Showing posts from March, 2011

Venture Capital Glossary

The act of one company taking over controlling interest in another company. Investors often look for companies that are likely acquisition candidates, because the acquiring firms are often willing to pay a premium to the market price for the shares.

Angel Investors
Individuals that provide venture capital to seed or early stage companies.. Business angels can usually add value through their contacts and expertise.

Benchmarks are performance goals against which a company's success is measured. Often, they are used by investors to help determine whether a company will receive additional funding or whether management will receive extra stock. Sometimes management will agree to issue more stock to its investors if the company does not meet its benchmarks, thus compensating the investor for the delay of his return.

Bridge Loans
Bridge Loans are short-term financing agreements that fund a company's operations until it can arrange a more comprehensive longer-term …

Venture Capital

Venture capital is money provided by an outside investor to finance a new, growing, or troubled business. The venture capitalist provides the funding knowing that there’s a significant risk associated with the company’s future profits and cash flow. Capital is invested in exchange for an equity stake in the business rather than given as a loan, and the investor hopes the investment will yield a better-than-average return. Venture capital is an important source of funding for start-up and other companies that have a limited operating history and don’t have access to capital markets. A venture capital firm (VC) typically looks for new and small businesses with a perceived longterm growth potential that will result in a large payout for investors. A venture capitalist is not necessarily just one wealthy financier. Most VCs are limited partnerships that have a fund of pooled investment capital with which to invest in a number of companies. T…

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March 17, 2011

Happy Birthday!
I can't believe I am 22 years old today..

Business-to-Business Marketer in High-Tech Industry

I qualify myself as a Business-to-Business Marketer in High-Tech Industry, which is why I love Bay Area, specifically Silicon Valley because it fits my profile. People usually understand what I mean when I say Business-to-Business and Marketing, but always ask me to expand on “High-Tech Industry”.

My marketing experience, knowledge and passion revolve around technology that is sold to businesses, not consumers. The types of technologies include hardware, software, on-demand/cloud computing and applications.

Here is a specific break-down of 5 specific “High-Tech Industry” that I am highly interested in:

1. Broadband
3. Network Hardware
4. Network Software
5. Network Security
6. Wireless Networking

1. App Security
2. Business Continuity
3. Cybercrime and Hacking
4. DRM and Legal Issues
5. Data Security
6. Malware and Vulnerabilities
7. Privacy
8. Security Hardware and Software

1. E-discovery
2. Networked Storage
3. Storage Hardware
4. Storage …

Marketing - Love it or Leave it

I have been asked multiple times on many different occasions, “why marketing?"
My usual response to this question is that I enjoy it, but what does that really mean? Just recently, I gave someone a more in-depth version of “I enjoy it” answer and it goes something like this: “Marketing allows me to be creative, strategic, tactical and business-oriented. It lets me create an identity for an organization internally and externally and lets me work as a central person between the three main departments of the organization: Sales, Product Management and Engineering.”

I have divided marketing functions into 4 hats:
1. Silver Hat: Marketing activities that I really enjoy and am good at
2. Blue Hat: Marketing activities that I am good at and don’t mind managing
3. Turquoise Hat: Activities that I enjoy that are not always seen as part of marketing
4. Purple Hat: Activities that just fall into marketing based on assumptions about marketing

Here is my breakdown of marketing activi…

7 Cs Website design elements that drive customer traffic

Dr. Jill Novak, University of Phoenix, Texas A&M University

There are seven design elements - 7Cs - that should be considered when creating a website intended for commerce and sales. Customers shop online for several reasons; the most important are the convenience, cost, large selection and the allure of control over their purchases. Customers can easily shop around from anywhere they have an Internet connection; this gives companies an even greater imperative to create a website that will drive traffic to their website, appeal to their target markets, and create a lasting experience that will create return customers.

* Context : A website's layout and overall visual design needs to be uncluttered, easy to read and navigate, the color scheme needs to be appropriate for the marketing design. Having some white space will also aid in the overall design and readability.
* Commerce : If the website is intended for commercial transactions, then it has to be safe and the fact th…

Six Thinking Hats

Edward De Bono. Six Thinking Hats (1985)

In our thinking, we often try to do too much at the same time. We look at the facts of the matter. We try to build a logical argument. We may try to come up with some new ideas. We may even get emotional. Marketing managers tend to be multitasking and often have many projects on the go at the same time. Marketers have deadlines to meet. Marketing is creative, and the Six Thinking Hats helps us to provide marketing solutions to marketing problems.

The six thinking hats is a method for doing one sort of thinking at a time. Instead of trying to do everything at once, we wear only one hat at a time. It's a metaphor. There are six colored hats and each color represents a type of thinking.
Six Thinking Hats

White Hat.
The white hat means neutral information. White hat thinking focuses on the available information. There are three key questions:

1. What information do we have?

2. What information is missing?

3. How do we get the information we nee…

Traffic Lights: A Tool for Creative Marketing

As with many of the tools and techniques considered on Marketing Teacher, traffic lights is a simple and effective approach. It's just like the traffic lights that are seen in millions of streets throughout the world, and is a basic metaphor for red, amber and green. Red means 'let's STOP it,' Amber means 'PROCEED WITH CAUTION, but make some improvements,' and Green means 'Go' or 'Let's carry on with this activity.'

Traffic Lights Traffic Lights Traffic Lights

Traffic lights is a creative marketing tool that can be used in a number of ways.

* You could conduct a personal traffic lights exercise based upon your own personal or professional development.
* The exercise can be run at any stage of the marketing planning or creative process. So you could run it as you begin marketing, during a marketing campaign, and at the end of a marketing program as you review or control your marketing activities.

Traffic lights has a number of benefits to ma…

Four Banding Alternatives

A marcoms tool that a marketer can employ for branding decision-making is the Four Banding Alternatives (Tauber 1981). Four Branding Alternatives is a strategic marketing communications technique. It is a fun and creative approach that can add value to any class that likes to discuss brands and how they could be innovatively developed. It is used when an organization considers adding a product to its portfolio and its associated brand name. The two variables for this matrix are Product Category (Existing or New) and Band Category (Existing or New).
Four Branding Alternatives

* New Product - a new product is developed with a series of new brand ideas and meanings to the consumer.
* Flanker Brand - a new brand is introduced into a category where the organization already has established products.
* Line Extension - a current brand name is introduced into a category where the organization already has established products.
* Franchise Extension - a familiar brand is taken to a product cat…

The Strategy Clock: Bowman's Competitive Strategy Options

The 'Strategy Clock' is based upon the work of Cliff Bowman (see C. Bowman and D. Faulkner 'Competitve and Corporate Strategy - Irwin - 1996). It's another suitable way to analyze a company's competitive position in comparison to the offerings of competitors. As with Porter's Generic Strategies, Bowman considers competitive advantage in relation to cost advantage or differentiation advantage. There are six core strategic options:

Bowman's Strategy Clock
Option one - low price/low added value

* likely to be segment specific.

Option two - low price

* risk of price war and low margins/need to be a 'cost leader'.

Option three - hybrid

* low cost base and reinvestment in low price and differentiation.

Option four - differentiation

(a)without a price premium:

* perceived added value by user, yielding market share benefits.

(b)with a price premium:

* perceived added value sufficient to to bear price premium.

Option five - focussed differentiation


Benchmarking relies upon a comparison between the activities of your own organization and those of another. Originally benchmarking was used in manufacturing operations where one process could be compared and contrasted with another.

Think about it in basic terms - you measure a piece of wood along your bench. You keep one end of the wood level/flush with the end of the bench and cut a notch in the bench itself with your chisel at the other end. Then you place other pieces of wood in the same location - the shorter ones you reject and the longer ones you cut down. A benchmark is a measurement tool.

Xerox is commonly cited as the original proponent. More recently the definition has broadened to include all business processes, competitive advantages, performance and strategies (Prasnikar et al 2005)
Basic types of benchmark.

Competitive or Industry/sector benchmarking enables an organization to compare its performance with competitors trading in the same industry or sector.


Pricing Strategies

There are many ways to price a product. Let's have a look at some of them and try to understand the best policy/strategy in various situations. See also eMarketing Price.

Premium Pricing.

Use a high price where there is a uniqueness about the product or service. This approach is used where a a substantial competitive advantage exists. Such high prices are charge for luxuries such as Cunard Cruises, Savoy Hotel rooms, and Concorde flights.
Penetration Pricing.

The price charged for products and services is set artificially low in order to gain market share. Once this is achieved, the price is increased. This approach was used by France Telecom and Sky TV.

Economy Pricing.

This is a no frills low price. The cost of marketing and manufacture are kept at a minimum. Supermarkets often have economy brands for soups, spaghetti, etc.

Price Skimming.

Charge a high price because you have a substantial competitive advantage. However, the advantage is not sustainable. The high price tends to attract …

Marketing Promotions

Another one of the 4P's is 'promotion'. This includes all of the tools available to the marketer for 'marketing communication'. As with Neil H.Borden's marketing mix, marketing communications has its own 'promotions mix.' Think of it like a cake mix, the basic ingredients are always the same. However if you vary the amounts of one of the ingredients, the final outcome is different. It is the same with promotions. You can 'integrate' different aspects of the promotions mix to deliver a unique campaign.

The elements of the promotions mix are:

* Personal Selling.
* Sales Promotion.
* Public Relations.
* Direct Mail.
* Trade Fairs and Exhibitions.
* Advertising.
* Sponsorship.


The elements of the promotions mix are integrated to form a coherent campaign. As with all forms of communication. The message from the marketer follows the 'communications process' as illustrated above. For example, a radio advert is made for a…

Marketing Controls

Control involves measurement, evaluation, and monitoring. Resources are scarce and costly so it is important to control marketing plans. Control involves setting standards. The marketing manager will than compare actual progress against the standards. Corrective action (if any) is then taken. If corrective action is taken, an investigation will also need to be undertaken to establish precisely why the difference occurred.

There are many approaches to control:

* Market share analysis.
* Sales analysis.
* Quality controls.
* Budgets.
* Ratio analysis.
* Marketing research.
* Marketing information systems (MkIS).
* Feedback from customers satisfaction surveys.
* Cash flow statements.
* Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems.
* Sales per thousand customers, per factory, by segment.
* Location of buyers and potential buyers.
* Activities of competitors to aspects of your plan.
* Distributor support.
* Performance of any promotional activi…

The Arthur D Little (ADL) Strategic Condition Matrix

Although now slightly dated at first glance, The Arthur D Little (ADL) Strategic Condition Matrix offers a different perspective on strategy formulation. ADL has two main dimensions - competitive position and industry maturity.

Competitive position is driven by the sectors or segments in which a Strategic Business Unit (SBU) operates. The product or service which it markets, and the accesses it has to a range of geographically dispersed markets that are what makes up an organization's competitive position i.e. product and place.

Industry maturity is very similar to the Product Life Cycle (PLC) and could almost be renamed an 'industry life cycle.' Of course not only industries could be considered here but also segments

It is a combination of the two aforementioned dimensions that helps us to use ADL for marketing decision-making. Now let's consider options in more detail. Competitive position has five main categories:

* 1. Dominant - This is a particularly extraordinary…

Marketing Planning

Marketing plans are vital to marketing success. They help to focus the mind of companies and marketing teams on the process of marketing i.e. what is going to be achieved and how we intend to do it. There are many approaches to marketing plans. Marketing Teacher has focused upon the key stages of the plan. It is contained under the popular acronym AOSTC.


Stage One - Situation Analysis (and Marketing Audit).

* Marketing environment.
* Laws and regulations.
* Politics.
* The current state of technology.
* Economic conditions.
* Sociocultural aspects.
* Demand trends.
* Media availability.
* Stakeholder interests.
* Marketing plans and campaigns of competitors.
* Internal factors such as your own experience and resource availability.

Also see tools for internal/external audit:

* Porter's Five Forces.
* Marketing Environment.

Stage Two - Set marketing objectives.

SMART objectives.

Electronic Discovery

Tip #1: Make sure your solution is EDRM-compliant.
Make sure your solution covers the full breadth of the e-discovery process as defined by the industry’s EDRM (Electronic Discovery Reference Model) standard. Your solution needs to cover everything from information management, identification, preservation and collection to processing and early case analysis. It needs to do all of this on its own, handing over only the smallest, legally defensible set of data to the legal review team. Otherwise, you’ll have to cobble together multiple solutions from multiple vendors, which will only create a bigger headache for yourself. Not to mention the compromised audit liability point solutions present.

Tip #2: Insist on an open integration platform.
Insist on an open integration platform that supports various e-mail systems, storage systems, archiving systems, and content and document management systems. For instance, if you’re in the process of migrating data from a Novell server to an EMC Celerra …


BANT is the acronym for Budget, Authority, Need, Timeline
BANT helps identify a prospect who is in buying mode, especially for B2B companies.


People who have problems don't always want a solution.

Supply Chain Management Acronyms

3PL – Third Party Logistics Provider

ASN – Advance Ship Notice

ATP – Available to Promise

BOL – Bill of Lading

CTP – Capable to Promise

CRM – Customer Relationship Management

CRP – Conference Room Pilot

CPRF – Collaborative Planning, Replenishment and Forecasting

EAI – Enterprise Application Integration

EDI – Electronic Data Interchange

EPC – Electronic Product Code

ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning Software

HR – Human Resources

KPI – Key Performance Indicator

LPN – License Plate Number

LTL – Less than a Truck Load

MES – Manufacturing Execution System

MRP – Material Requirements Planning (MRP II 2nd Generation MRP)

PLM – Product Lifecycle Management

PM - Project Manager

PMP – Project Management Professional

PO – Purchase Order

POD – Proof of Delivery

QA – Quality Assurance

RDC - Regional Distribution Center

RFID - Radio Frequency Identification

S&OP – Sales and Operational Planning

SaaS – Software as…

DMADV Project Method

Define design goals that are consistent with customer demands and the enterprise strategy.

Measure and identify CTQs (characteristics that are Critical To Quality), product capabilities, production process capability, and risks.

Analyze to develop and design alternatives, create a high-level design and evaluate design capability to select the best design.

Design details, optimize the design, and plan for design verification. This phase may require simulations.

Verify the design, set up pilot runs, implement the production process and hand it over to the process owner(s).

Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle

Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle

DMAIC Project Method

Define the problem, the voice of the customer, and the project goals, specifically.

Measure key aspects of the current process and collect relevant data.

Analyze the data to investigate and verify cause-and-effect relationships. Determine what the relationships are, and attempt to ensure that all factors have been considered. Seek out root cause of the defect under investigation.

Improve or optimize the current process based upon data analysis using techniques such as design of experiments, poka yoke or mistake proofing, and standard work to create a new, future state process. Set up pilot runs to establish process capability.

Control the future state process to ensure that any deviations from target are corrected before they result in defects. Implement control systems such as statistical process control, production boards, and visual workplaces, and continuously monitor the process.


Toss: throw away because they hold no value
Refer: send to other people for reference
Act: requiring actions
File: filing away in it's own place

RACI Process Planning

R = Responsibility (who owns the problem/project - all persons responsible for this step)

A = Accountable (one person to whom "R" is Accountable - and/or who must sign off (Approve) on work before it is effective

C = Communicate (all involved) - to be Consulted - or has information and/or capability necessary to complete the work

I = Inform ( who gets report) - must be notified of results, but need not be consulted

S = Support (optional) Others who can help plan/execute

The Top Five Things to Remember When Preparing to Train Others

Make Sure Your Material Matches Your Mouth !

As the saying goes Failure to prepare is preparing to fail. Ensure that your training material matches what you intend to say. When I first started out as a training rookie, I made the crucial error of leaving my carefully prepared material and gave my opinion on how things should be done, which of course totally contradicted the aim of the session. It may have been popular with the delegates, but not so with the organiser of the training! So as trainers we must always be prepared to adapt, but remember not to veer to far from your material.
Examine the TRUE Reason For Training

This is crucial to find out why the training is taking place. Questions you should seek to answer to; Is it a change of procedure, culture change, new structure, new starters etc. I find this really helps me when preparing as I tweak my delivery accordingly. It's very easy for a trainer to put their foot in it, particularly if you unaware of the circumstances.