At last month’s World Blockchain Conclave that took place in Mumbai and Bengaluru, global blockchain experts shared their views and predications on how blockchain is rapidly changing industries, including claims that blockchain will even be bigger than the internet in terms of mass disruption.
For myself, I was kindly invited also by the organisers of the Conclave, 1.21.GWS, to add my perspective on the subject and how I see blockchain, in terms of The New Economy Business. Simply, you need to ensure whatever your blockchain business case is, it must solve a big problem – that’s how you will achieve your ROI.
Because far too often I am seeing startups and businesses, pour large amounts of money into projects that at the end of the day, deliver nothing. You must focus on solving a big problem, then technology follows. But when you do this, you must also become a disruptor, in that your solution to this big problem, your ‘big idea’, must be unique and make a huge impact if you want to be successful in the longer term. While blockchain enables the decentralisation of processes based on an ‘open ledger’, and allows transparency whether that be providence or single source of truth, currently today there remains limitations to this technology, particularly in terms of speed and scalability.
So even though blockchain has been around for ten years (the same platform the Bitcoin is based on), it is only now we are seeing the user cases beyond Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, which are starting to address some of these limitations.
For example, the renewable energy sector is embracing blockchain to provide community-based co-op style markets. Or supply chains addressing problems such as counterfeiting and fraud, from farm gate through to shop window. Even the huge retailer Walmart, has recently patented a blockchain solution to take into consideration autonomous or robotic delivery vehicles and drones.
One of the reasons why The Startup Business and our business partners at Phykon Solutions (an Indian based global outsourcing and robotic process automation company) has invested into understanding how blockchain technologies are changing the rules of business, is that our clients needed a trusted partner to help them navigate through this fast-evolving technology.
Because one of the first things we do for our clients, is to sit down with them and have a conversation about how we see their industry changing over the next three to five years. While we may not always be correct with our predications, this conversation nevertheless, serves as a catalyst to help our clients start looking beyond from what is just in front of them today.
Clearly though, what I concluded from all the global blockchain experts, is that the genie is out of the bottle and whatever evolution blockchain 2.0 takes, there is no turning back.
About The Startup Business
The Startup Business helps professionals, entrepreneurs, startups, and small to medium sized enterprises, to setup, scale & sustain their businesses in this age of The New Economy.
Providing business & technology education, entrepreneur mentoring & coaching, startup & business advisory, plus automation and outsourcing services, The Startup Business was founded by the current CEO, Dr Ross McKenzie, a leading expert authority on The New Economy Business, and has its head office based in Sydney Australia, plus operational locations in Trivandrum and Bengaluru India, through its partner organisation, Phykon Solutions (www.phykon.com).
In addition, Dr Ross McKenzie maintains a collaboration with Paris based DiG Business Learning (www.digbusinesslearning.com), a specialist in experiential style learning for business executives, co-founded by Professor Jean-Claude Larréché Professor of Marketing at INSEAD and Yvette Roozenbeek, to encourage innovation in the organisation.
Dr Ross McKenzie is also a Microsoft Global Brand Ambassador and a major social media influencer.
Why You Need To Look At Your Digital Marketing Differently
Make no mistake, you need to be continually striving for high performance, in your digital marketing efforts to be able to cut through all the noise. However, this does not mean you need to have millions of dollars in resources to do this. In fact, even the smallest of businesses, can dominate their specific category or niche if they implement digital marketing effectively.
The problem however is that most smaller businesses and startups do not understand all the aspects that are required. This is also compounded by the reality there is so much information available – its like where do you start!
The Four Areas Of Your Digital Marketing Ecosystem
Over the years working with my clients, I realised many of them tended to focus on only one part of their digital marketing strategy. This was driven largely by my client’s individual bias or paradigms. However, what this lead to, were sub optimal outcomes. Because there are four broad areas that need to be addressed when implementing the practicalities of an effective or high performing digital marketing strategy.
These four areas are…
Front-End Activities – these include things like creating content for social media or web sites
Back-End Activities – these include setting up opt in pages and email sequences
Non-Technical Activities – these include things like posting content on social media or web sites
Technical Activities – these include search engine optimisation, automation, and risk management
Think of this as a 2x2 matrix or quadrant, where activities could be either: Quadrant I – Front-End & Non-Technical, Quadrant II – Front-End & Technical, Quadrant III – Back-End & Non-Technical and last, Quadrant IV Back-End & Technical
Based on our own research with our clients, most understand quadrant I well, with progressively deteriorating results for the other three quadrants.
The 6 Digital Marketing Levers
Throughout my professional background I have had a strong interest in the concept of “capability maturity”. Whether this be in the practice of Project Management, Business Analysis, Outsourcing, Change Management, or even Innovation, the fundamental concept is understanding how good you are and then implementing specific actions to improve even further. However, to do this, you must break down the “whole” into manageable “parts”. Also, you need to have insights into what is best practice – we call these benchmarks.
Coming from this perspective, I expanded the four quadrants and created something called The 6 Levers Of High Performing Digital Marketing™. This is a capability maturity model or framework, that helps our clients rapidly improve their own digital marketing performance in a short period of time.
Also, these 6 levers support both the Non-Technical and Technical Activities of your digital marketing strategy – the first three being largely Non-Technical, and the last three Technical Activities…
Style – this is about projecting your brand and positioning
Substance – this is to show your value and uniqueness
Shareability – this is ensuring it is easy to share your content, may be make it go viral and have others promote you
Structure – this is to ensure the most relevant content is easily accessible and responsive when it is requested
SEO – this is to ensure the basics of SEO are always in place and you are continually raising the bar to more advanced SEO techniques
Safety – this is to protect your intellectual property but also against potential vulnerabilities whether this be legal, technical, or even criminal
The 6 Digital Marketing Focus Areas
You can immediately apply these 6 levers to your existing digital marketing strategy for your business. Just allocate ten points to each lever (a total of 60 points available) and then ask yourself on a score of 1 to 10, how well do you think you are performing for each lever.
What was your score?
Now of course you do not have any benchmark data to compare with, so what you think is really good, may be some bodies else’s really bad. That said, this exercise will still give you a good indication how you may be performing and where there are opportunities for improvement.
We use a slightly more complex framework that distinguishes the Front-End Activities from the Back-End Activities with six focus areas…
Social – this includes your social media channels
Sites – this includes your websites
Sales – this includes your opt in pages and sales offers
Sequences – this includes all your automated email sequences
Search – this includes your search engine ranking
Sway – this is your overall influence
By combining the six focus areas with the six levers, we can expand our original 2x2 matrix or quadrant to identify 36 specific activities! This level of detail, combined with our benchmarking, helps our clients easily implement a high performing digital marketing strategy by identifying what they are doing really well, and not so well or not at all.
Your Action Plan To Achieve High Performance
Now none of this should be difficult for you to get your head around, or to implement into your own business, now that we have a “system” to address it. Because that was our goal when we created The 6 Levers Of High Performing Digital Marketing™. A systemised approach to break down complexity into simple parts, which we then improve, resulting in high performance outcomes.
To take this further and improve your current Digital Marketing Strategy Performance, there are a couple of things you can do.
Firstly – do your own self-assessment, as suggested, across the six levers, to give yourself a starting point
Second – download our self-assessment tool, that includes all 36 activities for you to assess
Third – attend our monthly Digital Marketing Reviews where we do a case study assessment in real time, via a LIVE video teleconference where you can ask questions
Fourth – request a meeting with us where we can discuss your specific needs and how we may be able to help you
Finally, remember this to help you in your journey that excellence and high performance in digital marketing is not the result of chance and good luck. It comes from strategy, disciplined execution, and an unstoppable desire to be great.
Get Your FREE Self Assessment Tool & Workbook
Assess Your Own Digital Marketing Strategy With The 6 Levers Self Assessment Tool
An Australian company is helping local Tanzanian and Kenyan based Fair Trade Entrepreneurs & Startup Business, transform communities out of poverty
(SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, January 5, 2018) The Fair Trade Group, has expanded into Africa to help local Entrepreneurs and Startup Business.
“We are excited to be expanding our business into Africa. Because in Africa, more people are discovering that starting a business, offers them a way out of poverty. Furthermore, this is about introducing opportunities for wealth creation.” said Dr Ross McKenzie, Founder Of The Fair Trade Group and The Startup Business.
In Kenya, over 58% and in Tanzania, over 76% of the population, are living on just USD 3.10 a day. So when the majority of the population does not have access to employment, jobs, or skills to build enterprises, they are being held back. However fortunately, many of the NGO’s are recognizing this and are now establishing social enterprises to close some of these gaps.
The Fair Trade Store
“We are using The Fair Trade Store’s global platform” said Iain Mbubu, of Kilimanjaro Crafts. “By integrating New Economy strategies with real world problems, the outcomes have been significant. As a result, there are more water supply infrastructure projects, schools and hospitals being built. Most noteworthy, these same local communities never had these resources before.”
Especially relevant in supporting The Fair Trade Group on this journey, has been The Startup Business. Because The Startup Business is a premier provider of Business & Technology Education, Entrepreneur Mentoring & Coaching, Startup Business Advisory, and Done-For-You Outsourcing Services for the New Economy.
About The Startup Business
The Startup Business provides business services to Professionals, Entrepreneurs, Startups, Founders, Small To Medium Sized Business and Enterprises. This is to help them set up, scale & sustain their businesses in this age of The New Economy.
Founded by Dr Ross McKenzie, a Leading Expert Authority On New Economy Business, The Startup Business’s head office is located in Sydney Australia, with outsourcing client service delivery operations in Trivandrum and Bangalore India through its partner organisation Phykon.
Yes that’s right goal setting … it sucks – well at least to me that is!
Like how many business workshops have you participated in, where you set those great goals, probably had some good food to eat, maybe held an “offsite” (though I did enjoy the Tongariro Fishing Lodge in New Zealand’s North Island once) and then several months later, there was a catastrophic event, or your boss moved on, or simply there were just other priorities like your day job, and everything else went out the window?
Are yes, you are now starting to remember those transformation road map workshops aren’t you! Floor to ceiling white boards, breakout rooms, artists, bean bags… maybe you even had to play act or paint a picture of your future business vision?
Like what is that?
Years ago, I remember being introduced to “BHAG’s” which stood for Big Hairy Audacious Goals!
What about stretch goals? These are the goals that you should aim for, but its OK if you miss them because you have your other goals in place and will not impact your bonus.
Come on now, do we really make this stuff up?
OK… sounds like I am a little skeptical – I know, but ask yourself this, how often did you hit your goals?
What about on a personal front?
New Year resolutions anybody?
Look, if you are like me, you are probably being bombarded right now by emails and Facebook posts, on setting up 2018 the “right way” (what ever that means) and if you do not download this planner, or attend this goal workshop you might as well not start 2018. Just skip it because nothing will happen for you – you have already failed!
Well at least for me, after years of creating life goals and plans but not actually achieving anything, I realised I had to start thinking differently about all this and importantly find a way where I actually did get real results – a completely and perhaps counter intuitive way, but one that worked for me.
Let me explain…
You see I think the focus has to be around what I call “disciplined execution“, if your business or personal goals are to be achieved. This is about ensuring your actions are always aligned in supporting your goals and they become non negotiable.
But the powerful element in all this, at least for me, was accountability
Keeping your intentions to yourself will not work, because it is too easy to walk away.
I realised when I looked back at everything I had achieved, it was when I made a public statement or commitment about my intentions – because for me, it was much about the feeling of potential guilt, shame, saving face, call it what you want, that lay ahead if I did not act, that motivated me more, than the possible joy of seeing myself reach that particular milestone.
Crazy stuff I know, but the more I listened to people like Tony Robbins, or conversations with others about the importance of “accountability”, the more I could see how true this was!
The Four Steps
In essence, accountability will drive you forward, so make sure you follow these four steps to getting things done in your business (or personal life) …
Know what you are seeking to achieve (outcome)
Understand what you are committing to do in order to achieve it (action)
Share how you are progressing (accountability)
Finally celebrate and learn what happened (result)
Think of accountability also as a coach. As you progress on your journey, you have the accountability “check ins” to ensure you stay on the path.
I also use these “accountability boards” (this image is of my 2018 accountability board – already in place) where specific scheduled action is visible for all to see – in other words, I hold myself accountable to these actions and I invite you to check in on me!
Finally, there is a fifth aspect to all of this, of which has also taken time for me to figure out. This is the distinction between what is “achievement” versus “fulfillment” in which it speaks to more about why you do what you do…
The first part of my career, it was all about achievement, but now it is fulfillment that drives me in why I do what I do!
Perhaps you might like to also set up your own accountability board to drive momentum and have a great 2018, but importantly do great things and make a difference!
A London based part time experienced Yoga Practitioner, was seeking to scale her business by providing additional offerings to her clients, while become better positioned in the market to reflect her overall value proposition.
The Business Challenge…
To reach target clients in a very competitive market place and scale her business in a sustainable way, so that it would be the main source of revenue and allow her to run the business full time.
Working one-to-one with Dr Ross McKenzie, via weekly and monthly video teleconferences, a 12 month plan was established. This plan included the “big picture” goals, and also her target or “ideal clients”. We then set out defining a series of product offerings that ranged from free trial group classes, regular group classes, private sessions, weekend retreats, international retreats and additional mind – body teaching to compliment the existing Yoga Practice.
In addition, online marketing including Facebook social media management, acquiring new domain names for marketing campaigns, creation of optin pages (Clickfunnels), online booking systems (Acuity Scheduler) and email automation (Mailchimp) was all set up.
Apart from having somebody to “check in” with for accountability purposes, our client was able to receive suitable advice and instruction to create momentum in her business to get her closer towards her goals.
The coaching approach of Dr Ross McKenzie is to explain first, then demonstrate and finally encourage the client to do it themselves, resulting in a higher degree of understanding and likelihood of success ongoing.
For this specific client, this gave her the necessary confidence that she is more than capable of building a global Yoga Practice!