Introduction to Relationship Marketing

Posted in eMarketing, Marketing Mix (New Concepts) with tags , , on December 19, 2011 by Consultant
Ask any frequent flyer and a globe trotter, who enjoys flying with and always chooses his favorite airline as to why he insists on using the same airline every time. The answer will be that he is happy with the Customer Service. The airline spares no efforts to ensure that he is comfortable and enjoys his journey. The airline recognizes him as a valuable customer and has built a relationship with him over a period of time. It is this relationship, the comfort of being recognized, looked after and cared for individually that has resulted in loyalty in the relationship.

All of us enjoy being members of several loyalty programs and enjoy collecting rewards and redeeming them. In doing so we have enjoyed the relationship with the Supplier or the Company and continue to be loyal customers. In everyday life we are used to going back to the same supermarket, the same garage and bank with the same bank all the time. This happens because we have grown to accept an unspoken relationship that exists with these businesses for various reasons and we feel happy dealing with the same vendors day in and day out.

Every human interaction and transaction is built around relationships. Networks of relationships is the fundamental design of the human society. No wonder that this fundamental fact has been recognized and explored by all the businesses where in they have been building business strategies around the customer and strive to build a relationship with every Customer.

Relationship Marketing therefore has evolved not only as a marketing strategy but has been the foundation on which the Companies build their core values and ethics. Relationship Marketing defines the framework for the Company to reach out as well as and orient themselves to the outside markets, to the end customer as well as to the business partners, the suppliers and vendors too. Relationship marketing is not limited to Customers and Suppliers alone but has been extended in scope to cover he internal employees as well as an effective way of reaching out to attracting best talent too. If you scan any advertisement of a leading Corporate in the Newspaper, you will see that major portion of the advertisement for recruitment is related to the Company’s background, culture and the effort to reach out to the prospective employees. The advertisements are designed to strike a cord amongst the readers that prompts one to apply for the job.

In the high tech age where the marketing concepts and tools have undergone major changes with the introduction of e commerce, online selling, network marketing, direct marketing, B2B and B2C business models, relationship marketing has become the base on which the Business strategies as well as Marketing strategies are built.

Business Organizations today have begun to recognize and consider the human quotient as well as the emotional quotient of business relationships. Relationship Marketing has evolved as a discipline that helps the Businesses to look beyond transactions to long term business associations. Successful Relationship Marketing strategy helps the Organization deepen and strengthen its revenue streams on long term basis.

Relationship Marketing is a considered to be a core Corporate Philosophy on which the Business strategy is built upon. It is reflected in all of the Marketing disciplines including branding, advertisements, promotions, public relations as well as through all sales channels and networks through which the Company reaches out to the Markets and Customers.

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Tips for Conducting Interviews

Posted in eMarketing with tags on December 19, 2011 by Consultant
Whether it is a job interview or a follow-up interview with selected respondents who filled a survey questionnaire, it is essential that right questions are asked. However, asking a right question is just not it… There is more to conducting effective interviews.

Read on to know how an interview conversation can be made effective…

 

  1. Avoid distraction in the meeting area: Make sure that there is no or minimal distraction where the interview is being conducted. A phone ringing all the time in the background can distract the interviewer and interviewee 

     

  2. Make the candidate comfortable: The candidates are usually nervous especially if it is their first interview. Ask them some ice breaker questions to make them comfortable. 

     

  3. Racial / Sexual Bias – A BIG NO: Do not discriminate between the potential candidates on basis of race, color, religion, gender. The only basis for selection should be merit + required qualification. Be fair. 

 

  1. Invite questions: make sure the candidate asks / clarifies the questions he has. When selected a candidate should not feel he was not told about a certain aspect of the job. 

     

  2. Make Notes: A candidate’s resume might not cover all the details and there could be a lot of other details which could come up while conducting an interview. Make sure notes are taken during the interview. 

     

  3. Interview Approach: The interview could be a mix of formal and informal and could have a blend of open and close ended questions. An extreme of either formal or informal could be disastrous. 

     

  4. Interview Questions: Few areas to ask questions on could be behaviors, values, knowledge, background or demographics. 

     

  5. Company Policy & Procedures: Brief the candidate about company’s values, policies, and required procedures. A candidate if selected should not have problem in imbibing the culture. 

    Finally, make sure the candidate is involved in the interview and it is not just one way.

Body Language in communication

Posted in eMarketing, Management, Marketing Mix (New Concepts) with tags on December 19, 2011 by Consultant
Did you know that while in India or America a “fantastic” or an “ok” sign is demonstrated by forming a circle with your thumb and forefinger, in Tunisia the same symbol means “I will kill you” and in Japan it means “money”?

Kinesics or study of body language must be understood by all. Whether it is an interview or a presentation, one must be aware of how to use body language effectively.

Read on to understand more about various non verbal components of communication…

 

  1. Eye Contact: Always maintain eye contact with your audience. However, a person must ensure that he / she should not fix his gaze at one person for more than 5 seconds. Too much fluttering of eyes could indicate lack of confidence. Staring at a person could be daunting and hence is not such a good idea. 

 

  1. Hand Shake: While shaking hands especially in a professional environment, the hand shake should be firm and not loose. An iron handshake [very strong handshake] can indicate that a person is trying to dominate. 

     

  2. Crossing your Arms: Crossing your arms could imply that a person is not open to new ideas / opinion especially in case of giving a presentation. However, in a one-on-one interview if the interviewer has his / her arms crossed, the candidate could do the same. 

     

  3. Sitting Posture: Leaning on a chair is not a good idea. One must sit upright though in a relaxed position. Sitting back in your chair implies lack of interest or rejection. 

     

  4. Gesture: Gesture refers to a type of non verbal communication which uses a part of the body with or without verbal communication. Gestures include facial expressions, nods [which is a sign of approval in most cultures], head bobbling / shaking. 

     

  5. Facial Expression: The face is a best reflection of what a person feels. More often than not it is easy to recognize if a person is happy, sad, anxious, irritated, or excited. It is very important that in a professional scenario a person must control his / her facial expressions. For e.g. If a presenter gets a feel that his presentation is not going on very well, he / she should not show the sign of losing of hope and instead try for a greater involvement from the participants.

Time Management Techniques

Posted in Management with tags , , on December 18, 2011 by Consultant
Time management refers to the judicious use of time for achieving success in life. Time Management helps an individual to make the best possible use of time. It is essential for individuals to value time and allocate the right time to the right activity.

Let us go through some Time Management Techniques:

 

  • Set your Priorities. Know what all needs to be done on an urgent basis. Prepare a “TO DO” List or a “Task Plan” to jot down tasks you need to complete against the time slot assigned to each activity. High Priority Tasks must be written on top followed by tasks which can be done a little later. Make sure you stick to your Task List. 

     

  • Make sure you finish your assignments within the stipulated time frame. Tick the tasks you have already finished. Treat yourself with a chocolate if you finish your assignments ahead of deadlines. 

 

  • Understand the difference between urgent and important work. Manage your work well. Do not begin your day with something which is not so important and can be done a little later. First finish off what all is urgent and important. Do not wait for your Boss’s reminders. 

     

  • Stay focused. Do not leave your work station if some urgent work needs to be done. Going for strolls in the middle of an urgent work breaks continuity and an individual tends to loose his focus. Individuals who kill time at work find it difficult to survive workplace stress. 

     

  • Do include time for your tea breaks, net surfing, personal calls and so on in your daily schedule. It is important. Human being is not a machine who can work at a stretch for eight to nine hours. Assign half an hour to fourty five minutes to check updates on social networking sites, call your friends or family or go for smoke breaks etc. 

     

  • Set realistic and achievable targets for yourself. Know what you need to achieve and in what duration? Do not lie to yourself. Assigning one hour to a task which you yourself know would require much more time does not make sense. 

     

  • Do not overburden yourself. Say a firm no to your boss if you feel you would not be able to complete a certain assignment within the assigned deadline. Don’t worry, he will not feel bad. Probably he can assign the same to any of your fellow workers. Accept tasks which you are really confident about. 

     

  • Be disciplined and punctual. Avoid taking unnecessary leaves from work unless there is an emergency. Reach work on time as it helps you to plan your day better. 

     

  • Keep things at their proper places. Files must be kept at their respective drawers. Staple important documents and put them in a proper folder. Learn to be a little more organized. It will save your time which goes on unnecessary searching. 

     

  • Do not treat your organization as a mere source of money. Change your attitude. Avoid playing games on computer or cell phones during office hours. It is unprofessional. Do not work only when your boss is around. Taking ownership of work pays you in the long run. 

     

  • Develop the habit of using an organizer. It helps you plan things better. Keep a notepad and a pen handy. Do not write contact numbers or email ids on loose papers. You will waste half of your time searching them. Manage your emails. Create separate folders for each client. Do not clutter your desktop. 

Benefits of Time Management

Posted in Management with tags on December 18, 2011 by Consultant
Time Management refers to making the best possible use of available time.

Managing time well enables an individual to do the right thing at the right time.

Time Management plays a pivotal role in one’s personal as well as professional life.

Let us go through some benefits of Time Management:

 

  • Time Management makes an individual punctual and disciplined. One learns to work when it is actually required as a result of effective time management. To make the judicious use of time, individuals should prepare a “TASK PLAN“ or a “TO DO“ List at the start of the day to jot down activities which need to be done in a particular day as per their importance and urgency against the specific time slots assigned to each activity. A Task Plan gives individuals a sense of direction at the workplace. An individual knows how his day looks like and eventually works accordingly leading to an increased output. 

 

  • One becomes more organized as a result of effective Time Management. Keeping the things at their proper places minimizes the time which goes on unnecessary searching of documents, important files, folders, stationery items and so on. For better time management, individuals keep their workstations, study zones, cubicles, meeting areas clean and organized. People learn to manage things well as a result of Time Management. 

     

  • Effective Time Management boosts an individual’s morale and makes him confident. As a result of Time Management, individuals accomplish tasks within the stipulated time frame, making them popular in their organization as well as amongst their peers. People who understand the value of time are the ones who manage to stand apart from the crowd. Individuals who finish off work on time are looked up to by others and are always the centre of attention everywhere. 

     

  • Individuals who stick to a time plan are the ones who realize their goals and objectives within the shortest possible time span. Managing time effectively helps employees to meet targets way ahead of deadlines and finish off task just when it is required. 

     

  • Effective Time Management helps an employee to reach the pinnacle of success quickly and stay firm at the top for a longer duration. An employee who works just for the sake of working fails to create an impression and is never taken seriously at work. Effective time management plays a pivotal role in increasing an individual’s productivity. Output increases substantially when people manage their time well. 

     

  • Better Time Management helps in better planning and eventually better forecasting. Individuals learn to plan things well and know where exactly they stand five years from now. 

     

  • Research says that individuals who accomplish tasks on time are less prone to stress and anxiety. Remember there is no point in wasting time and cribbing later. Finish off pending work on time and then you would have ample time for your friends, relatives and family members. 

     

  • Time Management enables an individual to prioritize tasks and activities at workplace. It is foolish to stay overburdened. Do not accept anything and everything that comes your way. 

     

  • Time Management helps an individual to adopt a planned approach in life.

Time Management – Meaning and its Importance

Posted in Management with tags , on December 18, 2011 by Consultant
It is rightly said “Time and Tide wait for none”. An individual should understand the value of time for him to succeed in all aspects of life. People who waste time are the ones who fail to create an identity of their own.

What is Time Management ?
  • Time Management refers to managing time effectively so that the right time is allocated to the right activity.
  • Effective time management allows individuals to assign specific time slots to activities as per their importance.
  • Time Management refers to making the best use of time as time is always limited.

Ask yourself which activity is more important and how much time should be allocated to the same? Know which work should be done earlier and which can be done a little later.

Time Management plays a very important role not only in organizations but also in our personal lives.

Time Management includes:

  1. Effective Planning
  2. Setting goals and objectives
  3. Setting deadlines
  4. Delegation of responsibilities
  5. Prioritizing activities as per their importance
  6. Spending the right time on the right activity
  • Effective Planning

    Plan your day well in advance. Prepare a To Do List or a “TASK PLAN”. Jot down the important activities that need to be done in a single day against the time that should be allocated to each activity. High Priority work should come on top followed by those which do not need much of your importance at the moment. Complete pending tasks one by one. Do not begin fresh work unless you have finished your previous task. Tick the ones you have already completed. Ensure you finish the tasks within the stipulated time frame.

  • Setting Goals and Objectives

    Working without goals and targets in an organization would be similar to a situation where the captain of the ship loses his way in the sea. Yes, you would be lost. Set targets for yourself and make sure they are realistic ones and achievable.

  • Setting Deadlines

    Set deadlines for yourself and strive hard to complete tasks ahead of the deadlines. Do not wait for your superiors to ask you everytime. Learn to take ownership of work. One person who can best set the deadlines is you yourself. Ask yourself how much time needs to be devoted to a particular task and for how many days. Use a planner to mark the important dates against the set deadlines.

  • Delegation of Responsibilities

    Learn to say “NO” at workplace. Don’t do everything on your own. There are other people as well. One should not accept something which he knows is difficult for him. The roles and responsibilities must be delegated as per interest and specialization of employees for them to finish tasks within deadlines. A person who does not have knowledge about something needs more time than someone who knows the work well.

  • Prioritizing Tasks

    Prioritize the tasks as per their importance and urgency. Know the difference between important and urgent work. Identify which tasks should be done within a day, which all should be done within a month and so on. Tasks which are most important should be done earlier.

  • Spending the right time on right activity

    Develop the habit of doing the right thing at the right time. Work done at the wrong time is not of much use. Don’t waste a complete day on something which can be done in an hour or so. Also keep some time separate for your personal calls or checking updates on Facebook or Twitter. After all human being is not a machine.

For Effective Time Management one needs to be:

Organized – Avoid keeping stacks of file and heaps of paper at your workstation. Throw what all you don’t need. Put important documents in folders. Keep the files in their respective drawers with labels on top of each file. It saves time which goes on unnecessary searching.

Don’t misuse time – Do not kill time by loitering or gossiping around. Concentrate on your work and finish assignments on time. Remember your organization is not paying you for playing games on computer or peeping into other’s cubicles. First complete your work and then do whatever you feel like doing. Don’t wait till the last moment.

Be Focussed – One needs to be focused for effective time management.

Develop the habit of using planners, organizers, table top calendars for better time management. Set reminders on phones or your personal computers.

What is Decision Making ?

Posted in Management with tags on December 18, 2011 by Consultant
Decision-making is an integral part of modern management. Essentially, Rational or sound decision making is taken as primary function of management. Every manager takes hundreds and hundreds of decisions subconsciously or consciously making it as the key component in the role of a manager. Decisions play important roles as they determine both organizational and managerial activities. A decision can be defined as a course of action purposely chosen from a set of alternatives to achieve organizational or managerial objectives or goals. Decision making process is continuous and indispensable component of managing any organization or business activities. Decisions are made to sustain the activities of all business activities and organizational functioning.

Decisions are made at every level of management to ensure organizational or business goals are achieved. Further, the decisions make up one of core functional values that every organization adopts and implements to ensure optimum growth and drivability in terms of services and or products offered.

As such, decision making process can be further exemplified in the backdrop of the following definitions.


Definition of Decision Making

According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary the term decision making means – the process of deciding about something important, especially in a group of people or in an organization.

Trewatha & Newport defines decision making process as follows:, “Decision-making involves the selection of a course of action from among two or more possible alternatives in order to arrive at a solution for a given problem”.

As evidenced by the foregone definitions, decision making process is a consultative affair done by a comity of professionals to drive better functioning of any organization. Thereby, it is a continuous and dynamic activity that pervades all other activities pertaining to the organization. Since it is an ongoing activity, decision making process plays vital importance in the functioning of an organization. Since intellectual minds are involved in the process of decision making, it requires solid scientific knowledge coupled with skills and experience in addition to mental maturity.

Further, decision making process can be regarded as check and balance system that keeps the organisation growing both in vertical and linear directions. It means that decision making process seeks a goal. The goals are pre-set business objectives, company missions and its vision. To achieve these goals, company may face lot of obstacles in administrative, operational, marketing wings and operational domains. Such problems are sorted out through comprehensive decision making process. No decision comes as end in itself, since in may evolve new problems to solve. When one problem is solved another arises and so on, such that decision making process, as said earlier, is a continuous and dynamic.

A lot of time is consumed while decisions are taken. In a management setting, decision cannot be taken abruptly. It should follow the steps such as

  1. Defining the problem
  2. Gathering information and collecting data
  3. Developing and weighing the options
  4. Choosing best possible option
  5. Plan and execute
  6. Take follow up action

Since decision making process follows the above sequential steps, a lot of time is spent in this process. This is the case with every decision taken to solve management and administrative problems in a business setting. Though the whole process is time consuming, the result of such process in a professional organization is magnanimous.