Thursday, December 29, 2011



THE 6 P's OF MARKETING:

If there is one thing that every business owner must understand it is marketing. The right marketing strategy can bring you success just as the wrong one can lead to failure. The first step in devising a good marketing plan is to understand exactly what marketing is. You might think it is about selling products, but that is not entirely true. While the end result is probably selling products or services, marketing itself has to do more with figuring out what your customers need and finding a way to get it to them. It requires you to carefully evaluate your business to see how you can best provide your product or service to the customer.

In order to have a great marketing plan you have to understand and implement the 6 P’s of marketing. The six P’s are product, place, price, promotion, and people. Those six words are the basis of your marketing plan and to some extent your business as a whole. Here we will explain these six things and how they affect your marketing strategy and business.

Defining The 6 P’s

1. Products - Simply put, a product is anything, good or service, that is needed in the market. All products can be broken down in to three components. The core product is defined as the end benefit for the customer. For example, a person who buys a pair of shoes is buying comfort and foot protection. The next component is the formal products which refers to the actual item and includes it’s physical and psychological aspects. That same person who buys a pair of shoes is buying a brand name because they view it as best. The last component is the augmented product which refers to the entire service or good including any additional support items like a warranty, service, or delivery. As a business owner you must take into consideration all aspects of a product because they each play an important role in whether or not customers choose your product over other products.

2. Place – Place is all about how your customers can get a product. It is incredibly important that business owners think about where their customers are, and how they will get their product to those customers. Positioning your business in the right place so that it is convenient for both your customers and from your manufacture’s standpoint is a great idea. The place also takes into consideration how the product will get to customers, meaning whether you will sell it directly or through a retailer or online.

3. Pricing Strategy - The price at which you sell your product depends on a number of factors. You must set a price that allows you to make a profit while also meeting your competitors’ prices or beating them. It also has to be the right amount to allow you to maintain and increase your customer base. To figure this out, you have to know how much it costs to get your product to a consumer including all costs, not just that of your raw materials. You will also have to do research to find out what your competition charges and what price consumers will pay.

4. Promotion - Promotion is the nuts and bolts of getting your message out to the public. This is mainly done through advertising in the form of radio, newspapers, television, and on line promotions. Getting the right message out to your core customers is a big task. You must try to find a balance between what your competitors are saying and what you need to say to give your product a positive image. There are many rules governing truth in advertising here in Australia, so be certain you comply with all regulations before you launch any promotion campaign.

5. People - You might think that this P refers to customers, but it does not. The most important people in your business are the people who work with and for you. Hiring the right people is one of the most important things you will do for your business. They are the face of your product to the world as well as the hands behind the scene that make sure everything gets done correctly and on time. As a business owner you must work hard to develop your employees and to manage them with dignity so they want to work for you. You also have to figure out what you need done in your business so you can hire the right people to fill each position and task.

6. Process - Process takes into account all of the previous P’s to ensure that each customer has a good experience when they do business with you. Your process includes everything that you did to get your product to the consumer including all of the planning and paperwork and marketing that it took to do it. As you look at your process you have to ensure that you have planned for every possible scenario so that you can guarantee success. You also have to have efficient procedures in place that make your business run as effectively as possible. Also make sure you accurately document each step so you can control the quality of your product and services all the way down the line. You must also be able to review your procedures so that you can improve as necessary all the time.

This is just brief overview of the 6 P’s of marketing. Once you have decided to open a business you will need to spend a great deal of time understanding them as they relate to your particular product. Each one plays an important role in the level of success your business can have.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Eight reasons to leave a Job :


1.When the Management is as confused about the role 1year down the lane as they were at the point of hiring.

2.No Process in place.

3.Work-Culture.

4. Skill-set rapidly diminishing due to multiple role-handling,therby loosing focus.

5.Lastly,when you are deprived of being part of important Events/Customer-Meets due to foggy role-clarity.(Management's ON-OFF attitude towards whether attending Events is a part of your role or not).

6. Believing day long sessions and having endless meetings is solution for every problem and by doing that,expecting drastic results. Else start another series of meetings.

7. Di-motivation.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


TOP TEN REASONS WHY LARGE COMPANIES FAIL TO KEEP THEIR BEST TALENT.

Whether it’s a high-profile tech company like Google!, or a more established conglomerate like GE or HUL, large companies have a hard time keeping their best and brightest in house.

Large established companies have a tremendous advantage in retaining their top talent.

In our business, we see the good and the bad things that large companies do in relation to talent management. Here’s my Top Ten list of what large companies do to lose their top talent :

1. Big Company Bureaucracy

This is probably the #1 reason we hear after the fact from disenchanted employees. However, it’s usually a reason that masks the real reason. No one likes rules that make no sense. But, when top talent is complaining along these lines, it’s usually a sign that they didn’t feel as if they had a say in these rules. They were simply told to follow along and get with the program. No voice in the process and really talented people say “check please.”

2.Failing to Find a Project for the Talent that Ignites Their Passion

Big companies have many moving parts — by definition. Therefore, they usually don’t have people going around to their best and brightest asking them if they’re enjoying their current projects or if they want to work on something new that they’re really interested in which would help the company. HR people are usually too busy keeping up with other things to get into this. The bosses are also usually tapped out on time and this becomes a “nice to have” rather than “must have” conversation. However, unless you see it as a “must have,” say adios to some of your best people. Top talent isn’t driven by money and power, but by the opportunity to be a part of something huge, that will change the world, and for which they are really passionate. Big companies usually never spend the time to figure this out with those people.

3.Poor Annual Performance Reviews

You would be amazed at how many companies do not do a very effective job at annual performance reviews. Or, if they have them, they are rushed through, with a form quickly filled out and sent off to HR, and back to real work. The impression this leaves with the employee is that my boss — and, therefore, the company — isn’t really interested in my long-term future here. If you’re talented enough, why stay? This one leads into #4….

4.No Discussion around Career Development

Here’s a secret for most bosses: most employees don’t know what they’ll be doing in 5 years. In our experience, about less than 5% of people could tell you if you asked. However, everyone wants to have a discussion with you about their future. Most bosses never engage with their employees about where they want to go in their careers — even the top talent. This represents a huge opportunity for you and your organization if you do bring it up. Our best clients have separate annual discussions with their employees — apart from their annual or bi-annual performance review meetings — to discuss succession planning or career development. If your best people know that you think there’s a path for them going forward, they’ll be more likely to hang around.

5.Shifting Whims/Strategic Priorities

I applaud Google!’s plans to build an incubator or “brickhouse” around their talent, by giving them new exciting projects to work on. The challenge for most organizations is not setting up a strategic priority, like establishing an incubator, but sticking with it a year or two from now. Top talent hates to be “jerked around.” If you commit to a project that they will be heading up, you’ve got to give them enough opportunity to deliver what they’ve promised.

6.Lack of Accountability and/or telling them how to do their Jobs

Although you can’t “jerk around” top talent, it’s a mistake to treat top talent leading a project as “untouchable.” We’re not saying that you need to get into anyone’s business or telling them what to do. However, top talent demands accountability from others and doesn’t mind being held accountable for their projects. Therefore, have regular touch points with your best people as they work through their projects. They’ll appreciate your insights/observations/suggestions — as long as they don’t spillover into preaching.

7.Top Talent likes other Top Talent

What are the rest of the people around your top talent like? Many organizations keep some people on the payroll that rationally shouldn’t be there. You’ll get a litany of rationales explaining why when you ask. “It’s too hard to find a replacement for him/her….” “Now’s not the time….” However, doing exit interviews with the best people leaving big companies you often hear how they were turned off by some of their former “team mates.” If you want to keep your best people, make sure they’re surrounded by other great people.

8.The Missing Vision Thing

This might sound obvious, but is the future of your organization exciting? What strategy are you executing? What is the vision you want this talented person to fulfill? Did they have a say/input into this vision? If the answer is no, there’s work to do — and fast.

9.Lack of Open-Mindedness

The best people want to share their ideas and have them listened to. However, a lot of companies have a vision/strategy which they are trying to execute against — and, often find opposing voices to this strategy as an annoyance and a sign that someone’s not a “team player.” If all the best people are leaving and disagreeing with the strategy, you’re left with a bunch of “yes” people saying the same things to each other. You’ve got to be able to listen to others’ points of view — always incorporating the best parts of these new suggestions.

10.Who’s the Boss?

If a few people have recently quit at your company who report to the same boss, it’s likely not a coincidence. We’ll often get asked to come in and “fix” someone who’s a great sales person, engineer, or is a founder, but who is driving everyone around them “nuts.” We can try, but unfortunately, executive coaching usually only works 33% of the time in these cases. You’re better off trying to find another spot for them in the organization — or, at the very least, not overseeing your high-potential talent that you want to keep.

It’s never a one-way street. Top talent has to assume some responsibility as much as the organization. However, with the scarcity of talent — which will only increase in the next 5 years — Smart Organizations are ones who get out in front of these ten things, rather than wait for their people to come to them, asking to implement this list.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

BRAND



The American Marketing Association defines a brand as a "Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers."

CONCEPT : Brand is the personality that identifies a product, service or company (name,
term, sign, symbol, or design, or combination of them) and how it relates to key constituencies: customers, staff, partners, investors etc.
Some people distinguish the psychological aspect, brand associations like thoughts, feelings, perceptions, images, experiences, beliefs, attitudes, and so on that become linked to the brand, of a brand from the experiential aspect.

BRAND AWARENESS : Brand awareness refers to customers' ability to recall and recognize the brand under different conditions and link to the brand name, logo, jingles and so on to certain associations in memory. It consists of both brand recognition and brand recall. It helps the customers to understand to which product or service category the particular brand belongs and what products and services are sold under the brand name. It also ensures that customers know which of their needs are satisfied by the brand through its products (Keller). Brand awareness is of critical importance since customers will not consider your brand if they are not aware of it.

GLOBAL BRAND : A global brand is one which is perceived to reflect the same set of values around the world. Global brands transcend their origins and create strong enduring relationships with consumers across countries and cultures. They are brands sold in international markets. Examples of global brands include Facebook, Apple, Pepsi, McDonald's, Mastercard, Gap, Sony and Nike. These brands are used to sell the same product across multiple markets and could be considered successful to the extent that the associated products are easily recognizable by the diverse set of consumers.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Distribution Channels of Business


How do you sell to your end-users? Do you use a direct sales team? Resellers? A catalog or website?

Distribution channels are the pathways that companies use to sell their products to end-users. Both B2C and B2B companies can sell through a single channel or through multiple channels that may include:

Direct/sales team: One or more sales teams that you employ directly. You may use multiple teams that specialize in different products or customer segments.


Direct/internet: Selling through your own e-commerce website.

Direct/catalog: Selling through your own catalog.

Wholesaler/distributor: A company that buys products in bulk from many manufacturers and then re-sells smaller volumes to resellers or retailers.
Value-added reseller (VAR): A VAR works with end-users to provide custom solutions that may include multiple products and services from different manufacturers.

Consultant: A consultant develops relationships with companies and provides either specific or very broad services; they may recommend a manufacturer’s product or simply purchase it to deliver a solution for the customer.

Dealer: A company or person who buys inventory from either a manufacturer or distributor, then re-sells to an end-user.

Retail: Retailers sell directly to end-users via a physical store, website or catalog.

Sales agent/manufacturer’s rep: You can outsource your sales function to a company that sells different manufacturers’ products to a group of similar customers in a specific territory.



Here are three distribution examples:

DIRECT TO END USERS SELL THROUGH A DEALER NETWORK SELL THROUGH A VAR (VALUE-ADDED RESELLER)
You have a sales team that sells directly to Fortune 100 companies. You have a second product line for small businesses. Instead of using your sales team, you sell this line directly to end-users through your website and marketing campaigns. You have two markets and two distribution channels. You sell a product through a geographical network of dealers who sell to end-users in their areas. The dealers may service the product as well. Your dealers are essentially your customers, and you have a strong program to train and support them with marketing campaigns and materials. You sell a product to a company who bundles it with services or other products and re-sells it. That company is called a Value Added Reseller (VAR) because it adds value to your product. A VAR may work with an end-user to determine the right products and configurations, then implement a system that includes your product.
To create a good distribution program, focus on the needs of your end-users.

If they need personalized service, you can utilize a local dealer network or reseller program to provide that service.
If your users prefer to buy online, you can create an e-commerce website and fulfillment system and sell direct; you can also sell to another online retailer or a distributor to offer your product on their own sites.
You can build your own specialized sales team to prospect and close deals directly with customers.
Wholesalers, resellers, retailers, consultants and agents already have resources and relationships to quickly bring your product to market. If you sell through these groups instead of (or in addition to) selling direct, treat the entire channel as a group of customers – and they are, since they’re buying your product and re-selling it. Understand their needs and deliver strong marketing programs; you’ll maximize everyone’s revenue in the process.



Before you begin

You can evaluate a new distribution channel or improve your channel marketing / management at any time. It’s especially important to think about distribution when you’re going after a new customer segment, releasing a new product, or looking for ways to aggressively grow your business.

Evaluate how your end-users need to buy

Your distribution strategy should deliver the information and service your prospects need. For each customer segment, consider

How and where they prefer to buy
Whether they need personalized education and training
Whether they need additional products or services to be used alongside yours
Whether your product needs to be customized or installed
Whether your product needs to be serviced
Match end-user needs to a distribution strategy

If your end-users need a great deal of information and service, your company can deliver it directly through a sales force. You can also build a channel of qualified resellers, consultants or resellers. The size of the market and your price will probably dictate which scenario is best.
If the buying process is fairly straightforward, you can sell direct via a website/catalog or perhaps through a wholesale/retail structure. You may also use an inbound telemarketing group or a field sales team.
If you need complete control over your product’s delivery and service, adding a channel probably isn’t right for you.
Identify natural partners

If you want to grow beyond the direct model, look for companies that have relationships with your end-users. If consultants, wholesalers or retailers already reach your customer base, they’re natural partners.

Build your distribution channel

If you’re setting up a distribution channel with one or more partners, treat it as a sales process:

Approach the potential channel partner and “sell” the value of the partnership
Establish goals, service requirements and reporting requirements
Deliver inventory (if necessary) and sales/support materials
Train the partner
Run promotions and programs to support the partner and help them increase sales
Minimize pricing conflicts

If you use multiple channels, carefully map out the price for each step in your channel and include a fair profit for each type of partner. Then compare the price that the end-user will pay; if a customer can buy from one channel at a lower price than another, your partners will rightfully have concerns. Pricing conflict is common but it can jeopardize your entire strategy, so do your best to map out the price at each step and develop the best solution possible.

Drive revenue through the channel

Service your channel partners as you’d service your best customers and work with them to drive revenue. For example, provide them with marketing funds or materials to promote your products; run campaigns to generate leads and forward them to your partners.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

25 Marketing Tactics


Marketing is the battle cry in virtually every business sector today. Most information professionals have not studied the science of marketing as part of our
academic or on-the-job training. There are many complex definitions of marketing,
but I prefer a plainer, simpler approach.
Mu&et& from my viewpoint, has three elements. It
(1) explains-how a product
can help another person solve a problem,

(2) gives the person the information
necessary to make a purchase decision, and

(3) satisfies a significant need.

Before outlining 25 proven marketing tactics, many of which you can implement immediately, let me explain the philosophical foundation on which the marketing of
information services under these ideas. These are GEMS in that this acronym stands
for Guidelines for Educational Marketing. The key word is Educational because the
purpose of marketing elusive information services is equipping the buyer or customer to know what he or she is getting.

Nine Marketing Gems

1. Tell the Truth. A great temptation exists to shape facts to make selling easier. In the information
business, the absence of standards and an information-industry Consumer’s Report
has encouraged the creation of cut-rate information products. In 1984 and 1986, I
described this approach to electronic information product development as the
Seventh Avenue Srmregy. As we all know, the knock-off product drives the fashion
business. More and more information professionals are taking this path as well.
A number of information producers sell a product with a hefty journal list. When
one compares the list with what is in the database, reality is different from the
description.
GEM 1. requires that an information marketer present facts objectively about:
- Consistency of the data
- Other ways to get the same data- Editorial or professional standards used to develop the data
- Copyright and ownership of the data
- Data accuracy
- Costs of other ways to get equivalent data
- Human- and machine-dependent performance features affecting the data.
The essence of truthfulness is your ability to compare your information products
and servicesfocmu(y with similar or competitive products. Avoid describing a
product with a metaphor. When I hear a marketing presentation which says, “Our
database is just like Database X,” the marketer does not know whether the customer will think more or less of his product. In short, the marketer loses control of
the prospect’s thoughts.
It is equally dangerous to compare a new or unknown service with the service of a
large, established company. The credibility of the marketer is at stake. How can an
information broker, for example, expect a client to believe that the service
provided by a small firm to be equivalent to that offered by a nationally-known organization.
Marketing experts rarely take liberties with the truth. They don’t have to cut
comers. They value their credibility. In short, GEM 1 means, “Keep your
credibility.” Without it, you will fail in the long run.

2. Build Relationships. Build relationships with your prospects and customers. It is a often-overlooked information-marketing fact that the number of people who buy information products
and services is very small in comparison with the number of people who sell information products. Equally important and ignored by most information marketers is
that selling information--regardless of form--has more in common with selling a
service than selling a tangible product.
A successful marketing program always pivots on individuals who make a purchasing decision. The ‘relationship approach means that you work on a one-on-one
basis and view the purpose of the marketing exercise as an opportunity to build
trust. You can’t advertise personal service. Provide personal service, then it’s not
necessary to talk about it.
Examples of effective customer service include Dialog’s small group training sessions, IAC’S and Mead Data’s direct visits to customers, and Predicast’s 800
telephone service.
Bad customer service includes a clumsy telephone interface to a help desk, a company which has different representatives calling on the same prospect without coordinating visits, or a self-serving newsletters filled with puffers.

3. Set and Meet High Deliver a product or service that meets your personal standards of excellence. Be
Standards. proud of the work you’re doing.
There is a corporate side to meeting standards of excellence as well. The company
must value excellence and institutionalize procedures which help the individuals do
their best job.
But in my experience, individuals govern the quality of the information product,
and they energize organizations to make the excellence a routine part of what the
company does. The corporate culture, therefore, is shared by the individual
employees and the organization. Steve Goldspiel personally and institutionally
makes Disclosure the outstanding product it is. Similarly, Andrea Broadbent and
Julia Denny drive the quality of the McGraw-Hill electronic products. Andy Mills
and Steve Keeble at Technical Publishing of InvesText create m environment in
which excellence can flourish.

4. Many highly-acclaimed expert marketers sell because they have an uncanny ability
which have not been met, or they can create needs and then sell
products which satisfy them. Is this relationship marketing or cievemess? How
many times do you go io a company one time for a product and service and never
go back? Do you want your marketing to pull repeat business or do you want to
resort to tricks to build business?
Information marketers, in my opinion, are on mote solid footing if they try to meet
a need which exists but is not fully satisfied. Inventing needs degenerates into hucksterism.
Meeting a need is little more than solving a problem for someone. Without making
need satisfaction overly complex, keep in mind that the problem can be solved with
a product or service which provides esteem, power, or pleasure.
Examples of information products and services which meet needs squarely are
the newsletter MLS: Madeting Libmty Services, and
the Corporate Intelligence Seminar series offered by Dun & Bradstreet,
Predicative, and Data Courier. Let’s look at each briefly:
- Books in Print Plus provides a CD-ROM version of Bowker’s Book in Print
with important and ‘useful differences. One can locate a title and then
using the capabilities of the product order the book electronically.
Libraries and book stores find the product reduces paperwork and staff
time.
- MLS: Madeting Libmty Services is a newsletter edited by Sharon LaRosa
in Boston. It provides case studies of libraries which have successfully
marketed theit services. According to LaRosa, no other publication addressed libraries’ need for practical marketing information. As a result,
the newsletter has become a success.
The Corporate Intelligence Seminars are offered to end users and
librarians by three competitors--Dun & Bradstreet, Predicasts, and Data
Courier. The seminar has two parts: A content-oriented review of the
products offered by the three business database producers in the morning
and a how-to session offered in the afternoon with the emphasis on searching techniques used to retrieve the information. The seminars meet the
need of online searchers for comparative looks at business databases and
practical how-to search information.
None of these products is a me-too, a hand-me-down idea, or a knock-off of
another’s idea. Each company has identified a need and developed a product to
satisfy that need. Integrity characterizes the effective satisfaction of an information
need.

5. Focus on a Target. Find a niche and fill a need in it. A niche in marketing jargon is group of prospects
with some unifying characteristic and a common problem. Examples of excellent
niche marketing are the E. 8. Stevens Co.3 magazine subscription services for
library acquisition departments. As most of you know, EBSCO reduces paperwork
and centralizes the subscription process. To cite another example: Dow Jones
News/Retrieval provides business people with access to stock data, gaining on
CompuServe and staying well in front of Delphi, The Source, GENIE, and other
similar services. Dow Jones is positioned to dominate this niche because they have
skiilfuIIy packaged a number of business services of interest to marketing, administrative, and management people. They have captured significant market share
in this niche.
In my experience, the more precisely you can define the niche and the need for
your product, the greater your chance of success. Laser Disclosure provides Iinanciai services firms with a complete Securities & Exchange Commission library, continuously updated on CD-ROM. The market is well-defined and has continuous
need for timely access to various SEC documents. Contrast this with the CD-ROM
versions of ERIC. None has made significant market headway because the library
market does not need ERIC in its present CD-ROM formats.
I learned the hard way that it is easier to find an empty niche and create a product
which meets a specific need than it is to try and create a product which is ail things
to ail people. If you know your market niche:
- You can target your promotional activities to a specifically defined group
of prospects
- Marketing dollars can be used to repeat a message to a small group instead of spending larger amounts to reach more people one time.

6. Seek Friends.
- You can focus your message.
Position your product to win friends, not make enemies. In the information business, it is rare that a single source can answer a complex question adequately.
Information professionals recognize the complementary nature of information
products. Established information companies also realize the supporting roles
products play. It is rarely a wise idea to attack a competitor in his market niche
head on. The established competitor can cut prices or offer a package of services
the newcomer cannot match.
A wise course of action is to establish a complementary relationship among information marketers, their products and services. Then, when it is necessary to compete, everyone helps the customer to make an informed judgment about which
product’s features and benefits are right for meeting his needs. Positioning, thcrefore, means:
- Complement existing products and services
- Fill a specific, empty niche with a product or service which meets a real
need
- Minimize the head-to-head competition and emphasize the mutually supportive nature of products and services.
You sell more when your competitors are avoiding you than when they are actively
selling against you.

7. Remain Steady. Be consistent. I am interested in what marketers call repositioning. This concept
means that the marketing of the product is reshaped in order to attract more sales.
Consider for a moment the directory and database of software marketed as MENU.
Originally the database was to drive software sales. The product was made part of
a large European publisher and then marketed as a database of software with emphasis placed upon the operating versions of each software package. Now MENU is a speciahid directories, more a magazine than a database. With each modification in the way the product is explained to the customers, repositioning is occurred.
In my experience, consistency in product positioning is critical. Repositioning can
be successful only if handled with care. The more frequently a product is repositioned, the message communicated is that the people making the product don’t
have their act together. The different messages sent to the market are confusing.
Contrast MENU’S marketing with the approach taken by Information Sources Inc.
of Berkeley, California. The original product was a business software print directory. The product went online in the mid-80s and has undergone thoughtful evoiution. It now offers customized print listings and will include reviews of business
software products in mid-1989. The marketing of the product and its positioning
have been consistent. Since the product’s inception, its credibility and revenues
have risen steadily.
Chart a course and stick with it. Gradual evolution is preferable to product revolution. Repositioning often foreshadows failure.
Stand behind the product. Most of us have had problems with automobile warranties or know of someone who has. The story is the same. A car develops a problem
and the dealer can’t or won’t Rx the car. Tempers flare and the once-proud owner
says, “I’ll never buy an XYZ again.”
In the information industry, according to Carios Cuadra, publisher of the
CuadraEisevier Dimtoty of Online Databases, the speed of new database development has slowed and the rate of database failure has risen. Fewer and fewer companies are willing to make a long-term commitment to this type of information
product.
The fact of the matter is that it takes time for an information product to take hold
in the marketplace. Only a very few products can be an instant success like InvesText, which contains the full text of reports from investment firms, or Business
Dateline, selected articles from America’s and Canada’s regional business publications. Most information products require a lengthy incubation time. H.W. Wilson,
West Publishing, the New York Times Co., McGraw-Hill, and others have been
working for years to build their information credibility and product portfolios.
These companies offer an implicit money-back guarantee. They want customers to
be pleased with the information they offer and stand behind what they do. They are
in business for the long-haul and do not chase the quick buck. Mead Data, for example, has been committed to full-text business information for more than a
decade, and that commitment says something about the company’s persistence.
If you introduce a product and quit, I have found that it becomes more difficult to
get support for the next product. It is almost better to create a product, work at it,
and fail than to pull the plug. In our world, precipitous actions make people nervous, uncertain, and uncomfortable because you could pull the plug on them.
Be prepared to stand behind your product by providing fast, quality service. At all
costs, make the customer feel good about the product, company, and you.
The formula for success is E-F-A-B. Marketers trained at business schools in the
U.S. and England learn to sell by following the formula F-A-B or Features-AdVantages-Benefits. First the marketer explains the features of the product; that is,
what it does. Next he spells out the technical advantages of the particular product,
typically by showing competing products as lacking these advantagges. Last he tell the customer how the product or service benefits him; for example, saves time or
money, appeals to fear, or improves the life of the prospect.
The problem with this formula is that it works only with products which the customer understands. It assumes a solid foundation of knowledge, experience, and
needs. If I go to buy a big-screen TV, the salesman tells me what the TV’s features
are; for example, remote control, stereo sound, and black-matrix picture tube. He
then gives me the advantages of these features, contrasting them with another
model more or less expensive than the one I’m looking at. Good marketers watch
for non-verbal clues about the price I’m willing to pay or ask, “How much do you
want to spend?” Finally, he gives me the benefits. Last week, the benefits I was offered included no payments until January 1990, free delivery, more enjoyment for
my family, and better audio.
What happens, though, when the product and the service are not well known or understood by the prospect? In my experience, information products and services are
hard to understand and difficult to explain. Even well-informed information professionals are unable to keep at their fingertips the nuances of well-known, established information products. They are not able to have a wide and deep experience
base for new electronic media, new or improved databases, and new print information products.
The more advanced the technology, the more complex the marketing job. Further
complicating marketing is the Marshall McLuhan’s observation that the “medium
is the message.” The print version of Dun’s Million Dollar Direcfoy is a different
product from the online version in File 517.
To market an inform,ltion product requires an additional and crucial step preceding F-A-D. The first step is E, education. The information marketer must explain:
- What the information is (a factual description)
- What the information can do (applications-based examples)
- What the technology is (factual description and comparison and contrast
with the information technology familiar to the prospect)
- How the information and technology interact (allay fears and concerns
about complexity, obsolescence, ease-of-use, and maintenance).
Once this foundation is put in place, then F-A-B approach makes sense.
It is one of my recurring nightmares that I market a new information product and
do not follow E-F-A-B. The result is that I go to conference after conference and
have to explain again and again what the product is and how it works. It is a
modern version of the myth of Sisyphus. You push the rock to the top of the hill by
explaining the product only to have it roll back down when the prospect says, “I
don’t know what you’re selling.” Short cuts lead to confusion.
Remember: the prospect always gets educated. It is better for you to do that job because then you have some influence over the foundation on which a purchase
decision is made. If you let someone else do the teaching, you will have a more difficult time making the sale because you won’t have any first-hand knowledge of
what the prospect knows.
Here’s the list of 25 marketing tactics. Pick and choose the tactics you need to help
you market your products.

To use this list, select the tactics and then implement them using the nine GEMS
outlined above. There is no one way to market. You must innovate and modify.
- Develop a strategic information plan. Know where you are going, what
your budget is, and how you will measure success. A successful marketing
program is not a random walk; it is a purposeful journey.
- Create a newsletter for your customers. There are too many newsletters
today. Keep yours short, easy-to-read, and on schedule. This establishes
routine communication to your prospects and customers.

1. Develop a presentation using slides or flip charts that follow the E-F-A-B format.
This is the basic selling tool.

2. Write articles for professional publications, reprint them, and use them as a
direct mail pieces. This is a third-party endorsement of you.

3. Offer one-on-one training about your product to senior managers or influence
leaders. This provides education and builds relationships.

4 Hold small-group training for departments. This establishes a dialogue with
potential customers.

5 Invite other information professionals to give presentations on complementary
products. This establishes your credibility and demonstrates confidence.

6 Assemble a portfolio of case studies describing the benefits of your product. This
is third-party endorsement and applications selling.

7 Prepare a letter-sized brochure summarizing your product. Keep it simple and
on one page. The more like a technical specification the more credibility the
brochure has. Expensive printing and elaborate design can communicates a lack of
judgment in how to spend money.

8 Publish a compilation of information on a hot topic. This shows how your
product looks and makes it tangible.

9 Publish an annual information report. This documents your track record.
10 Communicate consistently in a variety of media; for example, bulletin boards,
news releases, and memoranda. This provides a routine information flow about
your product.

11 Obtain new signage or a new logo. This calls attention to a new or improved
product. It signals a more aggressive marketing posture.

12 Make sales calls on prospects and ask them what they need. This builds your information base, detines niches, and suggests new products
.
13 Publish a list of new materials available. This is news and communicates positive
change.

14 Offer to assist selected departments with specific projects. This builds a track
record within a niche.

15 Use the inter-office mail to inform individuals of developments important to
them. This maintains communication and reinforces relationships.

16 Hold an annual open house. This creates traffic and provides an opportunity to
talk one-on-one.

17 Establish a telephone hotline. This is the evidence that you are there to help
your customers.

18 Build bridges to the corporate computer center. This gives credence to the complementary nature of your products.

19 Acquire text-retrieval and database software and offer to assist groups wanting
to build databases. This positions you as an expert.

20 Keep track of library usage, queries, and revenue. This builds evidence which
can be used to demonstrate value.

21 Attend trade shows and circulate trip reports. This shows your ability to bring
valuable information to prospects.

22 Get as much knowledge about systems, technology, and competitive products as
you can. This enables you to be spontaneously helpful.

23 Start an online timesharing service using bulletin board software (BBS) like
Galacticom available on your city’s BBS. You can provide a wide range of information and services to create awareness.

24 Organize an annual information services conference in your city. Involve such
outside speakers as local software developers, computer dealers, and university
professors. Publicize the seminar using other tips in this list.

25 Work with your local Chamber of Commerce to start an information special interest group. Meetings can be held every month or two and feature outside
speakers who address various information topics. Publicize the programs using the
Chamber’s mailing list and newsletter.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Social Marketing





The health communications field has been rapidly changing over the past two decades. It has evolved from a one-dimensional reliance on public service announcements to a more sophisticated approach which draws from successful techniques used by commercial marketers, termed "social marketing." Rather than dictating the way that information is to be conveyed from the top-down, public health professionals are learning to listen to the needs and desires of the target audience themselves, and building the program from there. This focus on the "consumer" involves in-depth research and constant re-evaluation of every aspect of the program. In fact, research and evaluation together form the very cornerstone of the social marketing process.

Social marketing was "born" as a discipline in the 1970s, when Philip Kotler and Gerald Zaltman realized that the same marketing principles that were being used to sell products to consumers could be used to "sell" ideas, attitudes and behaviors. Kotler and Andreasen define social marketing as "differing from other areas of marketing only with respect to the objectives of the marketer and his or her organization. Social marketing seeks to influence social behaviors not to benefit the marketer, but to benefit the target audience and the general society." This technique has been used extensively in international health programs, especially for contraceptives and oral rehydration therapy (ORT), and is being used with more frequency in the United States for such diverse topics as drug abuse, heart disease and organ donation.

Like commercial marketing, the primary focus is on the consumer--on learning what people want and need rather than trying to persuade them to buy what we happen to be producing. Marketing talks to the consumer, not about the product. The planning process takes this consumer focus into account by addressing the elements of the "marketing mix." This refers to decisions about 1) the conception of a Product, 2) Price, 3) distribution (Place), and 4) Promotion. These are often called the "Four Ps" of marketing. Social marketing also adds a few more "P's." At the end is an example of the marketing mix.

Product

The social marketing "product" is not necessarily a physical offering. A continuum of products exists, ranging from tangible, physical products (e.g., condoms), to services (e.g., medical exams), practices (e.g., breastfeeding, ORT or eating a heart-healthy diet) and finally, more intangible ideas (e.g., environmental protection). In order to have a viable product, people must first perceive that they have a genuine problem, and that the product offering is a good solution for that problem. The role of research here is to discover the consumers' perceptions of the problem and the product, and to determine how important they feel it is to take action against the problem.

Price

"Price" refers to what the consumer must do in order to obtain the social marketing product. This cost may be monetary, or it may instead require the consumer to give up intangibles, such as time or effort, or to risk embarrassment and disapproval. If the costs outweigh the benefits for an individual, the perceived value of the offering will be low and it will be unlikely to be adopted. However, if the benefits are perceived as greater than their costs, chances of trial and adoption of the product is much greater.

In setting the price, particularly for a physical product, such as contraceptives, there are many issues to consider. If the product is priced too low, or provided free of charge, the consumer may perceive it as being low in quality. On the other hand, if the price is too high, some will not be able to afford it. Social marketers must balance these considerations, and often end up charging at least a nominal fee to increase perceptions of quality and to confer a sense of "dignity" to the transaction. These perceptions of costs and benefits can be determined through research, and used in positioning the product.

Place

"Place" describes the way that the product reaches the consumer. For a tangible product, this refers to the distribution system--including the warehouse, trucks, sales force, retail outlets where it is sold, or places where it is given out for free. For an intangible product, place is less clear-cut, but refers to decisions about the channels through which consumers are reached with information or training. This may include doctors' offices, shopping malls, mass media vehicles or in-home demonstrations. Another element of place is deciding how to ensure accessibility of the offering and quality of the service delivery. By determining the activities and habits of the target audience, as well as their experience and satisfaction with the existing delivery system, researchers can pinpoint the most ideal means of distribution for the offering.
Promotion

Finally, the last "P" is promotion. Because of its visibility, this element is often mistakenly thought of as comprising the whole of social marketing. However, as can be seen by the previous discussion, it is only one piece. Promotion consists of the integrated use of advertising, public relations, promotions, media advocacy, personal selling and entertainment vehicles. The focus is on creating and sustaining demand for the product. Public service announcements or paid ads are one way, but there are other methods such as coupons, media events, editorials, "Tupperware"-style parties or in-store displays. Research is crucial to determine the most effective and efficient vehicles to reach the target audience and increase demand. The primary research findings themselves can also be used to gain publicity for the program at media events and in news stories.
Additional Social Marketing "P's"

Publics--Social marketers often have many different audiences that their program has to address in order to be successful. "Publics" refers to both the external and internal groups involved in the program. External publics include the target audience, secondary audiences, policymakers, and gatekeepers, while the internal publics are those who are involved in some way with either approval or implementation of the program.

Partnership--Social and health issues are often so complex that one agency can't make a dent by itself. You need to team up with other organizations in the community to really be effective. You need to figure out which organizations have similar goals to yours--not necessarily the same goals--and identify ways you can work together.

Policy--Social marketing programs can do well in motivating individual behavior change, but that is difficult to sustain unless the environment they're in supports that change for the long run. Often, policy change is needed, and media advocacy programs can be an effective complement to a social marketing program.

Purse Strings--Most organizations that develop social marketing programs operate through funds provided by sources such as foundations, governmental grants or donations. This adds another dimension to the strategy development-namely, where will you get the money to create your program?

Example of a Marketing Mix Strategy

As an example, the marketing mix strategy for a breast cancer screening campaign for older women might include the following elements:

The product could be any of these three behaviors: getting an annual mammogram, seeing a physician each year for a breast exam and performing monthly breast self-exams.
The price of engaging in these behaviors includes the monetary costs of the mammogram and exam, potential discomfort and/or embarrassment, time and even the possibility of actually finding a lump.
The place that these medical and educational services are offered might be a mobile van, local hospitals, clinics and worksites, depending upon the needs of the target audience.
Promotion could be done through public service announcements, billboards, mass mailings, media events and community outreach.
The "publics" you might need to address include your target audience (let's say low-income women age 40 to 65), the people who influence their decisions like their husbands or physicians, policymakers, public service directors at local radio stations, as well as your board of directors and office staff.
Partnerships could be cultivated with local or national women's groups, corporate sponsors, medical organizations, service clubs or media outlets.
The policy aspects of the campaign might focus on increasing access to mammograms through lower costs, requiring insurance and Medicaid coverage of mammograms or increasing federal funding for breast cancer research.
The purse strings, or where the funding will come from, may be governmental grants, such as from the National Cancer Institute or the local health department, foundation grants or an organization like the American Cancer Society.
Each element of the marketing mix should be taken into consideration as the program is developed, for they are the core of the marketing effort. Research is used to elucidate and shape the final product, price, place, promotion and related decisions.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

4 Mantras To Personal Branding Success


Today’s marketplace is constantly evolving. It’s vibrant and dynamic, irrespective of the state of the economy. It’s part-real, part-virtual. And this environment has been a breeding ground for independent-minded and independent professionals, making it incredibly important to stand out. Personal branding has become an all-important mantra for those people whose business is all about what they can offer as individuals.

In a cluttered environment, how can you create a personal brand that stands out?

Here are 4 simple mantras that could help you fashion your own unique personal brand. But, remember, this is not a blueprint; just some tried and tested steps. The most important aspect about personal branding is the word ‘personal.’ Create your own unique chart to personal branding success.

Mantra 1: Honesty is the best personal branding policy

You can’t fake who you are, online or in person. Who you are is what the personal brand should be about. People relate to honesty and make long lasting connections based on the real you. When you fake a personality, you won’t be able to keep it up forever, and the followers you have accrued will fall by the wayside the minute the fa├žade comes off.

A great example about honest Personal Branding is Zen Habits’ blogger, Leo Babauta.

After 4 years of blogging about personal goals and realizing his dreams, Leo has some 200,000 subscribers and his blog has been ranked the No.1 blog of the year, two times in a row, by TIME magazine.

Whether you want to start a blog, a small business or become a consultant, you can apply Leo’s approach. By behaving and working in ways that you are truly comfortable with, not only are you happier, but you also help people build trust and confidence in you.

Leo’s cult is only growing by the day, and he’ll continue to wield influence, if he continues to live and preach honestly. A growing number of gurus in the self-help space, where personal branding is very important, lose followers, because sooner or later, they’re ‘exposed’ for being something they said they weren’t.

Mantra 2: What’s your middle name?

Think hard. In high school, did kids call you Tom-cool head-Jackson or Sarah-math wiz-Smith? Or something not so flattering? Whatever your strengths and weaknesses are, they are unique. They will set you apart from hundreds of thousands of others, peddling the same goods as you.

Leveraging your Unique Selling Point, is far more than just having a logo or a catchy slogan that talks about your special quality. It’s living your Unique Selling Point.

Heard of Anthony Bourdain? Sure you have. Gordon Ramsay? Sure you have. They are both loud, angry, and aggressive people but also world famous chefs. Their signature qualities aren’t typically seen as positive or good. But the fact is, these very qualities make them unique individuals with something, unique to offer.

Make the most of what is unique about you. Use it to your advantage. Surely, throughout their careers, Bourdain and Ramsay may have been advised to tone down their ‘loudness’. Ramsay, being more aggressive, might have been branded arrogant and abusive, but it is these very qualities, while making his sous-chefs’ lives miserable, makes his personal brand come alive.

A very important lesson in personal branding is to accept who are, and work on those very qualities to build a brand that’s unique and different.


Mantra 3: No money in anonymity


Online presence these days, involves leaving your personal brand behind, wherever you go – whether it’s posting on forums, responding to blog posts, maintaining a blog, tweeting or creating online profiles on various networks.

There is literally no money for those who want to stay behind the scenes these days.

Increasingly, employers ask for twitter accounts and blog addresses to be mentioned on resumes. In fact, these resumes need to be uploaded on a personal website too!

Establishing online presence or presence within professional networks in your area of expertise is a crucial first step in building a person brand. While social media and the internet are still evolving in many ways, privacy concerns frequently emerge. It may be tempting to share everything about yourself, but in the process of building a personal brand, do remember not to reveal personal information like home numbers and address.

Mantra 4: Look up, but don’t imitate

If you take the blogging world as an example, the phenomenal success that some bloggers have achieved, simply blogging about day-to-day things like personal goals, has spawned thousands of replicas. But, the truth is, there are only one or two stars in the sphere.

Chris Guillebeau is a star ‘travel hacker.’ He travels around the world, at a fraction of the normal cost, by manipulating travel miles, reward points and frequent flyer bonuses. Through his newsletter, where he initially shared travel hacking tips, he has attracted millions of followers. He’s got book deals about living a non-conformist life, his career, is literally made.

But he has also spawned hundreds of other bloggers like him who want to travel, write about it and live off those earnings, but only a very small number has succeeded, and only remotely.

Building his personal brand was an arduous journey for Chris. He shares his difficulties in many blog posts, where he talks about writing assignments at top dailies that paid pittance, about how he shared information for free and relied on donations from readers. Personal brand building is a difficult journey and there is no one road to success, you can have mentors who inspire you but imitating their every move will only make you a rip-off.

With that, we come to not just the end of this article, but also the essence of it. In an effort to build a personal brand, acquire millions of followers on twitter or subscribers to your blog posts, or that big, half-a-million dollar project, don’t forget who you are.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Advertising Vs Marketing


Advertising:

The paid, public, non-personal announcement of a persuasive message by an identified sponsor; the non-personal presentation or promotion by a firm of its products to its existing and potential customers.

Marketing: The systematic planning, implementation and control of a mix of business activities intended to bring together buyers and sellers for the mutually advantageous exchange or transfer of products.

After reading both of the definitions it is easy to understand how the difference can be confusing to the point that people think of them as one-in-the same, so lets break it down a bit.

Advertising is a single component of the marketing process. It's the part that involves getting the word out concerning your business, product, or the services you are offering. It involves the process of developing strategies such as ad placement, frequency, etc. Advertising includes the placement of an ad in such mediums as newspapers, direct mail, billboards, television, radio, and of course the Internet. Advertising is the largest expense of most marketing plans, with public relations following in a close second and market research not falling far behind.

The best way to distinguish between advertising and marketing is to think of marketing as a pie, inside that pie you have slices of advertising, market research, media planning, public relations, product pricing, distribution, customer support, sales strategy, and community involvement. Advertising only equals one piece of the pie in the strategy. All of these elements must not only work independently but they also must work together towards the bigger goal. Marketing is a process that takes time and can involve hours of research for a marketing plan to be effective. Think of marketing as everything that an organization does to facilitate an exchange between company and consumer.


Is There a Difference Between Marketing and Advertising?

There are many technical and complicated definitions of both advertising and marketing and the differences between them. But it can be stated rather simply:


•Advertising tells a story about something to attract attention. Advertising is a step in the marketing process.

•In business, “marketing” is the planning of, and steps taken, to bring merchants and consumers together.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

CHANNEL MANAGEMENT

channel Management,Yet another sales and marketing phrase that is thrown around like everyone knows what it means. But so few companies really comprehend channel management in a way that really helps them. It’s really no wonder. Sales channels (being the conduits by which we distribute our products to the end-user) come in many shapes—from direct, to the web, to the traditional retail environment. And, we’re just doing whatever we can to get any business from any of them! But is that the most efficient and effective approach?

That’s where Channel Management comes in. Channel management, as a process by which a company creates formalized programs for selling and servicing customers within a specific channel, can really impact your business—and in a positive way! To get started, first segment your channels by like characteristics (their needs, buying patterns, success factors, etc.) and then customize a channel management program that includes:



1. Goals. Define the specific goals you have for each channel segment. Consider your goals for the channel as a whole as well as individual accounts. And, remember to consider your goals for both acquisition and retention.


2. Policies. Construct well-defined polices for administering the accounts within this channel. Be sure to keep the unique characteristics of each segment in mind when defining policies for account set up, order management, product fulfillment, etc.


3. Products. Identify which products in your offering are most suited for each segment and create appropriate messaging. Also, determine where your upsell opportunities lie.


4. Sales/Marketing Programs. Design support programs for your channel that meet THEIR needs, not what your idea of their needs are. To do this, you should start by asking your customers within this segment, “how can we best support you in the selling and marketing of our products?” That being said, the standard considerations are product training, co-op advertising, seasonal promotions, and merchandising. Again, this is not a one-size fits all, so be diligent about addressing this segment’s SPECIFIC needs in these areas.

Defining a channel management strategy for each segment allows you to be more effective within each segment, while gaining efficiency at the same time. Still, maintaining brand consistency across all channel segments is critical to your long-term success. So find a good balance between customization and brand consistency and you’ll be on your way to successful channel management.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Marketing Plan



The information for this article was derived from many sources, including Michael Porter's book Competitive Advantage and the works of Philip Kotler. Concepts addressed include 'generic' strategies and strategies for pricing, distribution, promotion, advertising and market segmentation. Factors such as market penetration, market share, profit margins, budgets, financial analysis, capital investment, government actions, demographic changes, emerging technology and cultural trends are also addressed.

There are two major components to your marketing strategy:

* how your enterprise will address the competitive marketplace
* how you will implement and support your day to day operations.

In today's very competitive marketplace a strategy that insures a consistent approach to offering your product or service in a way that will outsell the competition is critical. However, in concert with defining the marketing strategy you must also have a well defined methodology for the day to day process of implementing it. It is of little value to have a strategy if you lack either the resources or the expertise to implement it.

In the process of creating a marketing strategy you must consider many factors. Of those many factors, some are more important than others. Because each strategy must address some unique considerations, it is not reasonable to identify 'every' important factor at a generic level. However, many are common to all marketing strategies. Some of the more critical are described below.

You begin the creation of your strategy by deciding what the overall objective of your enterprise should be. In general this falls into one of four categories:

* If the market is very attractive and your enterprise is one of the strongest in the industry you will want to invest your best resources in support of your offering.
* If the market is very attractive but your enterprise is one of the weaker ones in the industry you must concentrate on strengthening the enterprise, using your offering as a stepping stone toward this objective.
* If the market is not especially attractive, but your enterprise is one of the strongest in the industry then an effective marketing and sales effort for your offering will be good for generating near term profits.
* If the market is not especially attractive and your enterprise is one of the weaker ones in the industry you should promote this offering only if it supports a more profitable part of your business (for instance, if this segment completes a product line range) or if it absorbs some of the overhead costs of a more profitable segment. Otherwise, you should determine the most cost effective way to divest your enterprise of this offering.

Having selected the direction most beneficial for the overall interests of the enterprise, the next step is to choose a strategy for the offering that will be most effective in the market. This means choosing one of the following 'generic' strategies (first described by Michael Porter in his work, Competitive Advantage).

* A COST LEADERSHIP STRATEGY is based on the concept that you can produce and market a good quality product or service at a lower cost than your competitors. These low costs should translate to profit margins that are higher than the industry average. Some of the conditions that should exist to support a cost leadership strategy include an on-going availability of operating capital, good process engineering skills, close management of labor, products designed for ease of manufacturing and low cost distribution.
* A DIFFERENTIATION STRATEGY is one of creating a product or service that is perceived as being unique "throughout the industry". The emphasis can be on brand image, proprietary technology, special features, superior service, a strong distributor network or other aspects that might be specific to your industry. This uniqueness should also translate to profit margins that are higher than the industry average. In addition, some of the conditions that should exist to support a differentiation strategy include strong marketing abilities, effective product engineering, creative personnel, the ability to perform basic research and a good reputation.
* A FOCUS STRATEGY may be the most sophisticated of the generic strategies, in that it is a more 'intense' form of either the cost leadership or differentiation strategy. It is designed to address a "focused" segment of the marketplace, product form or cost management process and is usually employed when it isn't appropriate to attempt an 'across the board' application of cost leadership or differentiation. It is based on the concept of serving a particular target in such an exceptional manner, that others cannot compete. Usually this means addressing a substantially smaller market segment than others in the industry, but because of minimal competition, profit margins can be very high.

Pricing
Having defined the overall offering objective and selecting the generic strategy you must then decide on a variety of closely related operational strategies. One of these is how you will price the offering. A pricing strategy is mostly influenced by your requirement for net income and your objectives for long term market control. There are three basic strategies you can consider.

* A SKIMMING STRATEGY
If your offering has enough differentiation to justify a high price and you desire quick cash and have minimal desires for significant market penetration and control, then you set your prices very high.
* A MARKET PENETRATION STRATEGY
If near term income is not so critical and rapid market penetration for eventual market control is desired, then you set your prices very low.
* A COMPARABLE PRICING STRATEGY
If you are not the market leader in your industry then the leaders will most likely have created a 'price expectation' in the minds of the marketplace. In this case you can price your offering comparably to those of your competitors.

Promotion
To sell an offering you must effectively promote and advertise it. There are two basic promotion strategies, PUSH and PULL.

* The PUSH STRATEGY maximizes the use of all available channels of distribution to "push" the offering into the marketplace. This usually requires generous discounts to achieve the objective of giving the channels incentive to promote the offering, thus minimizing your need for advertising.
* The PULL STRATEGY requires direct interface with the end user of the offering. Use of channels of distribution is minimized during the first stages of promotion and a major commitment to advertising is required. The objective is to "pull" the prospects into the various channel outlets creating a demand the channels cannot ignore.

There are many strategies for advertising an offering. Some of these include:

* Product Comparison advertising
In a market where your offering is one of several providing similar capabilities, if your offering stacks up well when comparing features then a product comparison ad can be beneficial.
* Product Benefits advertising
When you want to promote your offering without comparison to competitors, the product benefits ad is the correct approach. This is especially beneficial when you have introduced a new approach to solving a user need and comparison to the old approaches is inappropriate.
* Product Family advertising
If your offering is part of a group or family of offerings that can be of benefit to the customer as a set, then the product family ad can be of benefit.
* Corporate advertising
When you have a variety of offerings and your audience is fairly broad, it is often beneficial to promote your enterprise identity rather than a specific offering.

Distribution
You must also select the distribution method(s) you will use to get the offering into the hands of the customer. These include:

* On-premise Sales involves the sale of your offering using a field sales organization that visits the prospect's facilities to make the sale.
* Direct Sales involves the sale of your offering using a direct, in-house sales organization that does all selling through the Internet, telephone or mail order contact.
* Wholesale Sales involves the sale of your offering using intermediaries or "middle-men" to distribute your product or service to the retailers.
* Self-service Retail Sales involves the sale of your offering using self service retail methods of distribution.
* Full-service Retail Sales involves the sale of your offering through a full service retail distribution channel.

Of course, making a decision about pricing, promotion and distribution is heavily influenced by some key factors in the industry and marketplace. These factors should be analyzed initially to create the strategy and then regularly monitored for changes. If any of them change substantially the strategy should be reevaluated.

The Environment
Environmental factors positively or negatively impact the industry and the market growth potential of your product/service. Factors to consider include:

* Government actions - Government actions (current or under consideration) can support or detract from your strategy. Consider subsidies, safety, efficacy and operational regulations, licensing requirements, materials access restrictions and price controls.
* Demographic changes - Anticipated demographic changes may support or negatively impact the growth potential of your industry and market. This includes factors such as education, age, income and geographic location.
* Emerging technology - Technological changes that are occurring may or may not favor the actions of your enterprise.
* Cultural trends - Cultural changes such as fashion trends and life style trends may or may not support your offering's penetration of the market

The Prospect
It is essential to understand the market segment(s) as defined by the prospect characteristics you have selected as the target for your offering. Factors to consider include:

* The potential for market penetration involves whether you are selling to past customers or a new prospect, how aware the prospects are of what you are offering, competition, growth rate of the industry and demographics.
* The prospect's willingness to pay higher price because your offering provides a better solution to their problem.
* The amount of time it will take the prospect to make a purchase decision is affected by the prospects confidence in your offering, the number and quality of competitive offerings, the number of people involved in the decision, the urgency of the need for your offering and the risk involved in making the purchase decision.
* The prospect's willingness to pay for product value is determined by their knowledge of competitive pricing, their ability to pay and their need for characteristics such as quality, durability, reliability, ease of use, uniformity and dependability.
* Likelihood of adoption by the prospect is based on the criticality of the prospect's need, their attitude about change, the significance of the benefits, barriers that exist to incorporating the offering into daily usage and the credibility of the offering.

The Product/Service
You should be thoroughly familiar with the factors that establish products/services as strong contenders in the marketplace. Factors to consider include:

* Whether some or all of the technology for the offering is proprietary to the enterprise.
* The benefits the prospect will derive from use of the offering.
* The extent to which the offering is differentiated from the competition.
* The extent to which common introduction problems can be avoided such as lack of adherence to industry standards, unavailability of materials, poor quality control, regulatory problems and the inability to explain the benefits of the offering to the prospect.
* The potential for product obsolescence as affected by the enterprise's commitment to product development, the product's proximity to physical limits, the ongoing potential for product improvements, the ability of the enterprise to react to technological change and the likelihood of substitute solutions to the prospect's needs.
* Impact on customer's business as measured by costs of trying out your offering, how quickly the customer can realize a return from their investment in your offering, how disruptive the introduction of your offering is to the customer's operations and the costs to switch to your offering.
* The complexity of your offering as measured by the existence of standard interfaces, difficulty of installation, number of options, requirement for support devices, training and technical support and the requirement for complementary product interface.

The Competition
It is essential to know who the competition is and to understand their strengths and weaknesses. Factors to consider include:

* Each of your competitor's experience, staying power, market position, strength, predictability and freedom to abandon the market must be evaluated.

Your Enterprise
An honest appraisal of the strength of your enterprise is a critical factor in the development of your strategy. Factors to consider include:

* Enterprise capacity to be leader in low-cost production considering cost control infrastructure, cost of materials, economies of scale, management skills, availability of personnel and compatibility of manufacturing resources with offering requirements.
* The enterprise's ability to construct entry barriers to competition such as the creation of high switching costs, gaining substantial benefit from economies of scale, exclusive access to or clogging of distribution channels and the ability to clearly differentiate your offering from the competition.
* The enterprise's ability to sustain its market position is determined by the potential for competitive imitation, resistance to inflation, ability to maintain high prices, the potential for product obsolescence and the 'learning curve' faced by the prospect.
* The prominence of the enterprise.
* The competence of the management team.
* The adequacy of the enterprise's infrastructure in terms of organization, recruiting capabilities, employee benefit programs, customer support facilities and logistical capabilities.
* The freedom of the enterprise to make critical business decisions without undue influence from distributors, suppliers, unions, creditors, investors and other outside influences.
* Freedom from having to deal with legal problems.

Development
A review of the strength and viability of the product/service development program will heavily influence the direction of your strategy. Factors to consider include:

* The strength of the development manager including experience with personnel management, current and new technologies, complex projects and the equipment and tools used by the development personnel.
* Personnel who understand the relevant technologies and are able to perform the tasks necessary to meet the development objectives.
* Adequacy and appropriateness of the development tools and equipment.
* The necessary funding to achieve the development objectives.
* Design specifications that are manageable.

Production
You should review your enterprise's production organization with respect to their ability to cost effectively produce products/services. The following factors are considered:

* The strength of production manager including experience with personnel management, current and new technologies, complex projects and the equipment and tools used by the manufacturing personnel.
* Economies of scale allowing the sharing of operations, sharing of production and the potential for vertical integration.
* Technology and production experience
* The necessary production personnel skill level and/or the enterprise's ability to hire or train qualified personnel.
* The ability of the enterprise to limit suppliers bargaining power.
* The ability of the enterprise to control the quality of raw materials and production.
* Adequate access to raw materials and sub-assembly production.

Marketing/Sales
The marketing and sales organization is analyzed for its strengths and current activities. Factors to consider include:

* Experience of Marketing/Sales manager including contacts in the industry (prospects, distribution channels, media), familiarity with advertising and promotion, personal selling capabilities, general management skills and a history of profit and loss responsibilities.
* The ability to generate good publicity as measured by past successes, contacts in the press, quality of promotional literature and market education capabilities.
* Sales promotion techniques such as trade allowances, special pricing and contests.
* The effectiveness of your distribution channels as measured by history of relations, the extent of channel utilization, financial stability, reputation, access to prospects and familiarity with your offering.
* Advertising capabilities including media relationships, advertising budget, past experience, how easily the offering can be advertised and commitment to advertising.
* Sales capabilities including availability of personnel, quality of personnel, location of sales outlets, ability to generate sales leads, relationship with distributors, ability to demonstrate the benefits of the offering and necessary sales support capabilities.
* The appropriateness of the pricing of your offering as it relates to competition, price sensitivity of the prospect, prospect's familiarity with the offering and the current market life cycle stage.

Customer Services
The strength of the customer service function has a strong influence on long term market success. Factors to consider include:

* Experience of the Customer Service manager in the areas of similar offerings and customers, quality control, technical support, product documentation, sales and marketing.
* The availability of technical support to service your offering after it is purchased.
* One or more factors that causes your customer support to stand out as unique in the eyes of the customer.
* Accessibility of service outlets for the customer.
* The reputation of the enterprise for customer service.

Conclusion
After defining your strategy you must use the information you have gathered to determine whether this strategy will achieve the objective of making your enterprise competitive in the marketplace. Two of the most important assessments are described below.
Cost To Enter Market
This is an analysis of the factors that will influence your costs to achieve significant market penetration. Factors to consider include:

* Your marketing strength.
* Access to low cost materials and effective production.
* The experience of your enterprise.
* The complexity of introduction problems such as lack of adherence to industry standards, unavailability of materials, poor quality control, regulatory problems and the inability to explain the benefits of the offering to the prospect.
* The effectiveness of the enterprise infrastructure in terms of organization, recruiting capabilities, employee benefit programs, customer support facilities and logistical capabilities.
* Distribution effectiveness as measured by history of relations, the extent of channel utilization, financial stability, reputation, access to prospects and familiarity with your offering.
* Technological efforts likely to be successful as measured by the strength of the development organization.
* The availability of adequate operating capital.

Profit Potential
This is an analysis of the factors that could influence the potential for generating and maintaining profits over an extended period. Factors to consider include:

* Potential for competitive retaliation is based on the competitors resources, commitment to the industry, cash position and predictability as well as the status of the market.
* The enterprise's ability to construct entry barriers to competition such as the creation of high switching costs, gaining substantial benefit from economies of scale, exclusive access to or clogging of distribution channels and the ability to clearly differentiate your offering from the competition.
* The intensity of competitive rivalry as measured by the size and number of competitors, limitations on exiting the market, differentiation between offerings and the rapidity of market growth.
* The ability of the enterprise to limit suppliers bargaining power.
* The enterprise's ability to sustain its market position is determined by the potential for competitive imitation, resistance to inflation, ability to maintain high prices, the potential for product obsolescence and the 'learning curve' faced by the prospect.
* The availability of substitute solutions to the prospect's need.
* The prospect's bargaining power as measured by the ease of switching to an alternative, the cost to look at alternatives, the cost of the offering, the differentiation between your offering and the competition and the degree of the prospect's need.
* Market potential for new products considering market growth, prospect's need for your offering, the benefits of the offering, the number of barriers to immediate use, the credibility of the offering and the impact on the customer's daily operations.
* The freedom of the enterprise to make critical business decisions without undue influence from distributors, suppliers, unions, investors and other outside influences.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Advertising & Marketing of Jewelry

Jewelry is the temptation that no woman can resist in the world. Every woman is crazy about the ornaments. Jewelry can be defined as the ornaments that are worn by men and women to accessorize or for personal adornment. Basically jewelry is used to intensify the beauty; jewelry items basically include bracelets, necklaces, rings, anklets, earrings etc. When it comes to running jewelry business, it needs thorough planning at every step. Jewelry business seems very profitable but to reach at that stage you should establish itself in the jewelry business sector as a brand. There is so much variety and so much competition in this business that marketing of the business has becomes very crucial. When you are starting a new jewelry business, at the initial stage you have to make marketing plans to promote the business.

Strategies for marketing and advertising jewelry business

In jewelry business presentation matters a lot and it is a critical aspect for attracting more and more customers. Marketing is that area where you can use your own creative abilities to derive new and innovative ways to capture target customers. Skipping this step can lead to wastage of time, money and efforts. Marketing is basically a collection of tools to search for potential customers and to persuade them to turn into actual buyers and advertising is a part of marketing and other parts are sale promotion, publicity, personal selling and public relations which can be used as a way to increase sales either collectively or individually depends on the company's needs and financial strength.

But firstly in the starting you have to do market research to know about your potential consumers and gain all the information regarding them. You should try to get data about their age, sex, profession they are in, lifestyle, tastes and preferences. Only then you can decide about the marketing strategy that is best suited to your target consumers. Once you are done with market research, then the planning department will be able to make marketing plans to achieve the desired results. Planning department can derive many kinds of strategies at the same time to boost the sales. There are some strategies that are used to market and advertise jewelry business to get the desired sales. Strategies can be online and it can be offline also depending upon the target customers and the area you want to capture, online marketing is affordable and easy to do whereas offline marketing is quite expensive. Strategies can be divided in two broad areas.

Online marketing

• Website creation: Create a website for your company and display all your products and their price range. You can take help of some web design company to do it for you. You can also implement an e-cart application for customers to place an order online with the help of the web design company.

• Online advertising: You can publish banner advertisements, pop-up advertisements showing the name of your company and current products on social networking and other sites related to jewelry business.

• Newsletters you should start your company's newsletter in which potential consumers can sign up and get updates of new products and news about latest jewelry collections, special offers and discounts.

• Auction: Put your jewelry on auction on eBay. E Bay provides you with a secure platform to sell you jewelry products online.

• Email your friends and family the online link of your websites and other shopping sites non which you have put the products for sale. They can also be the potential customers.

• Talking on message boards and building links with other jewelry owners can also help in marketing.

Offline marketing

• Hold an inauguration party: Holding an inauguration party for your new business enterprise is the effective way to make the people aware about your company. You should also place a notice in the newspaper inviting all.

• Offering discounts and promotion offers: Giving promotional offers and promotional products as gifts and discounts is also a good way of promoting your brand. Some of the promotional products you can use for this are engraved pen, office flap bags, coffee mugs, mouse pads, T-shirts, office accessories, calendars, travel pouches etc

• Organizing promotional event: Hold a special event for your company’s brand promotion. Put a notice in the newspaper inviting all. Offer discounts to selected customers or you organize a lucky draw. Give a trendy name to the event.

• Press release: Place an advertisement in the newspapers; you can also publish your company’s website with it so people can check your products and services online. You can also give a advertisement in classified column of the newspaper for local customers or if you want to cater the customers all over India it should be on the page that is most read by the newspaper readers.

• Business cards: Have your business cards printed, by the help of some printing company, that should have your company’s name along with the contact number and website address. In addition it should also have your company’s logo. Hand it out to people you met at social events, parties to give a word out about your business.

• Yellow pages: Placing advertisements in the yellow pages whether online or offline gives your company an exposure, so that an interested customer can find out about your company and can avail your services.

• TV commercials: Giving advertisements on TV can make your brand popular through out the country.

Scope of Jewellery Market

Jewelery is something that always rules the hearts of women around the world. From economic point of view also it holds a major significance and is considered as the best source of investment. Women have always had an inclination towards jewelery and especially Indian women are crazy about it whether it is gold jewelery, diamond or platinum. You can guess it from the fact that India is the largest consumer of the gold with 25% share in total consumption of gold.

Jewelery as a business

From economic point of view, jewelery business is considered a business which has lots of profit yielding potential on account of its great demand. That business is having least risk quotient because the price of the metal used in making jewellery has the tendency of getting increased only. So even if there is no demand still business can earn huge profits by selling the metal only.

Scope of jewelery business

There is so much scope in jewelery business to earn fortunes. Jewelery business is divided in various sectors. You should have to make a decision on the basis of your likings and interest that what area of jewelery business suits you more. Following are the areas in which you can enter and earn huge amounts of profits.

* Processing gems and metals
* Jewelery designing
* Manufacturing jewelery
* Retailing of finished jewelery
* Jewelery supply chain

Extraction of jewelery material

Jewelery material can be categorized in two areas

Gemstone mining: gemstone mining is further categorized in diamond and non diamond mining.

Non diamond mining: the vast majority of non diamond material is mined at low cost. So it is a great source of income of developing countries people who does mining at small scale. Countries which are majorly included in non-diamond extraction are India, Brazil Tanzania, Mali, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Thailand and Mali. That is basically popular in rural areas.

Whereas diamond mining includes huge costs so it can’t be done at small level. You need to have a large investment if you want to enter in those areas.

Metal mining: in metal mining we take gold, silver, platinum, titanium, stainless steel, tungsten, rhodium mining. These all metals are used in jewelery manufacturing. They all vary greatly in price, strength and other attributes.

Processing gems and metals: jewelery industry is very complex and involves many businesses at every stage. So processing and manufacturing has been divided. In processing stage there are basically two areas.

Cutting and polishing of gems

Finishing metals

It is advisable for companies to focus on one core area and achieve specialization in that area to earn huge profits.

Jewelery designing:

After the processing of gems and metal the next stage comes in which design of the final layout of the jewelery is made. The companies involved in this area hire services of professional jewelery designers to make the exclusive designs because the jewelery sells on its design only.

Jewelery manufacturing:

Jewelery manufacturing is giving real shape to the blueprint prepared in the jewelery designing phase. It is the stage where final product of the jewellery business is prepared.

Jewelery retail and consumer markets:

After the preparation of final product the next question arises to make them reach to the target consumers. So we need proper distribution channels for this. At the distribution end basically small and unbranded retailers dominate. There are branded retailers also but they are very few in numbers.

Supply chain:

In between there are many small traders whose trading relations are confidential and hardly visible too general public basically to hide the information of supply source and destination source from competitors as well as general public. So these are the basic areas in which one can enter anyone wants to enter in jewelery business depending on the personal interests and skills required for the particular field.

Limitations of jewelery business:

Despite seeming an easy source of making huge money there are some limitations also in this business that one has to consider while making entry in to this business.

The high risk quotient:

Only the persons who are daring enough to bear larger risks should enter this business. The jewelery business is not considered a good idea for conscious natured persons.

Strict licensing:

The large companies who tends to be in mining industry in jewelery business require a ‘license to operate‘. And they have to abide by stringent international standards.

Limitations of perfect completion:

Retail sale of jewelery is close to the perfect competition. In perfect completion as you know there is large number of buyers and sellers leading to huge competition resulting in uniform pricing and low margins.

The small scale mining impacts:

The small scale mining despite having positive impacts like providing employment in rural areas having many social and environmental drawbacks like child labour, poor health safety hazards. And large scale mining also leads to many negative impacts like waste management, groundwater-contamination, acid rock drainage, and pollution, low labor cost.