Archive for Customer Engagement

Organizations and Relationship Marketing

Posted in CRM, eMarketing, Marketing Mix (New Concepts) with tags , , , , , , , on December 19, 2011 by Consultant
Traditionally with Organizations the customers belonged to and were the responsibility of the Marketing Department alone. Organizations probably had too many constraints on meeting the demands and were saddled with limited product range that did not require them to look out and reach out to the Customer. However with evolution of technology, mass production processes as well as expanding geographical markets, the Organizations began to realize the need to reorient their understanding of the business and the way to manage the business. To a large extent we can very well say that the Customer Relationship Marketing did not originate only in the marketing department. It developed as an Organizational approach and management thought.

Management experts and Organizations have come a long way in terms of their outlook to the internal and external environment. Today Organizations have begun to understand and recognize the relationship that exists between the Stockholders, the Employees and the Customers who provide the reason as well as the resources for the Organization to exist and grow.

There exists a mutually inclusive relationship between all the three factors. Organizations need to manage the relationship dynamics on all the three fronts. This understanding has further brought about the Management thought and approach to orient and imbibe Relationship Marketing as an Organizational Philosophy.

An Organization does not recognize the customer in the market to be the only stake holder in its relationships. The Company has ongoing relationships both internally as well as externally at many levels and tiers. The Company strives to build excellent and long term relationships with its strategic suppliers as well as the intermediaries important for its business. Sales and Distribution partners including whole sales, channel partners as well as point of sale retailers form a part of the chain which needs to be handled via the relationship platform.

The number of relationships that the Organization is required to manage are spread over several areas. Ongoing Relationship Management with Current Employees as well as prospective employees becomes very important for the Organization as the Human resource is a key resource for its business. Besides the employees, suppliers, as well as the Customers and intermediaries, the Organization has a relationship that needs to be managed with the public, Government as well as media too.

Therefore it should be very clearly understood that Relationship Marketing is a business philosophy and not a marketing strategy. Of course Marketing strategy and plans are built around this Organizational philosophy and value of Relationship Marketing.

Managements have successfully adapted to the concept of internal and external Relationship Marketing and have benefited immensely from it. Internally the concept of internal customer has yielded tremendous advantageous and brought about efficiencies in operations. TQM, JIT, Six Sigma philosophies have been successfully implemented thanks to the fundamental concept of internal customers and customer satisfaction.

Apart from marketing and sales functions which are exposed to the Customers and markets and hence need to be sensitized and oriented towards relationship management, the Organizations have realized the need to sensitize the other departments including Finance, HR, Technical Service, Customer Service as well as the Product Development and legal departments towards relationship Management with he customers. This orientation has benefited the Organizations immensely besides changing the service dynamics for the customers.

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Decision Making – Meaning and Important Concepts

Posted in Management with tags , , on December 18, 2011 by Consultant
Every organization needs to make decisions at one point or other as part of managerial process. Decisions are made in the best interest of the organization. For that matter, decisions made by the organization are to lighten the way forward. Be it strategic, business activities or HR matters, processes of making decisions is complex, involves professionals of different genre. While small organization involves all levels of managers, complex organizations largely depend on a team of professionals specially trained to make all sorts of decisions. But remember, such a body alone cannot come out with final decisions. Here, the point is, decision making process is cumulative and consultative process. The process, on the whole, bears its pros and cons and would by and large emanate results and consequences in the organizations’ overall growth and prospects.

Decisions are taken to support organizational growth. The whole fabric of management, i.e. its day to day operation is rightly built on managerial decisions. Top notch companies, as evidenced by their functions, effective communication tools are utilized in addition to normal consultation process to make decisions that would have large scale implications on the company’s prospects.

Discussions and consultations are two main tools that support and eventually bring out decisions. For instance to take a decision on how to embark on new business activity suggested by strategic management team must have developed through series of consultative process, which is now available with implementation team. Here we see the cumulative effect of decision taken at one point by a different body of affairs. Decision taken by strategic managers is to push new and innovative business line or initiative. At this point the decision taken by such team becomes consultative point for discussion for implementation professionals. There is lot to debate, research and finalize. Is the new proposal viable ? Is it innovative enough ? Can there be growth stimulant in the strategies proposed ? Handle-ful of such questions evolved from the decision taken by strategic group has reflective influence on the next level of managerial consultations and meetings. Let us accept, at this point of discussion, that proposals submitted by business development team would largely depend on another set of deliberations in the board room.

Thus, the final decision to roll out a product or service is through cumulative interim decisions taken by various internal and external parties. And also the final decision is reflective and founded on researches and consultations. Whole process is a chain affair where one decision taken at one point and at one level shall have far reaching implications in the way an organization moves forward.

As a matter of fact, capable of taking critical decisions is one of the many attributes that every manager should have, be it top level or middle or entry level. By nature a human being during his existence and by virtue of his instinct makes decisions for his survival, as social psychologists put it. By and large, managers are polished individuals to take decisions to affect others, ie the organization’s existence and growth thus is annotative with human endeavor to live and succeed. Success succeeds on the decisions taken, be it by an individual or an organization.

What to Do When E-Books and Round-Up Posts Just Won’t Cut It

Posted in B2B, Brand Managment, Consumer Behavior, CRM, eMarketing with tags , , , on December 4, 2011 by Consultant

Some strategies are tested and true. They’ve been used successfully by so many people in so many situations that we’ve learned to expect that they work, and will work for us. Period.

Round-up posts and e-books are both examples of that phenomenon. They’ve become ubiquitous, and for good reason. They seem to work, without fail. Or, do they?

Actually, no, they don’t—and certainly not without fail. More and more, ubiquitous online marketing strategies, such as e-books and round-up posts, are working less and less.

Here’s why those strategies are failing—and what you can do about it!

Why do round-up posts and e-books work, anyway?

Round-up posts are blog posts that “round up” the experts and stars in your industry, showcasing them on your blog. For example, you might ask contributors to provide their best tip about your subject area, to answer a relevant question, or to allow you to feature your favorite work from them in your post.

In all cases, the strategy behind that sort of post is the same, and it’ll always work for the same two reasons:

  1. Experts will be flattered that you chose to feature them, which will make them like you and want to help you (e.g., by spreading the word about the round-up post).
  2. Round-up posts use the celebrity appeal of experts, as well as their insight and experience, to create compelling content for your audience.

E-books are just documents in PDF (or similar) format. A fancy cover and a graphic of the e-book as an actual, three-dimensional book might make it appear more than merely a digital document, but in the end it’s merely that, and it’s usually given away as an “ethical bribe” in exchange for the names and email addresses of your site’s visitors.

The strategy behind e-books is familiar and simple:

  1. Create something valuable that people want and would be willing to provide their contact information to receive.
  2. Use the e-book as a lead-in to build trust and set the stage for the offers that you will subsequently make via email. It’s simple, and it works.

So… what’s the problem?

When a strategy is overused, it stops working

The first problem is ubiquity; when everyone is doing the same thing, the strategy isn’t nearly as special.

Instead of being impressed with your round-up of 30 industry leaders, your audience will yawn because it just got through reading three other round-ups almost identical to yours. And rather than being impressed with your free e-book offer, your audience will think twice about signing up because of the commitment needed to read yet another fluffy and useless 30-page document.

Success can’t be copy-and-pasted; it just can’t be done. Those strategies were first conceived with a real understanding of what would be valuable to the audience. They weren’t just tactics used because “well, everybody does it, and it works.”

The result of the unabashed copying and pasting that afflicts the marketing world is e-books full of unhelpful, recycled material followed by a string of pestering emails and round-up posts—full of bland questions and uninteresting answers—that clearly intend to curry favor with bloggers rather than showcase their good work.

So does that mean that round-up posts and e-books are doomed strategies? No, of course not—but they work only if you make them special.

Special is in the eye of the beholder

What makes content special, of course, depends on the intended audience. Some audiences prefer short, one-line answers from experts in round-up posts and e-books, and some prefer paragraphs filled with detail and insight. Some audiences prefer high-level theory, and others prefer practical how-to information.

Do you know your audience? Do you know what it wants and needs? If you don’t, find out. And if you do, get to work and create it. Avoid copying other tactics and strategies, and create something that will be valuable to your audience.

Just to get your creativity going, here are six ways you could try to make your content different and unique:

1. Ask great questions

Instead of the usual “What’s your No. 1 tip about X?” why not ask something that will make contributors think a bit more? Something such as “What’s the most important question that X should ask, but doesn’t?” Or “What’s the biggest misconception that X has about the industry?” Asking great questions will lead to great answers, and great answers make for great content.

2. Feature unusual content

Rather than pointing to your contributors’ best work or asking them questions about best-practices; ask them to share their biggest failure, most dramatic mistake, or most inaccurate assumption.

3. Feature resources instead

Don’t feature contributors’ content at all. Instead, compile a huge list of valuable resources. So, ask your contributing experts to recommend items for the list, or even ask your audience… you might be surprised with the resulting suggestions.

4. Change the round-up into a contest

Ask contributors to submit entries, and have your audience vote to choose a winner—the entry that provides the best answer, or the one that offers the most useful information. A contest would spark some competitive interaction among the contributors, put you “on the map” as a center for discussion and debate, and draw your readers in.

5. Try a different format or medium

Instead of offering a free e-book, offer a free video course, or a set of interactive worksheets or infographics. You can even change your format to a webinar, or a series of webinars. A different format could be more useful than the tired old e-book, and it may just do a better job of grabbing your audience’s attention.

6. Make the project bigger

Don’t spend a weekend creating a post or e-book. Make the scope of your project dramatically larger and turn it into a pillar of your marketing strategy. That’s what I did with my new book Engagement from Scratch!, and it’s worked wonders for me.

* * *

The ideas in this article are meant to be a starting point, not meant to be copied outright (that would just create the same problem all over again), Use these ideas to start thinking about how you can innovate with your own content to create something special and unique.

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

Importance of Motivation

Motivation is a very important for an organization because of the following benefits it provides:-

  1. Puts human resources into action

    Every concern requires physical, financial and human resources to accomplish the goals. It is through motivation that the human resources can be utilized by making full use of it. This can be done by building willingness in employees to work. This will help the enterprise in securing best possible utilization of resources.

  2. Improves level of efficiency of employees

    The level of a subordinate or a employee does not only depend upon his qualifications and abilities. For getting best of his work performance, the gap between ability and willingness has to be filled which helps in improving the level of performance of subordinates. This will result into-

    1. Increase in productivity,
    2. Reducing cost of operations, and
    3. Improving overall efficiency.
  3. Leads to achievement of organizational goals

    The goals of an enterprise can be achieved only when the following factors take place :-

    1. There is best possible utilization of resources,
    2. There is a co-operative work environment,
    3. The employees are goal-directed and they act in a purposive manner,
    4. Goals can be achieved if co-ordination and co-operation takes place simultaneously which can be effectively done through motivation.
  4. Builds friendly relationship

    Motivation is an important factor which brings employees satisfaction. This can be done by keeping into mind and framing an incentive plan for the benefit of the employees. This could initiate the following things:

    1. Monetary and non-monetary incentives,
    2. Promotion opportunities for employees,
    3. Disincentives for inefficient employees.

    In order to build a cordial, friendly atmosphere in a concern, the above steps should be taken by a manager. This would help in:

    1. Effective co-operation which brings stability,
    2. Industrial dispute and unrest in employees will reduce,
    3. The employees will be adaptable to the changes and there will be no resistance to the change,
    4. This will help in providing a smooth and sound concern in which individual interests will coincide with the organizational interests,
    5. This will result in profit maximization through increased productivity.
  5. Leads to stability of work force

    Stability of workforce is very important from the point of view of reputation and goodwill of a concern. The employees can remain loyal to the enterprise only when they have a feeling of participation in the management. The skills and efficiency of employees will always be of advantage to employees as well as employees. This will lead to a good public image in the market which will attract competent and qualified people into a concern. As it is said, “Old is gold” which suffices with the role of motivation here, the older the people, more the experience and their adjustment into a concern which can be of benefit to the enterprise.

From the above discussion, we can say that motivation is an internal feeling which can be understood only by manager since he is in close contact with the employees. Needs, wants and desires are inter-related and they are the driving force to act. These needs can be understood by the manager and he can frame motivation plans accordingly. We can say that motivation therefore is a continuous process since motivation process is based on needs which are unlimited. The process has to be continued throughout.

We can summarize by saying that motivation is important both to an individual and a business. Motivation is important to an individual as:

  1. Motivation will help him achieve his personal goals.
  2. If an individual is motivated, he will have job satisfaction.
  3. Motivation will help in self-development of individual.
  4. An individual would always gain by working with a dynamic team.

Similarly, motivation is important to a business as:

  1. The more motivated the employees are, the more empowered the team is.
  2. The more is the team work and individual employee contribution, more profitable and successful is the business.
  3. During period of amendments, there will be more adaptability and creativity.
  4. Motivation will lead to an optimistic and challenging attitude at work place.

Posted in B2B, Brand Managment, Consumer Behavior, Management with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2011 by Consultant

Motivation Incentives – Incentives to motivate employees

Incentive is an act or promise for greater action. It is also called as a stimulus to greater action. Incentives are something which are given in addition to wagers. It means additional remuneration or benefit to an employee in recognition of achievement or better work. Incentives provide a spur or zeal in the employees for better performance. It is a natural thing that nobody acts without a purpose behind. Therefore, a hope for a reward is a powerful incentive to motivate employees. Besides monetary incentive, there are some other stimuli which can drive a person to better. This will include job satisfaction, job security, job promotion, and pride for accomplishment. Therefore, incentives really can sometimes work to accomplish the goals of a concern. The need of incentives can be many:-

  1. To increase productivity,
  2. To drive or arouse a stimulus work,
  3. To enhance commitment in work performance,
  4. To psychologically satisfy a person which leads to job satisfaction,
  5. To shape the behavior or outlook of subordinate towards work,
  6. To inculcate zeal and enthusiasm towards work,
  7. To get the maximum of their capabilities so that they are exploited and utilized maximally.

Therefore, management has to offer the following two categories of incentives to motivate employees:-

  1. Monetary incentives- Those incentives which satisfy the subordinates by providing them rewards in terms of rupees. Money has been recognized as a chief source of satisfying the needs of people. Money is also helpful to satisfy the social needs by possessing various material items. Therefore, money not only satisfies psychological needs but also the security and social needs. Therefore, in many factories, various wage plans and bonus schemes are introduced to motivate and stimulate the people to work.
  2. Non-monetary incentives- Besides the monetary incentives, there are certain non-financial incentives which can satisfy the ego and self- actualization needs of employees. The incentives which cannot be measured in terms of money are under the category of “Non- monetary incentives”. Whenever a manager has to satisfy the psychological needs of the subordinates, he makes use of non-financial incentives. Non- financial incentives can be of the following types:-
    1. Security of service- Job security is an incentive which provides great motivation to employees. If his job is secured, he will put maximum efforts to achieve the objectives of the enterprise. This also helps since he is very far off from mental tension and he can give his best to the enterprise.
    2. Praise or recognition- The praise or recognition is another non- financial incentive which satisfies the ego needs of the employees. Sometimes praise becomes more effective than any other incentive. The employees will respond more to praise and try to give the best of their abilities to a concern.
    3. Suggestion scheme- The organization should look forward to taking suggestions and inviting suggestion schemes from the subordinates. This inculcates a spirit of participation in the employees. This can be done by publishing various articles written by employees to improve the work environment which can be published in various magazines of the company. This also is helpful to motivate the employees to feel important and they can also be in search for innovative methods which can be applied for better work methods. This ultimately helps in growing a concern and adapting new methods of operations.
    4. Job enrichment- Job enrichment is another non- monetary incentive in which the job of a worker can be enriched. This can be done by increasing his responsibilities, giving him an important designation, increasing the content and nature of the work. This way efficient worker can get challenging jobs in which they can prove their worth. This also helps in the greatest motivation of the efficient employees.
    5. Promotion opportunities- Promotion is an effective tool to increase the spirit to work in a concern. If the employees are provided opportunities for the advancement and growth, they feel satisfied and contented and they become more committed to the organization.

    The above non- financial tools can be framed effectively by giving due concentration to the role of employees. A combination of financial and non- financial incentives help together in bringing motivation and zeal to work in a concern.

Positive Incentives

Positive incentives are those incentives which provide a positive assurance for fulfilling the needs and wants. Positive incentives generally have an optimistic attitude behind and they are generally given to satisfy the psychological requirements of employees. For example-promotion, praise, recognition, perks and allowances, etc. It is positive by nature.

Negative Incentives

Negative incentives are those whose purpose is to correct the mistakes or defaults of employees. The purpose is to rectify mistakes in order to get effective results. Negative incentive is generally resorted to when positive incentive does not works and a psychological set back has to be given to employees. It is negative by nature. For example- demotion, transfer, fines, penalties.

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

Maslow’s Need Hierarchy Model

Human behavior is goal-directed. Motivation cause goal-directed behaviour. It is through motivation that needs can be handled and tackled purposely. This can be understood by understanding the hierarchy of needs by manager. The needs of individual serves as a driving force in human behaviour. Therefore, a manager must understand the “hierarchy of needs”. Maslow has proposed “The Need Hierarchy Model”.

Self-actualization Needs
Esteem Needs
Social Needs
Security Needs
Physiological Needs

FIGURE – Maslow’s Need Hierarchy Model

The needs have been classified into the following in order:

  1. Physiological needs- These are the basic needs of an individual which includes food, clothing, shelter, air, water, etc. These needs relate to the survival and maintenance of human life.
  2. Safety needs- These needs are also important for human beings. Everybody wants job security, protection against danger, safety of property, etc.
  3. Social needs- These needs emerge from society. Man is a social animal. These needs become important. For example- love, affection, belongingness, friendship, conversation, etc.
  4. Esteem needs- These needs relate to desire for self-respect, recognition and respect from others.
  5. Self-actualization needs- These are the needs of the highest order and these needs are found in those person whose previous four needs are satisfied. This will include need for social service, meditation.

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.