bookmark_borderBuild A Strong Foundation Before Growth

Start off by taking a good hard look at your organizational chart. Are there measurements in place at each level that are satisfactory in proving performance? If not, take a moment to establish what is important to the organization, customers, and you in each area. Create measurements that will be regularly reported to you so you can monitor performance areas. I suggest creating the measurements in collaboration with the individual responsible for reporting to ensure that the specifics of the calculations meet your goals. If possible, perform historical measurements to show a history of years, months, and/or weeks. Make sure you include a trendline and are able to note occurrences that lead to sudden increases or decreases in productivity.

Once measurements are in place, analyze the roles of individuals and ask yourself: is this position necessary in this format or can we make improvements to individual responsibilities for efficiency? If you are overstaffed, address this immediately. If you are understaffed, work to hire and train suitable staff and show a minimum of three to six months productivity up to your standards prior to moving forward with your growth plans.

This is also a great opportunity to identify individuals from your succession planning resources for promotions in your growth strategy.

Next, take a look at your quality processes. Are you monitoring complaints and incidents? TIP: Complaints and Incidents are not merely measurements of negative interactions with customers, these are records of internal and external activities that lead to a service or product not being provided in the way intended. Each complaint and incident should be researched to identify the cause and correction. Proper procedure will permit the correction to be put in place while maintaining documentation for future monitoring. Do quality measurements exist in each area of your organization? Are there established standards and protocols, training procedures, and auditing requirements in place? If you responded no to any of these, now is the time to get these in order prior to growing your business.

Finally, be honest with yourself about your financial situation. If you are barely getting by, now may not be the best time to grow. Finding ways to improve your operational efficiency and lower your overhead costs can help. The only exception to this rule is if your growth will reduce your overhead and operational costs. Drill down into your finances and explore costs vs. income to discover areas of certain growth and areas of weakness. Take care of the weaknesses by eliminating them or improving them.

Do you have the appropriate supporting resources for your growth? This would be represented by banking loans and lines of credit, legal review of the area you will be expanding into, vendor assistance in new locations, market share opportunities, trademark and patent attorney review of new service/product lines, fully trained staff ready to take on this new endeavor, and equipment and IT capabilities.

You should be able to prepare a mock situation of your new service/product line or expansion over a five year period of time. Utilizing the information in your financial documents, create a mock situation and fine tune it so that your existing business and future growth have an even better chance of success.

bookmark_borderPlay Up Product Descriptions

Interesting without Fanfare

Once you have identified your buyer, imagine that you’re talking to them face-to-face while writing your product description.

Note that nothing can be more boring than kilometric sentences stuffed with unnecessary fillers, especially overused adjectives like excellent, one of a kind, the best of its kind and top quality, among others.

Use short, clear-cut words to highlight the features of your product; it is also best practice to present these in bullet format.

Your customers will appreciate bite-sized information more than a block of big words.

Remember that online customers stay on a web page for about 10 seconds, but the holiday rush could shorten this as they’ll be busy shopping for themselves, friends and loved ones.

Create Desire in Their Minds

Unlike in a physical store where practically everything on the rack can be touched and tested, your product can only be viewed on your website, which makes it hard for customers to decide whether to buy it or not.

Using a writing technique which breathes life into your product, you can easily make them want to buy your product.

By nature, most of us want what we don’t have yet-otherwise, none of us would be working or aspiring for anything.

Use that distinct human quality to hit on your customers’ need for the holidays while writing the description.

For women’s apparel, for example, make them feel good at the idea of redefining holiday fashion wear in that party dress.

If you’re targeting the yuppie crowd with your trainers, spell out how these can help them look sleek and stylish without compromising comfort.

It basically comes down to putting together a good story with your target customer as the main character.

If you give them a good reason to buy your product, then they will buy it in a flash.

bookmark_borderDegrees of Separation

It may be a common enough experience, but the so-called small world effect is turning out to have some pretty big consequences. In the last 18 months it has become one of the hottest subjects in science. Now some believe it could revolutionize the way we think about everything from economic crashes to globalization.

The story of how an apparently trivial social phenomenon turned out to have far from trivial implications has its origins in a bizarre experiment carried out over 30 years ago by psychologist Stanley Milgram.

Milgram was trying to uncover the connections that lurk in our networks of friends and acquaintances, and hit upon a novel way of revealing them. He recruited people in various US states and sent each of them a package, together with some instructions.

These revealed that the packages were actually intended to two people picked by Milgram, who gave their names and some vague clues about where they lived, their occupation and age. What he did not give, however, was a precise postal address. The participants were then told to send the packages to whichever of their acquaintances they judged most likely to know the targets personally and be able to make the final delivery.

Keeping track of the postings, Milgram made the stunning discovery that the packages typically reached the two target people after passing through the hands of just five other people. Later experiments produced similar results, making the conclusion inevitable. It seems that, on average, everyone in America from arms dealer to zoo keeper can be connected to everyone else via a chain of just five or six intermediaries.

It is a result that becomes more bizarre the more you think about it. Sociologists estimate that we each typically have around 300 or so acquaintances – people we’re on first-name terms with. That suggests we’re just one hand-shake (or email) away from 300 people, two away from 90,000, three away from 27 million and so on.

Viewed this way, the real surprise about Milgram’s research is that it takes as many as five or six handshakes to connect every American to every other. An average of just four should suffice to connect up to 250 millions inhabitants of the US.

But there is a big assumption in this quick calculation: that our 300 friends are randomly spread throughout the population so that every American is likely to know, say, Alan Greenspan as Al at the corner store. But the fact is that our friends tend to fall into cliques: people who have similar levels of education, interests and opinions.

This, however, just makes Milgram’s findings even more baffling: for if all our friends were confined to such rigid cliques, we would hardly ever discover we have friends in common. Each American, for example, would then be separated by an average of almost one million handshakes…250 million divided by 300 from each other. By that reckoning, Milgram should have died long before any of his packages reached their targets.

There is clearly something odd going on here. Our networks of friends are not randomly spread across society. Yet they still allow us to be linked to each other via few intermediaries, so that we often end up discovering “It’s a small world”. How do they do it?

It was this that intrigued Duncan Watts, in 1996 still a graduate at Cornell University. Watts had been working on a nice, solid doctorate about the chirps of lovelorn crickets. But he had run into a problem: how do the crickets fall into step so quickly? Was each listening to all his fellow crickets, or just to his closest neighbors?

Then Watts remembered a funny bit of folklore that his father had told him: that every American is just a few handshakes away from knowing the president of the United States. Watts wondered if there was a connection between this apparent bit of folklore and the problem he was trying to solve and perhaps many others too.

Watts expected his idea would be ridiculed by his advisor, Steve Strogatz at Cornell’s department of theoretical and applied mechanics. Instead, Stogatz also fell under the spell of the big mystery of the small world effect, and the two joined forces to try and solve it.

They began by using a computer to create lots of networks of virtual “friends”, and measuring how many “handshakes” were needed to connect one friend to another in a totally different part of the network.

At one extreme were the utterly regular networks, where every friend only knows those right next to them. Devoid of any long range connections capable of linking, say, Bill Clinton to some store-keep in Hawaii, these networks typically demanded lots of handshakes before one person could be connected to another. Right at the other extreme were totally random networks, where people were just as likely to have personal friends in the White House as in Hawaiian stores.

Watts and Strogatz were intrigued by what happened between these two extremes, when the network was neither entirely regular nor utterly random. They expected the number of handshakes needed to link people to drop as the random links grew.

But what they discovered was startling: just a tiny number of random links was enough to “short-circuit” an otherwise huge, regular network, allowing apparently unrelated friends to be linked in just a few handshakes.

The computer revealed how easy it is to turn even a vast network into a small world: if only one in 100 people have a random link to anyone else in the network, the average number of handshakes drops ten-fold.

THEY ARE EVERYWHERE

But computer simulations are one thing; can small worlds be created so easily in the real one? Watts and Strogatz set about searching for a huge real-life network that they could probe for signs of the small world effect. They found the perfect, if unlikely, example in the Internet Movie Database, a computer searchable catalogue with the names of over 200,000 actors and the films they have appeared in.

Analyzing the database, Watts and Strogatz found that the typical actor has worked with around 60 others. If the showbiz network were completely regular, with no random short-circuits, that figure would imply that you’d typically have to go through 1,800 other actors and their films to link one actor to another. Yet the computer showed that it is possible to link any actor to any other via just three intermediaries. The vast movie business is really a small world.

In fact, this had been known for years by movie buffs who play the so-called Kevin Bacon Game. The aim of the game is to link the eponymous American actor to any other via the fewest number of intermediaries.

Players were often struck by how often they could answer with the names of very few actors. For example, Bacon can be linked to Charlie Chaplin in just three steps: Bacon played in a film with Laurence Fishburn, who in turn was in a film with Marlon Brando, who himself once appeared with Chaplin.

Watts and Strogatz had confirmed what many players suspected was the explanation: the “short-circuiting” effect of a handful of actors whose careers span different eras, genres and cultures. For example, by starring in both Lethal Weapon and Hamlet, Mel Gibson short-circuits the all-action and classical genres, while martial arts actor Bruce Lee links the Chinese film industry to Hollywood.

The world of showbiz is now recognized as a classical small world. That is, it is made up of lots of little cliques of actors, most of whom stay in their own patch of the industry, mixed in with a few highly versatile ones with random links right across the acting network who thus link every actor to every other via very few steps.

When Watts and Strogatz published their findings in the leading science journal Nature, it triggered an explosion of media coverage. But it also sparked interest among academics in a diverse range of fields, all wondering whether small world effects are at work in their own patches.

The corporate world does show signs of being under the influence of small world effects, according to Bruce Kogut of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and Gordon Walker at the Cox School of Business at the Southern Methodist University in Texas.

Kogut and Walker applied Watts and Strogatz’s methods to the ownership networks spanning over 500 of Germany’s biggest corporations. Predictably, they found lots of cliques in the ownership of firms, the result of various tie-ups and mergers. But they also found that the short-circuiting effect of a few corporations typically allowed the ownership of any one firm to be linked to any other via just four intermediaries. In other words, for all their diversity, Germany’s biggest firms actually form a cosy small world.

This explains why firms with apparently tenuous links to one another can still show similar corporate behavior. But it may also have implications for the way these companies deal with globalization.

Small world theory shows it only takes a few random links to short-circuit a vast network. So it’s likely that the whole corporate world has already become a small world.

The study of small worlds is still in its infancy, yet it is already clear that their presence holds both benefits and threats. Economists and business studies experts are likely to reveal many more examples of small worlds and their implications in the years ahead.

Selling on eBay and the Internet is still a relatively a new phenomenon with unprecedented opportunity. Adam Ginsberg, recently featured on NBC’s Today Show is an author and educator and has built a small fortune selling on eBay. As an early Internet pioneer, Adam discovered a system for generating wealth – through the power of the eBay marketplace.

bookmark_borderGive Informative Talks

Informative talks to smaller groups allow you more intimacy with the audience. You will be able to more closely connect with their needs and their responses to your speech. You have something to say that is important not only to you but to the audience as well. They will take time to listen and not socialize as long as what you have to say is relevant to their pursuits. If you are not relevant, you must find a way to make your topic something they want to know. You must make them aware of the importance of your topic. Suggest books they can read, suggest ways they can use the content of your speech to their advantage to make improvements at work or at home. You want to make sure that you deliver something of value

The point of an informative speech is not to sell yourself and make it an infomercial. The point is to inform the audience of a salient topic and give them information that they can use immediately. Once you have accomplished that task, gaining additional bookings will be easy. I have sat in many audiences and really enjoyed the speeches except when it came to the end and they went into full commercial mode. A successful speaker that is making an informative speech does not do it; they simply let the audience know they will be available for questions at the end of the speech.

An informative talk should also have some supporting materials so that it is easier for the audience to follow along. Many speakers do not want to take the time or spend the money to provide unbiased hand-outs. The one thing I do is make sure they have a worksheet where they can jot down important information (which they keep for future reference). Be ready to dole out free information.

bookmark_borderReliable Solutions to Plan Inventories

A different set of environment is required for forecasting which includes inventory optimization, planning for supply, demand planning and lot more. There is a workflow which different companies follow. Some make their own rules and plans and some follow a different set of rules already planned. A lot of patience and energy is required to get the job done but it’s a different experience which these online companies are giving people now a days. With all these things there are a few more things that can be done. Such as leading time can be reduced, the expanding cost can be reduced, proper management for co/by products and even raw material levels and safety stacks need to be optimized.

When it comes to planning your ideas you need to synchronize eyes with your brain so that everything is crystal clear with a single blink. There are different expectations like demand factors, volatile supply, planning and thinking environment and lot more. Focus is the key to plan any idea you have in your brain on every key point and essential data. Many things have changed such as plan utilizations which are optimized, reduction of overtime and lot more. The supply chain planning and multiple locations can be achieved after synchronization.

Online companies give you a whole new experience of learning they tell you about the on-going strategies in the market and give you a fair chance to try it in the real market. Different companies have different resources and different planning strategies. A plan is set on different stages, reduction of inventories, enhancing responsiveness and many more only by strategizing with small and productive plans and ideas. Various ideas can be synchronized and can be worked on by taking different time frame. It is very important that the total plan only contains essential and very vital details to be worked on.

bookmark_borderFrom Bank Clerk to Entreprenuer

My career progressed rapidly and after working in a number of different departments I became Admissions Officer of a major regional hospital where I soon gained valuable front line experience. There is nothing more conducive to honing your powers of communication, persuasion, resilience and empathy than dealing with people when they are at their most vulnerable. Working in an Accident and Emergency Department definitely puts one’s life completely into perspective and is like being part of a TV medical soap opera.

My career came to halt when I met my husband and moved away from the area. I have to admit that back in the early 70’s marrying and having the obligatory 2.4 children was still the acceptable norm, although liberation for women was gathering pace. Being a conservative soul, I slipped into the mainstream and before I knew it I was the wife of a career man and the mother of two children living in a three-bed semi. Returning to work was not a consideration and this proved to be a sensible decision as my husband was posted to four different locations throughout the UK in the space of 6 years.

At the end of this period, the children were at school, our relocation days were over and we were finally able to establish some roots and settle down as a family. It was time to start considering my own needs and to plan a return to the mainstream work environment. This was not an easy thing to do after almost seven years of raising a family, but I plucked up courage and found myself back in the health care sector as a part time receptionist at my local doctor’s surgery, a role that I found very satisfying. My confidence increased and my job gave me a focus outside of my immediate family. I regained some independence, earned my own money and met a new circle of friends. At last I had an opportunity to talk about something other than children and I felt that the old grey matter was once again being stimulated!

After a while, the novelty of working in a doctor’s surgery wore off and I felt that I needed a fresh challenge. At the same time my husband also felt that he had had enough of corporate life and wanted to do something completely different. For a couple that had had a very structured life, the crossroads seemed to be particularly difficult to negotiate. After two years had passed and a couple of false starts, I decided that I wanted to pursue my own business interest with a little bit of help from my husband. He had pursued a portfolio career and had the time and expertise to help me develop my plans and make sure that I was on the right tracks.

The idea was quite simple and was borne out of my own frustration of finding quality lighting products locally for the home. Although we didn’t live in an isolated area, we still had to travel at least forty miles to find a lighting outlet that sold, what I considered to be, quality lighting. Upon further investigation, I found that there are many areas in the UK that are not well served with lighting shops and therefore I felt that there must be an opportunity to fill this gap in the market.

Once this need had been identified, the next problem was where to start. Opening my own shop was an option, but the economics of doing so were really not that attractive. Lighting is space hungry and the overheads associated with running a shop can be phenomenal. The other drawback was that whilst one shop would satisfy a few people, it didn’t really address the fundamental issue of providing a wide range of quality of lighting to as many people as possible as conveniently as possible. The answer lay on the Internet and via a mail order system, where people would not be bound by geographical or time constraints.

As the concept developed, I managed to enlist the cooperation of a couple of lighting manufacturers. This was not easy, since there are few suppliers who are prepared to take time to listen to your idea, let alone help you when you are not able to offer them any tangible evidence that you can deliver in any way, shape or form. Having secured the supply of products with David Hunt Lighting and Le Dauphin Lighting, I needed to find out how to set up a website and develop a mail order catalogue. I actually began by looking for an accountant, which is testimony to my optimism about the business empire that I was planning to build over the coming years! Within two meetings I had been introduced to a web designer and a marketing company, both of which were based locally.

The brakes were off and before long I was immersed in a completely new world. After months of contemplation and planning, The Light Company (Direct) Ltd was formed and was rapidly taking shape. It was a further six months until all the pieces of the jigsaw came together and, on the 19 January 2004, the website was launched and the mail order catalogues delivered.

As with many new business ventures, the early days are the most difficult and I am spending all of my time exploring ways in which I can make people aware of the extensive range of contemporary and classical decorative lighting that is on offer. I have already decided to open a showroom that will double up as my office design studio and mail order room. Although compact, the showroom will be far more suitable than the lock up on an industrial estate that I am currently using. It is a leap of faith, but having come this far, it is one that I feel has to be taken.

It is certainly a long way from the Accident and Emergency Department. I have swapped a career in the NHS to become an entrepreneur, even though I do not believe that I have the archetypical qualities of such. I am still nervous about taking risks and I still worry about what the future may hold, but my course is set and there is no backtracking.

Although completely unconnected, my years working in the health sector have proved to be useful particularly in dealing with customers and suppliers. It seems that good communication, combined with the ability to deal positively with people who are demanding across a whole spectrum of issues and events, are distinct attributes irrespective of your industry sector. In a perverse sort of way, this is the aspect of the business that turns me on and which fuels my enthusiasm to succeed.

bookmark_borderFor-Profit vs Nonprofit Business

The most underlying difference between for-profit and nonprofit business is the reason for which they are set up. The primary goal of a for-profit model of business is profit-making. For nonprofits, the objective is to help the community. Over time, however, the difference between the two has become fuzzy. In fact, the line between them has become so blurred that one could help out the less fortunate either way and still find fulfillment in what they do.

The rise of charitable for-profit business entities has made organizations and leaders realize that they can address social issues and develop communities without needing to be an out and out nonprofit business. Nonetheless, each of these models has its merits and demerits. The argument for the for-profit structure is that it is self-sustainable since social entrepreneurs get to generate their own revenue and not have to rely mainly on others for funding.

More so, as a for-profit business, you can generate as much revenue as you like. There are no limits on the amount of income that you can create by providing goods and services. Sometimes making more funds is as easy as getting people to buy shares in your organization.

For all of the benefits that it offers, however, the for-profit business model is limited in certain regards. First, you must pay taxes. Second, being a for-profit business disqualifies you from receiving foundation and government grants. Nonprofits, on the other hand, are eligible for grants and can be exempted from tax payments.

If you decide to operate as a nonprofit, though, the drawback is that you won’t be able to take equity investments. Also, your ability to generate revenue becomes limited, since you can only sell products or services that are linked to the purpose for which your organization receives tax relief. Otherwise, you will be taxed. If the amount realized from selling the unconnected item is substantial, you may lose your tax privileges altogether.

In the end, your ability to make an impact in the world or push the boundaries of what’s accepted can be limited by the amount of money you can raise. Without the funds to push through the plan, your desire remains a mere wish. So, before you settle for any model, it is essential to ask yourself, “where can I raise the most funds?”

Without enough money, your ability to prevent diseases, reduce crime, global warming, or bring an end to a refugee crisis will be limited. If you are going with the nonprofit structure, then you will need to understand the vast amount of efforts it requires to attract and retain donors. If you can think of a related product or service that is marketable, even better.

Similarly, your success as a for-profit business depends on your ability to introduce a compelling product that sells at a margin that allows you to earn enough profit to alleviate human suffering.

bookmark_borderIf You Want to Work from Home

Set your working hours

No doubt, you’re working from home but consider this – your TV remote control is just a stretch away. The temptation to just hop into your car and go shopping can be overwhelming. So, discipline yourself. When you work is not important, it’s keeping to the schedule that is. You want to let your clients know when they can expect to see you online or catch you on Instant Messenger. If they know your working hours, they will know when to expect a reply to their email message. You can shape your working schedule according to your needs. If you need to send your kids off to music class or tuition at 10.30a.m., make sure you check your email or do some work before then. Working from home means you have the flexibility of molding your working hours according to your family’s needs.

Office space

Having an office space where there are no crayons and no toys strewn about is important to the working environment of your business. Working from home means that you have to set your office up either in a small corner of the bedroom, setup a special home office in a special room, or you can set your office up in a small corner in the living room. Help your kids understand that whenever you’re working, you are not to be disturbed. The documents and equipment in the home office area is not to be drawn on, spilt on, torn, removed or damaged.

Be serious about your work

Whenever you’re working, you should be serious about work. You can do the following to help you work more effectively:

  1. Work or do the most important things whenever your kids are off somewhere else – like kindergarten, tuition, music school or visiting a cousin.
  2. Setup a special table or space where your kids do their homework whenever you’re working.
  3. Get someone to mind the kids while you’re working during your working hours
  4. Work when the kids are taking a nap
  5. Spend a lot of time with your kids and whenever you’re having family time, ignore business phone calls or office matters.
  6. When you are working, tell your kids to get help from someone else

Use an organizer

For someone who is working from home, the line between ‘work’ and ‘family’ is blurred. Therefore, it’s important for us to learn how to schedule our work and use an organizer properly. This will help us meet deadlines, set priorities and remember important tasks. You can use a normal scrapbook, a journal, an exercise book, a small notepad (the 555 kind, even), use your Outlook program, use an Excel file, use a Microsoft Word document…whatever works for you! The point is that you need to use it consistently, refer to it, update it and add new tasks to it.

Don’t check your email all the time

Yes, you need to check your email regularly but when you check your email too often or keep your inbox open all the time, you’ll get distracted with new tasks and neglect the earlier ones. This way, you will get more and more backlogs and in the end, some of the older projects will take longer to finish. Check your email often at the same time everyday, but not all the time.

Don’t work all the time

Those without discipline will work only when they feel like it and when they don’t, they’ll do something else. This kind of attitude towards work is not advisable. But on the other hand, workaholics should also learn how to let work go whenever the time comes. If you feel stressed out, maybe that’s because you’ve been working too much because your work is right there in your house. You’ll never get far enough away from your work. So, learn to switch your computer off and let go!! Just go spend some time with the neglected spouse and kids.

bookmark_borderPillars of Marketing Management

  • Branding
    Establishing a brand is what makes any business unique. The products and services offered by the brand should be made catering to the needs of the people. Extensive research should be carried out to understand the needs of the customers and robust strategies should be developed to make the brand for the people.
  • Visibility of brand
    One of the best strategies for marketing is to spend on promotions. Visibility of the products and services is imperative to reach the intended customers. Promoting the brand both offline and online with oodles of advertisements is the key to reach millions of target customers. The increase of visibility can be ensured by posting online advertisements, social media activities or by banners etc.
  • Authority
    Businesses that have authority win the trust of the consumers faster. It shows the authenticity of the business and the value it can provide to the customers. An authority cannot be set up overnight but can be built gradually. For building an authority, the companies should have their website and blogs.
  • Social presence
    This is the modern way of marketing. Being active on social networking sites and updating about company’s new projects, products or brands can spread awareness and lead to growth in the business. Advertising the products on social networking sites can garner a drastic increase in the business. It improves the visibility of the brand.
  • Campaigning
    Educating the customers about the offerings of the brand can drastically increase the sales. Convincing the buyers that the product will suffice their needs is the best way to enhance sales. Campaigns should be carried out from time to time to advertise the products and services.
  • Customer services
    Highly responsive customer service will create a good impression of your brand on the customers. A skilled marketing manager knows the importance of customers’ service for their company. A sound customer service tells the customers that why they should buy the same product or other products of the company again. Customer services can be carried forward through E-mails, telephone or by interacting personally with the customers.
  • Gauging the effectiveness of all the strategies
    This is the last pillar of effectual marketing management. In this step, it is determined whether the business is going on the right track or not. If the sales are not great or the business is not witnessing any growth, then the areas where the marketing strategies lack should be identified. The marketing managers should analyze the effectiveness of the marketing strategies and give proper feedback to the team to make improvements in the major areas.

 

bookmark_borderAbout Vital Marketing Concepts

Marketing is required for increasing sales and achieving a sustainable market segment for product or service. Customer gets satisfaction from the product or service, entrepreneur gets profit on sale, and business achieves reputation or goodwill. Effective Marketing materializes reputed business, profitable sale, and satisfied customer. The investigation of demand behavior is focal area of marketing. Consequently, marketing has two parents, economics and psychology. Economic considerations of demand behavior are pull or visible factors while psychological leanings are push/invisible factors behind any demand behavior. A marketing effort concentrates on customers’ propensities for psychological satisfaction and designs multiple incentives of economic benefits for customers. An effective marketing approach accommodates economic rules of selling/buying and psychological tendencies of sellers/buyers. There are seven major reasons of marketing:

  • To inform about new product/service or product awareness
  • To introduce a new business or business awareness
  • To motivate/persuade someone for buying or demand creation
  • To create stable customer account or achieving customer loyalty
  • To attain Sustainable Competitive Advantage
  • To achieve reputation or Goodwill,
  • To realize Brand Equity

Marketing vs. Selling: – The aforesaid concept of effective marketing covers the full experience of a business deal between seller and buyer; however, there are two distinct aspects of effective marketing, i.e., selling and marketing. Perceptually, Sellers and Marketers are two different groups in a marketing activity. They have distinct views towards the customers. Harvard’s Theodore Levitt drew a perceptive contrast between the selling and marketing concepts: “Selling focuses on the needs of the seller; marketing on the needs of the buyer. Selling is preoccupied with the seller’s need to convert his product into cash; marketing with the idea of satisfying the needs of the customer by means of the product and the whole cluster of things associated with creating, delivering, and finally consuming it.” The strategic alignment between marketing and selling is vital for better results. “A study from App Data Room and Marketo found that sales and marketing alignment can make an organization 67% better at closing deals, reduce friction by 108%, and generate 209% more value from marketing.”

Marketing vs. Branding:-Branding is the marketing process by which a marketer or brand manager reduces a company’s reputation to a single word or phrase or design. The American Marketing Association defines a brand as “a name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or a combination of them, intended to identify the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors.” There is a well-known rule in marketing: “Sell what people are buying.” Similarly, the well-performing rule in branding: “Brand the attributes that people love.” An established brand creates consumer trust and emotional attachments; as a result, brands foster relationships among consumers, products and business that lead to the valuable benefits to a producer such as premium pricing, low promotion cost, loyal customer and constantly growing market share. In a nutshell, a branding effort enhances Brand Equity for sellers. Brand Equity is the brand’s power derived from the goodwill and name recognition that it has earned over time, which translates into higher sales volume and better profit margins against competing brands in the market. The vital strategic aspect of Brand Equity creation is internal branding. “Internal branding consists of managerial activities and processes that help, inform and inspire employees about brands.” In a branding effort, a marketer or an entrepreneur adopts four perspectives for an effective branding – Consumer Perspective (to ascertain desirability of product/service by multiple consumers), Company Perspective (to improve, technically and aesthetically, presentation and delivery process of product/service), Competitive Perspective (to understand and exploit differentiability/parity content of products/services with respect to competitors), and Brand Perspective (to work on creation of possible brand equity). It is noteworthy that, in branding, you create a perception of product/business while, during marketing, you motivate or persuade someone for actual buying. Branding is who you are while marketing is how you affect consumers’ decision process. More specifically, “Branding or Brand Management is a communication function in marketing that includes analysis and planning on how that brand is positioned in the market, which target public the brand is targeted at, and maintaining a desired reputation of the brand.”

Marketing vs. Advertising: – Marketing deals with multiple business efforts to realize ‘Profitable Sale’ such as market research, pricing & distribution of product/service, branding, selling and public relations. Advertising is just one component of marketing. In advertising, an entrepreneur or business communicates to the potential buyers about his/her products or services. Advertising is defined as:”Any form of communication in the paid media”. The prominent advertising mediums are, print media, electronic media and social media. Conceptually, marketing is the way or strategy to convince potential buyers that you have the right product/service for them, while, advertising is conversion of marketing strategy into specific communication media. In advertising, you tell the potential customers about the existence and availability of right product/service for them. The greatest issue of present-day advertising is Cluttering. “An Advertising Clutter refers to the excessive amount of ad messages consumers are exposed to on a daily basis.” It is vital responsibility of a marketer to manage the clutter. The clutter management means to find the right time and place to connect with target customers and to send impeccable messages to them about your business or offerings.

Marketing vs. Networking: – Networking is a systematic human interaction with fellow human beings to exchange information and opportunities. Business Networking is dynamically linked with effective marketing. Business networking is an outcome of socio-economic interactions of an entrepreneur. The networking efforts shape a business circle. It is noteworthy; a business circle is a sub-circle of a big socio-economic circle of an entrepreneur. A business cannot survive or flourish, at least with full potential, without proper interaction among all economic agents/stakeholders. Executives’ presence in a big socio-economic circle and related associations is vital to develop an effective business networking. The business networking, BtoB and BtoC, is the crucial aspect of effective marketing.