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Physics and Procurement

Author: Mark West

OK, I understand that I am mixing two wildly different topics and you might be asking yourself what could physics have to do with procurement.  Bear with me for a moment though.  As I think about procurement, as it has developed over the past 3000 years (according to many), it is a lot like nuclear energy.

Don’t you use the “F” word with me!

 Author: Mark West 

It used to be that when you got something FREE, you found it a big deal. It was a reward. You were amazed at first and then proud of yourself for finding an elusive deal. But today, we as marketers have caught on to this.  Everywhere you go, you are getting something for “free”.  Sometimes it is really something good and truly “free”, but many times it is a “free” trial…this started with give us your credit card details, but you can cancel within the first 30 days, to now, just try it for “free” and we’ll simply lock you out if you don’t pay.  The result is that FREE has become the new four letter “F” word.  

There's no 'ROI' in 'CSR'

Author: Mark Kusionowicz

A recent issue of Catalyst, the journal of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, included an article entitled “Get What you Give”. The article proposed that philanthropy in Corporate Social Responsibility should be scrapped in favour of ‘Brand Citizenship’ - which would mean only supporting causes that could be directly and obviously linked to the business, and this connection needs to be “walk-by understandable” by the consumer.

Can you really do good, for FREE?

Author: Mark West

Organizations worldwide strive to become successful.  As a measure of their success, they strive to do good. This can be through internal programs providing non-cash resources (such as manpower for projects like Habitat for Humanity), or by actual investment in good causes through cash donations.  But in all of this, it is part of a concerted effort by the organization to spend part of its value, above and beyond what it spends on its business in general.

2D Diversity = Innovation

Author: Marizanne Knoesen

Ernst & Young report that diverse viewpoints lead to the necessary debates that can bring new ideas to life. The best-case scenario is that this will help to generate new products and services. But what is diversity and can it really lead to tangible results?

Why pay for suppliers' wasted selling costs?

Author: Martin Kelly, CEO and Founder, INNOVO Network

How much money do your suppliers spend trying to sell to new customers?

Why should you pay for your supplier to acquire new customers?Your suppliers have already won you as a customer yet you are paying for their ongoing costs in trying to acquire new customers. These selling costs are included in their price to you. Ask them how much of their price to you is to cover their new customer acquisition costs.

They might respond that they need new customers as a business in order to survive. However, a very high proportion of their selling costs are wasted because sales and marketing activities have such low response rates. The many areas of wasted selling costs can be seen in the diagram:

The Power of ONE

Author: Mark West

Today we are preconditioned to the idea that only in the masses is there any power.  We find ourselves bulk buying at supermarkets.  We use services that many have highly rated, over services with little or no ratings.  We aim for lots of followers on social media.  Even Mr. Spock from Star Trek encouraged this behavior with his famous saying “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.”  These are all ways that we start thinking more is better.  While in most cases this may be the truth and valid thinking, I think it is important that there are other times that ONE person can make all the difference.

Should we only innovate for good causes?


Author: Marizanne Knoesen

I don’t tweet often. Something really has to make an impression on me or hit a nerve, before I will retweet it. Last week though, I had such a moment. 

While I think this whole list has some nifty arguments, the first one really resonates with me. Innovation has become such a widespread term, a buzzword, terminology of the in-crowd. This is all well and good, but what many people and organizations forget, is that innovation just for the sake of innovation won’t bring you anywhere in the long term. 

Why is selling to organisations so inefficient?

Author: Martin Kelly, CEO and Founder, INNOVO Network

A visitor from outer space might marvel at many of the innovations and technologies that mankind has developed. In almost every field of human endeavour we achieve so much more than our ancestors. We can send a probe to Pluto, we are curing many diseases. We make amazing high tech products which are 99.99% reliable.

However, when it comes to how organisations buy and sell from one another our space visitor would be struck by how terribly inefficient it is compared to everything else.

Is B2B Sales & Marketing a waste of money?

Author: Mark Kusionowicz

Let me be quite transparent here - I hope that I am not about to describe my own whole working life as a waste of money! However, I think that there are areas of concern with all sales and marketing activity in terms of productivity or the 'bangs you get for your bucks'. I am particularly talking about the process of reaching out and connecting with unknown prospects and building relationships where none have existed up to now so that those contacts can be converted into sales. Even in the most effective companies, the success rates of 'leads' or 'contacts' are not great - perhaps we need a different way of approaching the problem?

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