Consumer Behaviour, Consumer Influence and the Process of Diffusion Friday, May 28 2010 

What is Opinion Leadership?

Opinion Leadership is the process by which the opinion leader informally influences the actions or attitudes of others, who may be opinion seekers or merely opinion recipients. Opinion receivers perceive the opinion leader as a highly credible, objective source of product information who can help reduce their search and analysis time and percieved risk.

Opinion leaders are motivated to give information or advice to others, in part doing so enhances their own status and self image and because such advice tends to reduce any post purchase dissonance that they may have.Other motives include product involvement, message involvement or any other involvement.

Market researchers identify opinion leaders by such methods as self designation, key informants, the sociometric method and the objective method.

Studies of opinion leadership indicate that this phenomenon tends to be product category specific, generally one of their interest. An opinion leader of one product range can be an opinion receiver for another product category.

Generally, opinion leaders are gregarious, self confident, innovative people who like to talk. Additionally, they may feel differentiated from others and choose to act differently (or public individuation).

They acquire information about their areas of interest through avid readership of special interest magazines and ezines and by means of new product trials.

Their interests may often overlap into adjacent areas and thus their opinion leadership may also extend into those areas.

Who is a market maven ?

The market maven is an intense case of a opinion leader kind of person. These consumers possess a wide range of information about many different types of products, retail outlets, and other dimensions of markets.

They both initiative discussions with other consumers and respond to requests for market information over a wide range of products and services. 

Market mavens are also distinguished from other opinion leaders because their influence stems not so much from product experience but from a more general knowledge or market expertise that leads them to an early awareness of a wide array of new products and services.

The opinion leadership process usually take place among friends, neighbours and work associates who have frequent physical proximity and thus have ample opportunity to hold informal product related conversations. These conversations usually occur naturally in the context of the product-category usage.

The two – step flow of communication theory highlights the role of interpersonal influence in the transmission of information from the mass media to the populations at large. This theory provides the foundation for a revised multi step flow of communication model, which takes into account the fact that information and influence often are 2 way processes and that the opinion leaders both influence and are influenced by opinion receivers.

It is important for the marketers to segment their audiences into opinion leaders and opinion receivers for their respective product categories. When marketers can direct their promotional efforts to the more influential segments of these markets, these opinion leaders will transmit the information to those who seek product advice.

Marketers try to simulate and stimulate opinion leadership. They have also found that they can create opinion leaders for their products by taking socially involved or influential people and deliberately increasing their enthusiasm for a product category.

The diffusion process and the adoption process are 2 closely related concepts concerned with the acceptance of new products by customers.

The diffusion process is a macro process that focuses on the spread of an innovation from its source to the consuming public.

The adoption process is a micro process that examines the stages through which an individual consumer passes when making a decision to accept or reject a new product.

The definition of the term innovation can be

1. Firm oriented(new to the firm),

2. Product oriented(a continuous innovation, a dynamically continuous innovation, or  A discontinuous innovation),

3. Market oriented(how long the product has been on the market or an arbitrary percentage of the potential target market that has purchased it), or

4. Consumer oriented (new to the customer).

Market-oriented definitions of innovation are most useful to consumer researchers in the study of the diffusion and adoption of new products.

Five Product Characteristics influence the consumers acceptance of a new product:

 

  1. Relative Advantage
  2. Compatibility
  3. Complexity
  4. Trialability
  5. Observability

 

Diffusion researchers are concerned with 2 aspects of communication – the channels through which word about a new product or service is spread to the public and the types of messages that influence the adoption or rejection of new products or services.

Diffusion is always examined in the context of a specific social system, such as a target market, a community, a region or even a nation.

Time is an integral consideration in the diffusion process. Researchers are concerned with the amount of purchase time required for an individual customer to adopt or reject a new product/service, with the rate of adoptions and with the identification of sequential adopters.

The 5 adopter categories are innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards.

Marketing Strategists try to control the rate of adoption through their new product pricing policies. Companies who wish to penetrate the market to achieve market leaderships try to acquire wide adoption as quickly as possible by using low prices. Those who wish to recoup their developmental costs quickly use a skimming pricing policy but lengthen the adoption process.

The traditional adoption process model describes 5 stages through which an individual consumer passes to arrive at the decision to adopt or reject a new product:

  1. Awareness, 
  2. Interest,
  3. Evaluation
  4. Trial
  5. Adoption

To make it more realistic, an enhanced model is recommended as one that considers the possibility of a pre existing need or problem, the likelihood that some form of evaluation might occur through the entire process, and that even after adoption there will be post adoption or purchase evaluation that might either strengthen the commitment or alternatively lead to discontinuation of the product/service.

Companies marketing new products are vitally concerned with identifying the consumer innovator so that they may direct their promotional campaigns to the people who are most like to try new products, adopts them and influences others.

Consumer Research has identified a number of consumer related characteristics, including product interest, opinion leadership, personality factors, purchase and consumption traits, media habits, social characteristics, and demographic variables that distinguish consumer innovators from later adopters. These serve as useful variables in the segmentation of markets for new product introductions.

Who are the innovators and early adopters for your products and services? How have you planned your diffusion strategy for the current products and the new products?

MANAGEMENT INNOVATIONS

managementinnovations2020@gmail.com; manojonkar@gmail.com; 919375970812

THINGS TO CHECK IN A BUSINESS PLAN Monday, Dec 1 2008 

We have been consulting an investor ( a strategic VC Operations) on investing in various projects.

Common findings:

  • The entrepreneurs who had approached the investors were operating more from their gut feelings than from data.
  • They are very optimistic about their future prospects, even though they have been facing tough times for a long time.
  • The data of the best possible scenario is generally referred to as the standard expected scenario, which is never even remotely close.
  • Expenditures are considered on a very loose levels and always underestimated.
  • Lot of challenges are discounted and overlooked till the time they become big and unconfrontable.
  • Competition is never given its dues in terms of considering market share, marketing, sales and talent retention challenges.
  • Sweeping generalities become the business plan instead of data oriented thought through strategies.
  • Cash Flow is expected to be taken care of, by the expected business revenue – which generally fail to be as per the expectations.
  • Challenges faced by the industry as a whole, are not fully considered and rarely brainstormed to create innovative solutions.
  • Scant respect for Financial Planning, strategy, HR, training and development are seen in many cases.
  • Employees are expected to be automatically aligned to the vision that is hidden in the mind of the promoters.

These are some of the observations, but definitely not applicable to everyone.

Many entreprenuers have demonstrated that they do not fall in the above pitfalls and they steer their organizations to great success and sustained performance standards by combining the entreprenuers fire in the belly, with the strategy and systems.

WHAT WORKS:

  1. Have accurate data of the past and realistic data about the future.
  2. Have all industry related information handy.
  3. Have your financial data impeccable and ready to discuss.
  4. Have your competition and various factors affecting your organization performance detailed out.
  5. Have a strong strategy and marketing plan.
  6. What are the Key requirements for success in your industry, is it technolgoy, manpower, skills, market converage? Have all the bases worked out.
  7. Realistic Growth Plans.
  8. Detailed SWOT Analysis or the reverse TOWS Analysis.
  9. Create a realistic picture of the Opportunites and Challenges and your plans for dealing with them.
  10. Clearly identify the areas where you have not yet sorted out things or you would like inputs or are working out external inputs.
  11. Have guidance from professionals like CAs, Management Consultants, Govt. liasoning officers etc., as required.
  12. Create 3 plans , worst scenario, best scenario and realistic scenario.

To discuss more, contact:

MANAGEMENT INNOVATIONS

managementinnovations2020@gmail.com; manojonkar@gmail.com; 919375970812

CONSULTANCY SERVICES OFFERED Monday, Dec 1 2008 

MANAGEMENT 

  • Facilitating CREATION OF VISION, MISSION AND CORE VALUES
  • Guding in GETTING THE ORGANIZATION ALIGNED ON THE VISION,MISSION AND CORE VALUES
  • Supporting in POLICIES AND PROCESSES – REINTERPRETATION & REFINEMENT based on the Vision, Mission and Core Values.
  • Creating Operating guidelines for each and every role holder inside of the Vision,Mission and Core Values
  • Facilitating Creating Strategies for the short term and long term growth strategy. We recommend using the Blue Ocean Strategy along with TOWS (SWOT) as the starting point of planning.
  • Guiding in the Strategy Implementation. We recommend the BSC – Balanced Score Card given approach as the guiding principle for Strategy Implemenation.
  • Creating Systemic and Systematic Change Management disciplince.

MARKETING

  • Facilitate creation of the Marketing Strategy
  • Guiding on Shortlisting of the Target Market Segments
  • Advice on Creating Specific Strategies for each Specific Target Market Segment.
  • Support on Implementing the Marketing Strategies including using various medium including eStrategies
  • Guidelines for ongoing monitoring, feedback and updating the Marketing Strategies.
  • Continuous innovation and work on Branding and Positioning.
  • Inputs on Online Marketing

 

SALES

  • Training and coaching people on the World Best Consultative Sales Models ( We recommend Huthwaite’s SPIN Model as the foundation for learning Consultative Sales. There are some other good models which can also be used)
  • Guiding people on Key Account Management Strategies.
  • Guiding people on Relationship Marketing as building long term mutually rewarding and respecting relationships with clients.
  • Guiding in Channel Management and Market Coverage Strategies and Implementation
  • Facilitating a Sales and Marketing oriented culture in the organization.
  • Creating a result oriented culture with strong MIS and reporting systems with continuous updates, feedback, coaching, interventions.
  • Guiding on Online Sales, Web Stores, ECommerce, Online Business, Online Lead Generation

 

HR

  • Guide in Creating Performance Based Culture fostering leadership,initiative, ownership and result orientedness.
  • Facilitating KRA setting, performance management, performance appraisal, issue resolutions, teamwork, and growth orientation. 
  • Guide in Creating HR as a strong back bone enriching and supporting the vision, mission, core values and the strategy implementation.
  • Advise on Creating People Development and Talent Management as everyday responsibility of the Supervisors and Managers and integrating it with everyone’s KRAs and Performance Appraisals.

 

TRAINING:

  • Vision, Mission, Core Values – Consulting and Workshops.
  • Strategy Creation – Consulting and Workshops
  • Market Segmentation – Consulting and Workshops
  • Consultative Sales – Consulting, Workshops & Coaching Camps
  • Leadership, Managerial and Supervisory Development, Soft Skills, Attitude, TeamBuilding, Holistic Self Development – Consulting, Workshops and Coaching Camps

MANAGEMENT INNOVATIONS

managementinnovations2020@gmail.com; manojonkar@gmail.com; 919375970812

Marketing Communication and Consumer Behaviour Wednesday, Nov 26 2008 

MARKETING COMMUNICATION:

There are 5 basic components of communication:

  1. Sender
  2. Receiver
  3. Medium
  4. Message
  5. Feedback

 

In the communications process, the sender encodes the message using words,pictures, symbols sends it through a selected medium.

The receiver decodes the message based on his or her personal characteristics and experience, and responds based on such factors as selective exposure, selective perception, comprehension and psychological noise.

There are 2 types of communications:

 

  1. Interpersonal Communications
  2. Mass Communications

 

Interpersonal communications occur on a personal level between tow or more people and may be verbal or non verbal, formal or informal.

Interpersonal communications take place in person,by telephone,by mail,by email,on the web etc., 

In mass communications, there is no direct contact between source and receiver.

Mass communications occur through such impersonal  media as television, radio, newspapers and magazines.

Feedback is an essential component of all types of communications because it provides the sender with some notion as to whether and how well the message has been received.

The credibility of the source, a vital element in message persuasiveness, often is based on the source’s perceived intentions.

Informal sources and neutral or editorial sources are considered to be highly objective and thus highly credible. The credibility of a commercial source is more complex and usually is based on a composite evaluation of its reputation,expertise,and knowledge and that of the medium in which it advertises, the retail channel and company spokespersons.

Media Selection depends on the product,the audience, and the advertising objectives of the campaign.Each medium has advantages and shortcomings that must be weighed in the selection of  media for an advertising campaign.

Following the emergence of new technologies, many advertisers are now developing more customized communications that can reach consumers via media with narrow casting, rather than broadcasting.

The manner in which a message is presented influences its impact. One sided messages are more effective in some situations and with some audiences; two sided messages are more effective with others.

High involvement products are best advertised through the central route to persuasion, which encourages active cognitive effort. 

Marketers can either use objective,factual appeals or emotional appeals. The emotional appeals most frequently used in advertising fear, humour,sexual appeals etc.,

Audience participation is a very effective communications strategy becuase it encourages internalization of the advertising message.

What are the challenges you are facing in designing and delivering your Marketing Communications to your current and potential customers?

MANAGEMENT INNOVATIONS

managementinnovations2020@gmail.com;  manojonkar@gmail.com; 919375970812

Our Work in Education Field Sunday, Nov 23 2008 

As management consultants and advisers, we have had the privilege to work on various interesting and esteemed projects in the field of Education.

 

  1. Delhi Public School, Ahmedabad   – a K-12 CBSE School
  2. Calorex Institute of Technology – a VLSI Chip Design Institute
  3. DPS Prerna (DPS Nalanda) – A School for Dyslexic Children
  4. VISAMO – a Special Initiative for children from BPL families
  5. Zydus School for Excellence – a K-12 school from the house of Zydus Cadila.

 

 

Various Activities that we have provided valuable inputs and guidance include:

 

  1. Market Research
  2. Organizational Positioning
  3. Pricing
  4. Marketing
  5. Sales
  6. Staff Selection and Induction
  7. Teaching Staff ongoing Training & Development
  8. Admin Staff and Support Staff Orientation
  9. Customer Orientation
  10. HR & Employee Engagement
  11. Overall Growth and development

 

For further information contact:

MANAGEMENT INNOVATIONS ( erstwhile INNOVATIVE CONSULTANTS)

managementinnovaitons2020@gmail.com;   manojonkar@gmail.com; 91-9375970812

Consumer Motivation Sunday, Nov 23 2008 

What is Consumer Motivation?

Motivation is the driving force within individuals that impels them to action. This driving force is produced by a state of uncomfortable tension, which exists as the result of an unsatisfied need. All individuals have needs, wants and desires. The individual’s subconscious drive to reduce need-induced tensions results in behaviour that he or she anticipates will satisfy needs and thus bring about a more comfortable internal state.

All behaviour is goal oriented. Goals are the sought-after results of motivated behaviour. The form or direction that  behaviour takes-the goal that is selected-is a result of thinking processes(cognition) and previous learning(e.g. experience).

There are 2 types of goals: generic goals and product-specific goals. A generic goal is a general category of goal that may fulfill a certain need; a product-specific goal is a specifically branded or labeled product that individual sees as a way to fulfill a need.

Product-specific needs are sometimes referred to as wants.

What are Innate Needs?

Innate Needs are those an individual is born with. They are Physiological (biogenic) in nature; they include all factors required to sustain physical life (e.g. food, water, shelter, clothing, sex, physical safety etc.,).

What are Acquired Needs?

Acquired needs those an individual develops after birth are primarily psychological (psychogenic). They include love, acceptance, esteem, and self-fulfillment.

For any given need, there are many different and appropriate goals. The Specific goal  selected depends on the individual’s experiences, physical capacity, prevailing cultural norms and values, and the goal’s accessibility in the physical and social environment.

What is the relationship between Needs and Goals?

Needs and goals are interdependent and change in response to the individual’s physical condition, environment, interaction with other people, and experiences. As needs become satisfied, new, higher order needs emerge that must be fulfilled.

How do People deal with Failure in achieving the goals?

Failure to achieve a goal often results in feelings of frustration. Individuals react to frustration in two ways:”fight” or “flight”. They may cope by finding a way around the obstacle that prohibits goal attainment or by adopting a substitute goal (fight); or they may adopt a defense mechanism that enables them to protect their self esteem (flight). Defense mechanisms include aggression, regression, rationalization, withdrawal, projection,daydreaming, identification, and repression.

Motives & Behaviours:

Motives cannot easily be inferred from consumer behaviour. People with different needs may seek fulfillment through selection of the same goals; people with the same needs may seek fulfillment through different goals. 

Although some psychologists have suggested that individuals have different needs priorities, other believe that most human beings experience the same basic needs, to which they assign a similar priority ranking.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory proposes five levels of human needs; physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, egoistic needs and self actualization needs.

Other needs widely integrated into consumer advertising include the needs for power, affiliation and achievement.

What are the 3 common methods for identifying and measuring human motives?

  1. Observation and Inference
  2. Subjective Reports
  3. Qualitative Research – including projective techniques.

None of these methods is completely reliable by itself.

Therefore researchers often use a combination of 2 or 3 techniques in tandem to assess the presence or strength of consumer motives.

What is Motivational Research ?

Motivational research is qualitative research designed to delve below the consumer’s level of conscious awareness. Despite some shortcomings, motivational research has proved to be of great value to marketers concerned with developing new ideas and new copy appeals.

Consultative Sales – First Step – Pre Sales Preparation Wednesday, Nov 19 2008 

Pre Sales Preparation is one of the most under estimated sales tool. Over a period of time, pre sales preparation gets compromised for one reason or the other. There is always some other urgent, seemingly more important work running the clock, and this foundation keeps getting neglected.

Consultative Sales is built on Credibility. Credibility is built on knowledge and mastery. Knowledge and Mastery of one’s own industry, products, services, past projects, difference made to the customers businesses, successes and breakdowns.

One also needs to know the competitors, their products, services, strengths, weaknesses, strategies etc.,

Most importantly, we need to learn the customer’s company, industry, the challenges, the opportunities and what are the best ways that we can make a difference to these potential or existing clients.

Every dollar invested in pre sales preparation will pay back atleast 100 times.

To know what and how you need to do pre sales preparation for your business, feel free to get in touch with us.

MANAGEMENT INNOVATIONS

managementinnovations2020@gmail.com ;  manojonkar@gmail.com;  91-9375970812

How are you using Social Networking sites? Monday, Nov 10 2008 

Are you using social networking sites for expanding your business, finding potential team members, finding potential service providers with the right references, finding the best sales channel, best technologists,best consultants?

do you want to use social networking sites to build your business, find new customers, do subtle marketing?

Contact us

Management Innovations

managementinnovations2020@gmail.com; manojonkar@gmail.com; 919375970812

How are you leveraging the Net for your Business? Monday, Nov 10 2008 

Do you have a product with good brand recognition in the offline world, but do not have much online presence?

How many customers are coming to you because of your online presence?

How much percentage of your business is happening because of your online marketing?

What is your online marketing strategy? do you want to brainstorm with us on what is possible in the area of using online marketing to expand your business?

Do you want to do market research?

Do you want to create parallel sales channel?

Do you want to get across the a new customer segment?

Do you want to supplement your advertisement with online activites which draw potential customers to you?

Talk to us

Management Innovations

managementinnovations2020@gmail.com

manojonkar@gmail.com

919375970812

What is your vision? What is your dream? Monday, Nov 10 2008 

What is your dream and vision for your organization, we are here to support you in fulfilling the same.

Write to us on managementinnovations2020@gmail.com

If you want support in articulating your vision? Getting clear on the plans for your business?

or creating strategies for your business growth or dealing with any other challenges like Marketing/Sales/HR/Systems/Processes/Training

feel free to write/talk to us.

MANAGEMENT INNOVATIONS

managementinnovations2020@gmail.com

manojonkar@gmail.com

91-9375970812

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