Saturday, November 3, 2012

Targeting Generation Y (Part 1: Identifying traits and characters)

In my last post, I linked the Death of Marketing with generation "Y". In this part,  I will list the traits as well as characters of this generation. As it includes those who were born in the 1980s until up to late 1990s. They were influenced by the Media bombarding them from young age. Thus, they are also called the MTV Generation. Also, They have witnessed the rise of the internet and technology, but not only that they are obsessed with social media (including Facebook and Twitter).

Generation Y majorly make their search through the internet, recognize quality products mostly from their friends. So word of mouth plays a major role in their decision. More ever, Generation "Y" loves socializing, outdoor activities and they prefer staying in the crowd. Places where they would hang out are football arena, clubs, malls and other crowded areas. In school they hang out in groups but they have such a love for their parients. Yet, this love is linked to recognition of their parents great motivational care.

So far, their deep connection to their parents has been a reason for insecurity and late adulthood. Members of  Generation "Y" are very ambitious and they have the "you owe me" thinking because they have been hyper motivated in the sense that when they were young they were told you will have so and so jobs, be a famous and great doctor, enginner, writer, etc..This is primarily one reason that generation Y are great in applying multi tasking. The later is much related to being smart and practical as well. Smart because of the knowledge they get every day from the internet.

This generation also considers life style above work which means friends and peers are more respected than the companies they work for. Thats why they would relate their jobs and the products they buy with their friends. A key trend is "My friend has an Iphone (consider any model), let me have it". The iPhone could also be another product like a digital camera, any outstanding brand, like wise products that are mainly prefered by musicians.

Generation Y would either buy a product if they experience it (means they are loyal to a brand once they try it) or after they hear from their friends.  Consequently, once they buy from you and they loved your brand, you locked them in. An example could be buying a samsung galaxy s1, if they love the stated brand its   their choice, they would climb with it the ladder to s2 , s3 and s4. They prefer any thing that is weird, that would differentiate them from the crowd be it be hair styles, tattoos and rings (depending on the country they are in). They prefere to show off holding every new product of their favourite brand. In the second part, I will show you how to break into Generation Y.
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Thursday, November 1, 2012

The death of Mr "Marketer" (Part 1)

Marketing is dead, no one argues about that. Mean while companies strive to achieve competitiveness.In 2009, a study have found out that 75% of businesses are ruled out of business because of their marketing strategy.

The role of marketer is over as companies no longer link strategy and marketing. Mr "finance" and "Accountant" would disagree and say marketers are the once that ask for more every now and then ripping off the companies budget. The blunder is companies take Marketing as an expense not investment. While they never figure out where to reach and focus little on results. Companies push the whole Marketing budget with ads knowing that customer satisfaction with ads is less than 1%.

Sergio Zyman, Ex CMO of Coca Cola identified the  failure of New Cola Compaign as the luck of focus on outcome and concentration on ads as a medium for marketing the product. Relatively, Mr "Marketer" finds himself puzzled in the current social media marketing as customers have now their own ways of finding out about products. Morever, sales people are losing their roles. Philip Kotler in his book "10 deadly Marketing Sins" also stated that failure to identify the target customer is one of the sins . The later is related to the reason why people should buy your product (Related to Generation "Y"). In part 2, I will deal with alternatives to "Mr Marketer".
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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Powerful tactics in applying Cost leadership

Companies may choose to follow Cost Leadershipwhich is a better choice for corporations rather than small business.The rationale Small businesses might not be able to produce huge amount of products. Firms that persue Cost leadership have benefits like achieving economies of scale by providing the lowest price and cutting on budget by finding the lowest suppliers.

Other benefits of Cost Leadership strategy are achieving high profitability margins and also winning against the recession. Walmart added 400 billion in revenue through applying this model in 2009.

So what are some of the aspects that cost leadership followers must consider. Here are three powerfull steps
1) Concentrate on your customers and their taste. Dig deep to provide better products while maintaining low cost.
2) Find the lowest suppliers and lock them in. Most low cost airlines are pioneers in applying this strategy.
3) Since your products are easy to copy, add value to your product. Give more consideration to porter value chain. An example is providing a 24 hour online customer care service.this would let your customers recognize your brand immediately.
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Monday, October 29, 2012

Focus-differentiation (A new look into Strategy)

Most firms question if they should use a single generic model or they should use a a mixed one. Whether you should use Differentiation or Focus depends on your market needs. Infact there is much similarity between the two. Both of them stresses on quality. In Focus, companies target a niche market while carefully relying on a specific and a narrow segment of the community. Although choosing focus might limit your target customers, its a less competitve environment. Thus when focusing, branding is the main element . An example of a firm applying focus is Ferrari targeting the luxurious sports car industry.

In my opinion, a better strategy could be implemented if we mix both differentiation and focus. This is a dominated focus less dominating differentating model. In a Focus-Differentiation model  a company a company starts by applying focus then differentiate and once a chieved a recognized brand expand. Let's put it in practice.

An example of a company who wants to gain a competitive advantage in the food industry.
Practically the steps are
1) Enter Organic food industry (Focus)
    Target fitness centers
2) Provide high quality products (Differentiate)
    enhancebrand awareness
3) Expand to the healthy food industry, from restaurants to smoothie bars (Expansion)
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Friday, October 26, 2012

Classical Management Evolved

Shall I say we all think that Classical Management is dead. But i think not. It's being evolved.
Classical management which take little or no sense of the external world as well as the human aspect of the business had been criticised since the howthorne effect. Its critical to note that human labour is considered human machine in classical management. This concept is underpinned in the Henry  Ford way of management with the famous saying "Any customer can have a car painted in any colour he wants so long as it is black". This type of management stresses on efficiency as the focal point of classical management. Now is it possible its evolved again; Definitely yes.

The education system partneting with organizations has identified companies needs as deployment of Human Machines that accept overall rules from employers. This is clearly seen in big businesses such as Nike and Walmart.Enter a mall and you will find a set of human machines serving in counters. They might pretend they are not human machines but in reality they are being over-sized by traditional management firms that hire them.
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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Identifying Your Company Culture, How Crucial!

Its quite essential for the employees to fit with the Company Culture. Be it the artifact , language or any element comprising the culture as a whole. Identifying the company culture is crucial at the point of first setting up a company and its long term strategy. Zappos for example hire and fire based on their company culture. This means employees that did not fit into the company culture are fired immediately. Zappos culture is much of an open environment based on the right aspect of Strategic HRM.

Tony Heisch of Zappos mentions that what led Zappos to be sold to amazon is the failure to identify its culture from the beginning, that once the company expanded the matter was brought to discussion. This is where employees of a different culture started to join the company and inturn change or affect the Zappos culture.

Hence, should companies learn from the Zappos Experience. Yes obviously, there is a trend in which organizations especially IT firms are concentrating in setting up the culture from the start-up phase to building up a small business.However, setting up strict rules of firing and hiring in an organization might be of an internal threat that will eventually led to the company being sued because of it's illegal discrimination.
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Monday, October 22, 2012

The TV Ads dilemma

TV ads, call it what ever you want to call it. Is it the right marketing strategy. Well, lets unfold the un written truth about it.  its less than a century now since the start of TV Ad Campaigns.....hold on, do you say that tv ads does not work?

Tv ads work to a level but this type of disturbtion marketing as Seth Godin call it does not and will never achieve lock in. Am I over whelming you. No, what is it worth if the customer is interrupted and never been asked for permission. The result is the customer will choose another competitor instantly the moment it post its ads. Take for example Colgate Palmolive vs P&G Crest. None of the  two players asked for permission and hence their tv ads pulled the mass's into cross recognition. This means ads being shown more often of a specific brand is chosen over those shown less often.

Very true that even though this type of marketing worked with out achieving brand loyality, it's been able to lure and drow attention of all the demographics and thus drastically failed to define its target customer. Let's take Coca Cola, which targets every body from men to ladies to kids. Should it be more specific in targeting and ask permission!!!!