Articles Digital Marketing and creating online businesses.

How to move from selling products to selling solutions

In the changing environment in which we live today, companies need to innovate with all the resources available to them. One of these resources is the Business Model (the system by which a company creates value, offers that value to a specific target audience and collects the value in the form of income). Innovating in the Business Model is a capacity of companies called Business Model Innovation (BMI). The objective of the BMI is to disrupt the market by creating a model that gives the company a competitive advantage.

When what the company wants is not to disrupt, but to survive a disruption from a competitor, that process is called Business Model Adaptation (BMA) and consists of changing the current model to adapt to the new environment.

One of these changes in the business model that many companies are carrying out in order to survive in the current environment is to move from selling products to selling solutions. This type of Business Models in English are called Outcome-Based Business Models... in Spanish it is difficult to give it a name that conveys what it really is ... so we call it Business Models Based on Selling Solutions instead of products. The ultimate goal is to increase turnover and maintain a closer relationship with your current customers (get captive customers).

Examples of "How to sell products to sell solutions"

B2B example (business to business): the example of a book is that of Xerox and how it goes from selling photocopiers to selling the service of charging for photocopies, from the machines that companies rent for a small price and install in their offices. But it is also the change that Amazon made in the early 2000s… it went from being a book store to a comprehensive solution for writers, and then for all kinds of companies.

Example B2C (de empresa a consumidor): somos una clínica veterinaria y pasamos de vender consultas sueltas a una tarifa plana mensual para animales que requieren tratamientos especiales. Otro ejemplo relacionado con animales… vendemos comida para gatos y sabemos que cada dos meses nuestros clientes van a comprar un saco de pienso de 5 Kg. Les ofrecemos una tarifa plana anual y les enviamos cada dos meses, de forma automática, el pienso para su gato para que no tengan que preocuparse por hacer la compra. Podemos hacerlo con un ligero descuento para motivar a los clientes. En el sector turístico el cambio ya se ha realizado hace años… no se venden productos, se venden experiencias.

What exactly is the change from “selling products to selling solutions”:

Stopping selling products to sell solutions is not easy to do, so when a company succeeds, usually someone writes a case. Well, today I was reading one of these cases, and I found it interesting to share how they did it, in case it can serve as an inspiration to any of the readers of this blog. Here is a little summary:

From the supplier's point of view: This goes from a model based on making money selling a product, carrying out its maintenance and selling spare parts, to earning money depending on whether or not your product achieves the results that the client wants. The product, maintenance and spare parts become expenses. Revenue will depend on the feasibility of the solution.

From the customer's point of view: This one becomes dependent on a provider with whom you are going to have an almost dependent relationship, it will be very difficult to change providers. Your business model and that of the supplier must be aligned.

How the change is made

The change requires three phases:

Phase 1 of: "How to go from selling products to selling solutions"

Definition of the new value proposition: in this phase we must identify the opportunities in the creation of value with our clients. We must look for opportunities that are win-win (win-win) and evaluate the potential benefits that it could bring for our company. We also have to determine which products are going to become services and how this fits into our client's strategy. Being a good listener to customers and clearly understanding what they need to fix is ​​a key success factor. The feedback from our commercial department will be decisive in this phase. You have to listen carefully to the customer and to our commercials.

Phase 2 of: "How to go from selling products to selling solutions"

Description of how customer service will be provided. This phase has two well differentiated key processes:

  • The design of the service: design of the value architecture, design of all the processes and the adaptation of the products that are going to be converted into services.
  • Customer relationship design: risk analysis, design of performance measurement indicators (KPIs, by Key Performance Indicators) and the creation of the contracts that will govern the relationship with the client.

Phase 3 of: "How to go from selling products to selling solutions"

Execution of the service and control of the final result: This is the phase in which the solution is installed for the client and all processes are refined to explore opportunities for improvement. Also in this phase it is necessary to train our sales team to effectively sell solutions. Likewise, during this phase the control mechanisms are implemented and it is analyzed if the distribution of value between us and the client is fair (if the relationship with the client is really win-win).

I hope this summary was interesting and inspiring to you.
If you want more information about "How to move from selling products to selling solutionsHere are some links that may interest you:

Seguimos en contacto!

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Montse.

What are the dynamic capabilities and what they

Dynamic capabilities are the different skills, processes, procedures, organizational structures, decision rules and disciplines that allow the detection and capture of opportunities that appear in a company. This is the academic definition. Hope you understand it. If not, keep reading please.

Dynamic capabilities enable companies to create, deploy, and protect intangible assets that, in the long term, will enable superior business performance. Hence, it is important to detect in your company what these capabilities are and that you promote them. Firms with strong dynamic capabilities are much more entrepreneurial and better adapted to changes in the market.

When we try to understand what a business model is and use the Osterwalder definition, we say that a business is a system by which, with some resources, we are able to create value for a market segment and then we are able to collect that value in a proper way. monetary. Well, within these resources is where the dynamic capabilities lie.

But they are not the only ones…

Why do we call them dynamic capabilities?

Well, as opposed to non-dynamic capacities. The dynamics allow to change, to evolve the company. The rest of a company's capabilities allow it to operate normally, and obviously they are just as important as the dynamics. It's just that having dynamic capabilities in fast-moving environments like today has become a competitive advantage. Hence we are now talking about this ability.

Types of dynamic capacity

There are three types of dynamic capacity:

  1. The ability to know how to detect opportunities and threats.
  2. The ability to know how to take advantage of opportunities.
  3. The ability to maintain, combine and grow the tangible and intangible assets of our company.

Entre ésta última se encuentra la que es estudio de mi doctorado: la capacidad para adaptar un modelo de negocio cuando esto es necesario. Mi pregunta de investigación es “Si todo el mundo sabe que cuando el mercado cambia, las empresas también tienen que cambiar. ¿Por qué hay empresas que no cambian y mueren?”

Obviously the answers are many and not all are the field of the "management”Some of them are explained from the point of view of people's psychological behavior (risk aversion, fear of change, fear of failure, etc.). In my case, for the moment I limit myself to analyzing them from a business point of view and returning to dynamic capabilities, I am focusing on the capacity of “Business Model Adaptation”, that is, the ability to change and adapt the business model of a company to adapt to changes in its environment.

At the moment in which we live with Amazon and Alibaba unfolding around the world, in which the Earth is flat and the market is almost infinite, and in which all information can be digitized, it seems essential to me that someone help companies to adapt, instead of "selling smoke" and trying to make companies disruptive and that they are the ones who, thanks to innovation, break and transform markets. It seems unrealistic to me that the SMEs of our country are going to be able to survive being disruptive… it seems more accurate to help them develop the capacity to adapt.

Well, I'm not going any further. This article was only intended to explain a little better what dynamic capabilities are (Dynamic capabilities), and that this reflection will help you to think about which are those of your company or those of your person. Are you able to detect opportunities and threats? (or put another way, do you have time to detect opportunities and threats?) and are you able to recombine your company's resources to take advantage of those opportunities?

I hope I have gotten the reflection.

You will find more information on dynamic capabilities here. It is a closed article by the best specialist in dynamic capabilities. Just by reading the abstract it will be useful to you. If you have a way to get the entire item, you'll love it.

If you want to know more about business models, there are two articles of mine that can help you:

  1. On the difference between strategy and business model
  2. Whether or not they have changed the types of business model

Let's keep talking

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Lean vs Agile vs Design Thinking

Today's article is complicated. What are the differences between Lean, Agile and Design Thinking? Phew ...

Following the popularization of these terms, of a book entitled Lean Vs. Agile Vs. Design Thinking: What You Really Need to Know to BuildBy Jeff Gothelf published in 2017 and the emergence of the use of these techniques in several television series, many people ask me about them. What is the difference between Lean, Agile and Design Thinking? Well, the techniques are different in nature and objective. Let's see ... I start so easy ...

Design Thinking It is the way in which we explore topics or find problems that need to be solved.

Lean It is a way to manage a company while it is a framework that will help us get the desired results and that Agile part.

Agile It is how we adapt to the changing conditions of something. Apply it to agile sales (Agile sales) and agile thinking (Agile thoughts) among other terms. It used to design solutions. The agile sales I explain them in class when I explain how to create a minimum viable product and test it in the market through landing pages and you campaigns on Facebook / Instagram.

Agile It is also related terms scrum, iteration, and burn down charts Do you sound these words? This is what you see in the series in which they appear programmers who write in post-its colors everything to do and go past the post-its from one part to another of a mural as they programming these parts. a big problem breaks into small tasks and are performing these tasks until it ends and one faces the following problem.

There is confusion between terms because agile part leanBut also a way agile of running a company is applying in respect of lean start-up. Agile tests the product with users ( agile sales I mentioned earlier) and the concept of Lean Start-up test is based on a prototype of the product by putting on the market to be tested. The concepts are almost the same, hence ... sometimes you're not sure which one to use.

Not if I have helped to clarify the terms or have gotten worse ... sorry. The image that illustrate this article and that is John Scheider It might help you more.

You find the book Lean vs Agile vs Design Thinking here.

This article explains cOW generate value for our customers is important and how today it makes sense to ask directly (ie action agile) And co-create together (this is also agile)

In any case, if you have questions specific to the connection, do not hesitate to ask them in the comments area and will watch to answer them.

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Tool that calculates the value of a website

Today we put online a calculator that can determine much is a website. We have done it because this is one of the questions that I am usually asked in class. Surely, if you have a website, you have also asked yourself "How much is my website worth?".

To find out how much your website is worth, first ask yourself some questions, and then we will indicate how much you could bill with an advertising-based business model and how much in an e-commerce based business model. With this we are able to make an initial evaluation of your website that can be useful in case you need to evaluate it.

How to calculate the value of a website? and How to calculate the turnover of a business online?

Every day I see business plans made by my students in predicting revenue from advertising or e-commerce totally exaggerated. This tool can help predict income of a portal based on their traffic. Thus, the performance of the financial plan in a business plan can go extrapolating growth of a website (which are a function of network externality of the business) and from these data and with the help of this tool, you can predict potential advertising revenue.

The issue of determining the growth of a portal based on network externalities of their business model is not easy. In a business where the growth model of its users is linear, usually it grows very slowly. In a business type marketplace (where supply and demand, such as Solostocks.com) They are growths of between 12% and 15% per month (geometric) in a business network type (eg Linkedin) growths are much stronger and can exceed 20% monthly geometric.
In this regard, when I worked in Intercom I wrote an article that may be of interest: Why free content raises the billing? (OGame)

Returning to the subject of calculating the income of a portal, if we are able to extrapolate the growth in the number of users of our online service, with this tool we can have a potential clue to the billing page. So you can help us get more realistic business plans when the portal business model is based on selling advertising.

By the way, I almost forgot ... if you want to know how much is a website worth, here is the link to the calculator: Value Request web

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Research User What is and what is

User Research, UX research are two ways to call the same: research on the experience of a user on our website. Ie, their behavior, their motivations and needs.

When we want to increase the conversion of a research website user experience is critical, the User Research it is a key success factor. Thanks to this research we will get to know our user better, we will discover what he expects from our website and we will be able to adapt the navigation, the texts and the structure to what the user is waiting for. This is especially critical in e-commerce.

Converting a trade products a value between 1 and € 100 should be around 3% for products between 100 € 500 between 1% and 3%. For products over 500 € is usually around 0.5%. If this is not the case for your e-commerce and are above, congratulations! You did! I'm really happy! I have clients with 8% and 9% conversion, I know it can be done. If you are below, you should conduct research on user experience, you should know more about user research you are in the right place.

How can you investigate what is the behavior of your users? That is to say,

How to do User research?

These are the main techniques:

Eyetracking: it consists of keeping track of the user's gaze and seeing what he reads, what he does not read, what he looks at, what he clicks, what word makes him decide to continue reading or click the button to take the product to the shopping cart, etc.

You will find more articles I have written about Eyetracking here: Eyetracking.

A/B Testing: It consists of making several copies of different pages of your website and testing which one converts more users. Google has a tool to perform this type of test called Google Optimizer and it's free. Before it was called Google Experiments, perhaps you had heard of it.

Cart sorting: esta técnica sirve para testear cuál es la mejor arquitectura de la información en un sitio web. Consiste en testear a un grupo de usuarios entregándoles una serie de cartas con los productos que deseas vender o las diferentes secciones de tu web. Ellos deberán agruparlos por categorías y deberán ponerle un nombre a la categoría… te quedas de piedra cuando ves las diferencias entre tu forma de organizar las cosas y la suya… Esta técnica te ayudará definir la estructura del sitio web, a decidir qué pondrás en la página de inicio y cómo deberías etiquetar las categorías de navegación de tu web y las de tus productos.

You can also make focus groups ... but it is expensive and the results are not the most reliable ...

There is a technique that I always explain in class and it is very funny for the students, but it is real like life itself and I have used it many times: use your mother as a beta tester.

Sí, como lo oyes. Tu madre te dirá siempre la verdad, no es una heavy user de internet pero sabe navegar y desde que usa Whatsapp y se ha registrado en Facebook, no hay quien la pare. Si tu madre no entiende de qué va tu sitio web… tu sitio web está mal. Si tu madre no consigue encontrar tus datos de contacto… tu sitio web está mal. Si tu madre no consigue realizar una compra o suscribirse a tu boletín, tu sitio web está mal. Y no olvides hacerle probar a tu madre la versión móvil de tu sitio web… si ella no lo entiende, entonces es que esta mal. En una versión móvil no es suficiente pasar el test Google, it is necessary to pass the "mom betatester" test. I tell you with a very serious face. Take my advice ... you'll save yourself a lot of trouble.

When should you apply user research?

You can do this during the 3 stages of website creation.

  1. During the previous investigation: the cart sorting It is ideal to start.
  2. Research in the process: the mockups of the website can be tested with eyetracking and thus only the versions that have been best understood by the user go into production.
  3. Research of real users: when the website is already online, you can make eyetracking and can A/B testing... or what was said ... you let your mother taste it.

What are the differences between User Research and Usability?

They are two sides of the same coin: user research it's going to analyze the user, usability, it's going to analyze the website to see if we get users to do what we want them to do.

I hope this article has been helpful and now know a little more about What is the user research and what is. If you have conversion problems contact me and we will analyze together how we can help you from Quadrant Alfa.

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What is eyetracking? and What is?

He Eyetracking It is a technology that allows users to track their gaze to obtain data on things like: what are they looking at? What catches your attention? Do you look at advertising? Does that button really see it? What word makes someone decide to read a text? and to be able to make decisions based on that data. It also has applications in the field of psychology and optics, but above all it is in digital marketing and specifically in usability and user experience where it is most used.

How does an eyetracker work?

Eyetracker - EyetrackingBásicamente es un monitor de ordenador con un emisor de rayos infrarrojos que ilumina la cara del usuario (sin que el usuario note nada) y con una cámara (que el usuario tampoco ve que está allí) en la que el eyetracker puede ver el reflejo de los infrarrojos en las pupilas del usuario, y por lo tanto, triangulando la posición de las pupilas frente a la pantalla, puede saber qué es lo que usuario está mirando.

En este vídeo está muy bien explicado (si no entiendes el francés, activa los subtítulos en castellano o en tu idioma nativo)


También hay eyetrackers incrustados en gafas y en dispositivos portátiles que facilitan los análisis de eyetracking when you're studying something that is not on a screen such as linear products from a supermarket or the dashboard of a car.

Why is a EyeTracker used in Digital Marketing?

Como he comentado en el primer párrafo, es especialmente útil para comprobar la usabilidad de un sitio web. En este vídeo que verás bajo estas líneas estaba yo testeando si los usuarios podían encontrar fácilmente las fichas de los apartamentos que el sitio web deseaba alquilar. Verás como tras más de un minuto, el usuario testeado aún no ha encontrado las fichas de los apartamentos. También es curioso ver en este vídeo como el usuario se distrae cada vez que el slider de la web cambia. Cosa que es normal y está bien porqué los sliders se incluyen en la cabecera de las webs para mostrar la propuesta de valor de la empresa, así que es correcto que hagan que la mirada del usuario vaya hacia allí… aunque una vez dentro del sitio web, ya no deberíamos distraer más al usuario, por esta razón sólo se incluyen en la página de inicio.

How Eyetracking used in Content Marketing?

It can also be used for related topics content marketingFor example, to see what word makes when we read diagonally finally decide it is worthwhile or not read a text. Or on an AdWords ad that will be seen above, what word it draws attention and makes the user read the ad and possibly click on it.

Here I leave 4 links that can help you better understand the use of the eyetracking in this last field:

  • The first is a study I did in 2005 about how reading a news website men and women and whether or banners are not seen: Eyetracking_Media_Espana
  • The second is a study of the words must contain the Adwords to attract attention. The study I did in 2009 but the results are still valid although Adwords are no longer on the right side and now are only at the top of search pages: Eyetracking Search Marketing
  • Here you will find an article I wrote in 2009 on the Eyetracking and Golden Triangle Google in relation to SEO (Article also remains valid today).
  • And here, information eyetracker I use for these analyzes: Tobii Eyetracker

I hope this information will be useful.

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What is Google Scholar? and What is?

Google Scholar O Google Scholar (In Castilian) is the Google search engine specialized in academic papers. It was established in 2004 and is the you should use if you are college or are working on academic content. This search engine appear only articles published in refereed journals, theses, books, patents and documents relating to meetings with scientific and academic validity. It is therefore most suitable source of information to be included as references in any document whose sources should be academically valid.

What is Google Scholar?

If you're in college and you must submit papers, theses, articles or works EOG / Master, it is necessary that all statements that do have a sound scientific basis and of course, you must cite the source in which you have based for reaching these conclusions. You find this source Google ScholarNot at Google.

The results appear in the pages of Google Scholar They are already designed so you can capture with reference manager you are using (the most popular are Zotero, RefWorks or Mendeley) so that citations will be created automatically and the literature you will also be created automatically with all references you used in your work.

Another advantage of Google Scholar is that it gives you full access to the document in question (if it is found) or to the part of the content that interests you, so it saves many visits to the library and allows access to content that we would hardly find otherwise. If the document is part of a private library, from Google Scholar You can enter it if you are connected from a university campus and your university has agreements with that library.

If I am an author, how can I publish to Google Scholar?

If you are the author of academic material, you are especially interested that the content you have created appears indexed in Google Scholar. To do this you must create an author profile and register your items from the ad itself. If the articles are published in journals indexed, Google will find them and you must assign them to your tab. From the tab you can track appointments that you receive and have an inventory of all your published works, generating statistics and graphs.

The algorithm that sorts the results of Google Scholar is very similar to that of Google, but also includes the relevance of the document, ie, the times I have cited.

Curiously, Google Scholar's slogan is "standing on the shoulder of giants”… “shoulders of giants"A quote from Issac Newtown"If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. "Reminding us of the importance of research and teamwork.

I hope this article will be useful.

You will find more information here:

Keep in touch

Montse.

What is the difference between Business model and strategy?

So when I help companies to adapt their business models to the current environment, as when I teach the subject of creating a Strategic Plan for the Internet, I realize that my interlocutors confuse these two terms: Business Model and Strategy. Also they confuse strategy with tactics ... but clarify these last two terms in another article. In this we are going to focus on What is the difference between business model and strategy? With these two clear concepts in mind, we can advance the conversion of our existing business more easily.

To go straight to the point and if you do not want to read the whole article, succinctly, "Business Model" refers to the logic of a company, how it operates and how it creates value for its shareholders. Instead, "Strategy" is the choice of business model with which the company will compete in their market. That is, the business model you use depends on the strategy you wish to make.

We will now develop a little more two concepts to fit you clearer:

What is a business model?

The origin of the term "business model" is found in Peter Druker in the 80s, but the term has evolved a lot the last 20 years with the emergence of internet and the need to adapt to this new business environment. An updated definition is:

"Business Model is the representation of architecture value of a business that shows how a company or organization can offer a value proposition to certain market segments, how to define the structure of the value chain is needed to provide this proposal and how it defines mechanisms capture the value that the company or organization will use to generate revenue. "

For if you do not clear:

The functions of a business model are:

  • Articulate the value proposition of the company. So, define what makes you unique offer.
  • Identify market segments that the company wants to attack.
  • Define the structure of the internal value chain that will need to deliver the value proposition and estimate the cost of maintaining the structure. That is, and with plain words, you need to deliver your value proposition and how much it will cost.
  • Define the architecture capture value and estimate the benefits you get when you capture the value. So, how do you get income and what will be.
  • What is your position on competition.

From my point of view, the best way to represent a business model is a Canvas (foot attached and link to the article picture). Although part of the competition is a little lame on Canvas and better treat a part (link at the bottom of the article on how to analyze competitors).

Business model

What is a strategy?

It is creating a plan that will take you to achieve your goals. No es el plan, son las decisiones que deberás tomar para crear el plan. Estas decisiones también incluyen en plan de contingencia, es decir, qué harás en caso de que tu competencia haga algo o algo cambie. El modelo de negocio forma parte de ese plan. O sea, primero decides cuál será tu estrategia y luego eliges el modelo de negocio que más te conviene. Lo que pasa es que muchas veces es más fácil decidir cuál será tu estrategia cuando pones sobre un papel los diferentes modelos de negocio que puedes elegir, de ahí la confusión. También ocurre que a veces, las pequeñas empresas tienen modelo de negocio, pero no siguen ninguna estrategia (esto es malo, obviamente… pero así es la realidad).

I hope I've been helpful and you now have clearer What is the difference between Business Model and Strategy.

You will find more information on these links:

  • Evolution of Business Model definitions and components that form in this article Zott, Amit and Massa: What is a business model
  • My model of how to analyze competitors on the Internet: How to analyze competitors
  • On business models and how to use them to beat your competition in this article Ramon Casadesus and Joan Ricard: business models to compete
  • Link you will find a video explaining how to use a Business Model Canvas and a form for you to download it for free the official version of the model: Business Model Canvas

If you need personalized help to adapt your business model to strategy you decide, do not hesitate to contact me.

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Have they changed the types of online business model?

Adaptation of the business model of a company over time is a key to the survival of the company factor, medium and long term. But the types of business model Internet have changed since 1992 when the first website was created to this day?

Types of business modelEverything depends on classification we use.

With an overall ranking as the "4C" Wirtz, Schilke and Ullrich (2010) (the image along these lines) observed that typologies have not changed. Businesses that were created in the late 90s and businesses created in 2018, can be classified into one of four types:

  1. Oriented business creation / selection / compilation of content (online news, blogs, youtubers, etc.)
  2. E-commerce oriented businesses close transaction whether or not (Amazon, eBay and any online store)
  3. designed to give context to information business (this is the case of Google, for example)
  4. Business oriented to provide networking services (Facebook, Linkedin, etc.).

Although there are some whose model is hybrid, such as Youtube, which in turn gives context to content, but also includes social networking features. The same could be said of Instagram if we consider more than just a social network.

On the other hand, returning to the beginning of this article, lyou must continue to adapt its business model as time passes, este es el caso por ejemplo de Amazon, que empezó en 1994 como tienda online de libros, poco a poco fue incorporando su comunidad de lectores que enriquecían las fichas de los libros, luego pasó a comercio electrónico de todo tipo de producto y finalmente combina su comercio electrónico con un marketplace. Utilizando el modelo de las “4C” parece cómo si no hubiese cambiado, pero lo cierto es que dentro de lo que los autores del “4C” consideran comercio electrónico, hay todo un mundo de subtipos de modelo de negocio… pero profundizar en este tema lo dejaremos para otro artículo.

In case you are interested in topics of the archetypes of business models, I'll leave this table under these lines is what I use in class when I explain the model of the "4C" and key success factors of each type, so as the different sources of income that can use such businesses. (Yes, it's in English ... but this class impart English).

Types of business model

I hope the information is useful to you.

Here you find the article that the authors of "4C" explain their model: “4c” Business Model Archetypes

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