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Marketing: directly target your marketing efforts

Direct marketing is a form of advertising that requires a direct response from the consumer. This includes mail, catalogues, advertising, telemarketing, direct selling and email initiatives that are delivered directly to the individual.

Strategy: Customer feedback loops

Being the first to react to changing customer needs and preferences is often the difference between business success and failure. Witness, for example, how quickly Sony lost its early dominance of the portable music device market to Apple, which responded faster and more innovatively to demand for digital audio devices.

Pete Thomond – Disruptive innovator

Pete Thomond spent the past four and a half years working out the secrets of successful innovation. The British academic and business consultant was co-manager of the "Disrupt-it" project, a €3 million European Commission co-sponsored programme of research and business tool development. Now he's spreading the word downunder, as a Research Fellow and innovation consultant at the Brisbane Graduate School of Business. At 29, he's young, but how many people do you know with a PhD in disruptive innovation?

Just the medicine, man

You've seen all the ads that promise everything from tighter abs to fab calves. Then there are the ones that will help you find inner-peace, outer-serenity and even how to lose weight while stuffing your mush with plank-sized chips and endless vats of fried chicken and gravy.

Innovation and globalisation: perfect bedfellows

Globalisation is really about direct international investment. Investment will flow to where the innovators are, so innovation must be focused on global impact.

Copy to China

There is a time-honoured business model in China known as "Copy To China" - find a product or service or business model that works in the US or elsewhere and replicate it in China. In the technology industry this is exemplified by ChinaHR.com Holdings Ltd building a Monster look-alike and then selling 40 percent off to Monster Worldwide, Inc. for US$50m or Joyo.com Ltd replicating Amazon and then selling it to Amazon for US$75m. The same model is popular in many other markets, particularly Australia. Seek has had great success emulating Monster.

Content is still king

Mobile companies across the globe have spent billions of dollars creating networks that essentially all offer the same services. It's been a huge investment just to get to the starting line. But the real challenge is in providing something that is different from the competition.

Motorola's market dilemma

Wandering through the halls of the enormous 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona in February, it was plainly evident that mobile communications is still in the very active stages of the innovation cycle. This event, which brings together most of the world's top telecommunications technology and network companies, has come a long way from its humble beginnings last decade in the French seaside town of Cannes, when early attendances numbered in the hundreds.

Motorola’s market dilemma

Wandering through the halls of the enormous 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona in February, it was plainly evident that mobile communications is still in the very active stages of the innovation cycle. This event, which brings together most of the world's top telecommunications technology and network companies, has come a long way from its humble beginnings last decade in the French seaside town of Cannes, when early attendances numbered in the hundreds.

All hail the salesperson!

Salespeople acquired a stereotype for foot-in-the-door, sell-your-mother-for-a-dollar moral bankruptcy long before Zig Zigler cartwheeled his way into the public consciousness. But if salespeople appear a hardened bunch it's because they spend their days on the front line. And let's face it, if salespeople fail, no one gets paid. It's about time we cleared society's pedestal of entertainment celebrities, precious artists and fatuous egomaniacs. At long last, it's time to hail the salesperson!

The big house

A prison sentence early in life can dash the hopes of a would-be entrepreneur. Or it can fuel them. In the youth unit at Port Phillip Prison, rock bottom gives way to the bottom line as teenaged inmates become CEOs. Jodie O'Keeffe clears security to find out what it takes to build a business behind bars.

Dot-com survivors downunder

Has it really been six years since the world's first wave of internet entrepreneurs fell through that plump cloud they'd conjured in the sky, taking with them the turgid hopes of our fledgling new economy? It's been six years peppered with hard luck stories, investor reluctance and, lately, cautious hope rekindled. Australian internet startups were in the thick of it back then. The survivors emerged with slightly bloodied noses and wisdom far beyond their years.

Strategy: Securing your first customer

Achieving your first sale can literally make or break a start-up. Many investors will delay committing significant funds until you can identify a customer...

The art of persuasion

Getting your way once is easy. It's repeating it that's hard. So how do you rate on the enchant-o-metre? We asked three pros if...

FREE BUSINESS TOOLS

Three easy wins when using LinkedIn with David Hobson [FREE REPORT]

"If you’re pressed for time, I'm here to help." In this report, David Hobson will show you three quick wins - things you can do to pimp out your LinkedIn profile in 15 minutes or less.

FREE BUSINESS TOOL

How to expand into New Markets with Elsita Meyer-Brandt [CHEAT SHEET]

Most organisations begin with aspirations to start local, then grow global. But, in reality, very few ever take the big leap into new markets. In this Cheat Sheet, Elsita Meyer-Brandt, Head of Market Expansion and International Marketing for Eventbrite, shares five rules to help organisations, just like yours, expand into new markets.

INFOGRAPHICS

New Zealand’s Xero eyes US IPO, further disruption as subscribers increase...

Xero recently held its annual meeting in Wellington, during which the company revealed some interesting details about its future. As has been widely suspected, the...

OPINIONS & ADVICE