Entrepreneurship is an Attitude

By Matthew Kwan

Principal Consultant of Adams (www.adamshk.com)

Copyright © 2010.

awardYou do not need to start up your own company to gain entrepreneurship, and in fact, you need to be an entrepreneur to be successful in business.  Entrepreneurship is an attitude, a mindset, a way of thinking and something you need to internalize.  So, are you an entrepreneur?  Here are some questions you may ask yourself?

 

1.          Do you enjoy in solving problems and seeing the (desirable/undesirable) results at the end?

2.          Do you enjoy hearing new ideas?

3.          Do you enjoy building new business processes?

4.          Do you enjoy learning how other organizations work?

5.          Do you enjoy thinking win-win proposals?

6.          Do you enjoy working with other (internal & external) parties (departments/companies)?

7.          Do you think negotiation is a way to achieve win-win?

8.          Do you think calculated risk is bearable?

9.          Do you think performance improvement is mandatory?

10.      Do you think alternative route is an answer to a dead end?

 

If you get mostly “YES” to the above questions, then the chance is that you are already possessing qualities of entrepreneurship.  There are a number of qualities you would look for if you are determined to pursuit entrepreneurship:

 

1.      Problem Solving Capability – It is a process which you need to go through before you can see desirable results.  You need to be discipline enough to follow the right procedure of thinking if you want to solve problems.  The way to solve big problem is to break your problem into little problems.  Your job is just to solve the little problems one by one and you will solve the big problem at the end!  Problems may evolve but you can always apply the same treatment.

 

2.      Explorative– We are too easy to get used to the best practices and formal procedures.  New ideas always sound strange at first but if we are open minded enough to compare thoughts, there are always insights from new ideas that we can adopt to make better ideas!

 

3.      Organization– Operational excellence is built on effective business processes.  However, clear definition of business processes takes thoughtful planning and flawless execution.  The only success factor to this is continuous review and refinement.

 

4.      Continuous Learning – You can always learn from the successful and disastrous organizations stories to shorten your path of success and help yourself in falling into the same traps.  It is both motivational and gauging to your own business endeavor.

 

5.      Think Win-Win – Business world is a network of ecosystem, there is no absolute winner in this world.  The way to be successful in your ecosystem is to collaborate.  One very wonderful word is Co-opetition! (Cooperation + Competition)

 

6.      Teamwork– Working in team(s) is an art!  Not only you need to be fully aware the politics behind of each internal or external team members, you also need to appreciate the strength and weakness of each player before you can built a successful team.  Teamwork is always built on trust but trust will never build in short time!

 

7.      Objective Driven – How well and clear do you know your objectives?  Without knowing your priorities, you will never know how to trade off.  Return-On-Investment is just a matter of trade off!

 

8.      Risk Taking – In order to advance, you need to take risk.  Taking calculated risks is a very mature business act.  Without taking risks, organizations will never advance to new heights.

 

9.      Pursue of Excellence – Complacency is a poison to any growing organization.  Measuring performance and finding ways to improve should always be a responsibility of a professional.

 

10.  Never Give Up! – You will hit dead ends for sure on your road of success.  Though it may look like running in a maze, by systematical back tracking and learning by mistakes, dawn will always come!

 

 

 

 

About the Author

Matthew Kwan is Principal Consultant of Adams Company Limited (www.adamshk.com) responsible for business consulting and enterprise training.  He is an entrepreneur, author, speaker, lecturer, consultant working with enterprises and organizations in both commercial and Christian communities.  He served many years in multi-national companies including Intel, JP Morgan, Jardines with broad experience of Sales & Marketing and Management in multicultural and international settings.

「網民8秒找不到資料,即走!」

2010-06-02 香港經濟日報

以下內容擇碌自ETNet 經濟通 , 參 閱全文

營銷顧問公司 Adams  (www.adamshk.com) 首席顧問關廣智 坦言,不少網站的設計過於繁複,消費者在找到產品資料前,可能被迫觀看長達數十秒的宣傳片,嚇怕客戶。網民耐性有限,關坦言︰「網民8秒找不到資料,即 走!」他建議網站設計以user friendly為主導。

關廣智以護膚品牌 Olay為例,消費者登入內地網站後,可先看到不同性別及年齡層的明星,如周迅及黃曉明,點擊後輕易找到符合自己的產品系列。

他又建議, 港商可在公司網站設立不同社交網平台的連結,並成立會員制,提高顧客對品牌的忠誠度。2010-06-02 香港經濟日報

以下內容擇碌自ETNet 經濟通 , 參 閱全文

營銷顧問公司 Adams  (www.adamshk.com) 首席顧問關廣智 坦言,不少網站的設計過於繁複,消費者在找到產品資料前,可能被迫觀看長達數十秒的宣傳片,嚇怕客戶。網民耐性有限,關坦言︰「網民8秒找不到資料,即 走!」他建議網站設計以user friendly為主導。

關廣智以護膚品牌 Olay為例,消費者登入內地網站後,可先看到不同性別及年齡層的明星,如周迅及黃曉明,點擊後輕易找到符合自己的產品系列。

他又建議, 港商可在公司網站設立不同社交網平台的連結,並成立會員制,提高顧客對品牌的忠誠度。

大品牌Canon 的 e-Marketing 策略 – 網頁設計篇

 

 

日本品牌Canon近月為了宣傳新產品Canon PIXMA Smart Office,請了葛民輝及中美混血兒Jessica C.擔任代言人,不但有TVC(電視廣告)、地鐵Display Ad等,更把廣告宣傳至網絡,令市場爆光率激增。網絡宣傳顧問Adams逐一分析他們的網上宣傳策略及技巧。

策略一:設計互動網站利用趣味性吸引人流

產品的網頁(http://www.canon.com.hk/smart)smart home為題,把網頁設計成一個家,生動又巧妙地加入了宣傳產品的資料和其特性,把資訊軟滲透於潛在顧客中,相比只有文字的網頁來得有效。網頁更加入了遊戲元素,例如上傳自己戔鬼相片,參加比賽,更有機會獲得獎品,激發瀏覽者的興趣和互動性。

 

策略二:有獎遊戲吸納更多潛在顧客

遊戲中加入facebook 連結,把自制有趣的圖片與身邊的朋友分享,成為話題之一,務求更多人可以留意到Canon的遊戲,令爆光率十倍甚至百倍增加。

策略三:網路廣告無處不再

為了吸引人進入網站,Canon 在最多香港人看的網站yahoo使用搜索引擎,利用以上點擊收費的廣告,比傳統廣告更容易量度廣告成效及控制成本。Canon 更於瀏覽量極高的網站(Apple daily online,. MSN, Uwantsfacebook)刊登banner ad,令產品在目標顧客的網路上無處不再。

品牌策略建議

一個成功的網站,最終的目的是可以做到增加銷售、建立品牌、吸納潛在顧客的資料(電郵地址)Canon 這個網站在建立品牌方面都能吸引較的年輕一代,這方面都是成功的。

吸納更多潛在顧客

網站上有收取電子報的功能,是有效收取顧客資料的做法,可惜功能未見明顯,建議可以用明顯的字體顏色突出功能。另外,轉寄給朋友透過轉寄,可以取得其他潛在顧客的電郵,吸納大量潛在顧客,建議多利用此功能,在不同的子頁中加插功能,方便顧客可以容易把網站宣揚開去。

喚起顧客行動增加銷售

Canon 網站在網上、網下的宣傳活動已製造了一定的awareness(知名度),但網站的設計都以遊戲和產品的資訊為主,欠缺了Call to Action(喚起行動) 的元素,網站未能喚起顧客即時購買的行動,建議可以利用下載優惠劵以優惠價吸引欲購買產品的顧客。

要成功在網絡上突圍而出,可以參考多些各大、小品牌的宣傳策略,Adams 日後會與你們分享最新的市場策略。如有任何查詢,可致電:2723 9977

Your Ultimate Measurement for your e-Campaigns

success

By Matthew Kwan © Copyright.  All rights reserved.  Principal Consultant, Adams Company Limited  (www.adamshk.com)

So what is the ultimate measurement for your e-Marketing campaigns?  The most important thing to remember is that we live in a business world and the most basic measurement unit is always down to dollar amount.  However, it is very difficult to always just measure by money for your success.  My proposal is to objectively measure the “Cost Per Action”, CPA.  By actions, we mean:

  • 1. no. of sales deals
  • 2. no. of subscriptions
  • 3. no. of enquiries (by phone, email, online form…etc)
  • 4. no. of forward to friends
  • 5. no of sharings to social networks
  • 6.  …etc

If by channel/media cost per action (CPA) can be broken down, that is perfect but the real world is not that simple as your results may come from different online sources or even from your traditional marketing media.    Marketing professionals have to be realistic and measure the overall spending versus the actions happened during the campaign period. This exercise is extremely important for your planning of the next e-Campaign.  It should serve as the basis for your channel/media selection.success

By Matthew Kwan © Copyright.  All rights reserved.  Principal Consultant, Adams Company Limited  (www.adamshk.com)

So what is the ultimate measurement for your e-Marketing campaigns?  The most important thing to remember is that we live in a business world and the most basic measurement unit is always down to dollar amount.  However, it is very difficult to always just measure by money for your success.  My proposal is to objectively measure the “Cost Per Action”, CPA.  By actions, we mean:

  • 1. no. of sales deals
  • 2. no. of subscriptions
  • 3. no. of enquiries (by phone, email, online form…etc)
  • 4. no. of forward to friends
  • 5. no of sharings to social networks
  • 6.  …etc

If by channel/media cost per action (CPA) can be broken down, that is perfect but the real world is not that simple as your results may come from different online sources or even from your traditional marketing media.    Marketing professionals have to be realistic and measure the overall spending versus the actions happened during the campaign period. This exercise is extremely important for your planning of the next e-Campaign.  It should serve as the basis for your channel/media selection.

Get your Facebook “Username” to get maximum exposure

facebookBy Matthew Kwan © Copyright.  All rights reserved.  Principal Consultant, Adams Company Limited  (www.adamshk.com)

In the past, Facebook did not automatically give out a short cut link to your account or page. However, now you can create your own shortcut called “username” to allow people to type in a unique link for your account or page. It is an excellent way to give you especially your company a better branding in general.

e.g. www.facebook.com/adamshk

The way to apply the username is very simple. Once you have a published/online page or account, you can just type www.facebook.com/username to register.

However, it may take a day or two before the chosen username is approved to use and you are not supposed to change the name in future. Hence, you must get the name right the first time though I think you may have once chance to change!

By having the username defined, it is an excellent way to invite other people to visit you/your page with ease!facebookBy Matthew Kwan © Copyright.  All rights reserved.  Principal Consultant, Adams Company Limited  (www.adamshk.com)

In the past, Facebook did not automatically give out a short cut link to your account or page. However, now you can create your own shortcut called “username” to allow people to type in a unique link for your account or page. It is an excellent way to give you especially your company a better branding in general.

e.g. www.facebook.com/adamshk

The way to apply the username is very simple. Once you have a published/online page or account, you can just type www.facebook.com/username to register.

However, it may take a day or two before the chosen username is approved to use and you are not supposed to change the name in future. Hence, you must get the name right the first time though I think you may have once chance to change!

By having the username defined, it is an excellent way to invite other people to visit you/your page with ease!

中國網上宣傳必備的「百度指數」

作者: 關廣智 (白武士有限公司首席顧問 http://www.adamshk.com/)Baidu Index

如果你計劃耍於中國網上宣傳你的產品或公司,百度指數就是你必然參考的網頁 http://index.baidu.com.

百度指數能準確地給你分析你所關注的業務在中國的市場需求和地區的分佈,而且內中的資訊都是最新鮮的數據。其中特別當你採用關鍵字搜尋來作為廣告的途徑,百度指數更可給你提供相關的關鍵字建議以至達到最有效的成效。作者: 關廣智 (白武士有限公司首席顧問 http://www.adamshk.com/)Baidu Index

如果你計劃耍於中國網上宣傳你的產品或公司,百度指數就是你必然參考的網頁 http://index.baidu.com.

百度指數能準確地給你分析你所關注的業務在中國的市場需求和地區的分佈,而且內中的資訊都是最新鮮的數據。其中特別當你採用關鍵字搜尋來作為廣告的途徑,百度指數更可給你提供相關的關鍵字建議以至達到最有效的成效。

Business is all about negotiation!

Business is all about Negotiation!

Business is all about Negotiation!

By Matthew Kwan

Principal Consultant of Adams (www.adamshk.com)

Copyright © 2010.

Do you realize how much negotiation do you do everyday? You may negotiate with your customers for the most favourable prices, order quantity, delivery timeand condition. You may push your sub-ordinates and co-workers to deliver the jobs on time and with high quality that meet your expectation. You may try so hard to show your performance to your boss and managers in order to get a better pay rise or promotion in the next review cycle. All these show that doing business is all about negotiation!

Fundamentals of negotiation

The Chinese characters for business (“生意”) have a wonderful meaning of “flexibility of an intention”(i.e. 靈活生動的意向). Hence, you must view doing business as a negotiation process to reach an ultimate goal which leads to a mutually agreeable intention. I personally think that you will never reach the ultimate and sustainable results if you are not thinking win-win during any business processes! You may win once or twice but you will not get far if you are not gearing towards a mutual benefit in a business agreement. Believe it or not, giving way may actually result in gaining ground! This is exactly the platform of negotiation.

Strategy of negotiation

Understanding of the intention of the other party is the fundamental skill of negotiation. Without realizing the other party‘s underlying needs and intention is not going to help reaching any agreeable results. Another very important basis of negotiation is focusing on the big picture rather than on specific details. You may trade off something small in exchange for a bigger, more meaningful and longer term benefit. Therefore, at the end of the day, it is all about return on investment (ROI) calculation in the macro view.

Tactics of negotiation

You have to be courageous enough to explore the depth of the water. In the same sense, you have to be courageous enough to make your offer during a negotiation. Otherwise, you would never know exactly how far the other party is willing to give way. Don’t be shy to make your offer yet the offer must be “reasonable” enough to justify by itself. You could start high as it gives yourself enough room to back down. Don’t hit your baseline so early and easily. By doing this, you are likely to gain ground than hitting a dead end!

Best negotiators are those who have high Emotional Quotient (EQ) with calm and firm responses.Sometimes, sense of humor can be a very good tool to ease the tension during tough negotiation but never overdo it with sarcasm as it will create a disrespectful impression! This is definitely not easy when you are facing unfavorable situations without too much ground!Hence, before you enter into any negotiation no matter it is a customer meeting, a job interview, a performance review…etc, you should really get yourself well prepared with options of possibilities including competitive information and competitive offers from other parties in order to gain ground.However, as mentioned earlier, win-win should be the ultimate objective but we have to also accept the fact on the other hand that such status is not always possible!

Summary

In certain culture, negotiation is just part of life and people would expect to negotiate at all time.However, majority of us are not natural born negotiators.But with some very simple training, we can be a better negotiator in a relatively short time. One very practical thing to do is to remind ourselves in all circumstances that to ask if the offer made by the others, including your customers, suppliers, co-workers, managers…etc., the best they can do? You will be surprised that 80% of time you will get a discount, a better offer, a faster response or even a better career at the end without much negotiation! So, are you willing to ask?

Matthew Kwan is a Principal Consultant of Adams Company Limited (www.adamshk.com) and is responsible for business consulting and enterprise training. He is an entrepreneur, author, speaker, lecturer and consultant working with enterprises and organizations in the commercial and Christian communities. He served for many years in multi-national companies including Intel, JP Morgan and Jardine and has broad experience in sales & marketing and management in multicultural and international settings.

Suggestions for Meeting the Leadership Challenge

Kouzes-Posner (2006):

Model the Way

  • Figure out what is important to you.
  • Align your actions with your stated values.

Inspire a Shared Vision

  • Let others know how you feel.
  • Recount your personal best.

Challenge the Process

  • Fix something.
  • Create opportunities for small wins.

Enable Others to Act

  • Always say “we.”
  • Make heroes of other people

Encourage the Heart

  • Write thank0you notes.
  • Link celebrations to your organization’s values.

Kouzes-Posner (2006):

Model the Way

  • Figure out what is important to you.
  • Align your actions with your stated values.

Inspire a Shared Vision

  • Let others know how you feel.
  • Recount your personal best.

Challenge the Process

  • Fix something.
  • Create opportunities for small wins.

Enable Others to Act

  • Always say “we.”
  • Make heroes of other people

Encourage the Heart

  • Write thank0you notes.
  • Link celebrations to your organization’s values.

Start something you are familiar!

By Matthew Kwan, Principal Consultant, Copyright (c)  2009 Adams Company Limited.

Financial Tsunami is sweeping the economy with so much terrible effects.  A lot of people especially those who are in middle management have become the victims of the downturn.   I personally know a number of people already looking for jobs and opportunities.

It is an increasing trend people would consider startup their own business.  However, my personal recommendation is to do only something you are familiar with in order to minimize your chance of failure.  According to “Good to Great” by Jim Collins, you should focus your effort on things you are passionate with economy effect and something you can do better than others.

Though finding the sweetspot is difficult and this should always a strategy we should bear in mind when we plan out our business.By Matthew Kwan, Principal Consultant, Copyright (c)  2009 Adams Company Limited.

Financial Tsunami is sweeping the economy with so much terrible effects.  A lot of people especially those who are in middle management have become the victims of the downturn.   I personally know a number of people already looking for jobs and opportunities.

It is an increasing trend people would consider startup their own business.  However, my personal recommendation is to do only something you are familiar with in order to minimize your chance of failure.  According to “Good to Great” by Jim Collins, you should focus your effort on things you are passionate with economy effect and something you can do better than others.

Though finding the sweetspot is difficult and this should always a strategy we should bear in mind when we plan out our business.

Scaling Your Online Web Presence

By Matthew KwanPrincipal Consultant,
Adams Company Limited http://www.adamshk.com
© Copyright. April 17, 2009
There actually many ways that you can scale your company’s online presence by using powerful tools or community website like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Slideshare…etc
A simple example is that you can create a blog entry, then the entry can be automatically copied to Twitter and from Twitter to Facebook.  Your effort is not so much but your online presence is increase by 3 folds at least.  Once you work out how to connect them with minimum effort, it is just a matter of submitting meaningful contents to your registered sites.

By Matthew KwanPrincipal Consultant,
Adams Company Limited http://www.adamshk.com
© Copyright. April 17, 2009
There actually many ways that you can scale your company’s online presence by using powerful tools or community website like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Slideshare…etc
A simple example is that you can create a blog entry, then the entry can be automatically copied to Twitter and from Twitter to Facebook.  Your effort is not so much but your online presence is increase by 3 folds at least.  Once you work out how to connect them with minimum effort, it is just a matter of submitting meaningful contents to your registered sites.

e-Marketing或是Online Marketing 可達到的成本效益已經越來越被大小企業所重視

雖然經濟不景氣,企業不能不宣傳!e-Marketing或是Online Marketing 可達到的成本效益已經越來越被大小企業所重視,具多項研究報告顯示互聯網於香港已經成為第三大宣傳媒體,而且有持續增長趨勢。按香港電訊管理局2008年12月統計 ,香港約有八成家庭有寬頻線上網。雖然經濟不景氣,企業不能不宣傳!e-Marketing或是Online Marketing 可達到的成本效益已經越來越被大小企業所重視,具多項研究報告顯示互聯網於香港已經成為第三大宣傳媒體,而且有持續增長趨勢。按香港電訊管理局2008年12月統計 ,香港約有八成家庭有寬頻線上網。

7 Most Important Steps for Entrepreneurship

By Matthew Kwan
Principal Consultant, Adams Company Limited http://www.adamshk.com/
© Copyright. April 10, 2009

Starting up a business is not difficult and failing it is more than easy. What are the most important steps entrepreneurs should take in order to stay above the water is the most critical question one should ask well before actually forming a company. I have summarized the our own experience as well as gathering some good practices that are available to ensure the chance of success for entrepreneurs as described below:

  1. Business Ideas
  2. Sales & Marketing Planning
  3. Cash Flow Calculation
  4. Business Registration & etc…
  5. Website Building
  6. Promotion & Advertising
  7. Execution & Continuously Review

1. Business Ideas

Whenever you think of any business idea, you need to start from the TAM (Total Available Market). Without knowing how big the demand of your products or service is, it is impossible to estimate how well you will achieve your sales goals in time. Even knowing your TAM, you should ask also how well is your potential competitors are doing in such market as they are a very good reference for you to evaluation the potential growth of this business in future.

2. Sales & Marketing Planning

I have written before about the 5C’s Business Planning idea and I would like to recap the idea here as it is too important to do this analysis to ensure you are not too far off from reality. Moreover, I think it is a very simple and effective way to plan & measure your sales & marketing effort. I have used in many customer cases and they work extremely well for them to position and re-position the overall business plan and idea. So, what are the 5C’s, they are Customers, Competitors, Complementors, Channels and Costs. Our of the 5C’s, I personally think Complementors is the most important of all. For details, please refer to The 5C’s of Business Planning in Adams’ Business Advisory Blog.

3. Cash Flow Calculation

Cash Flow is Everything! (as written in Adams’ Business Advisory Blog) If you cannot manage well you cash flow, you are dim to fail in time. A lot of companies fail not because of not having enough sales but not enough of cash flow. The most important question to ask is when can you breakeven your running expenses each month. If you cannot maintain a stable cash flow, your feeling will just like riding a roller coaster! The other important question to ask is how much initial capital you need to have to sustain throughout the period before breakeven. Obviously, the earlier you can breakeven, the less capital you need. Oppositely, if it takes too long for you to breakeven, you will very soon loose your momentum and your energy level and sometimes faith in yourself or your partners!

4. Business Registration & etc…

The process of registering a company in different countries are different but typically it is a lot easier to work with company secretary companies or certified public accountants and sometimes business centre companies to get these processes done with reasonable costs as there are too many nitty-gritty’s that you need to pay attention at for just once when you form a company. Personally, I think it is not justified at all to spend time to learn it through but not helpful for your business

5. Website Building

It is an internet age, if you are not building a website, you will never survive a chance to win in this extremely competitive world. In terms of building a business effective website, I recommended that there is a 4C strategy. (Please refer to Websites are so important to make e-Marketing campaigns successful!) The 4C’s are Customer Oriented, Contextual Contents, Call to Actions and Community. Since Converting Clicks to Sales Leads is the most important consideration, you really need to try every effort to make sure whoever visiting your site would take action to call you, email you, fill in a form or forward your information to friends. These would ensure you have a very good chance to succeed.

6. Promotion and Advertising

In order to be cost-effective, you don’t have choice but use e-Marketing as it is proven to be one of the highest ROI (Return On Investment) ways in promoting your company products and services. There are many ways to promote your products and services using e-Marketing and largely they may involve sending emails, doing search engine optimization or marketing, advertising online with banner ads or registering to directories…etc. However, if you don’t have any idea to start, you can use my proposed 6 Simple Steps to Start e-Marketing with a Success. More importantly you need to Maximize your dollars on e-Marketing in order to gain the best possible ROI.

7. Execution & Continuously Review

Doing plans and generate business ideas is very easy as it is comparatively less effort than execution. When you actually execute your plans you will soon find them difficult to realize as some of the ideas or methods would never work in the real world. With limited time, money and resources, you often end up dumping the whole idea all together. Therefore it is extremely important to do reality checks and review what is really happening with all your effort in executing your plans in a quantitative measure. I found many clients have a very ambitious start with lot of energy and so passionate about their dream in success of your business, however they fail to review the progress constantly and sidetracked by many things and challenge. So they were not able to re-focus and re-prioritize their effort early enough to regain the momentum to move forward.

Finally, I wish all the best to all entrepreneurs who have wonderful dream of success may achieve great result with their business plan and share with us the joy of Entrepreneurship!

Successful Customer Database Management for Winning e-Marketing

By Matthew Kwan © Copyright. All rights reserved. Principal Consultant

Adams Company Limited www.adamshk.com

So you are generating good responses from your e-Mail campaigns, online advertising, search engine marketing and etc…The next most important thing you need to do is to manage your customer database successfully. Without this, your e-Marketing strategy will always have a missing link. You can grow to certain level with success but if you want to grow from good to great, Customer Database Management is the area you need to plan in the beginning of your e-Marketing effort.

What can you do if you are running on lean budget and do not want to spend a lot to buy Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software at the start. Here are some good practical suggestions you may consider:

1. Spreadsheets
2. Mail Client Software
3. Accounting Software

1. Spreadsheets
Obviously, MS Excel is the most commonly used spreadsheet software in the market. However, you can use any kind as we are just keeping a simple list. The trick is that you create multiple files of e-Mail/Contact Lists by segregating your Suppliers, Partners, Customers, Prospects and other categories in different files for ease of management. In future, whenever you have new e-Mail addresses/Contact information, you just need to append to the relevant lists/files to keep them up-to-date.

2. e-Mail Client Software
Most of people would use MS Outlook Express or whatever free e-Mail Client provided by the Operating System in your computer when downloading e-Mails from server. It is relatively simple to keep your master e-Mail/Contact Lists within the same e-Mail system or your e-Mail Client Software you are using. The idea behind is the same as you would do using spreadsheets. You just need to create different “Distribution Lists” or “Groups”…etc to maintain your e-Mail campaign lists. One good function with some e-Mail Client Software is that when you add duplicate e-Mail addresses to the same list, the software will automatically add only one entry to the list rather multiple. This would minimize the unpleasant experience of the receivers when they are receiving multiple copy of your e-Mails just because it was not properly managed.

3. Accounting Software
As I proposed often, your e-Mail campaign should always sending to your closest relationship groups first. e.g. Suppliers, Partners, Customers, Prospects…etc. These closest groups are typically already captured by your accounting software for invoicing or billing purposes. Therefore, you may make just a little bit of effort to keep up your contact database in your accounting software to make sure e-Mails are properly input and up-to-date. Preferrably, you may ensure your accounting software could give you some options or remark fields to sort out the lists with additional criterias to facilitate better management.

Other than the above 3 suggestions, the next best option I can think of is using the e-Mail Marketing software. The price of these kind of software can range as low as US$100 to very high prices depending on the kind of functionalities they can provide.

Converting Clicks to Sales Leads

By Matthew Kwan

2008 © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Principal Consultant

Adams Company Limited http://www.adamshk.com/

The biggest challenge of e-Marketing is to convert clicks to Sales Leads. Generating clicks is not difficult but how to lead your potential customers to take actions including calling you by phone, sending you e-Mails, filling up enquiry forms…etc is an art.

Obviously, website design is the very first consideration and effort you have to make in order to invite your potential customers to take actions. First of all, you really have to encourage people to call you and send email to you by putting these invitations & your contact information all over your website. Though it may not look odd in terms of design and layout when you show these information so often, it is a mandatory thing you have to do for the sake of converting clicks to actions. Here are some suggestions on areas you may consider:

1. Enquiry Hotline Phone Number

2. Enquiry e-Mail Address

3. e-Form for enquiry or quotation request with predefined fields

4. Button function for forwarding the page or information friends

5. Button function for signing up e-Newsletters

6. Button function to respond to the content

All of the above are very basic and powerful items to include in a web page in order to capture information from your customers and increase the chances that you can get in touch with them. In addition, you may also include “Live Chat” function on your web page. Live Chat is another very powerful tool you may want to deploy as it will let you proactively monitor your website visitors and invite them to chat and start the selling process instantly. No matter your customers are leaving you contact information or connected through Live Chat, once you are connected with your customers, it is really an exercise of your conventional selling process from then on.

On the other hand, your marketing strategy behind your marketing campaign is the real critical success factor. Your potential customers would not take actions unless your content and messaging on your website or landing page is really compelling. How to make your contents compelling is a communications skill, you need to ensure that values of your products/services are being highlighted rather than just listing functionalities and specifications. Again, communications or copying writing skill is not a simple thing; it is always good to get someone acting from customer perspectives to review the contents for you.

Designing Powerful & Effective Search Keywords of Your Business

By Matthew Kwan © Copyright. All rights reserved. Principal Consultant
Adams Company Limited
www.adamshk.com

Keywords or tags or labels are very important by e-Marketing term as they can help you to be searched by search engine easier or to do contextual marketing more effective and etc. You may use them for Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization & etc.

It may sound difficult but in effect it is just a matter of using the right method when designing powerful & effective search keywords of your business for e-Marketing. You may refer to my previous written article on “The 5C’s of Business Planning” for detailed description on how to identify your Customers, Competitors, Complementors, Channels and Costs. The answers to the designated questions will help you to list out the top-most important keywords of your business.

After having done the analysis of 5C’s, it will be only a mechanical process to expand the list of keywords with some specific verbs or nouns adding in front or after your keywords making it like phrases to be specific enough that one would use them to search your company’s products/services as discussed in the article of “Search Engine Keywords Must Be Cost Effective

The final result of the keywords list generated from this process can be very long but you can always to shorten the list when you have captured enough data from your search engines. It is relatively easy to remove those under-performed keywords of few impressions or clicks.

6 Simple Steps to Start e-Marketing with a Success

By Matthew Kwan © Copyright. All rights reserved. Principal Consultant

Adams Company Limited www.adamshk.com

Starting e-Marketing is easy but walking on the right path is not so easy. There are just too may options you can consider! However, typically I would recommend my clients to follow 6 simple steps to plan and start doing e-Marketing and they are:

1. Building Effective Website
2. Designing Compelling Messaging
3. Sending Strategic Newsletters
4. Online Advertising
5. Managing Customer Databases
6. Building Alliances

1. Building Effective Website – I have shared in other articles how important it is a website for e-Marketing to be successful. It is not only design and layout but also the real business strategy behind. You have to consciously to make your website effective for your business and engaging your customers interactively. A website will only perform well when it is being revised and updated according to the environmental changes with Compelling Messaging.

2. Designing Compelling Messaging – It is really back to marketing basics about communications. You have to high play your products/services’ benefits rather than functionality in order to distinguish your differential advantages over your competition. A lot of time, customers’ buying decisions are based on trusts that built on the success references you are giving of other cases. Before you get this right, e-Marketing will never be a success.

3. Sending Strategic Newsletters – e-Newsletters are so easy to send out if you have any emails of our suppliers, partners, customers and prospects. However, your compelling messaging must be ready before your e-Newsletters can be successful. In additional, you need to send out useful information or knowledge occasionally other than sales promotions in order to attract your target audience to keep subscribing your newsletter

4. Online Advertising – The most basic Online Advertising option I recommend is Search Engine Marketing. It is becoming mandatory for any companies nowadays to make sure their company information/advertisements are showing on the first page of search results. Without doing this, your website will just never be found in a very long while!! Other Online Advertising options can be Web Banner Ad on your target customers populated websites or contextual advertising…etc

5. Managing Customer Databases – When you start doing e-Marketing, the next important thing is to keep up with your customer database(s). This is very crucial because your customer database will grow throughout your e-Marketing activities. The most basic way to do this is to use Excel or Outlook or any other mail clients but as you grow your customer database, it is better to adopt a Customer Relationship Management software or a e-Marketing campaign software.

6. Building Alliances – No one can be successful by doing e-Marketing alone and this is the fact! Hence, building alliances and letting your alliances to promote your products/services in their websites and other channels are the very key to success with e-Marketing. You potential return on investment (ROI) will grow even better than you can imagine.

Summary
After all, e-Marketing is just Marketing, companies need to be applying the basic marketing techniques in order to be successful. However, this internet age is making the situation so interesting that you can exercise your marketing creativities with a lot of opportunities and alternatives!

Making your e-Marketing Campaign a Success

By Matthew Kwan © Copyright. All rights reserved.
Principal Consultant

Adams Company Limited www.adamshk.com

Obviously, when you ask any marketing professionals, they will tell you Return On Investment (ROI) is the way to measure success of any marketing activity. However, what are the returns should we expect from e-Marketing campaigns that would make them really successful? I have shared these many times in public and would like to reiterate here with the following 3 most important indicators.

  • Sales Oriented – Any marketing activities fundamentally are tools for generating sales. Somebody may argue on this point but it is the reality we have to face that the reason of any business organization is to make money through sales. Hence, if your e-Marketing campaign is not helping you to generate sales, there must be something you should change to make sales happened.

  • Community Building – Many times, sales volume is a function of your customer reach/base. The larger the set of your target customers, the greater chance you may get higher sales. If your e-Marketing campaign is not expanding your customer base and they are not coming back to visit your website frequently, your e-Marketing budget will never be effectively used.

  • Affiliated Websites – The more business partners are willing to put up your website link to their websites, the higher chance to get “free” marketing opportunities and let search engines to search your website easier. At the same time you may be able to reach broader customer based through your business partner network. Eventually, your expanded network will help you to grow your customer community and sales.

These 3 indicators are very much inter-related and they are influencing each other in a lot of sense. If you can master your e-Marketing campaign with good results of these 3 indicators, I can guarantee you your e-Marketing campaign will differently a successful one!

Starting Your e-Mail Campaign with Your Allies

By Matthew Kwan © Copyright. All rights reserved.
Principal Consultant

Adams Company Limited www.adamshk.com

It is too easy to get bounced back or blocked by Spam Analyzer of any email system whenever you send out anything to anyone these days. First of all, you should try your best to convince the receiver on your distribution list to add your email address to their address book to decrease the chance of classifying your email as junk email sender. Even your e-Mail is safely landed in their In-Box, there are four categories of people are likely to have better interest to read through your message and they are your:

1. Suppliers: Suppliers are the group of people who want to keep up with your relationship and continue to sell you products & services. They are very likely to read through everything you send in order to know you better. We have so many experiences that our Suppliers became our customers along the way! Nice!

2. Business Partners: Business Partners are the group of people who want to leverage your network and business opportunities to grow business together. Since your business direction may impact their business direction, they are typically paying close attention to your e-Mail campaign messages to make sure they are keeping up the pace with you. The power of word of mouth and referral is exponential and greater than you can imagine. However, it takes time to build up a good and solid Business Partner Network!

3. Existing Customers: Existing Customers are the group of people who want to make sure they are getting the value for money from your products and services. As they have already lowered their barrier to your products/services, they have high interests to continue business with you provided the quality of your products/services are fine. Same again, word of mouth will eventually become a power tool of marketing to grow your business when your existing customer base grows larger.

4. Prospects: Prospects are the ones who already took action to call you up for enquiries and explore the opportunities for building up business relationships. Any new promotion and new products/services may trigger their buying desires. We have seen many cases that prospects may not purchase our products/services at the first instance but over time, they come back to purchase other products and services or refer other people to do business with us. So never give up of selling!

E-Marketing Strategy: Generate Sales or Build a Brand?

By Matthew Kwan © Copyright. All rights reserved.
Principal Consultant
Adams Company Limited www.adamshk.com


When you define your objectives of e-Marketing it is not any different from traditional marketing. The simpliest way is to make sure whether you want to Generate Sales or Build a Brand. However, a lot of time, you may not be able to segregate the two. Depending on your markeing budget, but I am too sales oriented to always recommend my clients to start with generating sales as your primary objective in any e-Marketing activity since the more exposure you have through e-Marketing activities, the stronger the brand may become.

So, what are the better channels to Generate Sales? It is really related to the services and products you are promoting but here are some general tips:
1. e-Mail Campaign:

  • e-coupons: design e-coupons for people to print out and redeem discounted products/services or even encourage receivers to forward to their friends to create an exponential reach of your target customers. This is especially effective for resturants promotions and retail shops or similar industries.
  • online purchase and lucky draw: e-Marketing is very much impulse (buying) base behaviour. Hence, you have to encourage your target customers to make the decision of purchase at the spot when they receive your e-Mail with HUGE Discount and Extremely Attractive Prize of lucky draw.

2. Web Banner Ad & Search Engine Marketing:

  • Beautiful Web Page: Whether you are doing e-coupons or online purchase & etc…you need to have a beautiful web page before you can do Web Banner Ad & Search Engine Marketing.
  • Popular High Traffic Websites/Portals: You do not neccessarily need to own a website to set up your web beautiful web page as there are many popular (high traffic) websites/portals can provide such services at a cost. Nevertheless, you really have to choose the better (and relevant) websites/portals. Web Banners will only be effective if you are exposing to the right target audience in volume. You have to make sure your choice of search engines are including the Local Kings.

Ahead of the e-Marketing Game with Right Search Engine Marketing Strategy

By Matthew Kwan © Copyright. All rights reserved.
Principal Consultant

Adams Company Limited www.adamshk.com
As it is so dynamic the (internet) world getting to be, Search Engine Marketing is something you cannot ignore in order to win the e-Marketing game. So, how to make sure our strategy is the right one? Here are some tips I would recommend anyone who want to be ahead of the game:

  1. Identify Local King: Each market/country may have the Local King you must aware of that most people (80%?) may have preference to use that search engine. e.g. Yahoo in Hong Kong, BaiDu in China and Google in a lot of other countries…etc. However, you still should advertise on other search engines even they are not the Local King to make sure you have a presence.
  2. Smaller Budget with Specific Keywords: If you are not sure what budget to use at the start, try always with smaller amount with the more specific keywords (i.e. phrases instead of single words) first.
  3. Register on Web Business Directories: Other than paid advertising, you should also go aggressively to register as many web business directories as possible. This is very strategic as typically these directories are easier to be searched by search engines.
  4. Exchange Banners/Links: Your business partners including suppliers and customers are very valuable to you and you should always ask them to exchange banner or links with you to cross promote each other. The more links are referring your website the higher chance search engines can show you with higher position.
  5. Grow Your Website Hit Rate: Grow your website hit rate to let your website listed higher by search engine. However, it is easier said than done to grow your website hit rate. One important thing to bear in mind is to encourage your visitor to use your website rather than viewing only!