Blog Category: Business

Why LinkedIn should be your #1 marketing platform

June 19, 2021

LinkedIn is the #1 platform for Lead Generation according to DemandWave state of B2B Digital Marketing Report in both 2016 & 2017

If LinkedIn was a country, it is only second to China & India. With over 560 million users, it stands 3rd in the list well ahead of the USA.

LinkedIn members come from 200 countries & 18 million companies. So the power of the LinkedIn platform is enormous.

In 2016 Microsoft purchased LinkedIn for 26.2 billion USD in cash. 

Beyond the numbers, let’s look at why LinkedIn should be your main marketing platform!

LinkedIn as a marketing platform

LinkedIn has been traditionally thought of as a platform to maintain a professional profile. Although this is true even today, B2B Digital Marketing Report identifies LinkedIn as the #1 platform for lead generation both in 2016 & 2017.

Let’s look at why LinkedIn has gained its status as the #1 marketing platform.

If you are looking to enhance your marketing and improve lead generation, LinkedIn is THE place to go.

What benefits you get out of LinkedIn as a marketing platform?

The two words answer is “cost-effectiveness”.

It is said that around 10% of the total company budget is going to marketing. This money can go a total waste unless planned correctly. Below are five reasons why you should choose LinkedIn to spent most of your marketing budget.

  1. LinkedIn is a focused platform: You will not somebody’s vacation pictures in LinkedIn. By design LinkedIn downgrades not relevant content. Therefore your marketing messages and content has a comparatively much greater chance of reaching the target audience compared with other digital marketing platforms.
  2. Free marketing: LinkedIn marketing is not depends on paid ads & content. You can do posts, publish articles, make comments, send direct messages, etc. without paying a single cent. These non-paid activities will give you a huge milage in terms of lead generation & brand awareness.
  3. Target marketing: In terms of paid advertisements, LinkedIn has a powerful campaign manager & where you can use it to narrow down your target audience. It provides many parameters to target the exact audience you want compared to traditional marketing.
  4. Complete ecosystem: LinkedIn comes with wide array of tools which can be used to market product or services. For example, you can use company page or showcase pages to provide marketing content to its 563 million users. LinkedIn introduces tools such as LinkedIn formsplugins, etc. to make the lead generation efficient. Further many third party companies have developed tools on top of LinkedIn. Further, LinkedIn creates lot of content by themselves to help businesses to grow. Example is LinkedIn for small businesses.
  5. LinkedIn communities & groups: LinkedIn is having a rich & vibrant communities & groups. You can use these groups to further narrow down your marketing segments and activities to have a better hit. LinkedIn official and unofficial community gatherings provides opportunities for face to face marketing.

Summary

You have a higher chance of connecting to a person whom you don’t know on LinkedIn. The chance of an unknown professional in the USA accepting your connection request is higher in LinkedIn compared to Facebook or any other social marketing platform.

Also the % digital marketing spending will take over the traditional marketing within the next 5 years. companies will invest heavily in digital marketing in the coming years.

If you want to be at the helm of this trend and to get the best value for the money you spent in marketing, you need to make a move to LinkedIn today.

You can download our white paper to understand how you should LinkedIn for your marketing activities. Please fill in the form. At #bistec, we understand this and would love to help you in your journey.

The Social Glue in business?

May 29, 2021

Think of the teams that you have worked with throughout your work life. Have you come across people who keep or who contribute more than others to keep you together making them a cohesive part of the job at hand which helps to achieve the 1+1 > 2 phenomenon? this would be a type of social glue!

Thinking and reading more about the subject it is evident that this is the same phenomenon that large cooperates try to mimic in the tools they use or on the other hand, collaboration products try very hard to build into their systems.

These traits have been used in some of the tools out there that are marketed to cooperates for better communication in an enterprise. Thereby creating the social glue that can feed the enterprise in order to have better cohesiveness. The focus of this article is more on the human aspects of the “Social Glue” rather than the tools or products.

What is Social Glue in Business? In the human aspect!

It can be defined as the ability to take all the individual parts and stick them together as one single vehicle taking the whole Team/Social Group/Company forward at the same speed.

Take the example of a 4-member team of developers. One is lagging behind not really contributing to the team and is almost anti-social. One was a good performer previously and is now unfocused. The third is a performer. The fourth is the glue we are talking about in this article who is also an excellent performer.

The velocity of this team would be at its slowest member thereby making the team underperforming.

The 4th member (The Glue) has an outcome to be achieved and without the first and 2nd members’ contribution, he would not be successful. He uses his relationships to either get this person in line to achieve the outcome at hand or to take out the member from the team or try hard to. He does it with all his heart and to make the first two members realize the required changes they need to make. The important fact is that he tries to get them in line and failing which takes them out of the team to achieve the outcome.

This trait in a person requires the following fundamental behaviors that lead to a high-performance team.

Unconditional trust

Trust is sometimes overrated. Unconditional trust seems a big no-no! In the face of competition in an organization, the ability to trust someone seems a bit far fetch leave alone being unconditional. Therefore, it is the main ingredient that leads to someone being the social glue in a business.

Focusing on each other strengths

Having led several cooperates I know how it feels like when people focus on your weakness. The ability to focus on strengths is a must if you are leading teams thereby complementing each other to form the glue that causes the teams to function as one.

The service mindset

To be of service to others comes at a cost. Some think you are weak and some unprofessional. However, if you look at your job as; to do greater good regardless of the consequences! This is what I define as the service midst or to be of service to your fellow colleagues.

The ability to forgive

People make mistakes linking up to the second point here being able to move on and learn is extremely important. Sometimes we discount people and behaviors to only the negative side of things. Being the social glue requires a high degree of the ability to forgive and try continuously.

In conclusion, all businesses have and develop these personalities as groups and individuals it is the duty of the leader to identify and mentor these people or groups and create more glue. Tools can take you a certain distance but these people with the aid of the tools are the ones who really make a difference in a Business!

5 things to avoid when starting an offshore engagement

June 19, 2021

Over the years, offshoring has gained much popularity in the business world as a means of obtaining services from external parties or companies based in another country. However, many companies who jump on the bandwagon with a lot of expectations get quickly frustrated.

This is mainly because those companies do not spend enough time on due diligence before starting with offshore engagements. Here we list the 5 main mistakes that companies tend to make when starting on an offshore engagement, and how they often lead to its complete downfall.

1.    Starting without an initiation workshop

Minimize the assumptions

One can never accurately imagine what another person needs and wants without engaging the latter in the initial stages of setting up a new offshore service delivery engagement. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is to conduct an initiation workshop with the participation of all stakeholders.

At first, this may sound like an expensive activity, especially considering this is the start of a fresh new engagement in another country. However, this is an activity where money is well spent; in that, it will save much more money, resources, time, and stress in the long run.

Through brainstorming sessions, discussions, sketching, presentations, and more during initiation workshops, the key factors that need to be identified are as follows.

·      Primary goals and expectations

·      Working model

·      Key criteria for success

It is important to get all stakeholders for this initiation workshop (based on the relevance of topics discussed and the workshop schedule) from project/product owners and sponsors, senior management, key team members (both onsite and offsite), etc. The few days committed for this workshop will help identify the main goals and expectations, eliminate any misunderstandings and serious concerns that either party may have along with the assumptions that people naturally tend to make which are far from reality.

While these sessions could be held at either location, the customer’s location would be preferable for the initiation workshop because for example,

·      All the stakeholders are easily accessible

·      Start building a good rapport with all onsite team members

·      Observe the currently in place systems and processes

2.    Starting without getting involved in selecting the right team members

The customer is onsite, while you are not!

Many offshore service providers have found that it is very important to engage their customers in the process of selecting or hiring members for the team. These are the people who are readily accessible to the customer’s onsite team.

We can assume that stakeholders at this point have reached a comfortable and effective collaboration model. Once the customer gets involved with selecting their offshore team and the collaboration model is in place, this helps everybody to build a good rapport and gel well with each other. This will go a long way in ensuring a successful end result for all stakeholders.

3.    Starting without investing in proper infrastructure

An effective and efficient collaboration model is the key to running any successful operation today. In the context of an offshore engagement, where the various stakeholders are physically unable to meet face to face regularly, excellent telecommunication equipment must be in place to facilitate the communication process. This includes both communication hardware and software that is capable of handling large volumes of data while maintaining high quality. A high-speed, high capacity broadband internet link is of absolute need, in ensuring that voice and video conferencing can be carried out effectively.

Anyone who has participated in an online video conference call will know how difficult it is to concentrate on the discussion at length. This difficultly arises as a result of the lack of face-to-face presence of the participants. This is an unavoidable complication in the offshore service delivery model, but this is a difficulty that can and should be eased as much as possible with the use of the best quality communication equipment and services that can be obtained. Such equipment includes powerful enough computers, regularly updated communication software, a sound-proof meeting room with proper lighting, sensitive multi-way microphones, and sound systems in addition to a fast-broadband link.

It has been noted one too many times that many companies who go offshoring do not give the due prominence that communication equipment deserves when setting up budgets and investments for their offshore engagements.

4.    Starting without budgeting for offshore team visits and vice versa

Subsequent to the initiation workshop, periodic visits between the onsite and offshore teams are vital in ensuring a successful offshore engagement. To be clear, both teams must visit each other. This gives invaluable insights into the social and cultural differences of the other team, which would otherwise have never have been seen nor understood. And it is the sensitivity shown towards these differences that could help make or break the working dynamics between the two teams.

Also, in certain offshore engagements, it is necessary for the offshore team to visit the customer site and experience the use of the systems they build in real production environments other than simulators/labs maintained offshore. Say, for example, if the offshore team is tasked to automate the operations of a robotic manufacturing line, then the offshore team must visit the production environments and experience how the system behaves in reality rather than only working with simulators on offshore labs.

5.    Underestimating the impact to the customer organization

For those customers who are beginning their very first offshore engagement, it may not strike them as important to pay close attention to the differences that they would have when compared to the offshore team. The customer’s team would have a particular modus operandi, which has proven itself effective and is likely to think that there is no need to tamper with a system that already works.

While this may well be true, it does not mandate that the same modes and methods would work for the offshore engagement as well. The workings of two different nations will always have their differences. A simple example would be around national and religious holidays in each nation, and how team members celebrate these events. For example, in Myanmar, the water festival held in April is the country’s biggest festival. Three days of holidays are declared, during which it is near impossible to expect anyone to be available for any kind of work. It is important then, for both the onsite and offshore teams to be aware of this, and ensure that work, calls, meetings, reports, etc. are planned well in advance or beyond these holidays. The mid-April new year celebrations in Sri Lanka are a similar example.

In addition, it’s important for the onsite team to understand how those of the offshore team address their work ethic. Should any differences arise, it is important to carry out discussions and orientation training in order to agree upon a common working model that is agreeable to both.

Conclusion

A little advance planning and preparation can go a long way in ensuring that working offshore becomes beneficial to all parties concerned. While none of the factors listed above are of a technically complex nature, they are crucial soft components that must be addressed, and periodically monitored in order to make sure that all stakeholders benefit from any offshore engagement.

Do you agree? Would like to hear your thoughts as well.

success in business and in life.

 
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