Friday, July 10, 2009

Put Oracle Applications To Work

streamline your processes on the best platform for business



You're the expert in your business. You understand your processes and how they work. And you also know your company goals.


Finding a technology platform and business partner to support those goals isn't as clear. It's not always obvious how you can use technology best practices to improve the efficiency and productivity of your business.


Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) provides global, integrated business applications that drive business performance. Whether you're new to Oracle applications or have an older EBS installation you would like to upgrade, the functionality and support available in the newer versions of Oracle EBS applications can help you achieve your business goals.


Yet implementing a new platform can be challenging. It might be necessary to re-design business processes to leverage application functionality. There could be a need to locate and hire permanent staff. Or, you might want to train current employees, who may be unable to complete implementation tasks due to existing responsibilities. With 16 years of experience in Oracle application technologies, 2bSure Consulting is ideally suited to help.



2bSure Consulting provides full lifecycle implementation and support services for core EBS application modules, including:

• Financial

• Supply Chain Management

• Distribution

• Human Resource Management Systems

• Customer Relationship Management



2bSure Consulting also provides expert project management throughout the entire project life cycle. We work closely with you to deliver services that include:

• Functional and technical requirements and gap analysis

• Module configuration

• Multiple conference room pilots

• Technical development for interfaces, conversions, extensions, and reports

• Expert "Applications" DBA support

• Test script development and thorough system testing

• Production deployment

• Post-production support



2bSure Consulting can install your first EBS implementation or upgrade an older system. As part of the process, 2bSure Consulting works with your business, functional, and technical teams to identify available functionality, select which features to use, and plan how to implement them to optimize your investment and reach your business goals.





Saturday, May 2, 2009

Strategic Principles of Marketing - 7 Essential Principles of Strategic Marketing for Success



Know your Target Group - An Effective Marketing Campaign will be directly focused on selling to your specific niche. Different groups of people are looking for different concepts. When you present your product to a specific niche, you increase the buyer interest exponentially, creating an opportunity for greater marketing success.




Share your Genuine Passion - When you feel strongly about your product or service, the passion and enthusiasm you generate creates momentum that will ultimately sell your product or service. Your buyer will assume the same passion and begin to promote your product expanding your potential market with word of mouth marketing.




Dare to be Different and Unique - In a black and white world, wear RED and stand out in the crowd. Being different exemplifies quality, value, and independence within your market. When you present your business as Unique and Differentiate between yourself and others you Brand your business with Integrity and Independence.




Understand the Law of Success - Know that Success is the natural response to Marketing. Once you understand that Success is the Natural Response to Marketing it's easy to accept a "No" with sincere grace and move on to the next customer. When you realize that making a sale is a direct result of having a product or service to sell, you can smile and walk away graciously when someone doesn't buy with confidence that they just don't need what you have to offer.




Know your Business Purpose - When you understand that your purpose in business is to make sales and market your product or services, then you begin to present your product and services in everything you do. Your website promotes your business, because it sells your products and services. Your business card, your letterhead, you copy, your mannerisms sell your business because that's the purpose and goal of your Business.




Find Results Oriented Solutions - Once your efforts are focused on solutions your business expands to encompass the process, developing new ways and concepts to offer solutions to your specific market. Your customers begin turning to you for all their solutions in your field and your company produces more and more solutions. The result of high quality business solutions is success.




Never Give Up - Failure is part of success. When you realize that every failure you experience brings you that much closer to success, and every failure you experience is a lesson bringing you closer to success, you encounter more opportunities for success. Learn from mistakes and make consistent strides to improve your Business Marketing Strategies.


McDonald’s gaining share in turbulent times

McDonald's announced a resilient 4.3% increase in global comparable sales for the first quarter as they continue to attract financially stricken consumers.
Chief Executive Officer Jim Skinner said a focus on convenience and value were the drivers of their success. "McDonald's continues to deliver a relevant restaurant experience that provides consumers with a broad range of quality menu choices, affordable prices and unmatched convenience," he stated. "Our underlying business performance remains strong. In constant currencies, first quarter results reflect higher revenues, operating income and earnings per share over the prior year."

The greatest growth rate of their three regions was in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMEA) sector, where they anticipate to derive significant benefit from in the years ahead. In constant currencies, APMEA's first quarter operating income soared by 11%, driven by strong performances in Australia and Japan - which were partly offset by weaker sales in China. The strong US dollar had an impact, however, with sales rising 5.5% in USD terms.

The US region outshone Europe, with sales up 4.7% despite the deep recession in their home market. The company said they had managed to take market share as consumers sought out core products like the Quarter Pounder, and were drawn to convenient locations and operating hours. Increased sales of chicken, breakfast and beverages contributed to the robust results.

"McDonald's business remains strong, despite the economic concerns around the world," Mr Skinner added. "Our well-known value proposition and unparalleled convenience continue to resonate with customers. In fact, the momentum has continued with April comparable sales trending at least as strong or better than first quarter sales in every area of the world.

"I remain confident that we have the right strategies in place to grow the business and provide value into the future," he concluded.


Building a Brand Through Social Networks

With all that's going on with social networking these days, we're seeing a lot of figures leverage the popularity of social networks to gain visibility for themselves. We've seen it a lot with musicians, films, and especially politicians, who recognize the potential of reaching out to the teen and young adult demographics that connect over social networks and are hoping to get the young vote for the 2008 Presidential elections. The social marketing blog QuickSprout has noted 3 rules for you to brand yourself through social networks. Here's the abbreviated version:

Create a Profile

It's important to have a profile on every major social network out there, including MySpace and Facebook(). Most profiles have public URLs that become hubs for people seeking information on you. They're great because they allow you to share pertinent information for the rest of the world to see. We've seen it with politicians such as John Edwards, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on MySpace, YouTube ()and even Twitter(), as they rake up friends and offer a place to disseminate updates and announcements in a way that reaches MySpace users quickly and easily; on their level.

The more customizable the profile, the better. MySpace(), Magnify and Bebo offer a pretty high level of customization, enabling you to add backgrounds and color schemes that match your brand. Magnify can also be incorporated into your existing site or profile elsewhere.


In order to get visibility for your profile, you need to network. This means, get out there and connect with the other users. Send them messages, add them as friends and leave comments on their user profiles. You can also join and start groups that are related to topics that connect back to your brand, participate in forums and chats, as well as special activities a site may have, such as Vox()'s Quotd, which is a daily question they pose to the community. This allows you to reach other users on a personal level, and lets them know you're an active member of the community.

You see this a lot with musicians and profiles that are set up for movies or series, such as pop singer Mandy Moore, who holds several contests on sites such as Photobucket(), and Prom Queen and Afterworld, who have garnered quite a following on MySpace and YouTube. Facebook newsfeeds and Twitter updates will also let your friends know what's going on with you, which sparks a continued interest in your profile. Several services have incorporated Twitter into their own sites, such as MyBlogLog and 30Boxes, so no matter what networks other people are using, there's a growing chance they'll still see what's new in your life. Twitter also makes it easy for people to keep up with you even when they're on the go, as Twitter gives SMS updates as well.


In order to get people to remember your brand, you'll have to make sure they see it over and over again. In order to achieve this, you'll need to get people to keep coming back to your profile. You can do this by giving updates about yourself and your brand, and adding interesting content such as photos and videos.

I'll add to this the use of widgets. If you create a widget with content that's directly related to your brand, and this widget is exportable directly from your profile, you are encouraging others to place the widget on their own profile, letting them work for you while still expanding the recognition of your brand. You'll need to incorporate a way for people to know how to get back to your site if you decide to use widgets. If the widget itself can't be linked back directly to your profile, add a caption to your images slide show or video that displays your brand and your public URL. Try to keep this simple. Services for photo and video editing include MixerCast, Mojiti and Jumpcut.

If you employ a widget strategy, you can use tools such as those offered by ReverbNation, which gives you stats and demographics for your profile and your widgets, so you can see where they are the most effective, and what type of people they appeal to.

Major Lesson Learned

One key takeaway from these guidelines is to remember that smaller, even niche social networks can be used to build up your presence in larger communities. A lot of smaller sites offer tools that will let you incorporate additional content that's important for branding purposes, as well as ways to manage your overall web presence, offering compatible tie-ins with larger networks.


Advertising Yourself: Building a Personal Brand through Social Networks

In 2007, Jim MacMillan was at the top of his profession -- a photojournalist who had just shared a Pulitzer Prize for pictures from Iraq's deadliest combat zones -- but he also started to wonder what kind of future that profession had in store for him. His newsroom in Philadelphia was making steep job cuts in the face of plummeting revenues. Then MacMillan attended a BlogWorld conference and returned with a determination to re-invent himself though social networking.

MacMillan has since become highly skilled at using social networking to gain new fans of his photography, and he is hardly alone. Over the last few years, creative professionals -- including musicians, writers and artists -- have found they can reach an engaged audience by making songs available on a MySpace page or building a national readership by blogging. Now, with the economy mired in a recession, many individuals are wondering how to build a buzz about themselves and find new employment opportunities by adapting the same kind of branding techniques used by businesses.

"I saw that the real value of a new media profile, or a social media profile, is distribution [to an online audience]," MacMillan says. While still employed as a staff photographer at the Philadelphia Daily News, he had launched his own web site -- -- for posting his photos and linking to related stories in the news. Like many professionals, he also created a profile on Facebook, Twitter and every social network he could learn about, roughly 40 in all.

Eventually, he took a severance package from the newspaper and threw everything into social networking. Today, he has close to 14,000 followers reading his posts on Twitter -- a number on a par with some celebrities -- and keeps in touch with about 475 friends on Facebook. He believes he reaches a larger and more engaged audience than when he was at the Daily News, but he also concedes his activity is only bringing in "lunch money," mainly through ads on his blog (which receives traffic referrals from his Twitter postings). But by expanding his network, Macmillan says he also has promising leads on better-paying job opportunities at companies, including some that want advice on social networking.

According to Jonah Berger, Wharton marketing professor, using social networking sites or a new media endeavor such as blogging can be especially useful for workers looking to reshape their career into a new kind of profile. "People will begin to see you in that role," Berger says. "By creating these links outside of your organization, you can change your meaning to [others]."

Clearly the recession -- which has cost the American economy more than five million jobs, including an estimated 1.5 million in the white collar sector -- has placed a new premium on the art of networking among workers who see their jobs threatened. As The New York Times recently reported, interest in traditional face-to-face networking groups among executives -- even those still collecting a paycheck -- has soared in recent months.

Indeed, social networking is that rare sector of the economy that seems to be booming in the midst of the recession. MediaPost reported that businesses spent $2.2 billion on social-networking in 2008, nearly twice as much as they did in 2007, primarily through advertising on popular sites like MySpace and Facebook.


While not dismissing the value of more traditional networking, many experts in the art of self-marketing agree that the rapid rise over the last five years of Internet-based social networking sites is a game-changer. Such sites allow like-minded people to forge connections, not just at lunch, but across the country or even overseas, leading to unprecedented opportunities for ambitious people to expand their list of contacts, generate business leads or even develop a new career.

Initially, it was largely the creative classes who saw that an online following could eventually grow into paying customers. For example, rock musicians who once spent years trying to land a record deal with a major label created pages on the popular MySpace social networking site, forged bonds with online fans through free downloads or other audience-participation efforts and eventually sold compact discs or song downloads to a loyal following.

Author Scott Kirsner, who writes a weekly column for The Boston Globe, recently studied this emerging business model for a book titled, Fans, Friends and Followers: Building an Audience and a Creative Career in the Digital Age. Musicians or authors who build an audience through social connections and an ongoing dialogue over the Internet develop devoted fans who are even more likely to buy a product because they feel a personal connection to that artist, he says.

"There is a major shift [among] consumers, whose entertainment used to be watching TV or buying movie tickets," Kirsner notes. "That shift is a desire to connect with the artist and to support [him or her] directly." In addition, these followers often become online evangelists, spreading buzz through their own large social networks.

According to Kirsner, one of the best examples of self-marketing is Jonathan Coulton, a self-described "geek rock" musician who once worked as a computer programmer but has built a large online following through music. Coulton frequently offers songs over the web for free, allows fans to legally create music videos or other forms of artwork around his music, and once famously allowed his followers to come up with the instrumental solo for a track he had posted on his site. Coulton "created this whole community where he would write the songs and others would spread the word to promote it and make products, or add their own creativity," Kirsner says.

Today, however, social networking is no longer merely the province of the creative classes. Millions of business professionals have joined sites like Facebook -- the platform that allows people to share photos, links or information with a network of friends and that has more than 200 million active users worldwide -- and LinkedIn, a networking site that is more business oriented and has 35 million users. Gaining fast in popularity is Twitter, with about five million users who exchange information with their network of friends in short bursts of no more than 140 characters.

Wharton marketing professor Eric Bradlow, co-director of the Wharton Interactive Media Initiative, has spent several years studying self-marketing for financial services professionals -- one of the hardest-hit sectors in the current slowdown. He says developing a personal "brand" can be as important for a financial advisor as for a rock musician. Bradlow is co-author of a book to be published this summer titled, Marketing For Financial Advisors: Build Your Business by Establishing Your Brand, Knowing Your Clients and Creating a Marketing Plan.

"In these times, people need to differentiate themselves," notes Bradlow, who became interested in this topic five years ago when he learned that training for financial services professionals almost never included any education about marketing and self-promotion. Bradlow believes it is critical for a worker in the financial sector -- especially those who are sole practitioners or run a small business -- to develop a brand identity to convince would-be clients to choose them over a large field of rivals. He advises business people to come up with three simple words to define a personal brand -- words that could describe a specialized skill set or simply community involvement.

"The most important part is being consistent, [to establish] brand consistency across the various channels," Bradlow says. That means a business person seeking to build buzz about himself or herself should convey the same message whether meeting people at a local luncheon or building a profile and communicating with friends by way of Facebook. It is also important to understand that different types of networking -- traditional or new media -- bring different pluses or minuses to the table, he adds. For example, financial planners who target clients in the "at-retirement" sector will have more success making social contacts at a golf club or winning referrals through other trusted professionals, such as lawyers, than by aggressively using Facebook or Twitter, which could even be off-putting to some older clients.

LinkedIn is by far and away the most popular business-oriented social network -- with more than 35 million registered users scattered across more than 170 industries -- but it is just one of a growing number of sites. Others include Ning, which allows specific businesses to create their own social networks of clients, employees and interested parties; Ryze, which allows organizers to better organize contact lists and schedules; and Xing, which aims to connect business people with experts or potential customers.

It's equally important to be aware of the potential pitfalls of the different online networking sites. In particular, some experts voice concern over business networking on Facebook, because it allows friends and acquaintances to freely post material that will also appear on a person's profile page; the risk is that someone else might post an inappropriate comment or photo that could actually scare away potential business contacts.

"Your professional branching-out can be comingling with your personal friends' accounts, and you are exposing all of them if somebody decides to give away your information or post something imprudent," says Andrea M. Matwyshyn, a professor of legal studies and business ethics at Wharton. She recommends that potential job seekers focus their activities on business-oriented sites such as LinkedIn, which are unlikely to pose the same risks.

Skip the Wild Parties

In fact, Matwyshyn says the recession -- and the greater risk of layoffs that comes with it -- can make Facebook even riskier as managers who make decisions about layoffs or about new hiring are increasingly exposed to online profiles. "People in this down economy are deciding whether to fire one person who has a picture of a wild party the night before [on Facebook] ... while [another] person who is on the chopping block has posted pictures of his family." Still, Matwyshyn acknowledges that she herself has an active Facebook profile because she found it an effective way to make contacts or trade information with other academics in her field of expertise.

Despite the risks, many experts are advising individuals to use the web and other tools to brand themselves. They note that until recently, executives and other professionals tended to market themselves through their resume and depended heavily on the reputation and branding of the employers they have worked for -- something that makes less sense in this roiled economy with so many layoffs and job changes.

Peter S. Fader, Wharton marketing professor and co-director of the Wharton Interactive Media Initiative, says establishing a personal brand is important in an age in which consumers are more skeptical and seeking a level of comfort and trust. "Before, receivers would usually play a passive role and accept a product because it was there. Now, they want to know what your source of credibility is and why they should trust you." He argues that this environment makes it possible for an investigative journalist, for example, to adhere to top professional standards through his relationship with his readers in what he calls "a grassroots manner. I think that's great."

Building an online identity also takes patience. Berger notes that at first, it is usually helpful to build a following by giving away something for free -- even if it's just nuggets of information or personal wisdom transmitted by blog postings or through commentary on Twitter. "People might enjoy that, and find that they're willing to pay for it in another outlet." Likewise, an attractive online personality could widen one's list of contacts to include people able to offer job opportunities down the road.

Bradlow believes that it's important to reach out to people who are "influencers," who will use word-of-mouth to spread information about you and your unique expertise to their own wide networks of social contacts -- a concept described by author Malcolm Gladwell in his best-selling book, The Tipping Point. "You need to seed the right people, to develop a word-of-mouth army," Bradlow says. "Everyone should have a list of 20 or 30 people who will act as their ambassadors."

For someone -- a white-collar middle manager, for example -- who might question whether he or she truly has enough unique abilities to create a personal brand, Bradlow notes the endeavor might not involve a skill as much as a specialized kind of training, or even something like philanthropic involvement in the community. The other thing he suggests to self-marketing newcomers, online or otherwise, is patience. "Branding is something that does not necessarily come with a short-term payoff. It's a long-term investment. Why does Coca-Cola spend hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising? It's not about increasing sales today; it's about building brand awareness."

Ask MacMillan, who is branding himself and his award-winning photography online and who is painfully aware of how long it takes to develop income. "I'm not trying to replace the revenue from my job through the direct revenue from my blog, because that doesn't happen," he says. "But the secondary revenue will be there."


Four Keys to Launching Your Service Brand... The Right Way

1. Don't Mass Market To Your Target Market
Product companies sell to the masses through large scale advertising efforts. Following in the footsteps of these companies, many service firms, when attempting to build their brand, start advertising to the masses as if they were selling Wrigley's Spearmint Gum or Coca Cola. But for a service brand, this is a waste. It's not targeted enough, and it costs too much, given the return that it provides.

The dynamics of brand implementation are just different for service companies. Service firms need consistent articulation of their value proposition across all touch points of the marketing and sales process.

While catchy jingles during primetime TV might work for a product company, they are simply inappropriate for service firms. But the right marketing program that "touches" your prospects regularly with highly targeted messages will increase awareness and recognition, so the next time you call to schedule a meeting, they're more likely to take it.

2. Focus On Relevance Over Differentiation
Differentiation is important to product companies. Most brand models (and business schools) argue the need to differentiate. But it is a rare service brand that can stake the claim to categorical differentiation. Let's face it, many service firms offer similar services. As such, it is difficult to own a unique market position. So forget about those product oriented, one-word descriptions.

Instead of attempting to be amazingly different from the rest, focus on being relevant. Specifically, relevance as it pertains to the client. The ideal service brand merges the needs, wants, and desires of the client with the character and values of the company.

The key lies in creating a space where customer needs meet company essence, an ideal combination of rational and emotional attributes that apply to both groups. This common ground approach develops a brand that not only resonates with the client by delivering what is important to them, but also develops a brand that is genuine, appropriate, and defensible by the company.

By staking a claim for what you stand for, communicating how you help your clients succeed, and communicating how reliable you are in doing this, you'll develop a unique identity. Most service firms don't have the stick-to-it ability to get this far, but if they do, they'll stand out in the market.

3. Worry About Growing Revenue, Not Market Share
Product companies are taught that they must be number one or two, in terms of market position, to be successful. Service brands should concentrate on growing revenue, not gaining market share, as product companies do.

In a service industry, whether it be accounting, law, architecture, or consulting, even local markets are usually fragmented and crowded with many successful firms generating considerable revenue from like-services.

Instead of concerning yourself with your position in the market, focus your efforts on improving the bottom line.

4. Help Your People Be Your Brand
Service firms do not have a tangible display of products that you can see, touch, and test out before deciding to purchase. As a service firm, your face to the world, what carries your brand most is your people. As such, do not underestimate the internal components of brand development.

To create a collaborative culture, communicate your brand message to the troops so that each individual becomes a brand ambassador. This helps to ensure that every sales call, every client interaction, and every elevator conversation delivers the brand as intended.

Don't attempt to be Big Brother, but do provide a rallying point for the entire organization, because "speaking in one voice" is far more important for service firms who rely on direct, one-to-one interaction with clients.

What Is This Really All About?
A successful brand is really about a client-centric approach tied closely to the firm's business strategy. Even in its simplest form, brands offer tangible benefits to the vast majority of service firms. So, think strategically, roll up your sleeves, and you can expect the following out of a well developed and implemented brand:

  • A genuine and defensible market position
  • Improved external awareness, perception, and desirability
  • The development of a collaborative internal culture
  • Alignment and integration of all messaging
  • Revenue growth
  • I'll add one final note about branding: your marketing materials are important, but don't go overboard.

Consumer brands focus on their position in the market and differentiation, using the pretty designs of a brochure, website, or advertisement to play a large role in driving their brand and growing their market share. But for service brands, good design is just one supporting part of success. We must take a fundamentally different approach than consumer brands to attain the same results.

What matters is having a process that drives revenue growth over the long term; the pretty pictures are just along for the ride. So learn from Apple, FedEx and Volvo. Adopt the idea of brand, but apply it to the particular needs of service firms.


Friday, April 17, 2009

Why do companies need a Chief Marketing Officer?


As the business landscape evolves, marketing also evolves into an organization wide strategic discipline. Given marketer's knowledge of the customers, it is imperative that the CEO and the corporate board have a representative of the customer to continually educate them. Additionally, companies need a strategic CMO to benefit from:


• Aligning marketing with the corporate business strategy: Newer technology, powerful channel partners, and empowered customers have made the competition highly intense and marketing a very involved and strategic discipline. Marketing can no longer be confined to the 4P framework. Marketers, with their in-depth knowledge about markets and customers, should act as a major resource for strategy formulation. In all issues of corporate strategy—what markets to compete in, what segments to target, what entry mode and strategy to adopt, which partners to strategically ally with—marketing offers substantial information. In order to convey these holistic perspectives, it is imperative that in the corporate boardroom, marketing is represented by the CMO, who can speak to the directors and the CEO in their language. A classic example is of the iPhone from Apple. Given the tremendously successful iPod and iMac, Apple could have become complacent. But the marketing acumen of the executives recognized the need to constantly excite the customers. Further, they built their growth strategies on satisfying the unmet needs of the customers. Marketing played a crucial role in guiding Apple's corporate strategy.



• Connecting the corporate boardroom with the customer: As Peter Drucker said, the only two functions of any organization are innovation and marketing. Irrespective of how innovative a company is, how committed the employees are, and competent the top management is, unless the company connects with the customer, success will be elusive. The top management should constantly evaluate their strategic decisions in the context of customer feedback—what do the customers value and how can the customers help the company in co-creating value. CMO plays a crucial role in constantly updating the boardroom and the CEO about latest customer preference as well as how well the corporate resources are aligned to meet those evolving customer needs. Companies such as Levis Strauss, Sony, Toyota, Nike and Singapore Airlines are some of the pioneering companies that manage to constantly feel the pulse of their customers. As such, the marketing takes a central role in guiding the corporate strategy by having the top management team and the CEO regularly updated about customers and markets.



• Creating a customer-centric organization: Given the innumerable choices that customers have, ensuring long-term customer loyalty and sustainable competitive advantage becomes highly challenging. The difference between the successful companies that achieve those objectives and those who fail is the corporate orientation. Customer oriented companies design and operate every aspect of the company with the customer in mind. To build a customer-centric organization requires a highly concerted effort of all functions within a company along with every employee becoming a customer champion. These issues deal with organizational culture, organizational structure and corporate policies. The CMO can influence the boardroom and the CEO to implement measures that would facilitate building a customer- centric organization. Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts is a classic example that showcases such a customer-centric philosophy. The founder has managed to instil a culture that allows constant interaction between marketing and other functions within the company. Such an emphasis has resulted in world-class resorts that always manage to delight the customers.From this discussion, it is evident that CMOs are strategic requirements of any corporate boardroom. But in spite of such a signifi cant role played by the CMO, companies have not completely embraced the concept of a CMO. The next section discusses some of the main challenges faced by CMOs, which make them vulnerable to boardroom dislike.


The challenges faced by the CMO are the problems increasingly faced by marketing as a discipline off late. It has been long argued that one of the fundamental challenges of marketing that has undermined its credibility, threatened its standing within a company, and even threatened the existence of the very discipline as a distinct entity is marketing's failure to quantify its outcomes and justify investments into marketing activities. The three main impediments in this regard are:

(1) Relating marketing activities to long-term effects;

(2) Separation of individual marketing activities from other actions, and

(3) Use of purely financial methods for justifying and benchmarking marketing investments. As such, CMOs are not given the opportunity to participate in the strategic decision making of the company. Two such daunting challenges are:


• Measuring marketing outcomes: Marketing fundamentally differs from other functions within a company—such as finance or operations— in a couple of aspects. As marketing deals with people, their attitudes and eventual behaviours, they are not as predictable as a machine process. As such, there can be considerable time lag between marketing actions and the intended outcomes. Further, measuring these outcomes will have to involve both financial and non-financial metrics. Given these underlying factors, it is often challenging for the CMO to convince the top management of marketing's ability to competently allocate resources and significantly contribute to the company's growth.


• Explaining marketing's centrality in a company: Many companies continue to equate marketing with advertising and sales. But marketing has long evolved from being a tactical departmental function to an organization wide strategic discipline. Given marketers' knowledge about customers and other stakeholders, marketing plays a central role in leveraging the internal capabilities. But to assert such a central role within any company, marketers should be able to understand the different aspects of the company, its strategies, its resources and its limitations. Marketers are usually involved in their own jobs and consequently fail to leverage their centrality in a company. CMOs face an immense uphill task in educating and convincing the C-suite of their capabilities and their rightful status. THE CMO AND THE CORPORATE BOARDROOM Given the rather strong antipathy towards marketing within any company and especially within the top management team, CMOs should keep up with time and optimally utilize every resource at their disposal to address some of the fundamental complaints against marketing.


• Leveraging the new media: Even as the Internet and other new media channels continue to challenge many of the fundamental ways of doing business, it also offers some tremendous advantages hitherto not within the reach of companies. As a majority of the companies compete to create a presence online, they also should establish structures in their websites that would help measure many a marketing variable. Softwares allow companies to track their customers' footprints, the stickiness (the amount of time a customer stays on a site), the click through rate of online advertisements, effective optimization of layout design and feel etc. to measure changes in attitudes, behaviours and so on. These tools can be effectively leveraged by the CMOs to begin the process of quantifying marketing outcomes. These early experiments also allow companies to gradually design their own set of useful metrics. Such an essential fi rst step not only brings credibility to marketing, but also allows marketers to make a strong impression with the top management teams and the CEO.


• Internal training: In order for marketing to rise up to the boardroom level, marketers should be thoroughly able to understand the strategic imperatives of the company across functions and be able to speak the boardroom language. Such a state can be attained through formalized internal cross disciplinary training. Such a training system would allow marketers to understand the dynamics of corporate strategy and also enable marketers to effectively leverage the collective internal resources towards ensuring profitability and optimal results. CONCLUSION this article has raised some very fundamental questions about the way companies should be run in the future. The role of marketing within a company is only going to become even more central as managing customer interactions and co-creating value become the building blocks of any corporate strategy. In the future, the CMO will emerge as the strategic connection between the corporate boardroom, the top management team, the CEO and the customer. Companies should offer the CMO the requisite status and power within the company. Furthermore, companies must create an organizational structure where CMOs can guide the company's vision and mission by integrating the myriad functions within the company. The time is not too far when the success of the company depends on the strength of its marketing and the CMO. Asia has an unprecedented opportunity to elevate marketing to the boardroom level, so that the CMO can take centre-stage in shaping and executing the corporate strategy leading to better shareholder returns.

What Is the Difference between a Chief Marketing Officer and a Chief Customer Officer?

What Is the Difference between a Chief Marketing Officer and a Chief Customer Officer?

I'm often asked about the differences between a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and a Chief Customer Officer (CCO) and whether the Chief Customer Officer encroaches upon the role of the Chief Marketing Officer. A simple, flippant way to answer this is "only if the CMO allows it." In some companies I've worked with, the CMO is so myopically focused on outward — bound marketing and "pushing" information on the customers that it takes a CCO to bridge the gap between what marketing hopes customers want and the customer reality.


Jim Novo writes about the lack of analytic rigor so often found in marketing departments and fears the expulsion of marketing from the boardroom and their replacement by IT and Chief Customer Officers. I sincerely hope the Chief Customer Officer doesn't replace the CMO or VP of Marketing in the board room.


In truth, the really good Chief Customer Officers I have worked with and written extensively about serve a very different but complementary function. They need to know what the customer needs, wants, and is willing to pay for better than anyone else. Marketing needs to apply their strategic and tactical prowess to figuring out how to profit by delivering customized products and services that exactly meet these needs and wants.


Marissa Peterson, former CCO of Sun Microsystems, owned much of the analytics as part of the Sun Sigma process. Jeff Lewis, former CCO of, created a very small team to analyze customer data. These two CCOs recognized that their every success depended upon knowing their customers more solidly and completely than anyone else in the company.


The Chief Customer Officer role should be viewed as an "enabling" role, one that enables & facilitates the deep understanding of customers and prospects and assists all organizations in doing what they do best. At the highest level the Chief Customer Officer should bring accountability to the boardroom. The CCO should enable Marketing to raise awareness and drive sales and profits; R&D to develop products that exactly meet customer needs; Customer Service to quickly and efficiently resolve customer issues; and Finance to appropriately capture customer value in terms of payments received.


In summary, the role of the CCO should not be to replace any other function but to assist and strengthen every other function as the organization strives to deliver goods and services that customers need, want, and are willing to pay for

Americans Think Companies Should Use Social Media, New Study Reveals


Almost sixty percent of Americans interact with companies on social media sites; 25 percent do this frequently, (defined as more than once per week) according to the 2008 Cone Business in Social Media Study.


93 percent of those surveyed believed that companies should use social media, and 56 percent say they feel more connected with a company via social media.


Interestingly, while studies show that more women than men use social media sites, Cone's survey indicates that men are twice as likely to interact with companies via social media more than one time per week. "The ease and efficiency of online conversation is likely a draw for men who historically do not seek out the same level of interaction with companies as women," says Mike Hollywood, director of new media for Cone.


Other findings from the survey are: 43% believe that companies should use social media for problem solving; 41% for product feedback; 37% for brand activity; and 25% for marketing.


"The news here is that Americans are eager to deepen their brand relationships through social media. It isn't an intrusion into their lives, but rather a welcome channel for discussion," says Hollywood

Social Media Changes Online Retail Marketing Strategy


Online retailers are following under-30s shoppers to social sites like Facebook, MySpace and YouTube. "Generation Y online buyers" participate in Internet activities more than any younger generation, and this influences their online spending habits.


The Society for New Communications Research study entitled, "Exploring the Link Between Customer Care and Brand Reputation in the Age of Social Media," confirms the importance that this demographic holds for online rating systems, discussion forums and blogs. These sources of information seem to be divorced from traditional marketing strategies, and therefore have more credibility.


Online buying is developing in such a way that conventional PR and marketing strategies are quickly becoming irrelevant. Shoppers are influenced by social and communications sites when they are looking to buy something. As eMarketer says in "Social Media and Shopping Behavior,"To reach this demographic segment, Web retailers are marketing to them on their own turf." Change in the patterns of influence means more speaking directly to customers, defining new methods of influencing them and their buying habits. The SNCR released another study which offers new recommendations to the PR profession.


Strategies include partnerships with larger sites to create their own networks, such as and combining forces. Many online retailers in the United States create profiles on existing social networking sites: Internet Retailer's "Emerging Technology" study shows that of those merchants that are maintaining these pages, 32 percent are on Facebook, 27 percent on MySpace, and 26 percent are on YouTube. Wet Seal, a clothing store for teenage girls, hosted a contest involving Web site visitors posting YouTube videos to win a gift card.


Other merchants have hired marketing consulting that specialize in contemporary methods. L'Occitane USA, a natural beauty and personal care product line, hired Mercent, a Seattle-based company founded by former Amazon members, to strengthen the company's online presence. Mercent Retail networks with marketplaces such as Amazon, and others to foster promotion and customer feedback.

Technology is Changing the Advertising Business

It is sometimes difficult to grasp the vastness of the Internet as it links country with country, culture with culture, buzzing metropolis with distant one-horse town. Even more amazing is the fact that something so seemingly endless could become the vehicle through which an entire industry is transformed to become more personalized.


Such is the case with the advertising industry. With access to consumer information that is, in some ways, easier to collect over the Internet, and more sophisticated technology, companies are customizing their ads toward specific audiences, and even zapping ads to cell phones and Palm pilots. Web surfers can interact with ads in greater depth, and they can benefit directly from an ad's personalized message.


For example, Excite@Home's Enliven business unit, which provides interactive online advertising, has launched an updated version of its popular rich-media technology in the past two years. The technology ties multimedia banners to a database to create constantly fresh banner ads on the Web. The updated product can customize ads to match a user's PC setting. So on one level, for example, Procter & Gamble can use Folgers Coffee banners tailored to the time of day, while on a more intimate level, customers who are known to frequently buy Rich French Roast might be sent e-mails or see ads promoting that particular product.


These technological changes, which only promise to become more advanced as bandwidth increases and provides more richly-textured opportunities for advertisers to tell their stories, are fundamentally changing the way advertisers relate to their customers. Customization has serious implications for the marketing business and the greater objective of brand development.


"The Internet has become more and more a part of the communications community in the past seven to eight years, more dramatically in the last three or four," remarks Richard Gillespie, president of Gillespie Advertising in Princeton, N.J. "The delivery of the message has been made easier. Rather than sending out junk mail and trying to gain a 1% to 2% response rate, the more I know about the person I'm communicating with, the more valuable I can make that information. Rather than my invading your space with generic messages, I can send you communications that have value to you. The power has moved from the deliverer of the message to its recipient."


These empowered recipients, the consumers, are reportedly responding well to the targeted approach. "People give you a lot of credit for advertising that goes out and finds them in their lives," says Evy Nabers, director of fusion marketing at Brand Buzz, a division of advertising agency Young & Rubicam that started a year ago. Brand Buzz's objective is to combine a number of disciplines including database marketing and Web marketing, in order to find the best way to get a message to a consumer, whether on line or in person. "The more targeted you can get, the better," says Nabers.


All media have seen a greater ability to send disparate messages to disparate people, says David Schmittlein, deputy dean of the Wharton School and a professor of marketing. The second part of this equation, he says, is knowing the appropriate messages to send. That is derived from the collection and retention of information about a consumer, which Schmittlein says the Internet world has learned to do successfully from the field of direct marketing. "Customized direct marketing and direct mail led the way in demonstrating the value that exists in retaining customer information," he says. "The most valuable pieces of information with respect to purchase propensities and what matters to customers turn out to be – did they buy something before, when did they buy it, how much did they spend on it and what were the particular product attributes that characterize what they bought. If you know those things, you've got a great basis for customizing ads."


Schmittlein says a great experimentation is going on with respect to a customer's willingness to be contacted, the results of which have yet to be seen. Good marketers, says Gillespie, will know "when not to cross a line."


While firms like Gillespie and other large advertising agencies are waving their interactive banners furiously, Leonard Lodish, a Wharton professor of marketing, says that customization is "an uphill battle" in the advertising business. "The advertising fraternity has not been very rational," Lodish says. "Advertisers still believe old wives' tales like you need to advertise during the Super Bowl to be successful. Advertising agencies are not taking the necessary risks. They need to be more entrepreneurial and experiment more. The Web is the perfect application to do that." Lodish also points to traditional direct-response marketers, like L.L. Bean, as being the most savvy when it comes to reaching out to Web-based customers.


Advertisers will have to nurture their entrepreneurial spirit and put it to good use over the Internet, especially with the arrival of technologies like personal video recorders, which could drop TV ad viewership by as much as 50% by the end of the next decade, according to Forrester Research. As customization software and similar technologies become even more sophisticated and advertisers tap into the vastness of the Internet, they will learn to capitalize on the vastness of its possibilities for directly reaching consumers.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Keeping Your Business Profitable In A Unforgiving Economy

Do you use a business to business prospecting company? Do you currently employ lead generation companies to allow your sales team to focus on selling? If you are curious as to whether your business can survive and even profit during a recession, this article is for you. This article will present Six Rules for keeping your business profitable In A unforgiving economy.

The following tips are ways your company can not only survive, but thrive during tough economic times. Increasing your marketing budget, using the power of leverage, focusing your efforts where they will be most effective, properly training your employees, providing excellent customer service and keeping a positive attitude are all ways to keep your business profitable in difficult economic times.

The first way for increasing profits during a recession may sound backwards, but increasing the amount of money you spend on marketing your business instead of reducing it is one thing that can help your business make a profit during a recession. Countless businesses make the mistake of considering their marketing an expense instead of an investment and wind up destroying their businesses by cutting back in this area.

The second way to increase profits during a recession is to leverage your time by employing a business to business prospecting company to perform outbound telemarketing for your company. This enables your employees to make better use of their time and resources.

The next tip is to change your focus from looking for new business to closing new and repeat business sales. If your telemarketing programs work the way they should, your employees can redirect their energies into closing more sales and making more money for the company and themselves.

The fourth way is to make sure your team receives the right training to work with the leads they get. The right training makes all the difference and will help your profits to skyrocket, even during a recession.

The fifth tip to increase profits during a recession is to treat your clients to outstanding service. Repeat business is a great deal more cost effective than continually finding new clients, so keeping your current clients satisfied should be your top priority.

The sixth and final tip for business success in tough economic times is keeping a positive attitude. People have a tendency to create the exact amount of success they believe they will and your positive attitude will be reflected in your employees' attitudes and achievements as well as your own.

By following the six steps of increasing your marketing budget, using the power of leverage, focusing your efforts where they will be most effective, properly training your employees, providing excellent customer service and keeping a positive attitude, your business can achieve success in tough economic times. Business to business prospecting is a great place to focus a generous part of your marketing budget since it will help facilitate most of these tips. After that, the great customer service and positive attitude will be entirely up to you.


Keeping Your Business Profitable In A Drastic Economy

Does your company do business to business prospecting? Have you ever considered using an outbound telemarketing company? If you are wondering if your business will be able to endure the current economic troubles, this article is exactly what you need to read. There are six tips that can help your business find success even in a bad economy.

The following are some ways your business can actually increase profits during a recession. Increasing the amount of money you spend on marketing your business, leveraging your time, changing your focus, giving your employees the right training, treating your clients to outstanding service and maintaining an optimistic outlook are all ways to increase your profits during a recession.

The first way for increasing profits during a recession may sound backwards, but increasing the amount of money you spend on marketing your business instead of reducing it is one thing that can help your business make a profit during a recession. Countless businesses make the mistake of considering their marketing an expense instead of an investment and wind up destroying their businesses by cutting back in this area.

The second way to increase profits during a recession is to leverage your time by employing a business to business prospecting company to perform outbound telemarketing for your company. This enables your employees to make better use of their time and resources.

The next tip is to change your focus from looking for new business to closing new and repeat business sales. If your telemarketing programs work the way they should, your employees can redirect their energies into closing more sales and making more money for the company and themselves.

The fourth rule for staying profitable when the economy is down is to train your staff well so they can make the best use of the highly-targeted leads they will get. Good training is the key to keeping profits up no matter what the financial forecast is.

The fifth tip for business success in tough economic times is to provide excellent customer service. Getting repeat business is much more cost effective and profitable than having to constantly prospect for new business so it is vital to keep your current customers happy.

The sixth and final tip for business success in tough economic times is keeping a positive attitude. People have a tendency to create the exact amount of success they believe they will and your positive attitude will be reflected in your employees' attitudes and achievements as well as your own.

Implementing the six tips listed above can help your business to increase profits during a recession. Business to business prospecting is one area to concentrate your marketing efforts in since this will make four of the six ways happen.


Digital Marketing vs. Online Advertising

The Internet marketing landscape has grown rapidly over the past few years, spreading out over the Internet like warm saltwater in the sea. Initially focused on banner advertising and search engine submissions, the environment has grown considerably in terms of tools and sophistication of the techniques that Internet marketers are employing.

Jupiter Media Metrix has spotted a recent shift in advertising/marketing dollars into online channels that deliver less expensive distribution, greater personalization, and higher response and tracking rates than traditional marketing dollars are able to capture.

What is emerging in the online marketing space is part digital marketing and part online advertising. Online advertising is an online marketing model based largely on traditional metrics and thinking. Online advertising learns its lessons from television, print, and radio. Examples of online advertising are banner ads and website/content sponsorships.

Digital marketing is a model based on the possibilities created by tightly networked markets. For example, in the next 24 hours web surfers will search for "used cars" an estimated 36,507 times. Marketers are able to insert themselves into these online markets in ways they never could before (see Keyword Markets to learn more). Even in a world filled with spam, consumers and businesses are finding each other on the Internet in unobtrusive ways.

Companies employing digital marketing tactics are actively working to ensure their customers are getting the best and most relevant information that they need to make purchases. Digital marketing consists of search engine optimization, permission-based email marketing, and online coupons.

Marketers were led into online advertising first because it most matched the traditional marketing channels they were accustomed to and the tools for effective digital marketing didn't exist yet. Like exploring new coasts with dated maps, it was only a matter of time before those marketing online gained better tools and information to make them more successful.

According to Jupiter, spending in online advertising in the United States grew by only 5 percent in 2001. Once the economy settles down, they expect it to bounce back and grow at a compound rate of 22 percent over the next five years, reaching a total of more than $15 billion by 2006.

During the same time period, Jupiter predicts that spending on digital marketing initiatives such as search engine optimization, e-mail, and coupons will surpass that of advertising and reach more than $19 billion by 2006.

The growth for online marketers will be huge. According to Jupiter's Internet Advertising Model, by 2006 online advertising and digital marketing will account for 7 percent of the total advertising market, up from 3 percent in 2001.

As marketing online matures, we continue to learn a tremendous amount about how people are conducting themselves online. Traditional models didn't grasp how powerful combining hyperlinked information and marketing tactics could be.

Driven quickly through hyperlinks to information, context becomes an important factor for success. Varying levels of trust are created depending on where information is found.

Companies must ensure they are being found in search engines in order to attract a captive and interested audience. A study from the NPD Group released in February 2001 found that search listings are more effective than standard banner or button advertisements when it comes to brand recall, favorable opinion rating and inspiring purchases. The study found:

These studies suggest that people are inclined to trust services like search engines much like they trust a librarian, a trust that people would not be lead wrong by those who would choose to lead them. Search engines work because they are a passive tool, awaiting input from the user to find what they want.

Email works because it takes the concept of direct marketing and turns it into an active communication channel driven by valuable information and transactions. Research released from DoubleClick in November 2001, indicates that over 88 percent of online consumers have made a purchase as a result of receiving permission-based email, up from 61 percent last year. The research also found that 37 percent had clicked through an email and purchased immediately, up from 20 percent last year.

JCPenney is an example of a company that is using email to drive sales. Between 1998 and 2000, JCPenney's online sales rose from $15 million to $294 million. JCPenney hasn't released online sales figures for 2001, but projections were for sales over $400 million. How has the business grown that much? By focusing on targeted email lists from a willing audience of over 4.5 million shoppers. A family with children headed back to school will get promotions that highlight JCPenney's back to school specials.

A blinking rich media banner ad can't begin to work that way. It might have relevant information or appeal, but only about one one-thousandth of the time. Banners, in all shapes and formats, live in the desert of the online world like billboards on a lonely stretch of dry, forgotten highway.

Digital marketing, like search engine optimization and email, fills your belly and growls at you because you're hungry for it. It's what you want...not what someone perceives you to want. When a person searches on a search engine for a specific product or service, they are qualifying themselves as a potential customer.

Online advertising reminds you that a company has not faded away, sticking to a one-sided, high-frequency push of information it believes will draw people to it like a lighthouse. Digital marketing looks to meet you up on scenic deck #2, where mutual conversations drive transactions and relationships. In a shifting sea of choices, marketers' budgets will soon reflect where the real money and conversations live.

How Social Network Marketing Works

Most marketers would ask the wrong question here: “how can social networks make more money?”
The problem with that approach is that you tend to focus on immediate means of monetizing the value of social networks such as MySpace, Orkut, Friendster, LinkedIn,Mixx, Stumbleupon, Reddit,Twiter and Flikr, while ignoring the real reason these networks were setup and how you can use those ideas to help your business.
MySpace, Orkut and Friendster grew as means to stay in touch with friends, meet new people online and to share ideas. LinkedIn has a similar slant - it is great for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to mine their contacts for hiring / outsourcing. And Flickr is just a blindingly simple tool for sharing photos.
The success of social networks marks a dynamic shift in how people are using the Internet. We’ve evolved from just searching for information to creating and participating in social spaces with other individuals through the Internet. This model is based upon the hive mentality where people identify themselves as part of a group with similar likes and interests that draw them together. This is easy to do online because the traditional communication barriers of physical locations no longer exist.
SEO and Social NetworksSocial networks make viral marketing and word-of-mouth marketing much easier than before. The best use out of social networks is not to make money ‘directly’ off them, but to harness their marketing potential and to use them to market your own business.
The difference between traditional search engine marketing and social marketing
The main goal of any search engine marketer is to drive more traffic to their site. The best way to do that is to optimize your website (including the process of link building) for your target keywords.
Online social networks present an efficient platform for you to use in the spread of your marketing message. In addition, it is also a great tool for getting tons of visitors and thousands of page views to your site.
Standard search marketing and website design tactics will tell you that the best way to do this is by creating lots of content targeted at your niche keywords. Then, you’d do doing everything in your power to get links back to your website pages with your niche keywords as text anchor links.
Instead, what it does mean is that you need to devote more of your attention towards how you can leverage the traffic you do receive from these sources. To do that, you should allow your visitors to create their own social network centered around your niche topic.
The power of this cannot be missed since social networks allow for multiple points of connections between almost anyone on Earth, giving them the ability to find, share, enjoy, and track anything and everything that tickles their fancy.
Using social network applications like MySpace these preferences and choices can be saved, stored, shared and used to build a network of glowing endorsements for your business and products.
As these endorsements are established and cross-referenced, the profile of yourself, your company, and your products can grow exponentially as more and more people become exposed to and share your marketing message.
One of the primary focuses of traditional search engine marketing tactics is the establishment of links from other websites that point visitors back towards your site, preferably with your niche keyword anchor text.
Social network marketing works in the exact same fashion, except people choose to provide your link without being asked to do so, and places like del.ici.ous, Digg, Blogpulse, and Technorati give them the ability to do that.
In offline terms, that means turning towards your friends and family to ask for their opinions. Online, it means turning towards a group of trusted people whose opinions and recommendations you value.
In fact, in lots of cases, you’ve probably done some research on your own, using the traditional search engine marketing model and then turned to a social network that you’re a part of to validate your findings and complete your research by getting their experiences and opinions about the topic.
This is social network marketing at work in its purest form.
One person actively soliciting comments from other people within their community to assist them in making a decision and its only one example of the many ways that the power of online social networks can be leveraged.
Online social networks provide the platform needed to speak out (if they are so inclined) or to simply watch the conversations as they happen.
In fact, online social network marketing is expanding into something much more than that as the Internet becomes a living, breathing organism – the Living Web – that allows people to engage themselves in the things that matter to them and participate in a discussion about what they find important.
To understand why the future of social network marketing is important, how it is so powerful, and what you’ll need to do to integrate it into your online business, an understanding of the mechanics behind it is necessary.
Once you understand the mechanisms at work, you’ll gain a greater appreciation for how to profit from the existing social networks like the ones mentioned earlier, as well as how to use them to create your own social networks built around your niche topics.
Connectors, Mavens and SalespeopleAside from the knowledge shared, one of the key drivers behind social networks is a well-known idea – Six Degrees of Separation, which proposes that anyone can be connected with someone else through no more than five intermediary relationships.
Made popular through an Internet game based around the actor Kevin Bacon, the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”, that links his appearances in films with that of other actors, directors, actresses, writers, etc.
The degrees of separation are referenced through the number of films that separate that person from Kevin Bacon, producing a “Bacon Score” for that person.
If you played around with Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon long enough, you’ll notice some trends that mimic real social networks.
There are some people in Hollywood who are more easily connected to Kevin Bacon than others or are better equipped to connect others to him because of the types or number of films they’ve been involved with.
In terms of the real world and the social networks that exist within it, these people are called Connectors.
Connectors are people with a special gift for bringing others together. They are “people specialists” who have an extraordinary knack for making friendships with lots of people across many sub-niches and cultures. These people are the “social glue” that bring others together.
If you think of it in terms of a common cold, it’s relatively simple. In this case, Connectors are those people best positioned to spread the germ throughout the population – bus drivers, bank tellers, waiters, and anyone else who comes into contact with a large number of people everyday.
Connectors are very rare people. Luckily for us, Connectors aren’t the only type of social activists available to spread your marketing message for you.
Another type of messenger that you can relieve upon are Mavens. Mavens are information specialists who have the knowledge and social skills to start word-of-mouth epidemics. These are the people who do all of the research necessary to solve their own problems and once they figure out that they have a good thing, they want to tell you about it too.
Mavens provide the initial spark and message that Connectors filter through their large network of contacts.
A third type of messenger, Salespeople, is vitally important to the transmission of your marketing message due to their ability to persuade others who are unconvinced of what they are hearing. They have an uncanny ability to turn “fence sitters” into marketing mavens who’ll champion your cause through their own interaction with your message.
Although they are a large part of it, epidemics are not simply a function of the people who transmit them. The transmission of your marketing message is also dependent upon the infectious agent itself and the environment in which it is operating

People change products never brands

Why branding your company important?

People change products and they may even forget product name but never brands. But why?

Every brand is a promise to a society. Great brands change the way we live by creating employments, shareholder wealth and philanthropy. Brands exist for good cause.

Every business exists as company only for short later they mature to a community. People like them unconditional. Everybody knows companies like Coca cola, Dell, Microsoft, Oracle, Google etc but not definitely their products. Dell is known for the way they care for their customers. They revolutionized making computer personalized. This shows Dell takes care of every customer equally. The society never forgets good deeds. So Dell can launch any number of products under the brand name. Every buyer knows they are valued. This is same with all companies mentioned above. They live for the way they care for their customers.

Products keep changing. It is a result of time and opportunities

Microsoft first was developing computer operating system and today 250+ brands. So many Microsoft products have retired but brand Microsoft is growing strong every day. A brand is a big tree and products come as fruits and flowers of same tree. We will forget the shape or colour of fruit or flower but never the tree.

What you have for me

What you have for me is next generation campaigning program where you will invite customers to talk about your product and services. The objective of this program is to know what customer expects from brand near future or immediately. What you have for me helps the community development, which leads predictability for long term. Always retaining existing customer is cost efficient than adding a new one

One man company is the future

Why not outsource everything except ownership

The great company is the result of an outstanding team. The resource scarcity is big challenge across industries. The research report shows the companies spend 65% of their time in hunting for resources. The resource hunting is definitely not the main stream business for any company other than recruitment firms. The high attrition is a sure night mare for every entrepreneur.

Virtual Enterprise
Increased opportunities increased competition too. The profit margins are getting thin to keep customers satisfied. To stay in business long you need to scale your business worldwide. Technology takes business to new heights and internet serves your customer services personalized. A well defined online CRM solution will address the customer handling truly one-on-one. This can incredibly reduce the call centre cost and increase customer satisfaction

You can outsource everything except ownership

You can outsource HR, Legal, Marketing, Finance and engineering. When the delegation is with right team you will have more time to focus in business. You will have profits in your operations as you will save up real estate expenses, utility bills and employee retention costs.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Involve customers in your business active

Why involve customers from beginning?

The real world is always different from presumptions and assumptions. Customers know business than consultants and engineers who innovate IT solutions because they are hands on. Every innovation should fit in customer expectations and business challenges. The re-engineering is always expensive and time consuming. Involving customers from beginning make them feel special. The word of mouth and referral marketing is proven extremely successful; staying connected with customers will get a free marketing to other customers.


Beta customers are important for scaling products

Implementing the products with beta customers is advantageous as you can afford to take risks and there are no SLAs. You will have a free of cost product architect and showcase. The product launch will be successful as you might have gone through couple of real time testing of you application.


Customer speaks are important

Customer speaks column should be made mandatory in website. The websites today most powerful medium for marketing and companies should not fail to use this opportunity. The websites and internet technologies have gone advanced that you can created very successful online community of customers.


As humans products too need community to survive

We humans are a part of social world, socialization make us successful professionally and personally. Products too need to be socialised for success. Make product to fit with industry requirements. Product communications are very important as this builds identity for the products.

CMO Outsourcing

Why not outsource your CMO function?

Even you don't have a CMO function you are undoubtedly doing something to dig up more customers and business. it is likely that your marketing is sporadic at best with gaps in strategy and tactics; key messages, choice of initiatives, coordination across marketing activities, timing and execution of marketing efforts and follow up.


May be you have got one or more mid or lower tier marketing type FTEs who are really missing the leadership needed to get any results from your overall marketing approach or may be your head of marketing (CMO title or not) is just not getting the job done. You need someone to lead up your marketing charge. What if your company really need a CMO but you don't have time to recruit one and you are not quite ready to pay the big bucks that it is going to take to find and pay a hot-level executive.


CMO Outsourcing

Sivaram is an experienced pragmatic technology executive who partner with entrepreneurs, venture-backed firms and established companies who require marketing leadership at pivotal times.

Sivaram provides a high quality and cost effective approach to manage your marketing investment and interim marketing leadership.


Marketing Strategies

Tactical Market Planning

  • Positioning
  • Messaging
  • Plan review / development
  • Sales alignment review
  • Communications strategy
  • Pricing analysis
  • Research
  • Communication plan
  • Lead generation plan
  • Sale support plans
  • Product marketing plans


Product Marketing

Electronic Marketing

  • Product roadmap
  • Product definition
  • CRM implementation and optimization ie. Salesforce.
  • Demand generation software ie. Eloqua
  • Email marketing
  • Website review

Market Operations

  • Advertising
  • Analyst relation
  • Articles
  • Business development
  • Collateral development
  • Competitive analysis
  • Case studies
  • Demos
  • Direct mail
  • Events
    • User groups
    • Advisory groups
    • Trade show
  • Media buying
  • Presentation develop, design and creation
  • Reference programs