Monday, March 24, 2008

Know What the “Joneses” Are Doing

Knowledge is power, and it must be a cornerstone of understanding for operational and sales success against your current and future competitive set. Do you know what your competition is doing right now to market and operationally produce a similar product line? Do you know what cross-selling potential your competition is aligning itself with for greater sales growth? Do you know what improvements from an operational, administrative, sales and marketing, and management approach your competition is going to make, thus shifting higher demand for it? Do you know who is going to become a competitor for your customer’s finite dollars and erode your market share? I am not asking you to predict the future, but I am asking you to take stock and know about your competition as well as you know about your own product line, from a customer’s viewpoint.

The only way to defend competition from taking your business and allow you to grow your revenue is to have a better product line, know how to market it more effectively, know your strengths and weaknesses compared to other product lines, know what changes your business unit is going to make to protect itself from a threat from the competition’s product line, know the marketplace and forecast trend opportunities, know that you truly do have an “apples to apples” product line compared to the competitors, know what changes your business unit needs to make it run more operationally and make sales more efficiently, and know what success and failures your competition is enduring. Most importantly, you must know the why to all of the above questions!

Having knowledge of all of these above issues is what is meant by knowing what the Joneses are doing. Start learning about the “Joneses” today, or be prepared to be bought or sent out of business by one of those “Joneses” tomorrow.

One great way to get with the "Joneses" and know what is going on, is a site called Alltop at Alltop helps you explore your passions by collecting stories from “all the top” sites on the web. They have grouped these collections ”aggregations” into individual Alltop sites based on topics such as environment, photography, science, celebrity gossip, fashion, gaming, sports, politics, automobiles, and Macintosh. At each Alltop site, they display the latest five stories from thirty or more sites on a single page — they call this “single-page aggregation.”

You can think of the Alltop site as a “dashboard,” “table of contents,” or even a “digital magazine rack” of the Internet. To be clear, Alltop sites are starting points — they are not destinations per se. The bottom line is that Alltop is trying to enhance your online reading by both displaying stories from the sites that you’re already visiting and they help you to discover sites that you didn’t know existed.

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