Stay Simple, Stay Focused

Taking a leaf out of Steve Job’s commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005, I have a marketing mantra, Stay Simple, Stay Focused. 

It is easier to lose focus, get tactical and into a trial and error mode amid the changed marketing landscape with fragmented media, tight marketing budgets, increasingly empowered consumers and treadmill-economies. Advertisers are concentrating on quick sales, reducing costs per se, keeping up with the Joneses (competitors) and then firefighting. I think these short-term approaches wouldn’t cut it. Instead, starting with a well thought-out, step by step annual marketing plan to reach end-objectives and then sticking to it keeps it simple and focused, with the eyes on the prize.

The key to success is to research your market, segment it, present differentiated and relevant products / services, take a calculated (not necessarily the shortest) route to market and communicate your offer solves the problems or adds value better than the competitors’. Stay Simple, Stay FocusedMarket segmentation is imperative because consumers are closer (like a tribe) and more opinionated than before, thanks to the social media. Moreover, marketing implementation has to be step by step, like building a high-rise. As you can’t sow the seeds until you plow the field, similarly you can’t sell until you develop brand awareness, recall, trial and loyalty. Read more of this post

The Joy of Giving

We conduct online market research and give out gift cards to respondents through draws. Usually, we inform the winners first and then mail out the gift cards by registered post.

During one of the research projects, we thought to have a close look on how people actually feel to receive gifts, when there is much of a mistrust due to false intimations for winning lotteries, tours, gifts etc. Thus we asked a lucky winner of a recent survey, if the gift Read more of this post

Quotable Quotes

  • The art of marketing is not finding more money to do more marketing. It’s figuring out how to tell a story that spreads with the resources you have got.  Seth Godin
  • Promise big and deliver bigger – the only reliable strategy. (Source Unknown)

A couple of more to share with you on a Friday afternoon.

  • I still have my feet on the ground. I just wear better shoes. Oprah Winfrey 
  • If you don’t have enemies, you won’t have character. Paul Newman

Workplace Dynamics

I wrote on Workplace Dynamics for the Canadian Marketing Association’s blog. CMAThe article presents a fresh perspective and received number of interesting comments. If you are interested in learning about workplace dynamics, click on the CMA logo to review the article.

The other side of the picture…

I received an interesting article from a friend, Badar Shamim. It was written by Dr. Yamil Alanso who is working on a project for the Brampton Board of Trade. The article, titled Discrimination or Employers’ Expectations, shows the other side of the  immigrants unemployment / underemployment picture. Dr. Alonso asks if the new Canadians meet employers’ expectations and lists follow-up questions that he thinks need to be answered by new Canadians in order to ascertain if they are “employment ready”.

I believe that working on the areas highlighted by Dr. Alonso will help new Canadians move closer to getting a gainful employment in their fields. However, sincere & consistent focus and efforts on both sides of the picture will get them the suitable employment. Besides new Canadians, the onus is on the government and whos’s who of the immigration and settlement landscape to provide an even playing field to new Canadians for successfully assimilating and leveraging thier potential.

Check out the article by clicking on the link below and let us know your thoughts by posting comments.


The Game of Cricket & Canada

I resumed playing cricket in Toronto after a lapse of two years. From playing in different cities and on various pitches in Pakistan, I knew that I would have to adapt my batting technique to adjust to the new environment. What I was uncertain about was how much of an adaptation would be required. Indeed it was more than I anticipated.

Primarily, the grass on the outfield is left longer than normal on the grounds that I have played on, which stops the ball short of boundary. So one needs to either settle for singles and doubles or resort to hitting over the top of fielders to score runs quickly. Moreover, we play on mat pitches, which facilitates swing bowling more than the flat turf in India and Pakistan. This required to play late and let the ball finish its jugglery before hitting it. On the other hand, the matches start around mid day, so the bowlers are unable to take advantage of morning dew, which is common in Pakistan, as cricket is played in winter. Read more of this post

Canada Calling, Now What!

You have landed in Canada, gone through the initial process of applying for the SIN card, registering for medical care, looking for a place to live and a school for children. The next step is to search for a job, preferably for a career, similar to one you had in your country of origin. In a lighter vein, this step draws a parallel to the popular words by Neil Armstrong after he took the first step on moon. He commented, one small step for a man – one giant leap for mankind. Yes, looking for a livelihood could be another step but getting the right job is a giant leap for you and your family in the new homeland. Read more of this post

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