Dr Brian's SmartaMarketing 2

Smarta Marketing Ideas for Smarta Marketers

Why They Don’t Get the Message

Dr Brian Monger

People use a sophisticated psychological defence mechanism to filter out unwanted information. This mechanism consists of four “rings of defence”:

Selective Exposure.

People tend to seek out only that information which agrees with their existing attitudes or beliefs.

Selective Attention.

People tune out communication that goes against their attitudes or beliefs, or they pay attention only to parts that reinforce their positions, forgetting the dissonant parts. This is why two people with differing points of view can come to different conclusions about the same message. Each of them is tuning out the parts with which they disagree.

Selective Perception

People seek to interpret information so that it agrees with their attitudes and beliefs. This accounts for a lot of misinterpretation of messages. Some people don’t block out dissonant information; they simply reinterpret it so that it matches their preconceptions.

Selective Retention.

People tend to let psychological factors influence their recall of information. In other words, we forget the unpleasant or block out the unwanted. This also means that people tend to be more receptive to messages presented in pleasant environments

 

Dr Brian Monger is Executive Director of MAANZ International and an internationally known business consultant with over 45 years of experience assisting both large and small companies with their projects.  He is also a highly effective and experienced trainer and educator

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on http://smartamarketing.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

Guerrilla, Viral and Ambush Marketing

Dr Bian Monger
Guerrilla marketing is unconventional marketing activities intended to get maximum results from minimal resources. It is more about matching creative idea and wits than matching budgets. Rather than marching their marketing dollars, guerrilla marketers snipe away with their marketing resources for maximum impact.
Undercover marketing is a subset of guerrilla marketing where the buyer doesn’t realise they’re being marketed to. For example, a marketing company might pay an actor or socially adept person to use a certain product visibly and convincingly in locations where target segments congregate. The actor will talk up the product to people they befriend in that location, even handing out samples if it is economically feasible.

Undercover marketing is also know as buzz marketing or stealth marketing.

The goal of any undercover campaign is to generate buzz. Spontaneous word of mouth, or buzz, is free, can reach consumers isolated from all other media, and unlike conventional media, consumers tend to trust it. Marketers find it very hard to predict buzz let alone generate it on demand. However when it works, undercover marketing does exactly that: an ideal consumer from the example above will not only begin using that product themselves, but will also tell their friends about it, inciting a planned viral marketing campaign that looks spontaneous.

Viral marketing refers to marketing techniques that seek to exploit pre-existing social networks to produce exponential increases in brand awareness, through viral processes similar to the spread of an epidemic. The term “viral advertising” refers to the idea that people will pass on and share cool and entertaining content; this is often sponsored by a brand, which is looking to build awareness of a product or service. These viral commercials often take the form of funny video clips, or interactive Flash games, images, and even text.

Ambush Marketing refers to the strategic placement of marketing material and promotions at events that will attract consumer and media attention. It has been defined as “the practice whereby another firm, seeks association with the sponsored activity without payment to the activity owner”. This company attempts to deflect some of the audience attention away from the sponsor to itself.

 

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on http://smartamarketing2.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

Join Dr Brians LinkedIn groups:

Marketing – Dr-Brians-Marketers-Network  http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Dr-Brians-Marketers-Network-Number-2650856

Manangement/Project Manangement – The Project Management Information Network.  http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Project-Management-Information-Network-Practical-6618103

Come on over and share more great information and ideas.

Increasing Training Effectiveness

Dr. Brian Monger

Establishing an open and encouraging internal climate to increase training effectiveness

Normally, people returning from a course are left almost alone.

The supervisor is not very interested in what they have learned and how to make use of new ideas and factual knowledge.  The employees are, at best, left alone to implement new ideas.  Even more frequently, the returning employees realise that everybody, especially the boss, is totally uninterested in what they have learned.  Sometimes they get the impression that the fact that they have been away for training has only created problems, for example, with under-capacity.  Nobody seems to care about any positive effects of the course.

In such situations, any new idea and favourable-attitude effects are rapidly destroyed.

Instead, the manager or supervisor should encourage the employees to implement new ideas and help them realising how they could be applied in their specific environment.  Moreover, some on-the-premises training is often helpful and encouraging as a continuation of the course or training program.

The management style demonstrated in the daily job by managers and supervisors has an immediate impact on the job environment and internal climate.  Probably, recognition is the issue that keeps it going.  It may sound soft, but it is critical. The mere way of managing is, therefore, an internal marketing issue.

Joint planning and decision making with the employees involved is a means of achieving commitment in advance to further actions that emerge from the planning process.

The need for information and feedback 

Here, the supervisor has a key role.  Moreover, he or she is responsible for creating an open climate where service-related and customer-related issues are raised and discussed.

Management support and the internal interactive communication are the predominant tools of the attitude management aspect of internal marketing, but they are, of course, key ingredients of communication management as well.

 

Dr Brian Monger is Executive Director of MAANZ International and an internationally known consultant with over 45 years of experience assisting both large and small companies with their projects.  He is a specialist in negotiation and behaviour He is also a highly effective and experienced trainer and educator

He is very well known and highly regarded as a Linked In groups manager

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on http://smartamarketing2.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

Join Dr Brians LinkedIn groups:

Marketing – Dr-Brians-Marketers-Network  http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Dr-Brians-Marketers-Network-Number-2650856?trk=my_groups-b-grp-v

Manangement/Project Manangement – The Project Management Information Network.  http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Project-Management-Information-Network-Practical-6618103?

Come on over and share more great information and ideas.

The Eight Ancient Asian Elements of Success

Dr. Brian Monger

Lear the ancient wisdom of success from China

The ancient eight essential elements of success are:

  • Tao: Moral standing, ethics, righteousness. The product and the company culture need to be in line with Tao, righteousness. Without Tao, a short-term profit is attainable, but long-term success is not possible.
  • Tien: Timing of your products and your marketing strategy needs to be in line with the social timing and the universal timing.
  • Di: Utilize your company’s assets and liabilities, as well as, each individual understands their everyday work and quality of life.
  • Jian: Leaders relate to their staff, customers and suppliers according to five qualities: wisdom, trustworthiness, benevolence, courage and discipline.
  • Fa: Effective executive’s actions will result in keeping the revenue coming in rapidly.
  • Xu, Shi: Paradox of the real versus the unreal.
  • Qi, Zheng: Innovation and tradition.
  • Know thyself, Know others:  know yourself, your product, and your customers.

Dr Brian Monger is Executive Director of MAANZ International and an internationally known business consultant with over 45 years of experience assisting both large and small companies with their projects.  He is also a highly effective and experienced trainer and educator

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on http://smartamarketing.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

Putting Together a Marketing Plan

Dr. Brian Monger

Good Marketing Management is crucial to marketing success. Remember, marketing is more than just running a few ads or posting a few status updates on a social media site. Marketing management includes several different components that come together to make an effective marketing plan. The plan should include an overview, situation analysis, marketing strategy, marketing tactics and, most importantly, a marketing budget.

Marketing Plan Overview

The first step in your marketing project management is to create an overview, or summary, of the entire plan. This overview should be no longer than one page and discuss the main points of the marketing plan. Write the overview last to be sure you don’t miss any important points when writing the summary.

Objectives

Objectives are measurable goals.  The basis for your objectives will likely be in the Business Plan.  You develop or translate these into Marketing Objectives.

Situation Analysis

The situation analysis is the foundation of the marketing plan and is critical to good marketing management. Include any market research and competitive analysis.  Details of current market size, projected growth, information about your competitors. Also include an assessment of your business, including strengths and weaknesses (SWOT), and a summary explaining how you will develop Strengths and overcome Weaknesses.  Detail likely Opportunities and  potential Threats.  Be honest and as specific as you can.

Target Market

Be sure to define your target segment/target market (customers) in detail.  The Target Market profile will become the basis for all your marketing strategy.  If it is only a few lines long it is not going to very specific or useful. Check out articles on Segmentation and Targetting in the Smartamarketing blog (see details at the end of this article)

Strategy

The marketing strategy section includes how you plan to achieve the marketing objectives you determined. This section of the project should include the Marketing Mix Strategy – Usually focused on the “four P’s:”

Product – Describe your product (Product includes Services), and be sure to include both features and benefits.

Price – The pricing strategy used to determine the pricing of your Product.

Place – The location where you will sell your Product (including services), distribution channels (physical or on-line).

Promotion – The methods you plan to use to promote your product or service.

Be sure to include how the strategy should be implemented – the marketing tactics that will be used such as advertising, social media, events, Personal Selling and other forms of Promotion.

Schedule

Include a monthly/weekly schedule (timelines) of events

Marketing Budget

Complete your marketing plan with a budget created from the costs associated with each section of the plan. Be realistic when creating the budget, using actual costs whenever possible.

Review Regularly – and adjust

Check that you are obtaining the desired results. If not, adjust the plan and budget.  Reality needs flexibility

Dr Brian Monger is Executive Director of MAANZ International and an internationally known business consultant with over 45 years of experience assisting both large and small companies with their projects.  He is also a highly effective and experienced trainer and educator

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on http://smartamarketing.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

The Need to Better Understand Management Planning

Dr. Brian Monger

The degree to which a company is able to cope with its operating environment is very much a function of the understanding it has of the management planning process as a means of sharpening the rationality and focus of all levels of management throughout the organisa­tion.

This requires further explanation.  What most companies think of as planning systems are little more than forecasting and budgeting systems.  These give impetus and direction to tackling the current operational problems of the business, but tend merely to project the current business unchanged into the future – something often referred to in management literature as ‘tunnel vision’.

The problem with this approach is that because companies are dynamically evolving systems within a dynamically evolving business environment, some means of evaluation of the way in which the two interact has to be found in order that there should be a better matching between them. Otherwise, because of a general unpreparedness, a company will suffer in­creased pressures in the short term, in trying to react and to cope with environmental factors.

Many companies, having gone through various forms of rationalisation or efficiency- increasing measures, become aware of the opportunities for making profit which have been lost to them because of their unpreparedness, but are confused about how to make better use of their limited resources.  This problem increases in importance in relation to the size and diversity of companies.

In other words, there is widespread awareness of lost market opportunities through unpre­paredness and real confusion over what to do about it.  It is hard not to conclude, therefore, that there is a strong relationship between these two problems and the systems most widely in use at present, ie. sales forecasting and budgeting systems.

The most frequently mentioned operating problems resulting from a reliance on traditional sales forecasting and budgeting procedures in the absence of a management plan­ning system.

1.         Lost opportunities for profit

 2.         Meaningless numbers in long-range plans

 3.         Unrealistic objectives

 4.         Lack of actionable market information

 5.         Inter functional strife

 6.         Management frustration

 7.         Proliferation of products and markets

 8.         Wasted promotional expenditure

 9.         Pricing confusion

 10.       Growing vulnerability to environmental change

 11.       Loss of control over the business

The connection

It is not difficult to see the connection between all of these problems.  However, what is perhaps not apparent from the list is that each of these operational difficulties is in fact a symptom of a much larger problem which emanates from the way in which the objectives of a firm are set.

The meaningfulness, hence the eventual effectiveness, of any objective, is heavily dependent on the quality of the informational inputs about the business environment.

Objec­tives need to be realistic 

However, objec­tives also need to be realistic, and to be realistic, they have to be closely related to the firm’s particular capabilities in the form of its assets, competences and reputation that have evolved over a number of years.

The objective-setting process of a business, then, is central to its effectiveness.

Tt is inadequacies in the objective-setting process which lie at the heart of many of the problems of companies.  Since companies are based on the existence of markets, and since a company’s sole means of making profit is to find and maintain profitable markets, then clearly setting objectives in respect of these markets is a key business function.

If the process by which this key function is performed is inadequate in relation to the differing organisational settings in which it takes place, it fol­lows that operational efficiency will be adversely affected.

Some kind of appropriate system has to be used to enable meaningful and realistic management objectives to be set.  A frequent complaint is the preoccupation with short-term thinking and an almost total lack of what has been referred to as ‘strategic thinking’.  Another com­plaint is that plans consist largely of numbers, which are difficult to evaluate in any meaning­ful way, since they do not highlight and quantify opportunities, emphasise key issues, show the company’s position clearly in its markets, or delineate the means of achieving the sales forecasts.  Indeed, very often the actual numbers that are written down bear little relation­ship to any of these things.

 

Dr Brian Monger is Executive Director of MAANZ International and an internationally known business consultant with over 45 years of experience assisting both large and small companies with their projects.  He is also a highly effective and experienced trainer and educator

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on http://smartamarketing.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

Price as a Creative Variable

Price should not be used like a simple blunt object

Dr. Brian Monger

Implicit in the argument that price must reflect value is the need for flexibility in the methods used to establish prices.  While it may seem obvious to some, a fundamental truism in a market-oriented environment is that “price is a variable.” The opposite of a variable is a constant, something that is unchanging.  Many managers approach price as a constant.  That is, they set prices using a fixed formula, such as determining cost per unit and adding a predetermined margin to arrive at price.  Having applied the formula, they give no further thought to the use of price as a marketing tool.  Not only is such an approach naive and overly simplistic, but it causes the manager to lose sight of the real purpose of a price and to miss creative opportunities for realising profits.

Prices can be varied in many ways.  The only requirement is creative thinking on the part of the manager.  Examples of ten ways to vary a price include the following:

• Keep the same price currently charged but give the customer greater (or lesser) product quality.

• Keep the same price currently charged but give the customer a smaller (or larger) quantity of a particular item.

• Change the time of payment, such as by allowing a customer four months to make payment.

• Offer a rebate or a dollars-off coupon.

• Provide cash, quantity, and/or trade discounts.

• Charge different prices to different types of customers.

• Charge different prices based on the time of day, month, or year.

•  Offer to accept a trade-in from the customer.

• Accept partial or full payment in the form of goods and services instead of money.

• Bundle the product with other Products and charge a single price lower than the combined individual prices.

These are but a few of the possibilities.  The downside is that price as a variable is a more complicated management task and requires considerably more hard work than does price as a constant or fixed phenomenon.  Also, creativity can be dangerous if not properly structured.  Pricing decisions should not be made in a piecemeal fashion, but instead should be part of a larger pricing strategy.

Do you have any ideas to add?

Dr Brian Monger is Executive Director of MAANZ International and an internationally known business consultant with over 45 years of experience assisting both large and small companies with their projects.  He is also a highly effective and experienced trainer and educator

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on http://smartamarketing.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

The Motivation to Buy

Dr. Brian Monger

A sale is made when somebody decides to buy – decides that what is proposed satisfies his/her need, or will benefit him/her in some way that he/she does not now enjoy.

Why do people buy? What makes them say yes to some salesmen and no to others? What makes them like some products better than others? Why do people behave as they do?

If marketers could only know in advance of each call what the answers to these, and similar questions, would be, then their task of selling would be much easier.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to predict people’s buying behaviour, and this is the main reason why so much skill is required in marketing. However, there has been much research in the behavioural fields on why people act as they do and from this we are able to see a general pattern of buying behaviour.

All of us are moved by motives and urges

What is Motivation?

1. Motivation can be described as the driving force within individuals that impels them to action.

2. This driving force is produced by a state of tension, which exists as the result of an unfilled need.

3. The specific courses of action that consumers pursue and their specific goals are selected on the basis of their thinking process and previous learning.

II. Needs

1. Every individual has needs: some are innate others are acquired.

2. Innate needs are physiological or biogenic, and include food, water, air, clothing, shelter, and sex.

3. These needs (innate) are considered primary needs or motives.

4. Acquired needs are needs that we learn in response to our culture or environment, and include the need for self-esteem, prestige, affection, power, and for learning.

5. These needs (acquired) are considered secondary needs of motives.

When asked to buy something, a person is confronted with a problem which he/she needs to interpret and resolve. Frequently he/she overcomes the problem (either personal or business) by making a buying decision.

Actually, the sale takes place in the mind of the buyer – it is the buyer’s viewpoint and the satisfactory resolution of his/her buying problem that concerns the marketer.

Often the solution to the problem can be attractive and unattractive at the same time. It may involve the choice between two attractive courses of behaviour or it may involve choosing between two unattractive things.

The marketer’s task is to assist the prospect to resolve his/her problem.

For some the solving of problems, or making decisions, is relatively easy, while for others even a minor decision causes tension and worry.

It is important for the salesperson to appreciate that the higher the tension the more irrational the prospect becomes, and the less likely he/she is to follow the logic of the salesperson’s story.

People generally will not make a buying decision until they are satisfied in their own minds that the benefits they will derive from the product outweigh the costs to themselves.

Marketing and especially selling therefore, is concerned with reducing buyer tensions, and assisting the prospect to identify his needs through the products and services offered.

People buy for basic reasons and, like all selling fundamentals, the reasons are simple and clear-cut. Look at the list below. Not advanced technical terms but simple everyday words. Like all simple things we tend to overlook them but every sale you ever make will be made because your proposition appeals strongly in one or more of these aspects:

• Profit, gain or economy/savings
• Design or appearance
• Pleasure, comfort and pain avoidance (physical and emotional)
• Safety or security
• Convenience
• Love and affection
• Sex appeal
• Social approval
• Pride, prestige/status
• Speed of Operation
• Ease of Operation
• Compatibility with Present System
• Availability/Delivery Speed
• Absolute Price/Price Flexibility
• Service/maintenance support/Software support
• Broad Line of Equipment Supplier Stability
• Competence of Personnel
• Personal Interaction – Liking
• Personal relevance
• Situational factors/Immediacy
• Curiosity/Discovery
• Creativity
• Exclusivity
• Empathy with brand
• Consistency of Delivered Value
• Performance/dependability/ Reliability of Operation
• Reliability of supply
• Environmental concerns

Dr Brian Monger is Executive Director of MAANZ International and an internationally known business consultant with over 45 years of experience assisting both large and small companies with their projects.  He is also a highly effective and experienced trainer and educator

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on http://smartamarketing.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

What is a “Marketing Mix”?

The Variables of a Marketing Mix

Achieving marketing objectives requires a strategy that includes a number of different elements – the various parts of a management model called the marketing mix or 4 P’s. Calling it a mix reminds us to create the right balance of the different elements that will be used.

The concept of the marketing mix

The concept of the “marketing mix” became popular after Neil H. Borden published his 1964 article, The Concept of the Marketing Mix. Borden began using the term in his teaching in the late 1940′s after James Culliton had described the marketing manager as a “mixer of ingredients”. The ingredients in Borden’s marketing mix included product planning, pricing, branding, distribution channels, personal selling, advertising, promotions, packaging, display, servicing, physical handling, and fact finding and analysis. Eugene McCarthy later grouped these ingredients into the four categories that today are known as the 4 P’s of marketing.  The marketing mix decision variables – product, distribution, promotion, and price-are factors over which an organisation has control.

The four P’s of the traditional marketing mix

1. Product - A product can be anything a prospective customer considers to be of value, a good, a service, a person a place or an idea.  The product variable is the aspect of the marketing mix that deals with satisfying a buyers wants and designing a value offering with the desired characteristics.  It also involves the creation or alteration of packages and brand names and may include decisions about guarantees and repair services.

2. Price - Price is a critical component of the marketing mix because consumers are concerned about the value obtained in an exchange.  Price often is used as a competitive tool; in fact, extremely intense price competition sometimes leads to price wars.  Price can also help to establish a product’s image. Deciding on a pricing strategy a more useful concept is to focus on the markets view of Payment or Cost to the user.  The price variable relates to activities associated with establishing pricing policies and determining product prices.

3. Promotion – Promotion is usually composed of a “promotional mix, which includes Advertising Personal Selling Sales Promotion and Publicity (Marketing Public Relations).  Sometime Direct marketing is also singled out as a separate element.  The modern approach to promotion is to see it as Communicating Value and incorporating it in the concept of Integrated Marketing Communications.  The promotion variable relates to activities used to inform one or more groups of people about an organisation and its products.  Promotion can be aimed at increasing public awareness of an organisation and of new or existing products.  In addition, promotion can serve to educate consumers about product features or to urge people to take a particular stance on a political or social issue.  It may also be used to keep interest strong in an established product that has been available for decades.

 4.  Place or Placement – This is about Delivering Value and focuses on distribution. It looks primarily at logistics, and channels of distribution and achieving convenience or accessibility value for the customer.  To satisfy consumers, products must be available at the right time and in a convenient location.  In dealing with the distribution variable, (also known as Place or Placement) a marketing manager seeks to make products available in the quantities desired to as many customers as possible and to keep the total inventory, transport, and storage costs as low as possible.  A marketing manager may become involved in selecting and motivating intermediaries (wholesalers and retailers), establishing and maintaining inventory control procedures, and developing and managing transport and storage systems.

Perhaps we need more P’s?  

(Not likely.  This model has stood the test of time and withstood numerous attacks)

A number of writers have suggested the possible extension of the 4 P’s.  For example the fairly common 7 P’s approach which includes:

People: – Particularly in service centre value offerings, people (Employees, Management) as well as the participating consumers often add significant value to the total offering.

Process: Procedure, mechanisms and flow of activities by which services are consumed (customer management processes) are an essential element of the marketing strategy.

Physical Evidence: The tangible elements of the environment in which the value offer is delivered.  It is about the tangible aspects (things that can be seen and touched) that communicate and deliver the intangible value (the service experience of customers).

While acknowledging that these additional 3 elements can be useful concepts, they are in fact already accommodated in the existing, simpler 4 P’s marketing mix model.  There have even been suggestions of a 17 P model and the Jefkins model had 20 elements: (Jefkins F “Modern Marketing” ISBN 0 7121 0853 X).

Another approach – the 4 Cs

Not a singing group from the 60′s

Place becomes Convenience

Price becomes Cost to the user

Promotion becomes Communication

Product becomes Customer motivation

These C’s perhaps reflect a more client-oriented marketing philosophy. The C’s are also not nearly as memorable as the P-words.

Formal and Informal Leaders

Dr Brian Monger

The formal leader is the supervisor appointed by the organisation to lead a specified group in the attainment of the organisation’s objectives.  The organisation gives the supervisor the necessary authority to carry out these objectives.  An informal leader, on the other hand, is “appointed” by the work group itself, usually because of their referent and expert power, their personal qualities and job knowledge.

A very effective supervisor may be both the formal and informal leader of the group.  However, work groups often have two leaders: the informal and the formal.  This does not necessarily mean that the supervisor is not supervising properly; it may mean that the informal leader is meeting certain team and individual needs that the formal leader cannot or should not be meeting.

The informal leader may or may not support the supervisor; whichever is the case, informal leaders usually have as much (and often more) influence on a group’s output as the formal leader.  So don’t try to eliminate any informal leaders in your work group, but rather ensure that they are working with and not against you, for the benefit of your work group and the organisation.

The informal leader is likely to be the person to whom others often go for advice, assistance or just a chat.  It is the person who speaks for the group, the person who is able to get the ball rolling”.  An informal leader may emerge because of a booming voice or an ability to make others laugh, or because of seniority.  If your work group concentrates on getting its work done, for example, producing 400 units an hour, the informal leader may be the person who can produce the most or generate the most enthusiasm for attaining results.  On the other hand, if your work group needs to have tension relieved because of the stressful nature of the job, the informal leader may well be the person who can do this.

A work group may have both of these objectives (400 units an hour and relief of tension); in this case, two informal leaders may emerge if one person is not available who can meet group needs in both areas.

Whoever the informal leaders are in your work group, their positions are precarious ones.  Being an informal leader today and a non-leader tomorrow is not unusual.  This is particularly true where the composition of the work group changes frequently or where the work location, product or task changes.  As a group’s needs change, so does its choice of informal leader.

Authority and Responsibility

Authority is the right to command or act and relates to the power you have over resources.  If you have authority, you can require a person to do something that you want done.  Every supervisor is conferred some formal authority by the organisation.

Responsibility, on the other hand, is the obligation that employees have to their managers and the organisation to do a job or task that has been assigned to them.  The key idea here is one of obligation or duty.  You are hired to do a certain job; therefore, you have an obligation or responsibility to do that job.

It wouldn’t be fair to hold people responsible for doing a job without first giving them the necessary authority to do the job.  Thus, although authority and responsibility are different, they should go together.  This means that when you have been delegated authority, it should be accompanied by sufficient responsibility.

What Type of Leader do Employees Look for?

No two people are exactly alike and therefore no one  type  of  leader  can  be singled out as the ideal for  which  everyone  is  looking.  One  person  looks for guidance and encouragement, while another prefers to be left alone to get on with the job.

Despite individual differences, surveys show that there are some specific behaviours that most employees look for in a leader.  Most, for example, want a leader who lets them know clearly what is expected of them and how they are getting on.  They want to be sincerely patted on the back when they deserve it.  They want training, and guidance when they are having difficulty in achieving their objectives.  They want to work for a leader who is approachable and keeps them informed about what is going on.

Employees prefer leaders who let them know honestly where they stand and what their chances of advancement are.  They want a leader who gives them a sense of importance, who makes them feel that they are valued members of the team and that they are doing a worthwhile job.  They want a leader who has ordered work habits (someone who plans the work and works to the plan), who has well-defined objectives and who organises resources efficiently.

People want supervisors who promote teamwork by emphasising the positive rather than the negative aspects of their performance and who provide opportunities to get their ideas heard.  Employees like to work for supervisors who are fair and impartial in their dealings, and who set a good example.

 

Dr Brian Monger is Executive Director of MAANZ International and an internationally known consultant with over 45 years of experience assisting both large and small companies with their projects.  He is also a highly effective and experienced trainer and educator

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on http://smartamarketing.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

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