2011’s Disruptive Business Trends

Happy New Year from Hanson Marketing!

Entrepreneur magazine carried an excellent “look ahead” article in December that identified 10 disruptive business trends coming in 2011. It’s a fun article to help kick-start your 2011 business planning. Take note:

Boomers’ influence is growing along with their population … 76 million and counting. Where and how they shop, work and live signals new revenue streams for everyone from architects to retail developers.

Home fitness is counted among the disruptive, too, with sales growth coming via, among other outlets, direct response TV (DRTV). “As people continue to spend cautiously, working out at home becomes more popular, too. The quality and variety of options has improved greatly in recent years, he says. “As Seen on TV” products are leading this explosion–home fitness was the top-selling infomercial category in 2010…”

Read more.

Apps-Based Business? Here’s your Dashboard

If your business model is centered on creation and sales of apps, Fast Company magazine has a concise dashboard infographic that will help you figure out how and when to release your 2011 products. See Infographic here.

Want another cool visual treat? (You are in a cool business, after all…) To get an idea of your potential customer base worldwide, check out the video showing how many apps are launched and how frequently an app is downloaded somewhere in the world:

Merry Christmas from Hanson Marketing!

Season's Greetings from San Diego!

Or, as my people in Ireland and Norway would say:

“Nollaig chridheil agus Bliadhna mhath ùr! ” and “Gledelig Jul”

Leave it to an Irishman to say in six words what a Norwegian can say in two…

US Census, U-Haul Trucks Signal American Migration

Tomorrow’s news will bring the newest official population tallies from the US Census Bureau. We’ll learn the most and least populous states, and where most of us have moved to and from since 2000. Learn more at the census bureau’s nifty interactive graphic here

The first use of this data? Political apportionment, ensuring equal representation for all citizens in the House of Representatives. What’s your guess on which states will gain and which will lose house seats?

Nifty Map shows that the 2000 Census yielded a 66% population growth in Nevada, brought on by industrial growth, desirable business tax policy, and very cheap housing in greater Las Vegas. Let’s check Tuesday’s numbers to see if The Silver State still carries #1. I’m going to bet on Texas this time around…

Census counts aside, I’ve always heard that one anecdotal way to estimate interstate migration rates is to check truck availability at your local U-Haul agent. Plenty on the lot? Lots of folks have recently rolled into town and set up housekeeping. Short supply? If so, you might have noticed less rush hour traffic recently. The Las Vegas Sun referred to the U-Haul metric in a recent online post.

US Cement Industry: Thrown Under the Truck?

As our nation pushes toward an ambitious goal of doubling exports between 2010 and 2015, the potential for export growth for some well-established US industries seems dire. Adding on the complex layer of environmental regulations reduces the odds for growth even further. It’s a frustrating double standard we live by… as citizens and business people, we are all stewards of the environment. But, at what point do regulations designed for preserving the health of the planet and of our common welfare cause diminishing returns?

A recent take on the cement industry points out the effect that far-reaching environmental regulation has on the health of the cement industry, both domestic and export. One industry veteran, who owns an industrial filter supplies company with a strong balance of both domestic and foreign revenue, told me recently that “with these regulations, you are putting the death nail into the North American cement industry.”

Meanwhile, “…cement from less regulated, less enforced (read less costly) areas such as China can be easily transported via ocean vessels to the North American markets. This “leakage” would effectively kill off all cement manufacturing in North America.”

So how does an industry fight back? This supplier brings up an interesting concept: a sort of environmental tariff on imported cement that’s been produced under less-stringent standards and is being brought in to the US (burning fossil fuels while en route here, by the way), thereby causing more environmental damage when used in the US than those product lines made here, under our tough regulations.

He reasons that a cement tariff on imports from offshore producers with sub standard controls and compliance certifications would be the answer. “If that does not fly with the WTO as protectionist, then apply it to any producers and see how thoroughly and quickly US ones comply, when compared to overseas competitors.. truly a free market is in play then.”

Learn more about the cement industry at:
Portland Cement Association website

EPA regulations

Seling to Asian Middle Class? Your Numbers are UP!

Trade stats from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach show this gateway to Asia is handling 20% more outbound cargo than last year. This is good news if you’re a) making and selling the products that are in demand by growing middle classes in Asia; and b) if you make your money by transporting, packing and certifying said goods. Local economies that service and support global ports shares the wealth of a market uptick, handling the products that flow through those ports. More tonnage equals more revenue.

Eastbound products signal recovery in export sector

As of September — the most recent month for which statistics are available — the state ports exported more than $12.3 billion to foreign markets, an increase of 19% over the year before, through its harbors and airports. (See LA Times report) We’re all climbing out of the trade hole together – manufacturers, resellers, logistics teams.

Yes, imports into said ports are still down, but remember what a sales pro you are: take the export growth uptick and run with it to counter sales decreases. If you are in charge of building global sales channels to reach consumers in these markets, make sure you’ve got an eye on your partners there. Unlike the EU and North America, these markets have less ground to regain after the 2008 recession, and consumers are moving fast to increase their living standards by buying coveted US goods.

Before you ship your containers Eastbound, get on a plane and visit your targeted countries. Recruit and train channel partners in person… back up the high quality claims about your products with high quality partnership management. Remember that global tech giants like Cisco claim more than 75% of their annual revenue through channel partners. If it works for them, it can work for your company.

South Korea-US Free Trade Agreement

Wall Street Journal reports that the US auto industry has gained a strong concession in the terms of this FTA. The revised pact allows the U.S. five years to phase out a 2.5% tariff it levies on South Korean-built cars, rather than cutting the tariff immediately, as provided for in the original agreement struck in 2007.

After inconclusive negotiations between US and South Korea during last month’s G-20 agenda, North Korea’s recent attack on South Korean territory may have propelled the negotiation teams back to the table. In January, expect some bi-partisan drama as Congress reconvenes, spoiling for a fight before ultimately passing the deal at the recommendation of Ford Motors and the US Chamber of Commerce.

Seoul would immediately cut its tariff on U.S. auto imports in half, to 4%. A 25% tariff levied by the U.S. on South Korean truck imports would remain in place for eight years, while the corresponding South Korean tariff on U.S. trucks, 10%, would be cut immediately.

Overall, U.S. businesses that stand to benefit from a South Korea free-trade agreement include financial services, agriculture and manufacturers of big-ticket capital goods.

Speaking of food, reactions from Montana lawmakers tell how the beef industry’s desired concessions by South Korea didn’t get as far as those of automakers. Meanwhile, as import food prices fall for Koreans once the FTA takes effect, US citrus growers appear to be first in line for agriculture export gains.

Think about the potential for frozen juice and dried fruit, let alone fresh produce and nuts. Western US growers will get to the market first, so expect agriculture trade associations in that region to mobilize with trade shows and matchmaking trips.

Hey, Sales Channel Pros! What are your Plans for 2011?

If you’re leading sales channels, what are your plans for 2011? Have you got a pulse on product trends and emerging markets? Whether you sell software, hardware, consumer packaged goods or personal electronics, have you heard what your industry’s influencers are saying about your competition vs you?

A successful 2011 channel strategy mix needs to focus on four main elements. Use this 4-step diagnostic to make sure you start the new year with your A game in place:

Revenue-Friendly Product Management: Are launch plans from your road-map on task, on time, on target?
Integrated Public Relations: Are your PR agency’s marching orders in place to sway influencers and accelerate product launches?
Relevant Marketing Communications: Are partner-friendly resources rolling into your channels? Will your compensation and affiliate programs maintain and grow mind share for your products?
ROI-Savvy Global Event Strategies: Don’t forget to show up at the right parties… gain face time at A-list events in each key region worldwide. Put your company’s leadership on the plane to shake hands and close deals in person.

Global markets are opening up — check out new opportunities in South Korea in agriculture, financial services and capital equipment for specialized manufacturing. Public infrastructure spending in many US states signals new business closer to home, too.

With the right plan and your usual hard work, you’ll gain the upper hand against competitors through channel revenue growth.

Google, China, Censorship & e-Commerce

In a recent post on Forbes.com, Andy Greenberg presented a timely and thorough explanation of all that’s at stake for the world’s largest online commerce engine, in the world’s largest country… much at stake for international business strategists who are advising their clients to enter China and tap the fast-growing middle-class consumer sector.

The U.S. government, advocating on Google’s behalf, is moving forward with a sound strategy: “…It is also becoming increasingly apparent that censorship has implications for trade between nations. A Google official in 2010 pointed out that free trade principles should clearly apply to the Internet…”

Who better to support in the fight for free and open trade than Google, who’s enabling businesses of all sizes and locations to build and sustain a global trade strategy?

Read more here: http://blogs.forbes.com/andygreenberg/2010/11/18/congress-commission-echoes-google-chinas-censorship-is-trade-barrier/?boxes=Homepagechannels

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