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

Yes, you can

Today a client graciously asked me if he could reprint and use one of my recent posts. I told him to use any of my posts, if he could mention the source.  

I would also like to advise you to feel free to reprint or use any of my posts and articles, as long as you include a credit line.

Thank you,

What Every Good Marketer Knows About South Asian–Canadians

Inspired by Seth Godin’s “What Every Good Marketer Knows” I have come up with my list of What Every Good Marketer Knows about South Asian-Canadians:  

  • South Asian-Canadians are the biggest visible minority in Canada at 1.26 million
  • Ontario has the largest South Asians-Canadians population – 794,170 people
  •  British Columbia has second largest South Asians population – 262,290 people
  •  More than 80% of South Asian-Canadians live in the provinces of Ontario & British Columbia making it an easily accessible market segment
  • South Asians population constitutes 25% of the visible minority group 
  •  By  2017, the South Asians population will increase by 50% to 1.8 million 
  • South Asians Canadians families spend 23% more on groceries than other households in Canada 
  • South Asian population is younger than overall Canadians. On average, 73% are between the ages 25 – 49 years versus 46% of overall population 
  • South Asian-Canadians have an estimated spending power of $12 billion and 80% of this could be targeted by focusing on Toronto and Vancouver markets Read more of this post

Why this Blog?

Several times I have been asked the reason for starting this blog. Though I had alluded to it in the About page of this blog, I think it will be useful to provide additional perspective here.

When I started marketing integrated media (print, direct & online) for South Asian market segment, I observed that many corporate clients were deliberating on the What, Why, Where, How and When of the emerging market segment. I thought the best way to facilitate clients and add value to their marketing efforts is to share with them the information, research and analysis on the multicultural markets, advertising and other relevant topics. Hence this blog was initiated with the objective of adding value to clients by keeping them informed about latest marketing information, trends, developments and ideas.

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Battle at Kruger

This is an amazing video that shows unity, courage, perseverance and some luck can turn the tables even in an absolute adverse situation.

What do you learn from the video?  Let’s share our thoughts.

Love Letter from a Marketing Man

My Sweetheart,

You are the target market of my life. I had a shotgun advertising & communication approach. Since I have met you, my strategy is focused, positioning is clear and messages are targeted for minimizing the noise and increasing branding effectiveness.

Now all my advertising messages are for you; to inform, educate and motivate you. My  messages are intended to grab your attention and drive it to the focal point for you to notice the image of my heart and copy of my soul crying for Call-to-Action; a call to connect and I hope to connect emotionally. Signature of my advertising message has my coordinates for your convenience.

You have attained a mega brand and blockbuster status in my life with highest top-of-mind awareness, recall, market share and brand loyalty. Even your parents have a niche in my heart. Research and insights validate this fact. You have a perfect customer profile for my service offers. My promotions are for you.

May you always be in a growth stage of the life cycle and never see a decline. My love is meant to be an outer packaging for you; enhancing your brand appeal and protecting you from external environment. Let me know if I can do anything to satisfy and excite you, as customer satisfaction is of utmost importance to me. My customer service lines are open 24/7 for you. I will endeavor to positively impact your bottom line.

Happy Valentines Day,

Make it Great

I recently attended a seminar called Make It Great in 2008 presented by Phil Gerbyshak. Phil is a sought-after speaker. He educates by sharing tools and prompting to ask the right questions to ourselves. You might have heard some of the topics he covered in his seminar; nevertheless, it serves as a useful refresher. In addition to systematic reinforcement of common-sense strategies, there were some good take-away in shape of new thoughts and tools. I would like to share with you the learning from this seminar and my thoughts about it with a hope that it may add value.

First question Phil posed was what is the best way to start 2008? He presented that the best way to start 2008 or any year for that matter is to ask how you would like it to end. Phil elaborated to define what success means to you and recommended to write it. After writing the goals that you want to achieve by the end of the year, start taking decisions in line with your goals. Then, take actions in line with your decisions. This seems like a simple advice and possibly most heard of, however, it is also one of those initial steps that frequently falls through the cracks. Life is full of distractions so it is helpful to write down your goals, place it in a prominent place (your computer, desk, day planner or diary) and visit them at least once a month. You can put a reminder in your PDA or cell phone for a monthly rendezvous with your goals and actions.

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