Filtering Tag: Business Posts

IS MARKETER AND A SALES PERSON THE SAME?

Don’t get me wrong on this…. It’s quite normal for someone not to understand your career. In fact, you’re most likely to hear people say, “You’re a marketer…so do you go from door to door selling your products or do you advertise in supermarkets?”

And get this, NO Marketer likes those questions especially if they hold a senior position in marketing. It can be quite offensive. So let me educate you on what’s the difference between the two and why people get offended or upset by that.

Let’s start with the basics, “what is Marketing and what is personal selling?” Believe it or not, Marketing is like a whole subject and personal selling is a topic within the subject. So what does marketing really entail? Marketing is simply the process or a set of activities that add value to a good or service offered. From how the PRODUCT looks like, to the PRICE tagged on the product, to the PLACE or distribution channel used and finally to the PROMOTION used to create awareness and promote more sells.

I hope I’m not losing anyone to boredom because we aren’t close to halfway…. When it comes to Promotion, you’re persuading a customer to purchase the product by giving them relevant information about it. You can use Public Relation, Advertising, Sales Promotion and Personal Selling. Yes, people, we’ve hit the jackpot! Personal Selling is actually a means of promotion, where a salesperson comes and persuades you to buy his product through his presentation. BINGO!!!

Are we done yet??? NOPE….I’m here to make you understand these two concepts because some people think that a marketer can play the role of a salesperson and vice versa. And I’m here to say that it’s impossible. Why? Because the work of a marketer is to understand the need of the customer and ensure that the need is seen or felt in their product. More so, their job is to understand their customers’ sales frequency and get strategies of how to increase that frequency. ON THE OTHER HAND, a sales person’s job is to be a sweet talker/charmer…what does that really mean in business??? To know what the customer wants to hear and observe their non-verbal and verbal communication so as to know how to respond.

And both are important within the business since they are interdependent to each other…Think about it, without the marketers how will potential customers know about your product, yet without salespeople how can you influence both the market share and sales share?

But in the world of marketing, there’s a nature of evolution and change, where what was there 5years ago, might not be practiced today. Think of new concepts such as Telemarketing, Customer Relationship Management, Digital Marketing and CIM (Charter Institute of Marketing)….and where some of these offices are merged.

The lesson of the day, please get to know the trends of marketing….there are interesting facts. I would honestly like to hear comments on Marketing and Sales guru, whether you have an academic qualification or experience qualification…All are welcomed.

WRONG PROMOTION TACTICS

The kind of promotional activities you’ll execute is determined by the type of Line Marketing you choose. Let’s break this down gently by answering one simple question, “What is line marketing? “ It’s simply the group of promotional activities you’ll select to communicate and get the attention of your potential customers.

So there are ways of getting your customer’s attention, which is similar to how you get into a relationship…yeah, it’s that simple, but the wrong move can make have a bad impression. We have three types of line marketing to go through, one being Above the Line Marketing.

So for your first date, well, in this case, your potential customer, you need to build your awareness on your brand and reinforce the emotional concept surrounding your product. The whole concept is to get a better connection with your audience. Make your date laugh, cry, happy, amused…as long they are willingly giving you their attention then “wameingia box”.  And that my friend is Above the Line marketing which will involve mass media channels like TV, Radio, print advertising (magazine, newspaper, and posters), internet and cinema adverts.

Let’s recollect our concepts… Above the Line are advertising activities involving mass media channels and targets general wide reach of potential customers.

Shall we continue???

Now after wooing or being wooed to….there is a need to manage and maintain the relationship. Yes you got him at the palm of your hands, and yes you swept her away…but all in all, you have got to ensure that there’s progress…and it has to be in a personal touch.

And that’s what Below the Line marketing is all about…making sure your customer recalls your Brand and there is a strong relationship between you and your customers. In short, Below the Line marketing is advertising activities that involve Indirect Marketing means for a smaller but targeted reach. Like in a relationship, it’s the small things that count, like checking up on someone, advising one on better life choices and ensuring that your presence is felt. In this case, involve your customers about a new line product or advanced products in the market, get them wild with discount and let them enjoy mini gifts. Let them want to be your advocate by default…

 

Then there is the perfect match, when there is a fusion of Above the Line marketing and Below the Line marketing, it forms Through the Line marketing. Where you see your significant and how beautiful/handsome she/he is…and you get the feeling of keeping alert of the competitors. In this case, you ensure that she/he is so busy enjoying your love and presence that they don’t have time to look for someone better. In this case, this will mean combining both mass marketing and direct marketing to ensure a loyal customer.

 

 

LET’S GET YOU THAT INVESTMENT!

LET’S GET YOU THAT INVESTMENT! 

A QUICK GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE PITCHING FOR INVESTMENT.

You come up with an idea or product that you feel is the next best thing after toast bread. The balance on your savings account screams ‘help!’ and you very well know that if you’re going to get your idea off the ground, you’ll need capital. You figure you need an investor to pour funds into your company. Below is a list of some of the important things you need to have in check as you get ready to pitch.

  1. Have a good grasp of your product/service. Make sure that you can easily (in a comprehensible manner) explain and demonstrate what the product does or how it works. If possible, always have a physical representation of the product. It is important to an investor to know and have a feel of the product/service. They need to engage with the product so have a prototype.

 

  1. State your offer at the beginning of the pitch. State the amount you need and the percentage/stake of equity you intend to give (where applicable).

 

  1. Make your pitch brief but concise. No one wants to sit and listen to a long pitch (except your parentsJ) Try to make sure that you talk about the fundamental aspects of the business without going into too much detail. If the investors need to know or clarify something, they’ll ask. A long pitch may reflect that you don’t really understand your product. Remember, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

 

  1. Have the necessary numbers/figures at your fingertips. Numbers such as your valuation of the company, your gross, direct cost of sales , net worth and your yearly projections are necessary .Make sure that you can back up your valuation and projections.

 

  1. If you’re already in production and have retailed your products, be prepared for questions such as ‘What does it cost you to make the product?’ How much have you sold so far?’ ‘Have you got back your initial investment in the business?

 

  1. Make sure you illustrate to the investor how they’ll make a return from your business and your projections on how long it will take to get a return on their investment. Remember, most times investors are all about the money!

By Rachel Nderitu

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

If you grew up in the 80’s and 90’s chances are you watched a movie series titled the Terminator. The science-fiction action film depicted the use of robots and an artificial intelligence system.  Back then the idea of having a futuristic robot programmed with an agenda was just that- fiction.  Well, fast forward to today and the future of computers and related technology is quickly changing fiction to reality.  And A.I. short for Artificial Intelligence is what scientists are putting their next big bet on.

Artificial intelligence AI is also referred to as machine intelligence MI.  MI is intelligence demonstrated by machines, in contrast to the natural intelligence, NI, displayed by humans and other animals. In computer science AI research is defined as the study of “intelligent agents” that is any device that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of successfully achieving its goals. Equally, the term “artificial intelligence” is applied when a machine mimics “cognitive” functions that humans associate with other human minds, such as “learning” and “problem solving”

Artificial intelligence is meant to make machines act rationally just like a human being would but much more accurately and with better judgment decisions given various scenarios.  In the next 10 years, AI is anticipated to have dramatically changed the technological and workplace paradigms. It is expected that more self-driven cars will be developed, there will be better functional systems put into place in production and distribution businesses and there will be a huge automation for easy tasks. It is also feared that some jobs will be wiped out by artificial intelligence.

With this in mind the government of Kenya has set up a 10 member block chain and artificial intelligence taskforce that is mandated to publish a roadmap for distributed ledger and AI for the country for the next fifteen years. Their primary objective is to make Kenya a leader in job creation through the big four agenda. The roadmap developed by the task force will contextualize how the application of these technologies can be used in the areas of financial inclusion, cyber security, land tilting, election process, single digital identity and overall public service delivery.

To this regard, a whole lot of opportunities lie in Artificial Intelligence. As it is right now, AI has many applications in a myriad of industries, including finance, transportation and healthcare. It has been applied to object, face, speech and handwriting recognition; virtual reality and image processing; natural language processing, chat bots and translation; email spam filtering, robotics and data mining. In fact according to market intelligence firm, Tractica, the annual worldwide AI revenue will grow to $36.8 billion by 2025.

What can we expect?

In medicine…

In this day and age when people expect to get answers instantly, virtual assistants will enable patients to get answers in real time. Patients can ask medical questions and receive answers, get more information and reminders about taking medications, report information to physicians, and gain other medical support. Physicians can also take advantage of healthcare virtual assistants by tracking and following through with orders and making sure they are ordering the correct medication for patients.

In manufacturing…

In manufacturing, Artificial Intelligence will be used to predict failures so that companies can take action before the failure of a piece of equipment and reduce downtime.

In transport…

In transport, we are already benefiting here in Kenya with various taxi hailing apps changing the way we move from one place to the other saving on both time and money. This is expected to revolutionize to self-driving vehicles that will pick you up and drop you at your preferred destination without aid of a third party i.e. a driver.

In agriculture…

In agriculture, companies are developing and programming autonomous robots to handle essential agricultural tasks such as harvesting crops at a higher volume and faster pace than human laborer. They are also leveraging computer vision and deep-learning algorithms to process data captured by drones and/or software-based technology to monitor crop and soil health. Machine learning models are being developed to track and predict various environmental impacts on crop yield such as weather changes. Pests and diseases are also being highly monitored for prevention and elimination at a high rate.

With all these industries having Artificial Intelligence taking over, it is inevitable that we will have to take it up in our day to day operations at home, work and of course in leisure.

The future of A.I. is already with us, are you ready?

 

Karanja D.N.

New Year Resolutions Or Maybe Not

The twenty first century upwardly mobile man or woman may be categorised into two; New Year New Me optimist or New Year Resolutions for who cynic. I am not here to tell you who you are, because you already know, neither am I here to outline for you the resolutions you need to make or steer clear of  nor reveal to you some profound truth about life. If I knew that truth, I would be somewhere in the Swiss Alps skiing away blissfully not waking up in the middle of the night with a panic attack because this article was not handed in on time.

We started off wrong, let me try and salvage the situation by making sure you read to the very end, my pay check depends on positive stats. Happy New Year lovely human, hope the New Year has stirred some renewed hope in you. After all, to me all we live on is hope for without it, every hurdle would be that much more insurmountable and every idea would be too intimidating to give it a shot. So if nothing else, this year hold on to hope.

 So what were we writing about again? Business, New Year resolutions, okay, sorry I digressed. As I tried to figure out which side of the divide I wanted to be in the New Year, the optimist or the cynic, mulling over my dilemma was interrupted with more urgent matters like handing in annual reports and presenting New Year departmental plans. As you have guessed, our financial year is aligned to the calendar year.

Why would I look back at the financial year and write roadmaps for the various business departments but was unwilling to do the same with the most important asset, me? It definitely is not an earth shattering discovery not by a long shot but it had me deep in thought. Deep enough for me to want to share with you, whichever side of the divide you lie.

Would you walk into your boss’ office and tell him, “You know what boss, this year we do not have a marketing plan, we are winging it.” I guess not. Then why do you walk into a New Year without a plan for yourself? I choose New Year resolutions because this is the one time that most people take time off for reflection and introspection. This does not in way however mean that you cannot carry out this exercise any other time of the year. Better yet, this should be an on-going exercise where you review your plans periodically to track performance just as you would with your marketing plans.

A simple yet effective tool to use in setting up your resolution is the good old acronym S.M.A.R.T. 

Specific

Make sure your resolutions are broken down to a point that a kindergarten child can explain them back to you.

Example:

Goal 1- I want to increase my income this year

Instead say

I want to increase my monthly income from Kshs. 150, 000 to Kshs. 180, 000 this year.

Measurable

Can you quantify your goal? If yes, good job, if not, you need to go back to the drawing board.

Carrying on with our goal:

I want to increase my monthly income from Kshs. 150, 000 to Kshs. 180, 000 this year. This signifies a 20% increase in my income.

Attainable

The number one cause of failure to achieve resolutions and by extension give up on setting them altogether is, setting unattainable goals. Goals that promise a false start even before you start.

Now we have to ask ourselves, is our goal attainable?

I want to increase my monthly income from Kshs. 150, 000 to Kshs. 180, 000 this year. This signifies a 20% increase in my income.

We need to ask ourselves, a few key questions:

  • Am I in control of how much I earn; employment or self-employment?
  • What are the steps am taking to attain this goal?

In instance one: Employed

I want to increase my monthly income from Kshs. 150, 000 to Kshs. 180, 000 this year. This signifies a 20% increase in my income.

  • I will achieve this goal because, we are due for a raise and the company promised a 20% increase to those who fund higher degrees for themselves in line with their job descriptions. I graduated in December with an MBA in Marketing.

 

 

In instance two: Self-employed

I want to move my monthly income from Kshs. 150, 000 to Kshs. 180, 000 this year. This signifies a 20% increase in my income.

  • I will achieve this goal because I just got a new government tender that guarantees an additional Kshs. 30, 000 after factoring in my expenses.

Realistic

Your goals need to be backed by logic and reason. Yes, you are rearing to go but take a step back and ask yourself, is this sensible?

We can say our example is sensible enough especially having shown their attainability.

I want to move my monthly income from Kshs. 150, 000 to Kshs. 180, 000 this year. This signifies a 20% increase in my income.

Time Bound

Do not leave your resolutions open ended as far as time is concerned. That is sure suicide, well, at least as far as your resolutions are concerned. Not having timelines, nullifies the whole point of setting resolutions.

As we conclude on our example:

In instance one: Employed

I want to increase my monthly income from Kshs. 150, 000 to Kshs. 180, 000 this year. This signifies a 20% increase in my income. This will take effect in the second quarter of the year since my review is set for the last month of the first quarter of the year.

  • I will achieve this because, we are due for a raise and the company promised a 20% increase to those who fund higher degrees for themselves in line with their job descriptions. I graduated in December with an MBA in Marketing.

In instance two: Self-employed

I want to move my monthly income from Kshs. 150, 000 to Kshs. 180, 000 this year. This signifies a 20% increase in my income.

  • I will achieve this because I just got a new government tender that guarantees an additional Kshs. 30, 000 after factoring in my expenses. This will take effect in the second half of the year since government payments take a period of 90 days after supply.

Go on, set plans for yourself, if you would not dare wing it with your business; why then wing it with your personal, professional and financial life.

Happy New Year, whenever your year starts.

What Does Business Mean To You

That’s none of your business, a phrase often times thrown around to have someone stop pestering you over.

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