10 Immutable Laws of Marketing

Immutable Laws of Marketing

If you want to be in business you have to know, how to market yourself, and you have to know how to do it well. A lot of people think that building good products is all that matters. But, building a good product is only the beginning. A lot of companies struggle because they cannot market their products and services to the right audience. 

Companies like Apple, Nike, Coca-Cola have achieved incredible success due to their marketing strategies. With effective marketing, you can anchor your product in your customer’s mind and then turn them into loyal fans. Success in business is really understanding people psychology and winning them through various ways.

Here we are going to discuss some laws of marketing which can help your business position your products and services much more potently.

1. Law of Leadership

Law of Leadership

Being a Leader in the market can make your brand get noticed and win customers. When you are the first company in the market, you get to set the rules of the game. It is far better than having to play by someone else’s rule. Most of us know the first man on the moon but no one remembers the second.

You have to either be the first or the best. Position your brand in a way where you can be a leader in your category at least in some niche areas. When you can position your brand in a unique way, you can build leadership and following for your company.

2. Law of category

It’s very hard to get leadership position where competition already exists, it’s better to create a product in new category, than trying to play the catch up game. Like if you cannot make a new video camera than try to make a sport camera like GoPro did, if you can’t be the first photo-sharing app than be the first photo sharing app where you can have amazing experience like Instagram. Find out your USP and which category you can dominate.

3. Law of Mind

Law of Mind

No one remembers the first search engine, everyone knows Google. Sometimes it’s not possible to be the first in the market, but you can still be the first in the consumer’s mind. It’s possible with great messaging and quality products. This the key and this can allow you to overcome some of your flaws.

Winning businesses are able to win the hearts and minds of their customers before anyone else does. They do it through repeated advertising, quality solutions and taking care of their customers.

4. Law of Perception

Marketing is not about products but about perception, reality doesn’t exist. What we called reality is the perception of reality that we create in our minds. This is the reason why Apple is so successful and iconic. It’s the perception built around their products that offer them an unprecedented positioning.

Marketing is the way you change the perception of the consumers about your brand. How you deliver your message goes a long way in creating your positioning. If you think that your product is good enough and you are able to convince your customer that it’s best, than people are definitely going to buy.

5. Law of Focus

Law of Focus

Marketing requires establishing a deep connect with the prospects. As a brand, you have to build an association of your brand with the consumer. For e.g. when you think of search, you think of Google. Room sharing is snyonymous with AirBnB. Your messaging and focusing on the right keywords can make a big difference to your chances. Successful brands are able to create a unique messaging and phrase word which connects them to their consumers.

6. Law of Failures

It’s not possible to work out a successful strategy for your products and success in one go. Quite often the difference between failures and success is persistence. Great brands know how to fail, take learnings and iterate towards building successful strategies for launching their products.

Risks, failures and experimentation are crucial for getting the combination right. The best companies are able to execute better because they take learnings and improvise their strategy according to the market feedback.

7. Law of Perspective

Law of Perspective

Marketing is a long term game. No great brand is built overnight. It takes time for people to connect with brands. Constant, consistent and deliberate messaging can help companies to build the right connect with their prospects.

The best brands are able to take a long-term view of things to build their company. They avoid short term measures that can have detrimental long-term impact on the company.

8. Law of Opposite

The market has enough place to accommodate different players. You dont have to be the leader all the time for building a winning business, as long as you’re different, you can still create your space. Coca-Cola is the market leader in the FMCG consumer space, but Pepsi has been able to establish itself as a strong brand too.

Most markets reward players when they play to their strengths instead of simply copying their competitors. A brand must stay true to its purpose and communicate authenticity to its customers.

9. Law of Sacrifice

Law of Sacrifice

Everything has a price tag. No brand is every built without sacrifice. You have to know everything inside out in your market. You need to know what the customer needs are, how your product will serve them, the tagline of your product, the market demands & constant changes to adapt. Nothing worth having is served on a platter. Be ready to pay the price to build something big.

10. Law of predictability

How will you respond to change and an unpredictable future. You never know what will be thrown at you. Unless you have deep knowledge of your industry, your positioning and strategy, things will be difficult. The best brands are built around strong strategies and execution. They know how to communicate and win clients, because they understand what they are doing.

How Google Works by Eric Schmidt

This video is a summary of the book How Google Works by Eric Schmidt. The book outlines the key practices and processes followed by Google. It has some invaluable insights on management.

 

 

8 Ways to Improve the Value of Your Company

Improve the Value of Your Company

Building a valuable business is the goal of every company. As per Edelman Trust Barometer, 48% consumers said they wouldn’t associate with a company they distrust. As many as 37% consumers stated they would pay more for a product sold by a company they trust.

The way a business is evaluated can be quite complex. But there are some fundamentals that can help companies to boost their valuations. Trust is one of the factors that makes businesses highly valued. When a business generates value for its customers and can be trusted, it is valued highly.

The way a company is run, operated and moves forward with respect to the future can be displayed in some key performance metrics. Here’s a look at some strategies that can be used for improving the value of a business.

1. Customer Growth and Satisfaction

Customer Growth and Satisfaction

How does your company generate its revenue? Are your current customers happy with your products and services? Is your customer base expanding fast enough? Are your customers loyal to your business? These are some of the questions that can help you evaluate your business.

The numbers and strength of your customer base are great indicators to evaluate your company’s value.

A business with big and loyal clients will always do well in the long run. When the retention rates of customers are high, it indicates that the business is doing things well. A loyal customer base indicates strength.

Good businesses invest in client relationships and retention. They know it is their customer’s success that will make their business successful.

2. Niche Products & Services

Differentiation is the way to beat the competition. Are you able to differentiate yourself in the marketplace? Any business needs to create its loyal customer base for survival and growth. A business with niche products and services will be able to attract a higher valuation.

A valuable business is able to demonstrate and uniquely position its offerings in the market. When the quality of your products is appealing to the customers, it augurs well for the future.

A lot of businesses can leverage their intellectual property, products & services, patents etc. for business valuation. Companies with rich intellectual property & portfolio are able to command a higher premium.

3. Market Size

Market Size

What is the size of the market that you are tapping into? Is your product or service well positioned to take on a big market size. Typically, the investors and business valuers look at the size of the market for determining the value of a business. If your business has unique positioning, solves a client pain point and the market size is huge, you can really make a great return from your business.

4. Processes & Documentation

You need to keep things organised, documented and follow best practices. The record keeping is imperative not just for the audits, but also for enforcing processes in your organisation.

Whether it is the employees, customers or your shareholders, they will know what is expected. It helps people get the perspective of things for your business and its policies.

It means creating structured documentation around accounting, employee policies, records of transactions and keeping them properly organised.

When the organisation has streamlined processes, how to guides, good documentation and policies, it makes things easier for everyone. It also helps in assessment of the key parameters and performance of a business.  

5. Financial Ratios

Financial Ratios

The financial metrics of a company are crucial guidelines for its valuations. It doesn’t serve as a fool proof method, but gives very good indicators on the performance and value.

What is the working capital required for your business? Is your business profitable? Are your customers well segmented in various markets? The Assets to liability ratio, income, long term investments etc are important for analysing the value of your business. A good business offers consistent and growing returns for its shareholders spread over an average time period.

6. Sustainable USP

How does your business position itself in the long run? Does it have significant competitive advantages? Is it meant to go the distance? What are the existing strengths of your business that will be sustained in the long term? Is your management team well equipped to bail your company out of trouble?

These are some of the important questions that provide a rough guideline on the unique selling proposition for your business.

7. Operational Efficiency & Profits

Operational Efficiency & Profits

The way your company utilises and maximises resources speaks volumes about its capabilities. The best companies and start-ups create water-tight and efficient operations that maximise value for all stakeholders.

These companies build a culture of efficiency, do progressive work and use technology for optimising resources. These companies reduce indirect costs, eliminate waste and streamline important processes to increase profitability.

A company with good profitability and streamlined processes can increase the value of your business to potential investors & buyers.

8.  Diversity & Depth

Determining the future prospects of a company in constantly changing business scenario is quite hard. The valuation of a business need to determine the odds of your survival and growth in the future.

Many companies are leaders in their segments, but fail to pivot at the right time causing their downfall. Case in point being Nokia, which was an undisputed leader in mobile space. But it failed to adapt to the smartphone era.

The products and services of a company, its people and management are all key resources that add value. A multidisciplinary product and services background, diverse portfolio and high quality offerings will also be helpful for increasing the value of the company.

27 Quotes on Simplicity for Higher Living

Simplicity Quotes

Simplicity is the ultimate power that can lead us to higher living. When you want more and more, you are never satisfied. But when you strip off the unnecessary you live with much more freedom and joy.

Many of the greatest people in the world embrace simplicity. They know what is important to them and don’t run after things to please other people. Simplicity gives them strength, because they don’t waste their energies in useless wants and pleasures.

Steve Jobs once said, “That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

Here’s a look at some of the most powerful quotes on simplicity to help you rise in your life.

1. “Simplicity is complex. It’s never simple to keep things simple. Simple solutions require the most advanced thinking.”

Richie Norton

2. “There is no greatness where there is no simplicity, goodness and truth.”

Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy

3. “It is always the simple that produces the marvelous.”

Amelia Barr

4. “Live simply, so that others may simply live.”

Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa

5. “You can only become great at that thing you’re willing to sacrifice for.”

Maya Angelou

6. “Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.”

Charles Dudley Warner

Charles Dudley Warner

7. “Nothing is more simple than greatness; indeed, to be simple is to be great.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

8. “Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.”

Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton

9. “Just do what must be done. This may not be happiness, but it is greatness.”

George Bernard Shaw

10. “As beautiful as simplicity is, it can become a tradition that stands in the way of exploration.”

Laura Nyro

Laura Nyro

11. “Those who have the ability to be grateful are the ones who have the ability to achieve greatness.”

Steve Maraboli

12. “Comfort and simplicity are two keys that I follow when it comes to fashion.”

Fawad Khan

Fawad Khan

13. “Simplicity is the outcome of technical subtlety. It is the goal, not the starting point.”

Maurice Saatchi

14. “A vocabulary of truth and simplicity will be of service throughout your life.”

Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill

15. “Understanding reduces the greatest to simplicity, and lack of it causes the least to take on the magnitude.”

Raymond Holliwell

16. “The role of genius is not to complicate the simple, but to simplify the complicated.”

Criss Jami

Criss Jami

17. “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

Albert Einstein

18. “Greatness, generally speaking, is an unusual quantity of a usual quality grafted upon a common man.”

William Allen White

William Allen White

19. “Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful.”

John Maeda

20. “I have three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.

Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu

21. “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”

Hans Hofmann

22. “The waste of life occasioned by trying to do too many things at once is appalling.”

Orison Marden

Orison Marden

23.  “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

Leonardo da Vinci

24. “The simplification of life is one of the steps to inner peace.

Mildred Norman

Mildred Norman

25. “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”

Confucius

26. “I believe that things can be expressed very powerfully through simplicity.

Johann Johannsson

Johann Johannsson

27. “People often associate complexity with deeper meaning, when often after precious time has been lost, it is realized that simplicity is the key to everything.”

Gary Hopkins

8 Emerging AI technologies that will Impact the future

Emerging Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence will change the world beyond our imaginations. These changes have already started and impacting our lives. The future will be driven by machines and algorithms. As per PWC, business leaders said they believe AI is going to be fundamental in the future. In fact, 72% termed it a business advantage.

The AI technologies are making huge waves. The self driving cars, the AI driven applications for healthcare and voice based assistants like Alexa are proof enough of the AI technological prowess.

AI technologies will be one of the most disruptive technologies impacting industries, business, society and our lives. As the market and demand for AI grows, here we look at some of the emerging AI technologies:

1. Speech Enabled Systems:

Speech Enabled Systems

Speech recognition has always been a fascinating subject for computer scientists. It is now finding way into our day to day operations. Whether it is Google voice search, Alexa or Siri virtual assistants, voice based systems are making great progress.

The interactive voice based systems will find more uses in self driving cars, enterprise application software and many of our day to day tasks can be accomplished using simple voice commands. For e.g. enterprise systems will be able to have intelligent conversations with you, based on the data pool and machine learning tools.

2. Creative AI:

The AI systems are not just capable of learning and analysing data, but also use it creatively to build art & design. The machine enabled systems are capable of taking art images as inputs and even create new images based on its learnings.

In a fascinating development, AI algorithms are now capable of generating music and assisting composers. The music generating algorithms analyse millions of conversations, newspaper headlines, social media conversations to suggest inputs for composers.

The AI generated novels and textbooks are already done. The future will see more books, articles and novels written by AI systems with realtime information and updations.

3. Future Professionals

Future Professionals

With the advancement of natural interactions between humans and machines, self learning algorithms, the future professionals will be AI driven systems. It is not hard to see that even in the most complex of fields like medical science, the AI systems are performing quite well.

They are able to assist with diagnosis of diseases after studying patient information and data. The AI driven systems will also be good in legal matters, where they can provide inputs and predictions based on previous case histories.

The AI based learning systems can be used as personalised tutors. These tutors will be able to train students based on individual capabilities, strengths and learning abilities. The AI systems will be able to present information in different ways to augment learning for humans.

4. Robotic Process Automation:

A lot of manual labour work in factories is getting done using robotic process automation. The human actions are mimicked by machines and robots. These methods are used for manufacturing and advanced automation across industries.

With the rise of AI technology, the robotic automation is improving itself on regular basis. The feedback and learning data is used for improvement in business processes.

The convergence of robotic process automation and AI will spark new capabilities for doing things. When robots are equipped with cognitive automation, machine learning, analysis and natural language processing capabilities, they will take over many tasks from humans.

5. Virtual Agents

Virtual Agents

A virtual agent is a program that can interact with humans. Virtual agents are used for customer support, service and smart home automation etc. With self learning capabilities, the virtual agents will play a bigger role in our day to day lives.

Everyone will be able to use a virtual assistant on mobile enabled devices like smartphones. The virtual agents will be like personalised assistants and will help you with things you need.

6. Devices interacting with Human Brain

Yes, this will be very much possible. The human brain signals and impulses will be able to interact with devices in the future. It may well be possible to study many psychological illnesses and their cures. The human brain is one of the most fascinating technologies, AI scientists are trying to establish links and connects to see how the capabilities of human brains can be replicated by machines.

The advances in human brain and computer interfaces will open new avenues for medical science possible.

7. Image Recognition

Image Recognition

Image recognition allows you to identify & detect objects or features in a digital image or video. AI is used for learning about data patterns from the images and build self learning applications on top of this.

The ability to understand images and videos using advanced AI and Machine learning tools can open new avenues for humans. For e.g. drone based systems can be deployed for evacuating humans in cases of natural disasters using AI tools.

The image recognition systems will replace passwords and authentication checks at most places. There is increasing use of AI algorithms to mine data to predict diseases, fraud detection, billing systems and bank cards etc.

8. Emotion Recognition

This AI technology allows software to read, analyse and understand the emotions on a human face using advanced image processing, voice data processing.

The AI systems are capable of predicting your emotional state with high accuracy. The facial and vocal analysers can be used for customer service. The technology can also suggest marketers the best time to contact their leads based on the prospect’s mood.

7 Simple Ways to Improve Your Communication to achieve Success

success with good communicate

We spend more time on devices than interacting with people. Our world has changed. We are driven by our gadgets, smartphones, devices and technology. In these times, communication still remains one of the sure fire ways of climbing your ladder of success. Perhaps, more than ever  before.

How you communicate can make a big difference to who you are. It reflects your personality and words. Good communication requires understanding the other person more than explaining yourself. It means building a rapport with other person, connecting with them and be able to put your ideas convincingly in front of others.

Strong communication skills can boost your career, enhance your image and help you build good relationships with other people. Here is how you can be a good communicator:

1. Listen to Understand

Listen to Understand

Often good conversation and communication means being able to understand the other person. Good communicators listen to understand the other person, not to reply to them. When you connect with the other person, you can communicate with them effectively.

Listening is one of the most important skills in our world today. People are more interesting in broadcasting things about themselves in social media and rarely connect with others.

A good listener always allows other people to talk their minds. They are often good problem solvers, because they understand things at a deeper level and are more reflective in their approach.

2. Be Brief & Specific

Time is no longer a luxury that people can afford. Communication needs to be spot on, it must respect other person’s time and shouldn’t be vague.

More often than not the more you communicate, the less you’re able to convey. But when you have a short and important message, the other person will be able to perceive it better.

3. Positive Tone

Positive Tone

One of the most important aspects of communication is to show sense of purpose and positivity. When people talk to you, they should feel energized and positive. Good communicators exude a positive vibe.

Even when you have to convey negative feedback or discuss something difficult, the tone of your language can make things easy for the other person. Positive conversations encourage and empower people to bring out their best.

4. Authenticity

Be who you are and don’t try to be someone else. You are at your best when you are authentic. An element of communication requires others to trust you. You can build trust when you’re genuine.

When you mislead others, you create troubles for yourself in the long run. Whether you’re a leader or a team member, you will be become dependable when you communicate with authenticity and sincerity.

5. Stay Open & Never Make Assumptions

Never Make Assumptions

One of the best habits of good communicators is that they are open minded. It means they can change their opinion after knowing the facts. They do not let ego get in their way and are willing to learn from others.

You are seen as a problem solver and a go to person, if you are open minded. Open minded people come up with the best ideas and solutions, because they’re not cluttered their minds with preconceived ideas & assumptions.

You can learn more from others when you keep an open minded approach for conversations. It is a sign of maturity in a person, when he can change his mind without a conflict and embrace a better worldview.

6. Ask Questions

Your questioning shows your curiosity. Good communicators always ask questions that are relevant and it helps them pick up information. The art of healthy communications requires learning to ask meaningful questions.

When you ask questions, listen to the other person with respect. It makes people feel valued for who they are. It also helps you learn more about them. Questions can help you connect with others and gain valuable insights from them.

7. Difficult Conversations

Difficult Conversations

When you are in a professional environment, there are bound to be situations that need difficult conversations. Most people avoid these conversations until they become impossible situations.

Good communicators learn to the art of difficult situations. They communicate with empathy for the other person. They understand that putting off things will only make things worse. They are able to build bridges and build stronger relationships at workplace as well as family.

How Entrepreneurs Excel in an Overcrowded Market

Success strategies for businesses

Running a business is challenging. Surviving beyond five years is a rare achievement for most businesses. One of the most common causes of business failures is competition or overcrowded marketplace.

In a study conducted by CBInsights, 42% of start-ups failed due to products and services for which there was no market need. For surviving and succeeding in business, entrepreneurs need to create their own space.

Markets are crowded and competition is higher in various industries. Opening a company has become easier, however succeeding at business still remains a daunting task. How a company is able to differentiate itself from others and gets noticed decides its future.

Great businesses are built around excellent products and services. When you build a culture of high performance and excellence, customers will be attracted towards you. Here we look at the strategies entrepreneurs adopt to excel in overcrowded markets.

1. Establish a Strong Differentiator

Every business has a heart and soul. It has a spirit. What is your business, what do you stand for, why you are unique, how you can differentiate yourself from others in the space are some of the questions that need deep reflections.

Successful entrepreneurs think through things, they research and engage with customers to answer these question. They build their business and establish their core identity, which resonates with their customers as well as employees.

You cannot build a great business just by copying things from others. Businesses are built when they serve their customers, build excellent products or services and stay on top of their customer’s minds. Give them something that they will never forget about your business.

2. Offer Great Value

Offer Great Value

The only way you can be in business is by solving problems. If you don’t solve problems for people, you cannot survive in business. The most successful entrepreneurs solve problems that offer great value for customers.

When the marketplace has lot of competitors, the one that provides the most value wins. Creating a unique value proposition in your business requires identification of the customer needs. The economic value of your offerings to customers decides the value your product and services command.

When you bring value for customers, they will be happy to pay a premium for your services. Businesses cannot hide behind ordinary products and services. If there is no value, no one will use your offerings.

3. Tell a Unique Story

Every business has a unique story to tell. The successful companies are often built around great missions and vision of their founders. When your company can articulate its story and relate to the outside world in a positive way, it goes a long way in shaping your brand.

How businesses use social media, create stories that convey their deepest beliefs and shape the world reflects who they are.

Is your business telling stories in a compelling way? What is it about you and your business that will help others? Why you care to build your business? Telling stories will build a bridge between your business and the outside world. It will not just be another business selling products and services.

4. Become more Customer Centric

Become more Customer Centric

If you’re in a really crowded and competitive market, customers will have more options of choosing who they can deal with. In this case, it is the business that offers them great experience that oftens win them.

When customers can deal with your company in an effective and effortless manner, your business is the beneficiary. Today customers expect personalised services, extra care and attention from companies. The quality of experience and interactions will get your brand noticed.

The digital tools and technology make it easier for brands to interact with customers anytime anywhere. When customers feel valued, they stick around with your business.

5. Go With The Right Team

Go With The Right Team

Today businesses need to deal with unprecedented competition and fast paced changes. The things that were valuable can suddenly become outdated. Your business needs to stay relevant and meaningful to your customers.

When you build a team with a great mix of skills and expertise, you give your business a great chance to succeed. A great team complements each others, contributes to the overall mission of the business and creates valuable progress day in day out. The teams are suitably rewarded when the business succeeds.

6. Feedback & Market:

Feedback & Market

The market never lies. It’s always correct. For any business to establish itself, it has to have paying customers. When customers pay for your products and services, they will tell you how much they value your offerings.

Many entrepreneurs start with intuition and market research data, but eventually it is the feedback from the customers that makes the difference. The market will provide you the right feedback and pointers for you to move in the right direction.

It is possible that you may not succeed with your first idea, but as long as you take the feedback and move in the right direction, you will make it.

7. Focus on Customer Success:

The only way your business will succeed is by making your customers successful. In other words, you have to do things that make your customers achieve what they want.

When your customers are delighted with your products and services, they will choose you over your competitors. When everyone in your businesses focus on your customers, your business will do very well.

Successful businesses understand and solve problems proactively. When you address customer’s pain points even before they ask them, you create value. Great entrepreneurs understand and provide solutions to the customer pain points even the unarticulated ones.