Best Mobile Messaging Marketing Tools for B2B Industries in EU

Ask any marketer, what tool they use for reaching out B2B customers in the EU. Most of them are likely to say, direct mails, social media, emails, etc. We have already seen many B2C companies, News Agencies, magazines, event-management agencies in America have started using several mobile messaging marketing tools to reach out to their customers and to enhance their brand presence.

Am I the only one who thinks that marketers can reach their B2B customer more easily and effectively using Mobile Messaging Marketing Tools? B2B industry in the EU is still using old school methods of acquiring and retaining their customers. Nothing wrong in that. But in order to stand out in the crowd, I think it’s time to step up and use unconventional tools create that WOW factor. Here’s my Top # 3 mobile messaging marketing tool for B2B industry in the EU.

Best Mobile Messaging Marketing Tools for B2B Industry in EU

Number # 1 – Whatsapp

54,9% people in western Europe owns at least one smartphone and that’s the highest in the world. For example, the Netherlands has one of the highest smartphone penetration rate in the world with 61% WhatsApp adoption rate. Imagine the number of customers you can reach out in one go. Moreover, Whatsapp has recently introduced Web Version, where typing and managing the contacts are even more easily than before.

As a B2B Company all you need to do is to have a fixed number, which your customers can add as a contact. You will not only be able to take care of customer request quicker, moreover, be able to reach them proactively with your latest offers/products.

Number # 2 – Snapchat

Snapchat – photo-sharing app has expanded in recent times to go beyond sharing disappearing photos. Snapchat has recently signed up with several companies such as BuzzFeed, Daily Mail, Cosmopolitan, MTV, Fusion, CNN, Vice, Food Network, People etc. The core idea is simple, “Less is More”; the users get to view the videos, images, news items in a very compressed format.

In the EU, this trend is still limited. By Snapchat, B2B Marketers can promote their events, showcase employer branding (for example, how it’s to work at X, Y, Z company). If your company doesn’t have the budget for paying $ 750,000 (Approx € 683,932), then all you need to do is to install snapshot and ask your customers to add you (your company snapchat account). Just create your SnapCode and share it with your customers to add / follow you. Then you can regularly SHARE YOUR STORY and customers can view them whenever they want.

Create your SnapCode here: https://accounts.snapchat.com/accounts/snapcodes

Number # 3 – Viber

Viber allows for free calls to and from people using Viber, and you can use it ViberOut for your PC as well. As a B2B marketer, you can use the “Public Chats” option, which allows people to follow the charts of companies, or a specific topic, etc. Users can also download sticker collections from brands.

Moreover, you establish a single contact point for the customers where they can call / reach irrespective of the location. Moreover, you communicate High-Resolution images (such as Posters / Offers / Event news etc.) With customers proactively.

These apps are still relatively young. It’s still an unexplored territory for B2B marketers. Before jumping into it and destroying your brand reputation, it’s highly recommended to understand your customers, research what type of tool they use in their smartphones and make a clear communication strategy. After all, it’s about how to use the proper mobile messaging marketing tools customer specifically.

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5 Project Management Lessons to Learn from NASA’s New Horizons Probe Project

“New Horizons space probe”, “Pluto flyby” are the current buzzword. Tuesday, 14th July, 2015, was that historic moment; where we have proved once again the capability of you and me, us the humans. New Horizons blasted off in January 19 2006, and was the fastest launch recorded, reaching speeds of over 36,000 miles per hour. The spacecraft passed the Moon after just nine hours, around eight times quicker than the Apollo program, and reached Jupiter the following year. After 9.5 years, and traveling more 5 billion kilometers it had reached the orbit of Pluto and even sent back mind boggling images of the youngest planet in our solar system, Pluto.
The New Horizons project is a success. But, that success didn’t come over night. Just like any business projects we carry out in our professional lives, it was a project for NASA. In our business world, we do many projects every year. Some fails, some succeeds and some succeeds beyond expectation. After reading several articles, watching documentaries about New Horizons space probe projects, I personally thing, there’s 5 crucial factors which has lead this project to a successful project. We can surely learn from it and implement in our business projects to make them successful.

Factor # 1 : Team

Without the right team in place, any strategy and plan has the potential of completely falling apart. The New Horizons team comprised of 4 majors teams -Team Leaders, Science Team, Co-Investigators, and Team Leads with defined responsibilities and goal. It is important to assign the right people to each aspect of the project and make sure that they are working well together.

New Horizons Space Probe Project Team

New Horizons Space Probe Project Team

Factor # 2 : Planning

Proper and Detailed planning sets up a project for success from the start. It’s crucial that all the team members are involved in the planning process and always know in which direction the project is going to go. Planning can help the team to meet deadlines and stay organized. For example, New Horizons team planned way ahead in time to ensure that the probe was able to reach Pluto when it’s nearest to us. It’s crucial to remember that Pluto follows a highly elliptical orbit around the Sun. At the closest point of its orbit, called perihelion, Pluto gets to within 4.44 billion km from the Sun. The team planned way ahead in time to ensure that the New Horizons probe reached when Pluto is at the closest point of its orbit. Hence, the probe was able to reach Pluto in quickest time possible at a reliable and realistic time-scale.

Planning_New_Horizons_Probe

Planning New Horizons Probe

Factor # 3 : Foreseeing Risk

During the planning phase, it’s crucial to produce probable list of risks with an action plan for the risks that the project could face. For example, the new Horizons probe is traveling at speed of 84,000 kilometers per hour. Even a small rice grain size space rock can damage the equipment’s on board. The new horizons team were able to take care of this ensuring that the radio antenna was always faced towards the path direction so that if any small objects will hit the large antenna and won’t damage the equipment’s behind it. This gave the team confidence and resulted in success in the project.

New Horizons Risk Amit Biswas

New Horizons Risk Management

Factor # 4 : Improvising

Projects rarely go off exactly as planned. Even after identifying and going through probable risks, teams faces unforeseen risks. It doesn’t mean that that project should be stopped and restarted again. Stopping or restarting a project can be highly costly in terms of money and time. It important to improvise. It’s crucial to openly communicate within the team about it and trying to find a smart solution with least cost and time. Same happened with the New Horizons team. They launched the probe on January 19, 2006. They later realized that they had miscalculated the orbit of Pluto as they didn’t have a lot of information about the planet’s orbit. Later with improvement of technology and in combination with images captured by researchers, the team was able to find the accurate info about the orbit. Hence, they were able to send information to the probe in advance to save the project from total failure.

New_Horizons_Trajectory_Data

New Horizons Space Probe Improvising

Factor # 5 : Project Continuation & Closure

If a project does not have strong closure or succession planning, then it has the potential to continue to consume resources. The project team must be firm and agree that all critical success factors have been met. Some cases, projects turn into actions or evolves into daily routines of the team members. It has to be clearly defined in the project scope, whether the project will end once it has achieved a certain goal or will it continue and evolve to be part of daily work. For example, the New Horizons space probe has received his goal of taking images of Pluto and sending them back. But, it will now continue to go further and explore the universe beyond Pluto till 2030. It’s a classic example of project continuation even after it has completed its main goal.

7 simple ways to increase your ranking in LinkedIn

For a long time, I was thinking about writing an article on LinkedIn, specially focused on professionals who are in mid-level of their career or just finished their Masters and looking for a new career opportunity. There’s many blogs, articles written on how to make an ideal profile on LinkedIn. Most of the blogs touches the basic ground for sure, but I wanted to focus a bit more on how to increase your ranking in LinkedIn pragmatically.

So here’s my 7 simple ways to increase your ranking in LinkedIn…

Step # 1: Choose a professional picture

Let me get one thing straight in the beginning; “This is NOT Facebook”.

You can put your drinking, partying pictures, family pictures, selfies on Facebook, but not in LinkedIn. Recruiters appreciate a social employees, no doubt about that, but it will not help you land the dream job you are looking for. I have seen many users using their Passport photo as LinkedIn profile picture. Ask yourself this simple question…

“Are you applying for a visa via LinkedIn?”

So, please get a professional photo taken by a photographer. If you are a fresh graduate, can’t afford a photographer’s service charge. Just ask one of your friends, to take a picture of in outside in a park when it’s a sunny day or even you can take a picture in the university premises. Make sure your face is clearly visible and don’t forget to smile.

LinkedIn Profile Picture

Example : LinkedIn Profile Picture

Step # 2:  Start networking

Start connecting and networking with your colleagues, ex-colleagues, classmates. Spend a few minutes in sending a personalized invitation. LinkedIn provides standard templates, but it’s always appreciated / liked by recipients when you a little personal touch to it.

Also, don’t hesitate to add professional in your business fields or recruiters, but please add a line or two in the invitation, why you would like to connect to them. Don’t just send out add request, just for a sake of it, be professional.

Networking_LinkedIn

Example: Personalized message LinkedIn

Networking professionals will land you jobs and career opportunities before you know it.

Step # 3: Get your profile proofread by a professional

You may have a brilliant CV and excellent achievements, but you have grammatical mistakes in your profile, the likely hood of your getting called for an interview is lower. I work closely with HR colleagues in my current professions and I have seen CV’s getting rejected due to poor grammar skills. According Harvard Business Review, people who care about their writing demonstrate credibility, professionalism, and accuracy in their work.

Example: Good Profile Content

Example: Good Profile Content

Firstly, get your profile’s contents checked via free grammar checking software’s (for example: www.gingersoftware.com). Then ask your friend who is good in English

Step # 4: Don’t apply for just any jobs, because you are desperately looking for one.

A lot of fresh graduates and experienced professionals start applying for jobs out of desperation. Remember one thing, every time, every single hasty job application you send out, you are closing door to that company.

Example: LinkedIn Job

Example: LinkedIn Job

Read the job profile thoroughly, see the language requirements and skills. For example, usually in the Netherlands, if the employer is looking forward expats, they post the job in English. Don’t apply for a job where language requirement is Dutch or German or a language which you don’t know.

Most importantly, think through and adapt your CV accordingly based on the job you want to apply for.

Step # 5: Add achievements & extracurricular activities

While counselling many of professional networks and friend about how to make an ideal profile on LinkedIn, I encounter many saying “I don’t have any achievements in my professions”.

You have worked 3-4 years and at a mid-level or managerial position, but don’t have any achievements??

Think again? Achievements, not necessarily means that you have received a certificate for something. If you have an award or certificate, that’s great, put in on the LinkedIn profile under respective jobs or academic degrees.

Example: Achievements LinkedIn

Example: Achievements LinkedIn

On the other hand, if you don’t have any awards in paper, think once again. Maybe you have optimized or reduced cost to the company or achieved your KPI 100% or beyond. Or maybe you introduced or came up with an idea to make a project more efficient, which resulted in an increased sales.

It’s just a food for thought. End of the day, even the laziest man has achievement, you must be wondering how. As rightly quoted by Bill Gates, “I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”

Last but not the least, don’t forget to add your extra curriculum activities. It represents your personality. For example, you were the class president, it shows your leadership skills or you were part of football team, which showcases that you are tend to be a team player.

Step # 6: Ask for recommendation and endorsement

You can always ask your colleagues and classmates to write a few lines about you, your work as a recommendation in the LinkedIn. You don’t necessarily have to ask via email. You can always casually ask them to do it in their free times. Remember one thing, Recruiters doesn’t know you as a person or doesn’t know your excellent interpersonal skills. The best way to showcase that, via your network or people who knows in professionally and personally via LinkedIn recommendation feature

Example: Recommnedations in LinkedIn

Example: Recommendations in LinkedIn

Step # 7: Add the projects

Add the name of the completed projects that you have worked. By including the name of the projects, you will not only showcase that you have experience in handling / managing / contributing projects, but also it will work as keywords; and will increase your ranking in LinkedIn.

Example: Projects in LinkedIn

Example: Projects in LinkedIn

What is LinkedIn: it’s the world’s largest professional network with 300 million members in over 200 countries and territories around the globe. If you are looking for a job or want to take your business to the next, this is the right place to be.

The poisonous root of Euro crisis

I still remember the day Euro coins and banknotes entered circulation on, it was 1st January 2002. Famous international News channels such as CNN, BBC to even Bangladesh’s local news channels BTV, ETV were telecasting this historic day live. All this started in Maastricht, Netherlands itself, as it is the fruit of Maastricht Treaty itself. Today, it’s 18th January, 2013. It’s been 11 years since that Historic day and here I am in the Netherlands, writing about “The poisonous root of Euro crisis”. Sounds like a script from a Hollywood movie, but frankly, I never thought this currency would go through such disastrous phase and I will be actually writing a blog about it.

Obviously the first thing that clicked my mind even before starting to research about it was “Why did it all go wrong? There has to be a rotten apple in the basket or poison in the root of the European Union tree to actually go through this Euro crisis. In order understand the overall situation; I will go through step by step with the help of my Euro Crisis Mind Map, and rationalize most probable global financial crisis scenario.

Why did it all go wrong?

It has to be the bad luck of the European Union, because the Euro crisis took place when European identity had begun to emerge and take their place. But, it actually started with the U.S. financial crisis of 2008-2009, when the global economy started to experience slow growth and this had lead to exposure of the unsustainable fiscal policies of European countries and around the globe. It’s the basic structural loophole that exists in the Euro zone system.

  • Firstly, the Euro zone system has monetary union without a fiscal union, i.e. Since the birth of the Euro zone, there was contradiction as it had inherited contradiction of having a monetary union but not a fiscal union. Each country had to follow a common fiscal path, but there is the existence of a common treasury to enforce, i.e. Authority to spend was driven by political force. As a result the European central bank had no control over monetary deficit.
  • Secondly, Euro zone countries differ in terms of productivity & structure. Most of the Euro zone countries have a lower productivity level in comparison to Germany. Even when it comes to unemployment rate there exists vast difference. Also Global Competitiveness index for the Euro zone countries differs in terms of ranking and secure.
Unemployment Rate in EU (Decemeber, 2012)

Unemployment Rate in EU (Decemeber, 2012)

  • Thirdly, Rising government debt due to cross broader lending to be blamed for such disaster. For example, Greece’s debts became so large that it exceeded the GDP, i.e. The total size of the Greek economy.  As a result the investors demanded higher yields on bonds, which worsen Greece’s depth condition by raising the cost of the country’s debt burden. Due to inevitable chain reaction  the market began to drive up the yields of the bond yields in the other heavily indebted countries in the region. Even non- European countries like USA, Britain, Japan have substantial exposure to bank debt to GDP. It’s the not Euro zone but also the overall world economy is part of the current global economical crisis.
An Overview of the Gross Govt. Debt /GDP

An Overview of the Gross Govt. Debt /GDP

  • Lastly, the overall decision making on financial assistance process within the Euro zone is problematic as it requires harmony among all the member representatives of states. Political decisions are taken by respective countries which affect the economy but monetary decisions are taken by European Central Bank (ECB). But ECB being central bank has limited focus on the overall economy of the respective member countries. In brief, economic policies were formulated and controlled by respective national governments, but monetary policies were controlled by the ECB.

EURO CRISIS MY MIND 

Euro Crisis - Mind Map

Euro Crisis – Mind Map

Cure to this disease: Europeanization of the banking sector

The way, I see it, the only way to cure this poisonous root lies in the basic structural loophole that exists in the Euro zone system. As the Euro zone system has monetary union without a fiscal union. But having both monetary and fiscal unions won’t solve the problem as parliaments would have to give up the right to set taxes and determine public expenditure. Thus, most practical approach would be Europeanization of the banking sector, i.e. Banks would no longer be allowed to hold as many domestic government bonds as countries will have to give up sovereignty. Also, this approach will be more acceptable politically as this will be carried out by the independent European Central Bank. In this way, banks will be less exposed to their national politics thus financial sector stability will be ensured even if a national government has financial problems. Moreover, national governments will not have to worry about national banks’ problems as banks would be recapitalized at the European level. In addition to that, providing funds will be possible as control and supervision of the banking system will be taken place at European level.