“Markets” is a channel of content and professional connections (or sphere) in the Yingfluence online community. We envision it being used by professionals who want to scale their brand and stimulate adoption in market segments around the world. This requires an understanding of cultures as well as operational and technical sophistication.
We selected an image of a glass-bottomed bridge in China to represent this sphere on marketing. Unlike a rope bridge, which sways as people cross a chasm, this engineered marvel is designed to hold up to 800 visitors at a time and maintain relative stability. In the same way, to scale, a company must develop operational discipline that enable brand promises to be kept consistently. Today’s “digital first” world required a deep understanding of the customer journey. Initially, they expect to quickly find content that relates to their purchasing decision, in one or two clicks - often on their mobile devices. As many prospects find what they want, a company has an opportunity to build a marketing infrastructure to automate and scale the conversion process from prospect to loyal high-value customers. Stephen Turner writes about the concepts of “customer churn” (bad thing) and “negative churn” (a good thing, a la Martha Stuart) on LinkedIn (linkto: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/welcome-q2-improving-saas-start-ups-analyzing-q1-steve-turner/). Many Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) businesses fail to scale because their brands, business models, marketing infrastructure, customer experience, and products are not in alignment with customers. As a result, paying customers who initially used a product fall away.1 Companies with global aspirations have access to the best practices with Yingfluence.
Marketing infrastructure in today’s digitally-transformed world can be agile and evolve rapidly, using automation, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing technologies. This correlates to the challenge of building and managing an inspiring glass bridge in a remote region of China. The chief Chinese bridge engineer described the glass-bottomed bridge across the Zhangjiajie Canyon in China (pictured) in poetic terms. Zhi Dong Cheng 智東成 said it is “as thin as a wing, and as light as a swallow, resembling a light slice floating in the sky.”2
The authority that manages the bridge limits visitors to 8,000 per day because it knows the limits of the infrastructure to get people to and from the site of the bridge. The destination has huge demand because it is striking in its design and is both the longest and tallest glass bridge in the world, 984 feet (300 meters) from the bottom 1246 feet (380 meters) across the canyon. There is also a bungee jump, which is the highest in the world. China worked with an Israeli engineering firm to design this newest wonder of the world. According to engineer Haim Dotan, the glass panels are three layers, each two-thirds of an inch (16 millimeters) and can each hold 40 tons (36287 kilograms).
Despite the strength of the materials, the greatest challenge was not the weight of the 40 score of people who cross the bridge at a give time, but the wind in the canyon. Initial wind tests on the model pushed the engineers to their limits. They used windspeed of 124 miles per hour (201 kilometers per hour) to test aero elasticity, fluttering analysis, gravitational stiffness, vibrations, and the impact on the pedestrian experience. As a result of the testing, Cheng’s and Dotan’s teams of engineers modified the design with shock absorbing technologies, dampening, and anti-vibration mechanisms.3
Marketing today also requires precision engineering to address customer demand and competition. As market conditions change, what worked during the start-up phase often changes. Agile enterprises and entrepreneurs have tools at their disposal to address these changes, but a new mindset is needed to use the tools in new ways. Yingfluence has introduced the next generation of Cultural Intelligence (CQ 2.0) and Diversity Thinking to ideate new approaches to appeal to markets in different segments and across borders.