Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ways to measure brand value


SMART Objectives

All businesses need to set objectives for themselves or for the products or services they are launching. What does your company, product or service hope to achieve?

Setting objectives are important., it focuses the company on specific aims over a period of time and can motivate staff to meet the objectives set.

A simple acronym used to set objectives is called SMART objectives. SMART stands for:

1. Specific – Objectives should specify what they want to achieve.
2. Measurable – You should be able to measure whether you are meeting the objectives or not.
3. Achievable - Are the objectives you set, achievable and attainable?
4. Realistic – Can you realistically achieve the objectives with the resources you have?
5. Time – When do you want to achieve the set objectives?
Examples of SMART Objectives:

There are a number of business objectives, which an organisation can set:

•Market share objectives: Objectives can be set to achieve a certain level of market share within a specified time. E.g. obtain 3% market share of the mobile phone industry by 2004.
•To increase profit: An objective maybe to increase sales 10% from 2003 – 2004.
•To survive: The hard times the business is currently in.
•To grow: The business may set an objective to grow by 15% year on year for the next five years.
•To increase brand awareness over a specified period of time.


Relationship Marketing

What is it?

Relationship Marketing involves using methods and tactics to develop long term relationship with customers in order to retain them. An organisation must exceed customer satisfaction in order to retain them and develop a healthy relationship with their customers.
Traditional transactional marketing involved the organisation focusing all of its marketing efforts on attracting the customer for one off sales. However, customers who are loyal end up spending more in the long-term, so it makes sense, keep existing customers happy!

Attracting and retaining customers

Relationship marketing involves the organization undertaking a number of important activities. First of all, the company must put into place tactics to attract customers. Methods used to attract customers may include promoting the product and brand, offering good quality products/services and competitive prices. Secondly customers that are attracted to the organisation have to be retained. As we stated above what’s the point of all that hard work of attracting customers if we cannot retain them? Methods used to retain, may include, loyalty cards, a good customer service section, and an individual account manager if it is a large client, along with product variety and quality.

Methods of monitoring customer satisfaction

An organisation must continue to satisfy customers, but lets be honest, it is very difficult to keep 100% of your customers satisfied all the time, one reason is because needs and wants of your customers change. So we have to monitor what is happening in our customer environment. Methods used to monitor customer satisfaction include:
Focus groups
.Personal interviews
.Mystery Shoppers.
Customer complaints
.Suggestion boxes.
Online surveys.
General comments.
In order to retain customers we must keep up to date with the needs of our customers. Customer needs do not remain static and always change. Adapting and changing along with these needs will help the organisation develop the relationship it wants with the customer. The benefit, well increased profit, market share and brand awareness.

Attract Customers Without Slashing Prices!

Seven Ways To Have A "Sale" EventWithout Reduced Prices!
THERE'S NO DOUBT ABOUT IT. Cutting prices can be one of the quickest, most powerful ways to attract customers in window fashions —or in any other kind of retailing. Today, "big percentage off" advertising is one way to build business, but it isn't the only way.
Price cutting may cause big problems, too. The negative impact on your profits can also be quick and powerful. Competitive situations can lead to ever increasing discounts that end up eating into profits. Today's consumer wants to buy products that are "on sale", so here are a few ways you might try to have a "sale" to attract customers — without cutting prices.

1. What's New?
Over time, the word "New" has proved to be one of the most compelling words that can be used in an advertising headline. In stores, a sign that says "New" will actually draw more attention than a "Half-Price" sign. This is even more so when your products are fashion based, as window coverings are.
The secret is to find something that your customers will see as new and different. It may or may not be radically different from your normal product line — it may be a new feature, new colors, a new service or an entirely new product line.
Remember that some things that you may consider old news or slightly dated are still perceived as new by your customers who don't buy window coverings every day. Statistically, today's shopper hasn't bought window coverings for about seven years. In window fashions, Hunter Douglas leads the way in truly new products and new features. Keeping up with them can be difficult at times, but it's well worth it.
2. Let's Make A Deal
Trade-in or Trade-up advertising has worked well for many years in some industries, most notably for car dealers. This strategy could be adapted easily to window fashions. The amount you allow for a trade-in may be attractive to potential customers while increasing your profitability.
What do you do with the items traded in? Aluminum blinds may be sold to a recycler to further increase your profits. Or you may want to donate usable products to a charity organization. Or you may simply discard some items — it really doesn't matter — the idea is to generate sales and earn a higher profit than you would with conventional discounting.
3. Buy One, Get One – FREE!
Buy one, get one free advertising can be a very effective way to create traffic. It certainly isn't a new idea and it can amount to price-cutting in disguise if you're not careful, but it's a popular approach in retailing — mostly because it works. With this type of sale, you are often able to sell products at a higher price than you would with typical percentage off advertising.
Most consumers don't see this as buying two items at half-price. Instead, their perception is that they bought one at regular price and you, generously, gave them another. If there's a lot of "Buy one, get one free" advertising in your area, you might try a variation like a Penny Sale (Buy one, get one for apenny) just to be different. Other variations could be, "Buy Two, Get One Free" or "Buy One, Get One At Half Price" and so on.
4. Buy One, Get Something Else — FREE!"
Free" is another one of those powerful words to use in your advertising. It doesn't matter that much what you offer "free with purchase". If it is an attractive item to your target customer, offering it "free" will undoubtedly attract attention.
You may want to associate a freebie with a product. For example, a free can of compressed air with an order of Luminette® Privacy Sheers or Silhouette® window shadings can help your customer in cleaning.
5. Reach For The Stars
Book stores often use celebrities to attract customers. Would it work for you, too? It doesn't necessarily have to be an extremely famous person world-wide. Maybe a local sports hero or celebrity, or a live remote with a popular radio personality. Even a manufacturer's representative might be turned into a celebrity. Think about who might draw a crowd to your store and who might want the publicity.
6. Give 'Em Credit
Today's higher end window fashions can certainly turn into a major purchase. Whether moving into a new home or remodeling an existing home, window coverings are usually the last thing in, well after the money is spent. It isn't unusual at all for a window coverings customer to need financing. Check with your banker or other financial institutions to help your customers arrange financing. By offering financing in your advertising, apart from bank cards, you'll attract customers who are truly ready to do business.
7. "How-To" Clinic
Offer in-store clinics or workshops on home decorating; on new products;on color selection; on today's fabrics; on select product lines; on home decorating in general — there are all kinds of topics your customers might find interesting. Schedule these events for times that are convenient to your target customer. By educating them you'll earn their loyalty and trust for years to come. Be sure to schedule your clinics when your target customers are available. This may mean evenings or weekends

Marketing segmentation, Targeting and Positioning

Market Targeting

  • The selection of a particular market segment toward which all marketing effort is directed. Market targeting enables the characteristics of the chosen segment to be taken into account when formulating a product or service and its advertising.

Market Targeting

  • The selection of a particular market segment toward which all marketing effort is directed. Market targeting enables the characteristics of the chosen segment to be taken into account when formulating a product or service and its advertising.

centuary paper mill

Centuary paper mill
Century Paper & Board Mills Limited (CPBM) is the Flag Bearer of the Lakson Group of Companies.
The Lakson Group has diversified interests in industries such as Paper & Board, Soaps & Detergents, Instant Fruit Drinks, Packaging, Fast Food Chain, Textiles, Information Technology, Insurance, Travel & Tours, and Surgical Goods.
As a result of their Success Stories in the Industrial Sector of Pakistan, the Lakson Group of Companies has built up Strategic Business Relationships with Multi National Corporations like Colgate Palmolive, Kraft General Foods and McDonald’s International.
Actually, the lakson group introduced the paper and board in vast scale they are producing high quality paper and board in the market so their prices are too high like printing paper's price is 80 to 70 whereas the bleach board's price is 60 if we compare it to the bulle shah and flying paper mill's rates are less than the centuary paper mill.
Centuary paper mill is the best buyer mill in order to purchase the rawmaterial its rates are charming and their payment system is to good than othre paper mills.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Seven Cs.

The Seven Cs.
7 Cs Website design elements that drive customer traffic.
There are seven design elements - 7Cs - that should be considered when creating a website intended for commerce and sales. Customers shop online for several reasons; the most important are the convenience, cost, large selection and the allure of control over their purchases. Customers can easily shop around from anywhere they have an Internet connection; this gives companies an even greater imperative to create a website that will drive traffic to their website, appeal to their target markets, and create a lasting experience that will create return customers.
Context : A website’s layout and overall visual design needs to be uncluttered, easy to read and navigate, the color scheme needs to be appropriate for the marketing design. Having some white space will also aid in the overall design and readability.
Commerce : If the website is intended for commercial transactions, then it has to be safe and the fact that is has been made safe must be communicated to the customer, most websites use a “lock” symbol in the corner to indicate that it has been encrypted.
Connection : Any links that lead the customer away from the website.
Communication : How the company talks to its customers ; this can be done through signing up for special offers, email newsletters, contests, surveys, live chat with company representatives, and company contact information.
Content : The text, graphics, sound, music, and/or videos that are presented.
Community : The website may allow interaction between customers through message boards and live chat.
Customization : Companies can allow customers to personalize aspects of the website or it may tailor itself to different users, for example having different colors and graphics for people who speak different languages.

Informal marketing plans

Informal Marketing Plans
What is informal marketing planning?

Formal and informal approaches to marketing planning were investigated by Lyles (1993). This study found that neither had any relationship with business success. Over 60 studies into SME's were collated by Shrader et al (1989). Their conclusion was that there are some benefits to informal marketing planning, especially in smaller firms. The owner/manager tends to make business decisions based upon his or own experience and judgement. Once again there is disagreement regarding the link between such planning and decision-making in small businesses, with Robinson and Pearce (1993) finding that owners of small businesses did not link their decision-making process to formal planning. The formal nature of marketing planning is rejected by Piercy and Giles (1989).
There is recognition that the formal marketing planning process does not take into account the human realities of the planner. Marketing plans may in reality be driven from below by tactics rather than from above by strategies. These ideas are important since they not only see marketing planning taking place almost in reverse, but also because they offer informed criticism of the linear, formal planning process and begin to suggest that marketing planning in general is more informal than formal. It is also noticeable that Piercy and Giles (1989) do not see formal marketing planning as something adopted by large organisations with informal planning being practiced solely by small businesses or their owners. Informal marketing planning is also practiced by large organisations. Applying the same planning process to all organisations is like a doctor prescribing the same drug to all patients regardless of their ailment (McDonald 1986b). A series of criticisms of a written business plan were lodged by Monroy (1995).
A written business plan was rarely referred to after preparation, and there was little causality between business plan creation and business success. This view is supported by the earlier work of Bracker and Pearson (1986) in that the unstructured nature of planning was a process rather than a written document. If the process it not written and nor is it formal, what actually takes place? It is accepted that a written planning document is often the starting point (Kuratko 1995).
The shift from formal to informal marketing planning tends to see the marketing planning process as something that is not linear but as something influenced by the behaviour of the marketer. The linear approach to planning ignores the human and organisational factors that impact upon the marketing planning process. Many organisations could find difficulty in closing the gap between the theory and practice of marketing planning. The reason for this is that a logical model of marketing planning is being superimposed upon an organisation. It ignores the behavioural and experiential inputs that the manager himself brings to the planning process (Piercy and Giles 1989). From this behavioural perspective, the plan is not a written document (Monroy 1985). The most recent manifestation of the inadequacy of the current literature was expressed by Greenley, Hooley and Saunders (2004).
Their criticism has resonance since it is based upon their dissatisfaction with the current focus upon 'what' decisions should be made, rather than 'how' they are made. They suggest two models of marketing planning, and propose directions for new research. The first model is the 'direct effects' model, and the second is the 'moderator effects' model. Whilst the call for new research into the topic of marketing planning is welcomed, the nature of the two models is informal, but more importantly the value of the individual marketing manager is omitted. Neither model refers to human behaviour, individual learning or experience.

Customer relationship management

A commonly cited definition of CRM

Customer Relationship Management is the establishment, development, maintenance and optimisation of long-term mutually valuable relationships between consumers and organisations.
CRM is a term that is often referred to in marketing. However, there is no complete agreement upon a single definition. This is because CRM can be considered from a number of perspectives. In summary, the three perspectives are:
1. CRM from the Information Technology Perspective.
From the technology perspective, companies often buy into software that will help to achieve their business goals. For many, CRM is far more than a new software package, the renaming of traditional customer services, or an IT-based customer management system to support sales people. However, IT is vital since it underpins CRM, and has the payoffs associated with modern technology, such as speed, ease of use, power and memory, and so on.
2. CRM from the Customer Life Cycle(CLC)Perspective.
The Customer Life Cycle (CLC) has obvious similarities with the Product Life Cycle (PLC). However, CLC focuses upon the creation of and delivery of lifetime value to the customer i.e. looks at the products of services that customers need throughout their lives. It is marketing orientated rather than product orientated. Essentially, CLC is a summary of the key stages in a customer's relationship with an organisation.
CRM from the business strategy perspective.
The Business Strategy perspective has most in common with many of the lessons and topics contained on this website, and indeed within the field of marketing itself. The diagram below shows the MarketingTeacher Model of CRM and Business Strategy. Our model contains three key phases - customer acquisition, customer retention and customer extention, and three contextual factors - marketing orientation, value creation and innovatove IT.

Balanced Scorecard

The Balanced Scorecard is an approach that can be used by strategic marketing managers to control, and keep track of, key performance indicators. In fact the scorecard itself is designed to be wholly strategic since it contains long-term outcomes and drivers of success. There are four zones in a balanced scorecard namely financial, customers, business processes (or simply processes), and learning and growth. Each measure is part of a longer chain of cause and effect, and all of the measures eventually lead to outcomes (read on and this will become clearer). So the scorecard is 'balanced' in that outcomes are in balance with each other.

The benefit of the scorecard is that is overcomes short-term quick fixes, and gives the strategic marketing manager a straightforward overview of the organisation. In fact, a scorecard should ideally fit onto a single sheet of paper. In fact Kaplan and Norton (1992), the originators of Balanced Scorecard, describe it as the dials in an airplane cockpit.

Balanced Scorecard

Learning and Growth.

Learning and Growth deals with measures of corporate success in relation to how it learns as it develops over time. So if the company makes mistakes in any way, then it must learn from them and there must be mechanisms in place to make sure that happens. Growth also includes the way in which it generates leaders for the future and equips employees with the necessary skills that will ultimately sustain its business. Examples include skills sets, employee relations and satisfaction, and staff competences.

Internal Business Processes.

Internal business processes include all operations within the organisation. The measures would cover whether or not value is being delivered to target segments, and the value chain is tracked. Innovation and new product development would also be measured. Examples of internal business processes include Information Technology, manufacturing, marketing operations such as customer service, procurement and quality processes.


As marketers we are very concerned with our customers. We need to make sure that they are satisfied with every aspect of their experience with our organisation. We need to make sure that we not only recruit more new customers, but that we also retain them and extend new products and services to them. We also need to make sure that we are meeting the needs of our target segments. So here, examples of customer measures include customer retention and recruitment, their satisfaction and so on.


Financial measures are vitally important for any business. A note of caution here, since traditional measures of financial success such as Return On Investment (ROI), and made secondary to 'shareholder value.' Shareholder value is the natural measure of success, and so it is prioritised. Information on customers, markets and technology is far more widely available today, so don't bogged down with old fashioned financial measures.

Resources, individuals and teams within a business are then aligned with the scorecard objectives, measures, targets and initiatives for each of the four areas of measurement.

This approach can be used by managers for highlighting and improving various important aspects relating to the organization as a whole and gives a balanced approach in every section of business operations.


Core Competences

Marketing and Core Competences

A core competence is the result of a specific unique set of skills or production techniques that deliver value to the customer. Such competences give an organization access to a wide variety of markets. Hamel and Prahalad (1990) refer to a number of organizations and their products to support their concept including NEC, Honda and Canon.

Core competences are interesting from a traditional marketing point of view since it could be argued that they take a product or production orientation rather than a market orientation. If you focus on production techniques and skills then aren't you looking at your business from an internal point of view? The answer is yes. However, the core competences give a business a competitive advantage in a number of markets, markets where customers perceive a benefit from the product. So if needs are being met better than the competition, there is an argument that core competences are indeed market-oriented. There are at least three tests of a core competence.

Three tests of core competence.

  • Provides potential access to a wide variety of markets.
  • Should make a significant contribution to the perceived customer benefits of the end product.
  • Should be difficult for competitors to imitate.
Core Competences

For example, Microsoft has expertise in many IT-based innovations and technologies. Customers perceive many benefits in relation to Microsoft's products. For a variety of reasons including unique skills, it is difficult for competitors to imitate Microsoft's core competences.

When trying to identify a core competence, it is often easy to mistake them for scarce or unique resources i.e. resources rather than skills or production technologies. Also often skills and production technologies do not amount to a core competence or resource because they do not comply with one or more of the three tests. They are the thresholds that the organization must achieve to remain competitive. Threshold competences and scarce resources may not provide access to a variety of markets, may not be so significant to customers and may be less difficult to imitate.

In summary there are core competences and scarce resources, and threshold competences and threshold resources.

Core Competences and Resources

In order to be competitive an organization needs material resources such as premises, a factory or offices - depending on the nature of business of course. Material resources tend to be the most straightforward to achieve. Then an organization needs to achieve the right balance between Human Resources, training and recruitment. This state is more difficult to achieve. Intangible resources, including core competences are the most difficult and challenging to achieve. This is depicted in the diagram above. In fact they drive competitive advantage.

The matrix relating to core competency give useful information for creating customer value which is an important aspect of successful Customer Relationship management.


Gap Analysis.

Gap analysis is a very useful tool for helping marketing managers to decide upon marketing strategies and tactics. Again, the simple tools are the most effective. There's a straightforward structure to follow. The first step is to decide upon how you are going to judge the gap over time. For example, by market share, by profit, by sales and so on.

This will help you to write SMART objectives. Then you simply ask two questions - where are we now? and where do we want to be? The difference between the two is the GAP - this is how you are going to get there. Take a look at the diagram below. The lower line is where you'll be if you do nothing. The upper line is where you want to be.

What is Gap Analysis?

Your next step is to close the gap. Firstly decide whether you view from a strategic or an operational/tactical perspective. If you are writing strategy, you will go on to write tactics - see the lesson on marketing plans. The diagram below uses Ansoff's matrix to bridge the gap using strategies:

Strategic Gap Analysis.

You can close the gap by using tactical approaches. The marketing mix is ideal for this. So effectively, you modify the mix so that you get to where you want to be. That is to say you change price, or promotion to move from where you are today (or in fact any or all of the elements of the marketing mix).

Tactical Gap Analysis.

This is how you close the gap by deciding upon strategies and tactics - and that's gap analysis.



Why is there a need for an advanced approach to SWOT Analysis?

Some of the problems that you may encounter with SWOT are as a result of one of its key benefits i.e. its flexibility. Since SWOT analysis can be used in a variety of scenarios, it has to be flexible. However this can lead to a number of anomalies. Problems with basic SWOT analysis can be addressed using a more critical POWER SWOT. POWER is an acronym for Personal experience, Order, Weighting, Emphasize detail, and Rank and prioritize. This is how it works.

P = Personal experience.

How do you the marketing manger fit in relation with the SWOT analysis? You bring your experiences, skills, knowledge, attitudes and beliefs to the audit. Your perception or simple gut feeling will impact the SWOT.

O = Order - strengths or weaknesses, opportunities or threats.

Often marketing managers will inadvertently reverse opportunities and strengths, and threats and weaknesses. This is because the line between internal strengths and weaknesses, and external opportunities and threats is sometimes difficult to spot. For example, in relation to global warming and climate change, one could mistake environmentalism as a threat rather than a potential opportunity.

W = Weighting.

Too often elements of a SWOT analysis are not weighted. Naturally some points will be more controversial than others. So weight the factors. One way would be to use percentages e.g. Threat A = 10%, Threat B = 70%, and Threat C = 20% (they total 100%).

E = Emphasize detail.

Detail, reasoning and justification are often omitted from the SWOT analysis. What one tends to find is that the analysis contains lists of single words. For example, under opportunities one might find the term 'Technology.' This single word does not tell a reader very much. What is really meant is:

'Technology enables marketers to communicate via mobile devices close to the point of purchase. This provides the opportunity of a distinct competitive advantage for our company.'

This will greatly assist you when deciding upon how best to score and weight each element.

R = Rank and prioritize.

Once detail has been added, and factors have been reviewed for weighting, you can then progress to give the SWOT analysis some strategic meaning i.e. you can begin to select those factors that will most greatly influence your marketing strategy albeit a mix of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Essentially you rank them highest to lowest, and then prioritize those with the highest rank e.g. Where Opportunity C = 60%, Opportunity A = 25%, and Opportunity B = 10% - your marketing plan would address Opportunity C first, and Opportunity B last. It is important to address opportunities primarily since your business should be market oriented. Then match strengths to opportunities and look for a fit. Address any gaps between current strengths and future opportunities. Finally attempt to rephrase threats as opportunities (as with global warming and climate change above), and address weaknesses so that they become strengths.

This Power Swot is basically an extension of basic swot and is much more useful for strategic planning.


Google Marketing Mix.

Google is a search engine. Search engines are used to search the Internet. However Google is much more than a search engine - it's a global company that specializes in innovation and technology. The business focuses on information made up mainly from web pages, although today all information is absorbed by the Google sponge including books, videos and music. Let's not take the search engine for granted - masses of information is available to everyone and we all have the potential to develop our own knowledge and learning.

Google's search engine indexes billions of pages and gives the search speedy results. The engine ranks websites organically regarding links into a page as a positive endorsement or vote. So if people like your pages they will link to them and the page will get a better rank than sites with fewer in-links.

Google was started in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin with an initial investment of $100,000. The company went public in 2004 and both founders did very nicely thank you (and became billionaires overnight). At that time the duo employed around 7000 people and grew at a tremendous rate, with some claiming that Google was the fastest growing internet company in the world. In 2008 revenues were more than $21 billion and net profit was $4 billion.

Larry and Sergey are now worth an estimated $6 billion. Their story is synonymous with Google's history. They were brilliant computer science students. They met when Sergey was helping out at a student open day and Larry was one of the prospective students. They became good colleagues although rumour has that they used to debate quite a lot. Eventually they worked together to build some software that could be used to search the internet. They touted it around the early search engine companies of the time but none of them had the enthusiasm that matched that of Larry and Sergey. So they decided to start their own company called 'Google.' Their competitive advantage was that the search engine would give objective and useful results - quickly.


  • Google's income is made through advertising. When a consumer types in a keyword such as 'contact lenses' the search engine will display natural or 'organic' results - as it would for any search term. However you will notice that at the top and/or along the right hand side of the results, there are a series of advertisements. These advertisements are paid for by companies. The advertising program is called Google AdWords. See 'price' below.
  • Google has a relationship with a number of libraries around the world. One of its goals is to digitize as many books as possible and to include them in search result. This could mean that all books are available to everybody. The key problem with this initiative (apart from the enormity of the task) is that Google does not own the rights to all books - the writers and the copyright owners do, and they are not happy. One of those participants is Stanford University.
  • Google is the world's most popular search engine.
  • Google Earth enables users to view the world from space. That's a real opportunity for you and me to experience something that our ancestors never did. However there could be security implications. Like any information - it can be used for good or bad. Anyway you'll notice that the pictures are often dated and taken some time ago. Privacy is also an issue - do you want a satellite taking pictures of your home for the world to see? In 2009 they launched a revised version of Google Earth which includes the opportunity to view 3D oceans.
  • Critics argue that Google is a tool for plagiarism. Plagiarism is essentially cheating by passing off the work of others as your own when submitting assessments at school, college and university. It is the same as copying and is often punished.
  • Google Scholar - which supports a broad trawl of material such as peer reviewed journals, theses and other academic material.
  • iGoogle - a personalized Google page.
  • The ever evolving list of products includes Google finance, Google news, Google blog search, Google video, YouTube, Google sites, Blogger, Orkut, Google Reader, Google Groups, Google Calendar and Google Docs.
  • In 2008 Google Chrome was launched. Google Chrome is an open source browser.


  • How does Google make money? Through a special advertising program called AdWords. AdWords (see 'product' above) are keyword-based advertisements that are bought by companies. So if you have a company that distributes contact lenses, you would bid against other distributors of contact lenses for the highest place (or nearby). By bidding for lucrative keywords this raises the price and Google make money. It's rather like selling a rare item on eBay; the rarer it is the more money you make; the more bidders that compete for the item the more money you make. Hence the more valuable a keyword the more it will make. Advertisers are making more than their investment in advertising, and this makes it an appealing program for business. It is measurable using basic software so advertisers can work out how much they are making on their investment, which is more complex to do with traditional advertising media.
  • Click fraud is a potential problem with AdWords. Every time you click on an advert Google gets paid by the advertiser. Sometimes competitors will fraudulently click on your advert and this is theft, or fraud. Google has many ways of tackling this and click fraud is less of a problem today.


  • The company is located at Mountain View in California. The site looks very much like a university campus with gyms and cafes. The environment enables employees to maximize their time. The Googleplex is the name given to its HQ.
  • Another way of looking at place is that Google is an online business i.e. it distributes using an the internet as its channel.


  • Google uses AdWords itself. Often you'll see adverts with a link to Google's own services.
  • They include flyers inside business magazines.
  • They use money off promotions to incentivize advertisers to use AdWords e.g. free $20 worth of advertising.
  • Google Chrome has its own TV advert.
  • Google has a Public Relations function that it uses to proactively manage media.
  • Google will sponsor a $30 million competition for an unmanned lunar landing. The winner must land a rover on the moon; the rover should travel 500 metres, and then send back a video to Earth.


  • Google retains your search term. It collects data on searches to help to refine the search algorithm. So don't think that you search anonymously. Google keeps your search terms and can link them to the address of your computer, and then to you. Whilst Google may not wish to spy on you, governments may take an interest in searching habits and this is a civil liberties issue.
  • If you use Google mail (Gmail) or Google calendar then you are giving even more information about yourself to Google.
  • Google co-operates with the Chinese government in its censorship of certain search terms and results. Is it becoming a political animal, or just maximizing a business opportunity?

Physical Evidence

  • The name Googol means a number followed by 100 zeros. However the founders mistakenly registered Google as their domain name.
  • The company is located at Mountain View in California (see 'place').


  • In 2008 Google employed 20,000 people.
  • Many of the original employees of Google came from Stanford and other elite US universities. It employs the top brains, and people like working together Google's innovative business culture. Employees are encouraged to take advantage of 20% time - that's one day every week working on their personal pet project. They play sports at lunchtime, with Larry and Sergey enjoying roller hockey in the early days.
  • Its motto is 'Don't be evil.' This comes from its informal, collegiate origins. Google can be a success without losing its integrity. However search engines are based upon algorithms which are loaded with choices about what to value and what to include/exclude.

Google's mission is to organise the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.

This basically is a set of controllable marketing tactical tools that Google uses in developing its effective marke4ting strategy.


Four Banding Alternatives

A Branding Strategy Based upon Brand Franchise Extension (Tauber 1981)

A marcoms tool that a marketer can employ for branding decision-making is the Four Banding Alternatives (Tauber 1981). Four Branding Alternatives is a strategic marketing communications technique. It is a fun and creative approach that can add value to any class that likes to discuss brands and how they could be innovatively developed. It is used when an organization considers adding a product to its portfolio and its associated brand name. The two variables for this matrix are Product Category (Existing or New) and Band Category (Existing or New).

Four Branding Alternatives

  • New Product - a new product is developed with a series of new brand ideas and meanings to the consumer.
  • Flanker Brand - a new brand is introduced into a category where the organization already has established products.
  • Line Extension - a current brand name is introduced into a category where the organization already has established products.
  • Franchise Extension - a familiar brand is taken to a product category where it is unknown.

Here's an example. Firstly let's recall that Four Branding Alternatives is a strategic tool, so you need to base it upon a very large organisation which is likely to own a number of brands.

Examples would include car manufacturers, large IT companies, and conglomerates. You get the idea.

An example for the Japanese company, Sony Inc is as follows:

  • New Product - Sony enters the market for music downloads under a new sub-branding idea and concept.
  • Flanker Brand - Sony introduces the Sony Vaio laptops (as it indeed has).
  • Line Extension - Sony enter the market for digital HD TV's (as it has).
  • Franchise Extension - Sony enters the market for innovative environmentally friendly small cars that run on solar power.
This all relates to chapter 8 of our book and as much significance attached to it since brands are a broader phenomena.


Introduction to Brands.

Brands and Branding.

Branding is a strategy that is used by marketers. Pickton and Broderick (2001) describe branding as Strategy to differentiate products and companies, and to build economic value for both the consumer and the brand owner. Brand occupies space in the perception of the consumer, and is what results from the totality of what the consumer takes into consideration before making a purchase decision (Pickton and Broderick 2001).

So branding is a strategy, and brand is what has meaning to the consumer.

There are some other terms used in branding. Brand Equity is the addition of the brand's attributes including reputation, symbols, associations and names. Then the financial expression of the elements of brand equity is called Brand Value.

There are a number of interpretations of the term brand (De Chernatony 2003). They are summarized as follows:

  • A brand is simply a logo e.g. McDonald's Golden Arches.
  • A brand is a legal instrument, existing in a similar way to a patent or copyright.
  • A brand is a company e.g. Coca-Cola.
  • A brand is shorthand - not as straightforward. Here a brand that is perceived as having benefits in the mind of the consumer is recognised and acts as a shortcut to circumvent large chunks of information. So when searching for a product or service in less familiar surroundings you will conduct an information search. A recognised brand will help you reach a decision more conveniently.
  • A brand is a risk reducer. The brand reassures you when in unfamiliar territory.
  • A brand is positioning. It is situated in relation to other brands in the mind of the consumer as better, worse, quicker, slower, etc.
  • A brand is a personality, beyond function e.g. Apple's iPod versus just any MP3 player.
  • A brand is a cluster of values e.g. Google is reliable, ethical, invaluable, innovative and so on.
  • A brand is a vision. Here managers aspire to see a brand with a cluster of values. In this context vision is similar to goal or mission.
  • A brand is added value, where the consumer sees value in a brand over and above its competition e.g. Audi over Volkswagen, and Volkswagen over Skoda - despite similarities.
  • A brand is an identity that includes all sorts of components; depending on the brand e.g. Body Shop International encapsulates ethics, environmentalism and political beliefs.
  • A brand is an image where the consumer perceives a brand as representing a particular reality e.g. Stella Artois Reassuring Expensive.
  • A brand is a relationship where the consumer reflects upon him or herself through the experience of consuming a product or service.
This post relates to chapter on product, service and branding and aim here was to have some sort of extra info relating to this chapter.


The Loyalty Ladder.

Turning a prospect into an advocate.

The loyalty ladder is a tool for marketing communicators. The idea is that consumers can be moved along a continuum of loyalty using a number of integrated marketing communications techniques (it is also referred to as a branding ladder). Essentially, consumers become loyal to a brand which has meaning to them in relation to a product, service, solution or experience.

Loyalty Ladder

As with continuums of behaviour such as UACCA - Unawareness, Awareness, Comprehension, Conviction, Action, or AIDA - Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action, the loyalty ladder begins from a point where the consumer has Not Yet Purchased, then he or she buys the product for the first time (Trialist), if the trial has been a success he or she returns to buy again and again (Repeat Purchaser) and finally the consumer buys no other brand (Brand Insistent). At the Not Yet Purchased Stage the consumer is merely a Prospect. As he or she trials they become a Customer. The Repeat Purchaser is a Client since he or she is becoming loyal. Finally, the consumer becomes an Advocate (i.e. activist or campaigner) since he or she is Brand Insistent. At this point the brand is difficult to dislodge since it has so much meaning to the consumer. Great brands such as Nike, BMW, Boss, and iPod are in this highly desirable position.

The marketing manager needs to decide or select integrated marketing communications that move the consumer from Not Yet purchased to Brand Insistent (i.e. from Prospect to Advocate). Once at Brand Insistent, the marketing manager should attempt to keep the level of customer loyalty at this point, again by using integrated marketing communications.

This post relates to chapter on CRM and has much importance when it comes to creating value for and from customers.



Part of STP - Segment-Target-Postion.

The third and final part of the SEGMENT - TARGET - POSITION (STP) process is 'positioning.' Positioning is undoubtedly one of the simplest and most useful tools to marketers. After segmenting a market and then targeting a consumer, you would proceed to position a product within that market.

Remember this important point. Positioning is all about 'perception'. As perception differs from person to person, so do the results of the positioning map e.g what you perceive as quality, value for money, etc, is different to my perception. However, there will be similarities.

Products or services are 'mapped' together on a 'positioning map'. This allows them to be compared and contrasted in relation to each other. This is the main strength of this tool. Marketers decide upon a competitive position which enables them to distinguish their own products from the offerings of their competition (hence the term positioning strategy).

Take a look at the basic positioning map template below.

Positioning Map

The marketer would draw out the map and decide upon a label for each axis. They could be price (variable one) and quality (variable two), or Comfort (variable one) and price (variable two). The individual products are then mapped out next to each other Any gaps could be regarded as possible areas for new products.

The term 'positioning' refers to the consumer's perception of a product or service in relation to its competitors. You need to ask yourself, what is the position of the product in the mind of the consumer?

Trout and Ries suggest a six-step question framework for successful positioning:

1. What position do you currently own?

2. What position do you want to own?

3. Whom you have to defeat to own the position you want.

4. Do you have the resources to do it?

5. Can you persist until you get there?

6. Are your tactics supporting the positioning objective you set?

Look at the example below using the auto market.

Product: Ferrari, BMW, Kia, Range Rover, Saab, Hyundai.

Positioning Map for Cars.

The six products are plotted upon the positioning map. It can be concluded that products tend to bunch in the high price/low economy(fast) sector and also in the low price/high economy sector. There is an opportunity in the low price/ low economy (fast) sector. Maybe Hyundai or Kia could consider introducing a low cost sport saloon. However, remember that it is all down to the perception of the individual.

I added this because positioning is a very useful element of a customer driven marketing strategy which relates to chapter 7 of our book.



Part of STP - Segment-Target-Postion.

Targeting is the second stage of the SEGMENT "Target" POSITION (STP) process. After the market has been separated into its segments, the marketer will select a segment or series of segments and 'target' it/them. Resources and effort will be targeted at the


The first is the single segment with a single product. In other word, the marketer targets a single product offering at a single segment in a market with many segments. For example, British Airway's Concorde is a high value product aimed specifically at business people and tourists willing to pay more for speed.


Secondly the marketer could ignore the differences in the segments, and choose to aim a single product at all segments i.e. the whole market. This is typical in 'mass marketing' or where differentiation is less important than cost. An example of this is the approach taken by budget airlines such as Go/


Finally there is a multi-segment approach. Here a marketer will target a variety of different segments with a series of differentiated products. This is typical in the motor industry. Here there are a variety of products such as diesel, four-wheel-drive, sports saloons, and so on.

One of the most important customer driven marketing strategy and helps in making and integrated marketing marketing mix.



This is the first of three lessons based upon SEGMENT - TARGET - POSITION. To get a product or service to the right person or company, a marketer would firstly segment the market, then target a single segment or series of segments, and finally position within the segment(s).

Segmentation is essentially the identification of subsets of buyers within a market who share similar needs and who demonstrate similar buyer behavior. The world is made up from billions of buyers with their own sets of needs and behavior. Segmentation aims to match groups of purchasers with the same set of needs and buyer behavior. Such a group is known as a 'segment'. Think of you r market as an orange, with a series of connected but distinctive segments, each with their own profile.


Of course you can segment by all sorts of variables. The diagram above depicts how segmentation information is often represented as a pie chart diagram - the segments are often named and/ or numbered in some way.

Segmentation is a form of critical evaluation rather than a prescribed process or system, and hence no two markets are defined and segmented in the same way. However there are a number of underpinning criteria that assist us with segmentation:

  • Is the segment viable? Can we make a profit from it?
  • Is the segment accessible? How easy is it for us to get into the segment?
  • Is the segment measurable? Can we obtain realistic data to consider its potential?

The are many ways that a segment can be considered. For example, the auto market could be segmented by: driver age, engine size, model type, cost, and so on. However the more general bases include:

  • by geography - such as where in the world was the product bought.
  • by psychographics - such as lifestyle or beliefs.
  • by socio-cultural factors - such as class.
  • by demography - such as age, sex, and so on.

A company will evaluate each segment based upon potential business success. Opportunities will depend upon factors such as: the potential growth of the segment the state of competitive rivalry within the segment how much profit the segment will deliver how big the segment is how the segment fits with the current direction of the company and its vision.

segmentation matrix answer

The Segmentation Matrix Business Battlemap is a useful segmentation tool. There are two bases for segmentation. Here we use beer brand versus ages groups. The various products are then plotted on the matrix. The result is a 'battlemap'.

This is the first step when designing a customer driven marketing strategy and as much significance attached to it. ( chapter 7)


Physical Evidence - Part of the Marketing Mix.

Physical evidence as part of the marketing mix.

Physical evidence is the material part of a service. Strictly speaking there are no physical attributes to a service, so a consumer tends to rely on material cues. There are many examples of physical evidence, including some of the following:

  • Packaging.
  • Internet/web pages.
  • Paperwork (such as invoices, tickets and despatch notes).
  • Brochures.
  • Furnishings.
  • Signage (such as those on aircraft and vehicles).
  • Uniforms.
  • Business cards.
  • The building itself (such as prestigious offices or scenic headquarters).
  • Mailboxes and many others . . . . . .

A sporting event is packed full of physical evidence. Your tickets have your team's logos printed on them, and players are wearing uniforms. The stadium itself could be impressive and have an electrifying atmosphere. You travelled there and parked quickly nearby, and your seats are comfortable and close to restrooms and store. All you need now is for your team to win!

Some organisations depend heavily upon physical evidence as a means of marketing communications, for example tourism attractions and resorts (e.g. Disney World), parcel and mail services (e.g. UPS trucks), and large banks and insurance companies (e.g. Lloyds of London).

This is an important aspect relating to marketing mix and is very unique in its approach towards the mix.


SWOT Analysis Nike, Inc.


  • Nike is a very competitive organization. Phil Knight (Founder and CEO) is often quoted as saying that 'Business is war without bullets.' Nike has a healthy dislike of is competitors. At the Atlanta Olympics, Reebok went to the expense of sponsoring the games. Nike did not. However Nike sponsored the top athletes and gained valuable coverage.
  • Nike has no factories. It does not tie up cash in buildings and manufacturing workers. This makes a very lean organization. Nike is strong at research and development, as is evidenced by its evolving and innovative product range. They then manufacture wherever they can produce high quality product at the lowest possible price. If prices rise, and products can be made more cheaply elsewhere (to the same or better specification), Nike will move production.
  • Nike is a global brand. It is the number one sports brand in the World. Its famous 'Swoosh' is instantly recognisable, and Phil Knight even has it tattooed on his ankle.


  • The organization does have a diversified range of sports products. However, the income of the business is still heavily dependent upon its share of the footwear market. This may leave it vulnerable if for any reason its market share erodes.
  • The retail sector is very price sensitive. Nike does have its own retailer in Nike Town. However, most of its income is derived from selling into retailers. Retailers tend to offer a very similar experience to the consumer. Can you tell one sports retailer from another? So margins tend to get squeezed as retailers try to pass some of the low price competition pressure onto Nike.


  • Product development offers Nike many opportunities. The brand is fiercely defended by its owners whom truly believe that Nike is not a fashion brand. However, like it or not, consumers that wear Nike product do not always buy it to participate in sport. Some would argue that in youth culture especially, Nike is a fashion brand. This creates its own opportunities, since product could become unfashionable before it wears out i.e. consumers need to replace shoes.
  • There is also the opportunity to develop products such as sport wear, sunglasses and jewellery. Such high value items do tend to have associated with them, high profits.
  • The business could also be developed internationally, building upon its strong global brand recognition. There are many markets that have the disposable income to spend on high value sports goods. For example, emerging markets such as China and India have a new richer generation of consumers. There are also global marketing events that can be utilised to support the brand such as the World Cup (soccer) and The Olympics.


  • Nike is exposed to the international nature of trade. It buys and sells in different currencies and so costs and margins are not stable over long periods of time. Such an exposure could mean that Nike may be manufacturing and/or selling at a loss. This is an issue that faces all global brands.
  • The market for sports shoes and garments is very competitive. The model developed by Phil Knight in his Stamford Business School days (high value branded product manufactured at a low cost) is now commonly used and to an extent is no longer a basis for sustainable competitive advantage. Competitors are developing alternative brands to take away Nike's market share.
  • As discussed above in weaknesses, the retail sector is becoming price competitive. This ultimately means that consumers are shopping around for a better deal. So if one store charges a price for a pair of sports shoes, the consumer could go to the store along the street to compare prices for the exactly the same item, and buy the cheaper of the two. Such consumer price sensitivity is a potential external threat to Nike.



Lately many more people are talking and writing about the application of design thinking to intangible problems, design not only as a verb but as a way of — as Herbert Simon wrote — improving situations.

The main characteristics of a design thinking process are :

* Collaborative, especially with others having different and complimentary experience, to generate better work and form agreement
* Abductive, inventing new options to find new and better solutions to new problems
* Experimental, building prototypes and posing hypotheses, testing them, and iterating this activity to find what works and what doesn’t work to manage risk
* Personal, considering the unique context of each problem and the people involved
* Integrative, perceiving an entire system and its linkages
* Interpretive, devising how to frame the problem and judge the possible solutions

I’m sure one could play with the language and categorization to find more or less characteristics, but I’m happy with just those six.


There are several important reasons why businesses should attempt to segment their markets carefully. These are summarised belowBetter matching of customer needs
Customer needs differ. Creating separate offers for each segment makes sense and provides customers with a better solution
Enhanced profits for business
Customers have different disposable income. They are, therefore, different in how sensitive they are to price. By segmenting markets, businesses can raise average prices and subsequently enhance profits
Better opportunities for growth
Market segmentation can build sales. For example, customers can be encouraged to "trade-up" after being introduced to a particular product with an introductory, lower-priced product
Retain more customers
Customer circumstances change, for example they grow older, form families, change jobs or get promoted, change their buying patterns. By marketing products that appeal to customers at different stages of their life ("life-cycle"), a business can retain customers who might otherwise switch to competing products and brands
Target marketing communications
Businesses need to deliver their marketing message to a relevant customer audience. If the target market is too broad, there is a strong risk that (1) the key customers are missed and (2) the cost of communicating to customers becomes too high / unprofitable. By segmenting markets, the target customer can be reached more often and at lower cost
Gain share of the market segment
Unless a business has a strong or leading share of a market, it is unlikely to be maximising its profitability. Minor brands suffer from lack of scale economies in production and marketing, pressures from distributors and limited space on the shelves. Through careful segmentation and targeting, businesses can often achieve competitive production and marketing costs and become the preferred choice of customers and distributors. In other words, segmentation offers the opportunity for smaller firms to compete with bigger ones


Psychographic segmentation is sometimes also referred to as behavioural segmentation.
This type of segmentation divides the market into groups according to customers’ lifestyles.
It considers a number of potential influences on buying behaviour, including the attitudes, expectations and activities of consumers. If these are known, then products and marketing campaigns can be customised so that they appeal more specifically to customer motivations.
The main types of psychographic segmentation are:
Lifestyle – different people have different lifestyle patterns and our behaviour may change as we pass through different stages of life. For example, a family with young children is likely to have a different lifestyle to a much older couple whose children have left home, and there are, therefore, likely to be significant differences in consumption patterns between the two groups. One of the most well-known lifestyle models, the “sagacity lifestyle model”, identifies four main stages in a typical lifestyle:
Dependent (e.g., children still living at home with parents);
Pre-family (with their own households but no children);
Family (parents with at least one dependent child); and
Late (parents with children who have left home, or older childless couples).
Each group is then further subdivided according to income and occupation.
Opinions, interests and hobbies – this covers a huge area and includes consumers’ political opinions, views on the environment, sporting and recreational activities and arts and cultural issues. The opinions that consumers hold and the activities they engage in will have a huge impact on the products they buy and marketers need to be aware of any changes. Good recent examples include the growth of demand for organic foods or products that are (or are “perceived” to be) environmentally friendly
Degree of loyalty – customers who buy one brand either all or most of the time are valuable to firms. By segmenting markets in this way, firms can adapt their marketing in order to retain loyal customers, rather than having to focus constantly on recruiting new customers. It is often said that it is ten times more profitable selling to existing customers than trying to find new ones. So the moral is – work hard at keeping your customers.
Occasions – this segments on the basis of when a product is purchased or consumed. For example, some consumers may only purchase flowers, wine or boxes of chocolates for celebrating birthdays or Christmas, whereas other consumers may buy these products on a weekly basis. Marketers often try to change customer perception of the best time to consumer a product by promoting alternative uses for a product. For example, recently Kellogg’s has attempted to change the image of cereals to that of an ‘any time’ snack, rather than simply a breakfast meal.
Benefits sought – this requires marketers to identify and understand the main benefits consumers look for in a product. Toothpaste, for example, is not only bought to maintain healthy teeth and gums, but also because of its taste and in order to help combat bad breath!
Usage – some markets can be segmented into light, medium and heavy user group.

planning a new business

New business
Many new entrepreneurs spend a lot of time planning their business. They do this to ensure that once their doors are open things run smooth and that they have a real chance for long-term success.
Most go out and write a business plan. Business plans are great tools in planning your business as well as thinking through all of the small things that business owners have to deal with each and every day. They are very good road maps for a business owner. But, there is one thing that almost all new business owners miss - and that is their personal situation. They miss it because they get so engrossed in planning the business side. Further, most business plan templates or software just do not cover this issue.
To be a successful entrepreneur, a business owners needs to have the least amount of disruptions (non-business disruptions) possible as well as have the ability to take advance of all opportunities that come their way.
This requires a very solid personal foundation. An entrepreneur must first be mentally ready to put in long hours, make hard decisions and choices and be willing to do what it takes to succeed (take risks). They must also be willing to make personal sacrifices for the business knowing that these scarifies will pay off in the long-term. And, lastly (and most importantly) they must be financially prepared.
Bcause investment is the blood of the new business and business men should familiar whats going on in the market and as well to the target customers to generate the healthy profit.

What is WOMM?

Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) is a form of promotional campaign which operates through an individual’s personal recommendations of specific brands, products or services.
Like its literal meaning, word-of-mouth marketing spreads from one person to another outside of a formalized setting, without heavy intervention by advertisers.
for more information go to

7 Steps to Effective Communication

The success of any business or organization depends largely on how effectively the members communicate. The ability to speak well is a minimum requirement of some businesses when hiring. Whatever the job, business professionals require extensive use of oral communication when carrying out their duties.

Effective communication involves:

Listening: Good listening skills and showing a genuine interest are attributes of a successful communicator. Sales associates who actively listen to customers inquires and complaints are more able to solve problems and gain customer loyalty.
Use Names: When meeting people make sure you hear the person’s name and use it right away so you will remember it. If you are not sure what the person said, ask him/her to repeat it.
Get to the Point: Show value for people’s time by being as concise as possible when giving information. Do not give lengthy, unnecessary details and don’t make excuses for your mistakes. Answer the question and give important information only.
Let Others Talk: Don’t be a person who does all the talking. What you are saying may be of interest to you only. Keep the other person in mind, giving him/her a chance to be a part of the conversation. Look for signals that you may be boring your listener and ask questions to involve them in the conversation.
Non-verbal Language: Nine-five percent of our communication is non-verbal, which includes: eye movement, tone of voice, posture, facial expressions and hand gestures. When talking to someone keeping eye contact without staring shows a sense of confidence. Be aware of non-verbal communication and keep it consistent with your message.
Vocal Cues: Do not use an excessive amount of ‘filler’ words (sayings or words repeated often), sounds such as “uh, um” or use lengthy pauses during conversation. The listener will lose interest in what you are saying and will become bored.
Create an Atmosphere of Openness: To establish a good relationship with customers and create a comfortable atmosphere be attentive to the number of interruptions. Give your customer/acquaintance your undivided attention by not keeping physical barriers (such as desks) between you. Avoid trying to communicate in a busy area and keep your focus on the listener.

Good communication require everywhere to impress people, communicate with your employees and for a job. These are some steps which we can easily apply to become a good communicator such as good listening skills like shopkeepers if they listen to your requirement about the product which you want to buy they can understand and if they don't give attention to what you are saying you will never want to buy things from them. If the presentor of any company saying something about his company and don't give a chance to audience to ask questions from him so audience get bored and start diverting their attentions,


Promotion Mix Strategies:

There are two types of promotion mix strategies which are given below:
  • Push strategy: A promotion strategy that calls for using the sales force and trade promotion to push the product through channels. The producer promotes the product to channel members to induce them to carry the product and to promote it to final consumers. Some industrial goods companies use only push strategies i.e Kraft uses a large sales force and trade promotions to push its products through the channels.
  • Pull strategy: A promotion strategy that calls for spending a lot on advertising and consumer promotion to induce final consumers to buy the product. If the pull strategy is effective, consumers will then demand the product from channel members, who will in turn demand from producers. Some direct-marketing companies use only pull strategies i.e Kraft uses mass-media advertising and consumer promotions to pull its products.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Advantages of E-mail marketing

E-mail marketing (on the Internet) is popular with companies for several reasons:
 A mailing list provides the ability to distribute information to a wide range of specific, potential customers at a relatively low cost.
 Compared to other media investments such as direct mail or printed newsletters, e-mail is less expensive.
 An exact return on investment can be tracked ("track to basket") and has proven to be high when done properly. E-mail marketing is often reported as second only to search marketing as the most effective online marketing tactic.[2]
 The delivery time for an e-mail message is short (i.e., seconds or minutes) as compared to a mailed advertisement (i.e., one or more days).
 An advertiser is able to "push" the message to its audience, as opposed to website-based advertising, which relies on a customer to visit that website.
 E-mail messages are easy to track. An advertiser can track users via autoresponders, web bugs, bounce messages, unsubscribe requests, read receipts, click-throughs, etc. These mechanisms can be used to measure open rates, positive or negative responses, and to correlate sales with marketing.
 Advertisers can generate repeat business affordably and automatically.
 Advertisers can reach substantial numbers of e-mail subscribers who have opted in (i.e., consented) to receive e-mail communications on subjects of interest to them.
 Over half of Internet users check or send e-mail on a typical day.[3]
 Specific types of interaction with messages can trigger (1) other messages to be delivered automatically, or (2) other events, such as updating the profile of the recipient to indicate a specific interest category.
 E-mail marketing is paper-free (i.e., "green").
 Tracking and response metrics enables tuning and optimisation of the E-mail marketing channel by a process of testing different variants and calculation of statistically significant results.
 E-mail is popular with digital marketers, rising an estimated 15% in 2009 to £292m in the UK.[4]

E-mail marketing

It is a form of direct marketing which uses electronic mail as a means of communicating commercial or fundraising messages to an audience. In its broadest sense, every e-mail sent to a potential or current customer could be considered e-mail marketing. However, the term is usually used to refer to:
 sending e-mails with the purpose of enhancing the relationship of a merchant with its current or previous customers and to encourage customer loyalty and repeat business,
 sending e-mails with the purpose of acquiring new customers or convincing current customers to purchase something immediately,
 adding advertisements to e-mails sent by other companies to their customers, and
 sending e-mails over the Internet, as e-mail did and does exist outside the Internet.

The top 25 Home Based Business Ideas

If you are thinking about starting your own home-based business, the available options can be overwhelming. However, there are many tried and true home-based businesses that may be just what you are looking for.
Here are the top 25 home-based business ideas, in no particular order:

1. Personal trainer. If you are fitness-minded, you can start your own career as a personal trainer. Check out the National Federation of Professional Trainers for information about the certification process.

2. Yoga instructor. Begin sharing your expertise with others by teaching yoga classes. There are a number of online resources, depending on the school of yoga that you practice. The Yoga Alliance Web site provides information on yoga schools, certification, insurance, and so on.

3. Tutoring. You can start a business tutoring students by advertising at schools, the local YMCA, and other places frequented by families. If you have children, talk to their teachers and determine the needs of your school district.

4. Business coaching. Have experience with management or some other specialized business skill? Share it with others by becoming a business coach. The International Coach Federation provides certification and a coach referral service for its members.

5. Consulting. If you are an expert in your industry, such as finance, marketing, or mediation, consider beginning your own consulting business.

6. Medical and legal transcription. If you have transcription skills and the necessary equipment, you can easily work from home for a variety of different companies. Check local community colleges or online for transcription training courses.

7. Medical claims billing. This industry is one of the most popular work-from-home businesses -- so much so that suspect companies have been popping up on the Internet and in classified advertisements. can help you locate transcription training courses online.

8. Accounting. There are many franchises and opportunities available for certified public accountants. If you are interested in getting certified, take a look at the Web site of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants for information on specific state requirements.

9. Web design. If you can design quality Web sites, consider turning your skills into a home-based business. Although the software and hardware costs can be steep, good Web designers tend to be well-compensated for their efforts.

10. Desktop publishing. Do you have a creative flair for putting together brochures and newsletters? You can offer your own desktop publishing services to other small businesses. Software can be expensive, so make sure to give applications a trial run or take a course before investing in one.

11. Photography. If you are skilled with a camera, you can open your own photography studio in your home. Keep in mind that you will need space to shoot the pictures as well as a light-free space for a darkroom if you decide to process your film and print your photographs yourself.

12. Home inspection. The National Association of Certified Home Inspectors Web site provides information on becoming certified to inspect homes.

13. Remodeling. If you are a gifted carpenter or contractor, you can turn your passion into your own business. The SBA provides loans to experienced contractors looking to renovate homes or businesses in order to sell them.

14. Interior design. If you have a flair for the creative, consider interior design. The American Society of Interior Designers Web site provides resources for aspiring interior designers, including a list of each state's requirements for licensing.

15. Catering or personal chef. Consider starting your own catering or personal chef business from your own kitchen. You can set yourself apart from competitors by providing specialized services such as low-carb or vegetarian menus.

16. Gift baskets. Gift basket creation is a popular and creative home-based business. Target both individuals and businesses to increase potential sales.

17. Wedding planner. If you are an ace at organizing important events and have a Rolodex full of contacts, consider becoming a wedding planner. There are numerous online certification courses online, including one from Weddings Beautiful.

18. Personal shopper. If you are a great shopper with an eye for people's personal styles, you can offer your services to those less inclined. In addition, consider providing a gift shopping service for those too busy to shop themselves.

19. Concierge. If you have a lot of energy, a love for the mundane, and the ability to juggle multiple tasks, consider providing a personal concierge to busy business people or parents.

20. Custom jewelry creation. Designing your own custom design jewelry can be a lucrative pastime. Make sure to wear your own creations as a way to drum up business.

21. Computer repair. Are you the person everyone calls when they have a computer problem? Turn this into a business and start getting paid for fixing fatal errors. Check out Geeks on Call America and Rescuecom if you are interested in franchise opportunities.

22. Cleaning service. If you are good at cleaning, consider offering your services to others. One way to go is with a franchise which have cleaning and managing staff.

23. Carpet cleaning service. There are many popular franchises that allow you to start your own carpet cleaning business and receive the equipment and training you need. ServiceMaster Clean and ChemDry are two of the bigger ones.

24. A riding school. If you own your own barn, land, and horses, you can open your own riding school. offers resources, including some useful articles on liability issues.

25. Child-care services. Turn your expertise with children into one of the most popular home-based business opportunities.

Breakthroughs and drips by Seth Godin

There are only two ways to win in the market.

You can create a breakthrough. A promotion so powerful that people can't help but engage. An innovation so remarkable, people can't help but talk about it. A pricing strategy or ad campaign that breaks the mold and is worthy of attention. This takes huge guts and substantial investment.

Or you can win with consistent benefits, delivered over time. You win by incrementally earning share, attention and trust. This might take years.

Almost all marketing attempts to do neither of these, and of course, fail. Painless and quick are rarely associated with 'successful.

summary: i read this on seth godin's blog and i found it very interesting as the way he describes how to make a breakthrough in the market. however, i dont agree when he says that almost all marketing attempts do neither of the two and fail. i would say that it will rarely happen that a marketing strategy would have all of these elements but i think it would generally have some of these elements and hence not all marketing attempts fail.

what is marketing in real sence

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Service Marketing

Characteristics of a Service

What exactly are the characteristics of a service? How are services different from a product? In fact many organisations do have service elements to the product they sell, for example McDonald’s sell physical products i.e. burgers but consumers are also concerned about the quality and speed of service, are staff cheerful and welcoming and do they serve with a smile on their face?

There are five characteristics to a service which will be discussed below.

1. Lack of ownership.

You cannot own and store a service like you can a product. Services are used or hired for a period of time. For example when buying a ticket to the USA the service lasts maybe 9 hours each way , but consumers want and expect excellent service for that time. Because you can measure the duration of the service consumers become more demanding of it.

2. Intangibility

You cannot hold or touch a service unlike a product. In saying that although services are intangible the experience consumers obtain from the service has an impact on how they will perceive it. What do consumers perceive from customer service? the location, and the inner presentation of where they are purchasing the service?.

3. Inseparability

Services cannot be separated from the service providers. A product when produced can be taken away from the producer. However a service is produced at or near the point of purchase. Take visiting a restaurant, you order your meal, the waiting and delivery of the meal, the service provided by the waiter/ress is all apart of the service production process and is inseparable, the staff in a restaurant are as apart of the process as well as the quality of food provided.

4. Perishibility

Services last a specific time and cannot be stored like a product for later use. If travelling by train, coach or air the service will only last the duration of the journey. The service is developed and used almost simultaneously. Again because of this time constraint consumers demand more.

5. Heterogeneity

It is very difficult to make each service experience identical. If travelling by plane the service quality may differ from the first time you travelled by that airline to the second, because the airhostess is more or less experienced.
A concert performed by a group on two nights may differ in slight ways because it is very difficult to standardise every dance move. Generally systems and procedures are put into place to make sure the service provided is consistent all the time, training in service organisations is essential for this, however in saying this there will always be subtle differences.

Service Marketing Mix/Extended Marketing Mix

Having discussed the characteristics of a service, let us now look at the marketing mix of a service.

The service marketing mix comprises off the 7’p’s. These include:
• Price
• Place
• Promotion

• People
• Process
• Physical evidence.

Lets now look at the remaining 3 p’s:


An essential ingredient to any service provision is the use of appropriate staff and people. Recruiting the right staff and training them appropriately in the delivery of their service is essential if the organisation wants to obtain a form of competitive advantage. Consumers make judgments and deliver perceptions of the service based on the employees they interact with. Staff should have the appropriate interpersonal skills, aptititude, and service knowledge to provide the service that consumers are paying for. Many British organisations aim to apply for the Investors In People accreditation, which tells consumers that staff are taken care off by the company and they are trained to certain standards.


Refers to the systems used to assist the organisation in delivering the service. Imagine you walk into Burger King and you order a Whopper Meal and you get it delivered within 2 minutes. What was the process that allowed you to obtain an efficient service delivery? Banks that send out Credit Cards automatically when their customers old one has expired again require an efficient process to identify expiry dates and renewal. An efficient service that replaces old credit cards will foster consumer loyalty and confidence in the company.

Physical Evidence

Where is the service being delivered? Physical Evidence is the element of the service mix which allows the consumer again to make judgments on the organisation. If you walk into a restaurant your expectations are of a clean, friendly environment. On an aircraft if you travel first class you expect enough room to be able to lay down!
Physical evidence is an essential ingredient of the service mix, consumers will make perceptions based on their sight of the service provision which will have an impact on the organisations perceptual plan of the service.

Service/extended marketing mix

Components of a Marketing Information System (MIS)

Last time i found and complete framework type artical on a link wehoes some points i m going to share with u . As we all know that
"A marketing information system is a continuing and interacting structure of people, equipment and procedures to gather, sort, analyse, evaluate, and distribute pertinent, timely and accurate information for use by marketing decision makers to improve their marketing planning, implementation, and control".

The explanation of this model of an MIS starts with a description of each of its four main constituent parts: the internal reporting systems, marketing research system, marketing intelligence system and marketing models. It is suggested that whilst the MIS varies in its degree of sophistication - with many in the industrialised countries being computerised and few in the developing countries being so - a fully fledged MIS should have these components, the methods (and technologies) of collection, storing, retrieving and processing data notwithstanding.

On the link mention below contains the complete Informations related to this articals.Each of us should vixit this link: