Dr Brian's SmartaMarketing 2

Smarta Marketing Ideas for Smarta Marketers

Category: Uncategorized

Successful Student Recruitment Strategy – Part 2 – Written Promotion

Contents

How to Recruit and Attract Students

The W’s of Effective Marketing Communications Messages

Questions to be answered

General Advice – How to Develop Effective Recruitment Messages

Features

Always start with a great opening

How to make your Communication BELIEVABLE

Stimulate action

Present for easy reading

Things to avoid because they turn readers away

 

How to Recruit and Attract Students

How does one influence the mindset of prospective students to view the university as valuable?

How does one effectively highlight the unique features of a university, going beyond the act of plastering a generic message?

How can you win their trust and translate the marketing campaign into generating actual numbers?

What are the digital marketing must haves?

What is the expected impact of deregulation – what this means for student recruitment and how can you best respond?

Education is a very competitive marketplace, where standing out from the crowd can be hard. Here are some general guidelines, which can significantly improve your campaign to attract students.

 

Keep in mind that not all potential students are alike. To communicate effectively you need to (deeply) understand your target market(s) – see the first article in this series – Marketing and Education – Student Recruitment – Part 1

 

Virtually all candidates are used to on-line technologies, thus you must effectively use digital media (Websites, Social Media, Mobile – smartphones, pads etc) as well as conventional methods and media (TV, Print, Outdoors, Transit, Radio etc). Adapting to the new methods is crucial in any campaign these days.

 

The W’s of Effective Marketing Communications Messages

The key to a successful student recruitment strategy is thinking about “why, what you communicate, to whom, when and how,”

 

“Why” – your strategic and tactical objective(s)

“What are you offering?” If it is not immediately clear what you are offering, expressed as a benefit your marketing message will almost certainly fail

“Why” should they enrol?

“What” the message – based on broad strategic elements like Brand as well a situation specific tactical messages. For example, the content of the message should be dependent on the stage the person is at

“Whom” – the target audience (target segments)

“Where” will you find them?

“Where” are you speaking to them? – Media

“When” – timing of the message(s). This can be long-term messages, as may appear on a website as well as situationally specific messages in the general or social media.

 

Before you write a word or draw a picture…

 

– Compare your offer with your competitions. Are they basically the same?

– Isolate the areas where you win and lose

– Translate features/attributes into benefits

– Look for a unique benefit or combination of benefits.

 

Questions to be answered:

 

1.) To whom are you offering what benefit?

2) Is the offer unique/differentiated in the market?

3.) Why should they grasp it?

4.) How should you speak to them?

 

Basically, effective Marketing Communication is about communicating:

 

The RIGHT information

in the RIGHT way

to the RIGHT people

in the RIGHT place

at the RIGHT time

 

General Advice – How to Develop Effective Recruitment Messages

The key to effective Promotional Communication for Student Recruitment is: Successful messages come in only one language – BENEFITS!

 

Prospects want to know – “What’s in it for me?” (W.I.I.F.M.?)

 

A benefit is an advantage or satisfaction the prospect will gain – or the loss avoided – from the item, proposition or service you sell. Do not leave it to the prospect to discover the benefits he or she will gain from the offer. Spell it out, as simply as possible. Prospects cannot get more out of promotional message than what you put in it

 

Features

Effective Marketing Communication must balance stated benefits with component realities (features). They provide the rational reason why the offer will work and help create conviction.   Benefits must be supportable.

 

Create interest and desire by stressing benefits of using your service or owning the resultant building.

Demonstrate the value of your particular product by detailing benefits and features.

Try to make it sell for you alone

 

Always start with a great opening

(1) Involve the reader. Address him/her directly.

(2) Put direct suggestion or question.

(3) Use words that stimulate

(4) Appeal to pride and self-interest

(5) Appeal to current or local issues.

(6) Beware overly clever language and technical terms.

 

Present your proposition quickly and clearly. Once you have gained the prospect’s attention with your opening, give your selling proposition quickly and clearly.

 

A “sale” is made at the moment the prospect decides he wants the benefits to be gained from your service more than the money they cost.

 

How to make your Communication BELIEVABLE:-

(1) Present the main idea at least three times during your message

(2) Tell of popularity (use testimonials, and quote authorities.)

(3) Convey value. Demonstrate the benefits are worth more than the cost.

(4) Give assurances and proof. Overcome objections. Guarantee satisfaction when you can.

 

Stimulate action:

(1) Give the reader good excuses and reasons for enrolment

(2) Make enrolment – tell how, when and where. Offer help

 

Present for easy reading

Content is more important than how you say it. Observing the basic rules, however, will help make your selling message easier to absorb.

 

(1) Start with enthusiasm and involve the reader.

(2) Use short words, sentences and paragraphs.

(3) Be direct, writing in second person, present tense.

(4) Be concrete, specific, honest – in the reader’s vernacular.

(5) Use visual words, lively words. Be informal, friendly, caring.

(6) Be complete, but concise. Give a message, not your life story.

(7) Ask for the desired action.

 

Things to avoid because they turn readers away:

(1) Puns, play on words, clichés, and foreign phrases

(2) Over-statement (that kills credibility)

(3) Long words (use short words)

(4) Formalism

(5) Banalities and platitudes

(6) Looking like everyone else. (Be distinctive.)

 

If you are interested in this subject, you may be interested in this forthcoming event in Sydney in early December

Marketing and Communicating for
Student Recruitment and the
Australian Higher Education Sector

One-day connected forum with two half day workshops
3-4 December 2014, Rydges Sydney Central

http://www.arkgroupaustralia.com.au/events.htm

Listen, network and learn from your peers:
Macquarie University
Australian National University
Charles Sturt University
University of Technology, Sydney
University of Southern Queensland
University of Melbourne
International College of Management Sydney
University of New England

 

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 https://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-Brian’s-Marketers-Network  http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Dr-Brians-Marketers-Network-Number-2650856?trk=my_groups-b-grp-v

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

Successful Student Recruitment Strategy – Part 3 – Online Media

Contents

An Effective Website

Be Present on Social Channels

Tips on Using Social Media in Student Recruitment

Stand Out From the Crowd

Dare to be innovative and creative

Communicate from their point of view

Don’t be middle of the road.   Be different to attract interest

Draw on The Talent Around You

Resist the Urge To Sell

Make It Personal

Make provision for engagement. For prospects to ask questions

Keep It Real

Seek to Provide Value

Stay With the Curve

Get help from outside your Institution

Creative Ways Colleges Are Recruiting Students

 

How does one influence the mindset of prospective students to view the university as valuable?

How does one effectively highlight the unique features of a university, going beyond the act of plastering a generic message?

How can you win their trust and translate the marketing campaign into generating actual numbers?

What are the digital marketing must haves?

What is the expected impact of deregulation – what this means for student recruitment and how can you best respond?

Education is a very competitive marketplace, where standing out from the crowd can be hard. Here are some general guidelines, which can significantly improve your campaign to attract students.

 

Web and social media are crucial tools in student recruitment; they have forcibly sharpened the accuracy of university branding.

 

An Effective Website

Creating “a website that offers a picture of what the Institution is like and what it would be like to study here”.

A website is a primary communication channel, it is your image, and it is where people look for you.

Offer your visitors friendly user experience, a simple, comfortable design with easy to find information.

The information needs to be up to date and include new information.

Be sure you integrate contact information.

Website information should be readily accessed and read on pads and mobile phones

 

Be Present on Social Channels

Social means you can easily share information, advertise and communicate directly with potential candidates.

Be where your target segment(s)/audience(s) are. You need to be able to offer your own social media channels and to access others where you prospective students are active. Where they already know and are comfortable to share ideas and thoughts.

You should use several social networks. For example, there are institutions that make video testimonials with current students and post them on YouTube. You have a wide range of

Marketing teams need to talk to students in order to find out what makes them tick. By doing this regularly, your department will have its finger on the pulse of what trends, fashions and subcultures they can tap into in order to engage prospective applicants.

 

Tips on Using Social Media in Student Recruitment

Here are some tips on how institutions can optimise their social media presence to attract students.

 

Stand Out From the Crowd

Be clear about who you are and how you are different (in a way the target segments will want). This is the key to unlocking what makes your Institution and value offer(s) unique.

Offer what other institutions do not do and will not readily offer.

 

Create an identity that lends itself to creating stand out marketing communication campaigns that are relevant to and understood by your target market(s)/audience(s)

 

By getting your value offer right and communication it effectively to the right target(s) you will build a solid brand identity.

 

Dare to be innovative and creative.

Most providers will usually stick to the classic advertising methods because they are bureaucratic and bland and are afraid to use the unconventional. You have to remember that you have serious competition and standing out is necessary.

 

Communicate from their point of view

In a campaign to attract students, think and communicate from their point of view, and you are more likely send the right message and be perceived as open minded, modern and innovative. Imagine what an impact a flash mob would have on a university campus.

 

Don’t be middle of the road. Be different to attract interest.

Challenge the norms to discover what works best when trying to engage attract prospective students.

 

People with an interest in education tend to be inquisitive, curious. They will also want their information to be easily accessible and digestible. And often – fun.

 

Draw on The Talent Around You.

The advantage of working in higher education is that you are constantly in contact with talented individuals. For a university marketer this has huge advantages.

 

Resist the Urge To Sell.

People do not like being “sold to” Resist selling your brand to prospective students. What you need to do is engage them and find out what their interest is – and provide information that will help them make a decision. If you have your value offer correctly developed and they are your target market/audience, they will persuade themselves

Prospective students are suspicious and cynical about most of the marketing communication noise that surrounds them. Marketers need to have a promotional communication which allows potential students to get the information they need and to understand the institution’s

 

Make It Personal

Nobody likes talking to a logo. Show that there are real people behind your messages. At very least, include a line in content with the names and where possible feature their photos somewhere on the page.

 

Make provision for engagement. For prospects to ask questions

 

Give the people writing content some freedom to inject their own personality, quirks and observations into their updates. By humanising your organisation’s social media presence, students will be more likely to want to interact with you.

 

Keep It Real

Always Reflect Reality

Be sure you present the reality – what is real. Creating content that does not accurately reflect what you actually are and provide will bring you more harm than good. Students communicate between themselves.

 

Avoid using catchy but meaningless slogans. This will be hard if you do not really have a good, targeted value offer.

 

Avoid the self-congratulatory corporate press releases. Do not focus on sleek videos and digital cleverness (unless you are focusing on attracting students for digital courses). Social media usually works best when it utilises actual happy students and staff. Let students and staff show off what they like and why they enjoy studying or working at your institution in real, authentic ways.

 

Try being more human by having students walking around a camera (pad/smartphone), asking students and staff, “What’s your favourite thing while studying or working here?” Off-the-cuff content like this will probably resonate with prospective students more than a scripted recruitment piece. It will also likely appeal to Alumni and other potential influencers of student decision making. It will also yield much more interesting nuggets of information.

 

Seek to Provide Value

Students are flooded with information on a daily basis. To make your institution stand out, provide relevant and useful content through your social media platforms. When it comes to selecting a provider, students are often interested in knowing about the general environment, mentoring programs, and employment opportunities

 

Stay With the Curve

Not much point in fumbling about with Facebook while your competitor is developing a mobile careers app. You need to stay ahead of the technology curve.

Consider if it would makes sense to utilise location-based services

 

Clever branding and cool apps can beat traditional marketing as universities compete to

 

Get help from outside your Institution.

Enlist the help of alumni and other supporters to reinforce your positioning and messages

 

Additionally:

 

  • Use visual tools
  • Keep the presentation informative yet brief.
  • Make the presentation interactive.
  • Look to develop a ripple effect.”

 

Creative Ways To Recruit Students

  • A more tailored recruiting experience for non-traditional students.
  • Accelerated courses:
  • Appearing to be exclusive/selective
  • Business partnerships:
  • Courting Top students:
  • Email blasts and follow-up messages.
  • Facebook contests:
  • Facebook forums:
  • Free tuition:
  • Freebies – Would you choose a college based on getting a free iPad?
  • Going green:
  • Great facilities and accommodation
  • Highlighting alumni on social media:
  • Hosting Hangouts – Using Google+ Hangouts,
  • Incomplete application follow-ups:
  • Interactive video game tours:
  • Live chat sessions:
  • Mobile apps:
  • Mobile websites:
  • One-on-one connections:
  • Overseas agents:
  • Parent chat forums
  • Podcasts:
  • Promotions – Like daily deal promotions on Groupon.
  • Showcasing activities:
  • Social media date reminders:
  • Special market programs –
  • Sponsored search results:
  • Student blogs:
  • Student Facebook pages:
  • Student-led photos:
  • Text marketing Ads on radio, TV, and in theatres get students to connect with colleges using their cell phones, encouraging them to text their email address for more information.
  • Tuition fee freezes:
  • Unique clubs and activities:
  • Viral videos:
  • Virtual campus tours:
  • Virtual college fairs:
  • Webcasting:
  • YouTube applications:

 

Host a Twitter chat (and similar platforms) for prospective students to ask questions and receive real-time responses from current students and staff.

Giving students from other locations an opportunity to participate in the events remotely

Host a Facebook contest.

Announce an impromptu Tweetup for prospective and current students

 

If you are interested in this subject, you may be interested in this forthcoming event in Sydney in early December

Marketing and Communicating for
Student Recruitment and the
Australian Higher Education Sector

One-day connected forum with two half day workshops
3-4 December 2014, Rydges Sydney Central

http://www.arkgroupaustralia.com.au/events.htm

Listen, network and learn from your peers:
Macquarie University
Australian National University
Charles Sturt University
University of Technology, Sydney
University of Southern Queensland
University of Melbourne
International College of Management Sydney
University of New England

 

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 https://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-Brian’s-Marketers-Network  http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Dr-Brians-Marketers-Network-Number-2650856?trk=my_groups-b-grp-v

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

The Unique Selling Proposition – USP

Development of this “central idea,” or what is often called a unique selling proposition, is one of the copywriter’s most difficult tasks, The USP (as it is often abbreviated) originated at the Ted Bates advertising agency in the early 1940s; as its famous originator, author, and agency vice-president, Rosser Reeves, has indicated, however, it has been picked up by hundreds of agencies and has spread from country to country. Unfortunately, it has also become a very misused concept; frequently, it is applied loosely and without understanding to slogans, clever phrases, unusual pictures or sound combinations-in short, to almost anything deemed “different” in copy, layout, or production. We hope our interpretation of the USP will come close to the one intended by Rosser Reeves, but every student of advertising creativity must ultimately develop his or her own.

A USP, Reeves claims, gives leverage to an advertising cam­paign-that extra tug that pulls consumers over the line of indecision or confusion to specific product preference, and then to brand loyalty. Now consider the three words individually.

 

“Unique”

“Unique” refers either to a unique feature of the brand itself  or to a claim not currently being made by competing brands (even though they could if they so desired!).

It is important to point out that today’s Federal Trade Commission does require substantiation of advertising claims, and may take issue with anything presented as “unique.”

 

“Selling”

“Selling refers to sales value. The claim-whatever it is-must be strong enough, important enough, relevant enough, believable enough to convince consumers that it is in their own best interests to try  the brand in question. Consider vegetable juice again, and suppose that V-8 had been developed by a person named Valdimir Van Vaulkenburg! Unique? Certainly-but the consumer’s reaction will merely be: “So what? Who cares?”

There is no sales value in the name Vladimir Van Vaulkenburg. Even if he represented a well-known company, it is doubtful in this day and age that consumers would buy his juice without some idea of its taste and/or nutritional value. On the other hand,  a number of factors motivate consumers today, such as health, convenience, and the desire to care for loved ones; these are the kinds of qualities copywriters should latch onto and develop in the food and beverage line.

 

“Proposition”

“Proposition” refers to a promise: that if the consumer buys a certain product, with the unique feature or claim attached (selling point), he or she will receive a specific benefit. In other words, the USP matches a selling point with a consumer benefit, and does so in a unique way. 

USPs are often difficult to grasp and apply-but they make or break most advertising campaigns. They are really so crucial to creative (and overall communicative) success that they should pretty well fill their respective advertisements. A maxim for copywriters is: one solid USP per ad-and if “additional” selling points and benefits are included, they had best be few in number and relatively minor in importance. (Otherwise, they overpower the USP.)

 

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 https://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-Brian’s-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?

 

 

How to Clone Your Ideal Client

Who is your ideal client?  Do you already work with him or her?

 

Whether you do or don’t, you can create clone after clone of your ideal client (barring conflicts of interest) by taking the following actions:

1)      Write down exactly what your ideal client looks like.  Be specific.

2)      Research where these clients hang out.  Join the associations they join, be where they are as often as possible.  This can include social networks online.

3)      Communicate with them.  Most people will tell you everything you want to know about them or their business if you ask them about it.  People love to talk about themselves, their business, how they got started.

4)      Talk to your current “ideal client” and find out who they know who are like them.  Ask them to introduce you to these new people and provide the new group with information in the form of email correspondence, blog posts, and articles written.

The more often you perform these action items the more chances you will have to meet those who meet your criteria for the “ideal client”.

As always, you must be proactive.  Just waiting for the phone to ring is not going to bring you the clients you want or need.

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)

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)

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.

%d bloggers like this: