6 Ways to Leverage and Empower Brand Ambassadors

When leveraged properly, your customers can be the greatest marketing asset you have. Here are six tactics to recruit them as brand ambassadors.

 6 Ways to Leverage Brand Ambassadors | OpenView Labs

Many successful B2B software companies leverage customer-led events and campaigns to build and grow their brand. Two big ones that immediately come to mind are Salesforce.com and Rackspace. So why then are many startups hesitant to follow suit? One reason is that startup executive teams are typically preoccupied with the fear of asking too much of their customers and driving them away. They allow that fear to distract them from seeing the bigger picture. And that’s a big mistake.


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Should You Fire Your Worst Customers?

Putting the axe to incoming revenue may seem like a bad idea, but the truth is the costs of maintaining bad customers and ensuring that they are happy can grossly outweigh the benefits of keeping them around.

Customer Segmentation: Fire Your Worst Customers | OpenView Labs

Is firing your worst customers actually a good idea? In many instances, the answer is an unequivocal yes. Yes, turning away revenue can hurt, but the truth of the matter is there are always costs associated with onboarding and servicing customers, and the ones who are unhappy or who aren’t a good fit in the first place can quickly become more trouble than they’re worth.


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Breaking into New Markets: Evaluating Your Best Approach

It’s a question that keeps many a startup executive team up at night — what’s the best mode of entry to break into an emerging market?

Evaluating Market Entry Approaches | OpenView Labs

There is no right or wrong way to enter a market. The mode of entry depends on the opportunity, what you know about it, and the opportunity cost of putting that effort and money into another opportunity.


SaaS Pricing: The True Cost of Short-Sighted Decisions

SaaS pricing is complicated. Before you make a decision you need to consider all the angles and keep in mind it’s perhaps the single most important decision a young company can make (no pressure).


Pricing out a B2B SaaS product is a complicated decision. For starters, it involves a larger number of moving parts than traditional software pricing (perpetual licenses). You have to take into consideration expected customer tenure and churn, and the impact that they can have on your profitability. You also have to put a lot more thought into price structure, price level, and billing decisions, because they now affect a recurring revenue stream.


Breaking Down Your Competitor’s Pricing Model

Breaking down your competitor’s pricing model can offer valuable insights when it comes to changing your own pricing strategy. The best part? It’s actually easier than it sounds.

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A good place to start when contemplating a pricing strategy change is looking at how your direct and indirect competitors price their products.


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Understanding Your Competitors: 10 Ways to Get Started with Competitive Research

Looking to keep closer tabs on the competition? Here are 10 competitive research tactics to help you gather the info you need to establish a significant competitive advantage.

10 Competitive Research Tactics | OpenView Labs

These days, it’s easy to become obsessed over the amount of data you can leverage to develop a better understanding of your customers. But if you’re serious about dominating your market then there’s another group you should be researching, as well — your competitors. Understanding your competitors is key to developing effective growth strategies, especially as it pertains to market positioning, pricing, discounting, and up-selling.

If you’re wondering where to start, the first step is to stop pretending they don’t exist, and learn to embrace the idea that you have top competitors. From there, the ten competitive research tactics below can be great ways to gather information on them.


Pursuing a Vision: Elon Musk’s Big Patent Strategy Gamble

Elon Musk's Tesla Patent Strategy Gamble | Openview Blog

Last week, Musk announced that, moving forward, Tesla’s patents are effectively open source.

Pursuing Your Vision (Seemingly at the Cost of Competitive Advantage)

Great companies are driven by two things: 1) a well-defined and substantiated vision, and 2) an executive team that isn’t afraid to aggressively pursue it. We have seen this time and time again in the public markets and this is one reason that executive pay has reached levels it has. Vision is actually just as if not more important in startups and expansion-stage growth companies, as it rallies a team around a central cause and provides the direction it needs for achieving it.