February 24, 2015

Developing Enterprisewide or Company Wide Marketing Orientation

Market or customer focused companies understand customers better and serve them better. Customer is the reason why there is a job for any person in an organization.

How can enterprisewide marketing orientation be developed?

Market or customer focused companies understand customers better and serve them better. Customer is the reason why there is a job for any person in an organization.

How can enterprisewide marketing orientation be developed?

1. CEO behavior: The CEO is the chief customer officer. He has to demonstrate strong customer focus, convince his top management team to be customer focused individually, then communicate with his employees to show customer commitment.

2. Appointment of a marketing task force: Marketing is the sole responsibility of marketing department. Companies have to appoint a crossfunctional team to bring in companywide marketing involvement. Marketing plan is not the plan of marketing department, It is the plan of the company marketing team.

3. Learn from Others who developed marketing orientation: Engage consultants who had prior experience in this task.

4. Reward customer orientation: Reward people for their customer orientation. Identify metrics for measuring customer orientation.

5. Hire marketing experts: If needed, hire persons from marketing oriented companies.

6. Conduct training programs: Conduct marketing training programs. Provide knowledge. Explain the desired attitude. Give opportunity to people to do action. Let them serve customers or interact with customers with the newly acquired knowledge. Let the employee reflect on his behavior. Provide a mentor to help him reflect. Customer orientation becomes a skill when a person practices the indicated behavior, reflects on it and refines his behavior with his own insights aided to some extent by skilled mentors.

7. Practice companywide marketing planning systems: Employ a large number of persons in marketing planning.

8. Establish a marketing excellence recognition program for people in non-marketing functions.

9. Think of converting into a customer segment or market centered company.

10. Implement process organization.


Philip Kotler, Marketing Management, Prentice Hall, USA.

Theory of Market Orientation - Market Orientation: Construct and Propositions

Planned Revision schedule for marketing chapters is in February and March

Originally posted in

Updated  24 Feb 2015, 4 Dec 2011

February 23, 2015

Interactive Marketing - Philip Kotler's (Keller) Chapter Topic Summary

Planned Revision schedule for marketing chapters is in February and March

Interactive Marketing - Introduction

Kotler recognizes the rising role digital media use in marketing. He terms it interactive marketing as quick, easy and low cost conversation is possible between the firm and the customers as well as potential customers.

Interactive Marketing - The New Options and Issues

Tailored messages possible
Easy to track responsiveness
Contextual ad placement possible
Search engine advertising possible
Subject to click fraud
Consumers develop selective attention

Companies are increasing their marketing expenditure allocations to interactive marketing.  Pepsi spent between 5% and 10% of its overall ad budget online in 2006, compared to just 1% in 2001, because of its cost effectiveness.

Online Promotional Opportunities

Web Sites
Search ads
Display ads
Internet-specific ads and videos
Alliances and affiliate programs
Online communities
Mobile marketing

Web Sites

Visitors will visit sites based on their need and judge a site's performance on ease of use and physical attractiveness. The physical attractiveness depends on typefaces, fonts and good use of color and sound. The statistics of visitors to various sites are collected by some agencies.

People have to be aware of the web site of an organization to visit it. For facilitating it, companies advertise their web site in all their communications. But the general practice now, is for people to use search engines to find the specific web site or web sites related to topics they want to visit. Hence search engine optimization has to be done by the company to get its web site included in the search results for more number of search terms. Search engine optimization (SEO) has become an important area in interactive marketing.

Key Design Elements of Effective Web Sites

Rayport and Jaworski propose that effective sites feature seven design elements they call 7Cs.

Context: Layout and design
Content: Text, pictures, sound, video
Community: User-to-user communication
Customization: Site’s personalization ability
Communication: Site-user communication
Connection: Links to other sites
Commerce: Ability to conduct transactions


Microsite is a site within the site of another related organization. For example, a vehicle insurance company can have a microsite on the website of a vehicle seller. Microsites can be sites paid for by an external advertiser/company. This explanation was given in the 13th Edition. In the goods/products classification, there is a category of unsought products. People do not visit websites of unsought products. Therefore microsites of unsought products can be hosted on websites of products in demand to gain the attention of the consumer.

Online Advertisements

The two major categories are Search Ads and Display Ads.

Search Ads
Search ads has a dominating marketing share today.Along with the general search results, search engines show some sites which pay money for it. This is the search ad feature. The average click through rates for search ads is estimated to be 2% and marketers are happy with this response and the cost of search advertising which is given as 35 cents per click. Google adwords is search ads program and people are specializing in finding out and bidding for key words that have better consumer responses.

Display Ads
In the early days of internet, banner ads had click rates of 2 to 3 percent. But very quickly the click through rates plummeted. Kotler and Keller give the opinion that display ads still hold great promise. But ads need to be more attention-getting.

YouTube Video Marketing

YouTube videos are popular as internet specific videos.
Many brands are using YouTube to post videos having advertisement content and they are having very good number of views sometimes in millions.

Internet content can be sponsored.

Alliances and Affiliate Programmes
The most popular ones are Google Adsense and Amazon affiliate programe

Online Communities
Nestle has 750 facebook pages covering its various brands.

Email Marketing
e-Marketing Guidelines

Give the customer a reason to respond
Personalize the content of your emails
Offer something the customer could not get via direct mail
Make it easy for customers to unsubscribe

Mobile Marketing

Mobile is being now used to access internet and do transactions like booking tickets and online shopping. There are more than twice as many mobile phones in the world as personal computers. Mobile presents an opportunity to marketers to reach a big audience and also to reach them at more opportune time. Mobile advertising has already crossed $1 billion level and established itself as a viable advertising option. But the screen size being small, advertisers have to develop designs that are appealing and ease to users.

Word of Mouth/Word of Mouse

Word of Mouth becomes Word of Mouse in the online media.

Earned Media

The media coverage that a firm or its brand gets is earned by its services to users. Highly satisfied customers or reviewers become brand ambassadors and provide greater media coverage in the social media. Hence it is called earned media.

Positive word of mouth or its online version word of mouse happens voluntarily as satisfied customers talks about it. But now it clear that, it can also be facilitated and managed. A product producer or service provider can request a user to talk about his product or service in media. It does happen in sales presentations offline also. Satisfied customers give testimonials and they are made part of advertisement and brochures. Similar efforts are made in digital media and these efforts are being termed as word of mouth marketing.

Two forms of Word of Mouse (Mouth)- Buzz and Viral Marketing

Buzz is excitement and publicity created for a brand through new relevant brand-related information created and transmitted by social media participants.

Viral marketing is passing along company-developed products and services or audio, video or written information to others online.

Platforms of Social Media

Online Communities and Forums
YouTube and Other Video Sharing Platforms
Social Networks

How to Start Buzz

Identify influential individuals and companies and devote extra effort to them
Supply key people with product samples
Work through community influentials
Develop word-of-mouth referral channels to build business
Provide compelling information that customers want to pass along

Creating Viral Opportunity

A viral opportunity must have an entertainment value.

References for Interactive Marketing

Jeffrey F. Rayport and Bernard J. Jaworski, e-commerce (New York: McGraw Hill 2001)

Cases in E Commerce, Jeffrey F. Rayport and Bernard J. Jaworski

Online Word of Mouth - Research Papers

What We Know and Don't Know About Online Word-of-Mouth: A Review and Synthesis of the Literature

Robert Allen Kinga, Pradeep Racherlab, Victoria D. Busha,
Journal of Interactive Marketing
Volume 28, Issue 3, August 2014, Pages 167–183
Electronic word-of mouth (eWOM) has attracted considerable interest from researchers in the past decade. But no attempt has been made to consolidate and synthesize this stream of research. The authors have attempted to fill the gap.  Based on a  review of 190 studies, they have undertaken  a multi-dimensional analysis of eWOM communication. The key issues developed and tested so far are outlined and important questions for future research are highlighted.


What drives consumers to spread electronic word of mouth in online consumer-opinion platforms

Christy M.K. Cheunga, and Matthew K.O. Lee
Decision Support Systems
Volume 53, Issue 1, April 2012, Pages 218–225

The relatively new form of word-of-mouth communication, electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) communication, influences consumer purchasing decisions.  In this paper, the focus is on the factors that drive consumers to spread positive eWOM in online consumer-opinion platforms. The approach is based on the social psychology literature and the authors identified a number of key motives of consumers' eWOM intention and developed an associated model. The model was empirically tested with a sample of 203 members of a consumer review community, OpenRice.com. The model explains 69% of the variance, with reputation, sense of belonging and enjoyment of helping other consumers significantly related to consumers' eWOM intention.

Online Social Interactions: A Natural Experiment on Word of Mouth Versus Observational Learning

Yubo Chen, Qi Wang, Jinhong Xie (2011) Online Social Interactions: A Natural Experiment on Word of Mouth Versus Observational Learning. Journal of Marketing Research: April 2011, Vol. 48, No. 2, pp. 238-254.
Consumers' purchase decisions can be influenced by others' opinions, or word of mouth (WOM), and/or others' actions, or observational learning (OL).

Information technologies are creating increasing opportunities for firms to facilitate and manage these two types of sales facilitators. To date, researchers have provided only limited insights into how these two social influences might differ from and interact with each other. Using a unique natural experimental setting resulting from information policy shifts at the online seller Amazon.com, the authors designed three longitudinal, quasi-experimental field studies to examine three issues regarding the two types of social interaction: (1) their differential impact on product sales, (2) their lifetime effects, and (3) their interaction effects.

The findings are negative WOM is more influential than positive WOM.

Positive OL information significantly increases sales, but negative OL information has no effect. This suggests that reporting consumer purchase statistics can help mass-market products which will have high sales and it does not hurt niche products with lower sales figures.

The results also reveal that the sales impact of OL increases with WOM volume.

Networked Narratives: Understanding Word-of-Mouth Marketing in Online Communities

Robert V. Kozinets, Kristine de Valck, Andrea C. Wojnicki, & Sarah J.S. Wilner
Journal of Marketing, Vol. 74 (March 2010), 71–89
Word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing—firms’ intentional influencing of consumer-to-consumer communications—is an increasingly important technique. The paper Reviews and synthesizes extant WOM theory.  It then presents a study of a marketing campaign in which  prominent bloggers participated. Eightythree blogs were followed for six months.The findings indicate that the network of communications offers four social media communication strategies—evaluation, embracing, endorsement, and explanation. Each is influenced by character narrative, communications forum, communal norms, and the nature of the marketing promotion.The study shows that communal WOM does not simply increase or amplify marketing messages; rather, marketing messages and meanings are systematically altered in the process of embedding them in their communications by bloggers or WOM participants. 

The dynamics of online word-of-mouth and product sales—An empirical investigation of the movie industry

Wenjing Duana, Bin Gub, and Andrew B. Whinstonb
Journal of Retailing
Volume 84, Issue 2, June 2008, Pages 233–242

A unique aspect of the word-of-mouth (WOM) effect is the presence of a positive feedback mechanism between WOM and retail sales. The authors characterize the process through a dynamic simultaneous equation system, in which online WOM is  both a precursor to and an outcome of retail sales. The approach is applied to the movie industry, showing that both a movie's box office revenue and WOM valence significantly influence WOM volume. WOM volume in turn leads to higher box office performance. This positive feedback mechanism highlights the importance of WOM in generating and sustaining retail revenue.

Interactive Marketing -Books

Interactive Marketing: Revolution or Rhetoric? (Google eBook)

Christopher Miles
Routledge, Sep 13, 2010 - 256 pages
This author investigates the constructions and reconstructions of discourse that surround the uses of interactivity in contemporary advertising, public relations, and ‘guerrilla marketing.’ In doing so, he offers a radical new theory of marketing communication based upon approaching persuasion as a dynamic, endless negotiation between distinction-making systems.

Updated:  23 Feb 2015,  29 Jan 2015, 3 July 2014

February 22, 2015

Kotler and Keller - 14 Edition Marketing Management Brief

Philip Kotler and Kevin Lane Keller
Marketing Management
14 Edition

Marketing Management - Issues and Themes Explained in Brief

1. Defining Marketing for the 21st Century

1. Why is marketing important?

Marketing identifies demand for unfulfilled needs. Marketing also provides input to decide what features to design into a new product or service, what prices to set, where to sell products or services and how much to spend on advertising and sales. It thus builds demand for products and services offered by the firm thus providing a top line for the firm from which profits can be made. There must be a top line for there to be a bottom line.

2. What is the scope of marketing?

Marketing is about identifying and meeting human and social needs in profitable manner.

Marketers market 10 main types of entities: goods, services, events, experiences, persons, places, properties, organizations, information, and ideas.

3. What are some core marketing concepts?

Needs, Wants and Demand
Segmentation and Target Markets
Offerings and Brands
Customer Value and Customer Satisfaction
Marketing Channels

4, How has marketing changed in recent years?

5. What are the tasks necessary for successful marketing management?
Developing Marketing Strategies and Plans.
Assessing Market Opportunities and Customer Value
Choosing Value
Designing Value
Delivering Value
Communicating Value
Sustaining Growth and Value

Detailed articles - Marketing Concept by Kotler - 14th Edition Extra coverage

2. Developing Marketing Strategies and Plans

1, How does marketing affect customer value?

A rational customer value delivery process is doing marketing at the beginning. There is homework or initial work to be done by marketing before a product is conceptualized or designed. The marketing staff have to identify the potential market for the likely product (product idea) and must segment the market and select the appropriate target segment and then only product can be finalized for its specific attributes. Kotler emphasized that segmentation, targeting, positioning (STP) is the essence of strategic marketing.

Once the business unit accepts to offer the value proposition supported by marketing as well as operations, further marketing activities include detailed product specifications, distribution system and price decisions. At the next stage, the value proposition is to be communicated in the market so that there are enough potential customers who are aware of the product and will be inclined to buy the product for the trial. Advertising through mass communication channels, public relations, personal selling and sales promotion campaigns are launched in this stage to make actual sales.

2. How is strategic planning carried out at different levels of organization?

In most large companies strategic plans are made at four levels: corporate level, division level, business level, and product level.

Developing Marketing Strategies for a Product

The information collected from the marketing research process to support marketing strategy decisions has to be analyzed to find stable and distinct market segments. The needs and potential of each segment needs to estimated and the segment that the market can serve best and make optimal profit is to be determined. For this selected target segment, differentiation decision for the product offered is to be arrived at and positioning strategy has to finalized. While differentiation can be in multiple attributes, position strategy calls for one or two features to be emphasized in communications so that position is associated with the company's product whenever a potential user thinks of the product.

The differentiation decision gives the signal for full development of the new product. Marketing has further role to play in the new product development process. The marketing strategy related to the product gets modified based on the life cycle stages: introduction, growth, maturity, and decline. The marketing strategy is also influenced by the position the product gets in the competitive market place: leader, challenger, follower and niche player. Internationalization and globalization may become possible or may become necessary at some stage in the product life cycle and marketing strategy may need to redeveloped taking into consideration the expanded market.

3. What does  a marketing plan include?
A marketing plan is a written document that summarizes what the marketer has learned about the market place and indicates how the firm plans to reach its marketing objectives.

Detailed articles - Marketing Strategy and Marketing Process

3. Scanning the Marketing Environment, Forecasting Demand, and Conducting Marketing Research

1. What are the components of a modern marketing information system?

Marketers have the major responsibility for identifying significant marketplace opportunities and trends.  For this purpose, firms have to organize and distribute a continuous flow of marketing information. A marketing information system consists of people, equipment, and procedures to gather, sort, analyze, evaluate, and distribute needed, timely, and accurate information to various marketing decision makers. It has three major components: 1. internal company records 2. marketing intelligence activities  3. a marketing research system.

2. What are useful internal records for such a system?
Orders, Sales Invoices, Customer payments, Customer complaints

3. What makes up a 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.

4. What are some influential macroeconomic developments?

1. Demographic Environment.
Earth's population totaled 6.8 billon in 2010 and may well exceed 9 billion in 2040.
Developing world is growing at 1 to 2% and developed world is growing at 0.3%.
India with 1.2 billion population is forecasted to become world's third largest economy by 2040.

Old people are increasing the population.  In 1995 there were 371 million old people. By 2050, this number will go up to one billion. So the items consumed by old people have to be produced in greater quantities.

5. How can companies accurately measure and forecast demand?

Companies use time series analysis to forecast demand using past data and regression models to forecast a product's sales using the estimates made for economy and industry. Salespersons are asked to give their forecast of demand in their areas. Expert opinion is obtained. For new distribution channels market test results are the basis for forecasting.

6. What constitutes good marketing research?
Marketing research is the systematic design, collection, analysis and reporting of data and findings relevant to specific marketing situation facing the company.

The Marketing Research Process

1. Define the problem, the decision alternatives, and the research objectives
2. Develop the research plan
3. Collect the information
4. Analyze the information
5. Present the findings
6. Make the decision

7. What are the best metrics for measuring marketing productivity?

Marketing Metrics and Marketing-Mix Modeling

Marketing cost per unit sold

8. How can marketers assess their return on investment of marketing expenditures?

By measuring impact on Customer Metrics like percentage of target market customers who have brand awareness or recall, Percentage of customers who correctly identify the brands intended positioning and differentiation, Percentage of target market customers who made a trial purchase of the product, Percentage who say they would repurchase the product etc.

Detailed Articles - Scanning of Environment for Marketing - Market Research and Market Demand Forecasting

Chapter 4

Creating Customer Value and Customer Relationships

1. What are customer value, satisfaction, and loyalty,and how can companies deliver them?

Customers tend to be value maximizers or perceived value maximizers, within the bounds of search costs and limited knowledge, mobility and income. Customers evaluate various offers available to satisfy a need and estimate the perceived value of each offer. Customer-perceived value (CPV) is the difference between the prospective customer's evaluation of all the benefits and all the costs of an offering.  Total customer benefit is the perceived monetary value of the bundle of economic, functional, and psychological benefits customers expect from a given market offering because of the products, accompanying services and image involved. Total customer cost is the perceived bundle of costs customers expect to incur in evaluating, obtaining, using, and disposing of the given market offering, including monetary, time, energy, and psychological costs.

2. What is the lifetime value of customers, and how can marketers maximize it?

The amount of goods a customer is likely to buy from the company and thereby contribute to its profits can be estimated from the past buying behavior and anticipated trends. This gives an estimate of customer life time value.Customer acquisition cost has to be less than it and also if a customer leaves the company it is a value loss and this can be also be calculated. These calculations guide the actions company takes to retain customers.

3. How can companies attract and retain the right customers and cultivate strong customer relationships?

Customer relationship management emerged as an important marketing area once relationship marketing concept was created. One aspect of CRM is maintenance and use of detailed information about individual customers and their touch points with the company.

4. What are pros and cons of database marketing.

Benefits of Database Marketing

1. Prospects can be identified.
2. Decisions regarding which customers should receive a particular offer can be taken.
3. Customer loyalty can be increased by sending information of particular interest to a customer.
4. Customer purchases can be reactivated by sending a timely reminder.
5. Properly maintained and used database will help in preventing some marketing mistakes or errors.

Problems in Using Databases

1. There is a significant cost involved in developing and maintaining a database.
2. Employees have to trained in using databases and taking marketing decisions.
3. Some customers may not like the database marketing initiatives.
4. The assumptions behind CRM may not always hold true.

Detailed article - Building Customer Value, Satisfaction and Loyalty

Chapter 6.

Analyzing Consumer Markets

1. How do consumer characteristics influence buying behavior?

The personal factors that have an influence on consumption patterns and behavior:
Age and Stage in the Life Cycle
Occupation and Economic Circumstances
Personality and Self Concept
Lifestyle and Values

2. What major psychological processes influence consumer responses to the marketing program?

Consumer affect and cognition refer to two types of mental responses consumers exhibit toward stimuli and events in their environment. Affect refers to their feelings about stimuli and events, such as whether they like or dislike a product. Cognition refers to their thinking, such as their beliefs about a particular product. Consumer behavior refers to the physical actions of consumers that can be directly observed and measured by others. It is also called overt behavior to distinguish it from mental activities (cognition), such as thinking, that cannot be observed directly.  Behavior is critical for marketing strategy because only through behavior can sales be made and profits earned. 

3. How do consumers make purchasing decisions?

4. In what ways do consumers stray from a deliberative, rational decision process?
Detailed articles - Consumer behavior

Chapter 7. Analyzing Business Markets

1. What is the business market and how does it differ from the consumer market?

Organization buying is the decision-making process by which formal organizations establish the need for purchased products and services and identify, evaluate, and choose among alternative brands and suppliers. 

It differs from the consumer market in some characteristics: 

1. Consumer market is a huge market in millions of consumers where organizational buyers are limited in number for most of the products.
2. The purchases are in large quantities.
3. Close relationships and service are required.
4. Demand is derived from the production and sales of buyers.
5. Demand fluctuations are high as purchases from business buyers magnify fluctuation in demand for their products.
6. The organizational buyers are trained professionals in purchasing.

2. What buying situations do organizational buyers face?

Straight rebuy, Modified rebuy, New task buy, Systems buy

3. Who participates in the business-to-business buying process?

Organizational buying process is a team process and the team or the buying decision-making unit of the organization is called a buying center. The buying center consists of all persons of the organizations who are involved in the buying process playing one or the other seven roles: Initiators, Users, Influencers, Deciders, Approvers, Buyers, and Gatekeepers.

4. How do business buyers make their decisions?

5. How can companies build strong relationships with business customers?

6. How do institutional buyers and government agencies do their buying?

Detailed articles: Organizational Buying Processes and Buying Behavior

Chapter 8.

Identifying Market Segments and Targets

1. What are the different levels of market segmentation?
2. In what ways can a company divide a market into segments?
3. What are the requirements for effective segmentation?
4. How should business markets be segmented?
5. How should a company choose the most attractive target markets?

Detailed Articles - Market Segmentation and Selection of Target Markets

Part 4: Building Strong Brands

Chapter 9.

Creating Brand Equity

1.What is a brand and how does branding work?

Brand is name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or a combination of them, intended to identify the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors.

The purpose of branding is to create demand for the product that a particular firm is offering or marketing or selling. A satisfied buyer can repurchase the same product only when it is identified uniquely and branding provides the means through firms provide unique identification to their products targeted at various segments in the product or need market.

2. What is brand equity?

Brand equity brand value is associate with the customers. If more customers recognize the brand and show preference for the brand, the brand has more value. Customer-based brand equity is the differential effect brand has on consumer response to the marketing activities of that brand. A brand has positive customer-based brand equity or value when consumers react more favorably to a product's marketing activity conducted with the brand name in comparison to marketing activity conducted without disclosing the brand name.

3. How is brand equity measured and managed?

BrandAsset Valuator
Brand Resonance Model

Brand audit
Brand tracking studies
Brand reinforcement
Brand revitalization

4. What are the important brand architecture decisions involved in developing a branding strategy?
Choosing Brand elements
Developing brand elements

Decisions to use either or combinations of - Corporate umbrella brand name - Separate product family brand names - Target offer brand name.

Chapter 10. Crafting the Brand Position

1. How can a firm develop and establish an effective positioning in the marketg?
2. How do marketers identify and analyze competition?
3. How are brands successfully  differentiated?
4. What are the differences in positioning and branding with a small business?

Chapter 11. Competitive Dynamics

1. How can market leaders expand the total market and defend market share?
2. How should market challengers attack market leaders?
3. How can market followers or nichers compete effectively?
4. What marketing strategies are appropriate at each stage of he product life cycle?
5. How should marketers adjust their strategies and tactics for an economic downturn or recession?

Part 5: Shaping the Market

Chapter 12.

Setting Product Strategy

1. What are the characteristics of products, and how do marketers classify products?
2. How can companies differentiate products?
3. Why is product design important and what factors affect a good design?
4.How can a company build and manage its product mix and product lines?
5. How can companies combine products to create strong co-brands or ingredient brands?
6. How can companies use packaging, labeling, warranties,, and guarantees as marketing tools?

Chapter 13.

Designing and Managing Services

1. How do we define and classify services, and how do they differ from goods?
2. What are the new services realities?
3. How can we achieve excellence in services marketing?
4. How can we improve service quality?
5. How can goods marketers improve customer-support services?

Chapter 14.

Developing Pricing Strategies and Programs

1. How do consumers process and evaluate prices?
2. How should a company set prices initially for products or services?
3. How should a company adapt prices to meet varying circumstances and opportunities?
4. When should a company initiate a price change?
5. How should a company respond to a competitor's price change?

Part 6: Delivering Value

Chapter 15.

Designing and Managing Integrated Marketing Channels

1. What is a marketing channel system and value network?
2. What work do marketing channels perform?
3. How should channels be designed?
4. What decisions do companies face in managing their channels?
5. How should companies integrate channels and manage channel conflict?
6. What are the key issues with e-commerce and m-commerce?

Chapter 16.

Managing Retailing, Wholesaling, and Logistics

1. What major types of marketing intermediaries occupy this sector?
2. What marketing decisions do these marketing  intermediaries make?
3. What are the major trends with marketing intermediaries?
4. What does the future hold for private label brands?

Part 7: Communicating Value

Chapter 17.

Designing and Managing Integrated Marketing Communications

1. What is the role of marketing communications?
2. How do marketing communications work?
3. What are the major steps in developing effective communications?
4. What is the communications mix, and how should it be set?
5. What is an integrated marketing communication program?

Detailed Articles - Integrated Marketing Communications - Marketing Communication Channels

Chapter 18. Managing Mass Communications: Advertising, Sales Promotions, Events and Experiences, and Public Relations

1. What steps are required in developing an advertising program?
2. How should sales promotion decisions be made?
3. What are the guidelines for effective brand-building events and experiences?
4. How can companies exploit the potential of public relations and publicity?

Chapter 19.

Managing Personal Communications: Direct and Interactive Marketing, Word of Mouth, and Personal Selling

1. How can companies conduct direct marketing for competitive advantage?
2 How can companies carry out effective interactive marketing?
3. How does word of mouth affect marketing success?
4. What decisions do companies face in designing and managing a sales force?
5. How can salespeople improve their selling, negotiating, and relationship marketing skills?

Detailed Articles -  Direct Marketing - Interactive Marketing -  Sales Process Steps - Sales Force Management

Part 8: Creating Successful Long-Term Growth

Chapter 20.

Introducing New Marketing Offerings

1. What challenges does a company face in developing new products and services?
2. What organizational structures and processes do managers use to oversee new-product development?
3. What are the main stages in developing new products and services?
4. What is the best way to manage the new-product development process?
5. What factors affect the rate of diffusion and consumer adoption of newly launched products and services?

Detailed Article: Marketing and New Product Development

Chapter 21.

Tapping into Global Markets

1. What factors should a company review before deciding to go abroad?
2. How can companies evaluate and select specific foreign markets to enter?
3. What are the differences between marketing in a developing and a developed market?
4. What are the major ways of entering a foreign market?
5. To what extent must the company adapt its products and marketing program to each foreign country?
6. How do marketers influence country-of-origin effects?
7.  How should the company manage and organize its international activities?

Chapter 22.

Managing a Holistic Marketing Organization

1. What are important trends in marketing practices?
2. What are the keys to effective internal marketing?
3. How can companies be responsible social marketers?
4. How can a company improve its marketing skills?
5. What tools are available to monitor and improve their marketing activities?

30 Day MBA Self Study Course - Free Notes - Recommended Texts

Developed by Professor K.V.S.S. Narayana Rao, Ph.D.
Professor, NITIE, India
Professor, SP Jain Institute of Management and Research, India
Senior Professor, ICFAI Business School, India

Developer of Graham - Rao Method of Analysis of Indian Stocks.

Developer of Markowitz Portfolio Analysis Method for Equity Stocks using Target Prices, Past Price Data, and Excel Software Developed by Associates of Markowitz

Provided Definition for Industrial Engineering: "Industrial Engineering is Human Effort Engineering and System Efficiency Engineering."

Organized First All India Student Equity Research Competition "Khoj" in India.

Organized First Student Presented Investor Conference in which Top 5 Indian equity share
purchases were recommended under 5 different equity research methods and each analytical method was explained in detail to the participants.

Global Number Individual English Author on Knol, which was a platform of Google.

Recipient  of the Innovation Award from Association of Indian Management Schools (AIMS) for Development of Web Based MBA Materials.

Recipient  of the  Award from Higher Education Forum of India (HEF) for Development of Web Based MBA Materials.

MBA Core Common Subjects

The plan: For each subject the core points of the chapter of a standard book are presented briefly in one page. For each chapter there is a one full page article. The textbooks used as the basis for notes are indicated. Hence the learner has multiple options. He can read one page summary, then the detailed articles on each chapter. Then buy the text indicated and read the full text. You can complete the initial reading in 30 days and get adequate understanding and appreciation of the core principles or theories, methods and tools of business management. Learning never stops in any occupation or profession. One keeps on learning as the occasion demands and also the value one gives to learning. A person who sees and experiences value in learning learns more.

1. Principles of Management

2. Marketing Management

3. Operations Management - Detailed Articles

4. Supply Chain Management - Detailed Articles

5. Financial Accounting, Cost Accounting and Management Accounting - Detailed Articles

6. Oganizational Behavior - Detailed Articles

7. Innovation Management

8. Industrial Engineering - Detailed Articles

9. Economics - Detailed Articles

10. Engineering Economics - Economics of Capital Expenditures and Operating Expenditure - Detailed Articles

11, Business Ethics

12. Operations Research and Quantitative Analysis for Managerial Decisions

13. Business Research Methods

14. Human Resource Management - Detailed articles

15. Information Systems for Business Processes and Management Decisions

16. Strategic Management

17. Financial Management

18. Managerial Economics

19. Quality Management

20. Process Improvement

21. New Product - Service Development


Function Areas

         Marketing Management
         Corporate and Business Financial Management
         Investment and Wealth Management
         Human Resource Management
         Project Management
         Information Systems Management

Manufacturing Companies

         Manufacturing Management
         Industrial Engineering
         Material Handling
         Warehousing and Transport
         Production Planning and Control, Supply Chain Planning, MRP and ERP
         Project Management
         Information Management

Service Companies
         Service Industry Industrial Engineering
         Stock Broking
         Hospital Services
         Hotel Services
         Educational Institution
         Political Party Management

Keep visiting for More Subjects Materials which will be added to the course page as early as possible. The detailed articles are already there in the blog in every subject..

30 Day MBA Books - Bibliography

The 30 Day MBA: Your Fast Track Guide to Business Success (Google eBook)

Colin Barrow
3rd Edition
Kogan Page Publishers, Aug 3, 2013 - 336 pages

Drawing on the twelve core disciplines of business, including business law, economics, marketing and finance, this third edition of the hugely successful The 30 Day MBA shows you to use key business concepts and tools to assess business decisions and implement strategy. Now with a new concept for each chapter - including crowdfunding, digital marketing, business incubators and the 80/20 principle - it also provides coverage of the key optional modules: Mergers and Acquisitions and International Business. New case studies include Volkswagen Group China, Google in China, IKEA, Meraki, Ocado, Ford, IBM and McDonalds among others.Including a range of free online resources that enable you to revise and test your knowledge, this bestselling classroom-free guide is brimming with models, international case studies and practical applications of key theories, placing MBA skills within reach of all professionals and students.

Preview the book

The 30 Day MBA in International Business: Your Fast Track Guide to Business Success (Google eBook)

Colin Barrow
Kogan Page Publishers, Aug 3, 2011 - 312 pages

As business becomes increasingly reliant on succeeding in export markets, the need for specialist knowledge in international trade is at its highest. With thorough explanations to describe the current international business environment as well as international case studies which include IKEA, J.D. Wetherspoon, Dell, Amazon and Indian car brand Tata Nano, The 30 Day MBA in International Business will boost your knowledge and help you play a more rounded role in shaping the direction of your organization. It covers all the essential elements of international trade and business, including international marketing strategy, managing international organizations and selecting global strategic partners as well as finance, accounting and human resource management. The 30 Day MBA in International Business is packed with links to free resources from the top business schools as well an online list of sources to keep you informed on all the key business issues.
Preview the book

The 30 Day MBA in Business Finance: Your Fast Track Guide to Business Success (Google eBook)

Colin Barrow
Kogan Page Publishers, 2011 - 248 pages

The 30 Day MBA in Business Finance provides a complete 'course' in business finance, covering 13 key topics which fall under three main headings - the Fundamentals of Business Finance, Corporate Capital Structures and Financial Strategies and Special Topics. Learn what they teach you at the world's top accountancy firms and Business Schools and why it matters to you. With guidance on understanding financial reports, assessing the credit worthiness of business partners, determining profitable strategies, raising finance and ensuring proper records, this book contains everything you need to eliminate gaps in your financial knowledge, think like a financial strategist, move out of your disciplinary straight jacket and become a top manager.
Preview the book

February 21, 2015

Profit Center Management

Left alone, each profit center should be expected to maximize its own value system. It is the central authority's responsibility to optimize the combination of profit centers.

Companies should express profit objectives for both the profit center and its manager in terms of absolute dollars of profit for the planning period, which are based on the projected potential of existing resources to generate cash flow.

Estimating Profit Performance from Similar Profit Centers
Spring 1981

From profit center to strategy center management ☆
Walter Schertler
Engineering Costs and Production Economics
Volume 12, Issues 1–4, July 1987, Pages 267–273

Measuring Profit Center Managers
John Dearden
September 1987

February 6, 2015

Zero Defects Program

Zero Defects Programs were launched in USA during early 1960s.

They got back into prominence during the TQM days once again.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for Zero Defect Zero Effect Manufacturing in India. Productivity Week in India is being celebrated with the theme.

Interesting article to refer to:


The Quest for Zero Defects

A Guide to Zero Defects
Office of the Assistance Secretary of Defense
Washington D.C.

Zero Effect: How to Green Your Facility

Zero Impact Manufacturing Initiative

Dupont Zero Impact Initiatives - Presentation by Dupont

Challenge to Design a Housing Complex that will have the samecaron emissions as forest

Indian References


Ananta Kumar - Minister



Sai Electricals

Zero Defect Zero Effect Manufacturing in India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for Zero Defect Zero Effect Manufacturing in India. Productivity Week in India is being celebrated with the theme.

February 4, 2015

Best Management Books of 2014

Eight Noteworthy Business and Management Books Of 2014

by  Steve Denning, Forbes Contributor on radical management, leadership, innovation & narrative

Over the last few years, a number of books have set out to describe the dramatically changed goals, practices and metrics of the emerging Creative Economy. Here are eight new additions to the canon that came to my attention in 2014. The books make a substantive contribution to clarifying and institutionalizing the paradigm shift from the Traditional Economy to the Creative Economy.

1.     Tilt
Tilt: Shifting Your Strategy from Products to Customers bv Niraj Dawar (Harvard Business Review Press, October 2013)

2.     Zero to One
Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel Crown Business, September 2014)

3.     How Google Works
How Google Works by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg (Grand Central Publishing (September 2014)

4.     Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy
Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy: Markets, Speculation and the State by William H. Janeway (Cambridge University Press, September 2012)

5. The Management Shift
The Management Shift: How to Harness the Power of People and Transform Your Organization For Sustainable Success by Vlatka Hlupic (Palgrave Macmillan, November 2014)

6.     Seeing What Others Don’t
Seeing What Others Don’t: The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights by Gary Klein (PublicAffairs, June 2013)

7.     Decision Making For Dummies
Decision Making For Dummies by Dawna Jones (For Dummies, September 2014

8.     Leading the Life You Want
Leading the Life You Want: Skills for Integrating Work and Life by Stewart D. Friedman (Harvard Business Review Press, September 2014)



Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance, by Julia Angwin, Times Books, RRP$27
Engaging story of a concerted and often difficult quest to protect her own and her family’s privacy.
. . .
The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies, by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, WW Norton, RRP£17.99/$26.95
The book is about the impact of digital change on our future job prospects and prosperity.
. . .
Hack Attack: How the Truth Caught Up with Rupert Murdoch, by Nick Davies, Chatto & Windus, RRP£20/ Faber, RRP$27
It was a finalist for FT/McKinsey Business Book of the Year. Revelations about the structure, motivation and governance of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. It is a sharp guide to the causes and profound consequences of the phone hacking scandal.
. . .
Shredded: Inside RBS, the Bank that Broke Britain, by Ian Fraser, Birlinn, RRP£25
The book is about the implosion of Royal Bank of Scotland . It brings out the author’s evident, and justified, anger at the way in which one bank brought the British financial system to the brink of catastrophe.
. . .
The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World, by Russell Gold, Simon & Schuster, RRP$26
Compelling tales of communities and individuals whose lives have been transformed, for good or ill, by the latest resource boom.
. . .
A Bigger Prize: Why Competition Isn’t Everything and How We Do Better, by Margaret Heffernan, Simon & Schuster, RRP£14.99/ PublicAffairs, RRP$27.99
Our obsession with competition is undermining the potential benefits of co-operation and collaboration is the theme of  this book, The author points out in detail how competition can lead to inferior results – and genuine suffering – in business, sport, education and scientific research.
. . .
The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution, by Walter Isaacson, Simon & Schuster, RRP£20/$35
It is about the daring and exploits of earlier technology innovators, from Ada Lovelace to Alan Turing and how it provided a foundation for the breakthroughs of later innovators.
. . .
Flash Boys: Cracking the Money Code, by Michael Lewis, Allen Lane, RRP£20/ WW Norton, RRP$27.95
Activities of the world of algorithmic traders.
. . .
The Shifts and the Shocks: What We’ve Learned – and Have Still to Learn – from the Financial Crisis, by Martin Wolf, Allen Lane, RRP£25/ Penguin Press, RRP$35
Martin Wolf is The FT’s chief economics commentator. The book is on continuing economic crisis. The book makes uncomfortable reading for bankers, financiers and policy makers.

Think Like a Freak
by Steven D Levitt & Stephen J Dubner

Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators and Icons Accelerate Success
by Shane Snow

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
by Peter Thiel

The Obstacles in the Way: The Timelsss Art of Turning Trials into Triumph
by Ryan Holiday

Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder
by Ariana Hffington
Theme: Apart from money and power, you need physical and mental happiness.

Best Business and Investment Books - Amazon Books Selection



Fragile by Design: The Political Origins of Banking Crises and Scarce Credit, by Charles Calomiris and Stephen Haber, Princeton, RRP£24.95/$35
The US has had 12 systemic banking crises since 1840, while Canada has had none. Is US system fragile by design?
. . .
Microeconomics: A Very Short Introduction, by Avinash Dixit, OUP, RRP£7.99/$11.95
Dixit demonstrates in this book that economists do at least know a great deal more than nothing about microeconomics: the study of markets, both their successes and their failures.
. . .
Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalisation of Democracy, by Francis Fukuyama, Profile, RRP£25/ Farrar, Straus and Giroux, RRP$35
Fukuyama shows how the difficult balance between the state, the rule of law and democratic accountability emerged, then developed and, more recently, started to decay in the west. This is a work of political science and on political system and institutions. But the issues Fukuyama raises are of profound concern to economists, too, because economic institutions affect and are, in turn, affected by the political systems in which they operate.
. . .
Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises, by Timothy Geithner, Random House Business, RRP£25/ Crown, RRP$35
Geithner was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and then Treasury secretary through the worst years of the financial crisis. Geithner argues in the book that the way the US handled the crisis, particularly its use of stress tests, is a model for the future.
. . .
How to Speak Money, by John Lanchester, Faber, RRP£17.99/ WW Norton, RRP$26.95
Lanchester, a best-selling author, came out with a personal reference book.
. . .
Thrive: The Power of Evidence-based Psychological Therapies, by Richard Layard and David Clark, Allen Lane, RRP£20
In this important book, the authors – one an economist, the other a psychologist – demonstrate both the human and economic costs of mental illnesses. These are far and away the most destructive set of ailments to fall on the young and middle-aged.
. . .
European Spring: Why Our Economies and Politics are in a Mess and How to Put Them Right, by Philippe Legrain, CB Books, RRP£12.99
This is a book on the European malaise. Legrain argues compellingly that policy makers’ response to that crisis was and remains a disaster. He warns that the eurozone is still far from healthy
. . .
House of Debt: How They (and You) Caused the Great Recession, and How We Can Prevent it from Happening Again, by Atif Mian and Amir Sufi, Chicago, RRP£18/$26
Professors Mian and Sufi argue that “economic disasters are almost always preceded by a large increase in household debt”.
. . .
War: What is it Good for? The Role of Conflict in Civilisation, from Primates to Robots, by Ian Morris, Profile, RRP£25/ Farrar, Straus and Giroux, RRP$30
Morris argues that war may bring peace, prosperity and progress. Through war, more powerful and effective states emerge and these in turn have produced the security that then allows people to become more productive. The thesis is disturbingly persuasive.
. . .
Capital in the Twenty-First Century, by Thomas Piketty, translated by Arthur Goldhammer, Harvard, RRP£29.95/ Belknap Press, RRP$39.95
This was the blockbuster success of 2014 and was named the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year. The book throws much light upon one of the most important questions in economics: what determines the distribution of income and wealth. With an abundance of data and some simple and powerful theories, Piketty has made an immensely important contribution to the public debate about current economic thinking.
. . .
The Dollar Trap: How the US Dollar Tightened its Grip on Global Finance, by Eswar Prasad, Princeton, RRP£24.95/$35
It is by now the conventional wisdom that the dollar’s primacy is coming to an end, with the Chinese renminbi the imminent successor. Prasad rejects this view. He argues that  dollar’s role as a store of value has if anything been strengthened by the crisis.

. . .
The Euro Trap: On Bursting Bubbles, Budgets and Beliefs, by Hans-Werner Sinn, OUP, RRP£25/$45
He rightly identifies the roots of the crisis in the huge divergences in competitiveness that emerged in the years leading up it. This view from Germany shows just how difficult it will be to make the eurozone work successfully, even if one disagrees with some of the conclusions.


Marketing Management

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

Inc.Com List

1. The Art of Social Media
Subtitle: Power Tips for Power Users

Authors: Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick

2. Growth Hacker Marketing
Subtitle: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising

Author: Ryan Holiday

3. Spin Sucks
Subtitle: Communication and Reputation Management in the Digital Age

Author: Gini Dietrich

4. The Power of Visual Storytelling
Subtitle: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand

Authors: Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio

5. 5. What Great Brands Do
Subtitle: The Seven Brand-Building Principles That Separate the Best From the Rest

Author: Denise Lee Yohn

6. Decoding the New Consumer Mind
Subtitle: How and Why We Shop and Buy

Author: Kit Yarrow

7. Hello, My Name Is Awesome
Subtitle: How to Create Brand Names That Stick

Author: Alexandra Watkins

8. Global Content Marketing
Subtitle: How to Create Great Content, Reach More Customers, and Build a Worldwide Marketing Strategy That Works

Author: Pam Didner

9. Hooked
Subtitle: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

Authors: Nir Eyal

10. Unconscious Branding
Subtitle: How Neuroscience Can Empower (and Inspire) Marketing

Author: Douglas Van Praet


Strategic Management

J.-C. Spender
Business Strategy: Managing Uncertainty, Opportunity, and Enterprise
(Oxford University Press, 2014)

Sanjay Khosla and Mohanbir Sawhney
Fewer, Bigger, Bolder: From Mindless Expansion to Focused Growth
(Penguin Portfolio, 2014)

John P. Kotter
Accelerate: Building Strategic Agility for a Faster-Moving World
(Harvard Business Review Press, 2014)

What are your suggestions for best book in various management subjects? Write as comment.


. . .

February 3, 2015

Line-Staff Authority and Decentralization - Review Notes

Authority and Power

Without authority - the power to exercise discretion in making decisions and using resources, managers cannot achieve the goals or targets assigned to them. What kind of authority is provided in the organization structure to each manager and employee is an important issue to be determined in the organization activity.

It will be useful to distinguish between authority and power. Power is a much broader concept than authority.  Power is the ability of individuals or groups to induce or influence the beliefs or actions of other persons or groups. Authority is a concept used in organizations or theory of organizations to refer to the right in a position (and, through it, the right of the person occupying the position) to exercise discretion to making decisions relating to the group of people and activities they are asked to do.

Line authority gives a superior a line of authority over a subordinate.

Staff relationship is advisory. The function of person in a staff role is to investigate, research, and give advice to his line manager.

Line and staff are characterized by relationships and not by departmental activities (K & D)

Today staff advice is far more critical. Operating managers are now faced with making decisions that require expert knowledge in economic, technical, political, legal and social areas.

Completed Staff Work

The recommendations of staff work should be complete. Completed staff work implies the presentation of a clear recommendation based upon full consdieration of a problem, clearance or discussions with persons importantly affected, suggestions about avoiding difficulties involved, and often preparation of the paper work - job descriptions, specifications and related directives- so that the managers can consider the proposal with less effort and if accepted the proposal can be put into effect. Many time-consuming conferences could be avoided or materially shortened if staff work were truly complete.

Staff Specialists - Giving and Taking Credit

Staff specialist must remember that the operating manager who accepts the idea actually bears responsibility for making it a success and is also responsible for solving the problems or difficulties or the confusion that appears during implementation. Hence a staff specialist cannot claim all the credit for himself for any implemented idea. But the staff must sell and keep selling itself to other executives. Staff is selling its service and also the persons engaged in it apart from the idea. The selling of an idea by staff does not mean that a manager automatically buys the idea. It is important for the manager responsible for a decision understand the disadvantages as well as advantages of the course of action proposed and then only take the decision.

The staff specialist must, through precept and example, convince his line colleagues that his prime interest is their welfare, and he must deprecate his own contributions while embellishing theirs.

Functional Authority

Functional authority is the right delegated to an individual or a department to control specified processes, practices, policies, or other matters relating to activities undertaken by persons in other departments.  It is delegated by a common superior of line managers to a staff specialist or a specific line manager. This is to take care of specialized knowledge, or to avoid diverse interpretations of policies.


Decentralization implies more than delegation. Delegation is generally discussed in the context of a superior and subordinate. But decentralization is a philosophy of organization and management. The management specifically specifies which decisions are taken at what levels in the organization and creates policies accordingly.

Personal Attitudes and Delegation
Certain personal attitudes underlie real delegation

Superior must have a willingness to give other people's ideas a chance. The subordinate's decision is not likely to be exactly the same a superior would have made. So a superior must be willing to accepts different decisions and complement them on their ingenuity also.

Willingness to Let Go
A manager must be willing to release the right to make decisions. The manager must concentrate on tasks that contribute most to the organization and assign other tasks to subordinates even though he could accomplish them better himself. It is law of comparative advantage in management.

Willingness to Allow Mistakes by Subordinates
Since everyone makes mistakes,  a subordinate must be allowed to make some, and their cost must be considered an investment in personal development.

Willingness to Trust Subordinates
Superiors have to trust subordinates to delegate authority to them.

Willingness to Establish and Use Broad Controls
The manager must have the ability to develop control points and measures that are broad and provide space for the subordinate to function as for his plan of doing things.

Updated  3 Feb 2015, 6 Jan 2014, 12 Dec 2011

MBA Core Management Knowledge - One Year Revision Schedule

Effective Organizing and Organizational Culture - Review Notes

Some mistakes in organizing

Failure to plan properly

Failure to clarify relationships

Failure to delegate authority

Failure to balance delegation

Confusion of lines of authority with lines of communication

Granting authority without exacting responsibility

Responsibility without authority

Careless application of the Staff Device

Misuse of Functional Authority

Multiple Subordination

Misuse of Service Departments

Over Organization

Organization is a network of decision, communication and activity centers for coordinating efforts toward group and enterprise goals. To work effectively, an organization structure must be be understood and principles of making organizations work must be put into practice

Design of Effective Organizations

Design of Effective Organization depends on the objectives and goals of the organization.

Developing the Ideal Organization

Modification for the Human Factor

A plan of ideal organization will help in maintaining the actual organization whenever changes occur in personnel.

Avoiding Organizational Inflexibility

Signs of inflexibility
Reasons for reorganization
Need for Readjustment and Change

Organizations should continuously change in response to changes in customer needs and wants. An organization should not be allowed to become inflexible.

Avoiding Conflict by Clarification

Organization Charts
Position Descriptions
Need to Define Relationships
Goal Definition

Assuring Understanding of Organizing

Teaching the Nature of Organizing
Many organization plans fail because organization members do not understand them. The description of the organization plan in terms of organizational philosophy, programs, organization chart and an outline of job descriptions all help in making people understand it. In addition managers have to explain and teach the members through individual coaching, staff help or special meetings etc.

Recognizing the Importance of Informal Organization

Promoting An Appropriate Organization Culture

Culture is the general pattern of behavior, shared beliefs, and values that members have in common. Value can be defined as a fairly permanent belief about what is appropriate and what is not that guides the actions and behavior of employees in fulfilling the organization's aims. Values can be thought of as forming as ideology that permeates everyday decisions.

Changing a culture may take a long time, up to five to ten years. It demands changing values, symbols, myths and behavior. It may require, first understanding the old culture, then identifying a subculture in the organization that is appropriate and rewarding those living this appropriate culture. In other words, the new culture one wishes to bring in starts as a subculture. Espoused values need to be reinforced through rewards and incentives, ceremonials, stories, and symbolic actions.

Updated 3 Feb 2015, 6 Jan 2015, 12 Dec 2011

MBA Core Management Knowledge - One Year Revision Schedule

February 2, 2015

Departmentation in Organizations - Review Notes

Departmentation by numbers
This simple-numbers method of departmentizing is useful to place undifferentiated persons under supervisors for managing them.

Departmentation by enterprise function

Henri Fayol identified technical, commercial, accounting, financial, security as five important activities and he added management as the sixth activities. Departments in organizations can be created based on the functions carried out by organizations. While functional departments are created under CEO, each functional department is further divided as needed into derivative functional departments to facilitate management following the span of control principle.

Departmentation by territory or geography
Departmentation by territory or geography is a commonly used method for physically dispersed enterprises. Sales departments used this method and Internal Revenue Service uses this method.

Departmentation by customer categories
The special and widely varied needs of customers for clearly defined service impel suppliers to departmentize on this basis.

Departmentation by process or equipment
In production function, this basis of departmentation is used.

Departmentation by product
The grouping of activities on the basis of product or product lines is steadily growing in importance in multiline large scale-enterprises.

Matrix organization
Matrix organization combines functional and project or product patterns in the same organization structure. In this structure, there are functional departments which have a functional manager, but members of the department are deputed to various projects or product groups. This form is common in engineering and research and development organizations or departments.

Strategic business units (SBUs)
SBUs are distinct businesses set up as units in a larger company to ensure that certain products or product lines are promoted and handled as though each were an independent business. To be called an SBU, the business unit must have its own mission, definable groupsof competition, have an integrated plan and budget, and manage its own resources in key areas. Each SBU is entrusted to a manager with the responsibility of guiding and promoting the product from the research laboratory through product engineering, market research, production, packaging, marketing, and he is responsible for the profit of the SBU.

While each form has its advantages and disadvantages, managers have to select the department for the situation based on the jobs to be done, ways in which it is done, the people involved and their personalities etc.

Mixing Types of Departmentation

The authors mentioned cases where different departments in an organization are organized in various forms. Even within a functional department like marketing, some activities may have territory based departmentation and some may have customer category departmentation.

Updated  2 Feb 2015,  6 Jan 2014, 12 Dec 2011

MBA Core Management Knowledge - One Year Revision Schedule

February 1, 2015

Word of Mouse - Are You Facilitating and Promoting it?

"Word of Mouse" is a phrase used by  Philip Kotler in his description of interactive marketing in 13th edition of his book "Marketing Management".  More about it.

Word of mouse is the online version of ‘word of mouth’ – the wide, user-driven spread of a message or communications agent. This is also being termed as ‘viral’, and its use online by businesses is often referred to as online viral marketing.

Advertisers are finding new ways to get consumers to buy into their brand and buy their products as there is clutter in the traditional media.

In particular, forward-thinking brands are using a specific viral marketing approach that generates widespread awareness and ultimately sells more. It features advertainment content.

This word-of-mouse approach is user-driven rather than advertiser controlled.  Its messages (and the brand behind it) are endorsed by influencers and consumers. Its agents are seeded via editorial, not advertising routes. It has no campaign cut-off point and it provides an ever-increasing return on investment. Yet, it also integrates well with traditional marketing, to give brands the best of both  approaches – ‘bottom-up’ and ‘top-down’.

The most successful use of viral marketing is not stand-alone, but as an integrated part of a brand’s overall strategy. Its point is to create buzz and provide help in building brands, but other marketing and sales techniques have to follow.

Its main strategic purposes are the following.

To maintain or boost a cost-effective level of brand awareness during media-spend ‘downtime’, usually by releasing web-only viral material that retains brand and campaign themes.
To kickstart new communications – which often means releasing a web-first viral edit of a mainstream ad before it hits TV, to create buzz and exploit exclusivity.
As a stand-alone tool for brands that either cannot afford above-the-line marketing, or require only online
distribution to a widespread target group.

To leverage the word of mouse channel, a  story should be told in different way, i.e. in  a way appropriate to the peer-to-peer and file-sharing activities web users engage in.

So, understanding the place of word-of mouse in the overall mix and using it strategically rather than tactically, within the context of web users’ behaviour, are key to success of this approach.

Virgin Mobile and Mazda, have undertaken number of online viral campaigns.

Facilitating word of mouse involves developing a buzz angle, gaining influencer advocacy, and seeding campaign news and the viral agent (usually an ‘advertainment’ video clip) on the most influential, specialist seed routes – as core editorial, not advertising, content.

Unlike finite-period online ad campaigns, which target a brand’s core market, viral marketing aims to enable
the buzz and the viral agent to reach the widest possible number of online users (among which any brand’s target market lies). The approach  kickstarts buzz and viral spread – then it is up to users, who become brand advocates and free media channels as they pass the viral agent around via email, providing valuable  peer-to-peer brand endorsement.

Mazda and Virgin Mobile use our online tracking system to measure viral spread and user interaction with their brands beyond the initial seed routes, to quantify the impact of viral marketing on brand awareness. The main difference in their use of our approach is strategic.  Mazda’s activity is driven by and integrated with CRM activity; Virgin Mobile’s falls within the remit of its brand marketers. Both brands emphasise the importance of using viral seeding and developing creative strategies that ensure the material is appropriate for online audiences.

The results speak for themselves. Mazda’s ‘Parking’ campaign was rated the number one viral campaign of 2003 by Campaign in the UK and Germany, and delivered a measurable response from over one million
web users within only eight weeks.

James Kydd, Virgin Mobile’s brand director, claimed that viral marketing was used strategically,  as a key part of overall  marketing mix and it had made a big impact on the brand exposure for a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing methods in 2003.

If you get the approach right, word-of-mouse can be an extremely valuable addition to brand marketing. And if, as  Malcolm Gladwell said in The Tipping Point, ‘The most powerful selling of products and ideas takes place not marketer to consumer but consumer to consumer’, then bottom-up, peer-to-peer driven techniques like viral marketing need to be effectively used.

How Not to Ruin Your Social Media Campaigns




2013, 2014

Marc Ostrofsky - Book Word of Mouse

New Advertising Alternatives - 12 October 2013


Planned Revision schedule for marketing chapters is in February and March

Updated 1 Feb 2015, 2 July 2014