Tuesday, January 09, 2007

BB Numbers

"Nielsen//NetRatings in August reported that 91 percent of U.S. businesses have broadband connections, while 75 percent of consumer Internet users already have broadband at their homes. All of which ought to suggest important business strategy shifts for channel partners and service providers. .... Most immediately, the new data suggests the battle to supply broadband access increasingly is devolving into a zero-sum game where getting a customer means taking that customer away from another provider. And that means different marketing and sales strategies."

"Separate studies of the SME market segment by Yankee Group suggest that more than 35 percent of SMEs do not yet have Web sites, for example, while 39 percent conduct electronic commerce activities directly from their sites. The percentage conducting e-commerce is up about 5 percent during the last two years, say Yankee Group researchers."

This stat is highlighted because more and more the Big Boys are using online web services to sell to consumers and SMB. It is an expensive and arduous task to sell directly to the small business segment (as many of you know). The Big Boys use millions in advertising coupled with a million dollar website and feet on the street in order to sell to the stratified small business segment.

How do you compete with that?

A sound marketing plan that takes into account who your valued prospects are and where they may be found. This is not a shotgun approach, so much as a surgical strike at the vertical market you target. For higher ARPU clients, you have to network where they network and send your unique value message to them time and again until you hit the hot button. (Most sales take 7 touches - and most salespeople quit after 3).

In a zero sum game like voice, TV and broadband, your customer acquisition costs will rise, so you need a retention strategy as well. Stickiness and awesome customer care are required. Working with strategic partners who bring valuable services through you to your client base can enable you to (1) service your customer better; (2) offer higher end services without adding talent or human resources; (3) allow you to cross-market to your partners' clients; (4) increase stickiness as well as revenue per client. (Stickiness goes up as the number of services tied to you increases - an old banking rule).

Email, domains, internet access, WLAN, desktop support, website design/maintenance/hosting, VoIP, training, security, and data storage are all a piece of the pie that you can combine to offer a bundle that the Big Boys cannot currently provide. Offer to be the Computer Concierge, the Data Curator, the Go-To-Guy. If you could offer a maintenance contract to cover all IT and telecom services with one phone call, you could capture some high revenue clients. RAD-INFO can help you design the plan to get to this point... call today 813-963-5884.

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