June 28, 2019

Understanding the Supply Chain - Review Notes

Supply chain

A supply chain consists of all stages involved directly, or indirectly, in fulfilling a customer request for a product in an economy. Thus it includes customers who give the requests, transporters, retailers, wholesalers, warehouses, manufacturers, and component, service as well as miners who supply raw material suppliers. Within an organization there is a supply chain that includes all functions involved a filling a customer request as well as the order. The functions carried out within an organization include marketing, purchasing or procurement or supply, new product development, new process development, operations (manufacturing, material handling, maintenance, industrial engineering, quality control/inspection), distribution, finance and customer service.

In a supply chain there is constant flow of information, product and funds between stages. Usually supply chain is imagined as product moving from suppliers to manufacturers and from there to wholesalers and retailers and then further to customers. But supply chains have two way movements and also involve movement of information and funds apart from the product.

Customer is an integral part of the supply chain and the primary purpose of a supply chain is satisfying customer needs and generating profit for itself in the process.

The routine supply chain activities begin with a customer order and ends when a satisfied customer has paid for his purchase.

In a supply chain, number of customers are there, number of retailers are there, number of transporters are there and number of manufacturing plants can be there. Hence a supply chain is actually a network or a web. Hence supply network and supply web also describe a supply chain.

The objective of every supply chain is to maximize the overall value generated. Supply chain management involves the management of flows between and among stages in a supply chain to maximize total profitability.

Decision Phases in a Supply Chain

Supply Chain Design, Plan and Operation (execution of plans) are identified as three significant decision phases by Chopra and Meindl.

Supply Chain Design: Supply chain strategy is another word used for this phase. Supply chain design decisions or strategy decisions include products to be manufactured, location and capacities of manufacturing plants and warehouses, modes of transport to be utilized and information system to be utilized.

McKinsey consultants proposed in 2019 supply chain redesign based on zero-based approach. Read more about in: Zero-Based Productivity Management of Supply Chain - McKinsey Way Supply Chain Industrial Engineering

Supply Chain Planning: Planning, typically done for an year, establishes parameters within which a supply chain will function over a specified period of time.

Supply Chain Operation: In this phase the time horizons are small, monthly, weekly and daily. The decisions are driven by customer order and are related to individual customer orders. There are also decisions related to individual production facilities, warehouses and transporters.

Process Views of a Supply Chain

There are two views.

1. Cycle view

In cycle view, the supply chain processes are divided into cycles that are performed at the interface between two successive stages of a supply chain and one describes the following cycles.

Customer order cycle
Replenishment cycle
Manufacturing cycle
Procurement cycle

A. Customer order cycle

Normally occurs at the retailer place between the customer and the retailer.

Activities involved
Customer arrival, Customer order entry, Customer order fulfillment, Customer order receiving, Customer funds payment

B. Replenishment cycles

Normally thought to occur at the retailer/wholesaler or distributor interface.

Activities involved
Retail order trigger, Retail order entry, Retail order fulfilment, Retail order receiving, Funds payment

C. Manufacturing cycle

Normally thought to occur at the wholesaler/manufacturer interface. Depending on the number of channels in the distribution channel it can occur at customer - manufacturer, or retailer - manufacturer also.

Activities involved

Order arrival, Production scheduling, Manufacturing and shipping, Receiving by the person ordered, Funds payment

D. Procurement cycle

Occurs at the manufacturer/supplier interface

2. Push/Pull View

In this view, pull processes and push processes are categorized and identified in the supply chain. Each supply chain will have some pull processes and push processes. The activities initiated by customers' orders form pull process activities. The activities initiated and carried out in anticipation of customer demand are push process activities.

Importance of Supply Chain Flows

Flow of information, material and product and cash are important for supply chain functioning and fulfillment of its objectives.

Information is key to produce as per customers' order and also to forecast in case of made-to-stock supply chains.

Supply Design, Planning and Operation Related Questions. One will find answers to these questions in various chapters of the Supply Chain Management Book which we are summarizing chapter-wise.

1. Why a company outsources some assembly activities and does some within its assembly plant? What characteristics of the product or order characterize outsourced activities?
2. When does a company have only one manufacturing location for the entire country or world? When does it have multiple plants?
3. Why certain orders are despatched via couriers for overnight delivery or one day delivery and why certain other orders are sent via trucks on full load or part load basis?
4. How inventories are determined for components and finished goods?

Sunil Chopra and Peter Meindl, Supply Chain Management: Strategy, Planning and Operations, Prentice Hall, 2001.

Full Chapter - WSC Book - Supply Chain Management - An Evolutionary View

Originally posted at
http://knol.google.com/k/narayana-rao/supply-chain-management-basic/2utb2lsm2k7a/ 1348#
Updated on  29 June 2019,   1 May 2019,   27.3.2013

Related Article
Supply chain management - Detailed Introduction

Required Rate of Return for Investment or Expenditure Proposal

Engineering Economics Revision Knol Series

Each business expenditure proposal that holds forth prospects of profits can be termed as investment. Investment is defined as spending money with the expectation of profits.

Business firms are users of capital. The user of capital has to satisfy the profit motive of the suppliers of capital. There is cost for using capital.

Introduction - Business Expenditure or Investment

Each business expenditure proposal that holds forth prospects of profits can be termed as investment. Investment is defined as spending money with the expectation of profits.

Deferment of present ability to consume to a future period is done by persons due to profit motive. The profit motive can be explained as the inducement that causes man to forego satisfying his present desires based on the prospects of satisfying greater ones in the future. Thus, every individual is motivated by profit for his personal investment decisions or deferment of consumption decisions. Professional managers of corporations are being paid to perform activities that satisfy the profit motive of the corporation's shareholders.

Cost of Capital and Profit Motive

Business firms are users of capital. The user of capital has to satisfy the profit motive of the suppliers of capital. There is cost for using capital. The cost may be a contractual obligation in case of loans and bonds. It good be a good faith obligation in case of equity capital. The manager is charge of the firm is expected to undertake activities in line with the business plans and execute them to obtain the expected profit.

Sources of Return

Capital is productive. It is continuously invested in fresh investment or expenditure opportunities that yield more profit than the current projects. From this statement, the concept of opportunity cost arises. Whenever any person is contemplating a new expenditure proposal money is being diverted to the new proposal from an old project or currently planned project. The return anticipated from the current project is the floor for the new project. The new project has to give a rate of return that is higher than that of the current selected opportunity. Thus every new proposal has an opportunity cost of capital.

Every proposal that clears the test of opportunity cost of capital is giving profit. Thus owners of capital or professional managers invest their capital in efficient proposals that give profits.

Determination of Cost of Capital

A corporation's capital is sourced from variety of suppliers. Equity Capital, Preferred Share Capital, Profits Retained or Ploughed back and debt capital are the main instruments through which capital is acquired by companies or corporations. To estimate the total cost of capital, the cost of each source of capital is to be first estimated. Then the weight of each source of capital in determined and the weighted average of various costs of capital gives the company cost of capital. This exercise can be done for each proposed project.

How CEOs make Software/Technology Investment Decisions?

1. Does it help to solve a strategic problem? (50%)
2. ROI (40%)
3. Risk (10%)
4. Is it a cool application? (Important)

Originally posted in
http://knol.google.com/k/narayana-rao/required-rate-of-return-for-investment/2utb2lsm2k7a/ 1200

Updated on 29 June 2019, 30 November 3011

June 25, 2019

Knowledge Management Software Packages


20 Best Knowledge Management Software for 2019

Zoho Desk
ProProfs KnowledgeBase
Atlassian Confluence
ServiceNow Knowledge Management
Inkling Knowledge
Remedy Knowledge Management

Inbenta Knowledge Management
ComAround Knowledge
eXo Platform
Astute Knowledge


13 April 2015

Knowledge Base Manager Pro

Knowledge Base Manager Pro is developed to support and enhance the organizational processes of knowledge creation, storage/retrieval, transfer, and application. KnowledgeBase Manager Pro is commonly used to complement a help desk or for sharing information among employees within the organization or business unit. It might store troubleshooting information, articles, white papers, user manuals, or answers to frequently asked questions. Typically, a search engine is used to locate information in the system, or users may browse through a classification scheme.

Knowledge Base Manager Pro streamlines the entire documentation and knowledge base creation process for companies to share information with employees, customers, and partners. This knowledge base software can be utilized by any company, corporation, or organization in numerous different ways:

Vending Company. Provide your customers with access to full information about products you sell, about company you run and terms of service you follow. Receive feedback from your clients with suggestions, questions and thanks to improve the quality of service.
Service Provider. This could be hosting providing, consulting, business functions, entertainment, health care consulting, information services, social services, or something else. Create web self-service help system covering special valuable topics within selected area.
Educational Organization. Provide students with centralized knowledge base with courses and learning aids. Students can participate in courses creation and improvement process.
Any Company. Get Knowledge Management Software Solution for an internal use. Reduce employee training time. Keep corporate knowledge integrity whenever employee comes or leaves.
Enterprise class Knowledge Management Software Solution

Knowledge Base Manager Pro is a Rich Internet Application, which conception relies on long-term experience of Enterprise-class software development. It has all approaches, necessary for usage in commercial purposes, implemented.



KANA Knowledge Management solutions

KANA Knowledge Management solutions make your data work for you by providing access to information contextually to make search—and service—targeted and efficient.

 If your information resources aren’t well integrated with your service processes, your agents are spending their time on the search process itself, fishing for information using keywords that often bring up either too many results or tangential information. As a result, the service process is inefficient, costing agent handling time and causing customer dissatisfaction.

KANA Knowledge Management software solutions draw on customer and inquiry context to make search results and service interactions efficient and meaningful. In turn, every query and customer action feeds the search engine algorithm, continually fine-tuning search to make it better.

Knowledge Discovery, Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management: First International Joint Conference, IC3K 2009, Funchal, Madeira, Portugal, October 6-8, 2009, Revised Selected Papers


Ana Fred, Jan L. G. Dietz, Kecheng Liu, Joaquim Filipe
Springer Science & Business Media, Feb 4, 2011 - 411 pages

This book constitutes the thoroughly refereed post-conference
proceedings of the First International Joint Conference on Knowledge Discovery, Knowledge Engineering, and Knowledge Management, IC3K 2009, held in Funchal, Madeira, Portugal, in October 2009.

This book includes revised and extended versions of a strict selection of the best papers presented at the conference; 27 revised full papers together with 3 invited lectures were carefully reviewed and selected from 369 submissions.

According to the three covered conferences KDIR 2009, KEOD 2009, and KMIS 2009, the papers are organized in topical sections on on knowledge discovery and information retrieval, knowledge engineering and ontology development, and on knowledge management and information sharing


Updated on 26 June 2019, 13 April 2015

June 21, 2019

Information Technology and the Supply Chain

Based on Chopra and Meindl's book, Supply Chain Management: Strategy, Planning, and Operation - A comprehensive introduction to  supply chain management.


The supply chain management (SCM) is concerned with the flow of products and information between the supply chain members that encompasses all of those organizations such as suppliers, producers, service providers and customers. In the supply chain, these organizations linked together to acquire, purchase, convert/manufacture, assemble, and distribute goods and services, from suppliers to the ultimate and users.

The cost and availability of information resources allow easy linkages and eliminate information-related time delays in any supply chain network. Organizations are adopting Electronic Commerce, where transactions are completed via a variety of electronic media, including electronic data interchange (EDI), electronic funds transfer (EFT), bar codes, fax, automated voice mail, CD-ROM catalogs, and a variety of others. The old “paper” type transactions are becoming increasingly becoming obsolete. Leading-edge organizations no longer require paper purchase requisitions; purchase orders, invoices, receiving forms, and manual accounts payable “matching” process. All required information is recorded electronically right at the origin, and associated transactions are performed with the minimum amount of human intervention.  With the application of the appropriate information systems, monitoring inventory levels, placing orders, and expediting orders will soon become totally automated.


The information systems and the technologies utilized in the supply chain represent one of the fundamental elements that link the organizations into a unified and coordinated system. In the current technology and process environment, little doubt remains about the importance of information and information technology to the ultimate success, and perhaps even the survival, of any supply chain management initiative. Cycle time reduction, implementing redesigned cross-functional processes, utilizing cross-selling opportunities require information. Timely and accurate information is more critical now than at any time.

Three factors have strongly impacted this change in the importance of information.

1) Satisfying customers have become something of a corporate obsession. Serving the customer in the best, most efficient and effective manner has become critical, and information about issues such as order status, product availability, delivery schedules, and invoices has become a necessary part of the total customer service experience.

2) Information is a crucial factor in the managers’ abilities to reduce inventory and human resources
requirements to a competitive level.

3) Information flows play an essential role in the strategic planning for and deployment of resources.

The need for virtually seamless bonds within and between organizations is a key notion in the essential nature of information systems in the development and maintenance of successful supply chain. That is, creating intra-organizational processes and link to facilitate delivery of seamless information between marketing, sales, purchasing, finance, manufacturing, distribution and transportation internally, as well as inter organizationally, to customers, suppliers, carriers across the supply chain will improve fill rates of the customers service, increase forecast accuracy, reduction in the total inventory and savings in the company’s’ transportation costs - goals which need
to be achieved.

In fact, inaccurate or distorted information from one end of a supply chain to the other can lead to tremendous inefficiencies such as excessive inventory investment, poor customer service, lost revenues, misguided capacity plans, ineffective transportation, and missed production schedules. Bullwhip effect, which is big variability in orders at factory level  is commonly experienced by the consumer goods industries due to lack of uniform information in the entire supply chain. Suitable technologies such as bar codes and scanners have been developed and applied in the supply chain to remove inaccuracy, time delays and gaps in communications.

Information Required to Manage Supply Chain at Global Scope Level

Supplier/Supply Information

What products can be purchased, at what price, with what lead time, and where they can be delivered. Supplier information also includes real time pending order status, purchase order amendments, and payment arrangements. This information can be used in product industrial engineering also.

Manufacturing Information

What products can be made, how many, by what facilities, with what lead time, with what trade-offs, at what cost, and in what batch size. This information can be used in process industrial engineering also.

Distribution and Retailing Information

Demand Information

e-business and the Supply Chain. - Review Notes

Global Complexity is driving Supply Chain Information  Systems into Cloud Wharton Knowledge Article January 2011

Updates on Software


London UK, 14th June - Siemens Digital Industries Software announced today the immediate availability of Siemens Opcenter™ software, a cohesive portfolio of software solutions for manufacturing operations management (MOM).

Siemens Opcenter integrates MOM capabilities including advanced planning and scheduling, manufacturing execution, quality management, manufacturing intelligence and performance, and formulation, specification and laboratory management. The new portfolio combines products including Camstar™ software, SIMATIC IT® suite, Preactor, R&D Suite and QMS Professional into a single portfolio that unifies these widely recognised products and leverages synergies between them. A fully web-based, modern, consistent, adaptive and comfortable user interface implemented throughout the Siemens Opcenter portfolio offers a situationally adapted user experience and facilitates the implementation of new capabilities and additional components while reducing training efforts.


Updated  22 June 2019,  10 Apr 2016
9 Dec 2011

June 20, 2019

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?

Updated on 22 June 2019, 2 May 2019

June 11, 2019

Management - Definition: Koontz and O’Donnell – Narayana Rao - Slides Content

Management Definition: Koontz and O’Donnell – Narayana Rao

1. Koontz and O’Donnell – Weihrich – 10th Edition

"Management is the process of designing and maintaining an environment in which individuals, working together in groups, effectively and  efficiently,  accomplish selected aims."

This definition implies:
1. As managers, people carry out the managerial functions of planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling.
2. Management applies to any kind of organization.
3. It applies to managers at all organizational levels.
Management definition implies
4. The aim of all managers is the same: to create a surplus.
5. Managing is concerned with productivity; this implies effectiveness and efficiency.

2. Shortcomings of the definition – Koontz and O’Donnell - Weihrich

The process of management is being explained as an implication.
Redefining Management to include the process in the definition is possible.

3. Management Definition – Narayana Rao

Management of an organization is the process of establishing objectives and goals of the organization periodically, designing the work system and the human organization structure, and maintaining an environment in which individuals, working together in groups, accomplish their aims and objectives and goals of the organization effectively and efficiently. (3rd December 2008)

Implications of Definition of Narayana Rao’s  Management Definition

(i) Management is a process.
(ii) Management applies to every kind of organization, government, profit making, or nonprofit making.
(iii) It applies to managers at all levels in the organization.
Management - Effectiveness and Efficiency Implication
(iv) Management is concerned with effectiveness and efficiency.
v) Management has to organize the material resources and human resources required to attain the objectives and goals of the organization. Work system is the material resources organization. Organization structure is the human resource organization.

Effectiveness is producing the product or service the customer wants in business context with the required functional benefits and product attributes at the price he is willing to pay.

Efficiency is minimization of resources to produce the saleable output.

4. Management – Efficiency – Industrial Engineering

In the case of engineering companies, Industrial Engineering, a management discipline with engineering as the primary underlying subject takes care of efficiency dimension.

Efficiency is minimization of resources to produce the saleable output.

Industrial engineering has as its focus productivity of each resource (especially engineering resources) and thus total productivity of all resources used in producing and distributing (marketing, selling, delivering and servicing) the product.

Updated on 12 June 2019, 2 May 2019

June 8, 2019

Inspection Methods Efficiency Engineering

Inspection Productivity Improvement - Inspection Industrial Engineering

Inspection of Output of Engineering Processes is Engineering Activity. Inspection of Machines is Engineering Activity. Inspection of Machine Setup is Engineering Activity. As all engineering activities and outputs are industrial engineered, inspection methods are also redesigned by industrial engineers to increase productivity.

Pioneers of industrial engineering since F.W. Taylor made contributions to improve productivity of inspection activities. 

Statistical quality control methods are promoted by industrial engineering profession as a means of increasing the efficiency of inspection methods.

Method studies were employed to improve the efficiency of inspectors. We have examples of method studies in inspection departments in texts of industrial engineering. Even F.W. Taylor did method studies in inspection departments. (Scientific Management, page 86)

The inspectors were working for ten and half hours every day with a half day Saturday holiday.

Initially the inspectors (all girls) were told that the work day can be made 10 hours and they can do the same work as they are doing now in ten hours and they will be paid the same wage for the day. The girls agreed with the change.

Mr. Thompson recognized that persons of low personal coefficient were required for inspection job.

It is necessary in almost all cases to take definite steps to insure against any falling off in quality before moving in any way towards an increase in quantity. An accurate daily record was kept for each inspector for quantity and quality.

Time study was done. It was observed that after one half hours of work they become nervous. So rest break of 10 minutes was arranged after one and quarter hour.

Differential system was put into practice.

Measurement of output was done each hour and a teacher was sent to correct shortcomings in methods.

35 girls did the work that was previously done by 120 girls. Accuracy of work was two-thirds greater at the higher productivity than at lower productivity. The inspectors received 80 to 100% more wages on average.  (Read the full description of Taylor's work on inspection in Illustrations of Success of Scientific Management - Bicycle Balls Inspection Example - Taylor

Poka Yoke is the recent contribution of industrial engineers in the inspection methods efficiency engineering.

Industrial engineers design number of jigs to make inspection faster and comfortable.

Article Part of the Industrial Engineering Course Articles
Introduction to Industrial Engineering - Course at NITIE

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Originally posted at
http://knol.google.com/k/narayana-rao/inspection-methods-efficiency/2utb2lsm2k7a/ 2595#
Published on the blog in 2011
Updated 22 July 2013

Industrial Engineering Knowledge Revision Plan - One Year Plan

January - February - March - April - May - June

July - August - September - October - November - December

Updated 9 June 2019,  9 June 2017, 23 July 2013

Resource and Capacity Management

Book Manufacturing Systems: Foundations of World Class Practice (1992)
Taylorism and Professional Education of Engineers

Capacity Planning

Recent Papers and Articles - Year-Wise

Capacity planning in a digital age KPMG
Today’s digital capabilities are enabling capacity planning to go to new levels.

Technology optimization and change management to improve strategic, tactical, and operational supply chain processes KPMG

Strategic Capacity Management When Customers Have Boundedly Rational Expectations
Tingliang Huang,  Qian Liu
 Production and Operations Management
Volume24, Issue12, December 2015, Pages 1852-1869

Dekkers 2012

Dekkers 2009

Capacity Management - A Practitioner Guide
Adam Grummit
Van Haren, 29-Jul-2009 - Education - 234 pages
Capacity Management is described in most key ITSM frameworks: ITIL, ISO 20000 Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) and the Application Service Library (ASL) all note the importance of Capacity Management. This major title meets the need for an in-depth practical guide to this critical process. Written and reviewed by some of the world’s most respected experts in this field it shows how Capacity Management best practice can support provision of a consistent, acceptable service level at a known and controlled cost. Practical advice covers the essential control of two balances: Supply versus demand and resources versus cost. In times of mean, frugal economic measures, it is essential to focus on those practices that are effective and yield practical results. In enlightened times of sustainability, it is also a requirement to find solutions that satisfy the criteria for 'greenness'. This excellent title shows how Capacity Management works not only within an IT environment but also why it is pivotal in meeting high profile business demands. Aligns with ISO/IEC 20000 and ITIL® ­ISO/IEC lists a set of required capacity management deliverables ­ITIL outlines what should be done in capacity management ­this book starts to describe how to do it Covers details of what capacity management is all about: ­what is capacity management ­why do it – benefits and cost-benefit analysis ­how to do it – data-flows and activities ­who does it – roles and perspectives ­implementation, maintenance, improvement, tools Provides comprehensive templates and checklists: ­objectives, interfaces and data-flows, sub-practices and activities ­metrics, application sizing parameters, data for modelling ­deliverables, reports, CMMI levels, KPIs, risk matrix sample capacity plan

Operations Management Body of Knowledge (2008)
Table of Contents

Dekkers 2000

John Hill, Ricardo Costa, Eduardo Jardim, (1992) "Strategic Capacity Planning and Production Scheduling in Jobbing Systems", Integrated Manufacturing Systems, Vol. 3 Issue: 3, pp.22-26, https://doi.org/10.1108/09576069210015874

Describes a package which uses discrete event simulation as an aid to managers/planners in this area. This computer system makes it possible to describe the workload of a jobbing firm, together with the constraints imposed by product structure and manufacturing capacity. The manager is able to test alternative Queue Disciplines, priorities and extensions to capacity, in order to find a schedule of work which balances the strategic objectives of the firm and the requirements of the customer.

Strategic Capacity Management - Operations Management Review Notes

Capacity is the ability to hold, receive, store, or accommodate. In a business sense, it is viewed as the amount of output that a system is capable of achieving over a specific period of time.

Strategic capacity planning has as its objective, to determine the overall capacity level of capital-intensive resources - facilities, equipment, and overall labor force size - that best supports the company's long-range competitive strategy.

Economies of scale, experience curve and capacity flexibility are important issues or concepts that are to be incorporated into capacity decision making. The capacity level selected determines a company's cost structure, competitive position and management and staff support requirements. If capacity is inadequate competitors can easily enter the business. If capacity is excessive, utilization becomes poor and costs will be higher than the expected costs.

Capacity Planning Concepts

Best operating level
The best operating level of a plant is the production volume at which average cost is the lowest. Companies try to operate close to this point. If demand is consistently higher than the best operating level, then they increase the capacity to lower the cost close to the best operating level cost.

Economies of scale
This concept signifies that as production volumes increase, the average cost per unit decreases. Higher capacity plants have a lower production cost compared to lesser capacity plants.

The experience curve
As plants produce more units, they gain experience in their production methods, which in turn, results in reducing the per unit costs of production in a predictable manner.

Capacity focus

The concept of focused factory states that it is more effective to have different plants for products with significant difference in specifications especially in terms of performance specifications.

Capacity flexibility

Capacity flexibility means having the ability to rapidly increase or decrease production levels or to shift production capacity quickly from one product or service to another. Such flexibility is achieved through flexible plants, processes, and workers, as well as through strategies that use the capacity of other operations.

Issues to be considered in adding capacity include maintaining system balance, frequency of capacity additions, and the use of external capacity. Capacity strategies can be proactive, neutral, and reactive. Reactive and neutral strategies are not responsive to anticipating future growth or building a facility for future demand.

Determining Capacity Requirements

Capacity planning decisions are based on forecasts for product demand, labor requirements, and equipment requirements.

Typical Steps

1. Predict sales for individual products within each product line using forecasting techniques.

2. Calculate equipment and labor requirements to meet product line forecasts.

3. Project labor and equipment availabilities over the planning horizon.

Decisions include whether to add capacity, determining capacity requirements, and planning service capacity throughout the product life-cycle stages.

Toyota production system operates on the concept of flexibility by being ready to increase production whenever required by employing temporary workers and overtime. It works for only two shifts normally and when required uses overtime to operate for eight extra hours.

Chapter Outline of
Richard B. Chase, F. Robert Jacobs, Nicholas J. Aquilano, Operations Management for Competitive Advantage, 10/e, McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2004

Capacity Management in Operations
Capacity Planning Concepts
Economies and Diseconomies of Scale
The Experience Curve
Where Economies of Scale Meet the Experience Curve
Capacity Focus
Capacity Flexibility
Capacity Planning
Considerations in Adding Capacity
Determining Capacity Requirements
Using Decision Trees to Evaluate Capacity Alternatives
Planning Service Capacity
Capacity Planning in Service Versus Manufacturing
Capacity Utilization and Service Quality

Case: Shouldice Hospital - A Cut Above


Richard B. Chase, F. Robert Jacobs, Nicholas J. Aquilano, Operations Management for Competitive Advantage, 10/e, McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2004
http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/0072506369/student_view0/   chapter10/

Originally posted in
http://knol.google.com/k/narayana-rao/strategic-capacity-management/2utb2lsm2k7a/  449

Updated on  9 June 2019,  7.12.2014, 10.12.2011

MBA Core Management Knowledge - One Year Revision Schedule

June 4, 2019

Marketing - Analytics, AI, Data Science and Machine Learning

ABCD of Machine Learning for Marketing

Are you interested in learning how organizations are increasing sales using machine learning in an intuitive and fun way? Then this ten-part case study is for you. Enjoy learning!

Part 1: Marketing analytics and customer behavior and  psychology for starters https://lnkd.in/bax6ZCf

Part 2: Return on marketing investment (ROMI) https://lnkd.in/fKUKput

Part 3: Exploratory data analysis to grow revenue https://lnkd.in/fRzT4D2

Part 4: Keep an eye on your customer's market basket https://lnkd.in/fibiC67

Part 5: Who will buy my product? Decision trees for starters https://lnkd.in/fXa2U_R

Part 6: Decision tree details https://lnkd.in/bNQtVRp

Part 7: Choose the best model to optimize sales https://lnkd.in/f2AFPhg

Part 8: How machines decide? Artificial neural networks for starters https://lnkd.in/f2AFPhg

Part 9: But tell me how much money I will earn by sales? Regression for starters https://lnkd.in/fcGHQbH

Part 10: Aha! Time to grow sales. https://lnkd.in/b5AYrzR

Information identified in Linkedin Community of IITBombay.

Marketing Analytics - E-Book - McKinsey

117 pages 2015 Book

Marketing Analytics: What it is and why it matters

Marketing Analytics Solutions from SAS

SAS® Marketing Automation
Get more campaigns out the door in an automated, trackable and highly repeatable fashion.
Customer Intelligence 360
Infuse your marketing decisions with unprecedented customer insights, and create relevant, satisfying, valued customer experiences.
SAS® Marketing Optimization
Make the most of each customer contact by determining how business variables will affect outcomes.

Using marketing analytics to drive superior growth

June 2014

Book: Marketing Analytics: Strategic Models and Metrics

Stephan Sorger
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 31-Jan-2013 - Business & Economics - 488 pages

Chapter 1. Introduction - Introduction to marketing analytics
Chapter 2. Market Insight - Market sizing and trend analysis
Chapter 3. Market Segmentation - Segment identification, analysis, and strategy
Chapter 4. Competitive Analysis - Competitor identification, analysis, and strategy
Chapter 5. Business Strategy - Analytics-based strategy selection
Chapter 6. Business Operations - Forecasting, predictive analytics, and data mining
Chapter 7. Product and Service Analytics - Conjoint analysis and product/service metrics
Chapter 8. Price Analytics - Pricing techniques and assessment
Chapter 9. Distribution Analytics - Analytics-based channel evaluation and selection
Chapter 10. Promotion Analytics - Promotion budget estimation and allocation
Chapter 11. Sales Analytics - Metrics for sales, profitability, and support
Chapter 12. Analytics in Action - Pivot tables and data-driven presentations

Interview with Stephan Sorger



Marketing Analytics - Google Books

Data Science for Marketing Analytics: Achieve your marketing goals
Tommy Blanchard, ‎Debasish Behera, ‎Pranshu Bhatnagar - 2019 - ‎Preview - ‎
What you will learn Analyze and visualize data in Python using pandas and Matplotlib Study clustering techniques, such as hierarchical and k-means clustering Create customer segments based on manipulated data Predict customer lifetime value etc.

Digital Marketing Analytics: Making Sense of Consumer Data
Chuck Hemann, ‎Ken Burbary - 2018 - ‎Preview - ‎
Because you’ve barely begun to use it, that’s why! Good news: neither have your competitors. It’s hard! But digital marketing analytics is 100% doable, it offers colossal opportunities, and all of the data is accessible to you.

Marketing Analytics: A Practical Guide ..
Mike Grigsby - 2018 - ‎Preview - ‎
Complete with downloadable data sets and test bank resources, this book supplies a concrete foundation to optimize marketing analytics for day-to-day business advantage.

Marketing Analytics: A Practical Guide to Improving Consumer
Mike Grigsby - 2018 - ‎Preview - ‎
'With its focus on practicality, this book is an invaluable toolkit of frameworks to drive consumer-centric analytics initiatives across marketing organizations.

Handbook of Marketing Analytics: Methods and Applications
Natalie Mizik, ‎Dominique M. Hanssens - 2018 - ‎Preview - ‎
The Handbook of Marketing Analytics showcases the analytical methods used in marketing and their high-impact real-life applications.

Predictive Analytics for Marketers: Using Data Mining
Barry Leventhal - 2018 - ‎Preview - ‎
Including comprehensive coverage of an array of predictive analytic tools and techniques, this book enables readers to harness patterns from past data, to make accurate and useful predictions that can be converted to business success.

Mastering Market Analytics: Business Metrics – Practice and Application
Robert Kozielski - 2017 - ‎Preview - ‎
In Mastering Market Analytics, Robert Kozielski presents different measurement systems and marketing activities, along with common mistakes made by organizations and managers in the process of building measurement, and illustrates how to ...

New Methods of Market Research and Analysis
G. Scott Erickson - 2017 - ‎Preview - ‎
This book can be used as a supplement to a traditional marketing research text or on its own.

Digital Analytics for Marketing
Marshall Sponder, ‎Gohar F. Khan - 2017 - ‎Preview - ‎
This comprehensive book provides students with a "grand tour" of the tools needed to measure digital activity and implement best practices for using data to inform marketing strategy.

Handbook of Marketing Decision Models

Berend Wierenga, ‎Ralf van der Lans - 2017 - ‎Preview - ‎
The Second Edition of this book presents the state of the art in this important field.

Principles of Marketing Engineering and Analytics, 3rd Edition
Gary L. Lilien, ‎Arvind Rangaswamy, ‎Arnaud De Bruyn - 2017 - ‎Preview
We have designed this book primarily for the business school student or marketing manager, who, with minimal background and technical training, must understand and employ the basic tools and models associated with Marketing Engineering.

Marketing at the Confluence between Entertainment and Analytics
Patricia Rossi - 2017 - ‎Preview - ‎
This volume presents the full proceedings of the 2016 Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) World Marketing Congress held in Paris, France.

Marketing Strategy: Based on First Principles and Data Analytics
Robert W. Palmatier, ‎Shrihari Sridhar - 2017 - ‎Preview - ‎
A brand new textbook with an innovative and exciting approach to marketing strategy.

Updated on 5 June 2019, 1 June 2019

Marketing Communication: Channels and Promotion Tools


Marketing Communication: Definition

"Marketing communications are the means by which firms attempt to inform, persuade, and remind consumers - directly, or indirectly - about the products and brands that they sell." (Kotler and Keller)

Marketing: Communicating Value

Marketing Communication for "Communicating Value."

Kotler and Keller in the 15th Edition of "Marketing Management" devoted Part 6 to the topic "Communicating Value."

Chapter 17. Designing and Managing Integrated Marketing Communications
Chapter 18. Managing Mass Communications: Advertising, Sales Promotions,Events and Experiences, and Public Relations, 
Chapter 19. Managing Digital Communication: Online, Social Media, and Mobile, and 
Chapter 20. Managing Personal Communications: Direct and Database Marketing and Personal Selling constitute Part 6. "Communicating Value."

In this article, all the communications channels indicated by Kotler and Keller are described for their characteristics and benefits.

Personal and nonpersonal communication channels can be used for marketing communications. Within both of them there are many subchannels. The marketing communications mix is presented as mix of eight major modes or types of communication alternatives by Kotler and Keller in the 13 Edition.
1. Advertising
2. Sales promotion
3. Events and experiences
4. Public relations and publicity
5. Direct marketing
6. Interactive marketing
7. Word-of-mouth marketing
8. Personal selling

Marketing 4.0 is the new communication manifesto of marketing. The manifesto was released by Kotler in 2017. Go through the write-up and the book.
Advertisement - Is the only Way?

Personal Communication Channels

Personal communication is communication between two or more persons with a specific person communication with others. The message emanates from a specific person. It can be done face to face, or by a person to audience, over telephone, or through post or couriers or through emails or through mobile messages.

The personal communications in the case of marketing can also be categorized as communications from advocate, expert and social contacts. The company salespersons’ communication to customers is communication from advocates of the product.

An independent expert communicating to prospective buyers about the merits of the product is classified as expert communication. A neighbor saying good things about a brand is social channel of communication.

Companies take various steps to stimulate personal communications about their products and brands.

1. They identify influential individuals and devote extra effort on them.
2. Create opinion leaders by supplying possible opinion leaders with the product on attractive terms.
3. Use influential or believable people in testimonial advertising.
4. Develop word of mouth publicity by requesting satisfied clients to promote their product among their friends.
5. Establish online discussion groups and communities

Nonpersonal Communication Channels

They include media, atmospheres, and events.

Media channels include print media (newspaper, magazines, souvenirs, proceedings of conferences), broadcast media (radio, television), display media (billboards, signs, posters) and electronic media (audiotape, videotape, videodisk, CD-ROM).

Atmosphere is what firms create in their office environment. The office interiors and exteriors have a meaning to the potential buyers.

Events are occurrences designed to communicate particular messages to target audiences or audiences. Company arranged news conferences, opening ceremonies of various kinds, and sponsorships of various events come under event communications channels.

Communication through mass media stimulates personal communication channels.

The Promotional Tools

The characteristics of various promotional tools are as follows:


Advertising is a public mode of communication. Because it is communicated simultaneously to large number of people and people know that the same communication is going to many people, they feel their motives for buying are understood by the advertiser.

Advertising messages can be repeated number of times. Buyers also can compare advertisements of various companies selling the same product. The media offers the facility to add color, sound etc. to the message and dramatize the message. But advertising cannot have dialogue with the people. People may not see and pay attention to the advertisement.

Advertising is an efficient way to reach geographically dispersed potential buyers at a low cost per exposure.

Advertising has two recent variants. Advertorials are offer editorial content and while it is paid for by the advertiser and it will be difficult for the reader to easily make out that it is an advertisement. Similarly infomercials are TV programs that are meant for promoting the products of the company. They discuss the working of the product, benefits of the products, and user experience etc. and they may beam the message to buy the product and the address to be contacted.

Sales promotion

Sales promotion tools like coupons, contests, premiums, and the like act as communication medium and also promote sales.

They gain attention and provide information that may lead the consumer to the product. They include a distinct invitation to the consumer to do the transaction in a short period of time.

Public relations and publicity

News stories and feature articles are more authentic and credible than advertisements to readers. The articles act as testimonials. The message gets through to the potential buyers as news and they may not turn away from it as they turn away from the advertisements.

Personal selling

Personal selling as a communicative channel involves a live, immediate, and interactive relationship between persons. Personal selling leads to relationships. The listener feels obligated to respond to the salesman at least with a polite “thank you.”

Direct Marketing

The alternatives are direct mail, Email, and telemarketing. In these cases the message is addressed to a specific person. The message can be customized. Even though mailing folders and email are normally standardized to gain efficiency. The message can be up to date.  In case of telemarketing, message can be altered depending on the response. In the case of other alternatives subsequent communication can be altered depending on the response. 

Events and Experiences

They include sponsorships of sports, arts, entertainment and cause events as well as activities that create novel interactions of consumers with product or brand. An example of experience can be providing airconditioned bus ride to potential consumers to make them excited about buying an airconditioner. Another example is internet companies providing internet at airports for free use by travellers.


Philip Kotler, Marketing Management 

American Marketing Association Marketing Communications Toolkit

Books on Marketing Communication.

Advertising Promotion and Other Aspects of Integrated Marketing Communications

Terence Shimp, J. Craig Andrews
Cengage Learning, 16-Jan-2013 -  752 pages

Table of Contents

1. An Overview of Integrated Marketing Communications.
2. Enhancing Brand Equity and Accountability.
3. Brand Adoption, Brand Naming and Intellectual Property Issues.
4. Environmental, Regulatory and Ethical Issues.

5. Segmentation and Targeting in I.M.C.
6. The Communications Process and Consumer Behavior.
7. The Role of Persuasion in I.M.C.
8. I.M.C. Objective Setting and Budgeting.

9. An Overview of Advertising Management.
10. Effective and Creative Ad Messages.
11. Endorsers and Message Appeals in Advertising.
12. Traditional Ad Media.
13. Online Advertising.
14. Social Media.
15. Direct Advertising and Other Media.
16. Media Planning and Analysis.
17. Measuring Ad Message Effectiveness.

18. Sales Promotion Overview and the Role of Trade Promotion.
19. Consumer Sales Promotion: Sampling and Couponing.
20. Consumer Sales Promotion: Premiums and other Promotions.

21. Public Relations, Buzz Marketing, and Sponsorships.
22. Packaging, POP Communications, and Signage.
23. Personal Selling.

MBA Core Management Knowledge - One Year Revision Schedule


Planned Revision schedule for marketing chapters is in February and March

Related Articles

Marketing Management Article Series Directory


Article originally posted in
http://knol.google.com/k/     marketing-communication-channels-and-promotion-tools

Updated 6 June 2019,   8 May 2019,   31 March 2019,  28 Jan 2015, 17 Dec 2014, 9 June 2014