Saturday, November 28, 2009

Understanding Customer Experience Or Understand the needs and wants of your customers

http://www.customerthink.com/blog/understanding_customer_experience

The abovce mentioned link contains an interesting artical by Mohsin Khwaja. which raise some interesting points:

1- Now a days the trend of E- commerec is gone down because customers are more concious about thier purchasings.

According to some facts and figures:

• 77% of online shoppers in the US actively seek out reviews before they buy.

• 92% of shoppers find customer reviews “extremely helpful” or “very helpful” in making their decisions.

• 97% said they trusted recommendations from peers.

And further says That

2- You should desgin your products according to the needs of the customers. Because if u will produce beyond his use or skill it will not effect anything on the customer, But will effect u and u will loose ur market share and Ultimately ur product will b toally wasted.

Top 5 Ways to Become Irresistibly Attractive in Business

1. Practice being 'Triple O' - Organised, Open and Optimistic

Organised may translate into how quickly you respond to things, how effectively you follow-through on your promises. Doing what you say you're going to do, behaving as you would like others to behave.

Open is about speaking the truth; being big enough to say 'I don't know the answer, but I'll find out'. It's about discussing the things you may often shy away from - your fees, your profit margins, your weaknesses. Being open means avoiding jargon; being knowledgeable, without being arrogant.

Optimistic is the ability to see opportunity where others see problems; to clearly empathise with a client who has concerns and create a picture of how things will look once you've performed your magic. Optimists avoid gossip, they challenge beliefs, they see a bright future and look beyond business cycles and talk of gloom.


Be generous 2. Be generous
Shock, horror! Generosity in business whatever next?

Being generous with your time and generous with your advice doesn't mean you're doing stuff for nothing; rather it's an avoidance of being hurried or incomplete in your support. If a business opportunity comes your way that appears not to suit you, think before being dismissive. Be generous enough to take in what's being said and try to find a solution even if it gives work to others. You'll be remembered for your generosity and generosity has a habit of getting repaid.

3. Shut up and listen 3. Shut up and listen

Like many of us mere men I suspect, it was something of a revelation when I grasped the concept that women like to be listened to. Often just that - listened to. We're not expected to find a solution, indeed in many cases a solution is not what is required. The same can be true in business (and not just when dealing with women).

Listening to our clients and customers is something we do all too rarely. Next time you're in a conversation and you feel yourself jumping to finish sentences or come up with solutions: STOP, SHUT UP and LISTEN!

Try reflecting back what you've heard, make sure you've listened intently and ask questions to take the conversation further. You may feel you have the answers (and indeed you may), but by listening more deeply you'll be giving your clients much more and you'll be forging a deeper relationship.


4. Develop the brand 'you' 4. Develop the brand 'you'

I think it was in the movie Wild at Heart when Nicholas Cage, after being asked why he wore a snakeskin jacket, responded: 'I wear this jacket as a sign of my individuality and my belief in personal freedom.' Ok, I'm not suggesting we all wear silly jackets, but we need to be clear on what our identity is; we need to feel comfortable in our own skin.

If you feel a sense of 'disconnection' anywhere in your business you'll not be comfortable. You may hate gambling, yet be working for a gambling client. Dislike junk food, yet undertaking work for a fast food outlet. In the long term it won't serve you well, because it's stopping you being you and others will pick it up.

Get clear on the brand 'you' and be faithful to it.


Be a model 5. Be a model

Best of all in the pursuit of the attraction principle is to be a model business person to those around you. Don't accept second best. Avoid unsightly confrontations at all costs. Treat all with respect and humility. Never think of yourself as infallible, don't view yourself as a star and don't kid yourself that you know it all. None of us do.


summary: this article discusses 5 main points or being successful in business. i would agree with the points discussed in these articles. however, i think that developing the brand 'you' refers to person marketing and i think that he has explained person marketing in a very confusing way. i did not understand the point where he is talking about developing the brand 'you' and giving the example of working in a fast food chain and disliking fast food.

article by: Robert Gerrish

read more on: www.woopidoo.com

Friday, November 27, 2009

Five Word of Mouth Marketing Strategies You Can Use

As i describe what is WOMM in the other post so these are the startegies which u can use in WOMM..
1. Leverage Existing Social Networks. Online communities have a tightly knit group of users who can help to increase brand awareness for your product. Tap into these communities with tools or content targeting their specific sub-culture and you are likely to get a lot of attention.
These can include applications for platform-specific websites like Facebook, Firefox and Wordpress, which each have a large body of users. Content which examines, mentions or analyzes mini-communities or sites within large overall niches will work as well.
2. Target the Influencers. Look for individuals who are trend-setters or authorities on a specific topic. They should preferably be individuals who have many personal connections or a large and loyal audience.
If these people spread your message, your website or product will very easily be disseminated within a targeted group of potential users.
Identify these influencers, build a relationship with them and market through their existing sphere of social influence. Examples of influencers include celebrities, power users on social websites like Digg and popular webmasters or bloggers with many loyal supporters (e.g.
Ashley Qualls).
3. Exclusivity and Scarcity. Many websites or businesses launch virally through the
private beta approach by offering a limited number of site invites. Some dangle the bait of limited edition products or temporal discounts. Combine this with influencer marketing and you’ll have an excellent method to disseminate brand awareness for new websites, products or services.
Exclusivity invites curiosity and scarce products generate consistent demand and conversation. Remember how people were incessantly asking for or writing about Gmail, Joost or
Pownce invites a while ago?
4. Micro-Market. While online viral marketing leverages the interconnectedness of the web to spread unique content or user-supported promotional schemes, micro-marketing focuses on marketing to the individual by providing highly customizable products.
Nike and Puma’s Mongolian Buffet are examples of micro-marketing schemes which allow you to design and purchase your own unique sneaker online. Micro-marketing can be combined with scarcity and existing social networks to generate word-of-mouth exposure.
5. Industry Marketing. Instead of focusing directly on customers, focus on the people who can build your brand. Instead of seeking for thousands of views from a wide audience, make your mark within a niche community (like
Sphinn) to build relationships and leverage-able connections.
Get recommendations from others in the similar industry to be mentioned, promoted or included in an industry-specific ranking or recommendations list. This builds your overall brand within a specific niche, which in turns promotes your site to traditional media and buyers looking in from the outside.
If you were a consumer, would you buy from a reputable brand that is recommended by many others within the same industry or would you go for a little known company with no reputation or recommendations?
for more detail go to www.doshdosh.com/

Purposes of Packaging

I was checking out this information at wikipedia about the purposes of packaging and guys I found it interesting to share with you guys. There are many different purposes of packaging. One is that it protects the product from any kind of damage.For example, Lays chips are kept fresh through the packaging. Furthermore, the packaging is a form of promotion of the product. Colourful packets attract the attention of the consumers and this boosts the product's sales.
Packaging also contains information about the product for example how to use the product etc. What do you guys think about the role of packaging for a product? You guys can check out the website address given below to find out in detail about the purposes of packaging.
Reference: wikipedia.com

Pricing Strategy for Mach 3 Turbo

I was applying the pricing chapter to Mach 3 Turbo. I realized that Gillette adopted a skimming price strategy in order to maximise its revenue from its new product. Furthermore, Gillette has also adopted captive product pricing. For example, the product itself is not that expensive but its razor blades are far more expensive. What do you guys think about my analysis?

Brand Strategy

I was reading about the branding strategy in our marketing book. I came upon some concepts like brand equity, brand sponsorship and brand development. I understood brand equity to be the goodwill or the good image that consumers have for a brand. Suppose if a consumer buys a Gillette Mach 3 Turbo because of its brand name then that is brand equity. I also think that Mach 3 Turbo is a national brand or a manufacturer brand. Furthermore, if we analyze then we see that Gillette indulged in multi-branding when it decided to introduce Mach 3 Turbo into the market after the Mach 3. What do you guys think about my analysis?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Differentiated Marketing

A strategy that chooses two or more well-defined market segments and develops a distinct marketing mix for each.
They offer high priced tickets to those who are inflexible in that they cannot tell in advance when they need to fly and find it impractical to stay over a Saturday.
These travelers—usually business travelers—pay high fares but can only fill the planes up partially. The same airlines then sell some of the remaining seats to more price sensitive customers who can buy two weeks in advance and stay over.
Develops one or more products for each of several customer groups with different product needs
Appropriate when it is possible to identify one or more segments with distinct needs for different types of products, example: L’Oreal (Elseve, L’Oreal, Lancome)

ADVANTAGES:
Greater financial success

DISADVANTAGES:
High costs
Cannibalization: Situation that occurs when sales of a new product cut into sales of a firm’s existing products.

sourcehttp://www.slideboom.com/presentations/109777/Principles-of-Marketing:-Chapter-7-(Market-Segmentation,-Targeting-and-%0BPositioning-for-Competitive-Advantage)

Product line Pricing

When i listen this concept this concept in class i wasn't full understand it well. But when i searchedon it then i find the similar examples on a lik where as or sir given the Examples of Toyota Wit various model,, according to its speed efficiency, miage etc.. After reading same examples i got complete idea about product line pricing that it is a strategy, to provide a Same brand but with different qualities, to satisfy the consumer of different class.. Link is below forfurther informations.
Reference: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_Product_Line_Pricing

Deceptive practices:

Deceptive practices fall into three groups which are as follows:
  • Pricing: Deceptive pricing includes the pricing of goods and services in such a way as to cause a customer to be misled.e.g: Savings claims, price comparisons, "special"sales, "two for one"sales, factory prices or wholesale prices.
  • Promotion: It includes practices such as misrepresenting the product's features or performance or luring the customers to the store for a bargain that is out of stock.e.g: the offer from United Airlines for flying 6 round trips between a specific period of time, in order to earn 3 confirmed regional upgrades to first class.
  • Packaging: It includes exaggerating package contents through subtle design, using misleading labeling or describing size in misleading terms.e.g: Bounty napkins, they shrank from 200 napkins to 180 with the same look. Another example is that Pampers size 3 now has 8 less diapers yet the packaging is identically virtual.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

60-Second Guide to Managing Upset Customers

In just 60-seconds, you’ll learn how to manage upset customers and turn them into long-term, satisfied customers.

0:60 Stay Calm
Listen carefully and without interruption to your customers’ complaints. Acknowledge that there is a problem, and empathize with unhappy customers. Let them know what you can do for them and make them aware of all of their options. Always treat your customers with respect. Customers should feel that you are calm but concerned. Your attitude when dealing with upset customers should be professional, mature, pleasant, and reasonable.

0:46 Work at Gaining Loyal Customers
The number one reason that customers stop buying from a particular business is because someone at that business treated them poorly. Again, it is much more cost effective to retain loyal customers than to gain new ones. In order to create loyalty, you have to calm down upset customers and ensure them that you will work to find a solution that they deem acceptable. Let them know that their business is important. Thank them for their patience and cooperation. In many cases, it pays to reward upset customers in order to keep their business.

0:38 Look and Act Professional
A first impression is a lasting impression. Your appearance should signal that you are professional, mature, and knowledgeable. Nonverbal communication also speaks volumes. Your body language and tone of voice should be polite and tactful. Pay attention to your facial expressions, posture, gestures, and speech.

0:20 choose Your Patrons
there is some people who will never be happy with your products or services. Repeated complaints from customer and terminal dissatisfaction are signs that you cannot please him or her. Your business is better off without such customers, and you may want to refer them elsewhere.

0:11 Ensure that Mistakes Aren't Repeated
Once you determine the problem and how it originated, you can take steps to ensure that it does not happen again. Learning about a problem can actually help improve your business so long as you ensure that the problem is avoided in the future. Don’t make the same mistake twice. Through dealing with upset customers, you learn about human behavior and become better at resolving similar situations.

0:03 Don’t Take Criticism Personally
Many discourteous customers act that way because they made a mistake and want to blame someone else. Don’t let these customers get to you by responding emotionally or giving in to outrageous demands. Tears, anger, and sarcasm are highly inappropriate reactions.


source: http://www.allbusiness.com/management/customer-experience-management/2735-1.html

Another Management Tip: 4 Ways to Get Your Cold-Call Email Read

Everyone concerned with management should subscribe to Harvard Business School's management tip of the day. Precise, effective, up to the point, and very pertinent. Read it for yourself.

4 Ways to Get Your Cold-Call Email Read

"Email is the primary mode of first contact these days. But many cold-call emails go without a reply. Whether you are reaching out about a job, a sales inquiry, or just making a networking contact, here are four ways to get the response you want:
1. Personalize it. Don't send a generic email all about yourself. Focus on what you and the recipient have in common. Mention the group you found her through on LinkedIn or something specific you know and admire about her company.
2. Demonstrate value. What do you have to offer the recipient? Be upfront about what you can give her and why she should respond.
3. Include a call to action. Tell her what it is you want her to do: email you back, reach out to set up a call, or forward your email to someone else. (Remember what Ma'm Shomial taught us? :)
4. Keep it clear. As with all email, make it clear, articulate, typo-free, and to the point."

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

'Marketing MBA better than finance MBA'

I believe marketing is important and more critical than finance in any business activity. Even the success of financial services (like banking and insurance) and products like loans and credit cards are dependent on how well they are marketed as there is not much difference in the interest rates and charges.
We can see how certain new generation banks like ICICI have succeeded in their marketing programmes. Though one cannot undermine the importance of finance, it is marketing that is essential for the success of any business enterprise.
As for job opportunities, the initial jobs are almost equally good in both streams. As one gets more experience, senior positions in finance generally demand additional professional qualifications like CA, CS, ICWAI and CFA. In the case of marketing, experience and results matter -- not additional qualifications.
The big debate is not which one is better; it should be: what is the aptitude of the candidate? People who have an eye for detail and are research-oriented can go for a finance MBA, while those who have excellent communication skills and have an outgoing personality should opt for marketing.

The best choice according to me is neither finance nor marketing -- it should HR!
With an increased focus on people issues, HR guys have everything going for them. It is a fact that entry level jobs in HR are pathetic but, after two or three years in the profession, one will find enough opportunities. There is an ever increasing demand for experienced HR professionals.
In fact, in the long run, they have much higher compensation levels/ better positions in management as compared to either marketing or finance.

What are the qualities one should have to make it big in HR? One would obviously need patience and perseverance. Someone who is passionate about resolving people issues will be the right candidate for pursuing a career in HR.

I think a holistic business perspective comes from exposure to all areas -- finance, marketing, operations, strategy, etc.

I guess this is why learning is so comprehensive in those business schools where there is no rigid classification of subject areas into 'majors' and 'minors'. I think a B-school participant should get a chance to pick and choose subjects from different areas (finance, marketing, etc) and get an ideal mix for himself/ herself.

As they say, the big picture matters the most. The added advantage of having a balanced mix of electives is that one has the option to evaluate and choose from a diverse range of career options (say from FMCG sales to I-Banking).

One last thing -- I think this debate should also include systems as an option -- it should be finance vs marketing vs systems. Now, that would really motivate the systems guys to pour in their thoughts.


The question is not 'which is better', but 'which is more popular'. The reason behind this is that the relative value of each MBA changes according to the type of market and its condition.

Is finance better than marketing? The answer is yes and no, as finance seems a better option in today's situation where the stock market is optimistic.

Finance people -- the bean counters, as they are called -- are viewed as pessimists. They will always tell you why the company should NOT go for the proposed plans. On the other hand, the marketing people -- the optimists -- will have no doubts about the success of these plans.

Hence, it's not strange that we always see F and M people coming out of meetings fighting with each other. But the moment one doubts (as F people do) a well-planned step (which F people have), one is out of the market.

To drive home my point, in many a monopolistic and cost-driven market, the sharpest tool is finance. However, one should not forget every effort is being made all over the world to have competitive markets by restructuring these monopolistic markets (the electricity market in India, for example). So the name of the game is marketing rather than finance.

Every wannabe manager should keep in mind that an MBA in finance gives you the tools to analyse and expand your market, but not the marketing skills and tactics necessary for increasing your output.

Are you listening guys? The 'mind game' is going to stay, not 'mind calculation'.

--

I don't think there is a need to have a debate on which specialisation is the best. Why forgot they both are part of management and hold different functions and styles without which nothing will work?

As for the clearer picture, one also needs to consider the thumb rule while getting a job -- what your ambitions are and what you have to do when choosing a specialisation.

The MBA you choose should also depend on your personal ability. If you are good at number-crunching, have a flair for juggling numbers and think you can manage the party well, then finance is the job for you. If you are creative and have a zeal to sell, then there's no doubt you should be in marketing. So you have to really assess yourself before you decide on your specialisation.

As far as the pay packet is concerned, it all really depends on whom you work for. If you are working for an Indian firm, chances are you would earn a little less than your counterpart at an MNC. But, again, that depends on the size of the company and your designation.

Marketing and Finance Home

A word of welcome . . .

I hope you easily find the information you’re seeking. To assist you, I will give you a brief overview of what’s new. You can find further information here on the department Web site, or you may contact a faculty advisor for more information.

Doug Lincoln
Department Chair

Undergraduate Programs

At the undergraduate level we have made several changes to both the marketing major and the finance major.

Finance. We have reworked the finance curriculum to reduce emphasis on commercial bank management. The program now gives increased focus on those areas we believe to be most in demand in the marketplace: financial model building, investments, and corporate finance.

Marketing. Our department offers courses in high-tech marketing, internet marketing strategy, and customer relationship management. These courses provide cutting-edge training in areas critical to many businesses-whether they view themselves as “high tech” or not. These courses set our graduates apart from the pack.

Graduate Program

Similarly, our department continues to support the Master of Business Administration program in a big way. Students can now get more focused training by selecting one of the three emphasis areas offered within the MBA program. Two of the three new emphasis areas include classes taught by faculty in our department. These emphases are: (1) high-tech marketing and (2) finance/accounting.

Whether you are an undergraduate, graduate, or prospective student, I hope you’ll take the time to look through some of the information contained on this web site to get a feel for what we’re all about. Then stop by the department, e-mail us, or give us a call. We’ll be happy to visit with you.

The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness

In today's challenging and complex world, being highly effective is the price of entry to the playing field. To thrive, innovate, excel, and lead in this new reality, we must reach beyond effectiveness toward fulfillment, contribution, and greatness. Research is showing, however, that the majority of people are not thriving. They are neither fulfilled nor excited. Tapping into the higher reaches of human motivation requires a new mindset, a new skill-set --a new habit.

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

Sharpen the Saw means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have--you. It means having a balanced program for self-renewal in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual. Here are some examples of activities:


Physical:
Beneficial eating, exercising, and resting
Social/Emotional:
Making social and meaningful connections with others
Mental:
Learning, reading, writing, and teaching
Spiritual:
Spending time in nature, expanding spiritual self through mediation, music, art, prayer, or service.


As you renew yourself in each of the four areas, you create growth and change in your life. Sharpen the Saw keeps you fresh so you can continue to practice the other six habits. You increase your capacity to produce and handle the challenges around you. Without this renewal, the body becomes weak, the mind mechanical, the emotions raw, the spirit insensitive, and the person selfish. Not a pretty picture, is it?

Feeling good doesn't just happen. Living a life in balance means taking the necessary time to renew yourself. It's all up to you. You can renew yourself through relaxation. Or you can totally burn yourself out by overdoing everything. You can pamper yourself mentally and spiritually. Or you can go through life oblivious to your well-being. You can experience vibrant energy. Or you can procrastinate and miss out on the benefits of good health and exercise. You can revitalize yourself and face a new day in peace and harmony. Or you can wake up in the morning full of apathy because your get-up-and-go has got-up-and-gone. Just remember that every day provides a new opportunity for renewal--a new opportunity to recharge yourself instead of hitting the wall. All it takes is the desire, knowledge, and skill.

Habit 6: Synergize

So put it simply, synergy means "two heads are better than one." Synergize is the habit of creative cooperation. It is teamwork, open-mindedness, and the adventure of finding new solutions to old problems. But it doesn't just happen on its own. It's a process, and through that process, people bring all their personal experience and expertise to the table. Together, they can produce far better results that they could individually. Synergy lets us discover jointly things we are much less likely to discover by ourselves. It is the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. One plus one equals three, or six, or sixty--you name it.

When people begin to interact together genuinely, and they're open to each other's influence, they begin to gain new insight. The capability of inventing new approaches is increased exponentially because of differences.

Valuing differences is what really drives synergy. Do you truly value the mental, emotional, and psychological differences among people? Or do you wish everyone would just agree with you so you could all get along? Many people mistake uniformity for unity; sameness for oneness. One word--boring! Differences should be seen as strengths, not weaknesses. They add zest to life.

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

Communication is the most important skill in life. You spend years learning how to read and write, and years learning how to speak. but what about listening? What training have you had that enables you to listen so you really, deeply understand another human being? Probably none, right?

If you're like most people, you probably seek first to be understood; you want to get your point across. And in doing so, you may ignore the other person completely, pretend that you're listening, selectively hear only certain parts of the conversation or attentively focus on only the words being said, but miss the meaning entirely. So why does this happen? Because most people listen with the intent to reply, not to understand. You listen to yourself as you prepare in your mind what you are going to say, the questions you are going to ask, etc. You filter everything you hear through your life experiences, your frame of reference. You check what you hear against your autobiography and see how it measures up. And consequently, you decide prematurely what the other person means before he/she finishes communicating. Do any of the following sound familiar?

Oh, I know just how you feel. I felt the same way." "I had that same thing happen to me." "Let me tell you what I did in a similar situation."

Because you so often listen autobiographically, you ten to respond in one of four ways:
Evaluating:
You judge and then either agree or disagree.
Probing:
You ask questions from your own frame of reference.
Advising:
You give counsel, advice, and solutions to problems.
Interpreting:
You analyze others' motives and behaviors based on your own experiences.


You might be saying, "Hey, now wait a minute. I'm just trying to relate to the person by drawing on my own experiences. Is that so bad?" In some situations, autobiographical responses may be appropriate, such as when another person specifically asks for help from your point of view or when there is already a very high level of trust in the relationship.

Habit 4: Think Win-Win

Think Win-Win isn't about being nice, nor is it a quick-fix technique. It is a character-based code for human interaction and collaboration.

Most of us learn to base our self-worth on comparisons and competition. We think about succeeding in terms of someone else failing--that is, if I win, you lose; or if you win, I lose. Life becomes a zero-sum game. There is only so much pie to go around, and if you get a big piece, there is less for me; it's not fair, and I'm going to make sure you don't get anymore. We all play the game, but how much fun is it really?

Win-win sees life as a cooperative arena, not a competitive one. Win-win is a frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human interactions. Win-win means agreements or solutions are mutually beneficial and satisfying. We both get to eat the pie, and it tastes pretty darn good!

A person or organization that approaches conflicts with a win-win attitude possesses three vital character traits:


1) Integrity: sticking with your true feelings, values, and commitments
2) Maturity: expressing your ideas and feelings with courage and consideration for the ideas and feelings of others
3) Abundance Mentality: believing there is plenty for everyone.



Many people think in terms of either/or: either you're nice or you're tough. Win-win requires that you be both. It is a balancing act between courage and consideration. To go for win-win, you not only have to be empathic, but you also have to be confident. You not only have to be considerate and sensitive, you also have to be brave. To do that--to achieve that balance between courage and consideration--is the essence of real maturity and is fundamental to win-win.




Habit 3: Put First Things First

So live a more balanced existence, you have to recognize that not doing everything that comes along is okay. There's no need to overextend yourself. All it takes is realizing that it's all right to say no when necessary and then focus on your highest priorities.

Habit 1 says, "You're in charge. You're the creator." Being proactive is about choice. Habit 2 is the first, or mental, creation. Beginning with the End in Mind is about vision. Habit 3 is the second creation, the physical creation. This habit is where Habits 1 and 2 come together. It happens day in and day out, moment-by-moment. It deals with many of the questions addressed in the field of time management. But that's not all it's about. Habit 3 is about life management as well--your purpose, values, roles, and priorities. What are "first things?" First things are those things you, personally, find of most worth. If you put first things first, you are organizing and managing time and events according to the personal priorities you established in Habit 2.

Two Keys to Making Deposits:

1) Deposits need to be frequent and consistent. The closer the relationship, the more frequent and consistent the deposits need to be.
2) Deposits do not occur until the recipient considers it a deposit. You simply don't know what constitutes a deposit until you understand the other person. If your motives for making a deposit are not sincere, others will feel manipulated.


Remember that when it comes to relationships, little things are big things.

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

Habit 2:
Is based on imagination--the ability to envision in your mind what you cannot at present see with your eyes. It is based on the principle that all things are created twice. There is a mental (first) creation, and a physical (second) creation. The physical creation follows the mental, just as a building follows a blueprint. If you don't make a conscious effort to visualize who you are and what you want in life, then you empower other people and circumstances to shape you and your life by default. It's about connecting again with your own uniqueness and then defining the personal, moral, and ethical guidelines within which you can most happily express and fulfill it. Begin with the End in Mind means to begin each day, task, or project with a clear vision of your desired direction and destination, and then continue by flexing your proactive muscles to make things happen.


One of the best ways to incorporate Habit 2 into your life if to develop a Personal Mission Statement. It focuses on what you want to be and do. It is your plan for success. It reaffirms who you are, puts your goals in focus, and moves your ideas into the real world. Your mission statement makes you the leader of your own life. You create your own destiny and secure the future you envision.

Habit 1 : Be Proactive

Habit 1:
Be Proactive is about taking responsibility for your life. You can't keep blaming everything on your parents or grandparents. Proactive people recognize that they are "response-able." They don't blame genetics, circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behavior. They know they choose their behavior. Reactive people, on the other hand, are often affected by their physical environment. They find external sources to blame for their behavior. If the weather is good, they feel good. If it isn't, it affects their attitude and performance, and they blame the weather. All of these external forces act as stimuli that we respond to. Between the stimulus and the response is your greatest power--you have the freedom to choose your response. one of the most important things you choose is what you say. Your language is a good indicator of how you see yourself. A proactive person uses proactive language--I can, I will, I prefer, etc. A reactive person uses reactive language--I can't, I have to, if only. Reactive people believe they are not responsible for what they say and do--they have no choice.

Instead of reacting to or worrying about conditions over which they have little or no control, proactive people focus their time and energy on things they can control. The problems, challenges, and opportunities we face fall into two areas--Circle of Concern and Circle of Influence.


Proactive people focus their efforts on their Circle of Influence. They work on the things they can do something about: health, children, problems at work. Reactive people focus their efforts in the Circle of Concern--things over which they have little or no control: the national debt, terrorism, the weather. Gaining an awareness of the areas in which we expend our energies in is a giant step in becoming proactive.







The Greatest Marketing Campaign in the History : Apple iphone


Apple's campaign to launch the iphone may be one of the most successful marketing campaigns ever !

Prior to the product's release

*2/3rd of the US population was aware of the device
*The hype surrounding the introduction was phenomenal.
*Over the six months prior to the product’s introduction it was the subject of 14,000 articles, 311,000 blog posts and it generated 69 million hits on Google


Marketing experts feel
that the iPhone campaign even surpassed such legendary marketing efforts as the introduction of the Mustang by Ford in 1964 and Microsoft’s launch of Windows 95. The iPhone generated more pre-sale media coverage than any other product, according to Al Ries, a leading marketing strategist. (Bloomberg.com) “Ask yourself how many companies can announce a product six months in advance and not just sustain public interest but even build the frenzy. It’s staggering to me,” commented Jeremy Horwitz of iLounge. (NY Times)

How did Apple do it? They not only created a revolutionary product, but they also were able to create an incredible amount of buzz, through a highly effective teaser campaign. Steve Jobs introduced the product at Macworld Expo prior to the launch. Apple didn’t give the product to the press initially, so they had to write about it and then they wrote about it again when they were given the product just prior to the launch. (Michael Stelzner’s Blog)

Apple then utilized video clips on the Internet and a breakthrough TV commercial that ran during the Academy Awards called “hello” with stars like Marilyn Monroe saying “Hello” to announce the release in June. Subsequent ads showed close-ups shots demonstrating what people can do on the phone. “It gave me the sense that I was actually experiencing the product,” said Matt Wills from the advertising firm Martin Agency. “They’ve spent some money on advertising ($100 million according to JupiterResearch), but certainly not a lot,” according to Ries. “The PR, the hype, the publicity, it makes the advertising more visible.” (Bloomberg.com)

The formula for Apple’s extraordinary success is really quite simple. They produce ground-breaking products that consumers want and no one is better at advertising and marketing them.

Microsoft buys a $240 million piece of Facebook

For the bargain prize of 117 millions pounds, Microsoft bought a 1.6% stake of Facebook. Other companies such as Yahoo or Google also wanted to invest in one of the most popular social networking websites but Facebook declined their offer.

The aim of this partnership is simply to increase profits through advertising on both sides.


Microsoft VS Google

The Facebook deal is Microsoft's answer in its battle with Google. Looking one year back in October 2006, Google beat Microsoft with the 1.65bn dollar acquisition of online video sharing website YouTube.


Common Benefit For Microsoft and Facebook
Microsoft will sell internet ads for Facebook outside the US. The company already had an agreement with Facebook to provide banner advertising and links to the US version of the social networking site. This was the part of the deal discussed during several weeks.
With this acquisition, Microsoft will become the exclusive third party seller of overseas advertising outside the US on Facebook. Knowing that the social networking site currently has 49 millions users, this could be a huge financial opportunity for Microsoft.

With this partnership Facebook is looking to increase its current audience of nearly 50 million active users by becoming a real magnet for advertiser and also to compete fiercely with its rival MySpace which currently has 100 million users. Facebook also wants to take advantage of existing Microsoft skills.

According to Charlene Li, an analyst at Forrester Research, the software group knew better -in comparison to Google- how to work with program developers and build computing environments. She said that "Microsoft is a company that knows how to build platforms, knows how to develop relationships with developers. The social networking site is hoping with Microsoft 's collaboration to struggle less to reach leader position."

All Marketers Are Liars?

It's propounded all over the internet that in order to be a good marketer, well let's just put it this way, one has to be less than honest. 'All Marketers Are Liars' is a famous book by Seth Gordin which raises a big question mark on the ethical responibility of Businesses. Is marketing merely fabrication of things or based facts?

Common Eithical Dilemmas Related to Marketing !!!

Good ethics really affect an organization's success !! Marketing departments face their own particular set of uncertain problems pertaining to product development, pricing policy, distribution activities and promotion. Here are given the dilemmas and some areas where business ethics must be employed in order to controvert the common ethical ethical dilemmas prevalent over there.

Misleading advertising is a common ethical dilemma.

The ethics related to direct marketing is another concern of marketing departments.Customers may feel invaded by direct mail or telemarketing. The use of these promotion avenues should be governed by sound ethical principles.

Another dilemma is the marketing of harmful products-for example, tobacco

Marketers should attend to pricing ethics. Predatory pricing, the practice of setting prices to drive out competition, can be harmful to consumers so marketers must tread carefully. Policy designed to foster a healthy marketing environment must be balanced against profit requirements.

Marketing departments responsible for the relationship with a cause must manage it openly and honestly.

How their product affects the environment is of increasing concern to marketing departments.Marketers may be challenged by the costs of some environmentally-friendly choices but must consider their responsibility to society.

How clearly and in what way consumers are informed of price or size changes must be weighed against costs.

Marketing departments of resellers must consider the ethics behind their mark-up policies.

Distribution issues include quality of transport


Ultimately, ethics relates to organizational performance in generating goodwill for a particular company. This goodwill should translate into sales. Ethical behaviour by the marketing department will make the department and even the company a more attractive place to work as the company's good reputation will transfer to its employees. Motivated, proud employees will improve performance. Bad marketing ethics will destroy a good reputations which is arguably much harder to build than sales numbers.

Ten Rules of Radical Marketing

1. The CEO must own the marketing function Radical marketing requires that the top individual in the organization be intimately involved in the marketing function, and in fact, drive the marketing approach of the organization. This ensures that everyone in the organization has a strong focus on the interaction with the market, because the CEO demands and expects it.

2. Make sure the marketing department starts small and flat and stays small and flat The key point here is that the marketing function must not get so large that it starts to become bloated with bureaucracy and protocol, but rather is small and flexible enough to respond to new trends to stay in touch with the market, and to try out 'outrageous' new approaches.

3. Get out of the office and face-to-face with the people that matter most the customers Hardly a radical idea, but surely a sensible one.

4. Use market research cautiously Related, this point relates to the propensity for CEOs to 'go with their gut' on key marketing decisions, rather then rely upon focus groups or in-depth market surveys. Because of their close connection to their customers, such marketing decisions often turn out to be right.

5. Hire only passionate missionaries Radical companies hire what the authors call 'passionate missionaries' for senior positions. These are individuals who believe in the product and the customer base as strongly as does the CEO.

6. Love and respect your customers Unlike 'mainstream' companies, senior people in radical marketing companies do not see their customers only as target market segments, defined by demographic or psychographic characteristics. Rather, they think of their customers as being like themselves, passionate and proud to be associated with the product. In this sense, the authors describe the senior managements of 'radical' companies as 'loving and respecting' their customers.

7. Create a community of customers One very striking aspect of certain of the radical marketing companies discussed in the book is their ability to create an extremely dedicated and loyal community of customers, who will even go to the extent of having their bodies tattooed with the brand they identify with (e.g. Harley-Davidson, the Grateful Dead).

8. Rethink the marketing mix "Radical marketers market continuously and devote huge amounts of money, effort and time to communicating with their customers. However, they seldom have huge advertising budgets. In fact, some, like Providian, don't even have marketing budgets, reasoning that such budgets act as "entitlements" and encourage spending when none is needed or, conversely, as ceilings, discouraging marketers from spending more when they see an opportunity... When radical marketers use advertising, they tend to do so in short, sharp bursts, what we have called "surgical strike advertising".... Radical marketers tend to use more one-to-one or targeted communications tools, ranging from direct mail to Web pages to local advertising to sponsoring neighborhood basketball tournaments.

9. Celebrate uncommon sense Radical marketers break the rules. For example, rather than try to maximize distribution of product to place as much as possible in the market, they may tend to limit availability to create pent-up demand, and thus foster loyalty and commitment among their distributors.

10. Be true to the brand "Radical marketers are obsessive about brand integrity, and they are fixated on quality."

Disadvantages of Email Marketing

Many companies use e-mail marketing to communicate with existing customers, but many other companies send unsolicited bulk e-mail, also known as spam.
Internet system administrators have always considered themselves responsible for dealing with "abuse of the net", but not "abuse on the net". That is, they will act quite vigorously against spam, but will leave issues such as libel or trademark infringement to the legal system. Most administrators possess a passionate dislike for spam, which they define as any unsolicited e-mail. Draconian measures—such as taking down a corporate website, with or without warning—are entirely normal responses to spamming. Typically, the terms of service in Internet companies' contracts permit such actions; therefore, the spammer often has no recourse.
Illicit e-mail marketing predates legitimate e-mail marketing. On the early Internet (i.e., Arpanet), it was not permitted to use the medium for commercial purposes. As a result, marketers attempting to establish themselves as legitimate businesses in e-mail marketing have had an uphill battle, hampered also by criminal spam operations billing themselves as legitimate ones.
It is frequently difficult for observers to distinguish between legitimate and spam e-mail marketing. First, spammers attempt to represent themselves as legitimate operators. Second, direct-marketing political groups such as the United States Direct Marketing Association (DMA) have pressured legislatures to legalize activities that some Internet operators consider to be spamming, such as the sending of "opt-out" unsolicited commercial e-mail. Third, the sheer volume of spam has led some users to mistake legitimate commercial e-mail for spam. This situation arises when a user receives e-mail from a mailing list to which he/she subscribes. Additional confusion arises when both legitimate and spam messages have a similar appearance, as when messages include HTML and graphics.
One effective technique used by established email marketing companies is to require what is known as the "double opt-in" method of requiring a potential recipient to manually confirm their request for information by clicking a unique link which includes a unique identification code to confirm that the owner of the recipient email address has indeed requested the information. Responsible e-mail marketing and autoresponder companies use this double opt-in method to confirm each request before any information is sent out.
A report issued by the e-mail services company Return Path, as of mid-2008 e-mail deliverability is still an issue for legitimate marketers. According to the report, legitimate e-mail servers averaged a delivery rate of 56%; twenty percent of the messages were rejected, and eight percent were filtered.[5]
Due to the volume of spam e-mail on the Internet, spam filters are essential to most users. Some marketers report that legitimate commercial e-mail messages frequently get caught and hidden by filters; however, it is somewhat less common for e-mail users to complain that spam filters block legitimate mail.
Companies considering the use of an e-mail marketing program must make sure that their program does not violate spam laws such as the United States' Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM),[6] the European Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003, or their Internet service provider's acceptable use policy. Even if a company adheres to the applicable laws, it can be blacklisted (e.g., on SPEWS) if Internet e-mail administrators determine that the company is sending spam.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Secrets of good ads

A good ad has three characteristics:
  1. It is simple. It lets pictures not words tell the story.Ofcourse, all ads need some words but a good ad has a powerful headline and only a small amount of text.
  2. It is directed to a particular group of consumers.For instance, ads for face creams are for older women and ads for motorcycles are for unmarried young men.
  3. A good ad appeal to emotions and sentiments. Women in the 30-50 age group, for instance want to look and feel younger, so face cream ad tells them that women who use XYZ cream will look like the 20 year old models pictured in the ad.Teenagers want to feel popular, so ads directed at teens often show a happy, confident-looking group of young people using the product in the ad. Teenagers have a surprising amount of money to spend, so advertisers research teenage ads and fashions.

In conclusion, the more simple and precise the ad will be, the most and greater impact it will have on the people.

DESIGN THINKING:
  1. Design thinking is basically creativity (think beyond sth).Innovation is a by-product of design thinking.If we focus or target on certain groups then we cannot innovate.Innovation basically occurs by considering the needs, demands, and problems of each and every individual.
  2. Following are the startups to innovate sth which are think of cases or stories, brain storm, encourage cross functional training,understand and define problems, create a design friendly environment, discourage rigid roles,think visually.
  3. Following are the attributes within design thinkers that are given as we move forward.Observation, sense of wonder, questioning mind, willingness to experiment, passion for collaboration and empathy for people.
  4. We should be holistic, customer centered (understand the demands of the customers), outcome oriented, insightful (deep thinking), iterative (keep on repeating and changing and improving ideas and experiments for favourable outcomes though u fail because failure is good.It motivates u towards progress and success by repeating a certain process.

a never way of marketing a product...

video

Operating Cycle of a Merchandising firm

The operating cycle of a merchandising firm describes all the activities which are required by the firm to produce and sell goods to its customers. Value chain is also a good term to describe the activities undertaken by a firm to produce and market products for its customers. However, operating cycle is an accounting term which I read about in my accounting book. There are usually three activities which are undertaken by a merchandising firm. They are purchasing, sales and collection activity.
Purchasing Activity: Purchasing activity is carried out by the firm to purchase raw materials and other supplies in order to start the production process. Sometimes the firm may simply purchase finished goods in order to sell them at a profit.
Sales Activity: After the goods are produces by the firm, they are sold by the firm to its customers. The firm can sell its goods on cash or on credit. If the goods are sold on credit, then the operating cycle ends here. However, if the goods are sold on credit, then there is a further activity to be carried out by the firm.
Collection Activity: In this activity, the firm collects cash from all those customers which purchased goods on credit from the firm. Sometimes the customer may fail to pay the amount possibly due to cash flow problems or in some cases due to bankruptcy. Then, our firm will have to record the amount due as a bad debt expense.
So, this is the operating cycle of a merchandising firm. So, do you guys think that it resembles the value chain of a business?

Different types of Consumer and Industrial Products:

Consumer products are those products which are purchased by the final consumers for consumption. The different types of consumer products are convenience, shopping, specialty and unsought products.
Convenience Products: These products are those which are purchased by the consumers frequently and which require minimum purchasing effort by the consumer. Products like candy and newspapers are the best examples of convenience products.
Shopping Products: These products are those which are purchased by the consumers infrequently and which require the consumer to make a lot of comparisons between different shopping products. Products like used cars and electrical appliances are examples of shopping products.
Specialty Products: These products are those which have unique characteristics or brand identification and which require the consumer to make an extremely special purchasing effort. Products like sports cars are a good example of specialty products.
Unsought Products: These products are those which are not sought by the consumers or the consumers are not aware about the product's existence. Blood donations are the best example of unsought products.
Industrial or producer products aid the producer in his or her production process. The different types of industrial products are materials and parts, capital items and supplies and services.
Materials and Parts: These include products which are used in the production process as inputs. The best examples are raw materials and purchased inputs.
Capital Items: These products are not consumed in the production process, but are used repeatedly in the production process. Examples are machinery and buildings.
Supplies and Services: Supplies are those items which are not directly used in the production process but which are still required if the production has to take place such as lubricating oil and brooms to clean the factory floor.
These are the different types of consumer and industrial products.

Segmentation, targeting and positioning of Gillette Mach 3 Turbo

Market Segmentation

Gillette Mach 3 Turbo has been particularly produced for higher income consumers. Thus, we see that income segmentation has been the main factor when Gillette decided to segment the market. Mach 3 Turbo has also been successful in those countries where the major segment of the population considers shaving to be a desirable activity and the means to look clean and sophisticated for example India and America. Thus, this type of international segmentation has also benefited Mach 3 Turbo. Another interesting to note is that, Gillette after seeing the success of the Mach 3 Turbo, decided to offer a similar product for women. Thus, Venus Power came into existence. So, Gillette also gender segmentation.

Target Marketing

Gillette Mach 3 Turbo’s market segment has proved to be extremely attractive and profitable for the company. The segment size is increasing at a rapid pace in India and America. Furthermore, the segment is made more attractive because of the fact that there are no strong and popular competitors of Mach 3 Turbo. This has provided Mach 3 Turbo with a lot of market power.

Substitute products like shaving machines are not considered as suitable enough to replace Mach 3 Turbo. The high price of Mach 3 Turbo proves that customers do not have enough power to reject the product and that the company is in a far stronger position than its suppliers and its customers. The company’s objective that Mach 3 Turbo should be considered by the customers as the best shaving product has been complimented by the investment of a lot of money in the product in terms of increased promotion and advertising.

Selecting Target Segments

Mach 3 Turbo’s marketing strategy was differentiated marketing from the beginning. Gillette wanted to differentiate it from other shaving products and to target several market segments. Some segments purchased Mach 3 Turbo because of the income factor. Some did because of their preferences and particular lifestyles. Gillette converted Mach 3 Turbo into Venus Power just in order to cater to the segment of women users. So, Gillette designed separate offers for different market segments.




Positioning for Competitive Advantage

Mach 3 Turbo’s position in the market place is extremely strong and secure. Consumers definitely consider it a superior shaving product compared to other products. One can definitely say that it occupies a unique position in the minds of those consumers who want to have an extremely close and smooth shave.

If we analyze the position of Mach 3 Turbo on a positioning map, we will see that due to its higher price, it will be situated on the upper portion of the map. As far as luxury and performance are concerned, Mach 3 Turbo is more inclined towards performance due to its three blades and other product features. These product features have provided Mach 3 Turbo with a strong competitive advantage. The value proposition of Mach 3 Turbo is definitely “more for more”. Extra product features have prompted Gillette to charge a higher price. Finally, I think that Mach 3 Turbo’s positioning statement should be:

“To those people who want to get up in the morning with a desire to succeed in this world, Mach 3 Turbo is a three blade shaving product with extra features that allows you an extremely smooth and close shave which lasts for the whole day”.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

4 Ps of marketing

Marketing decisions generally fall into the following four controllable categories:

* Product
* Price
* Place (distribution)
* Promotion

The term "marketing mix" became popularized after Neil H. Borden published his 1964 article, The Concept of the Marketing Mix. Borden began using the term in his teaching in the late 1940's after James Culliton had described the marketing manager as a "mixer of ingredients". The ingredients in Borden's marketing mix included product planning, pricing, branding, distribution channels, personal selling, advertising, promotions, packaging, display, servicing, physical handling, and fact finding and analysis. E. Jerome McCarthy later grouped these ingredients into the four categories that today are known as the 4 P's of marketing, depicted below:
The Marketing Mix



These four P's are the parameters that the marketing manager can control, subject to the internal and external constraints of the marketing environment. The goal is to make decisions that center the four P's on the customers in the target market in order to create perceived value and generate a positive response.
Product Decisions

The term "product" refers to tangible, physical products as well as services. Here are some examples of the product decisions to be made:

* Brand name
* Functionality
* Styling
* Quality
* Safety
* Packaging
* Repairs and Support
* Warranty
* Accessories and services

Price Decisions

Some examples of pricing decisions to be made include:

* Pricing strategy (skim, penetration, etc.)
* Suggested retail price
* Volume discounts and wholesale pricing
* Cash and early payment discounts
* Seasonal pricing
* Bundling
* Price flexibility
* Price discrimination

Distribution (Place) Decisions

Distribution is about getting the products to the customer. Some examples of distribution decisions include:

* Distribution channels
* Market coverage (inclusive, selective, or exclusive distribution)
* Specific channel members
* Inventory management
* Warehousing
* Distribution centers
* Order processing
* Transportation
* Reverse logistics

Promotion Decisions

In the context of the marketing mix, promotion represents the various aspects of marketing communication, that is, the communication of information about the product with the goal of generating a positive customer response. Marketing communication decisions include:

* Promotional strategy (push, pull, etc.)
* Advertising
* Personal selling & sales force
* Sales promotions
* Public relations & publicity
* Marketing communications budget

Limitations of the Marketing Mix Framework

The marketing mix framework was particularly useful in the early days of the marketing concept when physical products represented a larger portion of the economy. Today, with marketing more integrated into organizations and with a wider variety of products and markets, some authors have attempted to extend its usefulness by proposing a fifth P, such as packaging, people, process, etc. Today however, the marketing mix most commonly remains based on the 4 P's. Despite its limitations and perhaps because of its simplicity, the use of this framework remains strong and many marketing textbooks have been organized around it.

4 Ps of marketing

FORCES AFFECTING MODERN MARKETING

Of all the forces affecting modern marketing, perhaps none is more important than globalization. Since the 1980s, technological advances such as global telephone and computer networks have reduced geographic and even cultural distance. As a result, companies can now buy supplies and produce and sell goods in countries far from their home offices. Products conceived in one country are now being manufactured and then sold in many others. For example, Sony (Japan), Nestlé (Switzerland), Bic (France), and Volkswagen (Germany) have become household words around the world.

Although being able to market goods far from home presents corporations with many new opportunities, it also means they face new competition. Local companies that never even considered international competition now find foreign competitors stocked on shelves right alongside their own products. Some economists argue that local companies should be protected from such competition through legislation that regulates the flow of goods through trade barriers and other measures. Others oppose such regulation, arguing that it only raises prices for consumers. See also Free Trade.

Globalization, however, is only one force changing the way companies market their products or services. Another involves changes in the very interests and desires of consumers themselves. Consumers today are more sophisticated than those of past generations. They attend school for a much longer period of time; they are exposed to newspapers, magazines, motion pictures, radio, television, and travel; and they have much greater interaction with other people. Their demands are more exacting, and their taste changes more volatile. Markets tend to be segmented as each group calls for products suited to its particular tastes. “Positioning” the product—that is, determining the exact segment of the population that is likely to buy a product, and then developing a marketing campaign to enhance the product’s image to fit that particular segment—requires great care and planning. This type of campaign is known as target marketing.

Competition also has sharply intensified, as the number of firms engaged in producing similar products has increased. Each firm tries to differentiate its products from those of its competitors. Profit margins, meaning the profit percentages made by a business per dollar of sales, are constantly being lessened. Although costs continue to rise, competition tends to keep prices down. The result is a narrowing spread between costs and selling prices. An increase in a business’s sales volume is necessary to maintain or raise profit.

Another force affecting modern marketing is the influence of the consumer rights or consumer protection movement. This movement insists on safe, reputable, and reliable products and services. Both consumer groups and government agencies have intensified their scrutiny of products, challenging such diverse elements as product design, length and legitimacy of warranty, and promotional tactics. Warranty and guarantee practices, in particular, have been closely examined. New legislation has generally defined and extended the manufacturer’s responsibility for product performance.
Environmental concerns have also affected product design and marketing, especially as the expense of product modification has increased the retail cost. Such forces, which have added to the friction between producer and consumer, must be understood by the marketer and integrated into a sound marketing program.

Even the way a firm handles itself in public life—that is, how it reacts to social and political issues—has become significant. No longer may a corporation cloak its internal decisions as private affairs. The public’s dissatisfaction with the actions and attitudes of a firm has sometimes led to a reduction in sales; conversely, consumer enthusiasm, generated by a firm’s intentional establishment of a good public image or public relations, has led to increased sales.
link:microsoft encarta

Product Diffusion Curve

Consumers can be grouped according to how quickly they adopt a new product. On the one extreme, some consumers adopt the product as soon as it becomes available. On the other extreme, some consumers are among the last to purchase a new product. As a whole, the new product adoption process can be modeled in the form of a bell-shaped diffusion curve similar to the following:


New Product Diffusion Curve



Defining bins one standard deviation wide about the mean, five different product adoption groups can be defined:

  • Innovators - well-informed risk-takers who are willing to try an unproven product. Innovators represent the first 2.5% to adopt the product.

  • Early adopters - based on the positive response of innovators, early adopters then begin to purchase the product. Early adopters tend to be educated opinion leaders and represent about 13.5% of consumers.

  • Early majority - careful consumers who tend to avoid risk, the early majority adopts the product once it has been proven by the early adopters. They rely on recommendations from others who have experience with the product. The early majority represents 34% of consumers.

  • Late majority - somewhat skeptical consumers who acquire a product only after it has become commonplace. The late majority represents about 34% of consumers.

  • Laggards - those who avoid change and may not adopt a new product until traditional alternatives no longer are available. Laggards represent about 16% of consumers.

For this discussion, the term "consumers" represents both individuals and organizations.

The rate of adoption depends on many factors, including:

  • perceived benefits over alternative products
  • communicability of the product benefits
  • price and ongoing costs
  • ease of use
  • promotional effort
  • distribution intensity
  • perceived risk
  • compatibility with existing standards and values
  • divisibility (the extent to which a new product can be tested on a limited basis)

Even if a product offers high value to the customer, the firm nonetheless faces the challenge of convincing potential customers to try the product and eventually to adopt it. The product diffusion curve is partly responsible for the product life cycle, which calls for different management strategies that depend on the product's stage in the life cycle.

source: http://www.quickmba.com/marketing/product/diffusion/

The SWOT Matrix

A firm should not necessarily pursue the more lucrative opportunities. Rather, it may have a better chance at developing a competitive advantage by identifying a fit between the firm's strengths and upcoming opportunities. In some cases, the firm can overcome a weakness in order to prepare itself to pursue a compelling opportunity.

To develop strategies that take into account the SWOT profile, a matrix of these factors can be constructed. The SWOT matrix (also known as a TOWS Matrix) is shown below:

SWOT / TOWS Matrix


Strengths
Weaknesses

Opportunities

S-O strategies W-O strategies

Threats

S-T strategies W-T strategies


  • S-O strategies pursue opportunities that are a good fit to the company's strengths.

  • W-O strategies overcome weaknesses to pursue opportunities.

  • S-T strategies identify ways that the firm can use its strengths to reduce its vulnerability to external threats.

  • W-T strategies establish a defensive plan to prevent the firm's weaknesses from making it highly susceptible to external threats.

source: http://www.quickmba.com/strategy/swot/

PEST Analysis

A scan of the external macro-environment in which the firm operates can be expressed in terms of the following factors:
  • Political
  • Economic
  • Social
  • Technological

The acronym PEST (or sometimes rearranged as "STEP") is used to describe a framework for the analysis of these macroenvironmental factors. A PEST analysis fits into an overall environmental scan as shown in the following diagram:

Environmental Scan

/
\

External Analysis

Internal Analysis

/ \

Macroenvironment

Microenvironment



|

P.E.S.T.






Political Factors Political factors include government regulations and legal issues and define both formal and informal rules under which the firm must operate. Some examples include:

  • tax policy
  • employment laws
  • environmental regulations
  • trade restrictions and tariffs
  • political stability

Economic Factors Economic factors affect the purchasing power of potential customers and the firm's cost of capital. The following are examples of factors in the macroeconomy:

  • economic growth
  • interest rates
  • exchange rates
  • inflation rate

Social Factors Social factors include the demographic and cultural aspects of the external macroenvironment. These factors affect customer needs and the size of potential markets. Some social factors include:

  • health consciousness
  • population growth rate
  • age distribution
  • career attitudes
  • emphasis on safety

Technological Factors Technological factors can lower barriers to entry, reduce minimum efficient production levels, and influence outsourcing decisions. Some technological factors include:

  • R&D activity
  • automation
  • technology incentives
  • rate of technological change

External Opportunities and Threats The PEST factors combined with external microenvironmental factors can be classified as opportunities and threats in a SWOT Analysis.

Source: http://www.quickmba.com/strategy/pest/

STRANGE BUT TRUE

"Marketing is what you do when your product is no good."
by Edwin Land

Retail Growth Strategies

Additional Social Marketing "P's"

you all have heard about 7P's or 4P's so here are some more social marketing P's

Publics--Social marketers often have many different audiences that their program has to address in order to be successful. "Publics" refers to both the external and internal groups involved in the program. External publics include the target audience, secondary audiences, policymakers, and gatekeepers, while the internal publics are those who are involved in some way with either approval or implementation of the program.

Partnership--Social and health issues are often so complex that one agency can't make a dent by itself. You need to team up with other organizations in the community to really be effective. You need to figure out which organizations have similar goals to yours--not necessarily the same goals--and identify ways you can work together.

Policy--Social marketing programs can do well in motivating individual behavior change, but that is difficult to sustain unless the environment they're in supports that change for the long run. Often, policy change is needed, and media advocacy programs can be an effective complement to a social marketing program.

Purse Strings--Most organizations that develop social marketing programs operate through funds provided by sources such as foundations, governmental grants or donations. This adds another dimension to the strategy development-namely, where will you get the money to create your program?

source: http://www.social-marketing.com/Whatis.html