Archive for Marketing Strateg

Relationship Networks – Customer and Supplier Networks

Posted in CRM, eMarketing, Management, Marketing Mix (New Concepts) with tags , , , , , , , on December 19, 2011 by Consultant
Selling and Marketing is no longer the same what it used to be few decades ago. Traditional methods of sales and promotions have long been relegated to history. Technology, Internet as well as globalization have redefined every aspect of Marketing and Sales. Organizations have realised the importance of being in tune with the markets and customers. They are also embarking on investing on relationship with the customers for the Relationship Management aspect is becoming very important for the success of the business. Companies are tuning in to identify and get to know the customer better and anticipate his needs for tomorrow. Customer feedback as well as needs are being seen as vital information to product innovation as well as for customer retention. Especially in the recent times where social networking is gaining ground, customer contact and relationship management is becoming more visible and instantaneous.

Organizations have realised that Relationship Marketing is not related to the marketing function alone. This concept is to be embraced at the Corporate level and implemented through all departments covering both internal as well as external customers, suppliers and other agencies that the Organization engages with.

As far as the Marketing and Sales is concerned, an Organization can be involved in multiple formats including B to B and B to C. Sales and Marketing is always a network of multi layered and multi level partners, intermediaries, vendors and agents etc. Relationship marketing aspect assumes high importance for the success of every transaction through the myriad networks. The Organization’s relationships can make or break its ultimate positioning in the market as well as affect the quality of the transaction with the end customer.

If an Organization is engaged in selling products or services to on B–C model, the dynamics of Relationship Management will be different from a B–B mode. Let us take the case of a Multi National Company engaged in manufacturing of Computers. The company would be sourcing or manufacturing at various geographical locations across the globe for supplies to different markets. It can be manufacturing at Company owned factories in different countries or using contract manufacturing partners to manufacture on their behalf. The products are transported through service providers using multi modal transportation networks and a host of agents handling the cargo movement from end to end. The products finally are sold to a whole seller or stockist or sold by the Company to the institutional buyers. There can also be cases where the company maintains its own third party warehouses and sells to the retailers. In such complex networked supply chain the Organization has got to ensure that the products are supplied timely, as per customer requirement.

The Organizations success in being able to reach its products to the customer organization timely and successfully over a long period depends upon the seamless working of the entire network. This is possible when the Organization is able to build a relationship with every stake holder in the network and make that difference. In such complex networks, the process alone will not be able to sustain the transactions and the relationship or the emotional connect with the people involved is what makes things happen. Organizations will necessarily have to invest in building strong partnerships with principle service providers and partners so that they are able to get the partners to deliver a happy experience to the end customer too.

When the customer is an institutional customer or a business, the complexities of transactions pose a challenge to the Organizations. In all such businesses the Organizations set up dedicated Key Account Relationship Managers and teams at various levels to ensure that they reach out to the customer and build relationship at multiple levels where it matters. Therefore there can be multiple levels of relationship building that one needs to engage with including at the actual user level to the procurement, technical as well as management level at the customer end. The Organizations would have to accordingly formulate a relationship management strategy and process as well as create a team to build and grow the relationship in such cases. In the end the dedicated focus and investment made into such relationships pays well in terms of future business opportunities.

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Relationship Marketing – Company and Marketing Perspective

Posted in Consumer Behavior, CRM, eMarketing, Management, Marketing Mix (New Concepts) with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2011 by Consultant
We are living in the high tech times. Technology and changing economy have changed the rules the way a business is done. Business organizations have to tune in to various markets and know the customers well. The successful companies are those who have been able to anticipate the customer need and innovate future products leveraging on technology. In a global as well as local scenario, customer holds the key to the growth of business and organizations. No wonder that when you open your mail box or your email, you are always flooded with marketing communication from all possible companies trying to build a relationship with you. Take a look at the cards in your wallet and you must be holding quite a few membership cards that make you feel privileged and keeping bringing rewards and prompting you to extend your relationship with them.

Relationship Marketing has never been more important for the Organizations as it has been now. In the field where competition is intense and life cycle of products and services is very small, customer relationship has emerged to be one of the key drivers to contribute a large chunk of sales revenue. When we talk of relationship marketing, we are not referring to customer service. Customer service refers to the quality of service on a transactional mode. By Relationship Marketing, we are referring to the level of Relationship that exists between the customer and the company.

In terms of Relationship, there can be several ways of defining or measuring the quality of relationship with the Customer. Understanding of the depth of relationship and qualifying can help the Company in improving its reach to the markets as well as work towards increasing the depth of the relationship with the customer. In the first instance, we have a happy customer who has bought the product or a service and found it satisfactory.

When the Company reaches out to communicate with him and anticipate his future needs, he can be converted to a faithful customer. A faithful customer may be a repeat customer who does continues to buy the product from the company on repeat basis without making an effort to look at alternatives. However, at this stage the customer can be influenced and be vulnerable to competition as well as price sensitivity. Relationship marketing by the Company can help convert this customer from a faithful customer to a loyal customer. A loyal customer is one who has made an informed decision to go with the particular Company, is happy with the product, is loyal to the brand and is likely to advocate the same brand to friends and family because he believes in the Product as well as the Company and values the relationship. Apart from customer service, there are several marketing programmes and loyalty programmes besides brand advertising that the Companies carry out to build the relationship with the customer.

Relationship marketing gets translated and implemented through the marketing strategies, promotional programs as well as through marketing communication programs. When implemented as a part of marketing strategy, the relationship is normally focussed on leveraging the brands and products of the Company with the customer. Besides the marketing activities, the Companies implement internal and external corporate communications too keeping in view the Customers.

Marketing strategies are required to define the relationship marketing strategies for each of the product or service category taking into account the geographies, the customer profile as well as the overall RM objective of the Company. The RM strategy in case of a product company would be different from that of a service company and the element of communication design strategy would need to be different for a product from that of a service. In case of a product, the Customer is likely to respond in terms of brand, tangible and quantifiable performance of the product and the satisfaction derived from post sales service. In case of service, however, there is no tangible product and the customer’s expectations are different when it comes to service that is mainly concentrated around his perceptions and experience.

Therefore understanding the concept of Relationship marketing, the difference between RM and Customer Service as well as the ways and means of implementing or achieving RM objectives through effective marketing strategies is important for all the marketing managers and students who are going to be the drivers to defining, planning, detailing and implementing marketing strategies. An effective Marketing Manager should be able to effectively design marketing policies and strategies that are aligned with the Company’s RM objective and help build the relationship between the Company and Customer, Partners as well as the intermediaries who are critical to one’s business.

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.

Data Collection in Marketing Research

Posted in Brand Managment, eMarketing, Management, Marketing Mix (New Concepts) with tags , , on December 10, 2011 by Consultant
Data Collection in Marketing Research is a detailed process in which a planned search for all relevant data is made by researcher.

Types of Data
  1. Primary Data- Primary data is the data which is collected first hand specially for the purpose of study. It is collected for addressing the problem at hand. Thus, primary data is original data collected by researcher first hand.
  2. Secondary data- Secondary data is the data that have been already collected by and readily available from other sources. Such data are cheaper and more quickly obtainable than the primary data and also may be available when primary data can not be obtained at all. 
Data Collection Methods
  1. Qualitative Research- Qualitative Research is generally undertaken to develop an initial understanding of the problem. It is non statistical in nature. It uses an inductive method, that is, data relevant to some topics are collected and grouped into appropriate meaningful categories. The explanations are emerged from the data itself. It is used in exploratory research design and descriptive research also. Qualitative data comes into a variety of forms like interview transcripts; documents, diaries and notes made while observing. There are two main methods for collecting Qualitative data 
    1. Direct Collection Method-When the data is collected directly, it makes use of disguised method. Purpose of data collection is not known. This method makes use of-
      1. Focus Groups
      2. Depth Interview
      3. Case Study
    2. Indirect Collection-Method
      1. Projective Techniques
  2. Quantitative Research- Quantitative Research quantifies the data and generalizes the results from the sample to the population. In Quantitative Research, data can be colleted by two methods
    1. Survey Method
    2. Observation Method

Limitations of Marketing Research

Posted in Brand Managment, CRM, eMarketing, Management, Marketing Mix (New Concepts) with tags , , , , , , , on December 10, 2011 by Consultant

limitations of Marketing Research:

  • Marketing Research (MR) is not an exact science though it uses the techniques of science. Thus, the results and conclusions drawn upon by using MR are not very accurate.
  • The results of MR are very vague as MR is carried out on consumers, suppliers, intermediaries, etc. who are humans. Humans have a tendency to behave artificially when they know that they are being observed. Thus, the consumers and respondents upon whom the research is carried behave artificially when they are aware that their attitudes, beliefs, views, etc are being observed.
  • MR is not a complete solution to any marketing issue as there are many dominant variables between research conclusions and market response.
  • MR is not free from bias. The research conclusions cannot be verified. The reproduction of the same project on the same class of respondents give different research results.
  • Inappropriate training to researchers can lead to misapprehension of questions to be asked for data collection.
  • Many business executives and researchers have ambiguity about the research problem and it’s objectives. They have limited experience of the notion of the decision-making process. This leads to carelessness in research and researchers are not able to do anything real.
  • There is less interaction between the MR department and the main research executives. The research department is in segregation. This all makes research ineffective.
  • MR faces time constraint. The firms are required to maintain a balance between the requirement for having a broader perspective of customer needs and the need for quick decision making so as to have competitive advantage.
  • Huge cost is involved in MR as collection and processing of data can be costly. Many firms do not have the proficiency to carry wide surveys for collecting primary data, and might not also able to hire specialized market experts and research agencies to collect primary data. Thus, in that case, they go for obtaining secondary data that is cheaper to obtain.
  • MR is conducted in open marketplace where numerous variables act on research settings.

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

Motivation and Morale – Relationship and Differences

Morale can be defined as the total satisfaction derived by an individual from his job, his work-group, his superior, the organization he works for and the environment. It generally relates to the feeling of individual’s comfort, happiness and satisfaction.

According to Davis, “Morale is a mental condition of groups and individuals which determines their attitude.”

In short, morale is a fusion of employees’ attitudes, behaviours, manifestation of views and opinions – all taken together in their work scenarios, exhibiting the employees’ feelings towards work, working terms and relation with their employers. Morale includes employees’ attitudes on and specific reaction to their job.

There are two states of morale:

High morale – High morale implies determination at work- an essential in achievement of management objectives. High morale results in:

  • A keen teamwork on part of the employees.
  • Organizational Commitment and a sense of belongingness in the employees mind.
  • Immediate conflict identification and resolution.
  • Healthy and safe work environment.
  • Effective communication in the organization.
  • Increase in productivity.
  • Greater motivation.

Low morale – Low morale has following features:

  • Greater grievances and conflicts in organization.
  • High rate of employee absenteeism and turnover.
  • Dissatisfaction with the superiors and employers.
  • Poor working conditions.
  • Employees frustration.
  • Decrease in productivity.
  • Lack of motivation.

Though motivation and morale are closely related concepts, they are different in following ways:

While motivation is an internal-psychological drive of an individual which urges him to behave in a specific manner, morale is more of a group scenario.
Higher motivation often leads to higher morale of employees, but high morale does not essentially result in greatly motivated employees as to have a positive attitude towards all factors of work situation may not essentially force the employees to work more efficiently.
While motivation is an individual concept, morale is a group concept. Thus, motivation takes into consideration the individual differences among the employees, and morale of the employees can be increased by taking those factors into consideration which influence group scenario or total work settings.
Motivation acquires primary concern in every organization, while morale is a secondary phenomenon because high motivation essentially leads to higher productivity while high morale may not necessarily lead to higher productivity.
Things tied to morale are usually things that are just part of the work environment, and things tied to motivation are tied to the performance of the individual.

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.