Dr Brian's SmartaMarketing 2

Smarta Marketing Ideas for Smarta Marketers

Month: June, 2013

Determinants of a good business strategy

Dr. Brian Monger

Competitive business advantage grows out of the difference in the cost of creating the value offering and what buyers are willing to pay for it. Value represents what buyers are prepared to pay. Superior value comes from offering superior value for prices lower or equal to competitive offerings.

Many, factors need to be considered in formulating strategy.   Six broad determinants usually dominate the design of strategy:

1.         Market opportunity, industry attractiveness, and competitive forces.

2.         The social, political, regulatory, ethical, and economic aspects of the external environment in which the enterprise operates.

3.         What an organisations skills, capabilities, and resources allow it to do best.

4.         Emerging threats to the organisation’s performance.

5.         The organisation’s culture, core beliefs, and business philosophy.

6.         The personal values, aspirations, and vision of managers, especially the most senior executive(s).

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

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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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Consulting – How To Write A Proposal

Dr Brian Monger

For any reasonable consulting job, the prospective client will likely expect a written proposal.

A written proposal accomplishes five tasks that are important for you in getting on con tract and beginning work as a consultant.

1.  The proposal is the basis for the agreement.  The proposal, then, is a sales document that ties together all the loose ends and closes the deal.

2.  The proposal documents what you are going to do.  The services you are going to perform in this consulting engagement should be clearly understood by both you and your client.  A proposal does exactly that; it spells out in black and white exactly what you are going to do, so there is a documented basis for understanding.

3.  The proposal documents the time frame of your performance.  Sometimes the client will want to know partial information before the full project is complete.

4.  The proposal documents what you are going to receive for your services.  You aren’t in business as a consultant just for fun, even though you may enjoy it immensely.  The proposal specifies the compensation that you are going to receive for the services you propose to provide.

5.  The proposal forms the basis for a contract.

How To Write A Good Proposal

There are four points to remember in writing a good proposal.

1.  Keep the structure clear and logical

2.  Use a professional but friendly style.  When you are submitting a proposal, just as in a face-to-face meeting, be professional but be friendly.

3.  Don’t spring surprises in your proposal.  After you return from your initial meeting, you will frequently get new ideas that are different from what you and your client originally visualised.  These ideas may be so good that you find it very tempting to include them in the proposal.  Resist this temptation, unless you can check with your client first.  He may need time to sell this idea to other employees, even superiors in his company.

4.  Check before you send.  If at all possible, you should double-check the main points of the proposal with your client.  Don’t assume that changes can be made after your client receives it.

The Structure For A Letter Proposal

Opening

Simply state that you are writing to submit your ideas for the project discussed earlier.

Background

Begin by restating the background of the consulting situation.  That is, restate your client’s assumptions and other general facts in the case.  This reassures the client that he has made an astute analysis of the situation.

Objectives

You should state the objectives of the engagement precisely.  Describe exactly what your client will learn or receive as a result of your work.

Methods

In this section you should describe alternative methodologies for accomplishing the objectives.  Discuss the advantages of each alternative, and then indicate which method you propose to use, and why.

Potential Problems

Any project has inherent in it, potential problems that could limit or detract from achievement.  Don’t omit or gloss over these potential problems; document them clearly, but also state how you will handle them if they occur.

The Finished Product

Your client will want to know what he can expect by way of a finished product.  Will you be furnishing a report?  A staff study? Photographs? And how many copies will you provide?

Cost and Payment Information

For most small contracts, it is not important to break down cost information unless the client requests it.  However, the timing of payment is important.  The client will want to know not only how much you want but when you want it.

 

Any additions? Comments? Examples?

Like these ideas?  Please comment

And visit our other blogs/articles http://smartamarkeketing.wordpress

And the MAANZ website (home of the worlds largest marketing/business glossary http://www.marketing.org.au

Also the MAANZ Slideshare site – http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger

Marketing ideas from the dark side

Marketing ideas from the dark side.  How to spot them

“Marketing and marketers” can often take criticism from outsiders who see the methods we use as “evil”. Often both the “good guys” and the “bad guys” use the same methods to succeed.  If you aim to be a good guy marketer you should know the tricks used by the bad guys – and learn to be wary when you use them – if you seek credibility

Here are some ideas used for selling junk products – ideas, services etc

Tie your appeal to the customer’s fears and their hope of something better.

Tie your appeal to popular culture, fashion, tends.

Have a well known/respected personality support your product. Otherwise someone who looks credible and preferably looks good

Have multiple options to sell.

Use social proof rather than scientific proof.

Cite non-existent authorities and spurious research.

Have statistics to quote. Preferably in graphical form

Use actual statistics selectively

Argue from a position of perceived credibility or authority rather than fact.

Use emotion and spread it as thickly as possible.

Treat any questioning of your position as an attack on wider (social) issues

Treat real science as junk science.

Trot out success stories/testimonials

Use gullible reporters to get your message out.

 

Any additions? Comments? Examples?

 

Like these ideas?  Please comment

And visit our other blogs/articles http://smartamarkeketing.wordpress

And the MAANZ website (home of the worlds largest marketing/business glossary http://www.marketing.org.au

Also the MAANZ Slideshare site – http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger

Forget the stereotype: typical Australian teenagers?

Forget the stereotype:

Typical Australian teenagers are more likely to be found helping around the house after school than using Facebook or playing computer games, University of Canberra researchers have found.

Teenagers were asked about their typical after school activities with computer games only just scraping into the top 10 in 10th place and Facebook ranked ninth. Family time topped the list, with sport, homework, hobbies and odd jobs also in the top 10, compiled as part of a report commissioned by the Australian Computer Society Community Engagement Board.

“We really need to re-think our stereotypes of modern teenagers,” the report’s author, Dr Karen Macpherson from the University of Canberra Education Institute, said.

“No one would argue against the fact that teenagers have welcomed digital technologies into their lives with open arms. But it may be that the popular stereotype of teenagers as being consumed by Facebook and computer games needs some rethinking. Although technology is now woven into their lives, for example on a daily basis almost half of the teenagers surveyed access Facebook, this study suggested that young people today spend most of their time doing what they have done after school for generations: spending time with family; playing sport; doing jobs around the house; and doing homework. And as they get older, casual jobs are also common.”

Dr Macpherson said it was important to understand the role of technology in young people’s lives to have a clearer picture of what might influence them to take up a career in technology, to help meet the nation’s critical skills shortage. The study gathered comprehensive information from teenagers about the role of technology in their out-of-school lives; their attitudes to the use of technology in schools; their interest in studying technology at school and later; and in taking it up as a career.

“The driver of this project was a question of Australian national interest,” Dr Macpherson said. “We need more young people to take up careers in Information and Communication Technology.”

More than 200 teenagers aged 12-18 years participated in the survey, which was administered at a sample of ACT government and non-government schools during Terms 3 and 4, 2012.

The study found, as with many adults, the mobile phone is usually within arm’s reach. In fact by the age of 18 years, 82 percent of the students in the sample slept with their mobile turned on next to their bed either “always” or “sometimes”.

The research suggested a large discrepancy between teenagers’ confidence in using technology – which was high; and their competence. For example information literacy skills that are fundamental to effective internet searching need improvement.

The study suggested that use of Facebook increases for both boys and girls with age; while playing computer games is very much gender related, and peaks with boys aged 13-15 years.

Results indicate that early high school is a critical time in which to engage teenagers in the study of Science, Maths and Technology.

“In early high school, we see a mismatch between the number of students who are interested in ‘how computers work’, and the lower numbers of students who are interested in ‘studying ICT’. After these early years, interest in both declines. We have a clear opportunity to interest more students in ICT if we engage with them at around 12-14 years of age,” Dr Macpherson said.

A final issue is the significant gap between young people’s perceptions of work available in ICT careers, which many see as fairly limited, and their stated ambitions of working in interesting and well paid jobs that ‘make a difference’.

“Our job is to provide learning opportunities to students that help them join the dots between their stated career objectives, and the fact that many ICT and science careers can meet those objectives,” Dr Macpherson said.

The full report, Digital Technology and Australian Teenagers: Consumption, Study and Careers, is published today and available at http://theeducationinstitute.edu.au/eduinstitute/node/159

 

The teenager’s top 10

When asked what they do after school, the most common activities young people undertake on a regular basis (at least several times a week) are:

  1. spending time with family (90%)
  2. doing homework (82%)
  3. watching television (75%)
  4. doing jobs around the house (73%)
  5. spending time doing a hobby (72%)
  6. playing sport (67%)
  7. seeing friends (65%)
  8. reading (62%)
  9. Facebook(61%)
  10. playing computer games (46%)

 

Dr Macpherson is available for interview: 0407 896489

Contact the University of Canberra media team:

Ed O’Daly 0408 829 618

Claudia Doman 0408 826 362

Good Ways to Build a Brand Name Using Social Media – For a new to the market product

By Bogdan Sava

The Social media environment helps a brand interact quickly with the existing/new customers in a transparent, non-expensive, creative way, stimulating the transmission of the brand benefits to its market and generating discussions among customers about the brand advantages, usages, purchase possibilities, ways of improvement, feedback and so on.

Of course, taking into consideration the industry, the type of product/service, type of customers, the social media marketing environment must be taken into consideration in the frame of the overall strategy and marketing business plan, being used along the other environments, on-line or offline.

WHAT FOR: For a new brand, the social media environment can be used for targeting, positioning and ENGAGING the customers into discussions about

-> The new brand benefits;

-> Advantages related the other competing products;

-> Experiences from using the brand offer, shared with other existing/potential customers;

-> Ways of purchasing the new brand product/service, ways of providing customer support and feedback;

-> connecting the new brand either with other brands (of products/services) that would improve or would make easier the customer experience;

HOW:

-> Write articles of practical situations presenting experiences through which customers get the best benefit from the new brand;

-> Ask questions about the way customers use the brand in the every day activity;

-> Make contests, challenging customers to imagine themselves using the new brand product/service, ask them what they to share their best/worst experience and give pieces of advice to other potential customers;

-> Have community opinion leaders (bloggers, journalists, managers, media people, users from the industry of the new brand, etc.) use the new brand product/service and present their story about how they used it and what they liked/disliked, challenge other users to present their opinion;

-> Create creative viral campaigns about the usage of the new brand in funny/unusual situations and determine normal Social media members share the campaign to others;

WHY: -> Through the Social media marketing environment, a new brand has a potentially unlimited cheap, creative means of promoting itself to a virtually unlimited number of potential clients. The only limits are the CREATIVITY and IMAGINATION of the brand owners.

Examples:

1) A Provider of shopping groceries and delivering them directly home: can use Social Media to explain how it offers more spare time, shopping efficiently to clients interested in its service; to engage and present additional benefits, the Provider can present stories or organize contests about the best ways to storage the purchased groceries or the best recipes contest;

2) A bicycle manufacturer: can use Social media to engage people passionate about riding bicycles in outdoors, in nature, can present different challenging events about bike contests and the best ways to improve or take care of each buyer`s bike.

Bogdan Sava

ePayPoint/Gi Group

Bucharest, Romania

Information Technology and Services

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