Yen | by AGORA. Issue 01


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Yen | by AGORA. Issue 01

  1. 1. 01 | February 2009 issue p. 3 In trying times. (Part I of 2) Market downturns make companies try harder. But are they focusing their scarce resources in the proper areas? p. 6 My friend, my banker. A simple way to earn a monthly DIVIDEND. p. 7 Brand touchpoints 101. Marketing has come of age; understanding the new paradigm. p. 9 The term de jour Once-in-a-century? Make it a Great Recession. peek inside the next issue In trying times. (Part 2 of 2) Where should companies be focusing their marketing resources in this trying time, plus the tools to help them do it. Brand environment. More than just a pretty place. The brand space should be more than just branded space. How to get your consumers to seek out and live your brand. Influencing Influencers. The influencer can be the brand ambassador or the anti-brand. This important touchpoint requires more than facts and figures. The term de jour
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  3. 3. In As we kick off 2009, we enter a period of uncertainty. When Alan Greenspan terms it 'an once-in-a-century credit tsunami', then an assessment of how your trying marketing is run, why and for whom is long overdue and necessary. Good companies review their marketing operations during good times. Those companies that have followed the marketing playbook and regularly assess their times. marketing effectiveness will be able to consolidate their learnings and perform strongly during the current economic downturn. For those that haven’t, it’s not too late (yet); but it soon could be. While it is unfortunate that it takes an (part 1 of 2) economic meltdown to nudge many organisations to undertake a critical review of their overall marketing goals and effectiveness, it is a discipline that has entered management’s ‘radar’. Marketing efficiency can A marketing effectiveness review is a precursor to a full marketing audit. By determine whether initiating an effectiveness review, management can gauge how their businesses survive, organisation’s marketing function is gauged across five key parameters. succeed or fail during this economic downturn. Consumer (and/or Customer) Alignment Understanding whether Is the organisation (management, vision, practice) centered around the needs of its chosen market (consumer, customer) your organisation is an effective marketer is not Integrated Brand Organisation so difficult, if you know Are the internal marketing functions operating around a common brand vision? what to look for. Available Information How is market information obtained? From which sources? How recent is it? Strategic Orientation How formal (or informal) is the marketing planning? To what extent is the planning? Operational Efficiency How well are the results from the previous four being implemented? It is important to get an understanding from within each of these parameters to identify where the gaps are. Each section is interdependent. Excelling at one while under-performing (or worse still, ignoring) another will result in a less than ideal outcome. Access the marketing effectiveness tool. cont... 3
  4. 4. In Smaller organisations should by their very nature be adaptable and nimble yet many tend to dismiss such an exercise. Some would claim they don’t have the trying resources, while other consider the exercise something only the large successful organisation use. The notion that high-performing organisations are marketing leaders is a times. misconception. This is not necessarily the case and quickly becomes evident once the economy heads downwards; sometimes success is a matter of circumstance. (part 1 of 2) The idea that the exercise drains limited resources couldn’t be farther from the truth. Instead of looking at it as a time-consuming, expensive activity, consider these truths: Highlights In any given 5 year period, the average company loses about 50% of its customers. Marketing effectiveness Retaining 5% of your customers (or consumers) can lead to incremental reviews will identify gaps. sales of 25%. There are 5 key During a recession period, the negative impact on your brand equity from parameters to lost customers can lead to a higher rate of customer loss. understanding your marketing effectiveness. In trying times, competition is fierce. Those that create more value, perceived and actual, succeed. Yet it is a matter of understanding what that value is, as Building brand equity can understood by those that pay your salary; customers + consumers. save marketing spend while creating strong By changing the framework of thought and shifting your focus to the actual foundations. customer, you begin to answer the first step of the marketing effectiveness, Customer Alignment by asking: Self-evaluation makes the organisation stronger, What value are we delivering? Is it relevant? What gap requires filling? and the brands better Why us? Why not our competitors? equipped to create value. When are the moments of truth that makes us relevant, and sought? How do we deliver that value in a manner that builds a solid relationship with our customer? These are indeed trying times. Trying harder is the new mantra. Yet, before anything can be done, the most difficult question must be answered: Are you ready? Access the marketing effectiveness tool. 4
  5. 5. Live like a Wall Street CEO We’re not talking about the successful ones. They don’t make enough. It’s those CEOs that lead their firms to bankruptcy, and walk away with their golden parachute filled with enough to buy a small country. A bag load for nothing isn’t limited to failed CEOs. Thanks to AGORA, you too can get a monthly dividend while enjoying life bossing your army of butlers around. The good life couldn’t be any easier. Just send us a referral and we’ll do all the work. If they become a client, you become the recipient of a monthly dividend. Contact us by email at or give us a shout. The only strenuous work in your future could be prying the AGORA referral program your bank manager’s lips off your butt. 5
  6. 6. The DIVIDEND Business Referral Program provides you the opportunity to earn My friend, substantial monthly dividends for referring new customers to AGORA. Our Referral Partners have no monthly commitments and do not need to assist My banker. with the sale. Simply provide us with a business referral, and we will take it from there. We’ll arrange the meetings, present our credentials, and let things take their natural course. Your only responsibility is the referral: No support, No obligation. No conundrum. A recession needn’t be depressing. Sometimes, the best way the AGORA referral program to help someone out is to help yourself in the process. How it Works. The way it works is quite simple. Refer a prospect to us, then sit back and share in the profits while we do all the work. DIVIDEND is the AGORA business referral program that makes sense. The program works by giving you a percentage of the revenue received on a monthly basis for any new referral that becomes an AGORA customer. This referral fee starts after a customer has been with AGORA for 30 days and is payable monthly for as long as they are clients. Judging by our track record, chances are they’ll be with us for a long while. Lucky you. Benefits Well, let’s see. Banks aren’t giving loans. Bummer. Companies are laying people off. Ouch. Expenses are still pretty high. Whoa. Your stock portfolio is worth about half of what you paid for it. Damn. AGORA wants to share in its success by giving away money so that we can all have a great recession. Cool. To find out more, click here. 6
  7. 7. Not so long ago, marketing continued to be confused with advertising. Brand The bulk of marketing resources were spent on communication. As the markets Touchpoints became more fragmented, it became much more difficult to convey messages to consumers effectively. 101 Then, an awakening started to unfold. First came satellite television. Then the advent of the internet age. Barriers were broken. The power to entertain and inform no longer rested with the media barons. And information flowed. Choice became a right, not a privilege. Brands no longer dictate what messages you are exposed to. Advertising is less effective. And marketing is evolving at the break-neck speeds dictated by young, Advertising is not techies powering the technology we now depend on. marketing. The marketing paradigm shift took hold. It no longer is about the ad. It is no Brands are not products. longer about the product. It is no longer about the distribution. It is about the Brands are experienced. brand. Not the logo. Not the ‘identity’. It is about what that brand makes them, the customers, experience. Great experiences are sought. This new paradigm was all about the brand experience. Apple understood this early on, spawning the iPod, iTunes and the iTunes Store. It was marketers such Touchpoints are brand as them that began to truly comprehend that consumers interact with brands on experiences, at a specific an emotional + rational level; that to do so, they experience the brand and moment of truth. unconsciously decide whether to recommend or trash its reputation. To comprehend this concept, one must look at each interaction with a brand as a touchpoint. Whether it is contact with a salesperson or visiting a website, picking up the packaging or throwing it away, each interaction is experienced, positively or negatively. The level of success a brand has is understanding how each touchpoint is experienced and ensuring each and every touchpoint is united around a common brand vision. Brands have anywhere between 30 to over 100 touchpoints that customers, employees, consumers and other stakeholders experience on a daily basis. Brands cannot sustainably thrive unless marketers understand each of these touchpoints and how to ensure they are interpreted in a manner that satisfies the stakeholder. cont... Learn more about brand touchpoints, here. 7
  8. 8. At the core of the touchpoint wheel is the vision. Both the consumer and the Brand brand have their own visions to fulfill a particular need/want/desire yet it is that overlap that determines the perfect fit between the two. A brand without a true Touchpoints vision cannot succeed at filling a consumer need it doesn’t truly comprehend. 101 Once the vision is clarified, the 8 renew touchpoint wheel can be organised into three distinct stages of 7 1 retire awareness experience: 1) Pre-Purchase Advertising is not * awareness of brand Consumer marketing. 2 Vision Brand * learning about it learning 6 Brands are not products. 2) Purchase contact Brands are experienced. * Purchase/Intent to interact * Preparation to use/interact Great experiences are * Usage/Interaction sought. 3) Post-Purchase 5 3 Touchpoints are brand * Contact representatives for experiences, at a specific use purchase assistance moment of truth. * Retire/intent to stop interaction * Renew (repeat the steps) 4 prepare Within each experience stage, a detailed itemisation of the brand touchpoints allows the organisation to assess which ones drive the experience they desire. By doing so, they can determine where resources can be utilised to contribute to an immediate effect on brand perception and experience. Developing the brand touchpoints to become a seamless, inspirational experience transforms all the stakeholders into enthusiastic brand ambassadors. And in times of limited resources, it is by far the most powerful implementation of sound marketing strategy. Watch out for more information on how to transform your Brand Touchpoints into inspirational experiences. Learn more about brand touchpoints, here. 8
  9. 9. just words? parole श"द$ kliem ‫ﺍﻟﻜﻠﻤﺎﺕ‬ palabras λόγια kelime Term Hierarchy of Needs de jour A diagrammatic tool that assists in identifying the primary, supporting and unique needs of: (a) the customer organisation and/or (b) the consumer, plus the specific personal needs of that contact. It’s not the size of the word that counts, but how you use it. general Empowering example Ego Needs info | transformational tone Enlightening info | Social Needs professional tone Security Needs Helping info | confident tone Biological/Physiological Needs Coping info | empathetic tone If you like words, you’ll like our glossary of marketing terms. Perfect for breaking the ice during those uncomfortable quiet moments. Access the AGORA Book ‘O Terms, here 9
  10. 10. an AGORA Marketing Management publication © AGORA Marketing Group Dubai Media City CNN Building • Floor 2 PO Box 502548 • Dubai • United Arab Emirates t +971 4 365 4580 • f +971 4 369 7322 creating brand experiences Strategy Formulation | Product Development | Brand Communications | Brand Environment | Event Marketing