Forget the New iPhone Hype. Focus on Artificial Intelligence and Voice Assistants Instead.

Last month, hype about the iPhone X—the phone’s latest reboot and first major advancement in several years—reached a fever pitch, but if you’re looking at this latest iPhone as the bellwether of what’s coming in the new era of personal technology, you’re looking in the wrong place. The next era of technology will be shaped by artificial intelligence and voice-controlled personal assistants.


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What Apple's iPhone X and 8 Can Teach Tech Companies About Capturing Customer Segments

With Apple’s recent, dramatic product launches—the iPhone 8 and X—the tech giant continues to fill the market with phones of different price points and features. This latest release builds on Apple’s history of appealing to multiple customer segments and offers lessons for other tech companies in doing the same.


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Demographics Be Damned: Three Steps to Optimizing Your Marketing Strategy

Nowadays, we often hear of millennials as a target demographic for growing markets and companies alike, and rightfully so. Representing nearly a quarter of the U.S. population, millennials also make up a larger chunk of the population than baby boomers and command significantly higher spending power, spending about $200 billion each year in the U.S., according to Nielsen. But a straightforward approach to targeting millennials may not be optimal. Why? Put simply, people’s purchasing decisions aren’t necessarily tied to a single demographic identifier.


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Breaking the 'Channel Laziness' Cycle

 

In my last post, I explored the causes of “channel laziness,” a common side effect of high-tech manufacturers’ efforts to create indirect sales channels to reach small- or mid-market businesses. Unfortunately, some manufacturers that leverage partners to reach customers who are difficult to cover through direct channels struggle to achieve desired channel productivity levels due to partner over-reliance on the support provided to them. In effect, partners become lazy, unwilling to invest in the resources and competencies that are required to play their intended role in manufacturers’ go-to-market strategies.


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Three Common Causes of 'Channel Laziness'

Most high-tech manufacturers establish channel partnerships that provide an important route-to-market for the mid-market or small-business segments. These partnerships help manufacturers reach key customers in geographies that are often difficult to cover with direct channels. Unfortunately, many manufacturers who choose this strategy are struggling with a challenge that I call “channel laziness.” Channel partners who manufacturers count on to both acquire and grow customer relationships are not achieving expected productivity levels and are reluctant to invest in new sales and marketing capabilities. This reluctance and, in some cases, ambivalence regarding high-tech manufacturers’ efforts to enable improved partner performance leads to high sales costs, missed opportunities and stagnant growth.


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