C-Suite Insights 7th June 2021

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How COVID-19 will change the geography of competition


MIT Sloan Management Review


For any business leader, decisions about their company’s geographic footprint are crucial. Entering a foreign market requires major resources and a strong commitment to succeed. Similarly, deciding to locate a manufacturing plant overseas entails the careful selection of an offshore destination.


Leaders are exposed to two significant errors of judgment when they misunderstand the geography of competition. First, they escalate commitment to geographic markets they should be retreating from; and second, they miss out on novel opportunities to create value across borders in different areas of the world. By getting their geographic footprint wrong, they make the company less resilient and unfit for future global challenges.

This article, based on analysis of the geographic footprints of the world’s largest corporations derived from Fortune’s Global 500 list, claims that there are two common fallacies that leaders should be aware of: that COVID-19 has caused companies to localise and that vaccines will restore companies’ pre-pandemic globalisation patterns.


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The untapped potential of B2B customer loyalty programs


Strategy + Business


This article claims that B2B loyalty programs are set to take off. They are common in the B2C arena, but have only recently taken root in the B2B world.


For companies willing to reimagine the traditional transactional nature of their B2B relationships, a loyalty program represents an important growth opportunity. It can cost five times more to acquire a customer than to retain one, and on average the most loyal customers account for up to 80% of a company’s revenues.


However, the B2B ‘buyer’ is more than one person - procurement and finance, along with heads of business - and these individuals have different needs. Companies must figure out who to target and how to align with the customer’s strategic goals.


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A customer-centric approach to marketing in a privacy-first world


McKinsey & Company


The way that customer data are gathered, used, and regulated has changed tremendously over the past decade. Tracking tools such as web cookies and Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) have opened the door for an enormous increase in the sophistication of advertisement personalisation and targeting, but they have also enabled occasional privacy violations.


Regulators and tech companies are taking action to reassure customers. Government regulations, including the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Customer Privacy Act (CCPA), have already begun to place limits on the use of customer data.


This shift is expected to have profound implications for digital marketers, who may no longer be able to rely on cookies to boost the efficacy of customer outreach. Those marketers and companies that do not figure out a strategy to maintain their access to first-party data may have to spend up to 20% more on marketing and sales to generate the same returns.


This article suggests a new approach to data-driven marketing that is not only about technical fixes or work-arounds. Instead, it suggests that a strong, trust-based relationship with customers is the key to a sustainable, effective data strategy.


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