Sunday, October 10, 2010

Understanding The Future...

"Knowledge is the only meaningful resource today."
~ Peter Drucker

If we are to understand the future, we need to be well-informed
about matters related to what we wish to foresee, from past to
present. For today's marketers, executives, and entrepreneurs,
it is important to make a careful and near-accurate estimate of
the current market size of their respective industries, their
market segments, the competing products, their current
and market potential. For example, the future market
for the over-the-counter and proprietary drug products,
may be
related to the growing tendencies of health-conscious
toward self-diagnosis and self-medication practices. It is
imperative then that in today's highly computerized
environment, we are able to measure and forecast
the ranging
impact of these practices into quantifiable terms
with respect
to product demands and market growth potential
for certain
products so that timely and responsive marketing
decisions can
be implemented in full force with ease and

See, successful small, medium, and large-scale businesses
periodically prepare product forecasts in units and absolute
amounts. The forecast analysis is broken down into semestral,
quarterly, and monthly targets based on several factors in the
internal and external environments. These forecasts or targets
are further divided into specific market segments and smaller
segments by region, area, or territory or by type of outlets or
customer classifications. Market outlets practically do the
in forecast demand for certain products that are fast
slow, or moderate, non-moving or non-saleable items.
they can effectively implement marketing approaches to
significantly meet forecast demand.

Got it? So, sales forecasting is an educated estimate of sales
a company expects to make in a given period of time based on
socio-political-economic indicators; it can also be an educated
guess of the projected consumers' demand for the product.
Simply stated, sales forecasting is the art of anticipating what
buyers are likely to do under certain conditions for the
of adjusting production and marketing plans

"When the whale comes to the surface and spouts,
that's when he gets harpooned." - John Livingston Weinberg

How "futuristically" accurate are you? Can you boast of a track
record that you would not even really need to be in networking
sites as opportunities just flock to you? We all need help.

It's time to fix your aim and join hands. The future is a moving
target yet understanding the future is in how you position
and in this case, how well-coordinated your company is.

Take note...
"Big companies are small companies that succeeded."
- Robert Townsend

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Analyzing Opportunities...

"We're willing to place some bets because the world can not
needing sustainability in the long run."
~ Robert B. Shapiro

When we think of analyzing a situation or an entity or what,
would be the prerequisite? Information. And what for?
To determine risks and opportunities. To grow your business
to enhance competitiveness.

In this case, marketing opportunities in any industry or market
segment are many. We can make use of them to the fullest for
purposes of market growth, leadership, and survival. We only
need to promptly identify new market opportunities for our
products, markets, and respective businesses so we can best
timely and accurate information about customers,
distributors and dealers, suppliers and other forces
in the business
jungle. All these are important to improve our
position or standing
in the minds of our target end-users and
in the industry.

"The successful economies of the future will excel at generating
and disseminating knowledge, and commercially exploiting it."
~ Tony Blair

Hence, we need to develop more responsive marketing techniques
in the light of keen competition. Certainly, being proactive is also
being responsive as we do not completely expect a "perfect"
and this responsiveness would prove crucial during
situations that might hinder us from achieving desired

Consequently, we would need such information to test or validate
the effectiveness of our marketing tools. More than ever, we
timely information to favorably develop a high level of
in many of our major initiatives, both in the short
term and
future goals, as we plunge into a series of calculated
risks toward
aggressively implementing a well-balanced
marketing program.

As Leaders, we are the head marketers of our organizations.
We, therefore, need to intelligently and creatively propel our
businesses to greater heights of success. And to ably meet the
challenge, we must carefully design and install a marketing
research and marketing information system to solidly back up
marketing decisions critically vital and urgent as called for by
the need of the times.

Information is power.

Remember, the company that is able to crystallize information
into meaningful outputs, in a normal or crisis atmosphere,
undoubtedly are several steps ahead of competition...
more powerful and on firm ground.

The business environment never sleeps. There is always a
And it is in this regard that we should go out of our
way to
transform all these seemingly endless obstacles into
or at least minimize threats and optimize
available resources;
to continually search for new ideas or
ways of doing things right
at the first opportunity if possible...
anytime and all the time.

Take note...
"Economic activity should not only be efficient in its use of
resources but should also be socially just and environmentally
and ecologically sustainable." - Warren Bennis

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Reality Check... Part III

For most, the reality they are in now is because of the plans
and actions that they did yesterday. Why only most? Well,
for some, it may have been for some "uncontrollable" events
that had greatly affected their today. Still, this is not to excuse
them but after all, it's reality that we want and listening plays
a role. Nevertheless, for the few who understands that things
evolve not just because of himself but because everyone
weaved as well, thereby, coming up with a giant colorful fabric.

"In the future, the optimal form of industrial organization will
be neither small companies nor large ones but network
structures that share the advantages of both."
~ Francis Fukuyama

See, the future that we are looking at 5-10 years from now is
already here. It has already happened! Have you responded
to the challenges?

Shape the company's business brands, services, and messages
toward achieving desired objectives, goals, strategies and

Advertise truthfully. Do not present messages and information
in a way that is exaggerated, untruthful, and misleading in your
brand performance.

"Most organizations are not designed, they grow."
~ Charles Handy

Come out with marketing strategies that are well-researched.
A marketing strategy should not be based on sales power.
It should be a strategy that responds to the buyers' clamor for
different styles, features, and other attributes. Work on
improving the use of branding, product positioning and
differentiating, advertising and sales promotions.

Realize that growth comes naturally just like the human body
yet not all that comes with it is positive, therefore, growth does
not always lead a business to build on success. There are
instances where it would just turn a good company into a
run-of-the-mill kind of organization.

However, reality is that if enthusiasm holds up, ideas just come
pouring in and the success you wished for -- becomes a reality.

Take note...
"A company's ability to innovate is rapidly becoming the primary
source of competitive success." - Christopher A. Bartlett

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Reality Check... Part II

Are you ready? Here's more of reality.

Reality is understanding that our competitors can be friends
but not to forget that we are still competing; therefore,
professionalism should always be upheld. Reality is recognizing
that while customers bring in the dollars, employees help you
multiply it. Reality is realizing that times have changed because
business changed it, hence, you have a big say in influencing
the future.

"It is a world made for elephants, with experts prophesying that
80% of online sales will eventually go to only 30 companies."
~ Charles Handy

Isn't it ironic that both forecasting and fantasizing starts with an
"F", or is it just coincidence? Well, we can not just leave the future
to such if you really want a fortune.

Do not just rely on self-improvement. Adapt the best practices
and emulate world-class performers.

Attract business-to-business purchasing on the internet. Allow
customers to access pictures of products, catalogs, or shop among
online vendors for the best margins and terms. While shopping
online is a breeze, take necessary precautions when making your
purchase. Shop with online merchants that you know and trust.

Focus on building customer share rather than market share.
Notice, McDonald's practices cross-selling and up-selling.

Do not base decisions on intuition alone, gut-feel or pedestrian
approach but combine them with models and facts.

Examine marketing scorecards to know what is happening to
market share, customer loss rate, customer satisfaction, and
product quality against those of competition. A change in
marketing indicators predicts movements in financial results.

"When nobody wants something, that creates an opportunity."
~ Carl Icahn

Recognize that every employee must be customer-focused.
Each of them has to think, do, and act as a customer would.
Refrain from relying on the old impression that marketing is
the sole responsibility of sales and marketing personnel.

Train your people to be entrepreneurs... and gain new customers
with the objective of having them in your camp for the long run.

You are the Head! Go for it!

Take note...
"Pull off a coup and you're a national hero, fail and you're an
evil criminal; in business it's the same difference between
bankruptcy and making a fortune." - Jeffrey Archer

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Reality Check...

To survive difficult times, and more so, to thrive -- it is a must
you face the realities of the times.

"The number one impediment to cultural change in large
organizations is a lack of urgency fostered by too much
success." - John P. Kotter

Notice? The marketplace is not what it used to be. To do more
the same routine activities that made you successful in the
will make you obsolete. To do exactly what competition is
will not give you the needed competitive edge. To use your
performance as your benchmark will make you a history in
marketing world. Companies must overcome the paradigm
doing things based on past behaviors and past successes.
actions are based on their best knowledge in dealing with
circumstances present at that time. In thinking about the
companies must make the changes today to create the
business of
the future.

Challenging times are always around us. Crisis is like a double
bladed weapon. It becomes a danger or an opportunity. Every
crisis situation presents an equal opportunity. Economic
slowdowns come and go, hence, preparedness is a virtue.

"The important things of tomorrow are probably going to be
things that are overlooked today." - Andrew S. Grove

Realize that there's not just the 4 Ps of the marketing mix but
there's also the 4 Ms of the new economy: men (people, human
asset), money (resource allocations, budgets), machines
and materials (software).

The course your company takes tomorrow depends on the
you made today. Thus, understand that developing a
competitive advantage is not enough, you have to
keep on inventing
new advantages.

There are no short cuts to success so do not try making short
to your marketing plan. Figure out how to develop it in order
achieve desired organizational goals. Be ahead of schedule.
to be better and faster than rivals. Grab competitors' market
and move target customers to your side, then you will know
the smoke is just about to set a lovely fire.

Now get people moving in your camp.

Take note...
"For an effective reality check: Hire someone different from you."

Friday, July 23, 2010

Surviving Difficult Times... Part II

Many times, difficult times is not really due to outside or
unforeseen factors, but because of not really doing things on
time. Planning is useless without proper execution.

"Remember that time is money." - Benjamin Franklin

To survive and emerge a winner, your company's products
and services must grow faster and be better than others.

Focus on profitable products, customers, and channels. This
does not mean to take smaller customers for granted; however,
in difficult times, you energy should be more focused. It is not
wise to scatter investments across many initiatives which are
not aligned with the overall business objective. Create new
partner relationships, where senior managers and executives
are responsible for consumer market not just marketing.

To survive the tough times, streamline design processes by
way of making systems more flexible and efficient.

"The customer is the most important part of the production
- W. Edwards Deming

Build up your credibility with customers. Credibility plays a
key role in winning customers to your side, retaining them, and
driving them toward loyalty. The better your product or
service, the more customers you have. And the more credible
your product or service, the more satisfied your customers are,
and the better chance you have at gaining their trust and

Still when you can not control the weather, for obvious reasons,
do not let difficult times weigh you down but consider these
tried and tested formulas...
  • Address your inefficiences, redundancies, and excessive costs.
  • Identify and partner with a potential and profitable customer that has special reasons to be receptive.
  • Focus on creating process improvements, with an understanding of customers' real needs and business context.
  • Ask your most valued customers to define the new benefits they want. Connect with and satisfy customers more efficiently.
  • Take control of your inventory.
  • Invest more on technology.
Strengthen your resolve. You can make it if you really want to.

Take note...
"Everything is always impossible before it works. That is
entrepreneurs are all about -- doing what people have
told them
is impossible." - Hunt Greene

Friday, July 9, 2010

Surviving Difficult Times...

If you don't know it yet -- your business is to succeed.

This was why we even went through growth initiatives. Yet
no matter how sharp one may be, in difficult times, having a
sustainable competitive advantage is not enough.

"Innovation is a necessary condition for business success --
but not a sufficient condition for business success."
~ Randall L. Tobias

What does one still need to do then?

Keep on inventing new advantages. Be proactive rather than
reactive. Find new ways to better serve your customers. Do
everything possible to exceed customers' expectations.

Realize that current traditional markets will not guarantee
sales, growth, and profit. They create new markets and new
channels. So, intensify your marketing efforts in terms of reach,
presence, and availability. Strongly consider the market space
-- and not just the market place.

See, satisfying and responding to customer needs are no longer
adequate. Anticipate what's really important to the customer.
Create business solutions and partnering such as unique
customer access, technical know-how, relationship networks,
and a loyal user community.

The ultimate goal is understanding customers' economic issues
and challenges. These allow you to anticipate rather than
respond to customer needs. From being just another supplier,
you become a key economic partner for your customer.

Create growth-based initiatives on traditional tools for
products, factories and personnel. Then create growth-based
initiatives on hidden assets by building long-term and win-win
relationships, competitive market position, and information.

"Business is often about killing your favorite children to allow
others to succeed." - John Harvey-Jones

In trying times specially, sacrifice is needed; and recognizing
the what's, how's and when's as early as possible would prove

Do what it takes to outperform, outlast, and outwit your
competition. It is certainly better to be superior and ahead in
your chosen segments, industry, and product category...
not just to survive difficult times but always.

Take note...
"A ship in port is safe, but that's not what ships are built for."
~ Grace Murray Hopper