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STRATEGIC BUSINESS PLANNING: 01-07
In order to develop a marketing programme in an organization, management must first prepare a strategic plan for the total organizational effort. This strategic plan can be followed and used by various functional divisions in the organization such as marketing.
Different organizations approach strategic planning in different ways. The approach outlined in this topic is just one of many alternatives. Successful organizations share some common characteristics. These characteristics are based on effective strategic planning and a strong focus on organizational direction. Organizational goals and strategies are communicated to employees and coordinated at all levels of the organization.
While the process of strategic planning starts at the top of the organization, all managers, team leaders and team members have a role to play in the strategic planning process. Managers and team leaders are also involved in constructing functional and tactical plans based on the broad strategy and putting these plans into action.
Strategic planning assists organizations in managing a constantly changing business environment, identifying changes and threats that have the potential to affect the organization, as well as positioning the organization to capitalize on opportunities. The outcome of an effective strategic planning process is maintenance of the organisation’s competitive advantage.
Strategic planning can be seen as developing a road map to help organizations clarify their objectives, navigate through change and successfully complete in the marketplace.
SWOT ANALYSIS:
1. Situation analysis to bridge the gap: Once you have collected information about an organisation’s external environment, it can be analysed at a higher level to give a picture of where the organization sits within its environment.
SWOT Analysis:
This analysis of an organizations external, as well as internal environment is often achieved with a technique known as a SWOT analysis – the first letters of the four words standing for strengths, weakness, opportunist and threats
These can be further categorized into aspects of the internal or external environment of the organization.

Internal environment
External environment
Strengths
Opportunities
Weaknesses
Threats
A SWOT analysis can be viewed as a reality check for the organization. Any strategies developed should take advantage of the organisation’s strengths, recognize its weaknesses, counter external threats and capitalize on its opportunities
Strengths and weaknesses:     
Strength as basis of competitive advantage:
Strengths form the basis of an organisation’s competitive advantage. In addition to existing strengths this includes characteristics that could be developed as strengths.
Some useful questions an organisation can ask itself at this stage in the planning process are: ’What is unique about our organization?”, What is out special expertise?”, “What do we do better than our competitors?”, “In what areas are we not so good?”, “Which products are successful and why?”.
Those involved in the strategic planning process should seek input on these questions from employees as well as those external to the organization – customers, investors and shareholders.
In looking in at its internal environment, an organization also needs to assess other resources such as financial, human resources and systems capabilities. Additional capital might be needed if the organization is about to undergo an expansion programme. Additional employees with different skills and experience might be required.
Why choose us over our competitors?
Central to the whole process of strategic planning is identifying the company’s key competitive advantage or strategic driving force. In other words, why do customers, shareholders and employees choose one particular organization over its competitors? For example, an organization might have a competitive advantage in customer service because it handles customer enquiries more effectively that its competitors. Other factors providing organsations with a competitive advantage include product quality, product range and price, markets, technical know-how and distribution strategy.
Can internal strengths be translated into customer value?
It is important to not that competitive advantage is defined by the key stakeholder, in our example, the customer. Internal strengths of the organization, such as superior computer systems, only become a competitive advantage if they can be translated into something of value to the customer.
Opportunities and threats:
Sometimes environmental conditions favour an organization in securing or improving a competitive advantage, and opportunities arise to further improve its position. The same change could be interpreted as either a threat or an opportunity by different companies. This can occur when there is a change in legislation. The organization should therefore ask itself, ‘Are there conditions that could jeopardize our competitive position?’
There are a number of recent examples illustrating how a change in legislation can impact significantly on a financial services organisation’s competitive position.
And as an industry that is subject to a broad range of regulatory controls, no financial services organization can take for granted that current market conditions will continue. Consider the range of regulatory changes that have taken place over the past 15 years and their impact on the operations of players in this market.
Threats occur when environmental conditions signal potential problems that might jeopardize an organisation’s competitive position. A common source of threats is competitor organizations as well as current competitors and their strengths and weaknesses.
Sources of competitive information:
Sources of competitive information could include the following:
  • Publications and promotional material
  • Investor and customer information
  • Employees, including salespeople
  • Customers
  • Trade shows and exhibitions
  • Media
Care needs to be taken with how competitive information is obtained. For example, making an investment in a rival fund manager’s product could be an acceptable and useful way of gaining an insight into your competitor’s customer communications.
Questions:
1. Why do organizations invest so many resources in strategic planning?
2. What are some of the underlying questions that need to be answered for an organization to develop:
a. A vision statement?
b. A corporate strategy?
3. Compare product expansion and product diversification market growth strategies.
4. How is a SWOT analysis carried out?
Answers:
1. Strategic planning can assist an organization to anticipate change, increase performance and maintain competitive advantage. Correctly done, planning will provide a framework for decision making al all levels. Organisation can be better prepared to respond to threats and opportunities.
2. a. Vision decisions might start with questions such as:
  • ‘Why does the organization exist’?
  • ‘Why are we doing what are we doing’?
  • What should we be doing’?
b. Corporate strategy and tactical decisions might start with questions such as:  
  • ‘How do we get ther’?
  • ‘When are we getting there’?
  • ‘Who do we need to help us to get there’?
3. Product expansion strategies involve developing new products or services into an existing market, while product diversification strategies involve both new products and new markets. The latter strategy will normally be a higher risk strategy.
4. SWOT analysis strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats involved in a particular situation. This is frequently used to analyse the internal and external environments for an organization. Focused questions such as ‘What is our special expertise?’ and ‘Are there conditions that could jeopardize out competitive position?’ assist in this analysis
  • Vision – attempts to answer the question, ‘Why does the company exist?’ It is made up of three components: core values and beliefs, purpose and mission.
  • Values – shape the way that an organization operates on a day-to-day basis. They are the underlying principles of the way an organization conducts its business and its role in the marketplace and community.
  • Purpose – a broad, enduring statement outlining an organisation’s reason for existence.
  • Mission – a statement about where an organistion is going.
  • Strategi planning assist an organization in anticipating change, increasing performance and maintaining competitive advantages.
  • The major steps of strategic planning involve establishing:
§     Vision – core values and beliefs, purpose and mission
§     Objectives and goals
§     Strategies and tactics
  • Core values and beliefs are the principles that underline the way an organization operates on a day-to-day basis.
  • An organisation’s purpose is its reason for being and needs to be expressed in a broad, enduring statement.
  • A mission is a clear and compelling overall goal that provides a focus for effort.
  • A good mission includes a time frame and is revised after a period of time to adapt to organizational changes.
  • Mission statements in market-oriented terms broaden an organisation’s market and extend its life.
  • Common objectives relate concrete goals facilitate the process of management planning control.
  • A strategic business unit is a separate identifiable business, has a distinct mission and has its own competitors and group executives with profit responsibility.
  • Strategies are broad, basic plans of action by which the organisation intends to achieve its goals and fulfill its mission.
  • Product/Market growth strategies include market penetration, market expansion/development, product expansion, diversification, price leadership, differentiation and focus.
  • Tactics are more specific courses of action carried out to achieve objectives.
  • Key external sources of strategic information include competitors, environmental factors and customers.
  • Environmental factors that affect organistions include globalisation technology, demographic shifts, economic conditions, social and cultural forces and political influences.
  • Trend analysis attempts to identify environmental changes in the early stges of their development.
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MARKETING – 02-07
MARKETING – THE STARTING POINT:
The term ‘marketing’ is often used interchangeably with words such as sales, public relations and advertising. However, these are only elements of marking and do not reflect the complexity an depth of the marketing process.
Marketing is both an art and a science, combining creativity with detailed planning and research.
To be successful in today’s competitive environment, organizations must be marketing oriented. This means the organizations must understand how their products and services are perceived by a diverse population of consumers, and recognize that their activities are customer driven.
To be successful in today’s competitive environment, organization must be marketing oriented. This means that organistions must understand how their products and services are perceived by a diverse population of consumers, and recognize that their activities are customer driver.
Marketing is a concern for everyone in the organisation, whether it is designing a more efficient administration system or educating the distributors of an organisation’s products, all employees have a role in identifying and interpreting consumer needs.
We will describe the major components and steps of the marketing process – from marketing research, to discovering what makes consumers ‘tick’, to delivering the final product to the consumer.
Developing an understanding of marketing will help you learn how marketing affects decision making in your organization and within your work teams. Studying marketing will also help you become a more informed consumer.
Questions:
1. ‘Marketing’ is much more complex process than ‘selling’. Discuss this statement. Do you agree with it?
2. What is meant by the term ‘the marketing mix’?
3. Compare focus groups and surveys as methods of collecting primary marketing data
4. What are marketers becoming increasingly interested in the post-purchase behaviour of customers?
5. What are some of the important external influences on a customer’s purchase decision?
Answers:
1. Marketing is seen as a more complex process involving matching customer needs with products available, so that in the process both parties receive something of value-there is a greater sense of building ongoing and long-term relationships.
2. The marketing mix is referred top as:
  • Product
  • Promotion
  • Place (distribution)
  • Price
These are seen as the controllable variables of marketing     
3. Focus groups tend to concentrate on more complex and subtle aspects of the marketing process. They are particularly effective for exploratory research. Surveys can involve a much larger sample group. They are flexible and when properly designed can be quick and reasonably accurate. Many are less effective because of inadequate time put into design and trailing the survey instrument.
4. Post-purchase discomfort and negative feeling about the product purchased can reduce the likelihood of customer loyalty being maintained: Follow-up calls, toll-free hotlines and other services for maintaining contact can prove worthwhile.
5. External influences include:
  • Attitude of the customer’s reference group
  • Social norms, roles and values
  • Cultural differences
Relationship marketing is the process of building long-term relationships with customers, as organisations aim to improve prospective customers to become advocates
The importance of market research relates to the need for relevant, timely information for decision making. Factors that have increased the need for this high level of information include:
  • Shorter product life cycles
  • Increasing complexity of markets
  • Globalization of markets
  • Increased levels of consumer awareness and expectation
  • The overall information explosion
  1. Primary research data is original information gathered specifically for a project, while secondary data has already been collected and used for other purposes. Secondary data is still often highly relevant and is usually the first information sought during research.
  2. Secondary data is basically gathered by ‘desk research’ from a range of internal and external sources. Primary data gathering involves more intensive process using a range of approaches including focus groups, surveys, observation and experimental methods.
§  Marketing is defined as the process of providing products and services to create exchanges that satisfy customer needs.
§  A major goal of marketing is to build long-term relationships with customers. This is referred to as relationship marketing.
§  Services are intangible, heterogeneous, inseparable and variable, but can also be associated with tangible products.
§  The marketing mix consists of four elements: product, promotion, place (distribution) and price. Marketing managers design different combinations of these four Ps to achieve their objectives.
§  The product component includes the core product being offered as well as other factors such as service, quality, advice, warranties and follow-up.
§  The promotional component refers to the various ways that organizations inform and persuade their consumers. Promotion includes advertising, personal selling sales promotion and public relations.
§  The price component equates to the perceived value of a product. Price planning considerations include discounts and other pricing tactics.
§  The place component is how a product is distributed both geographically and through the choice of distribution channels.
§  The production and sales orientation stages of commerce preceded the development of the marketing concept.
§  A firm is truly marketing oriented when all departments and employees are customer focused and coordinated in their decision making and activities.
§  Marketing research is defined as the systematic and objective process of generating information for use in marketing decision making.
§  Marketing research can be used to address problems or opportunities related to different aspects of the marketing mix and are often conducted by specialist research firms.
§  The two broad types of information used in marketing research are primary and secondary data.
§  Secondary data is existing information. Collecting secondary data and cheaper than gathering primary data but might less useful. Primary data is information that is specifically gathered for the research issue being addressed. Methods of primary data collection include surveys, observation and experiments.
§  Focus groups are small groups of consumers who are brought together to discuss a product and their buying behaviour in relation to it. Focus groups provide more qualitative feedback than surveys.
§  Consumers’ buying behaviour is influenced by how involved they feel in the purchase decision and how risky they consider it to be.
§  Consumers might experience post-purchase discomfort after making a buying decision unless their choice is reinforced.
§  Individual influences on buying behaviour include motivation, perception, learning attitudes and personality. External influences on buying behaviour include social and cultural factors and the influence of groups.


MARKETING – SEGMENTATION AND PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT:
Marketing products and services to a diverse population of consumers is challenging organizations. Changing consumer needs, competitive threats and the rapid pace of technological change can create problems for even the best marketing plans. Most organizations realize that they cannot bee all things to all people and that some measure of specialization in their product offerings is required. Marketing-oriented firms also recognize that consumer needs and perceptions are the starting point in any new strategy.
Product development and enhancement become an ongoing process to manage and anticipate change wherever possible in the dynamic marketing environment.
1. a. What is meant by positioning?
    b. What are positioning strategies?
2. In a simple table compare features and advantages/disadvantages of:
a. undifferentiated marketing
b. differentiated marketing
c. concentrated marketing
d. custom marketing
3. How do organisations select meaningful market segment?
4. What qualities do you associate with effective brands?
5. Given a model that categorises consumers on certain characteristics from innovators to laggards – what strategies can be used to target innovators and other early adopters?
Answer:
1. a. Positioning is the perception consumers have about a product relative to similar products in the market.
b. Positioning strategies identify the competitive advantage a product has and stress product characteristics and benefits that differentiated it from competitors.
2.        

Undifferentiated marketing
Differentiated marketing
Concentrated marketing
Custom marketing
Advantages
Saves on development and marketing costs
Product varieties can affect different market segments
Competitive advantage of concentrating on a niche market
Each customer’s unique needs are met
Disadvantages
Vulnerable to competition as consumers might dislike one size fits all approach
Cost of developing, marketing product variations
Segments of market might be too small and customer needs might change
Comparatively labour intensive high demand on staff
3. A meaningful market segment should:
  • Have characteristics that distinguishes it from the overall market
  • Have an identified need that the product mix can meet
  • Be sufficiently homogeneous
  • Be large enough to be profitable
  • Have sufficient spending capacity
  • Be measurable and accessible for promotion and distribution
4. Effective branding relates to memorability, positive image, durability, and allowing differentiation from other products, encouraging repeat buying and customer loyalty.
5. Innovators are the most venturesome consumers, typically younger and better educated. Marketing will focus on stimulating awareness and interest. Early adopters will enter the market for a product seen as successful and buy at the growth stage of the product cycle. Marketing might emphasis initial impact, rapid acceptance and high interest level.
1. a. Market segmentation is the process of dividing a market into groups or segments of customers with similar needs.
b. This could focus on the youth market, seniors, retirees, or small business
2. Life stages are classified as bachelor, new married, no children, full nest I, II, III, empty nest I, II, solitary survivor
3. Demographic market data includes age, income, occupation, education, gender, religion, nationality.
Psychographic date includes lifestyle, personality and social class classifications. Brand provides the means for consumers to recognize a product or organisation in the market-place and is closely tied with positioning. Brands identify the goods or services and differentiate them from competitors.

  • Market segmentation is the process of dividing a market into groups or segments of customers who have similar needs.
  • Geographic, demographic and psychographic segmentation are some of the ways organizations can select their target markets.
  • Target market strategies include undifferentiated, concentrated, differentiated, custom and mass-customized strategies.
  • Positioning relates to the perception that consumers have about a product relative to similar products in the market.
  • Markets sometimes use positioning statements and positioning maps to identify their products competitive advantage.
  • Brands help consumers identify products and provide assurance of quality and reliability. Brands enable organizations to differentiate their products, develop customer loyalty and provide a means to segment markets.
  • The total product comprises the core product, the extended product and the essential benefit.
  • Products go through four stages of a product life cycle: introduction, growth, maturity and decline.
  • Each product marketed by an organization makes different financial contributions in terms of its profitability and market share. The way in which these products are combined and managed is the product portfolio or ‘product mix’.
  • The process of product development can be described in four general stages: idea generation, screening, business analysis and development.

MARKETING – COMMUNICATIONS:
The marketing-oriented organization knows that having great products or superior service is not enough to survive in today’s competitive environment. Consumers need to be aware of the brand associated with the product. The need to be able to positively identify with the brand and the values it projects. A brand is far more than a logo carrying the company name – it should embody the company identity and company values. Organisations must therefore communicate their identity to consumers, through their advertising, website, promotions, direct marketing, sales force and customer service activities and include what they have to offer in their product portfolio. This must be consistent with their brand image and positioning.
Marketing communications is the part of the marketing function that is responsible for all communications. These have to be consistent with the brand image and positioning of the company. This includes informing, persuading and reminding customers about a company’s product i.e., informing them of the benefits and persuading them they have made the right choice. The ultimate aim is to influence consumer’s feeling, beliefs and behaviour.
To be effective a band not only needs to be well known but needs to be well regarded and wanted. All communications via advertising (both have and below the line), promotions and public activities in accordance with both the business and brand objectives. These in turn will vary according to the marketing objectives for each campaign.
For example, the advertising, promotions, public relations and sales force activities of a company that is about to launch a new innovative product will be different from those of a company that is suffering to declining market share and needs to reposition its products. Further, the mix of advertising, promotions, direct marketing, public relations and sales force activities will vary according to the nature of the product or service and the target audience.
Financial services organizations are starting to recognize that intangible products such as bank accounts, mortgages and investment products need well managed brand communication strategies that give the organisation a competitive edge.
Advertising, promotions, direct marketing, public relations and sales force activities are direct forms of communication with potential and existing customers. However, the sales force is the most direct form of communication because the sales staff directly interfaces with current and prospective customers.
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COMMUNICATION – 01-07
On of the ironies of modern life is that while technological means and tools of communication have developed to levels beyond our imagination, we nevertheless often find it difficult to communicate effectively.
Communication is an essential part of corporate life. Effective communication skills can be among your most powerful business assets. A recent Canadian study found, as have many others, that 90% of business leaders surveyed believed that ability o present ideas convincingly was critical for cusses in their jobs. Despite sophisticated technological aids, the spoken and written word remain a paramount importance. An inability to communicate and interact effectively with other people can be a major cause of work-related problems. We need to be effective communicators if we are to contribute to the success of our work units and develop personally.
We will identify problems that lead to poor communication between the financial services representatives and the customer/colleague. There will be an opportunity for learning and practicing communications tools, including listening, questioning, and feedback and coaching.
Most organizations will benefit from improving the way communication is handled, This is particularly the case given the pace of change in the marketplace and the large volume of information that needs to be managed in today’s organisations. Good communication not only helps people work together as a tem, it provides an opportunity to weld together the various parts of an organization into a more different, effective and competitive whole.
Questions:
1. When is communication judged to be effective?
2. What re the essential differences between the three communication models described in the subject notes?
3. Why can jargon commonly constitute a communication barrier?
4. How does the ‘halo/horns’ effect operate?
5. ‘Minimal encouragers’ are a useful active listening skill. What are they?
6. In a coaching interview we aim to examine reality objectively. What can the interviewer (coach) do to facilitate this?
Answers:
1. Communication is effective when what is sent and what is meant equals what is understood.
2. The most basic model of communication does not contain a feedback loop, which is essential in determining if the intended message has been understood.
The feedback loop communication model does include the feedback loop, but does not contain the step where the sender shapes the message for the receiver so that the intended message is received.
The receiver-oriented communication model contains all the characteristics mentioned above.
3. Industry-specific jargon, e.g. finance, industry terms, might sound like a foreign language to a non-finance person. Consequently, communication breaks down as messages are misinterpreted or misunderstood.
4. This is a form of stereotyping and prejudice, where people responded in the manner that is expected of them. For example, if people are expected to do their best, this is how they will respond.
5. These are short phrases such as ‘I see’, which encourage the speaker to continue talking and indicate the listener is paying attention.

6.
  • Phrase question that require factual and specific answers
  • Use descriptive (objective) language
  • Follow the lead of the coachee
  • Assist the coachee to align their reality with the context of the team/organisation
  • Use their senses to discover how the coachee prefers to communicate
  • Ask questions to discover what motivates or de-motivates the coachee
“Killer Phrases’ are negative statements such as ‘We’ve tried it before’, that discourage employees from innovating and going to their team leader with new ideas.
“Igniter phrases” are conducive to good communication and demonstrate a positive approach, which enhances employee motivation and morale.  An example is ‘Great job1’  
Non-verbal cues could include:
  • Actions
  • Appearance
  • Body language
  • Facial expressions
  1. Intention – the listener strives to capture all the information without interrupting or putting words into the speaker’s mouth.
      Attention – the listener pays attention to both verbal and non-verbal; communication
      Micro skills – these are skills such as attending, minimal encourages, paraphrasing, They             involve listening attentively and with empathy.
  1. We listen carefully to what the customer is saying and selectively interject with short phrases such as “I see” “go on” when appropriate. We are also careful not to overdo minimal encouragers and appear intrusive.
  2. Paraphrasing does not mean repeating what the speaker has said, Instead, the speaker wants to hear what you have understood their communication to have been. Iff you have interpreted the communication incorrectly, the speaker will correct you – this not possible if the message is simply ’parroted’ back.
  3. Open questions:
            ‘What is your opinion of the new software package?’
            ‘Why do you think the new bank account will be a success?’
            Closed questions:
            ‘Do you like the new software package?’
            Do you believe the new bank account will be successful?’
§  Communication is defined as a process by which a message is passed from one individual or group to another individual or group and achieves the required response.
§  Most communication takes place by combinations of verbal and non-verbal means. E.g body language.
§  The most basic model of communication process is:
§  Sender
§  Message
§  Receiver
§  The feedback communication model show the effective communication needs to be two-way process and requires response and feedback.
§  Communication breaks down when the sender or receiver is unable to overcome communication barriers.
§  Some communication barriers are use of jargon, perceptions, disability, age, status, distance, ambiguity, stereotyping, time pressures, lack of trust, environmental barriers.
§  Some techniques for overcoming communication barriers are feedback, empathy, appropriate timing, a positive approach, constraining emotions, watching for nonverbal cues and selecting an appropriate location.
§  The three components of active listening are intention, attention and micro listening skills.
§  Micro skills of active listening include attending skills (using non-verbal signs), using minimal encouragers and paraphrasing.
§  Open questions are another useful skill for communications. However, questioning is usually best kept to a minimum when listening.
§  Coaching involves the transfer of information or skills from one person to another, or the development of skills and knowledge that a person already possesses.
§  Performance coaching helps to increase individual and organizational performance. It is based on the GROW sequence, i.e. goals, reality, options and what next?
§  There are a number of components of effective goal setting. Goals need to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, timely, hopes and fears.
§  An important criterion of the reality component is objectivity, which is distorted by option, judgements, expectations, prejudices, hopes and fears.
§  The purpose of options stage is not to find the ‘right’ answer but to create and list as many alternative courses of action as possible.
§  The ‘What next?’ stage puts the options into action by using a series of when, what, why and where questions.
KILLER PHRASES:
  • It won’t work.
  • We haven’t time.
  • We’re not ready for it yet.
  • Good idea but out department is different.
  • That’s all right in theory, but can you put it into practice?
  • We’ve tried it before.
  • Too hard to administer.
  • It’s against our policy.
  • Come on, let’s be practical.
  • We’ve never done it like that.
  • It’s not in the budget.
  • Let’s form a committee.
  • It’s too academic.
  • Who do you think you are?
  • You haven’t considered ….
  • It needs more thought.
  • Don’t be ridiculous.
  • Let’s not step on their toes.
  • That’s too modern / old-fashioned.
  • Let’s discuss it some other time.
  • You don’t understand enough about it.
  • We’re too small / big for that.
  • The experienced people won’t use it.
  • Let’s get back to reality.
GROW COACHING QUESTIONS:
Goal:                What is the goal of this discussion?
                        What do you want to achieve (short and long term)?
                        Is it an end goal or a performance goal?
                        If it is an end goal, what is the performance goal related to it?
                        When do you want to achieve it by?
                        Does it fit within the SMARTI goals? (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant,,                          timely and inspirations)
Reality:             What is happening now? (what, when, how much)
                        Who is involved?
                        What results did that produce?  
                        What is happening both internally and externally?
                        What are the major constraints to finding a way forward?
Options:           What options do you have?
                        What else could you do?
                        What if…..?
                        Would you like another suggestion?
                        What are the benefits and costs of each?
What next?        What are you going to do?
                        When are you going to do it?
                        Will this meet your goal?           
                        What obstacles could you face?
                        How will you overcome them?   
                        Who needs to know?
                        What support do you need?
                        How will you get that support?
                        Rate yourself on a one-to-ten scale on the likelihood of your carrying out this                              action.
CONFLICT:
When many people thing of conflict they automatically think of large scale events, such as wars within or between different countries. Conflict, however, can flare up over our back fence and across the desk at work. It can arise from misunderstandings, intolerance, individual differences and even from the briefest of interactions. In essence, conflict is a part of everyday life.
Conflict can also provide challenges and open up avenues for change. Conflict resolution skills and strategies do not guarantee a solution every time, but they can turn conflict into an opportunity for learning more about ourselves and others. Using these skills effectively can help us become better colleagues, business managers, partners, parents, team leaders and employees.
Working closely with other people, particularly in high pressure environment, means that conflict is often unavoidable. The potential for conflict also arises where there is regular contact with customers or clients. However, a well handled conflict or complaint can result in more customer loyalty than any other type of customer interaction. The converse of this principle also applies equally. Poor handling of conflict in customer situations can lead to customer rage and eventual decline in business. Nowhere is evidence of this ore forcefully apparent than in several public sector undertakings (PSUs) managed by complacent employees of the Government. In financial markets the public sector banks have been steadily losing customers and their business to the new private sector banks. In many cases, customers of the PSU banks have longstanding conflicts with bank branch staff and have moved their business en masse to the private sector. However, the experience of the domestic PSU airline, viz Indian Airlines, is somewhat different. Proactive resolution of the customer’s conflicts regarding ticketing, seat allocation, preferential service and routing has allowed the airline to stand up to competition from a better and smarter set of private airlines over the past decade. Though the government-owned airline has yet to resolve other conflict situations related to in-flight experiences it is steadily improving its offer to the customers concerned. The vital edge required in today’s competitive business arena can often be gained by an ability to quickly resolve both internal and external conflict. 
Conflict that is well managed can boost individuals in their position as team leaders and role models and can help them tackle any workplace challenge.
Questions:
1. What are empathy blockers?
2.give some examples of effective ‘I’ statements that could be used in a situation of conflict between a team leader and a team member.
Answers:
1. Empathy blockers are statements that are dominating, manipulative, disempowering and denying. It is a form of ‘negative’ communication.
2.         ‘When I am expected to do more than my share’…
            ‘I fell really angry when’……
            ‘What I would like is for me to only do my work’….
Levels of Conflict:
Discomforts
Perhaps nothing has been said yet. Things don’t feel right. It might be difficult to identify what the problem is. Do you feel uncomfortable about a situation, but not quite sure why?
Incidents
Here a short, sharp exchange occurs without any lasting internal reaction. Has something occurred between you and someone else that has left you upset, irritated or with a result you din’t want?
Misunderstandings
Here motives and facts are often confused or misperceived. Do your thoughts keep returning to the problem?
Tension
Here relationships are weighted down by attitudes and fixed opinions. Has the way you feel about and regard the other person changed significantly for the worse? Is the relationship a source of constant worry and concern?
Crisis
Behaviour is affected, normal functioning becomes difficult, extreme gestures are contemplated or executed. Are you dealing with a major event like a possible rupture in a relationship, possibly leaving a job, or violence?

TEAM LEADERSHIP
The more success teams achieve, the more likely are members of the team to develop their skills, leading to greater rewards and responsibility and improved career paths. Multi-skilled employees are valuable to any company and this quality will be demanded increasingly by organizations of the future.
An important part of the team leader’s role is to help create alignment, both within the team and with the organisation’s vision and strategy to ensure that all team members are heading in the same direction for the same reason. Effective team leaders contribute to their organisation’s performance and assist in maintaining organizational competitiveness.
Harmonious work teams also lead to a better working environment for employees and the effect of this harmony flows on to customer satisfaction and loyalty and, in turn, profitability for the organization.
While it is true that more is demanded of team leaders and managers today, ultimately they also have the opportunity to derive greater satisfaction from their work and to assist other people to do the same. Today people want and sometimes demand more challenging and meaningful work.

Questions
1. What do you see as the most important differences between ,management’ and ‘leadership’?
2. As a team leader you are considering the most appropriate leadership style to use for a new and inexperienced team member. How might a situational contingency approach help you to make this decision?
3. What are the four major stages in the model of team development introduced in this topic?
4. Why do you believe performance review or schemes are often regarded with great scepticism?
Answers
1. Your response will be personal. Many writers highlight a sense of management focus on business and process compared to a leadership focus on inspiring and influencing people.
2. Situational contingency approaches focus on the matching of leadership style with a particular set of circumstances. Writers like heresy and Blanchard would argue that part of the set of circumstances is the task readiness level of your team members. If they have not achieved full competence for that task, or lack motivation and self-confidence, you would consider a more directive leadership style.
3. The four stages are forming, storming, norming and performing
It is important to realize that teams can move back and forth between the stages. Team development does not always mean a steady progression from forming to performing. Some teams never achieve a performing level, On occasion; teams can drop back to a storming stage.
4. Performance review, particularly if carried out infrequently without a clear, agreed framework for the process and interview, and without adequate training for the appraiser, can be an uncomfortable process for both appraiser and appraisee. The actual face-to-face meeting might be seen as threatening rather than providing affirmation and encouragement.

Leadership in today’s Organisation
Many team leaders will agree that to realize their ambitions, they must face and overcome testing challenges every day of their working lives. Team leadership makes demands not only on technical skills but on character too. Team leaders must possess courage and demonstrate integrity. Team leadership presents an infinite variety of challenges, some of them daunting and all of them fascinating, but the rewards for success are great and varied.
Alert new team leaders will not only develop their skills but will also keep in touch with their environment. They will study and strive to understand the shifts in influence within their organization and seek to be aware of the constantly changing patterns in the environment that surrounds it.
In contrast with organizations of the past with their strict rule books and fixed tasks and job descriptions, today’s organizations are becoming less structured and more flexible. /there is now more emphasis on sharing information and coordinating activities between different areas in the organization. The role of team leaders and their members is central to this process.
Control by command (traditional line management) has been rendered largely obsolete. Instead of obtaining results by ensuring conformity to a rule book and surveillance of work processes, performance can now be monitored more directly because of the widespread use of technology and the flatter structure of the organization.
Ex: 1
  1. These approaches focused on the value of the individual and encouraged development of employees as highly effective way of increasing organizational performance. Many human resource practices we now take for granted originated in the studies of this very broad school of practitioners.
  2. Unfortunately, ‘empowerment’ has become a rather overused catchphrase. The underlying concept of giving vision and meaning and trust in team members  to share, fulfill, and on occasion, lead parts of the process has proved very effectively in a number of well documented studies.
Ex. 2
  1. Your list could include:
  1. effective communication skills
  2. coaching skills
  3. conflict resolution skills
  4. role modeling
  5. conceptual skills
  6. consistency
  7. risk taking
  8. ability to keep morale high
  9. creativity
  10. delegation skills
  11. ability to ‘walk the talk’
2.     Studies have focused on:
a.     improved quality of team decision making
b.    better operational focus
c.     improved relationships
d.    higher levels of commitment/motivation
e.     involvement, so that team members have higher levels of awareness of organisational     vision / strategy/goals
Ex. 3:
1. Questions you might consider include
  • What are the problems?
  • Why is this team having these problems?
  • What do you like best about the team?
  • What would you like to continue?
  • What changes would make this team more effective?
  • How can the team begin to work together more effectively?
The ordering of these questions could be critical. To initially focus on the problems, unless they are blatantly apparent to everyone, might induce a defensive response.
2. We have already noted that lack of clarity about roles and expectations and a sense of being left out of all decision –making and planning processes can prove highly de-motivating for team members.
Ex. 4:
  • Give feedback regularly so that formal performance review does not entail surprises
  • Acknowledge positive performance and achievement at the time
  • Keep performance review interviews and pay interviews separately
  • Seek employee self-evaluation. It this is done early in the interview, the employee/s comments will often lead naturally to your own feedback
  • When criticizing, focus on behaviours and examples rather than the individual’s personality
  • Use the meeting to agree on what will constitute future satisfactory performance
  • Use the coaching and feedback guidelines previously discussed.
Check List:
  • Today, effective leaders are needed at every level of the corporate structure.
  • Today’s flatter organizations are characterized by such things as respect being earned, team leaders and team players and flexible, innovative, visible leadership.
  • The is now a clear distinction between managing – controlling vital work process and changes within the business environment, and leading – inspiring people by setting a strong example of how to live with frequent change and uncertainty.
  •  Responsibilities of leaders include inspiring co-creating of a common vision, mission and values, empowering self and others to achieve the vision and leading by example.
  • Tow dominant approaches to the management of people have been the classical school and the human relations school.
  • In the situational leadership model, it is the situation that determines which style of leadership to use. This can also depend on the team member’s task readiness level.
  • The DiSC model is useful in helping a team leader understand their approach to managing and leading, and how they can adapt to the needs of team members.
  • Supervising or managing people is a skill because theories about motivation, communication, conflict resolution, leadership and performance coaching can be learned. It is an art because of the way it can be adapted and adopted in the team leader’s own unique way.
  • Leadership is a critical supervision skill that enables team leaders to meet the task requirements of their section/team.
  • The functions of a team leader include technical job-related skills, people skills and conceptual skills.
  • Characteristics of teams compared with other groups include improved quality of decisions, operations focus, improved relationships, commitment/motivation, managerial focus and awareness.
  • Some of the characteristics shared effective teams include productive response to change, common visions, objectives and goals and commitment to achieving these and an equal focus on leadership and individual team member empowerment.
  • The stages in team development are forming – initial analysis; storming – setting objectives; norming – role analysis; and performing – action planning.
  • The team’s performance is monitored so individuals know how well they are progressing against targets, and team leaders can measure actual results against planned results.
  • Performance review is a process of evaluating individuals in order to arrive at objective personnel decisions.
  • Some of the ways to make performance reviews and feedback more effective include providing regular feedback, focusing on specific behaviour, asking individuals to state what they need in order to perform more effectively and using the coaching and feedback guidelines provided in this course.
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COMMUNICATION- 02- 07
Questions
1.     How can an appropriate marketing communications mix for an organization/product be determined?
2.     Can you give recent examples where advertising has been used to reposition firms and products?
3.     The first rule of selling is to sell yourself. ‘Would this apply to many staff working in the finance industry?
4.     There is little differentiation between many basic loan products offered by financial intermediaries. How does the use of sales promotions address this issue?
5.     You have been given the task of writing a media release for your organization. What are some base guidelines for making this effective and acceptable to the media?
Answers
1.   The various elements of marketing communications mix will need to combine and complement each other:
  • An advertising campaign might be effectively supported by promotional devices.
  • A decision might be taken on the relative value of ‘push’ and ‘pull’ promotional strategies, most marketing plans wi9ll use both strategies to some extent.
  • The positioning of the organization/product will need to be considered.
2.     Various possibilities here – there are currently a number of interesting finance sector examples in the media.
3.     All of us sell, either consciously or unconsciously. Our ability to influence people relates to our ability to understand them at personal level, and recognize their real needs.
4.     We have considered sales promotions based on product premiums, sales force promotions, intermediary promotions and internal promotions. Any one of these strategies might prove suitable. The issues for organizations marketing financial products have included ethical matters, regulatory requirements, appropriateness and image.
5.     The news value of a story might differ within the different types of media. News is up to the minute, unusual or something that will affect many people. A news release needs to be:
§  Written in short paragraphs with simple, positive words and phrases
§  Appropriately timed – it might be easier to obtain coverage with a release early in the week, on the weekend, or during holidays.
Checklist:
§  Promotion is the part of the marketing function that informs, persuades and reminds customers about an organization and its products.
§  Promotions need to be coordinated with other elements off the making mix and the organization’s overall strategy.
§  The marketing communications mix includes advertising, personal selling, sales force and public relations.
§  Marketing communications campaigns can use various positioning strategies to differentiate an organization’s products.
§  A brand is critical to a company’s success. To differentiate itself from its competitors a brand needs a positive image, must be relevant to its market and must perform.
§  At the introduction stage of the product life cycle, pioneering advertising is aimed at innovators. During the growth stage, competitive advertising differentiates between brands and attracts different types of consumers. At maturity, advertising persuades and reminds consumers. At the decline stage promotional efforts are cut back.
§  Advertising is a form of paid communication aimed either at the mass market or at market segments.
§  Product advertising can be direct or indirect. Institutional advertising aims to build favourable attitudes towards the organization.
§  The steps of campaign planning include conducting marketing research, creating a theme, selecting the media, promoting the campaign to distributors and employees, and evaluating the advertising.
§  Types of advertising media include newspapers, magazines, radio, television, Internet and direct mail.
§  Personal selling is the personal communication of information to persuade a prospective customer to buy a product or service.
§  A sales force in a financial services firm can include field sales representatives, customer service staff and telephone or telemarketing staff.
§  Steps in the selling process are prospecting, pre-approach, presentation, handling objections, closing and follow-up/servicing.
§  Sales promotions cover a wide variety of communication tools and often include some form of incentive.
§  Sales promotions can be tied to a product or targeted at employees, salespeople and intermediaries.
§  Public relations are the process by which management identifies, establishes and maintains favourable relationships between the organization and the groups which potentially affect its operations. These groups include shareholders, Government departments, the media, employees, customers and local communities.
§  Publicity is the part of public relations that relates specially to the media.
§  Spokespeople who have skills in dealing with the media can gain a competitive advantage for their organizations.
Questions
1.     What factors should marketing managers consider when planning product marketing and distribution programs?
2.     How closely linked are price and value for a particular commodity?
3.     Briefly compare the advantages and disadvantages of one-price and flexible-price marketing policies?
4.     What is meant by service quality?
Answers
1.     Marketing managers should consider:
§  Market – an appropriate choice of distribution channels
§  Product characteristics – are they more suited to one particular intermediary, do they require a higher level or personal contact?
§  Intermediary considerations – do they have access to the target customer group, have they the necessary technical skills, a good customer service record and the necessary management capability?
§  Pricing factors.
2.     Price is sometimes seen as an indicator of quality. The customer view is expressed in the equation Price = Cost + Perceived Value. Price alone does not build an ongoing client relationship, and organizations seek to develop strategies to increase the perceived value of their products.
3.     One-price policies are easier to administer and preserve customer goodwill. Flexible pricing can favour preferred customers but raises problems between distribution channels.
Checklist
§  The basic function of distribution is to provide the right products to customers at the right place and at the right time.
§  A distribution channel is a set of marketing intermediaries that form links between producers and customers.
§  The most dramatic change in the distribution of financial services in recent years has been the shift away from physical channels to electronic channels of distribution.
§  When choosing distribution channels, marketing managers need to consider the characteristics of the market, the products offered and the intermediaries used.
§  While intermediaries or ‘middlemen’ can eliminated, the functions of intermediaries cannot.
§  Intermediaries act as middlemen between service providers and the customer. They match customers’ needs to products, provide convenience and perform a communication function.
§  Setting the right price is important because it directly affects an organization’s profitability and will also have an effect on how customers perceive the organization.
§  Pricing is the only component of the marketing mix that generates revenue for an organization.
§  Pricing objectives and strategies need to be in line with the organization’s marketing strategy and moreover meet business targets.
§  When it comes to financial services, customers are motivated by factors such as security, peace of mind, prestige and wealth – as well as price.
§  Relationship pricing in the form of special rtes or additional services can be used by financial institutions to enhance customer relationships.
§  Pricing objectives might be profit oriented, sales oriented or competition oriented.
§  The demand for a product, the elasticity of that demand and competitors’ activities are some of the factors influencing pricing decisions.
§  Pricing strategies include the use of discounts, market skimming or market penetration strategies and one-price or flexible-price policies.
§  Customer service is one of the most important determinants of competitive advantage and quality service leads to higher profits.
§  The periods during which the customer interacts with the service provider are sometimes called service encounters or moments of truth.
§  If customers’ expectations do not match the perceived level of service received, a service gap is said to exist.
§  For high quality service to be maintained, service representatives need to deliver service that consistently meets or exceeds customer expectations.
§  Traditionally, the interaction between service providers and their customers has been close; however, personal contact is being reduced with the introduction of electronic channels of distribution.
HRM
The field of organizational behaviour is the study of individuals and organizations and how they interact. Closely related is the filed of human resource management (HRM), which creates the link between individuals and organizations by designing and implementing systems for attracting, developing and motivating individuals within organizations.
An increasing amount of attention is being paid to the development of organizational human resources. This has been prompted partly by the need to anticipate change and increase the overall performance of the organization to maintain a competitive advantage through its most important resource – its people.
The development of individuals is shared responsibility of the individual, the supervisor and the organization. Line managers and team leaders have an important role to play in fostering and sustaining performance through coaching, counseling and appraising their staff on a day-to-day basis.
Questions
1.     What are the goals of organizational behaviour studies?
2.     Why is employee job satisfaction important to an organization?
3.     How would you distinguish between employee’s job involvement and organizational commitment?
4.     What distinguishes a team from a group?
5.     List the major issues that will normally be addressed by an organization’s human resource management (HRM) policy.
6.     Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of an internal recruitment policy for an organization.
7.     A study by Herzberg suggested a strong link between ‘responsibility’ and job satisfaction. How can the level of employee autonomy and responsibility be raised?
Answers
1.     To explain why employees engage in some behaviours and to predict how they will respond to workplace conditions and various actions of the team leader.
2.     Job satisfaction attracts and retains quality employees. It also eliminates costs associated with high staff turnover and the loss of skills and knowledge.
3.     Job involvement is the degree to which employees identify with their jobs, actively participate in their jobs and consider job performance important to their self-worth; whereas organizational commitment is the degree of identification with an organization and its goals, and the desire to remain members.
4.     §     Teams have shared goals whereas groups can often be at cross purposes.
§  Teams are interdependent whereas groups are often independent
§  Teams believe in making decision together whereas groups rely on individual achievement

                  5.   §     Recruiting people
§  Developing people
§  Motivating people
§  Retaining people
§  Sustaining employee performance
§  Integrating people management strategies with organizational planning.
6.   Advantages
§  Taps into a pool of skilled people who are already familiar with the organization
§  Saves time and expense
§  Builds staff morale
§  Fosters loyalty
Disadvantages
§  Interviewers might not be objective
§  Limited supply of candidates.
7.  Team leaders and managers should provide a work environment that meets employees’ higher level needs. They should provide opportunities for new learning, growth and development so employees can meet their needs for belonging, self-respect and achievement.
Ex: 1
Factors that contribute to employee job satisfaction include:
  • Challenging work
  • Recognition for good work
  • Being part of what is going on
  • Job security
  • Good pay
  • Satisfactory work environment
  • Promotion and growth environment
  • Loyalty to employees by management
  • Appropriate discipline
  • Employee assistance programs
Checklist
  • Organizational behaviour (OB) includes such elements as employee attitudes, motivation and performance.
  • The goals of OB are to explain and predict behaviour.
  • Job-related attitudes include job satisfaction, job involvement and organizational commitment.
  • A useful model of assessing different behavioural styles is the DiSC model.
  • A group is two or more individual, interacting and independent, who come together to achieve particular objectives, Groups can be formal or informal.
  • Groups tend to go through four developmental stages – forming, storming, norming, and performing.
  • An understanding of group behaviour can be build on certain foundation concepts; roles, norms and group behaviour.
  • Human resource management (HRM) is the process of recruiting, developing, motivating and retaining staff.
  • Human resources objectives and planning need to be firmly aligned with organizational strategies.
  • The position specification can be broken down into the job description and the personnel specification.
  • Recruitment is the process of locating, identifying and attracting suitable applicants to apply for positions in an organization.
  • Selection is the process of screening applicants to ensure that the most appropriate candidates are hired.
  • The outcome of job interviews can be affected by many variables, including government policies and laws on employment and the bias of both the interviewer and the interviewee.
  • Employees are motivated by reasons other than pay and benefits.
  • Maslow’s hierarchy classifies needs at five levels. Managers need to consider what jobs aspects will motivate employees to higher levels.
  • Team leaders and managers often rank factors of job satisfaction differently from employees.
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Marketing concepts Reviewed by sambasivan srinivasan on 6:09:00 PM Rating: 5

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