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FASTalert: Bank Earnings Booming, But Don’t Fall Into The Trap!

If you call on large banks, you might be breathing a sigh of relief as Q3’10 earnings are reported.  But, don’t stop at the headlines.  The “quality” of those booming earnings is likely dubious.

 

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FASTalert: Citi – A Technology Spending Star Rising In The East

If you or your company has aspirations to grow your relationship with Citigroup, be prepared to go global and sharpen your retail banking business acumen.  Today, over 40% of Citi’s revenues come from Emerging Markets which include Latin America and Asia.  And Citi, who reported earnings yesterday, is signaling their intention to open the investment spending spigot to grow Emerging Markets even bigger, particularly in Asian retail banking.

Don’t let the asset sales trickling out of Citi Holdings, the bad bank holding tank, fool you.  Citicorp, the good bank, is poised to leverage its existing international muscle and build its retail banking base outside the U.S. in the fastest growing economies in the world.  Citi plans to use technology as a key marketplace differentiator.

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Ten Dirty Little Secrets About ROI Analysis

Have you noticed that ‘ROI’, a term formerly reserved for the outcome of an in-depth investment analysis, has evolved to a catch-all buzzword used by sales and marketing people?  Everyone touts ROI to the point it has become meaningless noise to most buy-side executives.  ROI has morphed into another financial benefit waste word along with efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity.  Many sales professionals pull out the ROI wand as if the mere mention of the word carries some magical influence over their customer’s investment analysis.

I’m not suggesting that discussing ROI with your customers is inappropriate.  But I am suggesting that you stop using the R-word if you can’t say something more substantive and quantitative about the financial benefits of your solution.   If you want to improve your relevancy with customer executives, you better be able to engage them in a dialog about the financial impact your solution will have on their business.  This goes way beyond throwing out a ROI number.

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FASTalert: NIKE, Inc. On Offense And Spending Money

Category offense means investment game on at NIKE.   In May, NIKE, Inc. held its first investors conference in three years.  The purpose of the meeting was to provide a progress report on their sweeping transformation initiative dubbed “category offense”.  The transcripts revealed the normal NIKEisms and aggressive marketing language that we’ve come to expect from this $27 billion company.  But the substance and depth of discussion surrounding business initiatives and performance metrics was noteworthy.  Taken in conjunction with the most recent earnings conference call of September 23, these disclosures provide the most transparency we’ve ever seen into the business and spending priorities of this global company.

NIKE has key business initiatives underway in a number of areas.  They’re working with manufacturing partners to accelerate production and capacity utilization to alleviate capacity constraints.  They’re increasing investments in the direct-to-consumer businesses (online and company-owned retail stores) to integrate these formats.  They’re doubling down on the apparel business, intending to “quadruple the investment” in apparel product innovation across its seven key categories.  And, according to their CEO, they want to get better at collaborating with strategic partners, including retail partners, manufacturing partners, and strategic suppliers.

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Catch The First FinReg Waves Washing Up On Investment Banks

Hang ten in the financial services industry and catch some of the first waves of business model changes washing up on the investment banking shores … dude. As I advised in a prior blog post, Selling Into FinReg, NOW is the time to sell the financial value of your solutions. Catch the wave! SeeWSJ article.

The regulatory sea change, that is andwill be (with 243 rules remaining to be written) the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (HR 4173), has begun to upend business models across the financial services industry. And Basel III, the global bank reform standards issued last month and scheduled to be finalized next month, has raised the wind speed and accelerated the pace of structural changes.

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