Posts filed under 'Books'
Marketing is very powerful tool that every business model has to deal with, either a small or giant, tech or non-tech, online retail or offline retail. Until you are not spreading your business name, you’re not doing business. The Brand of the business depends on the effective use of marketing strategies, people shouldn’t know you by your name, but by your business brand. Let’s take a look at various marketing techniques.
1. Direct Marketing - Direct Marketing deals with spreading your business by interacting with customers/business executives, face to face. It can be very effective as you are talking with your direct contact inperson, expressing your feelings and emotions that he/she can get very straight idea about your model. It can even be time consuming process as a single meeting can be minimum of 2 hours.
2. Outbound Marketing - Outbound Marketing is what most of them opts for. It gives an opportunity to cover nice number of audience and getting some of them as your loyal customers. It can be implemented by brochures, pamphlets, newspapers ads, etc. You are forcing end customers to view your ads and may create a feeling to go for it. This is an expensive technique as it requires some of your money power to be invested.
3. Inbound Marketing - Its bit reverse process of the previous one. In this form, you have to let your customers reach you for the need of product, instead you approaching them. This process starts in very slow manner but when expands rapidly, you have created a good brand of your business. It can be implemented by Search Engine Optimization(SEO), word of mouth, desperate customer need, etc. This is very inexpensive technique as you are not investing much in spreading your word, customers themselves are doing on behalf of you.
4. Social Media Marketing - A very niche, booming and effective technique that most of them now-a-days are going for. There is no need to prove the previous line as 95% of World Population are engaged at least 2 hours daily in one of the Social Media Site. It can be implemented via some social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, Google+, etc. This technique can be implemented in both the ways; expensive way where you have pay for ads, or in inexpensive way where you can use the platform with limited resources.
5. Newsletter Marketing - A very old and effective technique that most of them are using as their default marketing strategy. Nothing more has to be done here, simply create a mail database in thousand numbers and start sending them the newsletters covering all the stuffs of your business, product, service, etc. But yes, newsletters requires a very useful information that should attract the end customer to open it, read it and redirect them to your website directly. Newsletters can be represented in informative way, graphical way, hybrid form, etc.
6. Article/Magazine Marketing - Don’t get confused with Outbound and this one, both are logically same but physically different. In this one, you can’t cover a large number of audience as Article/Magazine Subscribers are very few compared to newspapers. But, the customers that you’ll get here would be mostly above middle class and professional & luxuries in nature. The company creditability increases highly as you are making a good relationship with the genuine customers and even the cost of publishing is bit higher.
7. Promotional Marketing - One of the great and effective way to attract the customers to your product/site/business is Promotional Marketing. Everyone knows 85% of customers will see the price first then the actual item, whether its branded good quality item or average one. This technique targets 3P/4P of Marketing, that are, Promotion-Price-People. Promotions are the only thing creating a very cut-throat competition, no matter you are able to make Profit or Loss, but what you get is good number of traffic. This can be done by using discounts, deals, offers, coupons, stock clearance sale, etc.
8. Viral Marketing - This type of marketing relies on the message of a marketer being spread quickly through various social networks in order to increase brand awareness. The name viral marketing stems from the rapid spread of viruses in general. Typically, a viral marketing campaign will not last as long as other marketing efforts, but if a company can come up with a good idea for viral marketing and reach the right people, it will become highly successful in a short amount of time.
9. Mobile Marketing - Even this form is emerging along with Social Media/Internet Marketing techniques. As mobiles(smartphones actually) are very common to see in every individuals hand, marketer is targeting a large number of audience. It can be done on all of the Mobile OS platforms and many manner. Showing ads while playing games, showing related apps while downloading one, direct SMS of your new product, etc. There can be even scenario where user can mostly neglect your ad if it doesn’t suits to his/her requirement, and that’s the reason it has to be done in very effective manner giving at least 10% clicks of the target.
10. TeleMarketing - A very expensive way to show your business/product to end consumer is this form of marketing. This includes TV ads and it requires a lot of financial capability and that’s the reason why only big companies go for it. This technique can’t be adopted by mid-level or start-up firms, in-fact it shouldn’t be adopted. The way of displaying your ads is the main thing to concern here, by hook or by crook, you have to convince your consumers that why your product stands out from others, and its done.
Excerpts – Bruce Jones
July 2nd, 2013
After spending these many years in educating oneself, the one and only ultimate goal is to get a Job…! But how to get it and why most of them are not getting it? Is it the recession hindering or competition is tough? All these question’s answers point to one thing- Same Resume Content.
Recession and Competition inversely varies each other, balancing it is bit difficult. The thing that only matters is: How your resume stands different from others? A very simple answer lies in Tech & Skills part. That’s what you have to do, upgrade your Resume with one of these booming tech domains and see the difference. Let company approach you, you don’t have to approach them…..!
1 . Mobile OS – Trend has been changing so dramatically that now you won’t find silly Mobiles in everyone’s pocket, most of them are using Smartphones, Tablets, iPad, etc, and world is pivoting towards it. It’s all about Android, IOS, Windows, Blackberry, etc. The functionality and graphics provided by these OS’s are simply awesome! Learn the tech, develop an App and launch it to the App Store and you are in the market and if you really bombard the market, one of the Mobile developing companies will hire you…..!
2 . E-commerce – Who cares to go to the shops and purchase a thing? Everyone wants to relax at home, view the product on site, compare it, place an order and they’ll deliver to your doorstep. That’s what E-commerce means and its growing and growing day by day. Learn various E-com technologies like, Magento, WordPress, Prestashop, etc,. Develop a basic E-commerce site for yourself and launch it or highlight in your resume about your knowledge or start a service base program with your friends where you can develop an E-commerce website for others.
3 . Social Media Marketing – Everyone is aware with Social Media like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin, Pinterest, etc,; Most of them are aware with Marketing like sales, product, etc,; But very few are aware with a thing called Social Media Marketing. This is the field where all companies are going for, Marketing via Social Media in most inexpensive way. Who wants to pay 1000 bucks for advertisement where it can be achieved by 10 bucks. Get familiar with and try implementing instead of surfing it.
4 . Cloud Computing – Cloud is very cutting edge technology in the market and still most of them doesn’t know about it. Amazon, IBM, Eucalyptus, etc., played a major role in Cloud Computing. You want to access a resource from point A to B Cloud will help you, want to download in a faster way Cloud will help you. Still India is yet to flood with this concept as it is quite expensive and rare thing to implement and execute., but future is in and within Cloud.
5 . Big Data– The name itself suggests what it is, it’s like Big Dam storing trillions gallons of water….! On any field or domain, one has to deal with data storage and manipulation and it never decreases. Big Data has already influenced the market on very large scale. Facebook, Google, EMC and most of them are on this side of Big Data. Master in it and go for it.
May 21st, 2013
By – Prof. Nandini Vaidyanathan – Founder & Mentor @ Carma Venture Pvt Ltd. Date – 10th May, 2013
Prof. Nandini has worked for many MNC’s for almost 20 years, within many domains and fields, she’s Board of several companies, Mentor & Promoter of Startup(forstartups.blogspot.com), India’s leading Strategist in management. She has even been a Teaching Entrepreneur in US, UK Premier Business School, Princeton, IIM-B, etc, etc, etc. If I still continue to introduce her, then I think I’ll just end up with her intro itself.
The webinar was awesome, never got so many meaningful and important things to learn just within 2 hours. Prof. Nandini was clear and sound, very straight to her points that were to be conveyed to the audience. So let’s get to her talks about Business Development Plan, I’ll narrate point wise:-
What is a Business Plan ?
“A Business Plan is nothing but your Wishlist that you want within specified period of time, anyhow. Make sure Entrepreneurship and Wishlist goes hand-in-hand.”
- If you are a new Entrepreneur, forget everything else and first approach to get Mentorship from a good Mentor, without which you may have very less chance to survive for long.
- Don’t ever write a plan just because you’re very eager or desperate to start a business or to attract an investor. Write a plan to capture an vision and fulfill your Wishlist.
- Don’t do copy-paste in your business plan, don’t come with a plan and say currently this is there in the market and we can do the same in an efficient way, never think of it. Your plan has a product, if someone sells this product to you then how much you’ll spend from your pocket? The more the price figure comes, the stronger your plan is…!
- Don’t make a business plan that has monopoly kind of business, research for the competitors and make a plan that defers from them. No one can win without competitors, if you don’t have competitors what you’ll compare & with whom you’ll compare, they’re the one who’ll point out your defects. Eg- Imagine everyone in the world with Mercedes Benz…!
- Don’t ask or refer your business plan to any of your friends, family members or relatives, they’ll support you because they wanna see you happy, they’ll speak what you want to hear. Eg. Hitler asked his Army Chief during war, “What’s our status?”. Chief:”We are going to win”. Ultimately Germany got defeated. Hitler:”Why you lied to me?”. Chief:”That’s the thing you always wanted to heat from us…!”
- Equity is Entrepreneur’s Blood, don’t plan to donate it at very early stage. Don’t let anyone rule over you, your team and your org. at an early stage. If you still need to raise funding at early stage, don’t look for Venture Capitalist, look Strategic investor. Never divide your Equity in 1:1, keep at least 51:49 ratio to make good future decisions in an easier way.
- Don’t consider that market is easy to cover with your awesome product, you are still a Starfish and Big Whales are already roaming there in the market. Have a point in your business plan that how your product will change, influence and grow the market. Get a Differentiator in your plan.
- Differentiator in plan can’t always be only in ideas, it can be in Execution too. Eg. Lays Vs. Bingo. Lays introduces itself in market flavours by flavours whereas Bingo introduced by 12 various flavours. They say every Bingo retailer in the market will have at least 12 packets…! Whatever Differentiator you have, it should be very unique and innovative.
- Market research is very important to get boom into the market. Eg. Kurkure researched that most of them want snacks while working on computers, so they introduced Kurkure in Cyber Cafe’s initially and boomed the market.
- Have your idea feasible, scalable and profitable. You should plan for innovation but not at that extent that it becomes hard to implement. It should be profitable, it you can’t take out profit from your idea, then just generate it. If one is not interested in generating the profit, then tell him to book his/her domain as .org instead of any other.
- During hiring process decide you want, a cat or a camel, because later you can’t expect them to change as per your expectation. Even if you get your cat, decide you want which specific cat- big, small, fat,etc. If you can groom your employee, you’re intelligent Entrepreneur, if you can’t (most of them) then deal with them.
- Discuss your plan with every employee, you know the plan very well because its your baby, but do your team know the plan? Does your team know what are your dreams and for what they are working? If you make your employees to work for the salary, they won’t deliver you your expectations, because they don’t know actually.
- Use simple English to communicate, simplify the high-tech and jargon words so that every one gets your idea thoroughly.
- Don’t chose Co-founders like tomatoes and potatoes. Every Co-founder should have complementary skill set. All should want same thing from the company. All should share same value.
- Best point to raise fund is when you don’t need it, that will make you stand above the VC’s. Raise funds only and as per your requirement, if you go for more than your requirement, you may lose control over your expenditure.
Elements Of Business Plan:-
- Have a snapshot summary; its easy to read index page than 1000 pages of a novel.
- Product and Customer must be focused.
- Hire a team that is die-hard, self-motivated and that can fly your ship.
- Market & Competitors. Your every competitor has a drawback, make it your strongest point.
- Good monetisation model excluding ads.
- Don’t have just one innovation, have a whole pipeline, a series of innovations.
- Budget planning for at least 3 years. Revenue and Expenses must have assumptions.
- Milestones- break your plan/wishlist into milestones.
- Monthly Profit & Loss Sheet should be there.
- Differentiate between Risks & Opportunities.
- Plan your Elevator Pitch. Say you are in elevator with Warren Buffet and you got just 30 secs to impress him so that he’ll give you a check in 30 secs, what you’ll say?
- Build Evangelical Team that will bring Evangelical Customers.
- Check where you stand . Give customer what he wants -> Colgate gave. Give customer more than he wants -> Google gave. Give customer which he never dreamed of -> Facebook gave.
So these were the great advices and suggestion by Prof. Nandini represented here in front of you. Hope you found it interesting and learned at least one point to follow your journey of Entrepreneurship…!
May 14th, 2013
Few days back, I came across “Pitch,” a marketing magazine with the cover story titled “Child is the father of Brands.” It had interviews of 20 odd marketers, brand experts, marketers, creative brains, media owners and media planners on how kids are redefining the marketing.
Here, I am summarizing the same along with my views on how digital media is playing a key role in connecting with
this young audience. Indian consumer era has just started and thus new age marketers have started creating their own rules to connect with the young generation in turn influencing their parents and guardians in their purchase decisions.
Digital and social media is playing a major role these days for marketers in influencing today’s generation which
is called the ‘Screenagers’. They live on a television screen, console screen or a tablet screen. Within the digital space, while gaming remains the No.1 activity for a 4-10 year-olds, as you move up the age ladder, social media begins to take precedence over gaming. E.g. Dairy company, Amul has been using the digital space for its range of ice-creams and for Amul PRO, the recently launched malt based milk additive for kids in the age-group of 2-15 years. While it’s Facebook page has close to 500,000 likes, the brand’s websites are also buzzing with activity.
77% kids like funny ads while 60% like ads with their favourite celebrities. In line with this, marketers are vying for tie-ups with animation movies and films targeted at children to leverage the noise created by these Hollywood films prior to their release in the country and cash in on their popularity and exposure. The English animation flick Ice Age-4, for example had associations with seven different brands: MTR, McDonald’s, MCD, Crax Corn Rings, Perfetti Alpenliebe, LG Electrnoics 3D TV and The Mobile Store. For Perfetti, the partnership out with Fox Studios for its marketing campaign was aimed at bringing alive the ‘irresistibility’ positioning of Alpenliebe etc.
Successful brands will go where the kids are – Touch Screens. Adam Shlachter, Managing Partner, Practice Lead, Digital at MEC (a division of GroupM) call children born in last 3-5 years as ‘Gen-S’ or “Generation Screen.” He says, Gen S will never know a world without screens, without being connected, without touch and swipe, or gesture control, or without cameras to capture, interact, share and connect with others instantly. We have all witnessed toddlers navigating a smartphone or iPad better than we can. Thus, marketers, brands, retailers and publishers need to stay relevant to the audience that expects to transact nearly everything on a touch screen. This means, it has become critical for brands to create and redesign sites to render appropriately and dynamically for different screens and operating systems.
Today, 45% of Fortune 500 companies do not have mobile-optimised websites according to a recent study by Interactive Advertising Bureau. But, now it is slowly happening. A number of apps are being created by companies worldwide to engage Gen S in many innovative ways. Examples include learning and literacy apps from education companies like Scholastic or Penguin books etc.
Now that digital media has emerged from it’s infancy, reaching kids has gotten harder. About 48% of consumers
between the age of 8 and 12 spend two hours online every day, according to eMarketer, while 24% of teens between 13
and 17 spend more than 15 hours online each week and also watch TV regularly.
I would like to conclude here by showing some statistics on How much would parents consider a child’s involvement in a product purchase:
||Would not Consider
|Internet Service Provider
|Savings Plan for Children
(Data Source: Cartoon Network New Generations India study 2011)
October 1st, 2012
excerpted from Harvard Business Review (Jul-Aug 2012 edition) article on Social Selling titled “Tweet Me, Friend Me, Make Me Buy”
Social Networks are important to sales people, that’s where the customers are.. Social Media selling has risks, but the biggest risk is sitting on the sidelines while your competitors grab customers on social networks. It makes sense for businesses today, of all kinds, to explore selling on social media. This can be achieved via structured training the sales team. Interestingly, there is scant training programs catering to Social Media selling. This activity, so far, remains in the perview of a smattering of a few leading Social Media consultants who are trying to creat awareness in this area.
The world is moving from push to pull marketing tactics. Subject matter expertise delivered via white papers and tweets is part of sales strategy now. The coorelation between such high quality SME content to actual sales achieved is difficult to measure, but the fact remains that customer engagement, brand recognition and buying decisions are dependent on content posted on such social networks. The sales executives from Online Teleconference services provider PGi use their company blog to broadcast useful content to their audience and followers, helping create a brand recognition and awareness of PGi portfolio.
It’s where the customers are
Studies conducted by Experian Marketing Services indicate that social networking now accounts for 15% of internet visits in the USA. LinkedIn, the professional networking site, now boasts 100 million users, most corporate folks who are at various levels of potential customer firms.Twitter has more than 100 million active users and Facebook has almost close to 1 billion users, 14% of global population.
How Social selling helps
a) Prospecting : Cold Calling and email blasts are being fast replaced by prospecting potential customers on social networks. It seems the customers are more responsive to short messages sent via social networks from friends and contacts. Often the sales reps do not have to start the conversation, but rather can insert into an existing problem or situation being discussed on Social networks. Eg a client executive could be complaining about phone services, phone company sales reps can pick up such conversation and approach that customers with telco solutions and offerings. “A lead today can be a complaint on Twitter, a question on LinkedIn, or a discussion on a Facebook page.” Social monitoring tools like HootSuite allow such lead generation to be automated and integrated into a firm’s CRM system.
b) Qualifying leads : Using data intelligence tools like InsideView, salespeople can gain relevant, real-time insights about the companies and buyers they’ve targeted. “Follow”, trigger alerts, direct messaging are compelling tools on social networks which allow sales reps to research their prospects and be prepared for the sales presentations or sales calls. The key decision makers can be researched and targeted as direct contacts on social networks.
(CellStrat experience : LinkedIn is surprisingly powerful to make contacts and penetrate firms at senior level as per our experience)
c) Managing relationships : Sales remains a relationship-driven activity, but “who you know” is now trumped by “what you know about who you know”. Social networks are being used by sales reps to “know their customers” and what their customers are discussion online or in tweets. This helps empower the sales reps with valuable knowledge about prospects when making contact with them.
As to governance and credential risks associated with using social networks, firms can have in place policies and training for sales teams, to ensure that the employees do not end up causing trouble for their firm via inappropriate or questionable activities online.
It would not be a stretch to say that not participating in social selling puts a firm at a competitive disadvantage compared to it’s competitors, as the latter are certainly leveraging the social selling paradigm already.
August 5th, 2012
News Corp. is forming a partnership with AT&T Inc. to provide tablet-based learning and assessment products for kindergarten through grade 12.
The two companies said Monday they would offer a 4G mobile platform on tablets through a pilot program this coming school year. News Corp. also announced that its education business would be named Amplify.
The media company’s statement on Monday was its most detailed outline of its plans for expanding into the education sector since it spent $360 million in late 2010 to buy 90% of Wireless Generation, an education technology company that makes online tools to evaluate students and personalize instruction. Wireless Generation forms the core of Amplify.
Amplify will take Wireless Generation’s offerings a step further by introducing more original curricula and tools designed for students rather than teachers. In an interview, Joel Klein, News Corp.’s executive vice president in charge of Amplify, said it was critical that students have access to the platform both at school and when they take tablets home. “The idea that you can do this 24-7 can really change the game,” said Mr. Klein, who was chancellor of the New York City Department of Education before joining News Corp. in 2011.
The K-12 e-learning market in the U.S. is roughly $5.4 billion currently, a fraction of the amount spent on traditional educational materials like textbooks. But the digital market is growing about 20% annually, according to Michael Horn of Innosight Institute, a non-profit think tank.
Educational publishers such as Pearson PLC, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Co. and McGraw-Hill Cos. education unit are already endeavoring to expand in digital, while technology companies including Apple Inc. also are trying to establish a presence. At the same time, states are cutting back on spending for textbooks.
Most of the content of companies like Pearson, McGraw-Hill and many others for K-12 segment is being digitised and programmed into tablet formats in Bangalore, India too as a cost cutting measure as well as they are also able to find market for their products in India and thus lot of schools and corporates are getting subscription based services for accessing such content on tablets.
(Excerpted from article in WSJ)
August 1st, 2012
Apple and five major US publishers are going to be sued by the US Justice Department on the grounds of ‘price rigging’ concerning the iBooks store found on Apple’s iPad tablet and iPhone. It’s believed that when Apple first launched the iPad and iBooks the company came to an agreement with these publishers which would effectively ‘strong arm’ every other distributor to follow the rules set out by Apple. Believed to be concerned that if by joining Apple their books would go the same way as iTunes with songs being cheap and standardized the publishing companies demanded an alternative.
Apple’s answer was very simple, they would move to the ‘Agency Model’ where the publishers would set the price and Apple would take a straight 30 per cent cut. Of course Apple was happy with this but only on one condition, that no other distributor would then be able to undercut them. This in turn then force the publishers to demand ‘The Agency Model’ with the likes of Amazon’s Kindle Store. The Justice Department will aim to prove that this action was taken with both Apple and the publishers in full knowledge of the consequences.
Both parties have denied collusion and have argued that by raising prices across the board they have allowed the industry to thrive making booksellers more successful.
It’s not known when the Justice Department will make its move, or indeed if it will at all. However all eyes will be turned to Apple, who recently had to change another aspect of their iBooks eco-system when it came to their iBooks Author app.
(Source: Wall Street journal)
March 12th, 2012
“India Inside : The Emerging Innovation Challenge to the West” is a new book authored by Nirmalya Kumar and Phanish Puranam, renowned professors at the elite London Business School. The book is published by Harvard Business Review Press and released in Nov 2011.
This book is about the “invisible” innovation which India today provides to a multitude of corporations and entities around the world. The book starts with questions like “Where are the Indian Googles, iPods and Viagras?” and “Can Indians innovate?”. Valid questions but which make slight of the fact that innovation is much more than consumer facing direct innovation. Indian ingenuity is enmeshed in so many products other multinationals make – likes of GE, Microsoft, IBM, AstraZeneca, Intel, Motorola and many others.
Globally Segmented Innovation :
As Western firms have outsourced large parts of the IT and research work to their Indian divisions and R&D labs, the skill profile of the Indian worker is increasing and firms are increasingly entrusting them with higher-end tasks. In this regard, the authors talk about the Skills Ladder concept – which says that when one creates an army of talent at the bottom of the product development pyramid, it is likely that innovation leaders emerge from this lot and remain in the geography where they are situated – as such, one can say that, thanks to Western outsourcing, a huge no of Indian engineers and innovators are being trained and are likely to boost the local innovation ecosystem via new entrepreneurial ventures or contributions to domestic economy.
In short, there is a talent shift to Asia from the Western hemisphere, which in turn will lead to accelerating growth and innovation in that part of the world.
Outsourced R&D :
For multinationals, Indian service providers like Wipro, Infosys, Tata and HCL are conducting outsourced R&D in labs all across India. Wipro pioneered the concept of outsourced R&D with it’s innovative Product Engineering Services division or PES starting way back in early 80s. Infosys products like Finacle and others like i-Flex have become global leaders in banking and finance. Outsourcing of R&D to India-based outfits creates talent pools in that part of the world and self-perpetuates further innovation and increased western investments.
Process Innovation – An Injection of Intelligence :
Indian call centers are often staffed with folks who are normally more qualified than a mundane call center job. This has caused the so called “injection of intelligence” into the mundane call center and BPO processes – processes which the Western world had written off as commoditized and boring. As a result, call center outsourcer 24/7 is injecting analytics-driven market intelligence into customer service calls and interactions – thereby increasing web / phone consumer loyalty and conversion rates. Higher qualified Indian talent is converting routine BPO processes into more strategic higher-value initiatives for western clients, thereby increasing ROI on outsourcing even more.
Management Innovation – The Global Delivery Model :
Infosys and other Indian IT firms have pioneered the global outsourcing and cost efficiencies which can be achieved in large projects. Saving costs and making the process faster, leaner and efficient is certainly innovation in it’s own right.
Visible Innovation – Frugal Engineering :
The emerging Asian middle class is known to demand and desire Western style products at cheaper cost. The Indian concept of “Jugaad” - or an ability to make do with less resources and still get things done, is now finding acceptance as a strategy in global Boardrooms. Tata Nano (and more recently Aakash tablet, I might add) are changing the debate of value vs cost. Developed markets are fascinated by Indian creations like Tata Nano and are studying such models closely to see how a quality mass market product can be developed at such a lower cost.
The authors also acknowledge the India’s innovation challenges eg slow bureaucracy, lack of infrastructure, lack of capital and population’s risk-averse nature. However, the Indian innovation train has started and few can turn the clock back now. As such, authors provide recommendations to both Indian and Western firms as to how to leverage or face the oncoming Indian innovation onslaught. We highly recommend this book to those who are interested in learning about the India’s growth and innovation story.
CellStrat Book Rating : **** (4 out of 5 stars)
December 1st, 2011