Category Archives: Business strategy

Rank building strategy – a foundation for scalability

This is our last article in the series on SEO and web marketing techniques. In this article, we will discuss a strategy for ensuring that you can obtain sustainable growth in the backlinks that visitors create for your site. “The Google PageRank algorithm looks at the pattern of links to your site as they build over time” (http://www.searchengineguide.com/stone-reuning/a-brief-intro-to-link-building-for-small.php). Unfortunately, it is often impossible for a single web developer to update the website with new articles quickly enough to compete with large websites. Review of successful websites reveals that good strategy requires some ingenuity. One may ask, “How would a small team be able to create new content faster than a competitor that has a very large budget and staff? It is even possible for a small group of developers to produce content quickly enough to generate the links required to obtain top search engine rankings and get noticed in this global marketplace?” The answer is actually very simple. The answer is “No, it is not possible for a group of developers to produce content that quickly.” The worried web developer then might reply, “So is all hope lost?” Luckily, the answer to that is also, “No.” But in order to be successful, we must think beyond our own capacities, and we must consider possibilities that we are unable to provide entirely by ourselves. Consider the amazing popularity of successful websites such as Twitter and Facebook. One may ask, “Did the web developers of those sites write all of the content?” In fact, what is unique about those websites is that they merely provided a platform that enabled members of the public to create site content. If we consider the simplicity and rather limited functionality of the original Twitter service, the Twitter developers didn’t even really need to do a whole lot of work. Once they build the core engine, data model, and security infrastructure, they were practically done creating content. At that point, visitors began creating the content, and the project took off like wildfire.

Here’s the vision that Jack Dorsey had when imagining Twitter,

“On May 31st, 2000, I signed up with a new service called LiveJournal. I was user 4,136 which entitled me a permanent account and street cred in some alternate geeky universe which I have not yet visited. I was living in the Sunshine Biscuit Factory in Oakland California and starting a company to dispatch couriers, taxis, and emergency services from the web. One night in July of that year I had an idea to make a more “live” LiveJournal. Real-time, up-to-date, from the road. Akin to updating your AIM status from wherever you are, and sharing it. For the next 5 years, I thought about this concept and tried to silently introduce it into my various projects. It slipped into my dispatch work. It slipped into my networks of medical devices. It slipped into an idea for a frictionless service market. It was everywhere I looked: a wonderful abstraction which was easy to implement and understand.”

(https://www.flickr.com/photos/jackdorsey/182596524/in/photostream/)

By providing a mechanism that allows members to create content, suddenly the role of the developer changes drastically. The developer no longer needs to focus on trying to sell the product. Instead, the developer can focus on adding features to enhancing the user experience and encourage visitors to continue creating content. As members begin to create content, the developer now needs to focus on removing content that violates terms of use (e.g. malicious content, spam, adult content, etc.) rather than trying to create content in the hope that the content will somehow get linked to. And if the platform is truly innovative, your website might even capture attention from major media companies! And those are very valuable backlinks.

Infrastructure is really the key emphasis here. If you create the infrastructure that enables site members with the power to create content for your website, then you deliver value for your site members and also for yourself. You will empower them with tools that help them while simultaneously allowing them to create content for your site. By providing specialized functionality, your site becomes a valuable resource. Valuable sites tend to attract attention. Sites that attract attention tend to grow very quickly when the members are allowed to create content.

A quick note about link brokers:

I highly advise AGAINST using link brokers. Many of these firms are among the most malicious developers on the planet, and they will utilize the most malicious tactics to try and get your links into other peoples’ websites. This is a good way to end up on Google’s blacklist. NEVER BUY LINKS OR DO BUSINESS WITH ANYONE THAT OFFERS TO SELL YOU LINKS. THIS IS AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS PRACTICE. I have known people that destroyed their hopes and dreams for websites by using these types of services. Once you end up on Google’s blacklist, it is often impossible to remove yourself from it. You can have your web domains blacklisted and become completely banned from using any and all of Google’s services. So why would you even consider doing this? How else do you think people make money from writing viruses and malware? Do you think they all just try to steal credit card numbers? Most people know that banks know how to detect credit card fraud very effectively. So, people try to use computer crime to make money through legitimate business instead. When it comes to “SEO,” you need to be very careful to only do business with people you know you can trust. A simple search for “black hat SEO” will provide you with further information about this subject.

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Reaching physicians with complicated patients

Creating an effective AdWords advertisement

Reaching physicians with complicated patients

Reaching physicians is somewhat of an art. Physicians tend to be extremely busy, and due to their lack of available time, they don’t want to waste their time by listening to some company try to sell them something that they think probably won’t help them. Physicians want to improve patient care, but they don’t want complex software or significant learning curves. To understand how to reach physicians, we must use fewer words. We must also understand what is important to them. This rule is true with any form of marketing, but it is especially true with doctors. Here’s what’s important to physicians:

  1. Improving patient outcomes and saving lives;
  2. Saving time;
  3. Preventing mistakes.

The background of specialty medicine

It is not uncommon, particularly within specialty medicine, for a provider to have a patient with complex multi-drug regimens that may be completely unrelated to the specialist’s area of expertise. Unfortunately, however, it is quite common for drugs with very different domains of pharmacotherapeutic effects to interact in unexpected ways. If a doctor knew in advance that the drug they intent to prescribe, for example, would cause a potentially lethal change in the level of an enzyme that is acted on by an unrelated drug that the patient was taking, then the physician would certainly choose an analogue of the drug, choose an alternative treatment option, or do something other than expose the patient to the risk imposed by the dangerous combined effect.

The vision of drug interactions

A drug interaction tool would provide exactly this service. It would allow physicians to restructure a patient’s drug regimen to ensure that desired therapeutic outcomes are achieved without serious adverse short or long term consequences. Such a tool would also save the physician considerable time that would otherwise be spent trying to investigate the issue by digging through literature and hoping to find the desired information. Such a tool would also save patients considerable money and time, prevent unneeded doctor visits, labs, and tests, and improve their overall satisfaction with their medical care. Although physicians may like to think that they don’t make mistakes, we all know that we are imperfect; therefore, a drug interaction tool would help doctors detect errors and prevent mistakes that could yield harm to patients and costly litigation.

Creating the ad – an invitation without false claims

Unfortunately, in this digital age, there are multitudes of technologies available to the provider that falsely claim to save physicians’ time, reduce medical errors and costs, and improve the quality of medical care. Very few of these technologies are able to justify their claims, and even fewer of these technologies are able to prove the legitimacy of their justifications. Like most of us, physicians really want increased intelligence. They want answers to questions that they haven’t asked yet, but they don’t want the answers until they are ready for them. They want a tool that improves their clinical decision making accuracy, but they don’t want to sacrifice countless hours of their time only to determine if they are wasting their time or not. By developing a service that is free to try and has a very simple interface, physicians won’t need to waste their time.  They can try the tool, and if it helps them, then they will be happy; if it doesn’t help them, that’s fine – they will have wasted very little of their time and none of their money. We try to convey our message in advertisements like this one:

Druginteractionschecker.com

Predict metabolites’ effects.

Improve patient outcomes.

This ad is a simple invitation to come and see. When the free app is ready, we will adjust the ad accordingly.  This ad reflects what the service offers: It provides predictive intelligence that improves patient outcomes. In general, from a marketing perspective, reaching our target audience requires that we use the language that our customers are most likely to use. This is precisely what we have done.

 

Developing Successful Business Information Systems Architecture (ISA)

Customer-driven business development

Devin Bost

Feb. 1, 2014

Problem:

“Across a wide spectrum of markets and countries, [information technology] is transcending its traditional ‘back office’ role and is evolving toward a ‘strategic’ role with the potential not only to support chosen business strategies, but also to shape new business strategies” (Henderson & Venkatraman, 1993). Over twenty years ago, what Henderson & Venkatraman recognized is a concept that is more true now than ever before in history. Today, businesses that fail to adopt this concept will never reach their true potential. Ten years later, Davenport & Short identified that this evolution (of the use of technology to drive business strategy) invalidates traditional philosophies in business management. “The conventional wisdom in IT usage has always been to first determine the business requirements of a function, process, or other business entity, and then to develop a system. The problem is that an awareness of IT capabilities can –and should – influence process design.” (Davenport & Short, 2003). Today, these perspectives have changed the way strategic business decisions are made. Marketplace globalization has introduced complexities that early pioneers could never have imagined. Businesses must respond to change more rapidly now than ever, according to (Teece, 2010). Businesses that are slow to change may lose new market opportunities, fail to meet new regulatory demands, and face risks that are often fatal to the business. According to more contemporary insights, agility has emerged as the true definition of business success. “Faced with rapid and often unanticipated change, agility, [is] defined as the ability to detect and respond to opportunities and threats with ease, speed, and dexterity. . . If IT infrastructure is scalable or adaptable, firms may be better able to implement their market response strategy with ease, speed, and dexterity, and so IT infrastructure flexibility could be viewed as a response capability” (Tallon & Pinsonneault, 2011) .

Successful ISA:

  • Increases business agility by improving productivity
  • Increases collaboration (which drives innovation) on projects by improving access, availability, sharing, collection, and reporting of information
  • Improves the density of evidence-based decisions (by reducing time and cost of collecting, measuring, analyzing, and reporting data from internal studies)
  • Improves customer value (by improving response time to customer feedback, improving quality, increasing customer participate in business development process), thus creating “customer-driven business development”

To create a successful ISA, companies must align with technological advancements, develop modular business processes, and change traditional management perspectives to develop IT-driven strategy.  It is not uncommon for executive management teams to overlook the importance of involving interdisciplinary software architecture teams in executive meetings. Failure to include software architects in executive decisions may develop business objectives that are poorly aligned with technological capabilities. As a consequence, poor alignment with technology may result in technological disasters that reduce business agility, rather than increase it. These situations occur frequently in the development of business intelligence, or software reporting that is intended primarily for executive decision makers. According to (Yeoh & Koronios, 2010), “In order for [business intelligence] initiatives to be taken seriously and to be supported by corporate leadership, they need to be integrated with the overall strategy. Otherwise they will not receive the leadership support that is required to make them successful. . . A BI system that is not business driven is a failed system! BI is a business-centric concept. Sending IT off to solve a problem rarely results in a positive outcome.”

References

Davenport, T. H., & Short, J. E. (2003). Information technology and business process redesign. Operations management: critical perspectives on business and management, 1, 1-27.

Henderson, J. C., & Venkatraman, N. (1993). Strategic alignment: Leveraging information technology for transforming organizations. IBM systems journal, 32(1), 4-16.

Tallon, P. P., & Pinsonneault, A. (2011). Competing perspectives on the link between strategic information technology alignment and organizational agility: Insights from a mediation model. Mis Quarterly, 35(2), 463-484.

Teece, D. J. (2010). Business models, business strategy and innovation. Long range planning, 43(2), 172-194.

Yeoh, W., & Koronios, A. (2010). Critical success factors for business intelligence systems. Journal of computer information systems, 50(3), 23-32.