Blockbuster, Dish Network Court Smartphone Market

Blockbuster, the video rental and retail chain acquired by Dish Network Inc. last year, is courting the mobile market and hoping to start selling its own smartphones soon. The move is another indication of the trend towards mobile that owners and managers of businesses large and small should already be watching. But it’s also a good reminder of the need to stay flexible in a rapidly shifting marketplace. Blockbuster makes the move after competition from Netflix challenged its position in the movie rental niche. Your business should be ready to shift direction quickly, too, if your market or your customers’ needs change.

Shifting Sand

From movies to mobile. When Dish bought Blockbuster last year, the video rental chain was already in bankruptcy after a major disruptor, Netflix Inc., entered the market with a mail-order service and streaming online video, decimating the video rental establishment. Whether the plan to enter the booming but crowded mobile market is successful remains to be seen, but the Blockbuster strategy is a good example of what many businesses must be willing to do when markets change. Bloomberg

Ahead of the curve. One way even small businesses can get ahead of the curve on changes in the market is to use new tech tools that allow them to read customer trends. In a recent podcast, Ramon Ray, Regional Development Director at Infusionsoft and Editor of Smallbiz Technology, explains the benefits of Customer Relationship Management software. The software helps businesses of all sizes use data collected on customers’ past behavior to predict their needs in the future. Businesses can then find ways to meet those needs as the market changes. Smallbiz Technology

Tech & Technique

Direct response. Just as your business must be responsive to a customer’s needs, your Website must be responsive to your audience. As more and more people are visiting your Website on smartphones or tablets instead of on PCs, it’s important to have your Website designed so that viewing content on mobile devices is as quick and easy as it is on, say, a laptop. As we see in Blockbuster’s new strategy, catering to the mobile market is important. It doesn’t take guess work to figure out your business must get ahead on this trend. Capture Commerce

Built for speed. As many resources as large businesses may have, they suffer from some major weaknesses too. Reacting to change too slowly is one of the most important of these and for all the money and effort a large company can put behind change once the decision is made, smaller businesses will always be faster. Blockbuster has been slow to adapt to the changes in the market, but its size and the size of its parent company might both be factors. Small businesses can reinvent themselves quickly. Be sure to use this advantage. Amelia Champion

Other strengths. There are other strengths a small business possesses too, writes business blogger John Jantsch. Many of them spring from the unique view small business owners have of their markets and the inventiveness they have honed when doing more with less. If you have some strengths you feel John has forgotten in his post, please leave them in the comment section below. Small businesses often have a narrow focus, an agile mindset, and a personal view that sets them apart and helps them survive even great upheaval. Duct Tape Marketing

Change is Good

Revenue boost. Small businesses use their agility to survive tough times and can take advantage of many different techniques to do it. For example, online business owner Lisa Irby gives this simple rundown of ways you could overhaul your blog or Website quickly to help your small business generate more revenue. The Web approach is one way to generate more earnings as your business is in transition or is seeing an existing business model decline. Like Blockbuster’s bold move to stay in the game, your small business can use its resources to turn things around. 2 Create a Website

Fill a need. It may sound obvious, but ultimately the key to staying ahead of the curve is to fill a need. We live in an age where mobile communication is more important than having a store where you can rent movies, for example. In this post, Jason Freedman, founder of 42Floors, a company that makes it easier to find office space rentals and commercial real estate listings, tells us a bit more about how to do that. Check it out! Sprouter Blog

2 Reactions
  1. Thank you for the mention and let’s hope that Blockbusters manage to pull it off. My how the video industry has changed!

  2. Great roundup. Mobile marketing is def becoming more of a necessity with today’s technology. I think this is a smart move for Blockbuster and if executed correctly could mean millions.