Archive for Understanding

Organizations and Types of Relationships

Posted in Consumer Behavior, CRM, eMarketing, Management with tags , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2011 by Consultant
Organizations today live in highly dynamic environments. Essentially the existence and growth of the business is dependent upon several external and internal factors such as highly segmented geographical markets, aggressive competition and shorter life cycle. These and many more factors exert a lot of pressure on the Organizations to innovate both in terms of its product offering as well as in its organizational development and ways of conducting business. Revenue and profits do form the primary basis of its business transactions. However in the long term growth perspective Organizations have got to be able to manage both external and internal relationships on the basis of the values and culture on which it is founded.

Share Holders

Gone are the days when share holders were a community content with the returns they received from the Company and went along with whatever the Managements thought good. Managements today are seen becoming increasingly answerable to the share holders.

Recently we have seen several cases where CEOs of the Companies having been voted out by the share holders for not falling in line with the thought process of the Organization and the share holders. We saw major changes in Hewlett Packard wherein the shareholders took the call to change the management and the strategic approach of the Company to business.

Organizations today exist in a situation which demands that they extend products and services as well as keep investing into building products and technology for tomorrow. If the business needs to exist and grow there is no option but to invest into the future. Therefore the shareholders take the centre stage when it comes to approval of and financing the Organisational business and growth plans. Shareholders today are aggressive demanding that the Organization walk the talk when it comes to the bottom line as well as in terms of its culture. Brands like IBM, HP and GE etc are more vulnerable to the stake holders as well as to the public as an Organization. These and other Corporate are using internet, Multimedia and websites to speak to the investors and extend the relationship with the share holders and investors. Internet platform allows the corporate open up relationship with the share holder community on an interactive basis thus giving the Company the control on how to manage the relationship as well as build investor confidence.

For Companies that are looking for investments to fuel their growth engines, there exists a need to demonstrate and cultivate the right corporate image and capability besides the past performance figures which alone will not help attract investors. Companies are therefore engage in Public relations as well as corporate communications to reach out to the prospective investor public as well as institutions to build the right kind of corporate image. Image building and relationship building become the long term strategy of the corporate communications of the Organization.

Social Responsibility

In the recent times the social responsibility and attitude of the Companies towards their responsibilities is becoming more and more visible and public. NGOs and specific interest groups are taking the lead in keeping track of and benchmarking social responsibility performance of the Corporate thus making them accountable. The brand image of the Organization is definitely affected by the way it is managing its social responsibility with the community, investors as well as policy makers being active participants as watchdogs.

Organizations have had to engage with the communities by way of participative activities as well as using communication strategies and by maintaining and managing relationship to be able to get across the right perspective as well as the right information. The recent example of GAP having had to withdraw from sourcing clothing from Indian Companies and suppliers who engaged child labour in the production lines is an ideal example which showcased the power of the community and the stake holders forcing the Company to take immediate action and use its relationship to project the right image for itself. The recent oil spill of BP in the west coast is another ideal case for study of how BP manages the relationship with the Govt, with its share holders, with the affected communities as well as manage its social responsibility.

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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 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 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.

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

Disadvantages of Planning

Internal Limitations

There are several limitations of planning. Some of them are inherit in the process of planning like rigidity and other arise due to shortcoming of the techniques of planning and in the planners themselves.

  1. Rigidity
    1. Planning has tendency to make administration inflexible.
    2. Planning implies prior determination of policies, procedures and programmes and a strict adherence to them in all circumstances.
    3. There is no scope for individual freedom.
    4. The development of employees is highly doubted because of which management might have faced lot of difficulties in future.
    5. Planning therefore introduces inelasticity and discourages individual initiative and experimentation.

     

     

  2. Misdirected Planning
    1. Planning may be used to serve individual interests rather than the interest of the enterprise.
    2. Attempts can be made to influence setting of objectives, formulation of plans and programmes to suit ones own requirement rather than that of whole organization.
    3. Machinery of planning can never be freed of bias. Every planner has his own likes, dislikes, preferences, attitudes and interests which is reflected in planning.

     

     

  3. Time consuming

     

    1. Planning is a time consuming process because it involves collection of information, it’s analysis and interpretation thereof. This entire process takes a lot of time specially where there are a number of alternatives available.
    2. Therefore planning is not suitable during emergency or crisis when quick decisions are required.

     

     

  4. Probability in planning
    1. Planning is based on forecasts which are mere estimates about future.
    2. These estimates may prove to be inexact due to the uncertainty of future.
    3. Any change in the anticipated situation may render plans ineffective.
    4. Plans do not always reflect real situations inspite of the sophisticated techniques of forecasting because future is unpredictable.
    5. Thus, excessive reliance on plans may prove to be fatal.

     

     

  5. False sense of security
    1. Elaborate planning may create a false sense of security to the effect that everything is taken for granted.
    2. Managers assume that as long as they work as per plans, it is satisfactory.
    3. Therefore they fail to take up timely actions and an opportunity is lost.
    4. Employees are more concerned about fulfillment of plan performance rather than any kind of change.

     

     

  6. Expensive
    1. Collection, analysis and evaluation of different information, facts and alternatives involves a lot of expense in terms of time, effort and money
    2. According to Koontz and O’Donell, ’ Expenses on planning should never exceed the estimated benefits from planning. ’

     

External Limitations of Planning

  1. Political Climate- Change of government from Congress to some other political party, etc.
  2. Labour Union- Strikes, lockouts, agitations.
  3. Technological changes- Modern techniques and equipments, computerization.
  4. Policies of competitors- Eg. Policies of Coca Cola and Pepsi.
  5. Natural Calamities- Earthquakes and floods.
  6. Changes in demand and prices- Change in fashion, change in tastes, change in income level, demand falls, price falls, etc.

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 Brand Managment, Consumer Behavior, CRM, eMarketing, Management with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2011 by Consultant

Planning Function of Management

Planning means looking ahead and chalking out future courses of action to be followed. It is a preparatory step. It is a systematic activity which determines when, how and who is going to perform a specific job. Planning is a detailed programme regarding future courses of action. It is rightly said “Well plan is half done”. Therefore planning takes into consideration available & prospective human and physical resources of the organization so as to get effective co-ordination, contribution & perfect adjustment. It is the basic management function which includes formulation of one or more detailed plans to achieve optimum balance of needs or demands with the available resources.

According to Urwick, “Planning is a mental predisposition to do things in orderly way, to think before acting and to act in the light of facts rather than guesses”. Planning is deciding best alternative among others to perform different managerial functions in order to achieve predetermined goals.

According to Koontz & O’Donell, “Planning is deciding in advance what to do, how to do and who is to do it. Planning bridges the gap between where we are to, where we want to go. It makes possible things to occur which would not otherwise occur”.

Steps in Planning Function

Planning function of management involves following steps:-


  1. Establishment of objectives
    1. Planning requires a systematic approach.
    2. Planning starts with the setting of goals and objectives to be achieved.
    3. Objectives provide a rationale for undertaking various activities as well as indicate direction of efforts.
    4. Moreover objectives focus the attention of managers on the end results to be achieved.
    5. As a matter of fact, objectives provide nucleus to the planning process. Therefore, objectives should be stated in a clear, precise and unambiguous language. Otherwise the activities undertaken are bound to be ineffective.
    6. As far as possible, objectives should be stated in quantitative terms. For example, Number of men working, wages given, units produced, etc. But such an objective cannot be stated in quantitative terms like performance of quality control manager, effectiveness of personnel manager.
    7. Such goals should be specified in qualitative terms.
    8. Hence objectives should be practical, acceptable, workable and achievable.
  2. Establishment of Planning Premises
  1. Planning premises are the assumptions about the lively shape of events in future.
  2. They serve as a basis of planning.
  3. Establishment of planning premises is concerned with determining where one tends to deviate from the actual plans and causes of such deviations.
  4. It is to find out what obstacles are there in the way of business during the course of operations.
  5. Establishment of planning premises is concerned to take such steps that avoids these obstacles to a great extent.
  6. Planning premises may be internal or external. Internal includes capital investment policy, management labour relations, philosophy of management, etc. Whereas external includes socio- economic, political and economical changes.
  7. Internal premises are controllable whereas external are non- controllable.
  • Choice of alternative course of action
    1. When forecast are available and premises are established, a number of alternative course of actions have to be considered.
    2. For this purpose, each and every alternative will be evaluated by weighing its pros and cons in the light of resources available and requirements of the organization.
    3. The merits, demerits as well as the consequences of each alternative must be examined before the choice is being made.
    4. After objective and scientific evaluation, the best alternative is chosen.
    5. The planners should take help of various quantitative techniques to judge the stability of an alternative.
  • Formulation of derivative plans
    1. Derivative plans are the sub plans or secondary plans which help in the achievement of main plan.
    2. Secondary plans will flow from the basic plan. These are meant to support and expediate the achievement of basic plans.
    3. These detail plans include policies, procedures, rules, programmes, budgets, schedules, etc. For example, if profit maximization is the main aim of the enterprise, derivative plans will include sales maximization, production maximization, and cost minimization.
    4. Derivative plans indicate time schedule and sequence of accomplishing various tasks.
  • Securing Co-operation
    1. After the plans have been determined, it is necessary rather advisable to take subordinates or those who have to implement these plans into confidence.
    2. The purposes behind taking them into confidence are :-
      1. Subordinates may feel motivated since they are involved in decision making process.
      2. The organization may be able to get valuable suggestions and improvement in formulation as well as implementation of plans.
      3. Also the employees will be more interested in the execution of these plans.
  • Follow up/Appraisal of plans
    1. After choosing a particular course of action, it is put into action.
    2. After the selected plan is implemented, it is important to appraise its effectiveness.
    3. This is done on the basis of feedback or information received from departments or persons concerned.
    4. This enables the management to correct deviations or modify the plan.
    5. This step establishes a link between planning and controlling function.
    6. The follow up must go side by side the implementation of plans so that in the light of observations made, future plans can be made more realistic.