Obsess Over Your #Customers, Not Your Rivals

The starting point of most competitive analysis is a question: Who is your competition? That’s because most companies view their competition as another brand, product, or service. But smart leaders and organizations go broader.

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10 Principles of Customer Strategy

After losing the fourth major deal in a row to a rival, the CEO of a technology solutions company turned to his team leaders to ask what was going wrong.

The sales team doesn’t have the right relationships, marketing reported.

Our products lack key features, sales replied.

The offerings are too expensive, finance explained.

None of these answers seemed right. The products were made in the countries where manufacturing was cheapest, had high ratings from analysts, and included new features that people raved about.

So the CEO finally called the client and bluntly asked: “Why did you give this deal to our competitor?”The response: “Your products are great, but your competitor gives me what I’m looking for.”

As they talked, the CEO realized that closing this deal — and other deals — didn’t come down only to product price, quality, features, or sales capabilities. The competitor spoke the language of the customer. Its salespeople knew how to anticipate the customer’s needs, work closely with its leaders, and come up with solutions to problems that hadn’t even been voiced yet.

The CEO now saw that his company lacked a key ingredient necessary for serving its clients: a deliberate, well-designed, and perceptive customer strategy.

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Andrew White: #McKinsey Seeks to Have It’s Cake and Eat Yours at the Same Time? #strategy

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“I really enjoyed reading a recent article on “strategy” from McKinsey Global Institute.

The article was, “Discussion on digital: How strategy is evolving- and staying the same – in hypergrowth digital age“.

I read the article and surmised that most of what I read was common knowledge, at least around these parts, and pretty consistent with many conversations we have with clients in the area of data and analytics strategy.

Here is my summary of the article, in my words:

3 year strategy is OK but such a strategy is not the same old strategy that you used to know

Strategy needs to live and breathe and not be an annual offsite – some call this “execution is the new strategy” though “think big, act small” works just as fine

Strategy is not only kept in the board room – it needs to connect and thus be visible and understood at operational and tactical levels of the business (e.g. all) in different ways and levels of granularity”

Read more: McKinsey Seeks to Have It’s Cake and Eat Yours at the Same Time? – Andrew White

Strategy and the Business Model

Is it true that you like the 9-boxes Business Model Canvas (BMC)? So did I. But then I’ve tried to use it in the practice of Strategy Management and I’ve realized that, for this purpose, it’s rather useless, or even toxic. So, I went from liking it to a complete dislike, once the veil of widespread marveled adulation for the nine boxes has raised from my eyes. This article is about how did this happen and about how should the Business Model be presented, for using such representation as a Strategy tool.

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