The Step Change Blog

The latest thinking on business, strategy, marketing and sales

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Ashton Bishop

Ashton Bishop is Australia’s Predatory Thinker — an expert in pinpointing how businesses can grow by outsmarting their competitors. His niche is in strategy, where he has spent the last 20 years working internationally on some of the world’s biggest brands. He’s a business owner and serial entrepreneur; challenging, sometimes even controversial; but always focused on what gets results.
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Recent Posts

November 29, 2018

How to Create Events that Resonate with the Right Audience

Marketing Strategy, Content Marketing

In today’s cluttered business landscape, where it takes a great deal for brands to win the war for attention, you need to take every opportunity to nourish relationships and gain the trust of your potential clients. One of the great ways to do this is by organising events.

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November 23, 2018

How to Market an App to Skyrocket Downloads

Marketing Strategy

Marketing a new app in today’s crowded marketplace can be tricky. But when you play your cards right, you can get it in front of the right audience and convert mere viewers to active users.

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November 22, 2018

An Effective Framework for Strategic Decision-Making

Decision Making, Culture & Leadership

Companies do not come to faster decisions by osmosis — it is always the result of a better decision-making framework.In agile organisations, the ability to make nimble decisions lead to 2.5x the growth, twice the profit, and a 30% higher ROI on investments.

Read on to find out how you can unlock your ability to make great, smarter decisions.

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November 8, 2018

What Needs to Change when Developing a Strategy for Nonprofits

Business Strategy, Not-for-Profits

Many nonprofits today run their organisations just like any other business. Although many may not be in it for the money but solely to advance their humanitarian goal and mission, there are essential points they need to keep in mind to acquire confidence and gain trust among donors and investors, respect in the market, and support from the public.

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November 2, 2018

Reporting on Transformational Activities to the Board

Culture & Leadership, Change Management

In disruptive times, change may be essentially imposed to improve what is not working or steer the wheel towards a new direction.

No matter what type of change your organisation is going through, having the means to measure success and being able to report the progress to the board are crucial to ensuring that your organisation stays afloat as it wades through these challenging times.

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October 26, 2018

Change Communications: A Leader’s Guide to an Effective Transformation

Culture & Leadership

The need to lead change is growing. But leaders who have done it before can attest that going through a transformation is a complicated process. Explore one of the key factors that helps leaders successfully lead transformations: change communications.

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September 25, 2018

Predatory Marketing: How to Increase Your ROI without Spending Another Cent [with Examples]

Predatory Marketing, Marketing Strategy

Predatory marketing is what the big and memorable brands and fast-growing startups use to differentiate themselves and cut through the marketing noise. It’s all about striking at the weakness that arises from your competitor’s greatest strength.

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September 18, 2018

LinkedIn for B2B: Tips to Get the Most Out of LinkedIn for Your Business

Marketing Strategy

You have a great product. You know that it can compete in the market. But none of it really matters if no one knows about it. That's why companies with the most quality leads grow and win. In this article, we will unpack one of the most effective platforms for B2B lead generation.

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August 28, 2018

How to Know If Your Strategic Plan Is Really Strategic

Business Strategy

We see this happen in businesses: The senior team would go away for a two-day offsite retreat to develop a strategic plan. And when all is said and done, they would come back with a plan or a goal devoid of strategy.

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August 9, 2018

Is Your Value Proposition Supercharged with Customer Insights and Predatory Thinking™?

Predatory Marketing, Customer Journey, Step Change, Branding, Customer Centricity

Your business is only one of hundreds or thousands competing for your customer’s attention. It’s a marketing battleground. And if your goal is to win the war, you need to differentiate yourself in a way that actually matters to your customers.

Whilst this sounds obvious, it’s not. All too often, businesses assume they understand what is important for their customers.

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July 26, 2018

Life after the Merger: How Nine Entertainment and Fairfax Media Can Redefine Their Company Culture

Business Strategy, Culture & Leadership

A four-billion dollar merger is underway between two of the country’s media player giants, Nine Entertainment and Fairfax Media. The new company name after the merger is Nine, and it is set to become Australia’s formidable integrated media player.

With two giants combining forces to create one formidable integrated media player, there is one worthy question that begs an answer.

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July 19, 2018

8 Questions You Need to Ask to Develop a Solid Business Strategy

Business Strategy

In the language of strategy, we often say, “There’s a need for strategy because time, dollars, and focus are scarce and limited resources.” A strong business strategy is the application of these resources for maximum leverage.

But in developing a solid business strategy, you first need to check that you’re actually doing strategy and not something else entirely — like business planning.

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July 18, 2018

How Great Leaders Drive and Sustain an Accountable Organisational Culture

Culture & Leadership

When your employees make a serious mistake, what’s their initial response? Is it making excuses? Finger pointing? Or do they have a great sense of ownership for business results that they take action to solve the problem and learn from their mistake?

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June 14, 2018

Expanding Your Business: Are You Ready to Enter a New Market?

Business Strategy, Marketing Strategy

If you have thought about venturing into a new market to expand your reach, promote brand awareness, or increase revenue, there are few key points you need to consider first. And it’s not as simple as you may think.

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June 12, 2018

Growth Hacking Tactics for Challenger Businesses

Scale, Growth Hacking

Over the years, growth hacking has been a widely used buzzword among startups. And although a lot has happened since Sean Ellis coined the term in 2010, many are still unsure about what growth hacking is and why it matters to their challenger business.

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June 4, 2018

3 Strategic Ways to Win in Financial Services

Business Strategy, Finance

In today’s crowded marketplace, the need to stand out from the competition is crucial. But more importantly, in order to win, Financial Services companies need to look into existing challenges that may be stopping them from achieving true differentiation in their industry.

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May 30, 2018

5 Powerful Business Strategy Tips to Fuel Your Growth [VIDEO]

Business Strategy

Every year, we work with a hundred clients everywhere and anywhere, from Wellington to Toronto, and in one of our strategic sessions, Step Change chief Ashton Bishop was given a challenge: Out of all the strategy work that the team has done at Step Change, how can we add the most value in 5 minutes? Here’s his response to the 5-minute challenge with his five tips on strategy.  

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May 28, 2018

Change Management Principles: How to Lead Change and Make It Stick

Business Strategy, Culture & Leadership

No matter how far-reaching a leader’s vision may be, the reality is that transforming organisations is a difficult and arduous task. Many businesses today are so deeply rooted in operational efficiency and stability that they continue to struggle with how to effectively manage and sustain change.

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April 26, 2018

What Makes a Great Marketing Plan? [Template]

Marketing Strategy

Have you ever tried driving to a new place for the holidays without a map? Going about with your business without a marketing plan can feel like that. Sure, you might eventually get to your destination — but you risk making some costly and time-consuming turns along the way.

Wrong turns like creating a product only to find out there was no substantial demand for it or pricing your services too low.

Having a great marketing plan and executing it well can give you the confidence that you’re on the right path and that you’ll get to your goal effectively.

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April 24, 2018

The Change Chain: A Model for Moving Minds

Branding, Marketing Strategy

What really makes people decide to buy? And no, it doesn't have a lot to do with singing kittens riding bikes. Find out what does work here:

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March 15, 2018

5 Innovative Australian Companies You Should Know About

Business Strategy, Innovation, Business Growth

Many organisations today are under pressure in the relentless race of being ahead of the curve.

Whether it’s needing to enter new markets, achieve a sales breakthrough, expand margins, or deliver high-quality and low-cost products, businesses need to have an innovation imperative if they want to get ahead and stay relevant.

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March 9, 2018

Why People Buy: Here's What You Need to Know about Buyer Psychology

Marketing Strategy, Invisible Marketing

KitKat wasn’t always the behemoth brand that it is today. It used to be floating around with all other Nestlé products, struggling to gain traction and make a name for itself. Like KitKat, many businesses often have a great idea or product but often find it difficult to get people to buy. Because the truth is, it’s often the best marketing, and not the best product, that wins.

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March 8, 2018

Australian Economic Outlook 2018

Business Growth

The Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Reserve Bank of Australia are predicting continued strong growth for the Australian economy this year. Businesses all throughout Australia have much to celebrate and look forward to.

If you’re a business owner waiting for the right time to maximise your bottom line or shift your focus this year to driving long-term value while increasing revenue, now may be just the time.

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February 27, 2018

How to Identify Clear Business Opportunities

Business Strategy

Matthew Osborne has always been on the lookout for different money-making opportunities. He had just started a family of his own, and he was earning less than $6 an hour — it just wasn’t enough to make ends meet.

And when you cant see that ends are meeting, your observation skills suddenly become heightened.

So he did find his opportunity. And in the most unusual of places.

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February 6, 2018

How Would Warren Buffett and Jack Welch Launch Your New Brand?

Business Strategy, History's Greatest Strategists

There are many different ways to launch a new brand, and any one of them can jumpstart your products from scratch. But it helps to take inspiration from some of the world’s greatest strategists because, after all, their success has been tried and tested.

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January 24, 2018

Grow a Business in a Recession: What Would Florence Nightingale or Che Guevara do?

Business Strategy, History's Greatest Strategists

Growing a business is hard in the best of times. However, in the worst of times, such as the conditions found during a recession, growing a business is next to impossible unless the right strategy is developed.

A prime example is the modern-day Great Recession where more than 170,000 small businesses closed their doors between 2008 and 2010, according to the US Census Bureau.

While the loss of over three million small-business jobs was catastrophic for many individuals, there is an opportunity to learn lessons in an effort to remain prepared should a future lengthy recession occur.

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January 12, 2018

Are You a Leader or a Manager? You Might Not Like the Answer.

Powerful Presence, Culture & Leadership

If you can’t simply define management and leadership then you can’t hope to be effective at either. We’ve got it down to a word for each. At the end of this article you should be able to see what great looks like — no matter what side of the divide you come down on.

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January 1, 2018

How to Develop a Data-Driven Business Strategy - Agency

Business Strategy, Digital

Big data has been described as the “new oil” as far as business assets go. However, a better analogy might be the Wild West. It is fairly easy for any business to now leverage BI and data to make decisions; however, the “how” still isn’t clear, and neither is the application. 

According to KPMG, when the strategy is data-driven, it helps to make sense of structured and unstructured data and applies that knowledge to a wide range of business functions. The result is that there is no more guess work, and results can become more predictable. Far more predictable than conventional forecasting techniques based on static historical financial reports.

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December 19, 2017

Is Hubris Syndrome Distorting Your Leaders’ Decision-Making?

Culture & Leadership

Today’s dynamic global economy has us facing a challenging task of steering our organisations towards success.

The stress from rising competition and regulation, resource management, revenue generation, and customer retention only shows that we have the toughest jobs in the market.

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December 14, 2017

The Power of Predatory

Predatory Marketing, Marketing Strategy

Webinars deliver tremendous value both to the business and the audience. It’s a great and cut-through way to share, engage, connect, and educate your audience wherever they are in the world. That’s why we’ve always been fans of webinars.

Recently, Step Change had the privilege of leveraging the power of webinars.

Our CEO, Ashton Bishop, presented “Predatory Marketing: Repositioning the Competition to Build Business” to 76 CEOs, CMOs, and Marketing Directors for a series powered by GoToWebinar.

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