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Written by ZOOZ consulting and training | (972)-9-9585085 | info@zooz.co.il | www.zooz.co.il

| Issue 68 |

 

Hello!

We are pleased to send you the new issue of LaZOOZ.
This monthly newsletter is sent as a free service to thousands of senior executives.
It features different sections each time, and does not include advertisements.

 

We have tried to keep it brief, knowing that your time is precious and your work is plentiful. Those who wish to learn more can find links to articles and sources of relevant information. We hope that you will find the newsletter useful. We would be happy to receive any comments and suggestions.

Pleasant reading!
Ari Manor, CEO, ZOOZ
 

Innovation

Methods and tools for managing innovation processes

Reaping Rapid Successes

Let us assume that you have conducted a systematic innovation process at your organization. First, you learned several thinking tools and used them to develop an idea bank with dozens of ideas for interesting innovations for your line of products or services. You then formulated screening criteria (applicability, profitability, etc.), and used them to rank the different ideas that you came up with. And now you are ready and willing to promote the top ideas.

 

So far, everything sounds great. However, if the innovation process is new at your organization, be sure that cynical managers and employees are scrutinizing your every move, waiting for you to fail. Firstly, because there are cynics everywhere. Secondly, because a new process constitutes a change and change is something that undermines the status quo and arouses resistance. And thirdly, innovation requires effort, and not everyone likes to exert themselves.

 

So what do you do? Instead of promoting the top ideas, especially if they are difficult to implement – you are better off promoting two-three ideas that you can execute quickly and easily (even if they are a little less exciting or significant). After you reap several small and rapid successes with these ideas, the message will sink in clearly throughout the organization: innovation works, and it’s here to stay. The cynics will keep a low profile, and the politicians will realize where the future lies and embrace innovation.

 

Then, only after you have a few small successes under your belt, you should promote your truly big ideas.

 

Nevertheless, if you are eager to get working on the big ideas right away – it’s important that you promote them in a “safe zone”, removed from the rest of the organization, as we described in a previous column.

 

Good luck transforming your organization into an innovative one, one step at a time!

 

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  • For articles on Systematic Innovation: click here.

  • Information about Systematic Innovation workshops can be found here .

 

Techno-Marketing

A guest column: Neta Weinrib – On B2B marketing of technological products

Please distribute via unconventional channels

One of the critical things for a startup is the right choice of distribution and sales channels. Naturally, a limited budget means limited sales power. Therefore, it is important to choose the appropriate channels wisely. Appropriate channels are those that will significantly increase your sales capabilities and your market presence.

 

In the previous column, I wrote about an important criterion in choosing a channel – the magnitude and nature of the product’s customization component. In this column, I would like to describe a different and unconventional approach to selecting channels.

 

Contrary to convention, which prefers sales channels that sell similar or supplementary products, the criteria that I am proposing here are somewhat different. I believe that thinking outside the box is important, especially for a startup company, which cannot compete with veteran companies because of the limited sales volumes that it brings to the distributor. Moreover, a new product also requires more attention and effort, especially when it is an innovative and product that creates a new market.

 

Therefore, in my opinion, when we want to choose a channel, we must answer the following questions:
1.What are we expecting the channel to contribute to the sales process?

2.What does the channel need to know to do?

3. What connections does the channel need to have?

4. What are additional ways in which the channel may benefit from selling our product?

I think we need to choose a channel according to these criteria. Other considerations have a significantly lower importance.

 

Let me give an example:
I was looking for a distributer in Australia for a very young startup at the time. In order to characterize the profile of the best distributer, I answered the four aforementioned questions as follows:

1.     The channel’s contribution to the sales process: Since it is an innovative and market-creating product, the sales process will be led by us. The local representative’s contribution will be in promoting the sales process inside the company from an administrative rather than professional aspect. Also, since the sales process for a product such as ours includes a trial stage at the operator, the representative must be able to provide the required computer for the trial stage. Even though it seems like a marginal detail, because as a startup we could not provide every operator that wanted a trial with a computer, allotting such a computer by the operator usually entails a long bureaucratic process, which we wanted to avoid. 

2.     What the channel needs to know: We need a representative that will know how to install a SUN computer on the customer’s network, and that will understand a little about a certain type of switch and computer networks.

3.     Connections that the channel must have: We want the representative to have good connections will the cellular operators.

4.     Additional ways for the channel to benefit from the sale: A representative that sells products that are required for the complete installation of our product, will not only benefit from the sale of our software but also from the sale of accessory products – the computers on which the software runs and the correct switch.
 

After answering these questions, I knew what I was looking for. I then started searching for suitable candidates, and I met with four entities in Australia that were interested in becoming our representatives there. Two of them sought me out as a result of a notification that the economic attaché sent out. The other two met with me after I contacted them.

 

The two companies that sought me out specialized in selling software and hardware solutions. One of the companies focused on our market, the cellular market, and in solutions akin to ours. The second company sold media-integrated hardware solutions. They were both disqualified, because I didn’t think they matched what I was looking for.

 

The two companies that I contacted, I found online. I found the two main SUN distributors in Australia, and I met with them both. The first distributor was very large and bureaucratic. I disqualified it as well. The second distributor didn’t exactly understand what I wanted from him, since he sold computers and switches (to all the cellular operators in Australia), but regardless, we scheduled a meeting. I demonstrated the product, explained what the sales process would be, and what would be required of them during the initial stage (not much). I don’t actually think they believed anything would come of it, but we signed a representation agreement. From my perspective, I liked the atmosphere of the place and the dynamics of the meeting. As the meeting progressed, more people were invited to participate. The discussion was open and frank. I felt that I had found a stable and established company that was also hungry and dynamic.

 

Several months later, when we reached the trial stage with an important cellular operator, the distributor’s value became evident. Within days, the system was installed on the customer’s network. The distributor provided the required hardware, and because of his prior acquaintance with the customer, he easily acquired access to his network. His acquaintance with the customer enabled him to promote the sales process within the organization. Even though the distributor did not have the professional capability to promote the product with the professionals in the organization (CTO and Marketing Dept.), his contribution to the sales process was significant.

 

We signed the deal with the operator during our Sales Manager’s next visit to Australia.

 

And the Australian distributor? After working with us, he discovered the value and profitability in software sales. More Israeli startups came to him. Since then, several years have passed, and he is a large and versatile IT company. Exactly the type that would have a hard time representing a small startup with an innovative product…

 

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  • The column was written by: Neta Weinrib, an expert on marketing technological products. Information about Neta appears here.
    Note: This is Neta’s last column for LaZOOZ. We hope you have enjoyed her guest column, and we wish to thank her for it. Neta is currently promoting her own enterprise, and we wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors!

  • More information about marketing assistance for technological products appears here.


Exposure

A creative advertisement and its logic behind it

Nose hairs?

 
 

We wrote about clever use of elements in the advertisement’s natural environment to reinforce the advertising message in a previous column.

 

This time, we have brought an example for a street sign campaign that advertises a Panasonic nose hair trimmer.

 

Electricity wires (in this particular ad), telephone wires and wire fences were incorporated in street ads that were spread around the city, to create a very prominent campaign. It is very important to advertise prominently, particularly with grooming products that improve esthetic flaws (nose hairs), which are awkward to discuss. The prominent advertising generates awareness and turns it into the topic of the day.

 

Even though the ad emphasizes the trimmer’s “safe trimming system”, it’s dubious whether the actual campaign is safe, and it was probably not approved in many countries. However, no one can argue the brilliance of the idea.

 

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  • We would be happy to receive more interesting advertisements Please send them to ari@zooz.co.il.

  • Information about Creative Advertising workshops appears here (Page 18 of a Hebrew PDF booklet).


Published by ZOOZ | +972-9-9585085 | info@zooz.co.il | www.zooz.co.il

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