Robbie Kellman Baxter writes about her experience as an online subscriber to Disney+ and whether Disney will deliver on their forever promise of family connection through membership.
This weekend, my family watched Hamilton on Disney+. We weren’t the only ones. I’m guessing a lot of the 54 million (as of May) subscribers were also singing along as part of a “shelter at home” Fourth of July holiday.
Like many others, we subscribed last week, specifically to watch the musical. To be specific, we upgraded from our Hulu-with-ads subscription (which I got initially so my kids could watch The Handmaid’s Tale…but then we got hooked on some other shows) to the Hulu/Disney+/ESPN+ bundle.
Disney is most certainly seeing a spike in subscribers this week, but will it last?
Will this cohort of subscribers who joined to watch Hamilton be less likely to stay engaged and more likely to cancel? Probably.
Points covered in this article include:
- The key to retention
- Five retention tactics
- Disney’s approach to on-boarding
Read the full article, Everyone Subscribed to Disney+ for Hamilton. Will Disney’s Onboarding Process Be Enough to Retain This Cohort?, on LinkedIn.
David A. Fields identifies two issues consulting firms must overcome to win projects and asks four pertinent questions that can help you take the action needed to move forward.
Your consulting firm has probably encountered more resistance from prospective clients than usual over the past eight weeks. Fortunately, you can understand and overcome the elevated stumbling blocks.
The basics of winning consulting projects haven’t changed. Keep them moist and use lots of butter. No, wait. That’s for sheets of phyllo dough. To win consulting projects, your consulting firm still needs to outperform every alternative on The Six Pillars of Consulting Success.
However, the change and uncertainty that have swept the globe have also spawned two shifts in how prospects evaluate your consulting firm’s offerings.
Points covered in this article include:
- Heightened Risk Sensitivity
- Extended Time Horizon
Read the full article, Two Issues Your Consulting Firm Must Confront to Win Projects in Uncertain Times, on David’s website.
Robbie Kellman Baxter shares expert tips on how to build revenue through a subscription business model.
I’ve been noticing something funny recently.
As I make my rounds being interviewed by podcasters, influencers and subject matter experts, the conversations turn from ‘advice for listeners’ to ‘advice for the host.’
In other words, these solopreneurs, subject matter experts, and social media celebrities are trying to figure out how to build a viable, profitable business around their own community and expertise. They’re not just trying to provide useful information to their audiences–they’re struggling with their own revenue model.
Don’t underestimate the power of the “forever transaction” for small businesses.
Subscriptions can be a powerful tool for virtually any organizations–public, private, big, small, venture-backed, family-owned, non-profit, old, emerging, and across all industries. It can be a particularly effective tool for the smallest businesses.
This week, I presented my work to several hundred small business owners through BNI Global, and was inundated with questions. They wanted to know how to apply the principles to their accounting firms, restaurants, car washes, real-estate businesses and solo-consultancies.
Membership models and subscription pricing work great for most small businesses, subject matter experts and even celebrity influencers.
Included in this article:
- Identifying the value
- Segmenting the audience
- The ROI of Free and Freemium
Read the full article, How Influencers, Subject Matter Experts and Small Business Owners Can Build Subscription Revenue on LinkedIn.
Luiz Zorzella takes an adventurous look at two choices innovation-based businesses may or may not choose to pursue to illustrate how emotion is an underlying driver of innovation.
Companies that decide to compete on innovation-based businesses have 2 potential paths to choose from: with or without “emotion”.
Years ago, my wife and I traveled to the NorthEast of Brazil. There, we went on a tour on the sand dunes on a buggy.
Fifteen minutes into the tour, I was convinced that that was going to be the high point of our trip. The dunes were beautiful, the tour was fun and the driver knew exactly where to stop to get the best pictures.
Then he turned to us and casually asked: ‘so… with or without ‘emotion’
He can speak in code because most tourists already know what it means: do you want to continue the rest of the tour like the first fifteen minutes (which were great) or do you want him to ride the dunes like a lunatic, flipping the buggy and sliding large dunes sideways? That is the “with emotion” option.
Companies that decide to compete on innovation-based businesses have 2 similar options:
Points covered in this article include:
- The two choices
- The pros and cons of each choice
- The most commonly preferred option
Read the full article, The Exciting Path Of Strategic Innovation, on the Amquant website.
David A. Fields shares a post that identifies the benefit of extending your reach and imagination to find partners and connections that can help your business grow.
Many of your consulting firm’s prospects are caught in the eddies of crisis and battling to stay afloat. While they appreciate your relationship-building calls, unfortunately, they’re too preoccupied to fully engage in deep conversations with you.
On the other hand, you know who’s in the same boat as your consulting firm and casting about for new ideas and connections?
Fly fishermen. Partners.
Plus, the right partner can contribute more to your consulting firm’s health over the long term than any one client.
A partner is any individual or firm that helps you with your consulting cycle (Winning Engagements and Profitably Creating Value), and/or whom you can help.**
The five categories (and examples) of partners are:
- IP Creators
- Value Extenders
Read the full article, 5 Partners Your Consulting Firm Should Call This Week, on David’s website.
David A. Fields offers an encouraging post on how to manage your ego when clients don’t respond to your overtures.
With a sigh and subtle shake of your head, you send one more outreach email to Pippi Burntkernels, the co-founder and COO of Plumper Popcorn, Inc. A few months ago, you and Pip had a great conversation about their operations, and you gave some advice on effectively instituting a better butter beater process.
You know that if you and Pip keep talking, there’s a consulting project at Plumper for your consulting firm.
But she doesn’t return your phone calls, nor has she responded to any of your emails. What’s going on?
Read the full article, How To Overcome Your Consulting Prospects’ Fear (So They’ll Call You Back), on David’s consulting website.
Robbie Kellman Baxter explains what a subscription business can do to mitigate customer loss and generate customer gain through attraction and retention strategies.
‘Millennials aren’t joiners.’ ‘Millennials don’t pay for news.’ ‘Our customers love us, but the average age is going up. It seems like millennials just aren’t interested.’
These are statements I hear all the time from membership organizations that have been around for a few decades or more: professional associations and trade groups, religious institutions, newspapers, gyms, and country clubs. Having some success under your belt is both a blessing and a curse. What you’re doing seems to be working, so you keep doing it. But let complacency take hold and you’re doomed. When businesses can’t attract new members, they die a slow death as old members age out.
The problem is two-fold. One, if you don’t evolve your offerings and communication strategy, new prospects will find your company ‘old fashioned’ or ‘not for me.’ Two, you might mistake inertia for loyalty: those members are still with you out of habit, and when new competitors come along they suddenly realize someone else can better meet their needs.
Points covered in this article:
- Common mistakes made by old and new subscription businesses
- Tips to reinvention
- Self-disruption as a strategy
- The benefits of paranoia
Read the full article, Walking the Generational Tightrope: How To Keep Older Members Happy and Also Draw In Younger Ones, on LinkedIn.
Luiz Zorzella shares a survival guide to Clay Christensen’s opus, including impressions, recommendations, and thoughts on how business leaders can use his ideas to drive success, growth and transformation.
If you work with innovation and strategy and are responsible for the future of your business, you probably read Clayton Christensen’s 2 most famous opi: The Innovator’s Dilemma and Competing Against Luck (aka the “Jobs To Be Done” book).
If you have not, do it and you will improve your chances of not going extinct.
Over the years, I had the chance to see some of the concepts described in these books applied in real-life situations. Some of these applications were successful and rigorous and confirmed my admiration for the amount of impact compacted in such simple concepts.
However, more often than not, I have seen the concepts, approaches, and terminology he formulated deformed, mutilated and distorted into grotesque parodies – both intentionally and unintentionally.
Content in this article includes:
- Competing against luck
- Agree on what is an useful insight
- Know thyself and avoid mirages
- Think 2 steps ahead
- Find the heart of darkness
Read the full article, Survival Guide to Clay Christensen’s Opus, on the Amquant website.
David A. Fields offers a valuable resource for consulting firms in this series of articles that provide a comprehensive guide to marketing tactics.
Your Challenge: Can you come up with even one tactic that’s not on the list below? (Bonus points if you post two or more tactics.)
Have you ever wanted to co-write an article because writing your own stuff is hard and takes time? Woo hoo, here’s your chance!
In the next part of this two-article series, you’ll learn a framework for determining exactly which marketing tactics you should invest your precious time and energy into for your consulting firm to attract more prospects and clients.
Spoiler alert: The best marketing tactic is not the same for every consulting firm!
Read the full article, Your Comprehensive Guide to Marketing Tactics for Consulting firms, on David’s website.
Jason George explores the sale reach and marketing savvy of Time and Newsweek to demonstrate the success of a strategy that encompasses a large demographic; he then explains how and why the internet disrupted this model by pursuing the individual.
In the early twentieth century Americans seeking the news had plenty of print sources to choose from, many of which were local papers. Even smallish towns had markets deep enough to support multiple publications, each jockeying to make their presence known in a bustling marketplace. Beyond the daily news cycle there was demand for a more reflective, comprehensive perspective. This space was filled by magazines that bypassed regional reporting in favor of issues with national significance.
These titles curated articles across a wide range of topics, assembling them into issues with broad appeal. Among this group Time and Newsweek would become two of the most prominent, launching around the same time and reaching similar audiences. Their solidly middle-market voices helped them grow steadily in circulation, able to attract urbanites on the coasts as well as those in the heartland.
Areas explored in this article include:
- Why markets fragmented into specialized verticals
- How needs of large constituencies affect behavior across industries
- The challenges of size and risk(s) of growth
Read the full article, The Challenges of Size, on Jason’s website.
Stephen Redwood provides answers to commonly asked questions that help his clients increase the strategic value of Human Resources (HR).
If there is one thing that has been a constant over my years in HR and decades as a consultant, it has been the sense that the HR function is too often a supplicant to other functions and lacks the confidence to see itself as an equal. So, when clients ask me how they should be thinking about the evolution of their own HR function, in my mind is the question of how to overcome this mindset and establish a better understanding of how it can provide greater strategic value.
With that said,Winston Churchill’s words “It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see” resonate with a challenge that faces HR: people and cultures take time to change so, what exactly should one be changing to and with what timeframe in mind?
Questions covered in this article include:
- Given no constraints, what is the most positively impactful contribution HR could make to the organization?
- How can HR gain the “permission” and latitude to achieve its potential?
- What should HR be working harder at?
- How can HR gain sufficient agility to build and sustain a high impact contribution?
Read the full article, How Can We Increase the Strategic Value of HR?, on LinkedIn.
James Black provides a comprehensive list of questions designed to help you build a marketing strategy that can help your business move forward in 2020.
Entering the New Year provides a great opportunity to take a quick audit of your brand or business to identify opportunity areas in your 1) customer understanding, 2) go to market strategy and 3) marketing capabilities. These 20 questions are designed as thought-starters to help you get a sense of the state of your business.
Areas covered by the questions include:
- Brand/Business proposition
- The path to purchase
- Marketing plans
- Marketing capabilities
Read the full article, 20 Questions to Help Your Brand or Business See 20/20 in 2020, on LinkedIn.
Odin Muhlenbein and his colleagues co-authored an article that explains how social enterprises are solving the problem of youth unemployment in Africa.
The issues that are the most pressing today will shape the legacies of the most powerful African political and business leaders of our time.
For the continent, the youth population boom and issues of employment are at the top of the list of priorities. Leaders at national, continental and global levels discuss these topics in the halls of the United Nations, the African Union and within talent-strapped businesses operating in the region. When it comes to the political and economic agendas of a continent dubbed “the most youthful” and projected to become the home of half of the world’s youth population by 2040, the “youth bulge” and the unemployment statistics inform the entire dialogue. Clearly, there is need for urgency, action and collaboration to create sustainable impact on a large scale.
This article includes approaches applied by leading social entrepreneurs in Africa to address the issue.
Read the full article, Learning from social enterprises: How to solve youth unemployment in Africa, on the Devex website.
Luca Ottinetti’s company blog shares case studies that reveal how Intel and SpaceX successfully launched new products, and what went wrong with Nokia and Swissair’s business model innovations.
Entering a new market with new products that target new customers requires a new business model. It is a powerful strategic initiative that changes the rules of competition. It also represents a challenge with odds of success at roughly 30%, but ultimately – when done right – it rewards winners with huge returns.
Managers need to know what they’re in for if they decide to pursue this path of business growth. The challenge in entering a new market through a successful business model innovation (BMI) consists of getting two elements right:
(1) the pursuit of attractive market opportunities, and
(2) ownership of the strategic control points in the industry to protect profit streams.
We look at cases of success and failure by companies that have entered new markets with new business model designs to illustrate the determinants of success.
Included in this article:
- Two case studies on successful business model innovation
- Two case studies on failed business model innovation
Read the full article, Market Entry through New Business Model Design, on the Great Prairie Group website.
Luiz Zorzella explains why non-strategic projects can be a distraction that get in the way of real strategic work and what you can do about it.
When companies define their strategic priorities, it is common to include in this list items that are not building blocks of the company’s strategic goals. At least directly.
Some of these items are extraneous, pet projects and/or impositions from third-party actors or the result of internal politics and accommodations and at best do not add any value and at worst hinder the strategic agenda.
However, there is another type of priority which, if properly managed, can help you break into a vault full of riches that are unreachable to you right now.
Points covered in this article include:
- Three categories of items
- How to prioritize and implement items
Read the full article, Break into the Strategic Treasure Vault, on the Amquant website.
In the digital age, Amanda Setili explains why every company — big or small – needs a platform strategy to connect with customers.
Today’s businesses now live or die based on how well they cultivate and connect those who they do business with. Just look at the seven most valuable companies in 2019—Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet (parent company of Google), Amazon, Facebook, Alibaba and Tencent. Each created their success by deliberately and aggressively building powerful platforms to connect customers, content providers, suppliers, and others to each other.
Amanda provides five detailed steps toto build a vibrant, self-reinforcing community that can propel your company’s success.
The five steps shared include:
Step 1: Take inventory.
Step 2: Attract and connect your ideal.
Step 3: Assure participants get value.
Step 4: Create physical or virtual engagement platforms.
Step 5: Listen, observe, enhance.
Read the full article, Why Every Company — Big or Small — Needs a Platform Strategy on Amanda Setili’s company website.
Many financial service leaders are not convinced that total market growth is important. Luiz Zorzella explains why even small companies can benefit from paying attention to and capitalizing on what is happening to the market.
You may have heard – or asked – questions such as:
“If our company does not hold a large market share in our markets, should we worry about market growth?”
“How would we even estimate market growth?”
“If most of our existing clients are in not in growth markets, should we abandon them and go after new ones?”
Those are very valid questions:
In most markets, companies with single-digit market shares feel no significant impact of market saturation (that feeling that you have exhausted all good leads). That means that as a general rule, regardless of whether the market is expanding or contracting, there is always an abundant supply of fresh, good prospects to be chased.
Areas explored include:
-Growing markets have growing needs. For example, your commercial clients will be investing to expand capacity and may need CRE and equipment loans to open new locations.
-Growing markets have more sophisticated needs. For example, companies in growing markets often need more attractive Group Benefits to attract talent and ward off poachers.
-Growing markets tend to supply better clients. For example, credit quality tends to be good and to improve over time in growing markets – thus not only improving the quality and value of your portfolio but also freeing up capital to invest in growth.
-Growing markets will carry you. This is because your existing clients, who have a lower acquisition cost than new clients, will continue to grow.
Read the full article, The Eternal Hunt for Growth in Financial Services, on the Amquant website.