Archive for Positioning Statements

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

Team Motivation – Tips for Motivating Team

A group heading towards a common objective will perform best when it is motivated as a team. Team motivation is determined by how well the team members’ needs and requirements are met by the team.

Some tips for effective team motivation are as follows:

The team’s objective should well align and synchronize with the team members needs and requirements.
Give in written the team’s mission and ensure that all understand it (as mission is a foundation based on which the team performs).
For maintaining motivation, the team should be given challenges (which must be difficult but achievable) consistently.
Giving a team responsibility accompanied by authority can also be a good motivator for the team to perform.
The team should be provided with growth opportunities. The team’s motivation level is high when the team members feel that they are being promoted, their skills and competencies are being enhanced, and they are learning new things consistently.
Effective and true leaders can develop environment for the team to motivate itself. They provide spur for self- actualization behaviours of team members.
Devote quality/productive time to your team. Have an optimistic and good relation with your team members. This will make you more acquainted with them and you can get knowledge of how well they are performing their job. Welcome their views and ideas as they may be fruitful and it will also boost their morale.
Motivation is all about empowerment. The skills and competencies of the team members should be fully utilized. Empowering the team members makes them accountable for their own actions.
Provide feedback to the team consistently. Become their mentor. Give the team recognition for good and outstanding performance. Give the team a constructive and not negative feedback.
Discover and offset the factors which discourage team spirit such as too many conflicts, lethargy, team members’ escape from responsibilities, lack of job satisfaction, 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 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 B2B, Brand Managment, Consumer Behavior, CRM, eMarketing with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2011 by Consultant

Characteristics of Planning

  1. Planning is goal-oriented.
    1. Planning is made to achieve desired objective of business.
    2. The goals established should general acceptance otherwise individual efforts & energies will go misguided and misdirected.
    3. Planning identifies the action that would lead to desired goals quickly & economically.
    4. It provides sense of direction to various activities. E.g. Maruti Udhyog is trying to capture once again Indian Car Market by launching diesel models.

  2. Planning is looking ahead.
    1. Planning is done for future.
    2. It requires peeping in future, analyzing it and predicting it.
    3. Thus planning is based on forecasting.
    4. A plan is a synthesis of forecast.
    5. It is a mental predisposition for things to happen in future.

  3. Planning is an intellectual process.
    1. Planning is a mental exercise involving creative thinking, sound judgement and imagination.
    2. It is not a mere guesswork but a rotational thinking.
    3. A manager can prepare sound plans only if he has sound judgement, foresight and imagination.
    4. Planning is always based on goals, facts and considered estimates.

  4. Planning involves choice & decision making.
    1. Planning essentially involves choice among various alternatives.
    2. Therefore, if there is only one possible course of action, there is no need planning because there is no choice.
    3. Thus, decision making is an integral part of planning.
    4. A manager is surrounded by no. of alternatives. He has to pick the best depending upon requirements & resources of the enterprises.

  5. Planning is the primary function of management / Primacy of Planning.
    1. Planning lays foundation for other functions of management.
    2. It serves as a guide for organizing, staffing, directing and controlling.
    3. All the functions of management are performed within the framework of plans laid out.
    4. Therefore planning is the basic or fundamental function of management.

  6. Planning is a Continuous Process.
    1. Planning is a never ending function due to the dynamic business environment.
    2. Plans are also prepared for specific period f time and at the end of that period, plans are subjected to revaluation and review in the light of new requirements and changing conditions.
    3. Planning never comes into end till the enterprise exists issues, problems may keep cropping up and they have to be tackled by planning effectively.

  7. Planning is all Pervasive.
    1. It is required at all levels of management and in all departments of enterprise.
    2. Of course, the scope of planning may differ from one level to another.
    3. The top level may be more concerned about planning the organization as a whole whereas the middle level may be more specific in departmental plans and the lower level plans implementation of the same.

  8. Planning is designed for efficiency.
    1. Planning leads to accompishment of objectives at the minimum possible cost.
    2. It avoids wastage of resources and ensures adequate and optimum utilization of resources.
    3. A plan is worthless or useless if it does not value the cost incurred on it.
    4. Therefore planning must lead to saving of time, effort and money.
    5. Planning leads to proper utilization of men, money, materials, methods and machines.
  9. Planning is Flexible.
    1. Planning is done for the future.
    2. Since future is unpredictable, planning must provide enough room to cope with the changes in customer’s demand, competition, govt. policies etc.
    3. Under changed circumstances, the original plan of action must be revised and updated to male it more practical.

Posted in B2B, Brand Managment, Consumer Behavior, CRM, eMarketing, Marketing Mix (New Concepts) with tags , , , , , , , on November 30, 2011 by Consultant

Top US Brands Getting Strategic About Social Media

Over the past year, America’s top brands have made improvements in how they use online branded communities to reach their customers, but some opportunities for engagement remain untapped, according to a new report by ComBlu.

More brands are taking a strategic approach to social media engagement in 2011. Among the 251 online branded communities studied, managed by 92 brands: 

  • 41% of brands now have a cohesive strategy for social engagement in which multiple activities roll into a single online experience, compared with 33% in 2010, and 20% in 2009. 
  • The social experimentation stage is most prevalent: 50% of brands are experimenting with social communities, lacking a long-term engagement approach, using instead a series of one-off experimental marketing campaigns. That level is up from 45% in 2010.
  • Community ghost towns (unpopulated communities) now make up 5% of communities, down from 15% in 2010.
  • Community overload (multiple communities fighting for attention from the same audience) afflicts 4% of online communities, down from 5% in 2009.


Below, additional findings from the third annual “State of Online Branded Communities” issued by ComBlu.

Community Engagement Strategies

Some brands are using multiple strategies of engagement within the same community.

ComBlu defines three such strategies, or “pillars” of engagement as the following: 

  • Advocacy is essentially word-of-mouth marketing around a product, service, issue or idea to develop deeper relationships with stakeholders or activate them to support a specific mission.
  • Support refers to using customer experts to provide or extend the customer service (includes post-purchase and support forums).
  • Feedback refers to crowd sourcing new ideas for products or services, or gathering input on product quality, customer experience, marketing campaigns, and messaging.

Among the communities studied, most (75%) are focused on advocacy, whereas 33% focus on customer support and 20% focus their efforts on customer feedback.

Adoption of Best Practices

Over the past year, many brands adjusted their social media engagement tactics; among key changes:

  • The presence of a community manager fell to 48% in 2011, down from 51% in 2010.
  • The adoption of user reviews and content fell to 27%, from 54% in 2010. 
  • The use of advocates in online branded communities remained unchanged at 20%.

Among the most significant gains in the adoption of best practices: 

  • More brands implemented personal dashboards, from 38% in 2010 to 60% in 2011. 
  • Content aggregation (share features, content rating, and social bookmarking) registered sharp gains, to 95% in 2011, from 32% in 2010.

Among other best practices, 43% of communities offer rewards and recognition programs, up from 39% in 2010, while 16% offer a mobile app. 


Looking for real, hard data that can help you match social media tools and tactics to your marketing goals? The State of Social Media Marketing, a 240-page original research report from MarketingProfs, gives you the inside scoop on how 5,140 marketing pros are using social media to create winning campaigns, measure ROI, and reach audiences in new and exciting ways.


Top-Performing Brands

One-third (33%) of brands were ranked as high performers, based on their adoption of best practices. On a scale of 0 to 60, such high performers received a minimum of 42 points.

Among the highest performers, Verizon Communications led with 55 points; followed by EA and SAP with 54 points; Bravo, Intel, and Sony with 52 points, American Express with 51 points; and Discovery Channel, Microsoft, Sears, Whole Foods, and Sony with 50 points. 

Top-Performing Industries

Among the 16 industries in the study, the gaming and telecom industries were the two highest scoring (with 45 points each), followed closely by technology and consumer electronics (43 points). 

The retail and travel/hospitality industries tied for the most improved, each jumping nine points in average score.

About the data: The audit of 251 online branded communities among 92 US companies was conducted by ComBlu during the summer of 2011.

Posted in Consumer Behavior, eMarketing, Marketing Mix (New Concepts) with tags , , , , , , , , on November 29, 2011 by Consultant

Is Your ‘About Us’ Page Effective?

For a small B2B business, the second most important page on its website after its homepage is probably its “About Us” page. That is because smaller companies are typically lesser-known, and would-be customers often see them as a gamble. And unless their prices are considerably low, small businesses can be overlooked in favor of their larger, more-established competitors.

The “About Us” page is a business’s chance to stake its claim as a viable player in the space. To accomplish that successfully, the business needs a powerful and succinct elevator pitch (positioning statement) and supporting key messages. An enormous marketing opportunity is lost when those key elements are missing from the “About Us” page—which is a logical destination for many who have become intrigued by a provider’s product or service offerings.

Winning Formula

A proven, highly effective formula can help you craft the content for your own “About Us” page. It includes the following:

  1. A 35-word elevator pitch that tells visitors what type of business you are, what you offer, who you are targeting, what makes you special, and what value you provide
  2. Your most differentiating key message about your unique experience, skills, product or service, customer base, etc.
  3. Your second most differentiating key message about your unique experience, skills, product or service, customer base, approach or technique, etc.
  4. A brief company description explaining who you are, where you’re based, how long you’ve been in business, what your philosophy or business promise is, what the highlights of your experience have been, etc.

Many small businesses—even large ones, for that matter—fall into the trap of including only number four, the brief company description, on their “About Us” pages. That is a big mistake and a prime branding opportunity lost.

Make the most of that precious real estate, and use it to back up the claims and pitch you make on your homepage and to set yourself apart from the competition. When developing that important text, imagine that your homepage and “About Us” page are the only two pages a site visitor will see. That will help you include all of the important differentiation needed for a well-constructed “About Us” page.

How to Determine the Effectiveness of Your “About Us” Page

Once you have drafted your “About Us” page, print it and lay it next to printouts of your competitors’ “About Us” pages. Carefully compare each one as though you were a potential customer. Then, prepare a spreadsheet and display the different vendors’ copy, column by column, starting with your own. If you have substantial text, you may want to take only the first several paragraphs because that is all a potential customer will read anyway.

Then, carefully analyze and dissect each one, vendor by vendor and according to a set of key variables. Please note, however, that most will not be following the winning formula you just learned—positioning statement, key message, key message, company description. Therefore, you may need to hunt around to identify those components.

To conduct your analysis, you need to ask yourself the following four questions. At the end of each item, you will find an italicized word or phrase; those are the variables to place in the rows on your spreadsheet.

  1. What main claim of differentiation is the company making? In other words, is the business saying it has the world’s only two-part widget, for example, or is it saying it is the industry’s least-expensive provider? Whatever the company is hanging its hat on is its main differentiator. Call that row “Primary Differentiator” on your spreadsheet.
  2. What secondary claims is the company making? So, if the widget company states it has a two-part widget, look for follow-on messages that support that claim. Do that for as many secondary claims or messages you can identify. There may be many, or there may be none. On subsequent rows, label those “Secondary Message 1,” “Secondary Message 2,” and so on.
  3. Who is the provider targeting? Said another way, Who is the target buyer? Are they small business owners, large organizations, teenagers? Call that row “Target Buyer” on your spreadsheet. For multiple targets, capture all of them in the same cell of the spreadsheet.
  4. What value/benefit is the competitor promising? It could be something as clearly defined as “helping businesses increase operational efficiency.” However, it might be poorly written as an inherent benefit that you must infer. Here is an example: “We are the world’s largest cardboard-box supplier for pizza shops.” The benefit (albeit, not effective at all) would be the ability to supply pizza shops with all the boxes they need. Label those benefits as “Value” on your spreadsheet.

Now that you have a nicely laid-out spreadsheet that compares the content of your “About Us” page with that of your competitors’, conduct an apples-to-apples comparison, variable by variable. By the end, you can determine just how well your page stacks up.

As a final check, put yourself in the shoes of your potential buyer and ask yourself which provider you would choose. If you like your answer, you have an effective page. If you do not like your answer, go back to the drawing board and draft something that makes your business stand out.