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How to earn trust to initiate offline engagement using B2B online marketing

BHKXXE Businessmen signing up a contract

In my article titled What you should be doing online to attract new business opportunities, one of the points I raise relates to building trust with prospective clients. People ask for advice or make purchasing decisions from trusted advisors, and trust has to be earned and takes time to develop. Once trust is lost, it is exceedingly difficult to regain, if at all.

A good comparison that I will use for the purpose of this article is that of the dating game. I have listed five stages in a human relationship and equated these with B2B online marketing, in order to demonstrate how you gain trust by treating prospective clients as you would your first date, and your ongoing relationship thereafter.

1. The introduction

Introductions are generally facilitated by mutually known friends, colleagues or family members. In most cases, the introducer knows you well. This generally occurs in business too. A client, colleague or business partner who can vouch for your honesty, credibility and trustworthiness will introduce you to prospective clients without prompting or upon your request. If trust has not been earned, there is little or no chance of this happening.

2. The first date

The first date either makes or breaks a potential relationship. There are many determining factors which include similar interests, shared values and the all important “chemistry”. When asked what is important most people do not talk about looks. They want the person to be themselves (i.e. genuine), they should display an interest in the other person and they should make the other person laugh.

When we equate dating with online marketing, you should focus your efforts on “being genuine” with no hidden agenda, display an understanding and interest in the potential client’s industry and the typical business challenges they have to deal with. I suggest that you DO NOT talk about yourself in terms of your company’s products, services and solutions. This information should be available on your website and the prospect will have a look at this information when the time is right.

3. Subsequent dates

If you follow the rules there is a good chance that there will be a second, third and fourth date and your relationship will grow and strengthen. During this process you are getting to know each other more and more which will result in a mutual knowledge of each other’s good points and flaws. Generally compromise and understanding comes into play because no-one is perfect. If at any point trust is broken, this could end the relationship for good.

To get the second (and subsequent) dates, B2B online marketers have to present the potential client with a compelling reason to continue the relationship. This is best achieved by generating value-adding, interesting, compelling business-related content which the prospect will have access to through an email or blog subscription or engagement and interaction on social media.

4. The proposal

If all goes well with your dating, at some point, the question of a more permanent arrangement will be initiated. The process normally involves “going steady” followed by a marriage proposal. This will either be accepted or rejected.

B2B online marketing, if executed properly, is an ideal way to build credibility and trust over time, and in so doing, you will be seen as a trusted advisor who will stay “top of mind” through continuous value-adding online interaction. If the content and interaction with prospective clients resonates with them, there is a good chance they will contact you should they require assistance or advice and request a proposal. If you are using the appropriate tools to monitor online interaction, you will be able to identify individuals who are consuming your content and you can request a meeting.

5. The wedding

The wedding or close may take place online or offline, depending on whether you are selling products, services and solutions online or not. This article is aimed at companies that sell professional services, products and solutions that are not sold online. You can build a certain level of credibility and trust online using B2B online marketing however the relationship needs to be taken offline in order to meet your prospective client face-to-face.

If you use B2B online marketing effectively, this will assist you in initiating offline engagement. The plus factor is that when you have the first offline meeting, credibility and trust has been developed already.

Summary

B2B online marketing can be a very effective tool to build credibility, stay top of mind with prospective clients and to initiate offline engagement, if executed correctly. Remember that you are interacting with human beings with whom you need to develop a relationship and an emotional connection. Remember to be genuine, share content regularly that resonates with the prospect, do not talk about yourself and be patient.

This article was written by David Graham, Digital Engagement Leader at Deloitte Digital

David is a thought leader in the Business to Business (B2B) digital marketing, relationship marketing and content marketing space and is the “go-to” person at Deloitte Digital for businesses who wish to connect, interact and influence business decision makers online, in order to initiate offline engagement. David has more than 20 years in sales and marketing roles at leading global software and management consulting organisations, engaging with executive decision makers and providing them with solutions to business challenges.

If you would like to have a more detailed B2B online marketing discussion with David Graham, connect on LinkedIn, follow on Twitter or email at davgraham@deloitte.co.za

Follow Deloitte Digital on Twitter or visit the Deloitte Digital website to get a taste of how Deloitte Digital can help digitise your brand

Data Analytics Trends for 2014

analytics trendsFew areas of business today are changing faster than analytics. From big data and visualisation to predictive modelling and more, analytics represents a rapidly evolving world of technologies and tools that few have time to keep up with. Which trends really matter and which will prove short-lived, which are hype and which will deliver tangible, timely business value?

For all the uncertainty in the field, business leaders still have to make decisions and choices about the future.

The trends highlighted in the report are:

  • The rise of the Chief Analytics Officers: A few years ago there was no Chief Analytics Officers (CAOs). Today there are many in the tens. With the e-commerce on the rise, organisations have created these roles. How does this help oganisations succeed?
  • Machine Learning find a big data niche: Deep automation is still in the pre-Henry Ford stage, but the concept is likely to take off just as fast as conventional manufacturing did
  • A picture is worth a thousand numbers: General movement toward management wanting greater involvement with analytics and data driven decision making – visualisation is a key enabler.
  • Data products run amok: Almost every offering from Google to LinkedIn is a data product. These offerings have led to considerable gain in customers and retention levels.  This can turbo-charge your business—or your competitor’s
  • Is the enterprise data warehouse dead? More companies are now able to gather data from their operations, analyse it, and make it all available to customers. The rise of “in-database analytics” has made EDWs even more popular.
  • Data discovery platforms: The new R&D lab? Discovery is essential in science-based research, development, and product innovation. But it’s no longer restricted to the lab. Increasingly, discovery focuses on data management and analytics. Leading organisations are adopting data discovery platforms—technology environments that make big data manipulation relatively easy and inexpensive.
  • Analytics drives entertainment: Analytics prospered first in well-structured domains like pricing and supply chain optimisation. Next came marketing organisations, where data and statistics found a place alongside creative content. Now one of the last bastions of pure creativity—the entertainment industry—has begun to explore the ways analytics can help human judgment determine which movies, television programs, plays, and books customers want.

Is your management reporting supplying the information you need to make decisions?

management reporting

This article compares management reporting with that of a relationship and provides valuable insights to assist you to derive more value from your management reporting.

Communication by management reporting

You are now undoubtedly wondering what a relationship and management reporting have in common. Quite a lot, actually! Management reporting can be used in your company as a tool for communicating a message to a large number of recipients aimed at encouraging action.

In communication through management reports, just as much can go wrong as in a conversation between partners – people talk at cross purposes, words are not followed by action, key topics are not addressed or people simply don’t formulate what they are trying to say in a comprehensible manner.

If you correctly use management reporting as a communication tool, you can exercise considerable influence over the management and success of your company.

Reporting is a vital instrument for measuring the degree of target achievement and gives important indications about how your business strategy should be implemented. It is crucial that you use your reporting as a means of communication effectively and efficiently.

However, if you have the impression that your management reporting is unable to meet the complex need for information in your company, then – like in a relationship – it is high time to talk.

Click here to download the article

If you have any questions or require a more detailed discussion on your organisation’s management reporting requirmments, contact Carryn Tennent at ctennent@deloitte.co.za

Africa could attract more international investment by boosting efforts to combat financial crime

thabang

African nations, including the continent’s largest economies of Nigeria and South Africa, can boost international investor sentiment towards their markets by ramping up efforts to combat financial crime such as money laundering, fraud, insider trading, terrorist financing, market abuse and general bribery and corruption.

Financial crime will inevitably migrate to countries where the implementation of anti-money laundering regulations is perhaps lagging behind the rate at which their markets are developing. As the risk of financial crime increases so too does the level of regulatory scrutiny, so it is in the interests of both companies and countries to continually improve their efforts to combat such criminality.

Corporate and government entities should tackle financial crime in an integrated manner. They need to ensure that they partner with the right strategic partners in order to build an effective deterrent to financial criminality. Financial institutions in particular need to ensure that they have the proper systems, processes and procedures in place to combat financial crime in a cost-effective and sustainable manner that offers both them and their customers a suitable degree of protection.

It is essential that companies operating in Africa learn from the experience of their international counterparts by migrating from a rules-based approach to financial risk and compliance, towards a risk-based approach that takes a more selective approach towards client risk assessment. The risk-based approach embraces the Know Your Customer (KYC) guidelines to prevent an organisation from falling foul of money laundering activity. The risk-based approach is essentially augmenting a company’s internal rules and compliance processes with an element of common sense towards the assessment of customer risk and the level of scrutiny then applied to that customer.

Companies can do this by taking into account risk factors elements such as:

  1. Geography e.g. private companies headquartered in offshore tax havens generally require far more scrutiny than publically-traded companies, which typically undergo far more public scrutiny in their day to day operations.
  2. Inherent Customer Risk e.g. companies that hide behind layers of legal and jurisdictional complexity are more likely to be trying to hide something.
  3. Distribution channels e.g. companies that distribute their goods or services on a face-to-face basis are more likely to be open and transparent than those that do so at arm’s length.
  4. Industrye.g. companies that distribute high risk products associated with terrorism, bribery and corruption such as arms may require extra levels of financial scrutiny.

The landscape of financial crime is dynamic and ever-changing, so an efficient and effective risk-based approach needs to evolve constantly in order to act as an adequate deterrent. Further more, one should not underestimate the role of technology and advanced systems that enable intelligent checks for weighing economic, political and criminal risk indicators to enable a country to radically improve its anti-money laundering capabilities. This can result in countries becoming a lot more attractive to international investors.

Visit the Deloitte website for more on financial crime

Failure to develop leaders is one of the biggest threats to global business growth

Leadership image

Deloitte ran a global human capital survey in October 2013 in which 266 South African organisations across all industries participated. Based on the results from the survey, Deloitte has published a Human Capital Trends report for South Africa. This communication introduces the first trend which is Leadership.

Leadership remains the number one talent issue facing organisations globally, with 89% of South African respondents rating the trend as urgent and important.

The challenge is to develop leadership pipelines that are global, broad and deep, reaching to every level of the organisation.

Click here for a summary of the highest ranking trend in South Africa which is Leadership

Click here to download the Global Human Capital Trends Report for South Africa

If you have any questions or require a more detailed discussion on your organisation’s leadership development requirements, contact Werner Nieuwoudt at wnieuwoudt@deloitte.co.za

 

What does Protection of Personal Information legislation mean to Enterprise Mobility?

42-22964929

Recently South Africa passed new legislation, whereby companies are accountable to provide governance over the protection of personal information; both company and employee related. This legislation is known as the Protection of Personal Information Act, or PPI. The PPI (Protection of Personal Information) Act, refers to the Data Life Cycle, providing rules and guidance for the following “states” of information within this life cycle: collection or creation of data; processing, marketing and cross border transfers; purpose specifications; further processing; retention requirements; destruction or archiving.

With the increasing growth and expansion of technology in our world today, many boundaries are being broken down and distance becomes irrelevant in the world of data and information systems. The cyber highways contain a wealth of information that travels round the globe in an instant. Current news articles are read seconds after they are published digitally and this form information is part of our daily lives.

Today email on a smartphone or tablet is a “must have” and employee’s can submit leave requests, claim expenses or access internal systems while on the move or while sitting at the airport waiting to catch a business flight. The problem with such vast amounts of information scattered round lead to the question “How do I ensure that my company and personal information is adequately safeguarded.

With the advent of mobile devices; laptops, smart phones and tablets, providing this information any where, any time, has a significant impact on personal information governance. From an enterprise mobility perspective, the picture looks like a piece of Swiss cheese, full of holes. They posed great risk in this information marathon to become PPI compliant.

In the event of an information “breach” companies must be confident in answering the following question, “What was done to protect this personal and company information?”

Click here to download the full article

If you have any questions or require a more detailed discussion relating to topics raised in this article, feel free to contact Marc Rossmann at mrossmann@deloitte.co.za

Deloitte releases the 2014 Human Capital Trends report for South Africa

Human Capital Trends 2014

We are pleased to release the 2014 Human Capital Trends report for South Africa. This report is a country-based summary and should be read in conjunction with the Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2014 report, which provides an extensive breakdown and interpretation of the findings of our 2014 Global Deloitte Human Capital Trends Survey.

This year, we had a record response from our clients in South Africa to the Deloitte Human Capital Trends Survey, with 266 respondents. This makes it a very valid reflection of how these trends are affecting South African businesses across the industry spectrum.

In addition, we have surveyed a number of other countries on the African continent. A survey for Africa incorporating the responses from these countries will be released later this year and will be available on our website. This will provide an ideal addition for those clients of ours who are active on the African continent and for whom people issues are top of mind.

Our Global Human Capital Trends 2014 survey is one of the largest organisation development, human-resource and talent-management surveys of its kind, with 94 countries participating this year. Against the items surveyed, it is clear that most global organisations are grappling with the same people issues and in many cases are not fully prepared to deal with these major trends that are reshaping the workforce.

In this report, which is aimed at the South African market, we highlight the five trends that we believe should be top of the agenda for executives and human resource teams in respect of finding, retaining, leading and developing their people over the next few years.

From the 12 trends identified in the Deloitte survey, three strategic focus areas or themes have emerged:

  • Lead and develop
  • Attract and engage
  • Transform and reinvent

South African respondents recognised the following top five trends in terms of the importance index:

  • Leadership (77%)
  • Retention and Engagement (71%)
  • Diversity and Inclusion (70%)
  • Workforce Capability (70%)
  • Talent Acquisition and Access (69%)

Despite these being the most urgent trends, many of the companies surveyed expressed reservations about their ability to address these issues in the short-to-medium term.

The 2014 human capital trends demand change, investment and focus if companies in South Africa want to effectively compete both as employers of choice and as competitive businesses in a human-resource-constrained market. We trust that this report, along with the 2014 Global Deloitte Human Capital Trends report, will serve as a useful guide for strategic human capital management in the coming year. Please feel free to contact us to discuss the reports in more detail. We would be delighted to assist you and your teams.

We look forward to engaging with you around the findings and to helping to unpack their implications for your human capital, HR and talent management decisions.

Click here to download Deloitte 2014 Human Capital Trends report for South Africa

If you have any questions, require more information or would like a more detailed discussion relating to the findings in the report, feel free to contact Werner Nieuwoudt (Human Capital Leader, Southern and Western Africa) at wnieuwoudt@deloitte.co.za

 

Shopping for Success – The three rules in retail

shopping for success

THE retail industry has faced more disruptive changes in consumer behaviour over the last decade than in the last century. The face of retail has shifted dramatically in the past 25 years from brick-and-mortar stores and catalogs to omnichannel.

The era of the connected consumer, spurred by technology innovation, has forced retailers to fundamentally rethink almost every aspect of their operations. Mobile devices are making it easier for customers to find what they are looking for, check competitor pricing on the go, and learn from the buying experiences of friends and family via social media.

Omnichannel retail is here; how should retailers respond?

Many retail executives are asking, “How do we compete in this changed world where the connected consumer is king?” Changing market conditions and new entrants have resulted in retailers being faced with numerous strategic alternatives. The ability to create a truly differentiated position in a crowded marketplace may require bold action and difficult decisions on trade-offs between quality and cost, location and convenience, and service and price.

Given the myriad of options, how should management choose? How do leaders make the right decision? What principles should guide their decision making?

In a recently published book, The Three Rules: How Exceptional Companies Think, Michael Raynor and Mumtaz Ahmed provide guiding principles (“three rules”), based on extensive empirical research, that companies can adopt to differentiate themselves and sustain long-term performance.

To explore this concept, we have selected three current trends that are top of mind for many retail executives—omnichannel presence, globalization, and customer engagement—and discussed how the rules apply in each case.

Our objective is to create a lens through which retailers can consider their choices relative to their peers. In the next few sections, we will discuss how retailers are approaching these trends and adapting the three rules to drive revenue and achieve exceptional performance.

Click here to download Shopping for Success – The three rules in retail

If you have any questions or require a more detailed discussion on any of the topics raised in the article, leave a comment and I will introduce you to the appropriate thought leader at Deloitte.

Real-Time DevOps: Technology Trends 2014

real-time devops

This take on the Trend: Real-Time DevOps was written by Karoly Kramli, senior manager for technology at Deloitte South Africa.

Organisations have always had this Chinese wall between designing and building applications and then running them. Real-time DevOps changes this by bringing these two ‘worlds’ together through collaboration and effectively tooling between the different environments.

With real-time, it is about the development environment using a more agile methodology and bringing out solutions faster. Similarly, the operations teams use lag behind doing a more blended IT approach into the agile space. But ultimately it is about ensuring agility between both of them.

But adopting a more real-time approach is not going to be easy. For many organisations, especially the larger ones, the challenge is getting the development and operations teams to work together as the historical way of doing things have become so entrenched.

On the development side, the teams focus on functionality and what needs to be delivered from a systemic perspective. The operations teams are more concerned about non-functional things such as security, up-time, and performance. So to bring these two together, teams need to talk to one another which realistically will not happen.

However, organisations can introduce a chief architect who would be responsible for the end-to-end solutions management. This individual will orchestrate everyone in the value chain responsible for delivering the solution to ensure that it meets the exact business requirement. Teams can then be bought together as a practice and the chief architect will coordinate all the roles. The person will also hold the traceability all the way through so that from a technical level all the requirements are also met. While this does imply a Waterfall approach it does not have to be as the chief architect can be a practitioner of Agile as well.

There will be pockets of this happening in South Africa, especially from technology-oriented businesses who are focused on delivering value to the market using technology. For the larger organisations, it is simply not possible to embrace real-time quickly. There might be an occasional proof of concept but nothing significant will happen in the next 12 months. For larger corporations, there are a lot of inhibitors including legacy thinking and behaviour that accompanies their size.

However, it is not only South African companies who are struggling with this trend. In Europe and the United States, many organisations are facing similar issues especially when looking at the Agile approach. For them, iterative development is a safe way of getting things done. It incorporates some of the principles of Waterfall and allows for quick deployment. But the Agile approach is not yet convincing the market to replace the iterative way of development and deployment.

One of the ways that real-time can build momentum in the local market is by middle-level managers who understand the concept, are open to it, and have enough say in the organisation to warrant a proof of concept and start doing a business case for it. Once the culture of the past starts to change, then real-time has great potential in the market and at organisations.

New revenue Standard could impact profile of revenue and profit recognition

money

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has published a new Standard, IFRS 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers (‘the new Standard’). The new Standard outlines a single comprehensive model of accounting for revenue arising from contracts with customers and supercedes current revenue recognition guidance, which is found currently across several Standards and Interpretations within IFRSs.

The core principle is that an entity recognises revenue to reflect the transfer of goods or services, measured as the amount to which the entity expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services.

Click here to download the full article

If you have any questions or require a more detailed discussion, feel free to contact George Cavaleros at gcavaleros@deloitte.co.za

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