Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Gathering Information and Measuring Market Demand

Posted in Uncategorized on December 4, 2011 by Consultant
In this dynamic market with the free flow of information and innovative marketing programs, needs and wants of consumers are always changing. As per capita income increases consumers are willing to explore more alternatives for purchase decision. Companies should be aware of changing situation all the time to take the right decision. This calls for development of sophisticated marketing information systems.

The information system consists of stakeholders, process and equipment to collect, analyze and proliferate information across relevant decision makers. The system is formulated using the internal company records, market research data and other intelligence gathering system. The internal system consists of analyzing information from product order to the delivery cycle and sales information systems. In product order to the delivery system, companies analyze consumption of various brands and make sure inventory of raw materials as well as finished products are maintained at sufficient levels. This is to make sure that whole cycle is completed in the shortest time possible. In the sales information systems, sales figure across different geographical centers are collected and

analyzed to understand the consumption pattern. The data collected from the above process is analyzed to understand consumer behavior and develop products as well as programs to cater to consumer demand.

The marketing intelligence system requires a combination of people, system and procedure to gather market data. For the company, sales people are on the frontline to spot and report any trend prevailing in the market. The distribution channel also can provide companies with valuable information of the end user. However, sales people as well as distribution have to be train about spotting trends and then sending to the right people in the organization. Sometimes companies send a decoy into to the supermarket as a potential customer to check customer service, another way of gathering intelligence. Companies also outsource intelligence gathering activities to agencies like A C Nielson.

If the marketing information system reports any issue or emerging trend then further analysis can be done through marketing research. The marketing research process consists of following; defining the problem, developing research plan, collecting data, analyzing data, presenting findings and implementing the decision. Each step has to be carefully planned and executed for market research to succeed. During problem defining process companies have to make sure that objective is not too vague, nor does it take researchers in the wrong direction. Developing research plan consist of creating a blue print as to how the information collection is going to occur. Here particular focus has to be maintained on cost for not over shoot the benefits. The step includes reaching out to the target audience and collecting information. Market researchers have various techniques and models at their disposal to analyze the collected data. Once market researchers are done with their analysis, findings have to be presented in a structure format as to answer the research objective questions. It is now for the top management to take the decision as the way forward from market research study.

In the world driven by technology, marketing managers are also making efforts to use the available resources. Marketing managers are routinely using the statistical tools like regression analysis, factor analysis, etc., models like markov process model, sales response models to support decision making process. Marketing managers are also using marketing and sales software, which helps in making day to day decision like pricing, budgeting, etc.

Once managers are able to finalize opportunities using marketing research and other technology backed models then next step forward is to calculate the market size, growth and other business model related attributes. Managers estimate market demand for a given product by calculating total product sell per market segment, per defined customer set, in a finite time and under specific marketing strategy. From these managers calculate company’s market share vis-à-vis the competitor’s business plan.

Marketing managers have to admit it is the consumer’s market, which makes it important to gather information to understand their perception through available technology, market research and quantitative models. Understanding customers would help companies estimate total market demand for its products.

Posted in Uncategorized on December 1, 2011 by Consultant

Leadership Basics

What is Leadership

Leadership is a process by which an executive can direct, guide and influence the behavior and work of others towards accomplishment of specific goals in a given situation. Leadership is the ability of a manager to induce the subordinates to work with confidence and zeal.

Leadership is the potential to influence behaviour of others. It is also defined as the capacity to influence a group towards the realization of a goal. Leaders are required to develop future visions, and to motivate the organizational members to want to achieve the visions.

According to Keith Davis, “Leadership is the ability to persuade others to seek defined objectives enthusiastically. It is the human factor which binds a group together and motivates it towards goals.”

Characteristics of Leadership
  1. It is a inter-personal process in which a manager is into influencing and guiding workers towards attainment of goals.
  2. It denotes a few qualities to be present in a person which includes intelligence, maturity and personality.
  3. It is a group process. It involves two or more people interacting with each other.
  4. A leader is involved in shaping and moulding the behaviour of the group towards accomplishment of organizational goals.
  5. Leadership is situation bound. There is no best style of leadership. It all depends upon tackling with the situations.

Posted in Uncategorized on December 1, 2011 by Consultant

Essentials / Features of a Good Motivation System

Motivation is a state of mind. High motivation leads to high morale and greater production. A motivated employee gives his best to the organization. He stays loyal and committed to the organization. A sound motivation system in an organization should have the following features:

Superior performance should be reasonably rewarded and should be duely acknowledged.
If the performance is not consistently up to the mark, then the system must make provisions for penalties.
The employees must be dealt in a fair and just manner. The grievances and obstacles faced by them must be dealt instantly and fairly.
Carrot and stick approach should be implemented to motivate both efficient and inefficient employees. The employees should treat negative consequences (such as fear of punishment) as stick, an outside push and move away from it. They should take positive consequences (such as reward) as carrot, an inner pull and move towards it.
Performance appraisal system should be very effective.
Ensure flexibility in working arrangements.
A sound motivation system must be correlated to organizational goals. Thus, the individual/employee goals must be harmonized with the organizational goals.
The motivational system must be modified to the situation and to the organization.
A sound motivation system requires modifying the nature of individual’s jobs. The jobs should be redesigned or restructured according to the requirement of situation. Any of the alternatives to job specialization – job rotation, job enlargement, job enrichment, etc. could be used.
The management approach should be participative. All the subordinates and employees should be involved in decision- making process.
The motivation system should involve monetary as well as non- monetary rewards. The monetary rewards should be correlated to performance. Performance should be based on the employees’ action towards the goals, and not on the fame of employees.
“Motivate yourself to motivate your employees” should be the managerial approach.
The managers must understand and identify the motivators for each employee.
Sound motivation system should encourage supportive supervision whereby the supervisors share their views and experiences with their subordinates, listen to the subordinates views, and assist the subordinates in performing the designated job.

Posted in Uncategorized on November 29, 2011 by Consultant

Keep Up With Marketing’s Industrial Revolution: Five Tips for Retooling Your Team

When the first Industrial Revolution hit its stride in the 1800s, a convergence of forces changed the way businesses operated.

Before the creation of large-scale industry, people would mine raw materials, and craftsmen would shape those materials into products. But with the advent of the catalyst for revolutionary change—the steam engine—society was able to accelerate both the mining of those materials and the manufacturing and distribution processes, which in turn accelerated the need for raw materials. But enough of the history lesson, let’s get down to business.

Marketing automation is having a similar impact on how we mine our data, create our programs, deliver our content, and continually refine, streamline, and automate. Those who use it have an advantage—if they can use it properly. And proper use requires having expertise.

As a hiring manager, what skills do you need on your team, and how do you continue to develop them?

1. Data Hygienist

Your data hygienist’s job is to make sure that every name and list you acquire is cleaned, augmented, and imported with consistent standards—regularly scrubbing bad data out of your current systems to provide a cleaner view for Sales. This person should also manage your list purchases to ensure you are spending appropriately.

For staffing, you have a couple of choices:

  • Full- or part-time employee. A great way to bring more junior members or interns up to speed on your marketing operations.
  • Outsource. If you can’t get the budget for a headcount or if you have an open position yet to be filled, outsourcing is a great option. You’ll get some professional advice, someone to manage your project, and quick execution. Just be sure to plan for ongoing engagement. Do not let your data get stale.

TIP: Have an employee development plan in place, especially if you’re hiring recent grads. They may find the work tedious over time. Consider offering CRM training or marketing automation training.

2. CRM Administrator

In B2B marketing, it’s becoming more common for a CRM admin to report to Marketing as well. Sales and Marketing should be maintaining a common, “master” database. The CRM administrator’s is an internal function. Any custom programming and integrations needs, however, are relatively easy to outsource.

TIP: If you don’t yet have end-to-end reporting, ask your current admin to help you determine what marketing efforts are contributing to revenue. Pay attention to the questions she asks. You’ll discover whether she has that “marketing mindset,” because it starts with having the business acumen to ask the right questions. If she doesn’t, you may need a new hire.

3. Webmaster

In general, you have three basic needs here: design, code, and analytics. Remember, analytics acumen requires not only being able to offer statistics but also being able to interpret the data, then recommending and implementing a plan of action. For instance, if traffic on your support site is up 20%, is that good or bad, and what should your next step be?

TIP: If you can find a good webmaster to fulfill two-out-of-three basic needs, hire her and outsource the third.

4. Content Manager

You may have great copywriters, but they need to understand more of the big picture, from mapping content to the buying cycle to playing a role in customer retention. Your communications also need to flow well in marketing automation and must share a common voice.

TIP: Get content managers up to speed with the latest research and techniques. Include them in brainstorming sessions with your marketing automation expert so they can understand how a program flows. Involve them in the analysis and testing so they can see what’s creative isn’t always what works.

5. Marketing Automation Specialist

This position requires one of the most sought-after skillsets. You need a technologist who thinks like a marketer. She needs some Web, CRM, data, email, and content skills—in addition to expertise with your specific system. These candidates are rare.

Do a quick search on LinkedIn for “Marketing.” You’ll get 6,133,149 results. Search for “Marketing Automation.” You’ll get 5,739. Search for specific products: Eloqua (2,104), Aprimo (1,430), Silverpop (1,266), and Marketo (655). Those results should tell you that you will have to compete for these candidates by offering the right work environment and plenty of flexibility and compensation.

TIP: Don’t wait to find the talent before getting started with marketing automation. Outsource while you seek the talent. It will cost a little more, but you’ll draw from a greater pool of expertise and accelerate your ramp-up time. Your outsourced talent can subsequently help train your new hires.

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As marketing technologies continue to accelerate the pace of change, talent requirements become even more critical. The key to better understanding how to acquire, interpret, and act on digital clues depends on your ability to attract, retain, and retool the skills of your team.