IT and Communications Spend in the ASEAN Region

Beyond the country-level ICT market-size opportunity forecasts that analyst firms publish throughout the year, a lot of our clients also work with us to dig a couple of layers deeper to uncover city-level market-size opportunities. In our recent analysis of ASEAN markets, we uncovered a significant finding: SMBs in 16 key cities contribute more than 60% to total IT and communications spend in the ASEAN region. Specifically, the top three cities in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam respectively, plus Singapore, contribute the lion’s share of SMB ICT spending in ASEAN.

This is interesting for me as many of these markets, except perhaps for the city-state of Singapore, are very large geographically and have complex business and cultural subtleties unknown to the outside observer. Given that there are varying ICT maturity levels across various cities in each country, targeting SMBs in a random manner across the whole countries will not be very effective, especially if vendors with limited resources and budget want high-impact results within a compressed timeline.

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The Global PC Market Opportunity: looking beyond the predictions

There is a lot of talk and predictions about what will happen to the global PC market opportunity. I feel like I’ve heard all of them, but I am sure I haven’t. They are endless. What I find more interesting is reviewing what’s fundamentally driving those predictions.

Arguably there are three primary drivers in the SMB space that will dictate how the PC market will evolve over the coming quarters:

1) PC Replacement Cycles

2) Price pressures

3) Job Losses

Let’s take a look at these three individually.

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Are Your Marketing & Channel Efforts Attracting the Right Customers & Channel Partners?

Channel programs, more often than not, reward channel partners based on the volume of business they bring in. Period.  There’s nothing wrong with that. 

However, if you’re not #1 or #2 in market share then the question  is how good is your set of “platinum” channel partners?  Sure they are great within the channel partner pool that you have, but what about relative to the broader universe of channel partners?  Do you have a whole bunch of “B” and “C” players floating in your channel partner pool?  Is that by design or just what happened over the last few years?  Would you like to know where your channel partners stack-up against the rest of those across the country or region? 

We have segmented channel partners that serve SMBs into 4 groups.  At the very low-end, there are those that serve basic needs (mostly commodity hardware) and may score a big win every now and then.  At the high-end there are those that hunt aggressively and deliver high value add, complete solutions and halo-enhance whichever brand they deliver.  The other two groups fall in between the continuum. 

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The Realities of Targeting Economic Stimulus Package Spending: SMB IT health care

In today’s NY Times article:  As Medical Charts Go Electonic  Rural Doctor Sees Healthy Change, tp://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/11/technology/11records.html the complications and opportunities presented by the U.S. economic stimulus package are unintentionally highlighted for IT marketers. 

The article’s focus is more about how a rural medical office sees opportunities, efficiency gains and cost-saving in adopting a more “paperless office” environment.  However, what is also highlighted is the challenge we as marketers face in capturing stimulus package spending. 

With over $20B of the $787B U.S. stimulus package aimed at IT for health care the opportunity for IT marketers seems huge.  And it is!  However, it’s not as if a big bucket of cash will all of a sudden appear on these medical clinics doorsteps.  These firms will need to be convinced that these “advancements” in their practices make sense for their specific businesses. 

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Brand switching: Is it a Kodak moment?

Perhaps my 7+ years working at HP (with most of that time in HP’s printing and imaging group) makes me more sensitive to it than most.  Or maybe I just appreciate a well played hand.  Whatever it is, Kodak is doing something fascinating.

Kodak is clearly taking the opportunity, presented by the downturn, to expand their marketshare by trying to get customers to switch brands.  If the numerous Kodak ads haven’t convinced you of this fact check out printandprosper.com. I am no ad guy, and who knows if it will work, but I have to love Kodak’s logic here.  Allow me to explain.

If you think of brand switching like you do a recipe for baking a cake I think this economic environment has all of the ingredients to make one of the tastiest cakes you’ve ever had the pleasure of eating.

First lets define “brand switching.”  For our purposes it will be the act of small and medium businesses deciding to purchase a different IT brand than they currently own.  What ingredients would have to be present in order to create the perfect brand switching climate?  I’d argue there are 1 of 3 key ingredients that need to be present:

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