February 26, 2017

Harvard Businness Review - 10 Must Reads 2015 - Information and Interesting Points

This collection includes:

"Beware the Next Big Thing," by Julian Birkinshaw;

"The Capitalist's Dilemma," by Clayton M. Christensen and Derek Van Bever;

"The Focused Leader," by Daniel Goleman;

"The Big Lie of Strategic Planning," by Roger L. Martin;

"Contextual Intelligence," by Tarun Khanna;

"How Netflix Reinvented HR," by Patty McCord;

"Blue Ocean Leadership," by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne;

"The Ultimate Marketing Machine," by Marc de Swaan Arons, Frank van den Driest, and Keith Weed;

"Your Scarcest Resource," by Michael Mankins, Chris Brahm, and Gregory Caimi;

"How Google Sold Its Engineers on Management," by David A. Garvin;

"21st-Century Talent Spotting," by Claudio Fernandez-Araoz.


February 25, 2017

The Art and Science of Success - Edward de Bono - Information and Summary

Tactics - The Art and Science of Success - Edward de Bono

Table of Contents

Part I Success

1. Styles and Characteristics of Success

Styles: Creative Style; Management Style; Entrepreneurial Style

Characteristics of Typically Successful Styles:  Energy, Drive and Direction; Ego; 'Can-do'; Confidence; Stamina and Hardwork; Efficiency: Ruthlessness; Ability to Cope with Failure.

Success principles; - Positive attitude; - knowing what you want to do; - make the most of your own talent; - energy, persistence, determination & single mindedness seem important in all cases; - Action i.e take a step & then the next step; - a sense of integrity toward oneself & others; - an expectation of success & the ability to think big; - ability to set goals & targets, & also to have dreams; - creativity & the ability to see things differently & to think new thoughts; - Seizing of opportunities & creation of opportunities; - eagerness & enthusiasm & the willingness to make things happen; One should make the most of one's talent in the pursuit of success by honing it. Do not be trapped into one field by some talent for that field - You can find a use for your talent in growing fields.

2. What stimulates success?

Negative Stimulants: Anxieties

Positive Stimulants: Power and Money; Image Improvement; Status; Making Things Happen; Doing Something Worthwhile

3. How far is success within our control?

Early Environment; Born to Succeed; Key Factors: Expectation.

Can You Copy a Style and Become a Success?: Learning by Copying

What Can We Learn from Images?; Role-playing to Success; Role-living and Success; Spot the Phony; When is Artificial Phony?

Does Luck Leave Success Outside our Control?  Is There Such a Thing as Luck?: Good Luck or Good Judgment?; Looking for Opportunity in Time and Place.

Part II Prepare for Success

4. Focus I

Self-Knowledge: Strengths/Weaknesses; Self-awareness and Self-correction

5. Focus II

Choice of Field: How They Chose What to Do?; Does the Perfect Job Exist?; Be Ready to Change Targets.

Part III Make it A Success

6. Thinking & Doing

How to Generate Ideas?: Create New Ideas; The Creativity of Innocence; The Creativity of Escape

7. Strategy

Design a Strategy: General Strategy; Detailed Strategy; How Rigid Should a Strategy Be?

Why Strategy is More Than a Plan?: How Strategy can Create the Culture of an Organization

8. Decision-Making

How to Make a Decision?: Category Thinkers; Intuition - Magic of the Muse?

9.  Opportunity 

No Standing Still - Types of Opportunity: Opportunity Building,  Opportunity Seeking.

Assessing Opportunity: Is Technical Advancement Always an Opportunity?; New Technology as Opportunity, A High-risk Area?

Opportunism: The 'Me-too' Philosophy.

Niche Strategy: Play Your Own Game

10. Risk

Are Successful People Risk-takers?: Gambler's Risk; The Risk of Innovation.

Courage to Be at Risk - The Difference between Risk and Adventure

Risk Reduction: Work to Make a Decision Work; Learn to Wriggle.

11. Strategy for People as Resources

How to Choose the Best People?; How to Construct a Balanced Team.

Team Motivation: Use People Wisely; Create a Sense of Involvement; display a Sense of Involvement; You Don't Have to be Like; Communicate Goals, How to Communicate.

Getting Rid of People.

12. Tactical Play

Tactics, Communication and Negotiation: How Far Should You Go?; The Game's the Thinking; Image.

Illusion and Bluff in Negotiation: Thinking on Your Feet; The Merit of Surprise.

Gamesmanship: Psyching Your Opponent.

The Proper Place of Tactics


The Lessons; New Horizons.

The Art and Science of Success - Edward de Bono - Summary and Interesting Points

7. Strategy

Design a Strategy: General Strategy; Detailed Strategy; How Rigid Should a Strategy Be?
Why Strategy is More Than a Plan?: How Strategy can Create the Culture of an Organization.

A strategy provides you with a long-term view and hence the ability to take risks or do things which do not make sense in the short term.

Strategy is not only the manipulation of resources but also the development of those resources.

8. Decision-Making

How to Make a Decision?: Category Thinkers; Intuition - Magic of the Muse?

Category thinking relies upon past experience as its input.

10. Risk

Are Successful People Risk-takers?: Gambler's Risk; The Risk of Innovation.
Courage to Be at Risk - The Difference between Risk and Adventure.
Risk Reduction: Work to Make a Decision Work; Learn to Wriggle.

Anyone who takes an initiative or pursues an opportunity is taking some sort of risk.
Risk-taking accompanies innovation.

The capacity for courage is generally thought of as the ability to face up enormous disadvantage ( may be with even very low odds) such as possibility of death in a war.

Any successful person has chosen action as against inaction. In any initiative or opportunity pursuit there is an element of risk.

February 24, 2017

Marketing Research, Market Research and Market Intelligence

Marketing Intelligence - Introduction

If an individual or firm has an interesting product or service idea for offering to market, how will they know whether people like it and want to buy it? If they are willing to buy it, what price are they willing to pay? What quantity they will buy? Marketing research, an activity of marketing, will provide answers to these questions. Marketing research is the process of collecting, analyzing, and reporting marketing information that can be used to answer questions or solve problems so as to improve a company’s top line, sales revenue.  Marketing research includes a wide range of activities of enquiry related to marketing questions. Market research is a narrower activity. Market research is the process of researching a specific market to determine its size and trends.

The many marketing questions that marketing research can help to answers include the issues related to:

Developing product ideas and designs
Determining if there is demand for a product to decide whether or not to produce it
Identifying market segments for a  product
Making pricing decisions
Evaluating packaging types
Evaluating in-store promotions
Measuring the satisfaction of customers
Measuring the satisfaction of channel partners
Evaluating the effectiveness of the Web site
Testing the effectiveness of ads and their placement
Making marketing channel decisions

Market Intelligence

Market intelligence is also an important marketing research activity and is often referred to as competitive intelligence. Marketing research is generally commissioned to solve a specific marketing problem at a specific point in time as a project. Market intelligence involves gathering information on a regular, ongoing basis to stay in touch with what’s happening in the marketplace related to company's offering.

Marketing Research and Market Demand Forecasting


February 23, 2017

Marketing Research and Market Demand Forecasting

Marketing Management Revision Article Series

Marketing Information System

Every marketing department has to put in place marketing information system.

Marketing information system consists of people, equipment, and procedures to gather, sort, analyze, evaluate, and distribute needed, timely and accurate information to marketing decision makers. (Kotler)

Internal records on orders, sales, prices, inventory levels, receivables, payables etc. are part of the marketing information system and they have to be organized for providing information to marketing personnel. The internal records provide information about the actual results.

Marketing Intelligence System

Marketing intelligence system is a set of procedures and sources used by marketers to obtain every day information about pertinent developments in the marketing environment (Kotler)

Marketing intelligence focuses on current happenings.

Marketing Research System

Marketing research is formal study of future opportunities and current problems.

Kotler's definition of marketing research:
"Marketing research is the systematic design, collection, analysis, and reporting of data and findings relevant to a specific marketing situation facing the company.

Kotler emphasised market research, research into a particular market is only one component of marketing research activities. Kotler gave as illustration of marketing research product-preference test, sales forecast by region and advertising evaluation.

John Tanner and Mary Anne Raymond (chap. 10) list more applications of marketing research.

Developing product ideas and designs
Determining if there is demand for a product
Identifying market segments for the product
Pricing preferences of customers
Evaluating packaging types
Marketing channel preferences
Evaluating in-store promotions
Measuring the satisfaction of  customers
Evaluating the effectiveness of the Web site
Testing the effectiveness of ads and their placement
Measuring the satisfaction of  channel partners

The Marketing Research Process

Five steps are involved in marketing research

1. Defining the problem and research objectives

The starting for research is the research problem and its objectives. The marketing manager sponsoring the research and the marketing researcher have to agree on them. Kotler explained this step using the example of a proposal to provide phone call facility to airline passengers. The telecommunication company indicated that cost will be $1000 for flight. So an initial idea was that the call can be charged at $25 and around 40 persons using the service would result in breakeven. But when the research question or problem was finalized, the issue was broadened to give a wider scope to the issue. The problem was stated as "Will offering an in-flight phone service create enough incremental preference and profit for American Airlines to justify its cost against other possible investments that American might make?"

Further more detailed questions were the following:
1. What are the main reasons that airline passengers need to make phone calls while flying?
2. What category of passengers are likely to make most phone calls?
3. How many phone calls will be made at different price levels?
4. Will more passengers travel by the Airline due to this service?
5. How much good will will be earned by the Airline by becoming the first airline to provide this service?
6. How important is phone service provision in relation to improving flight schedules, food quality and baggage handling.

Thus the questions are very specific in this example of research study. But in every research study, such specific questions may not be possible.

Some research can be exploratory. In exploratory research preliminary data is gathered to shed light on the nature of the marketing situation. (At this stage the research has no prior guidance or knowledge of the phenomenon either through internal information or through external information) Research projects can also be descriptive. In this type of study, magnitudes can be estimated. How many persons will you a particular product? (To estimate magnitudes, first based on exploratory research, relevant variables which are to be measured have to be decided. Then scales or measuring instruments for measuring them have to be developed). Research studies can also find cause-effect relations which investigate the response of people to certain actions given as stimulus. Marketers are interested to know the response of users to increased advertisement, sales promotion etc.

2. Developing the research
Research plan development includes decisions on data sources, research approaches, research instruments, sampling plan and contact methods.

Data Sources: For answering some research questions, secondary data may be available. If secondary data is not available primary data is to be gathered. Gathering primary data will result in higher expenses.

Research Approaches: Observation, Focus group discussion, Surveys, Behavioral data, and Experiments.

Behavioral research is based on store buying data linked to various socioeconomic data. This gives the behavior people classified into various clusters.

In experiments, various stimuli  in terms of advertisement, sales promotion, packaging can be tried on experimental groups and control groups and the difference in behavior can be observed to answer the research questions.

Research Instruments:  Questionnaires, Qualitative Measures, Technological Devices

Sampling Plan

Sampling Unit and Sampling Frame

Sample Size

Sampling Procedure: Normally random samples are preferred as we get error estimates.

Contact Methods: Mail contacts, Telephone contacts, Personal contacts, Online contacts,

3. Collection of the information
Data is collected using the instruments developed for the project.

4. Analysis of the information
The information is tabulated and measures that give the desired answer are calculated.

5. Presentation of the findings.
The research report is to be prepared for circulation to various decision makers.

In the fifteenth edition, Kotler and Keller, the marketing research question is slightly changed to reflect the current prices of providing internet services. The answer was provided that at $25 per the trip 5 persons will use the wi-fi service and at $15, six will use the service. Therefore, pricing the service at $25 is advisable. Per service, the revenue is $125. We can calculate the annual revenue by multiplying by number of days the service is offered in a year.

6. Make a Decision

The Characteristics of Good Marketing Research

Kotler listed seven characteristics

1. Research creativity
Research is done to help in marketing decision making. Right from defining the objective of research to the submission of the report, effort has to be made by people involved, to come out with ideas that would help the firm in a significant way. Creativity means generation of number of alternatives so that the best way of doing a project or task of a project is selected and pursued.

2. Scientific method

3. Multiple methods: Business decisions involve expenditures to get expected profits. Using multiple methods to confirm a finding is preferred rather than stopping with a method that gives a positive answer.

4. Interdependence of models and data: The model chosen for doing the research determines the data to be collected based on the concepts involved in the model.

5. Value and cost of information: Marketing researchers have to understand the value of the information and come out with designs that cost less than the value of the information.

6. Healthy skepticism: Researchers should not accept opinions and conclusions made by marketers about the marketing issues and have to develop research studies that test these opinions and conclusions. This is healthy skepticism.

7. Ethical marketing: Good marketing research has to benefit both the sponsoring company and consumers. Self serving research studies increase consumer resentment. Marketing research companies have to develop unbiased approach to doing marketing research studies.

Updated 26 February 2017,  15 Jan 2015, 10.12.2012

Market Segmentation and Selection of Target Segments

Marketing Management Revision Article Series

Buyers for a generic product constitute a market. Market can be segmented in a number of ways.

Target Market

Buyers for a generic product constitute a market. But different buyers may have different preferences for attributes of a generic product. A marketer may have to focus on a particular group of potential buyers for a product with specific attributes. This focus is termed as targeting. Market segmentation is the effort to isolate groups of potential buyers having similar preferences for attributes of a product. Instead of mass marketing a single product, segmented marketing is done at four levels: segments, niches, local areas and individuals.

Targeted marketing also referred to as differentiated marketing. It means that the firm  may differentiate some aspect of marketing (offering, promotion, price) for different groups of customers selected. Mass marketing, or undifferentiated marketing involves selling the same product to everybody. Automaker Henry Ford was very successful at mass production and mass marketing. Ford pioneered the  assembly line early in the twentieth century, which helped him to produce large number of identical Model T automobiles and allowed him to realize cost reduction year after year. They came in only one color: black. “Any customer can have a car painted any color he wants, so long as it is black,” Ford used to joke. The affordable Ford car, was bought by large number of Amercians.By 1918, half of all cars on America’s roads were Model Ts.

Then Alfred P. Sloan, the head of General Motors (GM) changed the game. Sloan began to segment consumers in the automobile market—and find the prices different groups of customers wanted to pay and the different cars they wanted to buy. The idea was to offer different car for every target market as per their desires. His efforts were successful, Ford had problems and in the 1950s, GM overtook Ford as the nation’s top automaker.

Markets can be segmented in a number of ways.

Market Segmentation

Two broad groups of variables are used to segment consumer markets. One group of variables is consumer characteristics. The other group of variables is behavioral characteristics. Behavior is consumer response in terms of  benefits sought or  occasions when the product is used.

Consumer characteristics used for market segmentation include geographic, demographic and psychographic characteristics.

Geographic segmentation

Geographic segmentation divides the market into different geographic units such as nations, states, regions, cities and neighbor hood etc.

Demographic segmentation

In this segmentation approach, the market is divided into groups on the basis of variables such as age, family size, family life cycle, gender, income, occupation, education, religion, race, generation, nationality, or social class.

Psychographic segmentation

In this approach to segmentation, buyers are divided into different groups on the basis of lifestyle and/or personality.


Active lifestyle, country lifestyle, latenighters etc. are some of the segments under this classification


Markets are being segmented on the basis of personality. Personality is a group of traits exhibited persistently by a person. For example, Ford buyers were identified as independent, impulsive, masculine, alert to change, and self confident, while Chevrolet owners were conservative, thrifty, prestige conscious, less masculine, and seeking to avoid extremes.

Behavioral segmentation

In this approach buyers are classified into groups on the basis of their knowledge of, attitude toward, use of, or response to a product. Some behavioral variables can be usage rate, readiness for buying the product, attitude toward the product, loyalty to the product, and occasions on which the product is used etc.

Multi-attribute segmentation (Geoclustering)

Some marketers are using multiple variables to define target groups. For example using socioeconomic status and lifestyle variables may be combined and market segmentation is done.

Effective Segmentation

To be useful, market segments identified in a segmentation exercise have to be:
  • Differentiable: the segments must have a conceptual basis and they have to respond differently to different marketing mix variable and attribute mix of the product.
  • Measurable: The size and purchasing power of the segments have to be measurable.
  • Substantial: The segments have  to be large enough to serve them with a separate market mix profitably.
  • Accessible: The segments must be accessible to the marketer.
  • Actionable: The company in consideration must be able to create marketing programs for the segments.

Market Targeting

After the doing the market segmentation, the firm has to evaluate the segments for their market potential. Then the company has to decide which and how many segments to serve and how to serve them. The decision alternatives available to the firm are:

Single segment concentration

In the simplest case, the company selects a single segment.

Selective specialization

The firm selects a number of segments, each objectively attractive and appropriate, for the firms objectives and resources. There may be little or no synergy among the segments, but each segment is a money maker on its own.

Full market cover

The firm may attempt to serve all customer groups

Philip Kotler, Marketing Management , Ninth Edition (Main text for revision articles)


Migration from Knol

Marketing articles are available under the label http://nraomtr.blogspot.com/search/label/Marketing%20Management
Article on differentiating and positioning http://nraomtr.blogspot.com/2011/11/marketing-strategy-differentiating-and.html

Planned Revision schedule for marketing chapters is in February and March

Originally posted by me in Knol

Updated 26 February 2017, 3 December 2011 (First posted in the blog)

Marketing Management Subject Update

Marketing Management Revision Article Series


Article in HBR on Organization of Marketing Department

Dec 2016


March 2016

Marketing Managers' Salary Guide for USA - 2016









May 2015

Negotiation: What Makes the Right Business Deal

I searched for this topic today in my interest to write an article on the topic marketing support for Make in India Campaign. I found that there a huge literature in the area of macromarketing. The reference I came across today are:

Marketing Theory: Philosophy of Science Perspectives


April 2015

Marketing communication messages have to be different when you announce a product and build buying intention for it. The communication has to change when the product is actually made available in the market for purchase.  Read the summary of a recent research paper on adoption of products.

February 2015
Planned Revision schedule for marketing chapters is in February and March

January 2015

Why Your Customers’ Social Identities Matter.

By: Champniss, Guy; Wilson, Hugh N.; Macdonald, Emma K. Harvard Business Review. Jan/Feb2015, Vol. 93 Issue 1/2, p88-96.

People are highly social animals. Most of us belong to many social groups, each with its own identity.

For five years the authors have been studying how social identity affects customer behavior in a wide range of industries. They have seen that companies can trigger more-favorable reactions in customers by subtly influencing which identities they tap into. This is something firms should take into account when doing market research or designing experiences.

The first step is to surface the range of  a customer's  possible identities. If a customer's identity encourages targeted behaviors, marketers can help reinforce it.  Marketers can also work to add a desired behavior to those that customers associate with an identity, prime different identities in customers, and even create new identities that deepen relationships with existing customers and attract new ones.

2014's top The Gunn Reports' Cases For Creativity

1. 1. IBM's 'A Boy And His Atom' Ogilvy & Mat her, USA

IBM upload

2. Evian Baby & Me

99,261,360 views 29 Jan 2015

"Contagious: Why Things Catch on" by Jonah Berger was named the best book of Marketing of 2014
Talk by Jonah Berger

Talks at Google upload
http://google.co.in/books?id=J2l7pgwTiW4C  (For previewing the book)

Marketing News - 15 January Issue

Why Uniqlo Is Winning
By: David Aaker
Uniqlo is Japanese clothing retailer now in top 5 and plans to beat Zara.

Updated 26 February 2017,  6 Dec 2016, 28 Mar 2016, 11 Dec 2015

February 19, 2017

MBA Core Management Knowledge - One Year Revision Schedule

One Year MBA Knowledge Revision Plan

Revision Schedule

Current Month - February    

January  - February  - March  - April  - May   -   June

July       - August     - September  - October  - November  - December

Subject Details of Each Month

January  (Principles of Management) - February (P.of M & Marketing Management from 23 Feb 2015 )
March (Mktg. Mgmt. & Operations Management from 17 March 2015)  -
April  (Supply Chain Management and Financial & Cost Accounting)

May  (Management Accounting & Organizational Behavior)  -
June (Innovation, Industrial Engineering and Economics)

July  (Economics, Engineering Economics, & Managerial Ethics)   - August    (Statistics, Quality and Six Sigma, OR & BRM)

September (HRM, Mentoring, Training, Maintenance, Energy & Environment Management)  -  October  (Information Technology and Management Information Systems, Logistics - Warehousing and Transport)

November (Strategic Management & Financial Management)  - December (Business Laws, Negotiation, Taxes and Government Relations)

Subject                                               Revision Period

Principles of Management                15 January   to   19 February

Marketing Management                    22 February to   16 March

Operations Management                   17 March     to  

Updated 22 February 2017,  10 December 2015