Complacency is the one of the leading causes for failed businesses. Stay hungry, push into new territories and uncover new revenue streams.
A few years ago, if an article came out about uncovering new revenue streams, you would read about raising prices, bundling your products, and adding complimentary products. Now, with the digital world and physical worlds converging, multi-device use (even by my 3-year-old), and the technologies to sync all these together, product and customer discovery is at a whole new level.
As frustrating as ‘big data’ can be, it’s helped us to uncover a whole slew of new revenue streams causing pure joy if you’re in marketing today.
Expand to New Mediums
The Internet of Things, BYOD, and upward trends towards mobile devices are clearly communicating that the post-PC era is long gone. With the omni-channel era in full force and multiple identities taking hold, it’s harder and harder for companies to track users across devices and be everywhere to everyone.
But let’s flip this to the positive side, it’s not impossible and it’s not just for retailers although arguably retailers are benefitting the most. Gap Inc just reported a revenue increase even though their traffic fell a sizable 8.3% year over year due to their progress with both online and physical stores. It wasn’t just providing “free shipping” to their ecommerce customers (with a minimum of course). They installed WiFi in over 1,000 stores allowing shoppers to access the retailer’s mobile apps and websites while they were in store. Pure genius. I know when I’m in a store with my 1-year-old and 3-year-old, if the line is more than 2 people deep, I’m out of there. Now, for me and people like me, I can just scan it and order it online while I am in the store.
For others, app platforms are not going away and there are a number of new app platforms to help you build an app for your business or product. Mashable’s list includes some of the best: Appery.io, TheAppBuilder, and Appy Pie.
Related Article: Spread Out Your Eggs: Should Your SMB Diversify?
Manage, No, Engross in Your Data
The volume of data that is captured by most companies today is enormous, hence the ‘big data’ conundrum. Agencies are massively hiring analysts just to comb through this data for their clients, and data analysts inside brands have never been in more demand.
Streamlining your data all in one place and giving your employees accessibility is what will give you the competitive edge. Not only does this give you further insight into who your customers are, what they want, what they read, how they behave, when they make a purchase, who they share their purchase with, etc., it allows every single person in your organization to be on the same page and report the exact same numbers, creating trust and a passion in the numbers, the company and the customers.
By empowering managers to analyze large volumes of point of sale (POS) and other data, Helzberg Diamonds can better anticipate market trends and boost revenue. Users at 230 stores can examine product sales and campaign performance, as well as track store-specific information, such as individual associate performance, credit sales, and extended care plan performance. Insight derived from the BI environment helps the company up-sell and provides additional value to customers and partners, while also increasing the average sale. [Information Builders’ white paper on New Opportunities for Business Intelligence]
Share Your Data
A recent study sponsored by CA Technologies indicates that companies who are opening up their data as APIs can accelerate mobile and web application delivery, improve customer engagements and open new revenue streams. Gartner is predicting a 30-fold increase in device proliferation, excluding PCs, tablets and smartphones.
That’s 26 billion units installed in 2020 up from 0.9 billion in 2009 resulting in $1.9 trillion, yes trillion, global economic value-add though sales into diverse end markets. API-assembled apps will lead and your data will be out there so why not open it up anyway for revenue. And, just to prove that it works:
- 50% of SalesForce.com’s revenues are generated via APIs
- Twitter processes 15 billion API transactions a day
- Amazon is close to a trillion API transactions per day
Applying predictive analytics helps to identify new groups of potential customers and future buying and behavioral patterns with these groups. On the other hand, if you can predict who will respond to your email campaigns, you can remove names from your mailing lists improving response rate, increasing deliverability and lowering costs to send. It takes efficiency to a whole new level.
Taking it a step further, predicting future buys and then getting alerted when that buy is about to happen, is information companies can use to formulate their marketing campaigns and streamline call centers. When Cisco implemented this technology via 6sense, they were able to improve predictions by 80% where they thought accounts were about to have a booking event, resulting in 5x more click-throughs.
Related Article: All the Cool Brands Are Doing It: Customer Experience Training
Companies love to track all activity from their customers and would love to track every activity you do on competitors. The primary reason for doing this is personalization, a huge topic amongst many brands as of late.
If you’ve recently bought help desk software, signed an agreement with a CRM platform and increased your phone line capacity, chances are you’re streamlining and automating platforms to be more efficient in customer service. If you can then be delivered suggested recommendations on phone system accessories, for example, to that customer, it’s a game changer. Now the question here is, is it intrusive?
Expand Into New Markets
Developing a formula for expanding to new markets and enhancing product capabilities is another obvious sure-fire way of new revenue; however, the verdict is in. Only 25% of the time is the average company successful in launching new initiatives and markets. The reason being is that it can be a completely messy process.
If you can develop a formula and have the discipline to apply the formula for expansion over and over again, that repetition will allow a competitive advantage. DataArt, a technology consulting firm, recently reported a 36% increase year over year of revenue due to multiple initiatives, one in which includes expanded operations into new territories. Proctor & Gamble revived itself when it created Crest Whitestrips adding $200 million of new sales in one year. Nike sored into basketball, tennis, baseball, golf, etc.
At a certain point, it’s inevitable and you have to push into new territories, add complimentary products and expand into new markets.