Head Of Finance Punggol Digital Strategy

As a Head Of Finance Punggol, its very critical for you to understand developing brand strategy is extremely critical. The most important asset your company has is its brand. Quite simply, it drives the direction of your business. So you should definitely have a well thought out brand strategy in place.

Increasing competition in business develops similar products with good quality from different manufacturers. But only an effective, innovative and Digitizing Services & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as Head Of Finance Punggol it becomes your responsibility to stay connected with like-minded supporting industry experts who can guide and help you deal with your day to day work issues.

Common Problems In Supply Chain Management

Branding Strategy Essential For Strong Company Reputation

If you are entrepreneurial in nature owning a business is very exciting adventure. It can also be the most difficult thing for you to get into if you are not prepared.

Do you ever think of selling your company one day?

Even if you don't believe you would ever sell your business, brand consistency, promise, experience and image are vital to the success of your company. I've heard it many times from small business owners that they can't make a significant investment in branding because of lack of funds. I've also heard entrepreneurs say that they don't see the point; it's not like they're a global company like Nike. Still, others believe that by creating a distinct brand strategy, promise and experience, it may limit opportunities to make money from a broader audience.

If you're an entrepreneur that thinks that way, I ask you to reconsider. The branding of your company, even if you've been in operation for a week, is vital to your success.

Early Days of McDonald's

Have you ever seen McDonald's with a purple logo or anything other the golden arches? When you walk into a McDonald's anywhere in the world, you know what you're getting, and if you patronize those restaurants, that is precisely the reason why you do it.

Ray Kroc, who was a 54-year-old salesman and still looking for an opportunity that would inspire him came to learn about the restaurant of Dick and Mac McDonald who had developed a process for the food that delivered it to the customer within 30 seconds. This was a huge deal and the beginning of the fast food industry. However, when they just started working together, they were missing a broader vision and brand strategy.

Early McDonald's Mistake

It was Kroc who envisioned the opportunity to create a food company that was wholly American. In partnership with the McDonald brothers, he started operating out of the Midwest and the brothers in California. At first, Kroc created a franchise model to expand the company and grow it to scale quickly across the U.S., but he made a mistake--it lacked the high-quality and overall consistency regarding the entire operation and systems that the McDonald brothers had developed in California.

Once Kroc and the McDonald brothers were able to bring control and consistency on the whole of the operation, from the brand promise, experience, image, to the services, activities, and services, it was only then that the McDonald restaurants started to develop. What Kroc ultimately brought to the McDonald's picture is that consistent strategy across all of the franchises. That is why you have never seen a McDonald brand image be anything other than the golden arches. With McDonald's, what you see is what you get.

When the entire operation of McDonald's was consistent across the board, and a customer in California received the same service and experience as another customer in the Midwest, it was only then that the McDonald's brand started to get traction.

Benefits of Brand Consistency

When your business is consistent with the brand promise, experience and image of your company, in its entirety, your target audience and customers understand:

  1. They are going to benefit from your business because they know--clearly--the value that your company offers them through your products and services.
  2. Your customers will know what to expect from a brand that is consistent; it's not a guessing game, which will mean they will put their money down because they understand the offering.
  3. Customers, especially in the digital age with social media sharing and comments, will be able to communicate your brand (it's promise, experience, and image) because you are consistent in presenting yourself.
  4. When customers understand your brand promise, image and experience, they are willing to pay for the value of what your products or services offer them.
I will say that contrary to not spending the money and investing your resources in communicating a consistent brand strategy, image and experience; it is crucial for you to do it. By not having a comprehensive brand strategy, you will adversely impact the bottom line of your business, which is one of the reasons many start-ups fail. Customers simply do not understand the value of the products or services and don't purchase them from businesses that make no sense or are inconsistent. Don't make that mistake. Trends In Supply Chain Management

e-Marketing Strategy: 7 Dimensions to Consider For Digital Growth

With the support of our professional business network, you get the opportunity to exchange experience and knowledge at a top professional level, and to strengthen and develop your own skills within your management and specialist areas.

Through business relationships and experience sharing in confidential settings for Head Of Finance Punggol, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

10 Sneaky Ways To Build Brand Awareness

Starbucks portrays itself as a high quality coffee for the high class and is priced slightly higher than the coffee of Caffe Nero. It stays true to its American originality and emphasizes solely on its wide range of coffee drinks with only a few snacks and desserts. Apart from that, Starbucks distinguishes itself from other cafes by providing a very comfortable atmosphere with facilities like Wi-Fi so their customers can enjoy surfing the web while drinking their coffee.

On the other hand Caffe Nero emphasizes on its Italian blend and portrays itself as not only a café but also a bar and restaurant. It has quite an extensive menu with a variety of popular Italian dishes. Due to this many people visit Caffe Nero to have meals rather than just a cup of coffee. They have brought a pure European vibe to their cafes thus remaining true to their originality. For the convenience of their customers and to add to their attracting they have also launched loyalty cards.

MARKETING STRATEGY:

Marketing strategies help businesses in promoting their products and services in a certain way that they want to. While cashing on their most important points they try to create an image of their brand in the minds of their target customers so as to achieve their target sales and a favorable market share. Marketing strategies help businesses in gaining a competitive edge by catering to those specific niches that others fail to identify. Marketing strategies devised by organizations vary in duration from one year plans to those extending well over many years. A lot of factors are taken into consideration when devising marketing plans and strategies that are defined by the environment within which the company operates. This is most often referred to as a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis which helps businesses in pinpointing the areas which they can take advantage of and the areas which they need to be careful of.

The most important factor that any business has to take into consideration, when creating its marketing strategies is its competitors. Competitors' actions have a huge impact on what an organization should do. In the coffee chain industry there are now plenty of independent coffee shops in UK like the most popular Starbucks, Monmouth Coffee, Coffee Aroma, The Apple Tree and Caffe Nero. In this assignment the marketing strategies of both Starbucks and Caffe Nero will be reviewed after which a critical analysis will be given of the both.

STARBUCKS

The first Starbucks outlet was opened in Seattle well over thirty years ago. Today Starbucks proudly stands at $4.1 billion with thousands of outlets not only in the United States but all over the world. Many companies have studied the secrets and strategies adopted by Starbucks in an attempt to learn how Starbucks grew so fast. The marketing strategies being adopted by Starbucks at present will be discussed in this assignment (voteforus.com 2011).

Unique marketing strategy:

The marketing strategy adopted by Starbucks has remained unconventional. They didn't adopt the common styles of advertisement using billboards, newspaper ads or television commercials. Rather they relied on word - of - mouth to promote their brand name.

Product quality:

The most important thing that Starbucks never lost control of is the quality of their coffee beans. They were the first ones to introduce the true Italian "burnt espresso" flavor to the Americans. They justify their high quality by charging a slightly higher price than most other cafes.

Comfortable environment:

Another focus of Starbucks outlets is the environment they provide in their cafes for their customers. Starbucks has always been promoted as that perfect place to relax when out of home and out of the office. They have started offering Wi-Fi connectivity in their outlets so that their customers can browse the internet as well while they enjoy their cup of coffee.

Customer satisfaction:

Customer satisfaction is the strongest favorable point of Starbucks. Each customer that enters a Starbucks outlet is given such a special treatment that they truly feel like they are in a special place.

The Starbucks community:

Starbucks has truly taken full advantage of the latest hype of social media. They have adopted their latest marketing strategies around social media websites like creating fan pages on Facebook and Twitter where they actually respond to all customers and keep in touch by posting pictures, videos and all the latest promotional information.

Innovation:

Starbucks has always kept its menu fresh by constantly coming up with new items and different blends and flavors in their coffee. Some of their latest hit drinks have been the Green Tea Latte considering the health conscious consumers along with iced tea and Frappuccino for their outlets in warmer climates.

Brand Marketing:

Starbucks has always portrayed itself as a high quality product and thus decided to rely on word - of - mouth promotion only. This served to be a quite useful marketing strategy as comparison to going for promotional ads in magazines, newspapers, billboards etc. They have recently begun utilizing the social media websites in the most effective manner ever. Their Facebook and Twitter pages have proved quite useful in promoting the image of Starbucks while also enabling them to have direct communication with all their customers on one platform

CAFFE NERO:

According to chairman of Caffe Nero, Gerry Ford (2008), Caffe Nero Group Ltd is 'the largest independent coffee retailer in UK, with over 400 stores in the UK'. It was founded in the year 1977 and today has its outlets open overseas as well in Turkey and Middle East. They distinguish themselves from other café's in UK by emphasizing on the fact that they are an Italian Coffee Company. Their main aim, as in the words of Gerry Ford (2008), 'is to provide a European style coffee house experience offering premium espresso - based gourmet coffee, authentic Italian food products and a relaxing atmosphere in every store'.

Caffe Nero has been given many awards for its high quality coffee over the years and for its outstanding experience that they deliver in their shops. Tatler has rated Caffe Nero as 'The best espresso this side of Milan while Egon Ronay has labeled it as "The Traditional Italian Café". Caffe Nero has also been given the label by UK consumers as "The best UK Coffee House" in nine consecutive years (Allegra Report, the UK's definitive guide for the coffee industry).

CAFFE NERO'S USP:

The Caffe Nero's marketing strategy mostly emphasis on its unique selling point which is a pure Italian theme. Caffe Nero portrays its self from more than just a café. Rather it has created a perfect blend of a café cum bar and restaurant. Therefore Caffe Nero is not limited to only providing a place for coffee and snacks rather you can go there just to enjoy a meal. They have a wide range of exquisite desserts along with many Italian dishes like the Italian wraps, soups, sandwiches, pasta and paninis.

CAFFE NERO'S TARGET MARKET

Caffe Nero mainly targets tourists in UK or the Italians searching for their Italian taste in cuisine. They are targeting the middle - income group of people who are middle - aged, students or business people who prefer to go to a café during their lunch breaks. Furthermore, Caffe Nero has formed a partnership with the famous chain retail store, House of Fraser, due to which around 145 cafes opened up, many of which were located within House of Fraser stores (James, Situation Analysis of the Caffe Nero Group Ltd - Festive City

Critical Analysis Between the Two Companies

Now that a basic review has been given on the marketing strategies being used by both Starbucks and Caffe Nero, an analysis will be done on what differentiates them from each other.

  • Caffe Nero and Starbucks are direct competitors but Caffe Nero distinguishes itself from Starbucks by selling cheaper coffee than Starbucks.
  • Caffe Nero offers a wider range of food items along with its coffee beverages which makes it stand apart from Starbucks which does not have such a wide range of assortments.
  • Caffe Nero adopts a strong brand positioning by emphasizing on its European - style coffee shop as compared to Starbucks which is of American origin. Caffe Nero has a unique selling point which emphasizes on the cafes continental - style whereas Starbucks is of American style.
  • Starbucks has successfully opened thousands of outlets overseas and in the international market whereas Caffe Nero still lacks in international expertise and has just recently opened its stores in Turkey and the Middle East.
  • Starbucks has plenty of outlets all over UK whereas Caffe Nero does not have sufficient outlets in Central London.
  • Caffe Nero has a lot of potential of growing because it enjoys many unique selling points like its pure European authenticity.

References

1. Ford, G (2008), 'THE BEST ESPRESSO THIS SIDE OF MILAN'

2. Voteforus.com (March 29, 2011) Starbucks Success Is It's Word Of Mouth/Social Media/Viral Marketing Strategy

3. James, S, Situation Analysis of the Caffe Nero Group Ltd - Festive City

4. VoteforUs.com Starbucks Marketing Strategy Unconventionally Effective

5. Kembell, B, Hawks, M, Kembell, S, Perry, L, Olsen, L 2002, 'Catching the Starbucks Fever', Missouri State University. Unpublished.

6. Rajul (2010), 'Starbucks vs Caffe Nero vs Costa: who wins?'

Networking has always been considered a powerful tool for improving business prospects, advancing a career, and developing ideas. Other than some brief, structured events, networking has been mostly informal and inexpensive in comparison to cost they otherwise spend on different channels. But membership is growing in many formal, long-term networking groups, and so is the price tag.

Our groups are not groups for generating sales leads, nor are they places where individuals can drop-in to gain quick advice on an immediate challenge.  Members also sign a confidentiality agreement and benefits from the guided mentoring to help each other.

These groups include an experienced facilitator and use a structured discussion method to ensure appropriate participation.

Sales And Marketing Director Business Strategy

As a Sales And Marketing Director, its very critical for you to understand developing brand strategy is extremely critical. The most important asset your company has is its brand. Quite simply, it drives the direction of your business. So you should definitely have a well thought out brand strategy in place.

Increasing competition in business develops similar products with good quality from different manufacturers. But only an effective, innovative and Supply Chain & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as Sales And Marketing Director it becomes your responsibility to stay connected with like-minded supporting industry experts who can guide and help you deal with your day to day work issues.

Artificial Intelligence Machine Learning

Is Predictive Intelligence the Frontier of B2B Marketing?

If you are entrepreneurial in nature owning a business is very exciting adventure. It can also be the most difficult thing for you to get into if you are not prepared.

What is "indirect" marketing? It is quite different than its opposite, "direct" marketing. Indirect marketing is indeed a more passive strategy. It often times happens on its own through actions that are not as aggressive and/ or channeled as direct approaches.

Direct marketing, on the other hand, is more self-explanatory. People employ direct marketing when they publish their ads in the papers, magazines, online, and on the radio. Direct marketing also takes advantage of direct mail operations and the cold calling method. Direct marketing means to literally take an active role in the selling process.

Indirect marketing though does not involve a specific product or service or goal. With this technique, one is not intentionally working to push their work onto a prospective client. You are using indirect strategies when you perform a number of related activities, such as participating in community events, writing articles for publication, engaging in public speaking events, and posting blogs on the Internet. Similarly, existing clients who have had positive experiences with your company can also contribute to your indirect marketing through their word of mouth advertising.

What business owner has not experienced some form of indirect marketing benefit? Surely you have had that certain phone call- the one in which an inquirer states that he or she is in need of assistance but is not sure if you are the one that can provide it. Many companies receive such calls, but handling them in a certain manner is crucial.

In these situations, it is a good idea to begin by having the caller identify their issue. Then you can more easily analyze whether or not you can offer the product or service that would be of benefit. If so, describing the options that you provide is necessary, but what is more is that this can be done in such a way as to accurately match the description of what they are seeking. It might be appropriate to also explain several different possibilities that you are aware of that could serve their needs.

Know that in this situation much of the credibility component of the business relationship has been established. You probably do not need to go into your background or qualifications. After all, the inquirer called your office. They basically already believe that you have the potential to assist them.

With these types of interactions, the end result may not always evolve into a sale. Be okay with this. You may not have the solution required for their unique situation. Likewise, they may have reservations about pricing or other costs or financing. Sometimes people just need time to process and think about their options before they commit to purchasing. In any case, keeping the conversation helpful, courteous, and knowledgeable can make the difference.

These random calls can be extremely affective to your business. It is always best to strive for the most positive experience on the phone as possible. Especially if your company is new and just starting out, it is very important to make sure that the nature of each call handled is done so with the best of intentions. These efforts of communication, no matter how brief, are examples of the public's dealings with you. This is your chance to explain the basis of your work and really promote your image. Pleasantness and kindness should be the goal for all such activity.

If you are completing such tasks presently to boost your indirect marketing, but are feeling discouraged at the lack of apparent response, don't be. Remember that this genre of marketing works more slowly and often times has to build momentum.

There are so many other ways that you can magnify your indirect marketing possibilities. You could participate in any of the following activities, such as teaching in community or national workshops, holding city offices or serving on boards and committees, volunteering, and agreeing to speak to other businesses at local events. You can also compose educational articles and the answers to frequently ask questions. These can be published on other sites online with affiliate businesses or associations. Other executives utilize the power of press releases. These can be used to circulate free or low cost reports and are available via the public contacting you.

Each marketing strategy has its strengths and challenges, and both can prove fruitful in the long run. Keep yourself conscious of indirect techniques and be sure that you are not ignoring this avenue altogether. A combination of different marketing techniques can help you to build your business the way that you would like.

Womens Executive Network Wxn

3 Surprising Ways Artificial Intelligence Can Push Marketing and Advertising to the Next Level

With the support of our professional business network, you get the opportunity to exchange experience and knowledge at a top professional level, and to strengthen and develop your own skills within your management and specialist areas.

Through business relationships and experience sharing in confidential settings for Sales And Marketing Director, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

Business Environment Consequences For Industries Impacted By Digitisation

If you could have the secret recipe and all the manufacturing facilities of Coca Cola but not the Coca Cola brand--or have its famous brand but no facilities--which would you choose? It's not a trick question. But it demonstrates the power of the brand. Walk into any bank and say "hi I'm Coca Cola, how about a loan"!

Let me ask another way. If you could have all the products or services your company produces, but not its name and brand, are you confident they would sell? The truth is, people don't only buy products and services. They buy promises and reputations--what brands represent.

I'm the Brand Identity Guru. I've spent most of my professional life helping companies tap into the strength of their brands. Developing a strong brand identity is critical to any company's success. Integrating brand-conscious thinking into communications is so critical, so synergistic, yet it's seldom done by design groups and advertising agencies.

Why? It's just not what they do. Graphic Designers don't understand positioning or branding. And ad agencies are more interested in placing ads in the media. Or creating work that wins awards- for them.

A branding company's total focus, their entire business practice, is based on the maxim that strong brands (new or repositioned) make companies more successful.

Pick the brain of a professional branding consultant. It's bound to spur some powerful ideas. Whether you need to brand or re-brand products, services or the corporation itself, introduce new products or services or reposition existing ones--there's a chance to lay a strategic foundation to re-energize your entire company.

Any qualified branding consultant can strengthen your company's brand identity for sure.

Networking has always been considered a powerful tool for improving business prospects, advancing a career, and developing ideas. Other than some brief, structured events, networking has been mostly informal and inexpensive in comparison to cost they otherwise spend on different channels. But membership is growing in many formal, long-term networking groups, and so is the price tag.

Our groups are not groups for generating sales leads, nor are they places where individuals can drop-in to gain quick advice on an immediate challenge.  Members also sign a confidentiality agreement and benefits from the guided mentoring to help each other.

These groups include an experienced facilitator and use a structured discussion method to ensure appropriate participation.

Sales And Marketing Tools Bishan Ai Business Trade

As a Sales And Marketing Tools Bishan, its very critical for you to understand developing brand strategy is extremely critical. The most important asset your company has is its brand. Quite simply, it drives the direction of your business. So you should definitely have a well thought out brand strategy in place.

Increasing competition in business develops similar products with good quality from different manufacturers. But only an effective, innovative and Machine Learning Advertising & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as Sales And Marketing Tools Bishan it becomes your responsibility to stay connected with like-minded supporting industry experts who can guide and help you deal with your day to day work issues.

Artificial Intelligence Market Analysis

Is Predictive Intelligence the Frontier of B2B Marketing?

If you are entrepreneurial in nature owning a business is very exciting adventure. It can also be the most difficult thing for you to get into if you are not prepared.

Supply Chain Management (SCM) as defined by Tom McGuffog is "Maximising added value and reducing total cost across the entire trading process through focusing on speed and certainty of response to the market." Due to globalization and ICT, SCM has become a tool for companies to compete effectively either at a local level or at a global scale. SCM has become a necessity especially for manufacturing industry when it comes to deliver products at a competitive cost and at a higher quality than their competitors. Here are some of the reason SCM has become important to today's manufacturing industry:-

Competitive Edge through Core Competencies

Today's business climate has rapidly changed and has become more competitive as ever in nature. Businesses now not only need to operate at a lower cost to compete, it must also develop its own core competencies to distinguish itself from competitors and stand out in the market. In creating the competitive edge, companies need to divert its resources to focus on what they do best and outsource the process and task that is not important to the overall objective of the company. SCM has allowed company to rethink their entire operation and restructure it so that they can focus on its core competencies and outsource processes that are not within the core competencies of the company. Due to the current competitive market, it is the only way for a company to survive. The strategy on applying SCM will not only impact their market positioning but also strategic decision on choosing the right partners, resources and manpower. By focusing on core competencies also will allow the company to create niches and specialization of core areas. As stated in the Blue Ocean Strategy outlined by Chan Kim, in order to create a niche for competitive advantage, companies must look at the big picture of the whole process, and figuring out which process can be reduce, eliminate, raise and create.

As an example stated by Chan Kim, the Japanese automotive industries capitalise on its resources to build small and efficient cars. The Japanese automotive industries gain competitive edge by utilising their supply chain to maximise their core competencies and position itself in a niche market. The strategy works and now Toyota Motor Corporation, a Japanese company, is considered to be the number one auto car maker in the world beating Ford and General Motors of the United States.

Value Advantage

SCM has allowed business nowadays to not just have productivity advantage alone but also on value advantage. As Martin Christopher in his book, Logistics and Supply Chain Management: Strategies for Reducing Cost and Improving Service' states, 'Productivity advantage gives a lower cost profile and the value advantage gives the product or offering a differential 'plus' over competitive offerings.' Through maximizing added value and also reduce the cost in the same time, more innovation can be added to the product and process. Mass manufacturing offers productivity advantage but through effective supply chain management, mass customization can be achieved. With mass customization, customers are given the value advantage through flexible manufacturing and customized adaptation. Product life cycles also can be improved through effective use of SCM. Value advantage also changes the norm of traditional offerings that is 'one-size-fits-all.' Through SCM, the more accepted offerings by the industry to the consumers would be a variety of products catered to different market segments and customers preferences.

As an example, the Toyota Production System practiced in Toyota, evaluates its supply chain and determines what is value added activities and what is not value added activities. Non added value activities are considered to be 'Muda' or waste and therefore must be eliminated. Such non added value activities are overproduction, waiting, unnecessary transport, over processing, excess inventory, unnecessary movement, defects and unused employee creativity. The steps taken to eliminate waste are through Kaizen, Kanban, Just-in-time and also push-pull production to meet actual customer's demands. The Toyota Production System revolutionise the Supply Chain Management towards becoming a leaner supply chain system that is more agile and flexible towards meeting the end users demands.

Track The Latest Artificial Intelligence Trends And Leading News

Supply Chain Concept And Meeting Groups

With the support of our professional business network, you get the opportunity to exchange experience and knowledge at a top professional level, and to strengthen and develop your own skills within your management and specialist areas.

Through business relationships and experience sharing in confidential settings for Sales And Marketing Tools Bishan, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

AI And Machine Learning Spell Radical Changes For Business

Developing brand strategy is extremely critical. The most important asset your company has is its brand. Quite simply, for better or worse, it drives the direction of your business. You should definitely have a well thought out brand strategy in place. Unfortunately, too many companies don't have a brand strategy, or have an inconsistent brand strategy. A brand strategy company should realize there's probably a good reason you may not be paying attention to your brand strategy--you're busy running your business.

What you don't realize is that a proper brand strategy can make running your business easier and more profitable. A brand strategy is truly powerful, and a brand strategy company should be ready to help you find and develop the right brand strategy for your company.

Just how important is it that you hire someone who understands what makes a solid brand strategy? Consider this. Say you want to remodel your kitchen. If you were to do it yourself with no prior experience, it would take a lot of time and a lot of trial and error to get it right. That's why it's a better idea to hire a good contractor to get the job done right the first time and on budget. The same is true for brand strategy.

Creating the right brand strategy for your business requires research and a great deal of thought on how to creatively execute a brand strategy that captivates your audience. Then, it takes a talented group of creative branding strategy gurus to execute it. A branding company should be ready to be your "contractor" and develop a brand strategy that works for your business.

Networking has always been considered a powerful tool for improving business prospects, advancing a career, and developing ideas. Other than some brief, structured events, networking has been mostly informal and inexpensive in comparison to cost they otherwise spend on different channels. But membership is growing in many formal, long-term networking groups, and so is the price tag.

Our groups are not groups for generating sales leads, nor are they places where individuals can drop-in to gain quick advice on an immediate challenge.  Members also sign a confidentiality agreement and benefits from the guided mentoring to help each other.

These groups include an experienced facilitator and use a structured discussion method to ensure appropriate participation.

HR Managing Director Managing Logistics

As a HR Managing Director, its very critical for you to understand developing brand strategy is extremely critical. The most important asset your company has is its brand. Quite simply, it drives the direction of your business. So you should definitely have a well thought out brand strategy in place.

Increasing competition in business develops similar products with good quality from different manufacturers. But only an effective, innovative and Digitizing Services & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as HR Managing Director it becomes your responsibility to stay connected with like-minded supporting industry experts who can guide and help you deal with your day to day work issues.

Business Development Manager Role

Artificial Intelligence In CRM Customer Relationship Management

If you are entrepreneurial in nature owning a business is very exciting adventure. It can also be the most difficult thing for you to get into if you are not prepared.

A set of facilities and distribution options that will help in procuring materials and transforming them into the semi finished and finished products and its distribution to the customers is known commonly as supply chain. In other words, it is a set of people drawn in fulfilling a customer request either directly or indirectly. The Supply Chain Management(SCM) is essential to perk up the trust and relationship between the partners. This will markedly improve the inventory profile and speed. The ultimate aim of opting for a good supply chain management is to improve the business to the maximum and gain as much profit as possible.

The most essential features are: Customer, planning, purchasing, inventory, production and transportation. A proper SCM will ensure the free movement of the goods, storage of materials, inventory and transportation of finished goods from the manufacturer to the consumer. It also includes proper coordination among the suppliers, go-between, third-parties and customers. In addition, it should provide various perspectives of SCM, and takes into account the trade challenges faced by the traders, merchants, retailers etc.

There are two options that a client has as far as the Supply Chain Software is concerned. While some companies use Enterprise Resource Planning solutions to deal with the supply chain issues, some companies do develop their own absolute or standalone software to deal with the issue. However, there are differences between the software and the Enterprise Resource Planning solutions. The SC software will help in the client requirement processing, buy order processing, supplier management sourcing, managing the inventory, and supplies receipt and storehouse management.

Further, the Supply software will increase your business profits by reducing the operational costs, develop customer service, help in expansion of business which in turn will bring in more revenues and ultimately the business will turn out to be leaders in supply chain. It is best to opt for SCM software to ensure that your companys strategic, tactical, and operational aspects are intact.

Supply Chain Management Case Study

Branding Strategy Essential For Strong Company Reputation

With the support of our professional business network, you get the opportunity to exchange experience and knowledge at a top professional level, and to strengthen and develop your own skills within your management and specialist areas.

Through business relationships and experience sharing in confidential settings for HR Managing Director, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

Focus Groups As Qualitative Research

Market segmentation is widely defined as being a complex process consisting in two main phases:

- identification of broad, large markets

- segmentation of these markets in order to select the most appropriate target markets and develop Marketing mixes accordingly.

Everyone within the Marketing world knows and speaks of segmentation yet not many truly understand its underlying mechanics, thus failure is just around the corner. What causes this? It has been documented that most marketers fail the segmentation exam and start with a narrow mind and a bunch of misconceptions such as "all teenagers are rebels", "all elderly women buy the same cosmetics brands" and so on. There are many dimensions to be considered, and uncovering them is certainly an exercise of creativity.

The most widely employed model of market segmentation comprises 7 steps, each of them designed to encourage the marketer to come with a creative approach.

STEP 1: Identify and name the broad market

You have to have figured out by this moment what broad market your business aims at. If your company is already on a market, this can be a starting point; more options are available for a new business but resources would normally be a little limited.

The biggest challenge is to find the right balance for your business: use your experience, knowledge and common sense to estimate if the market you have just identified earlier is not too narrow or too broad for you.

STEP 2: Identify and make an inventory of potential customers' needs

This step pushes the creativity challenge even farther, since it can be compared to a brainstorming session.

What you have to figure out is what needs the consumers from the broad market identified earlier might have. The more possible needs you can come up with, the better.

Got yourself stuck in this stage of segmentation? Try to put yourself into the shoes of your potential customers: why would they buy your product, what could possibly trigger a buying decision? Answering these questions can help you list most needs of potential customers on a given product market.

STEP 3: Formulate narrower markets

McCarthy and Perreault suggest forming sub-markets around what you would call your "typical customer", then aggregate similar people into this segment, on the condition to be able to satisfy their needs using the same Marketing mix.
Start building a column with dimensions of the major need you try to cover: this will make it easier for you to decide if a given person should be included in the first segment or you should form a new segment. Also create a list of people-related features, demographics included, for each narrow market you form - a further step will ask you to name them.

There is no exact formula on how to form narrow markets: use your best judgement and experience. Do not avoid asking opinions even from non-Marketing professionals, as different people can have different opinions and you can usually count on at least those items most people agree on.

STEP 4: Identify the determining dimensions
Carefully review the list resulted form the previous step. You should have by now a list of need dimensions for each market segment: try to identify those that carry a determining power.

Reviewing the needs and attitudes of those you included within each market segment can help you figure out the determining dimensions.

STEP 5: Name possible segment markets
You have identified the determining dimensions of your market segments, now review them one by one and give them an appropriate name.

A good way of naming these markets is to rely on the most important determining dimension.

STEP 6: Evaluate the behavior of market segments

Once you are done naming each market segment, allow time to consider what other aspects you know about them. It is important for a marketer to understand market behavior and what triggers it. You might notice that, while most segments have similar needs, they're still different needs: understanding the difference and acting upon it is the key to achieve success using competitive offerings.

STEP 7: Estimate the size of each market segment

Each segment identified, named and studied during the previous stages should finally be given an estimate size, even if, for lack of data, it is only a rough estimate.

Estimates of market segments will come in handy later, by offering a support for sales forecasts and help plan the Marketing mix: the more data we can gather at this moment, the easier further planning and strategy will be.

These were the steps to segment a market, briefly presented. If performed correctly and thoroughly, you should now be able to have a glimpse of how to build Marketing mixes for each market segment.

This 7 steps approach to market segmentation is very simple and practical and works for most marketers. However, if you are curious about other methods and want to experiment, you should take a look at computer-aided techniques, such as clustering and positioning.

Networking has always been considered a powerful tool for improving business prospects, advancing a career, and developing ideas. Other than some brief, structured events, networking has been mostly informal and inexpensive in comparison to cost they otherwise spend on different channels. But membership is growing in many formal, long-term networking groups, and so is the price tag.

Our groups are not groups for generating sales leads, nor are they places where individuals can drop-in to gain quick advice on an immediate challenge.  Members also sign a confidentiality agreement and benefits from the guided mentoring to help each other.

These groups include an experienced facilitator and use a structured discussion method to ensure appropriate participation.

Information Technology Tools Digitization Process

As a Information Technology Tools, its very critical for you to understand developing brand strategy is extremely critical. The most important asset your company has is its brand. Quite simply, it drives the direction of your business. So you should definitely have a well thought out brand strategy in place.

Increasing competition in business develops similar products with good quality from different manufacturers. But only an effective, innovative and Business Strategy & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as Information Technology Tools it becomes your responsibility to stay connected with like-minded supporting industry experts who can guide and help you deal with your day to day work issues.

Importance Of Supply Chain Management

How Artificial Intelligence Is Taking Online Shopping Trends to New Heights

If you are entrepreneurial in nature owning a business is very exciting adventure. It can also be the most difficult thing for you to get into if you are not prepared.

There’s been plenty of headlines about AI and machine learning being the future of retail marketing. The concept itself can seem overwhelming and out of reach for retailers. However, more marketing organizations are gearing up to add machine learning capabilities sooner than you may think. This article is all about what machine learning marketing is and how it can improve your customer experience.



What is Machine Learning?


84% of marketing organizations are implementing or expanding AI and machine learning in 2018!
If most organizations are implementing it, then what is it?  Machine learning is the science of getting computers to learn and act like humans do, and improve their learning over time in autonomous fashion, by feeding them data and information in the form of observations and real-world integrations.



There’s a lot of academic research and forums around the concept of machine learning. For merchants though, machine learning is giving customer data to computer systems so it can analyze the data and automatically learn and improve. Machine learning marketing then is using these types of technologies to provide better services and experiences to your customers. Think of products like Siri, Amazon Echo or services like Facebook’s retargeting ads. No matter how machine learning or AI is being used, it all comes down utilizing accurate customer data.



Benefits of Machine Learning for Commerce
Why are merchants using machine learning and AI? The answer is bettering customer experiences!
75% of enterprises using AI and machine learning enhance customer satisfaction by more than 10%. Customers no longer shop and buy on price and quality alone. They’re looking for intuitive customer experiences that make purchasing easy, convenient, and personalized to their needs. That’s a tall order for merchants, but machine learning marketing is a way to get there.
Here are some of the major benefits of implementing machine learning for your business that help improve the customer experience:


Real-time Marketing across Digital Platforms
Marketing is all about getting the right message to the right person at the right time. Machine learning is now making that a reality for merchants. AI systems have unparalleled level of responsivity when it comes to analyzing customer data and then delivering. For example, technology utilizes a customer’s web history to deliver fast and accurate content based on a customer’s interests.


Personalization
According to a recent reports, two-thirds of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that recognizes them by name, recommends options based on past purchases, OR knows their purchase history. Machine learning can handle your Big Data so you can utilize it to better know your customers. Your customers will actually feel like you know them, not just that you’re selling to them.


Service or Support
A lot of merchants struggle with providing quick and helpful customer support when something goes wrong. With machine learning, you can automate parts of your customer service to ensure quicker response times and offer 24×7 support. As an example, many companies are already using chatbots for part of the process on both their websites and mobile apps to answer easy customer questions.



Future Product Development
If you know your customers better, you also understand their needs. Customer data from machine learning is also valuable for future product development. You can identify customer needs easier and tweak or create new products that you’ll know your customers will love.

What Does It Mean To Be A Resilient Person

Is Machine Learning Helping Marketers or Making Them Obsolete?

With the support of our professional business network, you get the opportunity to exchange experience and knowledge at a top professional level, and to strengthen and develop your own skills within your management and specialist areas.

Through business relationships and experience sharing in confidential settings for Information Technology Tools, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

Relationship Between Innovation And Strategic Management

Owning a business is a very exciting adventure. It can also be the most difficult thing for you to get into if you are not prepared. One of the most intimidating aspects of business is branding. The reason is because many people look at all of the big corporations such as McDonald's, Wal-Mart, and other types of businesses that have been around for a very long time, and think that they could never beat these guys out. The truth is that you are not necessarily trying to knock these guys out because they aren't trying to knock each other out. The purpose is to brand you enough to make a presence. When you make a presence for yourself, you draw attention.

It is very important for you to brand yourself for whatever marketplace you are trying to infiltrate. When we talk about branding, we are not necessarily talking about emblems or logos. You also have to take into account certain branding signatures that make businesses well known. For example, you might see a crowd of people go to a particular business because of a specific deal that they have on certain days (i.e. free drink with purchase of two hamburgers). Sometimes deals, discounts, and many other common methods of advertising can cause people to take notice.

So how do you create a brand strategy? You need to understand the totality of what separates you from the other competition. Don't concentrate on trying to be the top dog in the marketplace. Instead focused on what you can do to stand out from the crowd.

Networking has always been considered a powerful tool for improving business prospects, advancing a career, and developing ideas. Other than some brief, structured events, networking has been mostly informal and inexpensive in comparison to cost they otherwise spend on different channels. But membership is growing in many formal, long-term networking groups, and so is the price tag.

Our groups are not groups for generating sales leads, nor are they places where individuals can drop-in to gain quick advice on an immediate challenge.  Members also sign a confidentiality agreement and benefits from the guided mentoring to help each other.

These groups include an experienced facilitator and use a structured discussion method to ensure appropriate participation.

Finance Senior Manager Brand Awareness

As a Finance Senior Manager, its very critical for you to understand developing brand strategy is extremely critical. The most important asset your company has is its brand. Quite simply, it drives the direction of your business. So you should definitely have a well thought out brand strategy in place.

Increasing competition in business develops similar products with good quality from different manufacturers. But only an effective, innovative and Sme Supply Chain & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as Finance Senior Manager it becomes your responsibility to stay connected with like-minded supporting industry experts who can guide and help you deal with your day to day work issues.

Focus Group Interviews In Qualitative Research

Is Predictive Intelligence the Frontier of B2B Marketing?

If you are entrepreneurial in nature owning a business is very exciting adventure. It can also be the most difficult thing for you to get into if you are not prepared.

Consumers perceive and accept many brands within a certain trade group in different ways. By personifying a brand (How would you describe brand X if it were a person?) we can find out, that for instance consumers perceive brand A as a young, impulsive, lively, attractive, energetic woman full of ideas. In the same way could brand B be an elderly, conservative and relaxed man. The brand can also have a completely inexpressive and bad image. That is how brand C may not have any real personal characteristics, slim, tall, unnoticeable and calm.

The image basically expresses a way a consumer thinks about the brand and the feelings the brand arouses when the consumer thinks about it. On the basis of these characteristics, which the consumer associates with the brand, the company can build a competitive advantage for its brand.

What sort of image should our brand have?

Before answering this question it is important to take into account several factors and market circumstances: company goals, consumer wishes and expectations, trade groups and several other groups. A company builds its brand image through trade communication with its consumers. That is how a company informs the consumer of what the brand represents, what its values are, what the company is offering or guaranteeing the consumer, what its advantages are, its qualities etc. The consumers interpret all obtained information and form a subjective perception of the brand or its image.

Why research the brand image?

Understanding a brand image is of key importance to long-term management of a brand. It is also important how the consumers formed the brand and what kind of relationship was formed with the brand - what the brand means to them and how they have accepted it. Understanding the relationship between consumers and brands can help a company control its successful brand positioning and the efficiency of advertising.

How do we research the image?

The brand image is formed in the long-term and represents a non-conscious and "untouchable" area, which needs to be researched using projective researching methods that help the consumer to overcome certain obstacles and limitations as well helping him to be inspired in the world of brand names. The consumer does therefore not only focus on the brand, but mainly on his experience with it and on its usual users. He focuses on the opportunities, which are most suitable for the specific brand and what sort of image the brand presents etc.

We are able to research and describe the brand from various perspectives. We obtain many different associations, ideas, benefits and people whom the consumer in some way connects to brands, which need to be suitably and correctly interpreted. It is important to define the key characteristics and values, which are connected to a specific brand by the consumer. Relevant findings show results of long-term management of a brand and represent key dimensions on which the competitive advantage of a brand is based.

What Does It Mean To Be A Resilient Person

An Overview of Proper Supply Chain Management For Your Business

With the support of our professional business network, you get the opportunity to exchange experience and knowledge at a top professional level, and to strengthen and develop your own skills within your management and specialist areas.

Through business relationships and experience sharing in confidential settings for Finance Senior Manager, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

International Supply Chain Management

The Internet has an enormous impact on how people communicate, shop, and work. This technology has also created changes in how companies conduct business in the 21st century. One of the areas of business that is likely to see tremendous change in the coming years is supply-chain management. By harnessing the power of the Internet, supply-chain management will continue to evolve in ways that will enable enterprises to change the way they manage inventory, place orders with suppliers, and communicate critical information with each other.

While some of these technologies have existed for years, or decades in the case of radio frequency identification tags, the harnessing of the Internet to these technologies offers the potential for transforming supply-chain management. Improved supply-chain management also means improved inventory control and increased profits.

In 2001, Nike missed its revenue target by a significant dollar amount. The shortfall was explained in part by a failed supply-chain automation project. "Some estimate that new technologies could strip out more than $30 billion in excess inventories" (Fonstad). The term e-business - as distinct from e-commerce - can be used to describe the adoption of the Internet to accelerate the goal of supply-chain integration (Lee) Four emerging technologies and practices in e-business will have a dramatic impact on supply-chain management.

o Virtual marketplaces

o Radio frequency identification tags (RFID)

o Synchronized planning

o Supplier performance management

VIRTUAL MARKET PLACES

MetalJunction is the virtual marketplace owned by two of India's largest steel producers. Tata Steel and Sail Steel traded more than 5,000 tons of steel in March 2002. By March 2003, tonnage had increased to 43,000 tons per month (Mills).

What is a virtual marketplace and what are its applications to industry? Virtual marketplaces have many names such as e-markets, net market places, and electronic markets. These markets all have common characteristics.

o Reliance on the Internet

o Buyers and Sellers come together without an intermediary

o Neutrality (all buyers and sellers are treated the same)

o Information is provided about sellers and products

In its most fundamental form, a virtual market place brings together buyers and sellers through the internet. At its highest level, a virtual market place gives a purchaser and supplier the opportunity to re-engineer the sales administration process, improve forecasting and scheduling, renew its go-to-market approach, shorten its order-to-cash cycle, and enhance customer service (Steel24-7). Ideally, virtual market places are centered on a particular industry. Some prominent examples are steel, agricultural products, and automotive parts. In addition to providing information on vendors and general information about its products, a virtual market may also offer product specifications, side-by-side comparisons, technical papers, and market analysis.

Many challenges exist in setting up an e-marketplace. Primary among these are identifying the tools necessary to use the market, providing a secure environment, pricing, payment, and fulfillment. For an orderly marketplace, Internet protocols must be selected. The cost of the technology to access and engage in the market must not be prohibitive. Security and privacy must be adequate to ensure confidential transactions. Authentication and authorization of users from many organizations must be possible. Private communication must be assured.

Pricing policies may be set or bartered. A common example of bartering, or auctioning, is E-Bay for consumer products. Payment procedures can be predetermined or arranged between the buyer and the seller. Finally, fulfillment of orders must be insured. As in the case of traditional marketplaces, failure to deliver in a timely manner will result in firms losing market power and ultimately may lead to failure (McKnight).

A final issue of concern in virtual markets is jurisdiction and governing law. Virtual markets place its members in the global trading community. Since e-markets are a recent phenomenon, defining the legal system responsible for settling disputes is an evolving process. Current legal reasoning places jurisdiction in the locality of the market. In a virtual market, however, one must ask where the market actually exists. While the FTC has attempted to exert control over on-line transactions, a definitive ruling on the jurisdiction for international e-market places has not yet been made.

RADIO FREQUENCY IDENTIFICATION TAGS

In November 2003, Wal-Mart gathered together its 120 top suppliers to announce it would require radio frequency identification tags (RFID) on shipping pallets and cases of merchandise. Wal-Mart set a deadline of January 2005 for its top 100 suppliers. The remaining suppliers will had until the start of 2006 to meet the requirement (Sliwa).

A basic RFID system has three components.

o Antenna

o Transceiver

o Transponder (tag)

The antenna activates the tag, reads, and writes data to it. When an RFID tag moves past a reader, its information is transmitted to a host computer for processing. Most common RFID systems are passive and contain their own power source, have a short transmitting range, operate at a low frequency, and have a low cost. While RFID has existed since the 1960's recent technological changes have reduced the cost and allowed the technology to be used in more applications.

A common everyday use of RFID is the automatic reading of prepaid passes on toll roads. The advantages of RFID are many fold. For example, RFID is extremely fast, non-contact, does not require line of site, and can operate in a variety of weather conditions. In the case mentioned above, the benefits of RFID will go to Wal-Mart, while the costs are the responsibility of the suppliers. Kara Romanov, an analyst with AMR Research, Inc., estimates the start-up costs for a supplier who ships 50 million containers per year will run between $13 million and $23 million. These costs include RFID tags and associated hardware and software (Sliwa).

SamSys Technologies of Richmond Hills, ON and ThingMagic, LLC of Cambridge, MA are two leaders in the application of RFID to supply-chain management. Sam-Sys is dedicated to an open system environment that will not limit RFID to a single protocol or range of frequencies. This philosophy is based on the premise of many vendors and readers that will work seamlessly together (SamSys).

ThingMagic was founded in 2000 by five MIT graduates. It has developed low cost RFID systems. Presently, ThingMagic is developing and marketing protocol agile RFID tag readers (ThingMagic). In addition to Wal-Mart, the Department of Defense (DOD) is a key player in RFID development and deployment. The Department of Defense has issued a new policy, which requires all suppliers embed passive RFID chips in each individual product if possible, or otherwise at the level of cases or pallets by January 2005. In February 2004, the DOD hosted a summit for its suppliers to discuss its RFID plans (Broersma). To quote Colin Cobain the Chief Technology Officer of Tesco Stores: "The question is not will RFID change the way you do business. The question is will you be ready" (ThingMagic).

SYNCHRONIZED PLANNING ACROSS THE SUPPLY-CHAIN

"Synchronized planning, in the form of collaborative forecasting and replenishment, coordinated production, inventory and capacity plans, information integration, and direct linkages of ERP systems, is one of the most exciting developments in supply chain management in many industries" (Synchronous). Synchronized Planning involves key steps (Lee).

o Information integration

o Planning synchronization

o Workflow coordination

o New business models

First, information integration requires information sharing and transparency. It is the sharing of information among the members of the supply chain. Information exchanged may include inventory levels, production schedules, and shipment schedules. The benefits include better job scheduling and a reduction of the bullwhip effect. "The effect indicates a lack of synchronization among supply chain members. Even a slight change in consumer sales ripples backward in the form of magnified oscillations upstream, resembling the result of a flick of a bullwhip handle" (Chase 335).

Planning synchronization defines what is to be done with the information that is shared. This can include collaborative planning and joint design. The benefits are lower cost and improved service.

If planning synchronization is the "what" is to be done with shared information, workflow coordination is the "how" it is done. Operations that can be coordinated include procurement, engineering and design changes, and production planning. Benefits include early time to market, improved service, and gains in efficiency. Synchronized planning can lead to new business models. Not only can these new business models redefine workflow, they can lead to changes in responsibility for different parts of the supply-chain. A redefined supply-chain can jointly create new products and lead to expansion into new markets (Lee).

Synchronized planning, however, cannot be accomplished without a tight linkage of all companies in the supply chain. Channels of communication must be well defined and the performance of each member in the chain must be monitored. The integrated supply-chain must hold members responsible for their part in the process. As product life cycles grow shorter and shorter, efficient synchronization of the supply-chain grows in importance. To ensure that the supply-chain is driven by consumer demand, and to decrease the bullwhip effect, synchronized planning is critical (Lee).

SUPPLIER PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT

As the supply-chains of different organizations become tightly intertwined, it becomes necessary to measure the performance of each member of the chain. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan testified before Congress in February 2001 that businesses were unable to anticipate the economic slowdown of the last recession, overbuilding inventories despite significant supply-chain automation (Fonstad). Even the use of the latest technology, therefore, may not guarantee that a supply-chain is operating efficiently.

One way to answer the question of how well a supply-chain is functioning is to develop supplier scorecards. There are five steps in developing an effective scorecard (Golovin).

o Agree on what is important and how to measure it

o Use web based incident reports to communicate problems as they occur

o Engage in continuous supplier management

o Measure to prevent rather than react

o Use web based software that all suppliers can utilize without making expensive investments in software and training

It is important that the buyer and seller agree at the outset on what is important and how it is measured. This is critical because once decided upon, the supplier will optimize its work to the designated criteria. If just in time delivery is a priority, the supplier may concentrate on this aspect of the order to the detriment of other factors. In addition, benchmarks to measure supplier performance must be realistic and attainable.

Actual performance should then be consistently tracked against these benchmarks. The manufacturer and supplier should work together to develop benchmarks that are consistent with industry performance and product specifications. The use of web based incident reports is important in keeping track of problems as they occur. Incident reports should not be used only to track problems, but should be used to resolve the problem in real time. It is also important to measure the time it takes the supplier to correct the problem.

Continuous supplier management, sometimes referred to as supplier engineering, has become more important as manufacturers outsource more of their operations. A 90-day review cycle can be ruinous when you are manufacturing an innovative product. "Innovative products typically have a life cycle of just a few months" (Chase 337). A 90-day review cycle may come close to exceeding the competitive advantage of an innovative product. Effective continuous supplier management must be geared to specific periods and tolerances. This is then tied to web based incident reports that enable alarms to ring when products, or delivery, are out of agreed upon tolerances.

An effective supplier scorecard should be set up to prevent problems as opposed to reacting to them. The sooner you know there is a problem the lower the cost of resolving it and the greater the chance of preventing it altogether. The best scorecard not only measures events after they have happened, they continually monitor performance in real time. The use of automation is key to making this happen. For example, a system that matches invoices with purchase orders will catch pricing errors before a check is cut and a manufacturer's money is out the door. Utilizing web-based software not only decreases the cost of a supplier integrating with a manufacturer, it speeds up the integration process. Web-based software also enables suppliers both small and large to participate in the supply-chain.

The other four points listed above all rely on the ability of a manufacturer and a supplier to participate in the planning, sourcing, quality control, and delivery of a product. The Internet enables all members of the supply-chain to collaborate and work together as a team. Finally, by making supplier performance web-based, suppliers are able to participate in their own performance improvement (Golovin).

CONCLUSION

Supply-chain management is an interesting and complex subject. It goes to the core of new business methods in the 21st century. The near universal availability of the Internet is the enabling technology for changes in how the supply-chain of an enterprise is managed. The Internet also allows organizations to adopt new business practices and enter new markets. By harnessing the power of the Internet, supply-chain management will continue to evolve beyond the changes being implemented today.

E-business has been the logical outgrowth of e-commerce. E-business adopts the power of the Internet to accelerate the growth of supply-chain integration. While E-business has had a tremendous impact on supply-chain management, it also can be adapted to both front end and back end business operations (Lee). Improved inventory control and increased profits are two of the benefits of improved supply-chain management. As noted in the introduction, Nike missed its 2001 earnings targets due in part to the failed implementation of a supply-chain automation project. It has also been estimated that more than $30 billion dollars in excess inventories can be eliminated through improved supply-chain management. These real savings can be brought straight to the bottom line.

Four new technologies and business practices that harness the power of the Internet are virtual market places, radio frequency identification tags, synchronized planning (RFID), and supplier performance management. Virtual markets enable buyers and sellers to come together 24/7 in effect creating a store that never closes. The additional advantages of virtual marketplaces are the elimination of an intermediary, access to product and vendor information, and a neutral market where all buyers and sellers are treated equally. Virtual markets give both buyers and sellers the opportunity to re-engineer their sales administration process.

As noted above, RFID has existed since the 1960's, however, improvements in technology and paring RFID with the Internet has expanded this tracking method beyond its limited past in manufacturing plants. The three components of an RFID system are an antenna, transceiver, and a transponder (tag).

Synchronized planning when applied across a supply chain consists of collaborative forecasting and replenishment, coordinated production, inventory and capacity planning, information integration, and direct linkage of ERP systems. The four key steps in synchronized planning are information integration, planning synchronization, workflow coordination, and the opportunity to develop new business models. Key to synchronized planning is using the Internet for information sharing. The benefits of synchronized planning include better job scheduling and reduction of the bullwhip affect. The bullwhip affect magnifies oscillations upstream in the supply-chain caused by a change in consumer sales. Synchronized planning also defines what is to be done with shared information and how it will be done. As product life cycles grow shorter, efficient synchronization of the supply-chain rewards firms who seize its potential.

Supplier scorecards are a method of evaluating members of the supply-chain in increasingly intertwined organizations. As Alan Greenspan pointed out in 2001, many firms were unable to anticipate the last recession and continued overbuilding inventory despite having invested heavily in supply-chain automation. This statement underscores the need develop the tools to monitor the performance of firms up and down the supply-chain. The five steps to develop an effective scorecard are agreeing on what is important and how it will be measured, the use of web-based incident reports, engagement in continuous supplier management, measuring to prevent problems, and the use of web-based software. In rolling out these tools, it is imperative that both the buyer and the seller first agree on what is important and how it will be measured. The other steps flow from the first.

The Internet has had an enormous impact on the personal and professional lives of businesspersons. On the business side, the Internet has brought new life to existing technologies and offered businesses the opportunity to engage in the world marketplace. The harnessing of the Internet by business has enabled greater cooperation and information exchange up and down the supply-chain. The Internet has enabled businesses to improve the supply-chain by the way they manage inventory, place orders, and communicate critical information with each other.

Works Cited

Broersma, Matthew. "Defense Department Drafts RFID Policy." CNET News. 24 Oct 2003. 5 Dec. 2003.

Chase, Richard B., Nicholas J. Aquilano, and F. Robert Jacobs. Operations Management for Competitive Advantage. 9th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2001.

Fonstad, Jennifer. "From the Ground Floor: How to Manage Inventory on Demand." Red Herring. 31 May 2001. 5 Dec 2003.

Golovin, Jonathan. "Five Keys to a Successful Supplier Scorecard." Vigilance, Inc. 5 Dec 2003.

Lee, Hau L., and Seungjin Whang. "E-Business and Supply Chain Integration." Stanford Global Supply Chain Management Forum. Nov 2001. 22 Nov 2003.

McKnight, Lee W., Diana Anius, and Ozlem Uzuner. Virtual Markets in Wireless Grids: Peering Policy Obstacles. TPRC 30th Research Conference on Communication, Information, and Internet Policy., Oct 2002. Vienna, VA: Telecommunications Policy Research Conference.

"Mills Warm to Online." Steel Business Briefing. 1 Jul 03. 22 Nov 2003. SamSys. 4 Dec 2003.

Sliwa, Carol. "Wal-Mart Suppliers Shoulder Burden of Daunting RFID Effort." Computerworld. 10 Nov 2003: 1+. Steel24-7. 22 Nov 2003.

"Synchronous Planning Across the Supply Chain." Stanford Global Supply Chain Management Forum. 27 Jan 1999. 22 Nov 2003.

ThingMagic. 4 Dec 2003.

Networking has always been considered a powerful tool for improving business prospects, advancing a career, and developing ideas. Other than some brief, structured events, networking has been mostly informal and inexpensive in comparison to cost they otherwise spend on different channels. But membership is growing in many formal, long-term networking groups, and so is the price tag.

Our groups are not groups for generating sales leads, nor are they places where individuals can drop-in to gain quick advice on an immediate challenge.  Members also sign a confidentiality agreement and benefits from the guided mentoring to help each other.

These groups include an experienced facilitator and use a structured discussion method to ensure appropriate participation.

IT Senior Manager Joo Koon Machine Learning Advertising

As a IT Senior Manager Joo Koon, its very critical for you to understand developing brand strategy is extremely critical. The most important asset your company has is its brand. Quite simply, it drives the direction of your business. So you should definitely have a well thought out brand strategy in place.

Increasing competition in business develops similar products with good quality from different manufacturers. But only an effective, innovative and New Innovations & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as IT Senior Manager Joo Koon it becomes your responsibility to stay connected with like-minded supporting industry experts who can guide and help you deal with your day to day work issues.

Common Problems In Supply Chain Management

Artificial Intelligence: The Next Tech Bubble or the Changing Face of Technology

If you are entrepreneurial in nature owning a business is very exciting adventure. It can also be the most difficult thing for you to get into if you are not prepared.

Consumers perceive and accept many brands within a certain trade group in different ways. By personifying a brand (How would you describe brand X if it were a person?) we can find out, that for instance consumers perceive brand A as a young, impulsive, lively, attractive, energetic woman full of ideas. In the same way could brand B be an elderly, conservative and relaxed man. The brand can also have a completely inexpressive and bad image. That is how brand C may not have any real personal characteristics, slim, tall, unnoticeable and calm.

The image basically expresses a way a consumer thinks about the brand and the feelings the brand arouses when the consumer thinks about it. On the basis of these characteristics, which the consumer associates with the brand, the company can build a competitive advantage for its brand.

What sort of image should our brand have?

Before answering this question it is important to take into account several factors and market circumstances: company goals, consumer wishes and expectations, trade groups and several other groups. A company builds its brand image through trade communication with its consumers. That is how a company informs the consumer of what the brand represents, what its values are, what the company is offering or guaranteeing the consumer, what its advantages are, its qualities etc. The consumers interpret all obtained information and form a subjective perception of the brand or its image.

Why research the brand image?

Understanding a brand image is of key importance to long-term management of a brand. It is also important how the consumers formed the brand and what kind of relationship was formed with the brand - what the brand means to them and how they have accepted it. Understanding the relationship between consumers and brands can help a company control its successful brand positioning and the efficiency of advertising.

How do we research the image?

The brand image is formed in the long-term and represents a non-conscious and "untouchable" area, which needs to be researched using projective researching methods that help the consumer to overcome certain obstacles and limitations as well helping him to be inspired in the world of brand names. The consumer does therefore not only focus on the brand, but mainly on his experience with it and on its usual users. He focuses on the opportunities, which are most suitable for the specific brand and what sort of image the brand presents etc.

We are able to research and describe the brand from various perspectives. We obtain many different associations, ideas, benefits and people whom the consumer in some way connects to brands, which need to be suitably and correctly interpreted. It is important to define the key characteristics and values, which are connected to a specific brand by the consumer. Relevant findings show results of long-term management of a brand and represent key dimensions on which the competitive advantage of a brand is based.

Business Development Manager Role

Is Machine Learning Helping Marketers or Making Them Obsolete?

With the support of our professional business network, you get the opportunity to exchange experience and knowledge at a top professional level, and to strengthen and develop your own skills within your management and specialist areas.

Through business relationships and experience sharing in confidential settings for IT Senior Manager Joo Koon, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

Artificial Intelligence Machine Learning

Keeping a watchful eye on technical innovation is vital to develop a clear vision for the future of any business. But effective strategies for success depend on managers and executives avoiding hidden blind spots and investment decisions that obscure the way forward. Last year, according to World Economic Forum figures, private sector global spending on digitizing business operations exceeded $1.2 trillion dollars, yet just 5% of executives reported being satisfied with the results. In most industries the transition from analog to digital is one of the biggest challenges facing business leaders today. There are 8 common mistakes executives make.


Finding the best way: As with most human activity, planning is everything. The digitization process is a unique opportunity for executives to take a good hard look at their enterprise and ask some important questions:


What digital activities are already underway?


What will the industry look like in 5, 10 or 20 years?


What strategies can the company employ to succeed in a digital future?


What is the end goal of the transition from analog to digital?


Understanding where the business is attempting to go should help avoid some of the following bumps and wrong turns in the journey. Most of the common mistakes executives make with the digitization process relate to investment. Nearsighted investments focus too heavily on the short term, giving insufficient consideration to an organization’s long-term needs. While, farsighted investments focus on future needs with scant attention given to immediate development, which undermines current performance and impacts future goals.


Even when the current and future needs of a business are given equal consideration blind spots can occur, as parts of the business are overlooked by investment and turn into points of weakness that disrupt overall performance. Putting a coherent strategy in place directs funding to areas of the business most in need. As well as scheduling where and when to invest, this strategy prevents executives making “scattershot” small investments without an overall funding plan.


Mind your own business As each organization is unique, no two paths to a digital future are the same. The structure of a business can influence its digitization journey, with heavily centralized companies at risk of suffering from a rigid chain of imposing policy from on high. Similarly, command structures that encourage parts of the business to operate as independent units, or islands, can duplicate investments which also duplicate costs. Every six months the management should ask these questions:


How the digitization of work affects us all?


Why a futuristic digital healthcare system, might not be out of reach?


How can we build a workforce for our digital future?


Enabling change Aside from investment decisions, another common area where mistakes are made relates to the balance of resources and their application. A company’s data, technology, operating model and talent either work to enable digital progress or hinder it. Some companies focus too heavily on building up these enablers, without considering if additional staff, technology and data capacity add value to the business. Whereas, the digital transformation of other companies suffer from a lack of resources to accommodate spending on new business applications.


The new digital reality Image: WEF The pace of technological change is impacting the business and social worlds faster than ever before. A new digital reality is emerging where 85% of customer interaction will take place without humans and where 65% of today’s young will grow up and work in industries or jobs that don’t yet exist. Companies that successfully bridge the gap from analog to digital are in prime position to fully embrace the opportunities offered by a digital future.

Networking has always been considered a powerful tool for improving business prospects, advancing a career, and developing ideas. Other than some brief, structured events, networking has been mostly informal and inexpensive in comparison to cost they otherwise spend on different channels. But membership is growing in many formal, long-term networking groups, and so is the price tag.

Our groups are not groups for generating sales leads, nor are they places where individuals can drop-in to gain quick advice on an immediate challenge.  Members also sign a confidentiality agreement and benefits from the guided mentoring to help each other.

These groups include an experienced facilitator and use a structured discussion method to ensure appropriate participation.

Finance Managing Director Digitization Challenges

As a Finance Managing Director, its very critical for you to understand developing brand strategy is extremely critical. The most important asset your company has is its brand. Quite simply, it drives the direction of your business. So you should definitely have a well thought out brand strategy in place.

Increasing competition in business develops similar products with good quality from different manufacturers. But only an effective, innovative and Membership Costs & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as Finance Managing Director it becomes your responsibility to stay connected with like-minded supporting industry experts who can guide and help you deal with your day to day work issues.

Accelerating AI For Local Businesses Smes

Marketing Strategy: 7 Steps to Market Segmentation

If you are entrepreneurial in nature owning a business is very exciting adventure. It can also be the most difficult thing for you to get into if you are not prepared.

In simple words, a marketing strategy is the HOW and WHY of a marketing plan. Marketing strategies need to be based on good plans, without which you will lose direction and focus. Here are a few tips for creating market strategies.

Start with Vision and Mission

Vision asks the question: "What do you want to become?" As the leaders and thinkers in the organization, foresight is very important as it defines any action that should be taken from that point on. Mission asks the questions, "Why do you exist?" as well as "What steps are you willing to take to achieve your goal?" This takes into consideration the present situation, as it reflects strengths and weaknesses that help you make a solid evaluation of where you are at the moment.

Look outward

Be aware of trends in the market, as well as other outside factors that might affect it. Taking a global perspective into consideration allows you to think creatively and beyond the sphere of what you are comfortable with. Being a keen observer prepares you for any changes in the market.

Look inward

Make an assessment of competitors and threats, keeping your friends close, but your enemies closer. Nothing is more thrilling than knowing how to adapt to competitors who are willing to fight tooth and nail for your precious market share. Know what you are up against so you'll never be a step behind.

Be innovative

Lastly, after gathering all the data, plan your marketing strategy and learn how to think outside the box. Successful strategies have been borne out of creative minds that were willing to make a difference when everybody else was doing the same thing. Although some cut-and-dried strategies have worked, it takes an ingenious one to put you at the top. Don't be afraid to be different.

A Framework For Strategic Innovation

How Artificial Intelligence Is Taking Online Shopping Trends to New Heights

With the support of our professional business network, you get the opportunity to exchange experience and knowledge at a top professional level, and to strengthen and develop your own skills within your management and specialist areas.

Through business relationships and experience sharing in confidential settings for Finance Managing Director, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

International Supply Chain Management

Artificial Intelligence, the name is getting rich & popular in the tech world and making the world groove along technological shifts. Covering our functionalities to changing the people view, AI is increasingly important for those of us in the marketing game! It all boils down to machines being able to tackle tasks that would normally require our input, freeing up time and energy for us. The key for us is not only how quickly these machines handle the tasks, but how much more efficient they do them as well.

The key for us is not only how quickly these machines handle the tasks, but how much more efficient they do them as well. With the contribution, the analytical and exponential growth is the prime factor that makes the human task easy. The exponential growth and automation of AI are for the marketing purposes, and there lies the key.

Artificial Intelligence is seen shaping the retail online shopping industry. Wondering, how? The speedy calculation and easiness in payment option, have made AI and robotics field to be used more and more.

Smart technology shaping the online shopping experience

People are more connected to their choices, and if those choices come in the form of visual research and touch, it's more than interactive. Visual search has been around for a long time, but with the advancements in artificial intelligence and the rise of mobile commerce, it's now gaining acceptance with the retailers. The internet sensation among the different countries has made people more and more closely with the technology advancements. Smart technology in the form of the social influence allows shoppers to digitally compare outfits by capturing a 360-degree view of themselves in an outfit and letting them send those images to friends via email and social media.

Chatbots as the customer shift and right fix

The technology of the chatbots has been very popular among the millennials. The importance and the prime factor have made it be used in the trending tech updates. Rising of the smartphones and options of open statistical have allowed the brand's E-commerce is a very competitive landscape. The brands that will thrive in 2017 will be those that will harness the power of new technology to create a more personal experience for customers.

E-commerce is a very competitive landscape. In the coming days, brands will thrive in with the power of new technology to create a more personal experience for customers, more interested in the trending e-commerce needs.

Customer Relationship Management

A few years back the shopping experience of the customer was in the back flash with the longer bills and non-hassle technology. What used to be collecting copious amounts of data to be tackled by someone when they finally had enough time to conquer the project for drawing conclusions and making future predictions, is now streamlined and far more efficient. With the help of AI, the days of aggressive re-marketing and focusing on the amount of ad exposure will be long gone. The new marketing era will be able to focus on quality and directing more relevant advertising to the right visitors at the right time. It has made the people interaction to the verging technology.

Image Classification with Computer Analytics

AI is changing the game. With its ability to classify, interpret, and understand images, AI is making it easier to find what you didn't even know the name of the image and the other unshakable changes.

With the use of the technology, one can improve the new way of the shopping and try to wend according to the new devices and technology shifts. The technology has proved to be essentials in life of all!

Networking has always been considered a powerful tool for improving business prospects, advancing a career, and developing ideas. Other than some brief, structured events, networking has been mostly informal and inexpensive in comparison to cost they otherwise spend on different channels. But membership is growing in many formal, long-term networking groups, and so is the price tag.

Our groups are not groups for generating sales leads, nor are they places where individuals can drop-in to gain quick advice on an immediate challenge.  Members also sign a confidentiality agreement and benefits from the guided mentoring to help each other.

These groups include an experienced facilitator and use a structured discussion method to ensure appropriate participation.

Finance AVP Tampines Brand Strategy

As a Finance AVP Tampines, its very critical for you to understand developing brand strategy is extremely critical. The most important asset your company has is its brand. Quite simply, it drives the direction of your business. So you should definitely have a well thought out brand strategy in place.

Increasing competition in business develops similar products with good quality from different manufacturers. But only an effective, innovative and Marketing Strategy & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as Finance AVP Tampines it becomes your responsibility to stay connected with like-minded supporting industry experts who can guide and help you deal with your day to day work issues.

International Supply Chain Management

Strategic Planning Have You Ever Seen A Purple McDonald's Logo?

If you are entrepreneurial in nature owning a business is very exciting adventure. It can also be the most difficult thing for you to get into if you are not prepared.

In this article we're going to discuss the tricky aspect of marketing strategy when applying for a patent.

Getting a patent is a tricky process under normal circumstances. Under laws of the United States a company or person is entitled to a patent unless the invention was on sale in the country for more than one year prior to the application date of the patent. This applies to both sales and offers of sales. Therefore, companies conducting marketing campaigns must be careful not to destroy their patent rights. In a perfect world, application for a patent should be filed before any sales begin. But then that would hurt the company's bottom line because that ultimately puts profits on hold. In a competitive marketplace this could spell disaster for the company.

Therefore, it is important for a company to understand just what it is that starts the one year clock ticking. In other words what can they do and what can't they do in order to avoid their product being put on the timer?

In order to answer that question we have to understand what exactly, according to law, starts the clock running. There are basically two conditions. The first one is that the invention must be ready for patenting at the time of the sale. If it can be shown that the inventor had sufficient drawings that would enable another person to use the invention then this would satisfy the first criteria.

The second criteria is that there has actually been an offer for sale. In other words, the inventor or company that owns the invention approaches another company and offers to sell them the invention. This can either be in the form of a letter to the other company or in an actual physical meeting between the two companies. Usually the meeting follows a letter.

In the form of a letter the owner of the invention will usually draw up a letter stating that they have such and such an invention and go on to say that they feel this is something that would enhance their business. In the letter they would describe what the invention does and how it would help them. They would then ask the other company to get back to them if interested.

When it comes to the meeting the inventor will bring drawings of his invention and present them to the company interested in acquiring the invention. Maybe the inventor even has a working prototype he can show them. This is always a plus. Companies actually like to see that the invention they are interested in works.

Where the law comes in, and this is where inventors can delay the clock, is that the following items do not fall within the two criteria. Solicitation of customer pricing information from distributors and sales representatives; publication of preliminary data sheets and promotional information on invention features; communications to sales representatives; sales representatives providing customers with preliminary data sheets; and sales representatives' requests for customer samples.

Therefore, an inventor can engage in any of the above activities and NOT start the one year clock running. This allows the inventor to get as much preliminary leg work done for his patent without actually "technically" starting the process.

This is important information for any inventor to have if he is trying to gain as much ground in his quest for a patent as possible.

Artificial Intelligence Machine Learning

The Impact Of RFID and the Supply Chain Management

With the support of our professional business network, you get the opportunity to exchange experience and knowledge at a top professional level, and to strengthen and develop your own skills within your management and specialist areas.

Through business relationships and experience sharing in confidential settings for Finance AVP Tampines, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

Workplace Wellness Programs

The Artificial Intelligence market will expectedly be worth $153 billion in the near future. We are talking about digital revolution here. We are talking about path breaking technological ideas and implementation here. It is going to redefine the way in which humans are going to interact with machines.

Artificial Intelligence in Web Development: Is it even possible?

The stakes are high. The figures are impressive - to say the least. We have got engineers and marketers embarking on diverse plans with AI at the core. Why should developers be left behind? No credentialed web development company would ideally be unaware of the scope of Artificial Intelligence as far as web development is concerned. The consultants should not be unaware of the fact that developers around the world are looking at the possible integration of Intelligence and web development to bolster user experience.

Imagine sitting in front of one of those template designers that you have just signed up for. Expect your "AI designer" to ask you about your preferences with regard to branding, colors, content and layout. Once you have fed the answers to those questions, the template designer, based on the pre-programmed algorithms will automatically go on to create a website, which is the perfect combination of aesthetic and professional appeal.

How will Artificial intelligence go on to facilitate "communication"?

This is what AI can do for web development. Using the AI elements, a developer becomes better adept at catering to users' needs. Since It is known for understanding customer moods and preferences better, web developers will be in a better position to integrate elements that are going to append to the user experience - of course, so that they are more convincingly persuaded to make purchases.

Now, how does this Technique do this? How does it ensure that developers are better adept at catering to buyer needs? It does this with the help of cognitive analysis and situations. Chatbots, for example, have made it possible for web professionals to predict customer reactions. They facilitate better communication with the customers by making the whole (communication) process very simple and hassle-free. The next-generation internet users will actually find it easier to communicate with the website itself. There will be no communication barrier to contend with as such.

With the help of the statistical analysis marketers and other web professionals can actually minimize errors. Processing a large amount of information also becomes easier when communication is facilitated at such level.

So, which web development company are you consulting at the present moment? Are they duly aware of the immense opportunities that Artificial Intelligence has in store for the next generation web users? Do find out so that you can make an informed choice.

Networking has always been considered a powerful tool for improving business prospects, advancing a career, and developing ideas. Other than some brief, structured events, networking has been mostly informal and inexpensive in comparison to cost they otherwise spend on different channels. But membership is growing in many formal, long-term networking groups, and so is the price tag.

Our groups are not groups for generating sales leads, nor are they places where individuals can drop-in to gain quick advice on an immediate challenge.  Members also sign a confidentiality agreement and benefits from the guided mentoring to help each other.

These groups include an experienced facilitator and use a structured discussion method to ensure appropriate participation.

SGP Executives Forum Sme Supply Chain

As a business solution provider what best a Executives Forum could offer you make a real connections. Most of the business problems occur due to improper decisions related to outsourcing, selecting the wrong vendor or carrying out delivery tasks without sufficient resources.

Recently a report on global B2C marketing automation company details the company’s burgeoning impact on the digital marketing industry. The report leverages on cloud services for all its marketing, focuses on the company’s core artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities, and firmly plants the company as a promising mid-market suite that reduces silos across the enterprise.

AI And Machine Learning Spell Radical Changes For Business

What better a place could be than Executives Forum facilitated by  Top5Optimizers to learn from all of this in one place.

A company’s strategy is the game plan business owners and management use to position their organization in its chosen market area, to compete successfully, satisfy customers, and achieve good business performance.

Business leaders at Top5Optimizers Sme Supply Chain pay attention to the developments in the world because they are intertwined with market forces that affect consumers and demand. They have to adapt their business strategy to a constantly shifting environment. Thus, learning from Executives Forum makes it easy to learn and benefit in many ways.

Marketing strategy is the primary key to business success. The No. 1 reason businesses fail is that they don't make enough money. And the No. 1 reason they don't make enough money is that they don't adequately understand and practice effective marketing strategy. Marketing strategy offers these powerful benefits:

- Concentrating your resources and efforts on your greatest opportunities for success

- Sharpening your competitive advantage so that your business is superior to your competitors' in ways that matter to customers

- Increasing the income of the firm more effectively than any other way

- Uniting the leadership team to all pull in the same direction, maximizing positive results

- Giving your brand a clearer focus so that it will be better known in the marketplace

- Stimulating demand for your products and services

- Improving the effectiveness of messages you send to customers and prospects

- Strengthening your ability to understand and meet the needs of customers

- Ensuring that your business will survive and thrive far into the future

"Marketing strategy" is one of the top-10 search terms related to marketing, used by Internet searchers about a half-million times a month. Many people are obviously interested in learning more about marketing strategy. That's why this article has been written, the first in a series that explain marketing strategy in detail. The author, Buck Lawrimore, has provided marketing strategy to hundreds of business, government and nonprofit organizations of all sizes for more than 27 years.

Definitions of Marketing

"Marketing" comes from the Latin word merx or mercis meaning merchandise. Originally a market was a large open space where merchandise was displayed for sale, like pictures we've seen of large open marketplaces in Third World countries, or today's farmer's market. Originally "marketing" involved selling products in a marketplace. And that's still the core meaning. But professional marketing has evolved to such a high degree of sophistication, like computer science and medicine, that it involves much more than just selling in a marketplace.

The American Marketing Association, the largest professional organization of marketers in the U.S., defines marketing as follows:

"Marketing is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders."

This definition makes no mention of generating sales and income, the primary aims of business marketing, perhaps in deference to the many nonprofit organizations which are members of the AMA and are more focused on "delivering value" and "managing customer relationships."

Another way to understand marketing is to view it as a mindset or orientation of the business or organization. The so-called marketing orientation means the organization as a whole is oriented to understanding and meeting the needs of customers. A company with this orientation is market-driven. It focuses its strategy and operations on understanding and meeting the needs of customers in a manner which is superior to competitors. Procter & Gamble is one of the largest and most successful companies in America, and it has a strong marketing orientation. SAS Airlines, FedEx and other leading companies around the world have a passion for understanding and meeting the needs of customers. That's how they became so successful, and that's how your organization can become more successful than ever before, whether you aim to be a world leader or just the best in your neighborhood at what you do.

Definitions of Strategy

"Strategy" comes from the Greek word strategos meaning general. Strategy defined by Webster's as "1 The science of planning and conducting military campaigns on a broad scale." More recently strategy has come to mean "skill in management" or "an ingenious plan or method."

There are two aspects or connotations to this idea of strategy. The first is, it's big picture. It involves consideration of all your available resources - people, money, time, physical resources etc. "on a broad scale." The second is, strategy involves winning some form of competition. Your opponent may be an enemy who is trying to defeat you, or a business competitor who is trying to get your customers to buy from them instead of from you, or an opposing athletic team in a sports event. In all these situations as well as your own real world, there is one key to all effective strategy. This is one of the most important things for you to learn from this book:

The key to all effective strategy is
concentrating your resources on your greatest opportunities,
where your competition is weak.

Definition of Marketing Strategy

So then, effective marketing strategy could be summed up this way:

"Concentrating the organization's resources on its greatest opportunities
to better meet customer needs, outperform competitors, increase income,
and achieve enduring success."

Implied in this practical definition is the key idea that you have or will develop a niche or position in the marketplace which you can dominate or at least be a top player in, by building on strengths which distinguish you from your competition. Also implied is that you will be most successful if you concentrate on better meeting customer needs (via the marketing orientation) as a path to increasing sales, rather than just focusing on outbound communications or a sales force to persuade potential customers to buy.

We help people and companies grow through a trusted network of peers; whereby we provide a global network, where the return on human talents is simply enormous.

In simple words, a marketing strategy is the HOW and WHY of a marketing plan. Marketing strategies need to be based on good plans, without which you will lose direction and focus. Here are a few tips for creating market strategies.

Start with Vision and Mission

Vision asks the question: "What do you want to become?" As the leaders and thinkers in the organization, foresight is very important as it defines any action that should be taken from that point on. Mission asks the questions, "Why do you exist?" as well as "What steps are you willing to take to achieve your goal?" This takes into consideration the present situation, as it reflects strengths and weaknesses that help you make a solid evaluation of where you are at the moment.

Look outward

Be aware of trends in the market, as well as other outside factors that might affect it. Taking a global perspective into consideration allows you to think creatively and beyond the sphere of what you are comfortable with. Being a keen observer prepares you for any changes in the market.

Look inward

Make an assessment of competitors and threats, keeping your friends close, but your enemies closer. Nothing is more thrilling than knowing how to adapt to competitors who are willing to fight tooth and nail for your precious market share. Know what you are up against so you'll never be a step behind.

Be innovative

Lastly, after gathering all the data, plan your marketing strategy and learn how to think outside the box. Successful strategies have been borne out of creative minds that were willing to make a difference when everybody else was doing the same thing. Although some cut-and-dried strategies have worked, it takes an ingenious one to put you at the top. Don't be afraid to be different.

Ours is a universe where each member network enables you to share issues, challenges and inspiration.