.

  1. Your core competency is not your strategy.
  2. Compete on core capabilities, your set of business processes integrated throughout your value chain.
  3. Make hard choices. Decide what you will not do.
  4. Focus on customer outcomes. Design your strategy through the customers’ eyes.
  5. Analyze and design for the industry forces.
  6. Understand and analyze the landscape of possible customer outcomes.
  7. Know your competitors and their strategies profoundly.
  8. Diversify around your core capabilities.
  9. Balance the stakeholders.
  10. Strategy is dynamic. Adjust as necessary, but with caution.

It is probably appropriate at this point to make a distinction between corporate and product strategy. Although much of what I have discussed in my recent blogs can be applied to both corporate and product strategy, your product strategy (which may vary from one product line to the next) will need to be more agile than your corporate strategy. This need for agility is especially important in technology industries, in which technology inflection point can change the whole game and market share can change hands essentially overnight. Your product strategy will need to move with these inflection points, where as your corporate strategy may not.

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by Andy McCaskey, Principal 

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly can be found in just a few hours of monitoring Twitter traffic from inside and outside your organization using apps like TweetDeck. If you are going to effectively harness these new media tools for your organization, you need to be able to tell the difference and get quickly on the right track.

Why is good content on your social media channels so critical? Because disparaging word-of-mouth remarks can harm your image just as fast as compliments can amplify positive messages regarding your reputation and brand. Social media can establish and confirm industry leadership while it informs, enlightens and even entertains the community - a community of followers that have explicitly said “I’m interested” in your industry, your technology, and maybe even your products and services.

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by Andy McCaskey, Principal

Stepping up your game is essential in today’s media. Even if you have traditional outbound marketing and PR coverage for your company and products, it’s a smart move to have a person or team with the right skill set designated to follow your company, industry and competitors on Social Media and a variety of New Media channels.

Don’t Outsource Your Personality

One of the biggest mistakes that can be made in the space is to outsource your presence to a third party that specializes in “content”. Such companies promise to fuel your brand with content marketing and social media posts, providing a full service from infographics to “SEO optimized” content, and a turnkey presence on “all” the social media channels. If you take this approach, your indexing may improve but people that sample your content will be turned off,  because every industry has markers of genuine understanding. If you outsource the core of your personality, you should be prepared for ineffectual and expensive results.

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by Larry Pendergrass, Principal

In my last blog entry, Ten Tenets of Strategy –Tenet #5, I advised company leaders to look first at the industry forces when designing their strategy. Depending upon those forces, they may decide to design their core capabilities (the integrated set of processes throughout the value chain that deliver a unique and valued customer outcome) in very different ways. For example, for a consumer electronics supplier, the power of the customer (the retail store owner controlling shelf space) may be dominant. This situation needs to be addressed in any strategy. Addressing it may require setting up processes, relationships and deals to assure excellent shelf space access for products. Alternatively, a higher-risk strategy may be to attempt to deliver only exciting new products that the retail store owner must have. Apple’s iPhone strategy is a famous example of the latter. This strategy takes the typical power out of the hands of the store owner and places it back in the hands of the product provide, changing the forces, changing the game. In any case, addressing these industry forces needs to result in conscious decisions about the strategy.

Recently through this blog, I have offered Ten Tenets of Strategy. These tenets were gained through years of personal experience and discussions with key thought leaders and are offered as guidance for the development of your strategy.

  1. Your core competency is not your strategy.
  2. Compete on core capabilities, your set of business processes integrated throughout your value chain.
  3. Make hard choices. Decide what you will not do.
  4. Focus on customer outcomes. Design your strategy through the customers’ eyes.
  5. Analyze and design for the industry forces.
  6. Understand and analyze the landscape of possible customer outcomes.
  7. Know your competitors and their strategies profoundly.
  8. Diversify around your core capabilities.
  9. Balance the stakeholders.
  10. Strategy is dynamic. Adjust as necessary, but with caution.
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by Andy McCaskey, Principal

Are you keeping Social Media and New Media in separate compartments in strategic and tactical planning?

You could lose traction in both, with the result that you do not get the full benefit from your investment in the rapidly-growing global phenomena of New Media and Social Media.  If you consider these new communications tools as building blocks within important parts of your business engine, your strategic marketing investment will go a lot further. As you align your own New Media processes and activities, you will gain new insight into the maturity of competitors and be able to assess how well they deploy these new tools to strategic advantage.

As I pointed out in my last post, Social Media channels use various internet based platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google Plus (Google+), Pinterest, and Instagram. What information gets shared over various social media platforms?  It is same content and conversations that were shared among friends, business associates, and acquaintances ten, thirty or fifty years ago.  Even if a particular social media (Somed) tool has been available only a few years or months, it is effective because it is  "Word of Mouth" from a trusted source, extended across a social graph with vastly extended geographic and temporal boundaries.

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by Larry Pendergrass, Principal

In my previous blog, Ten Tenets of Strategy –Tenet #4, I urged you to focus on creating a unique customer outcome delivered through your set of business processes. This will produce a defensible strategy, setting you apart from your competition. Of course, this customer outcome must be of value to your customers. From this, the rest of your objectives, activities and value delivery plans should flow.

Over the last few weeks and through this blog, I have offered Ten Tenets of Strategy, gained through years of personal experience and discussions with key thought leaders. These Ten Tenets are offered as guidance for the development of your strategy.

These Ten Tenets are :

  1. Your core competency is not your strategy.
  2. Compete on core capabilities, your set of business processes integrated throughout your value chain.
  3. Make hard choices. Decide what you will not do.
  4. Focus on customer outcomes. Design your strategy through the customers’ eyes.
  5. Analyze and design for the industry forces.
  6. Understand and analyze the landscape of possible customer outcomes.
  7. Know your competitors and their strategies profoundly.
  8. Diversify around your core capabilities.
  9. Balance the stakeholders.
  10. Strategy is dynamic. Adjust as necessary, but with caution.
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by Andy McCaskey, Principal

We are fast approaching the state that connects almost anyone on the planet via the internet, now under its most recent moniker, “Social Media”. Understanding a bit about the relative position of Social Media in the world of New Media can offer an executive a deeper understanding of the changing landscape and help channel its flash, sizzle and current “trendiness” into useful business goals such as setting strategy, anticipating and mitigating risk, product development, and competitive awareness.

We define New Media as informal content, distributed via the internet, and produced and consumed by both internal and external audiences. Social Media (Somed) is both a subset of this definition and a distribution channel for New Media content.

Corporate Headquarters:

TechZecs, LLC
1730 Kearny Street,
Suite F-3
San Francisco,  California
94133 USA

Principal and Founder

Dr. Scott S. Elliott
Telephone: +1.415.830.5520
Email: scott.elliott@techzecs.com
           info@techzecs.com

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