Restructuring Marketing Communications Research
Multinational companies GE and IBM announce their restructuring plans internally, as well as, via press releases and analyst or investor meetings. These companies do not release any marketing or advertising highlighting their reorganization. ABB, on the other hand, has announced its recent restructuring plan through interviews with publications like WSJ.
- In the fourth quarter of 2019, GE announced its restructuring plan. The first step of this reorganization plan involved replacing its CEO, John Flannery with Larry Culp
- Under Culp's leadership, the company worked hard to reduce its debt by selling some of its assets, including a $4 billion stake in Baker Hughes and a $1.5 billion healthcare equipment finance portfolio.
- GE also mentioned that it would be spending $3.5 billion over the next three years to turn its power business - a division that struggled a lot - around.
- In addition, the company sold its biopharmaceutical business to Danaher Corporation for $21.4 billion.
- The announcement was first made internally in a board meeting. It was then made in an analyst meeting.
- GE also put out a press release breaking down its restructuring plan and why it needed to incorporate these plans.
- In response to its declining revenues, IBM brought in a new CEO, replacing Ginni Rometty, its then CEO, in April 2020.
- The company came up with a restructuring plan that involves a massive layoff. It plans on terminating almost 2,000 employees in several divisions and locations.
- The job cuts will reportedly affect "several units at IBM, including the Global Technology Services (GTS) division, which is engaged in IT outsourcing. The month before, IBM took a $900 million charge against earnings to pay for the restructuring costs linked to the division. "
- The restructuring plan will include also acquisitions to grow its artificial intelligence and cloud computing divisions.
- IBM made this announcement via a press release on its website and in an earnings call.
- Aveva group has not announced any plans to restructure its operations since 2009, when it cut 80 jobs.
- In 2018, ABB announced a major restructuring plan to shift from heavy electrical manufacturing to distributed energy.
- The company mentioned that it was focusing on its business in Europe due to the growing market for distributed energy in the region.
- ABB sold its Power Grids division to Hitachi for almost $7 billion as part of its restructuring plan. The company's CEO announced this reorganization by talking to reporters.
- ABB announced another reorganization plan in 2019 that could help it save $500 million annually in costs. The plan included "cuts at the corporate office and a reshuffling of power into the hands of its business leaders."
- It mentioned that it will cut regional and country structures, in addition to giving business leaders ownership of research, products, technology, and functions. ABB's CEO announced this reorganization by talking to publications like Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
B2B MEGATRENDS - US
- Big data is one of the most talked about trends relevant to B2B technology. Most B2B companies in the US that have been called "innovative" also use this technology. There are several ways B2B innovative and technology companies in the US are using big data. Most of these big data use cases revolve around creating or building customer relationships.
- Based on a study cited on Statista, over 80% of the leading companies in the US have started utilizing big data for more accuracy in their decision-making process.
- Over 70% of B2B customers in the US feel that the companies they work with or buy products/services from do not understand them or what they need. This implies that there is a huge gap between what B2B customers want and what B2B companies provide.
- In order to better understand their customers, B2B companies in the US are using big data to accumulate information on who their customers are, what their customers need currently, and what these customers will most likely need in the future.
- The emergence of big data analytics in the US is also bringing forth a new wave of strategies to support the personalization of products and customer service, thus enabling B2B companies to build stronger personal relationships with customers.
- Big data is helping B2B companies formulate successful content marketing as well. Almost 75% of the most successful B2B companies using content marketing in the US measure ROI, and big data analytics tools was ranked by these companies as the third most used technology for content marketing efforts. Essentially, big data allows B2B companies to figure out the content with the highest ROI.
- To increase engagement, more B2B companies in the US are creating loyalty programs. B2B loyalty programs are known to be relatively more complicated than B2C loyalty programs. As a result, these companies are using big data models to determine the B2B customers or entities who are most likely to be loyal and offer specialized loyalty programs to these clients.
Robotic Process Automation
- Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is increasingly being used by B2B companies in the US. These companies are pumping resources into RPA and before 2022, most B2B companies are expected to use RPA in also every function within their operations.
- These companies are not just using RPA as a cost-cutting measure, they are incorporating this technology as an "important component of sleek and agile operations that will fortify their market positions."
- A study by Protivi showed that almost 70% of technology companies in the US are currently implementing or planning to use robotic process automation, while 29% are in the maturing or advanced stages of utilizing the technology.
- In the US, B2B companies are leveraging RPA to automatically nurture leads via a variety of channels. It enables more efficient lead nurturing through instant follow-ups and interactions with leads, which in turn increases sales.
- These companies are also using RPA solutions to track competitors and get their pricing in real time, in order to have an upper hand.
- According to B2B companies in the US, the biggest benefits of RPA use include better quality, increased productivity, stronger competitive market position, higher customer satisfaction, and greater speed.
B2B MEGATRENDS - INDIA
- In India, B2B startups using artificial intelligence (AI) are on the rise. These companies are growing at a faster rate than B2C companies as well.
- A study by Accenture showed that by 2035, artificial intelligence could add almost $1 trillion to the Indian economy. India has reportedly "taken the lead for AI implementation at scale globally" as 58% of companies in the country use AI at scale, beyond test and pilot projects.
- India's government has an initiative called Digital India Initiative which has allowed for a favorable regulatory environment that fosters the increased use of artificial intelligence in the country.
- Through artificial intelligence, B2B companies in India are able to reduce their costs by leveraging tools that factor in the needs and preferences of their customers and target audience in mind.
- B2B companies in India are amalgamating different technologies. For example, Datoin, a Bangalore-based B2B technology company has "developed an enterprise automation platform that helps enterprises automate their processes by leveraging enterprise data, artificial intelligence, and component-based engineering. With Datoin’s platform, enterprises can build solutions that use intelligent automation to harness enterprise data."
Internet of Things
- The Internet of Things (IoT) involves a "continuously changing suite of technologies to monitor, compare and act on insights across and within systems that operated in digital silos previously."
- Other than allowing businesses to increase their operational efficiency, IoT opens a new world of "connectivity and communication interfaces across which companies can connect with their customers."
- IoT is rapidly gaining traction within the B2B industry in India. India's IoT market is expected to reach $15 billion by the end of 2020. The country is forecast to make up almost 5% of the global IoT market by the end of the year.
- India's IoT market is said to still be in its nascent stage, however, B2B companies are leading in the adoption of this technology. The B2B IoT space in India includes software service providers like Infosys and startups such as iBot.
- There are several ways B2B companies in India are using IoT. These companies are using it for innovative customer experiences, smart intelligent operations, integrated command & control operation, smart supply chains, and health, safety & environmental compliance.
B2B MEGATRENDS - CHINA
- Blockchain is a decentralized ledger created for cryptocurrency. It drives a "distributed data structure that manages electronic cash movements and replaces the administrative role of a central bank or government backing."
- There are several ways B2B companies in China are using blockchain. One of the most common use-cases for blockchain in this country is supply chain. The technology enables improved supply chain efficiencies as it allows for seamless tracking of goods.
- A major challenge in the B2B industry is trust. Using blockchain systems makes it easier and more affordable to develop trust with partners.
- Blockchain is being used by B2B companies in China for smart contracts, these are contracts that are controlled by unbiased machines and allow these companies to avoid misunderstanding deals - an issue that comes up in deals controlled by humans.
- Another common use case of blockchain in China is money transactions. Blockchain allows B2B companies to remove intermediates like banks and payment processors, while also offering nearly instant transactions and relatively more affordable fees.
- Chinese companies like Tencent are dominating the global blockchain industry through standardized invoices sent on distributed ledger technology. A recent report by asset management firm Guosheng Securities found that “more than six million blockchain eInvoices have been issued, and more than 5,300 companies have been registered in China to use blockchain eInvoices since the first [eInvoice] was issued by Tencent on Aug. 10, 2019.”
- China is reportedly sprinting ahead to position itself as the leader of 5G experimentation and deployment. The top three telecom operators in the country introduced 5G services at scale in November 2019, making it the first country to launch 5G at scale.
- 5G has dominated the B2B industry in China because of the additional revenue streams it is generating.
- Companies like China Unicom are working with vendors like Huawei to guide the "concept of decoupling business scenarios from network capabilities on the platform." The company is offering a 5G smart harbor system at the Port if Qingdao, Shandong.
- China Mobile is optimistic about the growth potential of 5G in four main industries in China: Internet of Vehicle, New Media Streaming, Electricity & Energy, and Industrial IoT.
- 5G connectivity hardware, industry-customized hardware, and platform hardware will reportedly empower the digital transformation of these industries.
- 5G is being used by China's B2B industry for ultra-high definition video transmission. In March 2019, China performed the first 5G-based long-distance "human surgery to successfully complete a “brain pacemaker” implantation for Parkinson’s disease. A neurosurgeon in Hainan used China Mobile’s 5G network to receive high definition video images in real time and operate surgical instruments remotely."
B2B MEGATRENDS - GERMANY
- Germany is seeing rapid growth and immense innovations that are bridging the gap between robotics and several industries. The country's growth is driven by a "combination of its proven engineering tradition, a position as a leader in technological development, and its highly diversified industrial base."
- German companies like Medineering are offering application-specific robotic solutions to identify potentials in minimally invasive surgery, while Gesalt Robotics offers modern industrial robots which are expanding their range of applications with the help of AI and sensors.
- B2B tech companies in Germany such as ENWAY are developing autonomous work machines that help perform physically demanding and dangerous tasks.
- Kuka is Germany's largest industrial robotics company and one of the top manufacturers of industrial robots worldwide.
IoT & AI
- Internet of Things (IoT) is another megatrend specific to B2B innovative companies in Germany. Based on data provided by Deloitte, around 750 million IoT endpoints will be in operation in Germany by the end of 2020.
- In the country, Internet of Things enables forward-looking business models, including autonomous driving and telemedicine, which in turn increases the demand or IoT hardware and software solutions.
- Around 42% of companies in Germany are using artificial intelligence at scale.
- German companies like Monitor Fish are using artificial intelligence to make aquaculture sustainable and economically viable. Monitor Fish offers "cognitive capabilities of artificial intelligence in fish farming and focuses on reducing the fish mortality in ponds so that farmers' investments are secured."
- KONUX combines "Machine Learning algorithms and IoT to deliver software-as-a-service solutions for operation, monitoring, and maintenance process automation ." Its aim is to transform railway operations in Germany for a sustainable future.
- IOX, on the other hand, partners with companies in several industries in Germany to develop customized, fast, and scalable IoT solutions. The company has worked with multinational organizations like Vodafone and Unilever.