Archive for the Search Engine Optimization Category

Analyzing Consumer’s Buying Behaviour

Posted in B2B, Consumer Behavior, CRM, eMarketing, Management, Search Engine Optimization on December 4, 2011 by Consultant
The core function of the marketing department is to understand and satisfy consumer need, wants and desire. Consumer behaviour captures all the aspect of purchase, utility and disposal of products and services. In groups and organization are considered within the framework of consumer. Failing to understand consumer behaviour is the recipe for disaster as some companies have found it the hard way. For example, Wal-Mart launched operations in Latin-America with store design replicating that of US markets. However, Latin America consumer differs to US consumer in every aspect. Wal-Mart suffered consequences and failed to create impact.

Social, cultural, individual and emotional forces play a big part in defining consumer buying behaviour. Cultural, sub-culture and social class play an important is finalizing consumer behaviour. For example, consumer growing up in US is exposed to individualism, freedom, achievement, choice, etc. On sub-culture level influence of religion, race, geographic location and ethnicity define consumer behaviour. Social class consists of consumer with the same level of income, education, taste, feeling of superiority and inferiority. Over time consumer can move from one social level to another.

Culture alone cannot define consumer behaviour; social forces also play an important role. Social forces consist of family, friends, peer groups, status and role in society. Groups which have direct or indirect influence on consumer are referred to as reference groups. Primary groups consist of friends, family and peers with whom consumer has direct contact for considerable time. Secondary groups are association where interaction is at formal level and time devoted is less.

Consumer buying behaviour is influenced by individual’s own personality traits. These personality traits do not remain the same but change with the life cycle. The choice of occupation and corresponding income level also play part in determining consumer behaviour. A doctor and software engineer both would have different buying pattern in apparel, food automobile etc. Consumers from similar background, occupation and income levels may show a different lifestyle pattern.

An individual buying behaviour is influenced by motivation, perception, learning, beliefs and attitude. These factors affect consumer at a psychological level and determine her overall buying behaviour. Maslow’s hierarchy, Herzberg Theory and Freud Theory try and explain people different motivational level in undertaking a buying decision. Perception is what consumer understands about a product through their senses. Marketers have to pay attention to consumer’s perception about a brand rather than true offering of the product. Learning comes from experience; consumer may respond to stimuli and purchase a product. A favorable purchase will generate positive experience resulting in pleasant learning. Belief is the pre-conceived notion a consumer has towards a brand. It is kind of influence a brand exerts on consumer. For example, there is a strong belief product coming through German engineering are quality products. Companies may take advantage of this belief and route their production through Germany.

Companies need to think beyond buying behaviour and analyze the actual buying process. Complex buying behaviour requires high involvement of buyers, as it is infrequent in nature, expensive, and they are significant differences among the available choice e.g. automobile. Grocery buying is referred to as habitual buying, which requires less involvement as few differences among brands, frequent and inexpensive. Buying process involves purchase need, decision makers, information search, alternatives evaluation, purchase decision and post purchase behaviour. Companies try hard to understand consumer experience and expectation at every stage of buying process. Marketers need to figure the right combinations which will initiate purchase need e.g. marketing programs. Companies should ensure consumer have readily available information to take the decision e.g. internet, friends. Consumers evaluate alternatives based on their brand perception and belief. Companies need to work hard to develop products, which match this perception and belief every time. Final purchase decision is taken looking other’s perception of the brand. Post purchase if expectations meet actual performance consumer is satisfied and more likely to repurchase or recommend the brand to others.

Consumer markets are defined by various geographical, social and cultural factors. Furthermore, consumer behaviour is influenced by psychological, personality, reference groups and demographic reasons. Finally actual buying process involves complex process and cycle. Companies have to keep a tab on all three factors in formulating strategy.

Posted in B2B, Brand Managment, CRM, eMarketing, Management, Marketing Mix (New Concepts), Search Engine Optimization with tags , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2011 by Consultant

Modern Theories of Motivation

We all are familiar with the classical theories of motivation, but they all are not empirically supported. As far as contemporary theories of motivation are concerned, all are well supported with evidences. Some of the contemporary / modern theories of motivation are explained below:

  • ERG Theory

ERG Theory of Motivation

To bring Maslow’s need hierarchy theory of motivation in synchronization with empirical research, Clayton Alderfer redefined it in his own terms. His rework is called as ERG theory of motivation. He recategorized Maslow’s hierarchy of needs into three simpler and broader classes of needs:

  • Existence needs- These include need for basic material necessities. In short, it includes an individual’s physiological and physical safety needs.
  • Relatedness needs- These include the aspiration individual’s have for maintaining significant interpersonal relationships (be it with family, peers or superiors), getting public fame and recognition. Maslow’s social needs and external component of esteem needs fall under this class of need.
  • Growth needs- These include need for self-development and personal growth and advancement. Maslow’s self-actualization needs and intrinsic component of esteem needs fall under this category of need.

ERG Theory of MotivationThe significance of the three classes of needs may vary for each individual.

Difference between Maslow Need Hierarchy Theory and Alderfer’s ERG Theory
ERG Theory states that at a given point of time, more than one need may be operational.
ERG Theory also shows that if the fulfillment of a higher-level need is subdued, there is an increase in desire for satisfying a lower-level need.
According to Maslow, an individual remains at a particular need level until that need is satisfied. While according to ERG theory, if a higher- level need aggravates, an individual may revert to increase the satisfaction of a lower- level need. This is called frustration- regression aspect of ERG theory. For instance- when growth need aggravates, then an individual might be motivated to accomplish the relatedness need and if there are issues in accomplishing relatedness needs, then he might be motivated by the existence needs. Thus, frustration/aggravation can result in regression to a lower-level need.
While Maslow’s need hierarchy theory is rigid as it assumes that the needs follow a specific and orderly hierarchy and unless a lower-level need is satisfied, an individual cannot proceed to the higher-level need; ERG Theory of motivation is very flexible as he perceived the needs as a range/variety rather than perceiving them as a hierarchy. According to Alderfer, an individual can work on growth needs even if his existence or relatedness needs remain unsatisfied. Thus, he gives explanation to the issue of “starving artist” who can struggle for growth even if he is hungry.
Implications of the ERG Theory

Managers must understand that an employee has various needs that must be satisfied at the same time. According to the ERG theory, if the manager concentrates solely on one need at a time, this will not effectively motivate the employee. Also, the frustration- regression aspect of ERG Theory has an added effect on workplace motivation. For instance- if an employee is not provided with growth and advancement opportunities in an organization, he might revert to the relatedness need such as socializing needs and to meet those socializing needs, if the environment or circumstances do not permit, he might revert to the need for money to fulfill those socializing needs. The sooner the manager realizes and discovers this, the more immediate steps they will take to fulfill those needs which are frustrated until such time that the employee can again pursue growth.

  • McClelland’s Theory of Needs
David McClelland and his associates proposed McClelland’s theory of Needs / Achievement Motivation Theory. This theory states that human behaviour is affected by three needs – Need for Power, Achievement and Affiliation. Need for achievement is the urge to excel, to accomplish in relation to a set of standards, to struggle to achieve success. Need for power is the desire to influence other individual’s behaviour as per your wish. In other words, it is the desire to have control over others and to be influential. Need for affiliationis a need for open and sociable interpersonal relationships. In other words, it is a desire for relationship based on co-operation and mutual understanding.

The individuals with high achievement needs are highly motivated by competing and challenging work. They look for promotional opportunities in job. They have a strong urge for feedback on their achievement. Such individuals try to get satisfaction in performing things better. High achievement is directly related to high performance. Individuals who are better and above average performers are highly motivated. They assume responsibility for solving the problems at work. McClelland called such individuals as gamblers as they set challenging targets

for themselves and they take deliberate risk to achieve those set targets. Such individuals look for innovative ways of performing job. They perceive achievement of goals as a reward, and value it more than a financial reward.

The individuals who are motivated by power have a strong urge to be influential and controlling. They want that their views and ideas should dominate and thus, they want to lead. Such individuals are motivated by the need for reputation and self-esteem. Individuals with greater power and authority will perform better than those possessing less power. Generally, managers with high need for power turn out to be more efficient and successful managers. They are more determined and loyal to the organization they work for. Need for power should not always be taken negatively. It can be viewed as the need to have a positive effect on the organization and to support the organization in achieving it’s goals.

The individuals who are motivated by affiliation have an urge for a friendly and supportive environment. Such individuals are effective performers in a team. These people want to be liked by others. The manager’s ability to make decisions is hampered if they have a high affiliation need as they prefer to be accepted and liked by others, and this weakens their objectivity. Individuals having high affiliation needs prefer working in an environment providing greater personal interaction. Such people have a need to be on the good books of all. They generally cannot be good leaders.

  • Goal Setting Theory

In 1960’s, Edwin Locke put forward the Goal-setting theory of motivation. This theory states that goal setting is essentially linked to task performance. It states that specific and challenging goals along with appropriate feedback contribute to higher and better task performance. In simple words, goals indicate and give direction to an employee about what needs to be done and how much efforts are required to be put in. The important features of goal-setting theory are as follows:

The willingness to work towards attainment of goal is main source of job motivation. Clear, particular and difficult goals are greater motivating factors than easy, general and vague goals.
Specific and clear goals lead to greater output and better performance. Unambiguous, measurable and clear goals accompanied by a deadline for completion avoids misunderstanding.
Goals should be realistic and challenging. This gives an individual a feeling of pride and triumph when he attains them, and sets him up for attainment of next goal. The more challenging the goal, the greater is the reward generally and the more is the passion for achieving it.
Better and appropriate feedback of results directs the employee behaviour and contributes to higher performance than absence of feedback. Feedback is a means of gaining reputation, making clarifications and regulating goal difficulties. It helps employees to work with more involvement and leads to greater job satisfaction.
Employees’ participation in goal is not always desirable.
Participation of setting goal, however, makes goal more acceptable and leads to more involvement.
Goal setting theory has certain eventualities such as:

  1. Self-efficiency- Self-efficiency is the individual’s self-confidence and faith that he has potential of performing the task. Higher the level of self-efficiency, greater will be the efforts put in by the individual when they face challenging tasks. While, lower the level of self-efficiency, less will be the efforts put in by the individual or he might even quit while meeting challenges.
  2. Goal commitment- Goal setting theory assumes that the individual is committed to the goal and will not leave the goal. The goal commitment is dependent on the following factors:
    1. Goals are made open, known and broadcasted.
    2. Goals should be set-self by individual rather than designated.
    3. Individual’s set goals should be consistent with the organizational goals and vision.
Advantages of Goal Setting Theory
  • Goal setting theory is a technique used to raise incentives for employees to complete work quickly and effectively.
  • Goal setting leads to better performance by increasing motivation and efforts, but also through increasing and improving the feedback quality.
Limitations of Goal Setting Theory
  • At times, the organizational goals are in conflict with the managerial goals. Goal conflict has a detrimental effect on the performance if it motivates incompatible action drift.
  • Very difficult and complex goals stimulate riskier behaviour.
  • If the employee lacks skills and competencies to perform actions essential for goal, then the goal-setting can fail and lead to undermining of performance.
  • There is no evidence to prove that goal-setting improves job satisfaction.

  • Reinforcement Theory

Reinforcement theory of motivation was proposed by BF Skinner and his associates. It states that individual’s behaviour is a function of its consequences. It is based on “law of effect”, i.e, individual’s behaviour with positive consequences tends to be repeated, but individual’s behaviour with negative consequences tends not to be repeated.

Reinforcement theory of motivation overlooks the internal state of individual, i.e., the inner feelings and drives of individuals are ignored by Skinner. This theory focuses totally on what happens to an individual when he takes some action. Thus, according to Skinner, the external environment of the organization must be designed effectively and positively so as to motivate the employee. This theory is a strong tool for analyzing controlling mechanism for individual’s behaviour. However, it does not focus on the causes of individual’s behaviour.

The managers use the following methods for controlling the behaviour of the employees:

Positive Reinforcement- This implies giving a positive response when an individual shows positive and required behaviour. For example – Immediately praising an employee for coming early for job. This will increase probability of outstanding behaviour occurring again. Reward is a positive reinforce, but not necessarily. If and only if the employees’ behaviour improves, reward can said to be a positive reinforcer. Positive reinforcement stimulates occurrence of a behaviour. It must be noted that more spontaneous is the giving of reward, the greater reinforcement value it has.
Negative Reinforcement- This implies rewarding an employee by removing negative / undesirable consequences. Both positive and negative reinforcement can be used for increasing desirable / required behaviour.
Punishment- It implies removing positive consequences so as to lower the probability of repeating undesirable behaviour in future. In other words, punishment means applying undesirable consequence for showing undesirable behaviour. For instance – Suspending an employee for breaking the organizational rules. Punishment can be equalized by positive reinforcement from alternative source.
Extinction- It implies absence of reinforcements. In other words, extinction implies lowering the probability of undesired behaviour by removing reward for that kind of behaviour. For instance – if an employee no longer receives praise and admiration for his good work, he may feel that his behaviour is generating no fruitful consequence. Extinction may unintentionally lower desirable behaviour.
Implications of Reinforcement Theory

Reinforcement theory explains in detail how an individual learns behaviour. Managers who are making attempt to motivate the employees must ensure that they do not reward all employees simultaneously. They must tell the employees what they are not doing correct. They must tell the employees how they can achieve positive reinforcement.

  • Equity Theory of Motivation

The core of the equity theory is the principle of balance or equity. As per this motivation theory, an individual’s motivation level is correlated to his perception of equity, fairness and justice practiced by the management. Higher is individual’s perception of fairness, greater is the motivation level and vice versa. While evaluating fairness, employee compares the job input (in terms of contribution) to outcome (in terms of compensation) and also compares the same with that of another peer of equal cadre/category. D/I ratio (output-input ratio) is used to make such a comparison.

EQUITY THEORY
Ratio Comparison Perception
O/I a < O/I b Under-rewarded (Equity Tension)
O/I a = O/I b Equity
O/I a > O/I b Over-rewarded (Equity Tension)

Negative Tension state: Equity is perceived when this ratio is equal. While if this ratio is unequal, it leads to “equity tension”. J.Stacy Adams called this a negative tension state which motivates him to do something right to relieve this tension. A comparison has been made between 2 workers A and B to understand this point.

Referents: The four comparisons an employee can make have been termed as “referents” according to Goodman. The referent chosen is a significant variable in equity theory. These referents are as follows:

Self-inside: An employee’s experience in a different position inside his present organization.
Self-outside: An employee’s experience in a situation outside the present organization.
Other-inside: Another employee or group of employees inside the employee’s present organization.
Other-outside: Another employee or employees outside the employee’s present organization.

An employee might compare himself with his peer within the present job in the current organization or with his friend/peer working in some other organization or with the past jobs held by him with others. An employee’s choice of the referent will be influenced by the appeal of the referent and the employee’s knowledge about the referent.

Moderating Variables: The gender, salary, education and the experience level are moderating variables. Individuals with greater and higher education are more informed. Thus, they are likely to compare themselves with the outsiders. Males and females prefer same sex comparison. It has been observed that females are paid typically less than males in comparable jobs and have less salary expectations than male for the same work. Thus, a women employee that uses another women employee as a referent tends to lead to a lower comparative standard. Employees with greater experience know their organization very well and compare themselves with their own colleagues, while employees with less experience rely on their personal experiences and knowledge for making comparisons.

Choices: The employees who perceive inequity and are under negative tension can make the following choices:

Change in input (e.g. Don’t overexert)
Change their outcome (Produce quantity output and increasing earning by sacrificing quality when piece rate incentive system exist)
Choose a different referent
Quit the job
Change self perception (For instance – I know that I’ve performed better and harder than everyone else.)
Change perception of others (For instance – Jack’s job is not as desirable as I earlier thought it was.)
Assumptions of the Equity Theory
  • The theory demonstrates that the individuals are concerned both with their own rewards and also with what others get in their comparison.
  • Employees expect a fair and equitable return for their contribution to their jobs.
  • Employees decide what their equitable return should be after comparing their inputs and outcomes with those of their colleagues.
  • Employees who perceive themselves as being in an inequitable scenario will attempt to reduce the inequity either by distorting inputs and/or outcomes psychologically, by directly altering inputs and/or outputs, or by quitting the organization.

  • Expectancy Theory of Motivation

    he expectancy theory was proposed by Victor Vroom of Yale School of Management in 1964. Vroom stresses and focuses on outcomes, and not on needs unlike Maslow and Herzberg. The theory states that the intensity of a tendency to perform in a particular manner is dependent on the intensity of an expectation that the performance will be followed by a definite outcome and on the appeal of the outcome to the individual.

    The Expectancy theory states that employee’s motivation is an outcome of how much an individual wants a reward (Valence), the assessment that the likelihood that the effort will lead to expected performance (Expectancy) and the belief that the performance will lead to reward (Instrumentality). In short,Valence is the significance associated by an individual about the expected outcome. It is an expected and not the actual satisfaction that an employee expects to receive after achieving the goals. Expectancy is the faith that better efforts will result in better performance. Expectancy is influenced by factors such as possession of appropriate skills for performing the job, availability of right resources, availability of crucial information and getting the required support for completing the job.

    Instrumentality is the faith that if you perform well, then a valid outcome will be there. Instrumentality is affected by factors such as believe in the people who decide who receives what outcome, the simplicity of the process deciding who gets what outcome, and clarity of relationship between performance and outcomes. Thus, the expectancy theory concentrates on the following three relationships:
    • Effort-performance relationship: What is the likelihood that the individual’s effort be recognized in his performance appraisal?
    • Performance-reward relationship: It talks about the extent to which the employee believes that getting a good performance appraisal leads to organizational rewards.
    • Rewards-personal goals relationship: It is all about the attractiveness or appeal of the potential reward to the individual.

    Vroom was of view that employees consciously decide whether to perform or not at the job. This decision solely depended on the employee’s motivation level which in turn depends on three factors of expectancy, valence and instrumentality.

    Advantages of the Expectancy Theory
    • It is based on self-interest individual who want to achieve maximum satisfaction and who wants to minimize dissatisfaction.
    • This theory stresses upon the expectations and perception; what is real and actual is immaterial.
    • It emphasizes on rewards or pay-offs.
    • It focuses on psychological extravagance where final objective of individual is to attain maximum pleasure and least pain.
    Limitations of the Expectancy Theory
    • The expectancy theory seems to be idealistic because quite a few individuals perceive high degree correlation between performance and rewards.
    • The application of this theory is limited as reward is not directly correlated with performance in many organizations. It is related to other parameters also such as position, effort, responsibility, education, etc.
    Implications of the Expectancy Theory
    The managers can correlate the preferred outcomes to the aimed performance levels.
    The managers must ensure that the employees can achieve the aimed performance levels.
    The deserving employees must be rewarded for their exceptional performance.
    The reward system must be fair and just in an organization.
    Organizations must design interesting, dynamic and challenging jobs.
    The employee’s motivation level should be continually assessed through various techniques such as questionnaire, personal interviews, etc.

Posted in B2B, Brand Managment, Consumer Behavior, CRM, eMarketing, Management, Marketing Mix (New Concepts), Search Engine Optimization with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2011 by Consultant

Staff Motivation – Motivation Tips for Employees

Employees are the building blocks of an organization. Organizational success depends on the collective efforts of the employees. The employees will collectively contribute to organizational growth when they are motivated.

Below mentioned are some tips for motivating the staff / employees in an organization:

Evaluate yourself- In order to motivate, encourage and control your staff’s behaviour, it is essential to understand, encourage and control your own behaviour as a manager. Work upon utilizing your strengths and opportunities to neutralize and lower the negative impact of your weaknesses and organizational threats. The manager should adopt the approach “You’re OK – I’m OK”.
Be familiar with your staff- The manager should be well acquainted with his staff. The more and the better he knows his staff, the simpler it is to get them involved in the job as well as in achieving the team and organizational goals. This will also invite staff’s commitment and loyalty. A cordial superior-subordinate relationship is a key factor in job-satisfaction.
Provide the employees certain benefits- Give your staff some financial and other benefits. Give them bonuses, pay them for overtime, and give them health and family insurance benefits. Make sure they get breaks from work. Let them enjoy vacations and holidays.
Participate in new employees induction programme- Induction proceeds with recruitment advertising. At this point of time, the potential entrants start creating their own impressions and desires about the job and the organization. The manner in which the selection is conducted and the consequent recruitment process will either build or damage the impression about the job and organization. Thus, the manager must have a say in framing the advertisement and also in the selection and recruitment process. After the decision about the candidate is made, the manager must take personal interest in the selected joinee’s joining date, the family relocation issues, cost of removal, etc. Being observed by the new recruit and your entire team / staff to be involved completely, will ensure a persuasive entry in the organization.
Provide feedback to the staff constantly- The staff members are keen to know how they are performing. Try giving a regular and constructive feedback to your staff. This will be more acceptable by the staff. Do not base the feedback on assumptions, but on facts and personal observations. Do not indulge in favouritism or comparing the employee with some one else. Sit with your staff on daily or weekly basis and make sure that feedback happens. This will help in boosting employee’s morale and will thus motivate the staff.
Acknowledge your staff on their achievements- A pat on the back, some words of praise, and giving a note of credit to the employee / staff member at personal level with some form of broad publicity can motivate the staff a lot. Make it a point to mention the staff’s outstanding achievements in official newsletters or organization’s journal. Not only acknowledge the employee with highest contribution, but also acknowledge the employee who meets and over exceeds the targets.
Ensure effective time management- Having control over time ensures that things are done in right manner. Motivate your staff to have “closed” times, i.e., few hours when there are no interruptions for the staff in performing their job role so that they can concentrate on the job, and “open” times when the staff freely communicate and interact. Plan one to one sessions of interaction with your staff where they can ask their queries and also can get your attention and, thereby, they will not feel neglected. This all will work in long run to motivate the staff.
Have stress management techniques in your organization- Create an environment in which you and your staff can work within optimum pressure levels. Ensure an optimistic attitude towards stress in the workplace. Have training sessions on stress management, and ensure a follow-up with group meetings on the manner stress can be lowered at work. Give your staff autonomy in work. Identify the stress symptoms in employees and try to deal with them.
Use counselling technique- The employees’ / staff feelings towards the work, their peer, their superiors and towards the future can be effectively dealt through the staff counseling. Counselling provides an environment, incentive and support which enable the employee to achieve his identity.
Give the employees learning opportunities- Employees should consistently learn new skills on the job. It has been well said by someone that with people hopping jobs more often than required and organizations no longer giving job security to employees, the young blood employees specifically realize that continuing learning is the best way to remain employable. Opportunities should be given to the employees to develop their skills and competencies and to make best use of their skills. Link the staff goals with the organizational goals.
Set an example for your staff / subordinates- Be a role model for your staff. The staff would learn from what you do and not from what you say / claim. The way you interact with your clients / customers and how do you react later after the interaction is over have an impact upon the staff. The staff more closely observes your non-verbal communication (gestures, body language). Being unpunctual, wasting the organization’s capital, mismanaging organization’s physical equipments, asking the staff to do your personal work, etc. all have a negative impact on the staff. Try setting an example for your staff to follow.
Smile often- Smiling can have a tremendous effect on boosting the morale of the staff. A smiling superior creates an optimistic and motivating work environment. Smiling is an essential component of the body language of confidence, acceptance and boldness. Smile consistently, naturally and often, to demonstrate that you feel good and positive about the staff who works for you. It encourages new ideas and feedback from the staff. The staff does not feel hesitant and threatened to discuss their views this way.
Listen effectively- Listening attentively is a form of recognizing and appreciating the person who is talking. Reciprocal / Mutual listening develops cordial and healthy personal relationships on which the employee / staff development rests. If the managers do not listen attentively to the subordinates, the morale of the subordinates lowers down and they do not feel like sharing their ideas or giving their views. Effective listening by the manager boosts up the employees’ morale and thus motivates them.
Ensure effective communication- In order to motivate your staff, indulge in effective communication such as avoid using anger expressions, utilize questioning techniques to know staff’s mindset and analysis rather than ordering the staff what to do, base your judgements on facts and not on assumptions, use relaxed and steady tone of voice, listen effectively and be positive and helpful in your responses. Share your views with the staff.
Develop and encourage creativity- The staff should be encouraged to develop the creativity skills so as to solve organizational problems. Give them time and resources for developing creativity. Let them hold constant brainstorming sessions. Invite ideas and suggestions from the staff. They may turn out to be very productive.
Don’t be rigid. Be flexible- Introduce flexibility in work. Allow for flexible working hours if possible. Let the employees work at home occasionally if need arises. Do not be rigid in accepting ideas from your staff. Stimulate flexible attitudes in the employees who are accountable to you by asking what changes they would like to bring about if given a chance.
Adopt job enrichment- Job enrichment implies giving room for a better quality of working life. It means facilitating people to achieve self-development, fame and success through a more challenging and interesting job which provides more promotional and advancement opportunities. Give employees more freedom in job, involve them in decision-making process, show them loyalty and celebrate their achievements.
Respect your team- Respect not only the employees’ rights to share and express their views, and to be themselves, but their time too. This will ensure that the employees respect you and your time. Make the staff feel that they are respected not just as employees / workers but as individuals too.

Posted in Brand Managment, Consumer Behavior, CRM, Management, Marketing Mix (New Concepts), Search Engine Optimization with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2011 by Consultant

What is Motivation ?

Motivation is the word derived from the word ’motive’ which means needs, desires, wants or drives within the individuals. It is the process of stimulating people to actions to accomplish the goals. In the work goal context the psychological factors stimulating the people’s behaviour can be –

  • desire for money
  • success
  • recognition
  • job-satisfaction
  • team work, etc

One of the most important functions of management is to create willingness amongst the employees to perform in the best of their abilities. Therefore the role of a leader is to arouse interest in performance of employees in their jobs. The process of motivation consists of three stages:-

  1. A felt need or drive
  2. A stimulus in which needs have to be aroused
  3. When needs are satisfied, the satisfaction or accomplishment of goals.

Therefore, we can say that motivation is a psychological phenomenon which means needs and wants of the individuals have to be tackled by framing an incentive plan.

Posted in B2B, Brand Managment, Consumer Behavior, CRM, eMarketing, Management, Marketing Mix (New Concepts), Search Engine Optimization with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2011 by Consultant

Disadvantages of Planning

Internal Limitations

There are several limitations of planning. Some of them are inherit in the process of planning like rigidity and other arise due to shortcoming of the techniques of planning and in the planners themselves.

  1. Rigidity
    1. Planning has tendency to make administration inflexible.
    2. Planning implies prior determination of policies, procedures and programmes and a strict adherence to them in all circumstances.
    3. There is no scope for individual freedom.
    4. The development of employees is highly doubted because of which management might have faced lot of difficulties in future.
    5. Planning therefore introduces inelasticity and discourages individual initiative and experimentation.

     

     

  2. Misdirected Planning
    1. Planning may be used to serve individual interests rather than the interest of the enterprise.
    2. Attempts can be made to influence setting of objectives, formulation of plans and programmes to suit ones own requirement rather than that of whole organization.
    3. Machinery of planning can never be freed of bias. Every planner has his own likes, dislikes, preferences, attitudes and interests which is reflected in planning.

     

     

  3. Time consuming

     

    1. Planning is a time consuming process because it involves collection of information, it’s analysis and interpretation thereof. This entire process takes a lot of time specially where there are a number of alternatives available.
    2. Therefore planning is not suitable during emergency or crisis when quick decisions are required.

     

     

  4. Probability in planning
    1. Planning is based on forecasts which are mere estimates about future.
    2. These estimates may prove to be inexact due to the uncertainty of future.
    3. Any change in the anticipated situation may render plans ineffective.
    4. Plans do not always reflect real situations inspite of the sophisticated techniques of forecasting because future is unpredictable.
    5. Thus, excessive reliance on plans may prove to be fatal.

     

     

  5. False sense of security
    1. Elaborate planning may create a false sense of security to the effect that everything is taken for granted.
    2. Managers assume that as long as they work as per plans, it is satisfactory.
    3. Therefore they fail to take up timely actions and an opportunity is lost.
    4. Employees are more concerned about fulfillment of plan performance rather than any kind of change.

     

     

  6. Expensive
    1. Collection, analysis and evaluation of different information, facts and alternatives involves a lot of expense in terms of time, effort and money
    2. According to Koontz and O’Donell, ’ Expenses on planning should never exceed the estimated benefits from planning. ’

     

External Limitations of Planning

  1. Political Climate- Change of government from Congress to some other political party, etc.
  2. Labour Union- Strikes, lockouts, agitations.
  3. Technological changes- Modern techniques and equipments, computerization.
  4. Policies of competitors- Eg. Policies of Coca Cola and Pepsi.
  5. Natural Calamities- Earthquakes and floods.
  6. Changes in demand and prices- Change in fashion, change in tastes, change in income level, demand falls, price falls, etc.

Posted in B2B, Consumer Behavior, CRM, eMarketing, Search Engine Optimization with tags , , on November 30, 2011 by Consultant

Branded Facebook Pages ‘Liked’ by Few Web Users

Though more than two-thirds (68%) of surveyed Internet users say they use Facebook, only 21% have “liked” a branded page on Facebook, whereas more than one-third have given a thumbs up to other Facebook content* such as wall posts (36%), pictures (37%), and comments (37%), according to a survey from Crowd Science.

More than one-quarter of surveyed Internet users say they have “liked” video content on Facebook, while nearly one in five (19%) say they have not clicked the “like” button.**

 

Nearly one-third of Internet users surveyed (32%) say they don’t use Facebook.

Below, additional findings from a survey conducted by Crowd Science.

Those who “like” branded pages skew younger: 27% of Internet users age 18-34 say they “like” branded pages, compared with 18% of those age 45-64 and 9% of those age 65+.

People with higher education levels use Facebook and the “Like” button less:  

  • 40% of those more with an advanced (graduate) degree say they don’t use Facebook, compared with 27% of those with a high school education or less and 29% of those with some post-secondary education. 
  • 25% of those with graduate degrees say they use Facebook but don’t use the Like button, compared with 16% of those with some post-secondary education and 20% of those with a high school education or less.

Asked about their reasons for “liking” Facebook content (from individuals and brands), most cite showing support (28%) or expressing enjoyment (28%) for the content. 

Some 14% of those who “like” brands say they have like items on Facebook because they simply like a brand and 10% want to stay informed. Keeping other friends informed (7%), discounts (6%), and taking advantage of a sweepstakes offer (5%) are less important to online users.



Posted in B2B, Consumer Behavior, CRM, eMarketing, Marketing Mix (New Concepts), Search Engine Optimization on November 29, 2011 by Consultant

Tap the Power of Customer Feedback

In 2010, there is no excuse for keeping your marketing insight languishing in a silo, away from your core business processes.

Thanks to today’s Web-based technologies, you have an unprecedented number of opportunities to generate real business value from such insight.

By embracing a customer-feedback program, you can gain insight into customer attitudes and learn important truths about buying behavior as well as the evolving attitudes that will determine future buying behavior.

Understanding customer attitudes enables you to act quickly to prevent customer churn. Additionally, you can maximize cross-selling opportunities.

Marketing departments can use a customer-feedback program to drive tailored marketing campaigns and strengthen the relationship between brand and customer. Such programs are not just about making customers happy; they deliver real commercial value, too.

Exercises for the Brand

By implementing a feedback program, you initiate a two-way conversation, helping your customers become entrenched within your brand— from product creation to response to complaints.

The increased consumer engagement forges tighter purchasing relationships and builds significant brand value. The constant communication also provides an excellent platform for the creation of personalized, relevant promotions, creating a win-win that further builds the relationship.

Moreover, as you capture customer experiences and embed the resulting insight into your business, you are able to make better-informed business decisions.

Learn How to Share

Few organizations today have created the tightly integrated framework required to maximize the value of customer feedback companywide. In many cases, feedback data sits in a series of silos. Keeping it completely separate from other customer data reduces its value to little more than “mildly interesting.”

The marketing team’s lack of access to customer data means that irrespective of customer-relationship management (CRM) and marketing-resource management (MRM) investments, Marketing’s interaction with the business remains, at best, as provider of sporadic leads to the sales team.

Time Is of the Essence

Timing is crucial to getting the most from the feedback you gather. If a customer’s poor experience with a service representative leads that customer to defect to a competitor, there is little point in contacting that customer three months later. The opportunity has been missed.

If you had gained insight into that customer’s attitude when the problem occurred, with alerts to the relevant customer-complaint team, the issue could have been resolved immediately and the defection avoided.

Volumes of evidence show increased loyalty among customers whose issues were resolved successfully. Improved customer retention and increased loyalty: What’s not to like?

Marketing Team Harnesses Customer Insight

Timely, focused surveys can also transform the speed, relevance, and value of product-development campaigns and foster unprecedented customer loyalty and commitment.  Survey information is critical to infusing the value of customer attitudes directly into your business.

Consider the following example of loyal customers who stood ready to share their experiences:

Egg, the world’s largest online-only bank and now a Citigroup division, used its feedback program to reduce an innovative product’s time to market from up to one year to five weeks.

Egg surveyed 30,000 customers about the proposed customer proposition. A key success factor was that Egg’s customers were already accustomed to regular, personalized online contact.

The company had been using online-survey technology for five years to manage the customer experience. The customized nature of those surveys—with customer name and recent activity— led to higher response rates.

* * *

Building a program that enables you to continually take your customers’ pulse and build an ongoing dialogue in times of trouble is crucial to aligning your business with your customers’ attitudes.

To avoid generic feedback that you can’t act on, ensure that the pulse-check happens in conjunction with key customer interactions.

For example, a retailer feedback request should coincide with a purchase, return, or a contact-center inquiry. With the right tools and approach, you can use an alert system to ensure immediate action.

Only by combining  real-time understanding of customer attitudes with true business integration can you fully leverage the good work done in creating a customer dialogue.

Silos are so 2009, so get integrating!