Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Consumer Behavior in Digital World - A New Dimension

E-commerce seems to be democratizing 'shelf space' as top brands do not dominate the e-commerce channel as much as they dominate brick-and-mortar retail the Bernstein report said. – Jack Neff, Advertising Age 

Consumer behavior study helps to identify consumers and target audience, the study provides in – depth analysis on the following:
  • What compelled the Consumer to buys the product / Service? 
  • Who compelled the Consumer to buys the product / Service? 
  • Why a consumer buys the product / Service? 
  • How the Consumer buys the product / Service? 
  • Where the Consumer buys the product / Service? 
  • When the Consumer buys the product / Service?

Fundamentally consumer behavior answers the 5 W’s and 1 H’s which any company or marketer needs to understand. This insights help to market the product / service. Within last few years mobile, internet and social media has changed the buying behavior of customers worldwide. People spend more time on internet, especially on social media websites, which influences their behavior towards that product / service. 
  • 91% of people have gone into a store because of an online experience. (Source: Marketing Land
  • 89% of consumers conduct their research using search engines. (Source: PR Newswire
  • 62% of consumers end up making a purchase in-store after researching it online. (Source: Marketing Land
  • 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. (Source: Search Engine Journal
  • 78% of consumers say that the posts made by companies on social media influence their purchases. (Source: Forbes)

Marketers believe that in 2014 on wards marketers will begin using big data to analyze consumer behavior, since it will get itself seamlessly integrate with people’s busy lives generating in – depth information about trends. With big data the marketers will get empowered which will help marketers and advertisers to exactly target specific clients / consumers at specific time, place and through specific device. Further with geo – location based targeting of advertisements and promotions the marketer can exactly geo – locate the type of device and map consumer behavior.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Different Marketing Concepts - Explained

Marketing on the whole encompasses different strategies and techniques, here below I have tried to explain some of the terminologies which are commonly used:

  1. Affiliate Marketing: In simple terms Affiliate Marketing focuses on “Commission Based” marketing techniques. This strategy has been used by most of the businesses, since they appoint distributor, sub – distributor and further marketing affiliates for increasing the sales. One of the most niche features of this type of marketing is, they focus wholly on “Performance Based”.
  2. Referral Marketing: As the term itself highlights, “Referral Marketing” works on customer / client referrals. In this type of marketing customers are encouraged to pass on references for momentary benefits or recognitions. This is a pull based type of marketing technique where the customers are more often brand ambassadors. This is largely used in healthcare marketing, since they have strict laws on marketing. Also networking associations like BNI, IMC, FICCI, etc use this system to get leads for the members. 
  3. Loyalty Marketing: Loyalty marketing emphasis on marketing strategy for retaining clients through offers, vouchers and freebies. Only recently corporate have began using it to build larger customer base. This type of marketing strategy mostly works along with Referral Marketing, since both are inter – related.
  4. Visual Marketing: One of the most innovative marketing techniques, Visual Marketing focuses on the use of images, experience and other aspects of senses. The most important aspect being to understand how images can be used to communicate an idea or concept. If images and designs are used appropriately, in conjunction with each other, aesthetically, this can produce best results. Visual marketing also forms an important element in all types of marketing whether events, advertising, social media, videos, posters, etc. 
  5. Viral Marketing: Viral marketing as the word itself explains, is any marketing strategy that includes all the components of marketing like web, events, mass mailers, advertisements or gift coupons which creates potentially exponential growth with visibility and effect. In olden days this was also regarded as word – of – mouth, but with the increase in internet penetration this activity is now geared along with Online Marketing.
  6. Word – Of – Mouth Marketing: Word – Of – Mouth marketing differs from the naturally happening Word – Of – Mouth, as in WOMM the message is induced in the crowd or in the minds of customers. The communication or message is pushed using innovative creative’s. In last five to ten years, with the increase in internet penetration many companies have been using Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc to create buzz. WOMM usually works in conjunction with viral marketing by merging strategies with social networks having huge reach.
  7. Relationship Marketing: Relationship marketing is a form of marketing which emphasis on developing customer relations, retention and satisfaction, keeping the goal, that in long tenure this will help to build robust foundation of customer base. Relationship marketing has been more often used in B2B sector and high net value products like servers, power generators, etc.
  8. Multi – Level Marketing: Multi – Level – Marketing is a strategic form of marketing in which the sales team is compensated not only for sales they generate, but also on the sales of sales team they recruit. Usually, the recruited sales team is referred as “Downline”. The other terminology for this type of marketing is MLM, Pyramid scheme, Network marketing, Direct Marketing and Referral marketing. Mostly this is a strategic decision taken by the top management to increase sales using MLM.
  9. Peripheral Marketing:  Peripheral Marketing is a concept which essentially focuses on the secondary marketing and promotion strategies. This type of marketing focuses on promoting the service tangentially. Peripheral marketing encompasses In – Film placement, Sponsorships to events, Brand Ambassadors, etc.
  10. Umbrella marketing:  Umbrella Marketing or Branding is a concept where different products under a single company are co – branded by the same brand name. The whole idea behind this type of marketing is to leverage the product portfolio, using established brand name. Though this idea has been discouraged by lot of brand consultants, but few companies have successfully leveraged the concept, majorly Johnson & Johnson, Tata group, etc.
  11. Sample marketing: Sample marketing is a concept wherein a product sample is shared or given to the consumer of the product or service, free of cost, so that he or she may try it before committing to the purchase. This concept usually works in automobile sector, where customers often opt for test drives.
  12. POS Marketing:  Point of sale marketing is mostly known as POP Advertising, it is done to attract retail shoppers at the point of a purchase. In other words, it lures shoppers into buying additional products or services at checkout point. This type of the marketing utilizes display to catch the shopper's attention; this is done through advertising, product placement or BTL activity.
  13. Online marketing: Online marketing encompasses everything that is digital, right from mobile to internet. This type of marketing is usually bifurcated into Pay – Per – Click, Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Optimization. With the increase in internet penetration the number of companies opting for this type of marketing has grown to more than 50%. Another reason behind its exponential growth is that, online marketing is relatively inexpensive and can be easily tracked.    
  14. Up-sale marketing:  Up – Sale Marketing or Upselling is usually a sales technique whereby a seller pitches the client to purchase better or more expensive upgrades or add-ons in an attempt to make more profit. This strategy usually involves marketing more profitable services which will result more profit for the clients and sellers as well. Companies usually use combination of Up – Selling and Cross – Selling strategies to increase profitability.  This is often used in QSR restaurants, but in other businesses like in car sales this might be viewed negatively.
  15. Direct marketing: Direct marketing is one of the most focused types of marketing and advertising that allows sellers to directly approach customers. This type of marketing includes right from cell phone text messaging to email from interactive consumer websites to database marketing, fliers, catalog distribution, promotional letters, etc. This form of marketing has been mostly used by sectors which have restrictions on other types of marketing.
  16. Event marketing: Events is considered one of the most the strategic marketing and communication tools by all types of companies. The whole activity encompasses different strategies right from inviting customers to the events to themed activity, press conferences, music festival, concert, exhibitions, etc. Event marketing integrates different marketing elements like direct marketing, visual marketing, peripheral marketing, etc.
  17. Cross marketing:  Over the years this concept of marketing has evolved largely to target customers with different segment products or services. In this type of marketing form, customers of one product or service are targeted with promotion of another product. Typically telecom service provider tie – up with music festivals in India, which Idea has efficiently used for marketing its services.
  18. Inbound Marketing: Inbound marketing strategy focuses on drawing customers to the company; this is usually referred as pull based marketing strategy. Most often Inbound Marketing is done using web based tools like blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, SEO, social media marketing, and other forms of marketing which focus to bring customers closer to the brand.
  19. Permission Marketing:  Permission marketing is a term that has been popularized by Seth Godin. In this concept, marketers obtain permission from customers and probable interested customers before advancing to the next step in the purchasing process. Most marketers feel this is a more efficient since focus oriented, since the resources or offers are sent to only those customers who are interested.
  20. Guerrilla marketing: Guerrilla marketing is considered as one of the most inexpensive yet effective marketing strategies. This involves unconventional means like graffiti, street art, flash mobs, stunts, etc. Guerrilla marketing is often used for local branding and marketing requirements. Since this is low – cost most often it is used by startups to increase profits rather than drive sales. Lately digital marketing has been considerable used for this type of marketing.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Marketing concepts explanation

Professor explained Marketing Concepts to a class:

1. You see a Gorgeous Girl at a party. You go up to her and say: "I am very
rich. Marry me!"
- That's Direct Marketing.

2. You are at a party with a bunch of friends and see a Gorgeous Girl. One
of your friends goes upto her and pointing at you says: "He's very
rich.Marry him!"
- That's Advertising.

3. You are at a party and see a Gorgeous Girl. She walks up to you and says:
"You are very rich! Can I marry you?"
- That's Brand Recognition.

4. You see a Gorgeous Girl at a party. You go upto her and say: "I am very
rich. Marry me!" She gives you a nice hard slap on your face.
- That's Customer Feedback.

5. You see a Gorgeous Girl at a party. You go upto her and say: "I am very
rich. Marry me!" And she introduces you to her husband.
- That's Demand and Supply Gap.

6. You see a Gorgeous Girl at a party. You go upto her and before you say:
"I m rich, Marry me!", your wife arrives.
- That's Restriction for Entering New Markets.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Logo's and their significance

Do you see the arrow between the "E" and "x" (in white)? I had never noticed it before.

The 2nd and 3rd "T's" are two people sharing (or fighting over) a tortilla and a bowl of salsa.

The world's most famous bike race. The "R" in "Tour" is a cyclist. The yellow circle is the front wheel of a bicycle, the "O" is the back wheel.

The arrow means Amazon has everything from A to Z

The gap between the "K" and the "I" is a sideways chocolate kiss.


There is a dancing bear above the "ble". Toblerone chocolate bars originated in Berne, Switzerland, whose symbol is the bear.

See the " 31" embedded in the " BR"? Thirty one-derful flavors!


Northwest Airlines. The circle is a compass. The arrow in the upper left corner is pointing..?

See the gorilla and lioness (in white) facing each other?


The smiley half face is also a 'g".

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

State Elections 2013 - A quick analysis - Indian democracy has won

Nearly 11 crore voters have voted in the 5 state elections in Nov-Dec 2013 and elected their new Government.  Whichever party has won or lost, ultimately the Indian voters have won. Indian democracy has won.  That is why from 2009 onwards, I term this as 'Celebration of democracy'.  'Celebrate Democracy' will be our theme for the Sansad Ratna Awards 2014.  I congratulate all the elected representatives and wish them all the best for their public service.  
In the recent state elections, BJP is able to retain Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh for third term.  The respective Chief Ministers have to be appreciated for their effective governance. Congress lost heavily in all the states.  They have also lost their Government in both Delhi and Rajasthan.  Congress has retained Mizoram.  While BJP has won nearly 70% of the seats that went for polls, Congress could gain only 20% of the seats. With General Elections 2014, few weeks away, Congress has to work hard to gain the  public confidence.
People reposed confidence and rewarded  the Chief Ministers of MP and Chattisgarh with more seats for their better governance.  At the same time, they rejected miserably the CMs of Rajasthan and Delhi for their bad performance and governance.   

Strength and weakness of BJP
BJP  Chief Ministers in all their states offer better governance.  The fact that Gujarat, MP and Chattisgarh people have voted back their Governments for the third time in a row is an ample proof.  After 2004 and 2009 debacle in Lok Sabha, BJP workers and leaders became diffident and lacked motivation.  The emergence of Narendra Modi or NAMO has galvanised the BJP workers more.  Though Modi was accused of splitting the top leaders earlier, he has succeeded in uniting the workers at every level across the nation.  He is a great communicator and sets the agenda for the discussion for all parties.  By making himself at the centre stage through positive or negative news, he has made BJP as the main force in India.  
On the positive side, the BJP top leadership gives enough freedom to their Chief Ministers to function effectively, within the overall frame work of the Policy. They have developed popular regional level leaders like Modi, Chauhan, Raman Singh, Vijayaraje Scindia and Manohar Parrikar.  Generally, the functioning of present senior BJP leaders during Morarji and Vajpayee Governments as ministers are still considered as 'excellent' by political experts. 

Coming to the negative side, BJP is more dominant only in the northern part of India.  They are yet to take roots in East and South.  Even the one Government at Karnataka was lost because of their leadership management.  They are seen more as 'Hindi walas' by East and South people.  Modi's popularity is trying to reduce this feeling, still they have to go a long way. 
Another negative side is that they are being seen as communal by other parties though they show secular credentials in BJP ruled states. The other parties take advantage of this situation and scare the minority people about BJP.  
Another negative point is their scant respect for voters. During the recent state elections, BJP fielded maximum of candidates with criminal background.  Out of 31 BJP MLAs elected now  in Delhi, 17 have criminal background.  This reflects their over confidence on their popularity.  Some of the Delhi experts say that BJP lost the majority in the assembly, because of their fielding candidates with criminal background.  
Strength and weakness of Congress
On the positive side, Congress has rich experience in governance.  They have governed the nation during the testing times very well.  They have very good leaders who are well experienced, but not known outside.   Congress is spread across the country. Whether they rule or not, Congress is the only party which has membership in the entire nation.  Though they play communal and caste politics every time more than other parties, they are still considered as a 'secular' party.   
On the negative side, the party is controlled only by one family, i.e. Nehru or so-called GANDHI Family. Even the talented leaders like Pilot, Scindia are not able to showcase their talents effectively. They ensure that talented leaders do not come up to avoid challenge to the Nehru family.   Even the Chief Ministers of  congress ruled states have to take permission from Nehru family even for small matters. Though they are spread across the nation, they do not allow the regional leaders to grow. They treat even the Chief Ministers as their dummies.  For an example, as against the suggestions of CM of Andhra, Congress is pushing the split of Andhra.  
In the last ten years, Congress has become highly insensitive to corruption and governance issues. Even the Prime Minister has to kneel down before the Prince Rahul Gandhi.  
Stunning performance of Aam Aadmi Party 
AAP which was formed few weeks ago, has surprised everybody by gaining near majority seats (28 seats) in Delhi.  The success of BJP and AAP in these elections reflect loudly that people want a better transparent governance and not mere promises.   
In the recent decade, emergence of internet and social media has created more political awareness among the new generation voters.  The new generation voters and particularly the first time voters are against the bad governance and corruption. When the emotions were running high, Arvind Kejriwal floated the AAP Party and successfully converted the emotions and mood of the people into votes.  To the surprise of the nation and all political parties they secured nearly 30% of vote share and 28 seats.   This is a great and wonderful achievement for any new party floated few weeks ago.
Past history of parties floated on emotions,  winning power in short time
In early 1970, MGR floated AIADMK, when he was dismissed from DMK and within one year, he captured the power in Tamil Nadu securing 31% vote share. Before floating the party, he was quite popular as an actor and a leader of DMK.  Till date, the party continues to enjoy the supremacy in Tamil Nadu.  His successor Jayalalitha is now the CM of Tamil Nadu.  
In 1977, immediately after the emergency,  Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan formed Janata Party combining various political parties, with the aim of defeating Indira Gandhi.   They secured 345 seats out of 542 seats in Lok Sabha with 52% vote share. Janata Party captured power at the Centre within few days of formation of the party.  The Government formed by Morarji Desai (Janata Party)  collapsed within 2 years. Janata Party got split into various pieces, due to internal ego problems of their own leaders.  Now Janata Party is not in existence.
In the same way in the early 1980s, when Congress humiliated their own CM Anjaiah in Andhra, NT Ramarao,  popular actor, floated Telugu Desam as 'Telugu pride'.  He also captured power with massive majority and securing 46% vote share within few months.   NTR developed the party with his film popularity. Even when NTR was alive, the party was captured by Chandrababu Naidu, who became Chief Minister later. The party has now become weak. 
In 1985 Asom Gana Parsihad (AGP) was formed by student leader P K Mahanta in Assam, out of the emotional issues of illegal migrants. In the first year itself, they captured power with 34% vote share. At that time, some of the students who were in the hostel became Ministers.  Though the party formed the Government two times, due to various internal differences got split and they are only a minor party in the state now.
Of the above parties, only AIADMK is still surviving powerfully for the past 40 years, because of the leadership.
Strength and weakness of AAP, including challenges
In the same manner, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also was formed recently as a result of the emotional issues like anti corruption movement by Anna Hazare and Nirbaya case. Under the leadership of Arvind Kejriwal (photo), AAP has now secured nearly 30% vote share and 28 seats. Since AAP has secured power and position in Delhi, they have to safe guard themselves from the internal ego clashes and external attacks to split the party.  
AAP was  formed as an alternate to the present political system and the lack of transparent functions. Unfortunately,  there are more allegations against AAP itself about the lack of transparency, fielding of candidates with criminal background, source of funding, etc. Though AAP was accusing all other political parties for fielding candidates with criminal background, in Delhi, AAP fielded more number of candidates with criminal background, next to BJP. Out of 28 elected AAP MLAs, 3 are already facing criminal charges.  (Source: ADR Report).
Since AAP was formed on emotional background and public anger against ruling party, they were able to get into Delhi Assembly.  Now their real challenge begins.  Shouting in the streets holding candles in the hands,  without being in power will be totally different from discharging responsibility as MLA.  
AAP has two options before them.  (1) Collaborate with either BJP or Congress parties and form the Government to prove their governance skills and to comply with the promises they have given to the people.  Definitely, the supporting parties will not pull down the Government, as it may be counter-productive for them.  This is the best option, but it is a double edged sword.  (2) Sit in the opposition and play a constructive role in the Legislative Assembly.  Sitting in the opposition gives lot of learning experience.  
Now people are watching AAP closely with huge expectations, because of the various promises.  With this victory, AAP also announced that they would become an alternate party to BJP and Congress at National level.  
Only time can tell whether AAP will survive all the challenges and remain in tact as a 'party with a difference' or vanish in the course of time like many other predecessors.  
Article by Prime Point Srinivasan

Friday, November 22, 2013

Facts about Shivaji Maharaj

Following are some of the features of Shivaji Maharaj - Swarajya an insight by Mr. Vinod Mestry
  • Shivaji Maharaj started Swarajya with only 1200 soldiers, by the time of his death in 1680 he had a army of 2,50,000
  • Shivaji Maharaj was earning a salary of 36,000 homes PA, by the time of his death he was earning 4,00,00,000 cr PA, which in today conversion is Rs. 2,00,000 cr PA
  • 360+ forts owned by Shivaji Maharaj, China wall took 150 yrs & Shivaji Maharaj constructed maximum forts in his 27 years of career. If all the forts stand in a line then it would form a line of 4000km
  • Shivaji Maharaj was the first king to form a formal Army
  • Shivaji Maharaj - Swarajya first initiated the concept of Pension schemes for retired army personels.
  • Also Swarajya initiated the concept of Mediclaim for injured soldiers.
  • 0% Loans for agricultural betterment was started by Shivaji Maharaj

Monday, July 15, 2013

Global Health Economics - A talk by Manish Tiwari, at Dimension

The speaker choose to focus on the below three main topics
  • Global health economics of country 
  • Organisation health 
  • Personal Health Global economics 
Global health economics of country - In the 21st century the European market after the great recession, will emerge one of the top tourist destination. The European market will evolve to become one of the leading tourist destinations where most people will visit. Similarly the market leader in manufacturing is China with largest manufacturing capabilities. But in next 20 to 30 years China will go down since it had earlier taken the decision of one child policy. The average age of Chinese will be around 40 years which will effect its growth. With the growth in Chinese manufacturing sector, it has helped the growth of Brazil economy as it is Brazil is one of the biggest supplier of raw materials required for manufacturing. USA which is the world's largest country with the biggest economy and leads the world will have average age of around 45 in next 20 years as most of the youth has been living life on credit cards and ain't going to any top league colleges.

India while on the other hand is an economy which the world over refers is growing andnot because of politicans it is growing on it is own 'growing because of Gods'. Last year Manoj Vohra, chief economist, Economist Intelligence Unit, India, quote, 'Indian economy is like a drunkenman, taking two steps ahead and coming back one step'. With the opening of economy in India, most of the Indian companies are facing competition from cheap chinese, high end european products. With this most of the Indian companies are now targeting Africa as it is one continent which is evolving and the markets are unexplored.

Organisation Health - Organisation health is the present status of the organisation. This health depends on three points Agressively Grow, Ruthlessely Prune - Any organisation growth depends on four key aspects

  1. What is the present market? 
  2. Where is it?
  3. If the current market is Mumbai then are we planning to expand to Pune?
  4. How is the market evolving and what changes are happening in it?
  5. Products: Are we launching new products? 
  6. What are the new developments happening in the current market?
  7. What are the new products launched?
  8. what is the response?
  1. What types of clients we have?
  2. What type of clients we are looking for? 
  3. Are they high end? 
  4. Which sector they are presenting? 
We need to answer these questions to understand how are we going to grow.

  1. Have to hire good people suitable for the job, 
  2. Have to groom them to the expected level, 
  3. So they perform for the organisation's growth. 

Product + Management + Margin = Cost of the product

The company needs to understand direct and indirect cost the company incurrs, which helps to reach at the right cost. When circumstances go down, then you cut resources, so a stitch in time saves the nine, else when difficult situations arrive, we have to start cutting down on resources. It is always beneficial to focus on resources of the company and whenever required cut down the irrelevant resources. In the future most of the businesses will collaborate  they will be working in collaborative environment rather than competitive environment.

Most important advice for R & D:
  1. What which is difficult toconcensive which will change dynamics of the industry?
  2. In case two companies are doing JV or one company is taking over the other one, the most recognising brand should be retained.
Individual Health : Two tests to be done in every six months
  • Homocirtien test: This should below as if this is low it will keep cholestrol low. Incase high then have vitamin B12. To reduce homocirtien is less costly but when it increases it leads to release in cholestrol and this treatment is costly.
  • Fasting Insulin serum: This should be low, may be around 1 - 2 lower the better, in case more than 25 then go for diet. Low GI diet