The Step Change Blog

The latest thinking on business, strategy, marketing and sales

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May 30, 2024

Marketing Budget: How Much Should You Spend on Marketing?

Predatory Marketing, Business Strategy, Branding, Marketing Strategy, Decision Making, Business Growth, Challenger Brands, Alignment, Brand Building, Strategy Frameworks, Brand Positioning, Measures That Matter, Strategic Planning, Brand Saliency

Let’s be honest, budgeting isn’t always fun.

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May 2, 2024

Knowledge Nuggets: Exponential Organizations

Business Strategy, Ashton Bishop, Knowledge Nuggets

Exponential Organisations

In this Special Interview, Step Change CEO Ashton Bishop picks the brain of Futurist and best-selling author of Exponential Organizations and Exponential Transformation – required reading at the world's top organizations – Salim Ismail.

Hear them discuss:

  • The characteristics of successful new business models
  • How organisations are changing in order to adapt
  • The economic shift from selling scarcity to businesses based on abundance
  • How can organisations make money in a demonetised, digitalised world
  • Innovation at the edge - the way to disrupt the industry

Watch the entire interview below:

 

EXCLUSIVE BONUS: Unlock everything you need to know about the new "Exponential Organizations 2.0" — with insights from author Salim Ismail himself and what they could mean for your business.


Neither size nor depth, nor scale can guarantee the continuity of businesses for tomorrow. We therefore ask the question, what can organisations do to be more future-ready? In this week’s Knowledge Nuggets, a special guest will help you better understand the premise in the book Exponential Organizations by Salim Ismail.

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March 19, 2024

KNOWLEDGE NUGGETS: EXPONENTIAL ORGANIZATIONS 2.0

Success Principles, Business Strategy, Artificial Intelligence, Business Growth, Knowledge Nuggets, Agile, Business Model, Exponential Organizations, Salim Ismail, Exclusive Interview

In Salim Ismail's captivating exploration, "Exponential Organizations," the celebrated futurist and strategist opened the doors to bold foresight.

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January 25, 2024

The Business Models behind the Best Billion-Dollar Unicorns

Business Strategy, Artificial Intelligence, Innovation, Marketing Technology, Brand Building, Differentiation, Conversion, Business Opportunities, Business Model, Unicorns

Yup, you read that right! Unicorns are no longer a myth — at least not in business.

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January 18, 2024

3 Ways To Prepare Your Business For Disruption

Business Strategy, Artificial Intelligence, Innovation, Disruption, Augmented Reality, Business Growth, Marketing Automation, Customer Centricity, Business Opportunities, Digital Revolution, Digital Economy

How do you prepare for the unpredictable?

While some businesses leverage disruption to their advantage like second nature — many companies are falling behind.

Where others enjoy better workforces, efficient operations, and improved customer experiences, some continue to struggle at the back foot of change as another wave of disruption looms on the horizon.

So what’s the game changer? Strategy. Most organisations don’t have a game plan to navigate the evolving business landscape. Nor do they bother to predict trends and track challenges or opportunities that lie on their radar and that makes all the difference. 

So how do you get better at keeping your finger on the pulse and preparing your business for disruption?

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December 14, 2023

TOP DIGITAL POWERPLAYS: 14 DIGITAL SECTORS TO EXPLORE AND DOMINATE

Business Strategy, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Digital, Business Growth, Content Marketing, Brand Positioning, Business Opportunities, YouTube, Digital Revolution, Digital Economy, Digital Marketing

Convert sales-qualified leads to real customers effectively using these four tips.

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July 20, 2023

How Do You Overcome a Bad Decision?

Business Strategy, Decision Making, Productivity, Culture & Leadership, Scenario Planning, Institute of Change, High Performing Teams, Business Opportunities, Smart Decision System, Smart Risk

When you've made a bad decision, how do you overcome? Here are four simple ways to recover from a bad decision.

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May 18, 2023

Invest with Confidence: 6 Questions to Unlock Business Opportunities

Business Strategy, Innovation, Business Growth, Challenger Brands, Customer Centricity, Brand Positioning, Business Opportunities

Ever been let down by a business idea you thought had so much potential? 

The only thing worse than a poorly developed business idea is investing in a poorly developed business idea. Nobody wants to spend time, energy and resources on a product or service that doesn’t fly. So how do you ensure your new business idea is poised to win when it enters the market?

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April 20, 2023

10 Key Business Areas Powered with AI: A Guide for Board Members

Technology, Business Strategy, Artificial Intelligence, Innovation, Decision Making, Digital, Business Growth, Marketing Technology, Marketing Automation, Software, Challenger Brands

What’s all this noise surrounding artificial intelligence? Is AI worth the hype? And how do you even get started? Do these questions sound familiar?

With marketing technology (martech) and AI becoming a critical part of mainstream business strategy, getting the buy-in from the top brass is essential. But lack of understanding, fear of the unknown, ethics, biases, and costs can get in the way. 

So how do you demystify martech and AI and get the ball rolling?

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March 10, 2023

6 Ways to Identify Unmet Customer Needs

Customer Journey, Business Strategy, Standing Out, Innovation, Disruption, Customer Centricity, Lean Principles

UPDATED: As of 21 July 2022

Finding a product, a service, or a niche that delivers results largely depends on understanding exactly what your customer needs. And in a time when the competition is manic and ruthless, it is all the more essential to deliver a high-quality product and service that gets the right traction.

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February 23, 2023

What ChatGPT Doesn’t Know About Brand Salience

Business Strategy, Sales, Ashton Bishop, Artificial Intelligence, Branding, Marketing Strategy, Creativity, Challenger Brands, Brand Building, Differentiation, Distinctive Brand, Brand Positioning, Brand Saliency

UPDATED: As of 23 February 2023

Are you even really running a business if you don’t know what it’s like to fight for recognition in today’s market? Getting attention is one thing. Being unforgettable is another. 

Pay attention to the first brand in your head in a particular situation. Chances are, it’s one with higher brand salience than the rest of its competitors. The good news is you can have that for your brand, too. 

A quick ChatGPT conversation will say brand salience is about awareness, consistency, repetition, relevance, differentiation, emotional connection, and user experience. If you’re a challenger business, AI will mainly tell you that you just have to strive for awareness and consistency. But what does that even mean? And how can you begin to incorporate those elements into your long-term and short-term goals? 

It’s no lie — AI does have a pretty good grasp on ‘what’ you need to be more brand salient. But if you’re looking to get your hands dirty with the ‘hows’ and more importantly, get results, you’ve come to the right place.

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January 31, 2023

3 Ways to Transform Board Meetings with Measures That Matter

Business Strategy, Ashton Bishop, Marketing Strategy, Decision Making, Business Growth, Board, Strategy Frameworks, Measures That Matter, Tracking, Strategic Planning, Reporting

UPDATED: As of 25th January 2023

 

Ever been to a board meeting that left you feeling unproductive and confused? 

In an increasingly data-led world and with the rise of artificial intelligence, businesses are able to track more than ever before. But it’s easy to get caught up in tracking and forget to drive results altogether.

As a board member, it’s critical that you’re able to look beyond the documentation and into the priceless insight that lies between the lines. Question is, how?

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January 16, 2023

Funnel Metrics: 5 Steps to Link Your Marketing and Sales

Customer Journey, Business Strategy, Marketing Strategy, Business Growth, Alignment, Conversion, Sales Strategy, Marketing Funnel

It’s easy to think that marketing and sales are completely different functions of a business. But both share a common denominator of engaging customers and integrating the value you offer into their lives. 

That said, every business needs customers. Not just any customer, though — but ones you can serve and who can get behind your product or service offering. When done right, sales-informed marketing can be a catalyst in delivering more qualified customers and optimising a customer journey that makes them stay and buy more. But with the nuances of sales and marketing, how do you know which aspects are relevant to the other? This is where the Funnel Metrics tool comes in.


Insight: When marketing and sales come together, they deliver the right customers suitable for businesses to thrive.

Data: Organisations with a service level agreement (SLA) between marketing and sales are three times as likely to be effective. (Hubspot)

Key Action Point: Utilise the Funnel Metrics to master the key pieces of information needed to align marketing with sales efforts and deliver more qualified customers.

 


WATCH: Let Step Change CEO Ashton Bishop walk you through the Funnel Metrics tool.

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October 19, 2022

Insight Hunters: 6 Critical Questions Every CEO Must Answer

Business Strategy, Ashton Bishop, Marketing Strategy, Disruption, Culture & Leadership, Better Questions, Norman Chorn, Better Insights, Thinking Routines, High Performing Teams, Agile

Massive change and disruption have transformed the way we work and live. The old ways are no longer working and innovative and more creative solutions are called for by the day.

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October 19, 2022

Insight Hunters EP3: What Are the Best Strategy Frameworks?

Business Strategy, Ashton Bishop, Marketing Strategy, Better Questions, Norman Chorn, Better Insights, Strategy Frameworks

Welcome to another episode of the Insight Hunters with Dr Norman and Detective Flash! Ready to ask better questions to get better insights?

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September 22, 2022

Knowledge Nuggets: Life in Half a Second

Success Principles, Business Strategy, Personal Growth, Ashton Bishop, Knowledge Nuggets

When it comes to success, there's already so much content based on opinion. But what if there was a proven path to success based on science and research? Join us as we dive deep into Complexica CEO Matthew Michalewicz’s fact-based formula for success in his book, Life in Half a Second

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December 8, 2021

The 3 Absolute Essentials of Good Strategy

Business Strategy, Marketing Strategy, Knowledge Nuggets

3 Essentials of Strategy

Strategy is often hard to define, which makes it all the more difficult to distinguish what actually constitutes a good strategy.

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July 2, 2021

Why Do Strategic Plans Fail? 5 Mistakes And How To Counter Them

Business Strategy, Marketing Strategy

UPDATED: As of 4 May 2022

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February 17, 2021

6 Key Principles for Creating Lightning Strike Moments: Exponential Marketing

Business Strategy, Ashton Bishop, Marketing Strategy, Decision Making, Creativity, exponential marketing

Learn about the scenario planning mistakes and how you can prevent them from misfiring your strategy so you can navigate complexity efficiently.

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January 13, 2021

History’s Greatest Strategists: Henry Ford

Business Strategy, History's Greatest Strategists, Leadership, Culture, Henry Ford

The more specific we can be about our category, the better chance we have to be remembered and related to by our customers. Are you in the right category?

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January 11, 2021

5 of Your Favourite Step Change Articles from 2020

Business Strategy, Ashton Bishop, Step Change, Branding, Marketing Strategy, Bendy Phones, Powerful Presence, Culture & Leadership, Fintech, Marketing Automation
After successfully navigating a year of unparalleled change and disruption, now is the time to look ahead and venture into 2021 with confidence.
 
As we distill fresh business insights and build a refined strategy, we thought it would be worthwhile to look back at the year that was 2020, through the eyes of our Step Change Blog highlights.
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September 25, 2020

Navigating Complexity: 5 Scenario Planning Mistakes & How To Stop Them

Business Strategy, Ashton Bishop, Marketing Strategy, Decision Making, Creativity, Culture & Leadership, Scenario Planning, Alignment

Learn about the scenario planning mistakes and how you can prevent them from misfiring your strategy so you can navigate complexity efficiently.

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June 26, 2020

History’s Greatest Strategists: Mahatma Gandhi

Business Strategy, History's Greatest Strategists, Leadership, Mahatma Gandhi, Culture

The more specific we can be about our category, the better chance we have to be remembered and related to by our customers. Are you in the right category?

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June 19, 2020

History’s Greatest Strategists: Dame Anita Roddick

Business Strategy, History's Greatest Strategists, Business Growth, Dame Anita Roddick, The Body Shop

The more specific we can be about our category, the better chance we have to be remembered and related to by our customers. Are you in the right category?

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June 12, 2020

The 4 Executive Modes: Which One Are You?

Business Strategy, Ashton Bishop, Culture & Leadership

UPDATE: In a special event, Dr Chris Shambrook of PlanetK2 delivers a masterclass on performance– drawing inspiration from the perspective of Leader, Manager, Mentor and Coach, or what is collectively known as the Four Executive Modes. 

In this interview, the master-coach, author and speaker walks the Step Change community through how business leaders can drive more value into their interactions by moving between these modes. He also talks about the lead indicators of performance, what performance looks like regardless of the mode, and emphasises the appropriate human connection and social support required from industry leaders.

Watch the full video here.


In these times of great change and uncertainty, it is very important that we adapt and utilise the opportunities and resources at our disposal the best we can. This is especially true for industry leaders because every decision has the potential to make or break your organisation.

To begin, you will need to fully define your role as an executive within your organisation by understanding the 4 Executive Modes namely– Leader, Manager, Mentor and Coach

Clearly defining these modes will allow you to understand and seamlessly move between these roles, propelling your organisation to even greater heights.

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May 14, 2020

Knowledge Nuggets Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Business Strategy, Ashton Bishop, Knowledge Nuggets

UPDATED: In this exclusive interview, foundational expert and pioneering authority in the field of influence and persuasion Dr Robert Cialdini sits down with Step Change to dive into his book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” — the bestselling and groundbreaking guide to getting that 'yes!'.

From the sustained interest in the Influence factors, and the addition of the Unity principle, to the implications of machine learning and AI in persuasion and more — learn exclusive and fresh insights from Dr Robert Cialdini himself by watching the full interview below:

 

 

Wondering how to leverage your influence at a time of great change? Get Dr Robert Cialdini’s latest book “Influence, New and Expanded: The Psychology of Persuasion” — featuring new research, new insights, new examples, and online applications.

Never miss an update and be the first to get influence and persuasion insights by connecting with Dr Robert Cialdini via influenceatwork.com.


Swaying someone to your point of view takes skill. The same can be said when it comes to selling a product — making the power of persuasion a potent tool that should be honed to a fine point.

In this week’s Knowledge Nuggets, let us take a look at the widely adopted classic Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. 

With over 5 million copies sold worldwide, Dr. Robert B. Cialdini explains the psychology of why people say ‘yes’, the principles behind the power of persuasion, and how to apply these principles ethically — not only in marketing strategy but in everyday situations.

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May 8, 2020

Knowledge Nuggets: Delivering Happiness

Business Strategy, Ashton Bishop, Knowledge Nuggets

According to Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, the key to running a successful business is happiness. By developing happiness habits, embracing a happy work-life, and prioritising your customer's happiness, Tony believes businesses can succeed. For this week’s Knowledge Nuggets, let’s explore the book Delivering Happiness and learn to live lives full of purpose, passion, and profits. 

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April 30, 2020

Knowledge Nuggets: Good Strategy/Bad Strategy

Business Strategy, Ashton Bishop, Knowledge Nuggets

Before attempting any significant endeavour, you should always have a strategy. Having developed one you should always ensure that is achievable. There has been a myriad of companies that have implemented strategies that have turned out to be less than successful. The fact is that many companies are unaware that they are implementing bad strategies.

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April 22, 2020

Knowledge Nuggets: Thinking, Fast and Slow

Business Strategy, Ashton Bishop, Knowledge Nuggets

 

Thinking Fast and Slow

 

Have you ever wondered how your mind works? Have you ever desired to improve your judgement and decision making skills? In this week’s Knowledge Nugget, let’s delve into Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.

The author Daniel Kahneman is a renowned psychologist and Nobel Prize Winner. And in his seminal work, Thinking Fast and Slow, he analyses the two modes of thought and how they affect our judgement and decision making. 

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April 15, 2020

Knowledge Nuggets: The 4 Disciplines of Execution

Business Strategy, Ashton Bishop, Knowledge Nuggets, Sean Covey, Execution, Disciplines

UPDATED as of 28 August 2020

The 4 Disciplines of Execution

 

Plans and strategies may change. Behaviours, however, not so much. At least, not as quickly. It is important to understand that good execution is not only a condition of knowledge and skill, but it is also a condition of the will. 

How do you, as an organisation, move forward as a team when goals are already challenging enough on your own? The key lies in two words— first principles.

 

 

In this special interview, the 4 Disciplines of Execution co-author Sean Covey expertly delivers insights and anecdotes on:

  • The 4 Disciplines in a nutshell
  • How purpose and discipline affect your execution
  • Sustaining your Wildly Important Goal even in the midst of chaos
  • What successful organisations are doing right and what others are getting wrong
Watch the full interview now.

Too often history shows that a good strategy fails to deliver a productive outcome in terms of the bottomline. Strategy and execution are in a word— inseparable. They are the two sides of the same coin. In order to successfully execute on your goals, you need focus.

One thing you already know about acting on a great idea is the fact that chaos will be involved. It is very easy to lose focus when you have to wade through a quagmire of priorities and goals daily. As teams lose focus, they eventually lose power, which is why you need a game plan.

In this week's Knowledge Nuggets, let us take a look at the 4 Disciplines of Execution by authors Chris McChesney, Sean Covey and Jim Huling, who address the issue of what constitutes the disciplines of excellence in execution of strategy.

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