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How Open Innovation Can Reduce Innovation Cost

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As mentioned in my previous article, investing in innovation will help you grow your business, stay ahead of the competition and help you take advantage of new technologies.

However, when it comes to innovating, the challenge for most companies is how to spend money smartly. To be able to innovate at an increased pace, companies need to reverse this predicament by weighing the costs with the potential profits and make the best decision.

One of the best ways to reduce the cost of innovation as a company is by applying open innovation methods and principles;

Open Innovation

Prof. Chesbrough defines open innovation as “the use of purposive inflows and outflows of knowledge to accelerate internal innovation. And expand the markets for external use of innovation, respectively”. The advice for companies looking to innovate is that they should make use of external and internal ideas or paths to market, as they look to maximize profits and minimize cost from their innovative activities.

Organizations are partnering with a wide range of external parties such as startups, software publishers etc to tap into their ideas, insights and solutions. With open innovation, you would be reaching a large group of potential partners quite easily. The good thing is, you would only pay participants if a solution is found. This way, the overall cost is likely to be smaller in relation to the amount of ideas and input. This is profitable for companies especially in a downturn.

For example, in 2006, Netflix offered a reward of 1M USD to the team that could deliver successful innovative method, instead of attempting to develop this internally with no guarantee of success. This process was cost-efficient and also reduced the risk of a failed investment. Although, Netflix did not use the original winning algorithm, there were other excellent candidates to choose from. They went with one of the runner ups who also had something close to what they were looking for.

This paradigm when done effectively would help mitigate many of the risks involved in innovation. Thereby giving you a better chance at securing the best results for your organization.

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Business

Networking Is Dead

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“Networking as we know it, is dead,” says Scott Gerber, the CEO of The Community Company and author of “Super Connector: Stop Networking and Start Building Business Relationships That Matter.” I quite agree with him, or should I say maybe we are not doing it the right way.

People have over 500 connections on LinkedIn, and most do not even know a single one of them, well maybe one or two family members and a few friends. For example, I have 224 connections, excluding my family and friends on LinkedIn, and I am yet to speak with any them. These days we dwell so much on the number of connections we have, the number of business cards we were able to collect and give out, and the small talks we might have had in the process, that we abandon the sole purpose of connecting with people.

“Rather than growing a huge network focused on sheer numbers, building a strong network is about establishing a relatively small number of deep, high-quality, business relationships based on common values. The ‘why’ of connecting is focused on people first, opportunities second. Allow yourself to help others. Don’t feel like you are too generous or giving away too much with nothing in exchange. Keeping score won’t do you any good.” – an excerpt from the book ‘Networking is dead – making connections that matter’ by Larry Mohl.

To create strong relationships that can boost your personal and professional goals, you would need to focus on relationship building instead of being a networker. Networkers are short-term thinkers, very transactional oriented. These days, people use relationships for their personal gains and strategies. Meanwhile, a relationship builder realizes beforehand that social capital is the most important currency she will ever have. She is empathetic, emotionally connected, intelligent, curious, and a people lover. Unlike the networkers, she thinks more long-term in terms of value creation and naturally generous towards others. Building deep relationships can take a while; however, you will reap the benefits from them later on.

To be a relationship builder instead of a networker, you should think like one, according to Gerber, there are three kinds;

The Thinkers; They are curious and have lots of ideas running through their heads. However, they are not always good at executing them. If you are one, you should make an effort to share those ideas with people. Look for people who can help or inspire you to put those ideas into action.

The Enablers; They assemble people and share their ideas with them. An enabler is that friend that would always email you to introduce you to someone she thinks might be able to help you out

The Executors; These are the accomplishers; they make people’s ideas happen. If you are one, find ways to expose yourself to as many new ideas as possible. Maybe, you can start reading new publications or following new hashtags related to your industry.

Before we conclude, here are some tips for you to enjoy the benefits of relationship-building; 

  • Change your approach,
  • Develop your expertise,
  • Build your relationships around a shared interest,
  • Share what you know with people,
  • Focus on a higher goal,
  • Make sure you follow-up on all your contacts.

Like people say, “you don’t have to reinvent the wheel or be the boss of a company to be a successful person.” To get great things done, open yourself up to new ideas and people; build strong relationships.

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Marketing Communications

What A Marketing Communications Strategy Is And How To Do It Right

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What is marketing communications strategy?

Marketing communications strategy is the strategy used by a company or individual to reach their target market through various types of communication. It includes your message (what is to be said), the medium (where it is to be said), and the target (to whom your message is reaching).

You might be wondering: what’s a marketing communications strategy that always works, even without a budget?

Easy: build relationships with journalists to get press coverage, guest posts, and backlinks.

Marketing communications or Public Relations is the ‘Promotion’ bit of the “4P’s of marketing” you might have learned during your university days (product, place, price, promotion).

Since “marketing communications strategy” is a mouthful, most people just shorten it to “Public Relations” which essentially uses online channels and software to identify relevant journalists, pitch them suitable stories and earn free media coverage.

Usually, PR strategy means building top of mind awareness amongst your ideal customers about the product or offer.

How you go about this will depend a lot on your experience, industry, and budget. If your marketing plan has a budget of a million dollars to spare, you can reach out to your target market with a promotional mix that includes TV or Facebook ads.

However, if you’re like most entrepreneurs, you want to promote your business without breaking the bank.
And there is no better way to do that than by managing your own PR campaign internally without retaining the services of a media relations company or a full-service marketing company.

Wait, do you mean “free as in ‘free lunch”?

Exactly! If you apply the methods in this post to your own marketing communications strategy, you’ll learn how to build lasting relationships with journalists and influencers, get free press, and acquire more customers through a sustainable organic approach.

Anyone from your team can easily play the role of a marketing communications manager. You don’t even need to hire a dedicated marketing communications specialist!

Read More criminallyprolific.com

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