Michael Porter’s 5 forces model

Porter’s 5 forces model is one of the most recognized framework for the analysis of business strategy. Porter, the guru of modern day business strategy, used theoretical frameworks derived from Industrial Organization (IO) economics to derive five forces which determine the competitive intensity and therefore attractiveness of a market. This theoretical framework, based on 5 forces, describes the attributes of an attractive industry and thus suggests when opportunities will be greater, and threats less, in these of industries.

Continue reading “Michael Porter’s 5 forces model”

Top Online Strategy Games for Business Students

Strategy can be best understood through simulation games. What better training for a manager than to understand business strategy than to react to simulated market responses as provided by these games? Simulation games ensure that the attempted knowledge imparted in classrooms are driven to the core of the students to a stage where it is assimilated and can be implemented by the student, rather than staying at a superficial text-book knowledge level.

If you as an instructor or a student are still not sure how these strategy simulation games will help you, this article may interest you “From e-learning to games-based e-learning: using interactive technologies in teaching an IS course”, by Thomas M. Connolly, Mark Stansfield, published in journal, International Journal of Information Technology and Management, Volume 6 Issue 2-4, June 2007

  • Mike Bikes advanced strategic simulation game ensures learning whereby students form the management team of a Bicycle Manufacturing company making all the key functional decisions involving Price, Marketing, Distribution, Finance, Operations, HR, and R&D
  • In Industry Player (.) comby Tycoon Systems, students create and manage their own company. In real-time, they experience a multiplayer competition for market leadership and shareholder value within a simulation of real world economy.
  • Marketplace-live is an advanced simulation game students start a firm in the microcomputer industry. Students experience real time challenges in Marketing, Product Development, Accounting, Finance and Manufacturing Fundamentals, Financial Analysis, Business Partner Negotiations, Human Resource Management and e-Commerce.
  • The Price Strategy Simulator by Michael Bean ensures students get a feel of pricing strategies at war through a simulation of Price Wars amongst Hewlett-Packard / Compaq and Dell. IBM enters the competition and an excellent pricing strategy simulation learning is ensured.

Faculties and students who would be interested for more details on the use of Simulation games would be encourage to buy this book from Amazon “The Global Business Game: A Simulation in Strategic Management and International Business” by Joseph Wolfe. Now, using the Amazon banner in this website, Business-Fundas readers can avail of a special discount.

While most of the previously mentioned games were for Business School students, there are quite a few games which will develop the intellect of younger students. A few descriptions of the same are provided below.

  • In a world of online simulation games, where dexterity of the thumb and index finger is infinitely more important than the flexing of the cerebrum, there is a deep need to interact and actually learn something from that overpriced multimedia computer/gaming system. One such game is the ROMper Room, where focus is more on intellectual stimulation.
  • Some basic Strategy and Time Management online games are also available at freeworldgroup website. These games are meant for those who are attempting to enhance their personal development skills and time management skills although they may seem redundant to graduate management students.

Information Technology and Information Systems

People often use the terms Information Technology and Information Systems interchangeably, although both the terminologies have established identities of their own. However it is crucial for every professional and individual to understand the subtle differences that defines the individuality of these disciplines.

Information Systems (IS) is a discipline bridging the business field and the well-defined computer science field (popularly called information technology) that has been evolving since it was coined in the early 1970s.An information systems discipline therefore is supported by the theoretical foundations of management social science, information theories and information technology such that students of the discipline have unique opportunity to explore the academics of various business models as well as related algorithmic processes within a computer science discipline. Typically, information systems include people, business procedures or processes, data, software, and hardware that are used to gather and analyze digital information. Specifically Information Systems are the intersection that people and organizations use to collect, filter, process, create, & distribute data (computing) through its business processes, and implemented by its human capital.

While Information Technology (IT) typically is the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of digitized information, often represented technically as “Data” through electronics-based media built upon the disciplines of computing and telecommunications. The terminology was first coined in a 1958 by Leavitt and Whisler who defined it as “the new technology that does not yet have a single established name. We shall call it information technology.” Essentially, in its raw form, it comprises of Hardware, Software, the platforms to support both, communication networks and protocols.

It is crucial to understand that while “Information Technology” is a huge discipline with an identity of its own, it essentially is a subset of the discipline “Information Systems”, although the latter evolved much later. The discipline of Information Systems specifically studies the intersection of Business Processes (which may or may not be technology enabled), People (who will be part of the business processes and will use information technology) and Information Technology.

Hope this clarifies your thoughts. Do let me know what you think or would like to discuss further,

Marketing Plan – Blueprint for Marketing Strategy

Today when so much investments are dependent on the outcome of a marketing plan, the same needs to be scrutinized very deeply so as to minimize the risks of non-performance. One such way is to ensure the proper implementation using a marketing strategy plan or a blue-print of implementation for your strategy. So what is a marketing strategy plan?

Basically, it encompasses all the activities in details that needs to be done to ensure that a campaign is successful.

  • For a marketing plan to be successful, the primary importance is understanding whether its adherence to the main marketing mix (4 Ps) is done in a well planned manner. If your objective is to deliver a service, then the 7Ps of Services Marketing needs to be checked out for planned adherence.
  • If you are focusing on extensive usage of technology, are you having ample focus on how you are leveraging the usage of technology vis-a-vis the competencies within your team? Did you take care of the Basics of Digital Marketing Strategy?
  • Have you given the implementation a thought? Is there a structured sequential blueprint to your Marketing Plan which you are planning to operationalize?
  • What is the targeted returns you are expecting from your campaign? Do a cost vis-a-vis outcome-benefit break up for the entire blue-print stage wise. Does each stage commensurate the Expected Returns on Investments (ROI) figures?
  • Last, not the least, does it go hand in hand with the internal competencies of the team that will be implementing your strategy? A great strategy may fall flat without due importance given to the implementation and the competencies of the team.

Do let us know if you need any clarification. Hope you enjoyed reading our articles. By the way, do check out PrintmeIt.com, they create wonderful flyers and brochures which you can you for your advertising campaigns.

Did you read these related articles? They have drawn a lot of attention from readers of similar articles as this one and had been shared extensively in professional networks like LinkedIn.

Jobs and Careers in Marketing

Marketing Management is a discipline focused on the practical application of marketing techniques and the management of a firm’s marketing resources and activities for the purpose of creating a demand for the firm’s products for selling the same.

The term “marketing” as it is known now, was coined in the early 1930s by the American Marketing Association presidential address. While manufacturing was then the focus in business, a subsequent need was recognized to sell what was getting manufactured more efficiently in existing markets. While marketing management as a discipline of research and application has seen waves of changes in key strategic inclination and focus, the core has somewhat remained unchanged.

So what draws most of the marketing professionals to this discipline?

  1. First, it is theoretically very easy. The technicalities are somewhat lesser than many other super-hyped fields like Finance or Technology
  2. A lot depends on the quick thinking of the marketer. Understanding and having a good business acumen is an added bonus.
  3. The careers and jobs are promising yet offer dynamic changes to every professional, suitable to satisfy a broad variety of needs. Not everyone is cut-out for every job. Understanding job requirements as a fit with one’s personality type is a must for the sustained growth of every professional.
  4. It offers choices for career shifts industry wise and role wise, must for every professional, if one faces a mid career crisis.
  5. Last, and most excitingly, it offers a track to reach the coveted “CEO” position in the organization. Most top executives have a background in marketing, if not all.

So what roles do traditional marketing roles get you into?

Jobs in marketing can vary a lot. However, besides traditional paths in sales and marketing, there are many other roles in marketing, a list of which is prepared below:

  1. Business Development in Information Technology and Services companies (like jobs in IBM, Google, Microsoft, Adobe, Amazon)
  2. Market Research institutions ( e.g. like jobs in AC Nielson, IMRB )
  3. Consumer goods manufacturing institutions in marketing, sales, branding, strategy (higher in the organization) like jobs in Unilever, Procter & Gamble or in jobs in the FMCG sector.
  4. Consumer durables manufacturing companies in marketing, sales, branding, strategy (higher in the organization) like jobs in Sony, Apple, Toshiba
  5. Product management and even in development in research labs (like jobs in 3M)
  6. Need recognition of markets yet to be created (like jobs in MR divisions in MNCs like Tata Group, 3M)
  7. Retail chain management (both marketing, sales and supply chain functions are sometimes merged) like jobs in Wallmart, K-Mart, Reliance Fresh.
  8. Social sector and NGOs. Even social marketing is a major concern in current fast paced societies.
  9. Internet marketing service professional: You may start marketing websites as a SEO expert.
  10. Affiliate marketing professional: Create your own chain of hierarchy and get the benefits of the sales from it. E.G. Make money from tweeting and making friends join you in the same using MyLikes

I hope the choices helped you out in your search for a career in marketing. By the way, do you know about the top career choices trending globally now?  Choosing a career which won’t stagnate too soon is extremely crucial for sustainable professional growth.

http://www.business-fundas.com/2010/100-fastest-growing-careers/

The 8 Ps of Services Marketing

Services are radically different from products and need to be marketed very differently. So the classical 4 P structure of the Marketing Mix needs to be modified suitably to incorporate the 8 Ps for services marketing, which was previously known as the 7 Ps only.

Continue reading “The 8 Ps of Services Marketing”

The Evolution of Marketing Management – The History & Future

Marketing Management is a discipline focused on the practical application of marketing techniques and the management of a firm’s marketing resources and activities for the purpose of creating a demand for the firm’s products for selling the same.

Traditionally, marketing management was partitioned into three silos, namely the 3 C’s, “Customer analysis”, “Company analysis” and “Competitor analysis” (so-called “3Cs” analysis). Over the years, it has evolved into an integrative five “Cs”: “Customer analysis”, “Company analysis”, “Collaborator analysis”, “Competitor analysis”, and “Analysis of the industry Context”.

As the focus of marketing shifted from 3 Cs to 5Cs, so has the strategic intent of firms. It was recognized that a Pull strategy is way more sustainable than a Push strategy, and so has the models of integrative marketing management.

Do let us know if you liked our article or if you have any questions.

Have you read our article on the 4 P’s on Social Marketing?

Also did you read our article on the 7 P’s of Services Marketing?

These articles are highly popular posts in our educative blog.

Tsunami – What comes next ?

What a terrible, terrible incident took place on 11th of March, 2011. If there is one country which can withstand earthquakes then it must be Japan. Infact the very word tsunami is Japanese meaning ‘harbour wave’. Japan is a country which faces earthquake once in every 5 minutes. Infact even in schools the students are trained what to do in case there is an earthquake. But what happened last week is the worst that the country has faced so far. The Japanese PM has cited it to be the worst incident since the Second World War.
Because of nature’s wrath, such horrendous incidents are becoming regular in all parts of the world. This year supposedly has brought the heaviest snowfall ever in the European countries. And now the triple whammy of earthquake, followed by tsunami and meltdown at nuclear reactors have estimatedly killed thousands while more than a million has been left without food and water. The insurance companies have predicted it to be the costliest with insured lossed running into as much as 35 billion USD, without considering the loss caused by the tsunami.
The fear of what’s next is really scary. Japan has changed geologically and economically and will take long time to get back to normal. But we have obstructed the ways of nature in too many ways for the sake of development for far too long a time. And now with each stoke, the nature is taking us years back from where it would take a lot of effort to come back. Its better that we start getting sensible, else who knows what we might see in this life only…
Will catch u soon again..till then God bless us

@Priyanka

More plight to common man

Being a tax professional going through the budget changes is what we have to do as a part of our job. When the government presents a budget, the Finance Minister tries to convince that they keep the best interest of the common people in mind while imposing tax on the general public. This year through budget 2011, the Finance Minister of India has levied service tax on A/c hospitals having 25 or more beds.
The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry along with several prominent health care institutes throughout India has raised a voiced against this measure. In India it is impossible for a blood bank or operation theatre to function without proper air-conditioning. Further, the life of several patents would be at stake if they get admitted in a hospital without an A/C. The Government has proposed that they are levying such tax only on people who can afford it. But most importantly, i think the Hon’ble Finance Minister, however educated he might be has forgotten that nobody goes to hospital to relax. Most people who are admitted in hospitals are facing a life and death situation. Further, there are so many unprivileged people who put everything at stake, sale or mortgage their fixed assets to save their beloved ones.
The entire liability of service tax would be passed on by the clinics to their patients. What appears to the Government to be a mere tax collection , can make a lot of people beg on streets just to add a few more days to the life of their dearest one.
According to FICCI, India today is in dire need to expand its healthcare infrastructure which is extremely inadequate. The quantity of bed allocated is 0.9 for every 1,000 people in our country when compared to the global average of 2.7, or 3.0 in China and 2.4 in Brazil.
I really pray that the Government bows in front of the combined pressure from all areas and removed this clause from the Finance Bill. If they cant control inflation, they better not make sure to add more plight to the poor and ailing who are already being neglected by our so called “Prospering Country”.
Signing off for today
@Priyanka

PS: The tax structure of the Union Budget 2011

The 7S for Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing is basically promotion of brands using all available forms of digital advertising media to reach the target segment. In current marketing media, the popular media includes Radio, mobile, Internet, Television, social media marketing and other less popular forms of digital media like Digital Signage, Digital bill boards, etc.

Check out our article on Digital Marketing – Theories, Strategies and Frameworks

The 7 S for Digital Marketing typically is the way a Digital marketing strategy is systematically utilized.

  • Strategy: Does the strategy fit with the vision and mission of your organization?
  • Shared values: Does the strategy go hand in hand with the shared values of not only your target customer segment but also of that of the implementers?
  • Structure: Does your organizational structure support adaptations to changes in environment in response to your campaign?
  • Skill: Do you have the suitable skilled workforce to carry out the campaign successfully?
  • Staff: Are your staff equipped to deliver your strategy (location wise, access to technical resources)
  • Style: Does the campaign thematically fit with the style of your other campaigns?
  • Systems: Do you have systems in place to carry out the campaign? Is there technical support for your advertising campaigns and marketing plans?

Hope this clears up the 7S of Digital Marketing. Hope this helps your company to chalk out a successful digital marketing program. Do let us know what you think of the article, with your valuable comments.

Have you read our article on the 4 P’s on Social Marketing?

Also did you read our article on the The 4 P’s of Marketing – The Marketing Mix strategies?

Dreams

There are clubs you can’t belong to, neighborhoods you can’t live in, schools you can’t get into, but the roads are always open. – Nike
Did anyone of you dream ever ? I am not talking about a passing dream or a mere fantasy, but something that has germinated inside you, something u have thought, lived, felt so much so that it has become a part of your blood..
A dream is born in our subconscious..and then it spreads through our origin…so much so that we become an extension of what we dream..the dreams we see with our eyes open determine who we turn out to be..like a bonshayee tree it spreads its roots through our veins and persuades us to take the chances we would consider risky unless we are under the spell of our dreams..no wonder we might spend a few years trying to climb the imaginary stairs we build to reach our destiny..but then is it worthwhile to spend the whole life thinking that only at the cost of few years we could have got what we are being born to do?
One thing we should always realise is that we begin by choosing our dreams..but it ends with the dreams testing our worthiness before being fulfilled..it is only when we live, breathe and give our souls completely does our dreams realise..our dreams determine to what extent we are ready to sacrifice for it to be fulfilled…also how we come across people on our way who either scatter them or hold our hands and show us the path to destination..but at the end its our own decisions that determines the way..

I donno what awaits for me..but it doesnt matter at all….my hope has ended my fear….as someone said good things happen to good people..but it is us who defines the good..creates them..inside i have always known what I am meant to do..it is not only my dream..i shall definitely make into reality soon..experience might say it is risky..reason might say that i might fail..but the heart always says to give it a try….and i shall try till i succeed