Top 6 Marketing Trends to Look out for in 2017

Do you feel like your marketing strategy is not as affective as it was before? Well that’s probably because it’s coming to the end of February and you’re stuck on last year’s marketing strategy. It’s about time for you to make a change. Marketing strategies have to evolve with society’s demand and these days its all about the technology and social media. So here’s a little glimpse at the latest marketing trends for 2017.

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How to turn your App from Meh To A-MEH-zing


So you have a mobile app now, but the work definitely doesn’t stop there. In order to maintain customer satisfaction, you’ll need to constantly be upgrading your mobile app’s user experience (UX). You would always want to aim to create the best version of your app, and constantly be upgrading it to include new widgets or functions for your users.

Here are some key ways you can look to upgrade your mobile app UX.

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7 Advantages of Redesigning Your Website and How You Can Make Full Use of It

Many companies’ perception of website redesign is that it is an unnecessary task that is not only cost intensive, but time consuming as well. However, in this Digital age where there is increased reliance on online platforms to obtain information and knowledge, investing in a website redesign once every 1.5 years comes with a multitude of benefits for your business that make it worth the price tag.

Website redesigning doesn’t have to be entirely revamped in one shot too. Necessary updates once in a while can be easier, cheaper and faster than you think. And if you have trouble finding the right talents to design a webpage for you, there are many available sites for you to compare vendors.

If you are still thinking about whether or not to invest your money into renovating your website, here are 7 reasons that will convince you that website redesign will benefit your company.

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5 video marketing trends to watch in 2017!

In the age of digital marketing, content marketing reigns supreme. Many businesses today are investing heavily on content marketers in order to flourish their company blog and improve their search engine ranks. However as some companies plough through link after link, gathering keyword after keyword, they find that improving their SEO and drowning their blogs with articles may not necessarily give them the best conversion rate. This is because they’re not engaging users enough with their content. Blog articles can be interesting but they can also be long and boring.

So what’s the latest content medium is the world obsessed with? VIDEOS!

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8 Steps To Creating The Strongest Marketing Strategy

With a strong marketing presence, any company can rise to the top of it’s industry. However, getting to the top requires perseverance and hard work. Not every marketing strategy you come up with is a good marketing strategy. You need to be able to distinguish between certain marketing plans to come up with the best combination to hit your marketing objectives. The process of finding that balance comes with trials and tribulations, but it can be easily overcome the more hard work and research you put into it. The team here at ThunderQuote have created a list of the 8 key steps to creating the best marketing strategy for your team so that you reach your marketing objectives!

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How can traditional businesses deal with disruption?

Disruption is a phenomenon increasingly prevalent today as innovative startups restructure the entire business landscape and its operations with disruptive technologies. While disruption may bring about consumer benefits such as enhanced user experience and efficiency, it is a major cause of headache for traditional businesses.

The most prominent cases would be Uber and Grab taxi that made traditional taxi models obsolete with the introduction of mobile apps, and Alibaba that made shopping at physical retail stores redundant with e-commerce platforms. Even banks and insurance companies are facing disruption with the introduction of revolutionary finance technologies. Easy payments, b-b lending, savings and stock exchanges are all possible through the cloud today, making traditional business models of operations leaner and better.

Hence, as traditional businesses get crowded out of the marketplace with the advent of technology, they have to find a way back into the game. Here are three steps companies should consider in order to deal with disruption.

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5 Key Skills That Every Procurement Manger Should Have

Anyone who is making it in the procurement universe will tell you that the job is extremely hard but also highly rewarding. Procurement specialists are always working with suppliers on a daily basis and therefore the job would require them to have a high level of confidence and also a high level of intelligence to be able to work their way through the industry.

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Strategic Sourcing III (Final)

Strategic Sourcing III

 

Within the realm of Strategic Sourcing, the term “savings” is probably featured more prominently than others. It is a fact that organisations who implemented a Strategic Sourcing function expect some benefits from the function. Otherwise, why invest time and resources into a business function if not for its positive benefits. And many organisations who operate a matured Procurement function often had savings as the only objective at their start-up phase. For such organisations, their “burning platform” for implementing Procurement was to reduce cost, often during an economically uncertain period. But as the Procurement function develops and matures, other forms of measurements for Strategic Sourcing is needed. Here is a look at the key performance measures of Sourcing.

 

Savings Definition

The idea of savings is a simple one, and in economic terms it is the ‘reduction in money, time or other resource’ (Oxford Dictionaries). And yet, the application of savings in Procurement can be a contentious one, especially between the Sourcing Manager who executed a well-planned strategic sourcing program and the business user who is supposed to have benefited from the sourcing initiative. To understand such a contentious subject, let’s consider a few scenarios of ‘savings’.

 

In its most basic form, savings is defined as the difference between the current price and previously purchased price, if the current price is lower than the latter. This is a definition of savings which everyone understands and accepts readily, and we shall term this form of savings as ‘Cost Reduction’. A number of sourcing strategies are effective in bringing cost reduction savings, namely Best-Price Evaluation, Volume Concentration and Global Sourcing. This situation can be illustrated in the following diagram:

 

Another form of savings which can be defined is termed as ‘Cost Avoidance’, and this is where differences of opinion come in. Consider a situation where price inflation or scarcity of supplies in the market saw an increase in price over the last purchased price. The business will have a negative financial impact based on the newly offered price, which is commensurate with market prices. If the Procurement team was able to negotiate with the incumbent supplier and limits the price increase to a smaller quantum over the previously purchased price, the difference can be recognised as a form of savings, even though the actual price would have increased. A number of organisations would not recognise this form of savings, and have derogatory remarks over it. And yet, if we were to recognise that the role of Procurement is to secure economic benefits for the organisation, then this is an effort that should be acknowledged, for there is an economic benefit to the organisation compared with an option of ‘doing nothing’.

 

Besides these two examples, consider the scenario where a business user has an expense budget of $xx. Based on the last known transaction, the user anticipated that the $xx budget will secure N number of units, and requested the assistance of the Procurement function. By applying the right sourcing strategy, the Procurement function was able to secure N + 8 units of the required commodity at the budget level. In the same approach as ‘Cost Reduction’, the user could have accepted the required N units and saved on the budget. However, the user decided to expense the full budget amount to support the growing business needs. In this case, the Procurement team recognises the additional 8 units (at the contracted price) as a ‘saving’ in the form of Free-of-charge Extras. There is no ‘savings’ in the correct sense, but the free-of-charge extras is quantified as a financial benefit.

 

Performance Metrics

Achieved savings remain one of the most prevalent performance metrics of Procurement. When defined properly, savings provide an indication on the success or outcome of Strategic Sourcing. Other metrics that are often used to measure the performance of Strategic Sourcing are:

  • Addressable spend that is sourced – This measurement looks at the effectiveness of the Procurement function in managing the organisation’s spend. The target of every Procurement function should be to increase this metric progressively, indicating the confidence the organisation has in the professional Procurement approach.

 

  • Spend that is contract compliant – This measurement looks at the effectiveness of the contract implementation process. As stated in our last article, Strategic Sourcing is not only about establishing supplier contracts, but its implementation as well. Well negotiated contracts that are poorly implemented will see leakage of the financial benefits from the Sourcing process.

 

  • Transactions that are contract compliant – Similar to the previous measurement, this metric looks at the effectiveness of contract implementation but from a transaction (as compared to financial) perspective. A low achievement (62% being market average) of this metric indicates a long tail-end spend which may not have been addressed by Procurement, or a symptom of inefficient ordering channels.

 

  • Contracts stored in a central, searchable repository – This measurement tests the proficiency of the Procurement function in internal processes. Using central repositories to store and manage contract records (hard-copy or otherwise) will mitigate the ill-effects associated with staff movements and resignations, as well as promote the knowledge exchange and development of Procurement resources within the team.

 

  • e-Enabled suppliers – This metric measures the extent of the Procurement function in adopting and using enabling technologies such as eSourcing, ePurchasing, eInvoicing and marketplace catalogues. Connecting suppliers with technology has been proven to deliver process efficiencies for both the buying and selling organisations. As there are numerous facilities and service offerings that provide enabling technology at reasonable rates, the excuse for not using such technology becomes moot.

 

Success of Strategic Sourcing

Based on the last two example above, should these financial benefits be recognised as savings? If the Procurement function had taken no actions to influence the outcome, would the organisation be in a financially disadvantaged position? These examples show that the definition of ‘savings’ is not a straightforward and simple exercise. It does not help when Procurement professionals could not establish a common definition of savings, unlike other more established professions like Accounting. And yet, the expectation to demonstrate results from Strategic Sourcing is ever present.

 

And here lies the predicament of Procurement, which is to adopt a definition for savings that recognises the efforts of Strategic Sourcing, and without excessively overstating the outcome or benefits of their efforts. Eventually, the organisation’s stakeholders (executive management and business users) will have to determine if a definition of savings will support the organisation’s core and/or financial objectives, and at the same time use the definition to reward or motivate further actions from the Procurement function. Debates with the absolute terms of ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ in the definition of savings (besides the simple and most basic definition of the Cost Reduction) is both counter-productive and distracting to the organisation. Hence, Procurement Managers are well advised to seek the organisation stakeholders’ agreement and buy-in to any definition of savings which deviate from the obvious, and to establish other measures that demonstrate the value contribution of Procurement.

 

From the market perspective, this mindset is reflected from Ardent Partners’ latest CPO Rising research, which states that “only 7% of procurement departments use savings as the sole measure of their performance”. Of the rest of the organisations, a variety of measurements are used to demonstrate the value of Procurement. These metrics again do not seem to be standardised, and will likely to remain as such for a further period of time, before the Procurement function reaches the next level of maturity.

 

As with other performance metrics which organisations use, there is no single rule that applies and no absolute right or wrong. Each organisation is unique in their own right, and is well advised to establish clear definitions of ‘savings’ to measure the effectiveness of Procurement. Let the definitions be applied to actual cases and scenarios, and adapt the definitions to avoid any dysfunctional and undesirable effects that distract the organisation from its core objectives and goals.
This is our last article on the topic of Strategic Sourcing. There are other articles in this blog that provide deep market insights and knowledge that can help Procurement Managers in the conduct of their Sourcing initiatives. Readers are well advised to consult and refer to these other articles for ideas and inspirations for their Sourcing efforts. In the continuing articles on the strategy of Procurement, we will look at Operational Buying. Please stay tuned.

Top coding languages for Mobile App development

Moblie apps are an integral part of many customers’ user experience. If you want your business to stay competitive in the age of rapid technological expansion, your business definitely needs an app for itself. Not only will you improve the experience of your current users or clients, you’ll also be able to reach out to a wider network of people.

If you’re looking to create a mobile app, it is always advisable to engage an experienced developer to give you the best quality possible. However, if you’re up for the challenge, you can always develop one yourself. Here are some common coding languages you can pick up before starting on your mobile app.

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Mastering Mobile Marketing to Catapult Your Company into Success!

Over the years, mobile phones have become a staple in our lives and none of us can probably walk out of the house without our phones anymore. 2016 was a great year for mobile marketing. According to  emarketer2 billion consumers worldwide  will have smartphones by the end of 2016 and that over half of mobile phone users globally will have smartphones in 2018. These numbers are huge and it opens up so many opportunities when it come to mobile marketing. There are just so many mobile marketing tips out there for everyone to latch on to! We’re going to let you in on some of the best mobile marketing tips to allow for you to grow and flourish well enough with mobile marketing! 

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