Monday, December 15, 2008


There are salespersons and there are salespersons. And then there are better salespersons. One of the most important jobs to be done by a salesperson is to make sales presentations. The quality of the presentation determines the quality of the salesperson. Unfortunately not many salespersons can make great presentations. The text below lists some of the most common mistakes and how they can be avoided.

Mistake #1: Overlooking "Murphy"

If it can go wrong, it will go wrong. This mistake basically means that you walk into the room where you're going to present and something is wrong. LeRoux tells a story about a multimillion-dollar sales presentation to which "Murphy" paid a visit—in the form of missing curtains and a boardroom window overlooking a huge pool surrounded by bikini-clad swimmers (you can guess what the attendees looked at instead of the presenter).

Remedy: Visit important presentation rooms at least a day in advance. If that's not possible, have someone take pictures from different angles and email them to you.

Mistake #2: Delivering Split Presentations

It's difficult to read the subtitles of a foreign movie and follow the action. When sellers stand at a distance from the screen, they create a similar problem. You probably won't build rapport with someone whose focus is repeatedly divided.

Remedy: Stand next to the screen and present a united message.

Mistake #3: Positioning Yourself Incorrectly

Right-handed sellers usually stand with the screen to their right. This allows them to point more easily. However, people read left to right. Salespeople are unable to capitalize on this fact when the screen is to their right.

Remedy: Position a screen, flip chart, or easel stand to your left. Then people will naturally start with their eyes on you and return to you after glancing at the screen.

Mistake #4: Choosing the Wrong Screen Size and Position

In most meeting rooms, screens are two to three times bigger than necessary. The bigger the screen, the more it overshadows the presenter. Recessed ceiling screens are typically centered. This provides nice room symmetry, but it also diminishes the seller.

Remedy: Bring a portable screen. For two to fifteen people, a 4-foot by 4-foot screen is fine. Place yourself in the room's center or key focal spot, and then angle the screen about 25 degrees toward yourself.

Mistake #5: Seating Decision Makers in the Wrong Chairs

In important sales presentations, seating arrangements matter. The first chair to the presenter's left is the best viewing point for a decision maker and the first chair to the presenter's right is the least desirable.

Remedy: Obviously, place the decision maker in the first chair to your left. Plant your feet firmly perpendicular to your group and be conscious that your body will continuously try to rotate toward the screen. Don't let it, or you'll give more eye contact to the non-decision makers.

Mistake #6: Dimming the Lights

Darkness induces drowsiness and mental wandering. Plus it eliminates the best part of a presentation—you.

Remedy: Keep the room lights on or dim them slightly. If multiple light switches are available, turn the lights off directly above the screen. (Of course, since the lights are on, you will need to design slides that are visible at higher light levels.)

Mistake #7: Promoting the Screen

Too many presenters feel that the information on the screen is the real "star." But the audience needs to see you as well—you pull them into the story unfolding on the screen and bring the message to life. As an American Indian proverb goes, "Move closer to the campfire, so I can see your words."

Remedy: Bring the lights up enough so that both you and your visuals are clearly seen.

Mistake #8: Playing with Pointers and Other Toys

Anything you hold in your hands becomes a plaything with which you'll fidget. You might as well twirl a baton, since your hands gripping some object will distract people just as much.

Remedy: Keep your hands free to gesture by not holding a pointer, marker, or remote.

Mistake #9: Blocking the Screen

Do not turn toward the visual and point with your right arm. This causes you to partially block the screen from viewers to your right.

Remedy: Point at the screen with your fingers together, palm down and parallel to the floor. Point to the screen with only your left arm, but when you gesture, use both arms.

Mistake #10: Holding Remotes or Clickers

Remember, it's human nature to play with objects in your hands. If you're nervous, you'll speed up and change the slides faster than you should. Besides, holding a remote causes you to gesture less. You'll settle into the easier, boring role of a talking head instead of selling your ideas with your upper body.

Remedy: Place your laptop or remote on the lectern or a table under the screen.

Mistake #11: Positioning the Lectern to the Side

Usually, in high-dollar presentations, two items dominate the room—the screen and the lectern. Too many presenters place the lectern well away from the screen (causing the aforementioned split presentation), and then they hide behind the "box." To "take cover" defeats the whole idea of selling visually.

Remedy: Position the lectern, screen, and presenter together, so the presenter can interact closely with the screen and use the nearby lectern to hold content cue cards or the remote to change slides. If you're the presenter, stand in the center of the room or stage with the screen to the left and the lectern to the right.

Mistake #12: Reading Someone Else's Text

Slides If you take over someone else's text-heavy presentation at the last minute, you face an uphill battle. By just reading the text slides, you'll put your audience to sleep.

Remedy: Use different words from what appears on the screen. Be very enthusiastic. That will help viewers overlook the boring slides.

Contributed By:
Prof. P. Guha
(Globsyn Business School)


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Return policies of retailers

Modern retailers put in a great deal of efforts to see that buying becomes a thrilling, exciting and pleasant experience for all. But once an item is bought the retailers are more than reluctant to take them back and give a refund. In fact most of them make the return process a bit cumbersome so that many of the dis-satisfied buyers do not go for it. has done a survey and rated the famous retailers on the basis of their goods-return policies. The first three are featured here.


Policy: Allows customers to return goods within 180 days of purchase.

Fine Print: Company tracks good through stickers, enabling sales people to look up receipts for customers who have lost them, according to spokesman Jim Sluzewski.

Grade: A

Why: Policy is generous and flexible.


Policy: Shoppers with an original receipt are eligible for full refunds or an even exchange. There is no time limit for returns.

Fine Print: Customers without receipts and those with gift receipts will be granted an even exchange or Kohl’s merchandise credit for returned items.

Grade: A

Why: Policy is quite generous when compared with rivals.

Barnes & Noble

Policy: Returns are accepted at stores with an original receipt for cash refund or a gift receipt for the money to be returned as a gift card.

Fine Print: No time limit is specified.

Grade: A

Why: Policy is generous.

Contributed By:
Prof. P. Guha
(Globsyn Business School)


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Is “Clinic All Clear” Heading for a fresh Branding & Repositioning !!

“Clinic All Clear”, the ‘no dandruff’ shampoo from the house of Hindustan Unilevers’ Limited, has institutionally been the Indian version of brand “CLEAR” of Unilevers’, London.

“Clinic All Clear” has had a face lift recently. The colours and the typography of the bottle containers and the sachets have changed, giving it a new look and feel. It primarily appears to be a respite from the “Old” look, which had been there for quite some time, and so grown monotonous.

In the world of “Change”, “Looks”, does have a significant appeal and it can well be a silent ‘marketer’.

A given product, might go on maintaining a perceived quality standard for a period of time. But, that does not mean, the said users of the said brand would continue with it only because they find it “good.”

“Boredom”, has always been a major cause for ‘shifting trends’. We the users, usually take the product quality, that is, the performance and affectivity parameters for granted. This results in the “creeping effect” of monotony and related ‘boredom’.

Result : We look for other brands as we become “habitual shifters.”

The observations made in this aspect are :-
  1. The word “Clear” (in bottles & sachets) is very distinct and prominent due to its ‘large font size’.
  2. The words “Clinic” & “Ace” come in a much smaller font size and have a relatively unattractive colour background.

So, is it that ‘HUL’ is silently proceeding forward, to bring about a ‘Re-branding’ for “CLINIC ALL CLEAR?”

“Clinic All Clear for dandruff free hair”, the related Ad’, used to send this message. Therefore, the positioning evidently pointed out that, here is one shampoo, for those who are faced with ‘dandruff’ problem.

Observations made from this part is :-

Going by the televised visual, I find that the Ad’ explicitly speaks about “Soft and Silky hair”, away from it’s earlier positioning of “No dandruff” shampoo.

Inference made there of :-

  1. The brand is likely to be pushed to the people who consider “Soft and Silky” to be the most appealing quality of a ‘shampoo’.
  2. The brand is expected to compete with brand “Pantene”, which also tends to have the attributes of ‘no dandruff’ and ‘soft and silky hairs’.

So, going through this, I strongly feel that, the day is perhaps not very far, when India would also experience the brand “CLEAR” replacing “Clinic All Clear.”

Contributed By:
Malay Bhattacharjee
(Globsyn Business School)

Monday, October 27, 2008

A marketing approach to begging on the streets

A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet. He held up a sign which said: 'I am blind, please help.' There were only a few coins in the hat.
A man, who happened to be a professional marketing man, was walking by. He took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat. He then took the sign, turned it around, and wrote some words. He put the sign back so that everyone who walked by would see the new words. Soon the hat began to fill up. A lot more people were giving money to the blind boy. That afternoon the man who had changed the sign came to see how things were. The boy recognized his footsteps and asked, 'Were you the one who changed my sign this morning? What did you write?'
The man said, 'I only wrote the truth. I said what you said but in a different way.' What he had written was: 'Today is a beautiful day and I cannot see it.' Do you think the first sign and the second sign were saying the same thing?
Of course both signs told people the boy was blind. But the first sign simply said the boy was blind. The second sign told people they were so lucky that they were not blind. Should we be surprised that the second sign was more effective?

Moral of the Story: All human activities (even begging) require a marketing approach to be successful. Marketing starts by looking at the customers, ascertaining their needs and communicating to them in a way that makes sense to them.

Contributed By:
Prof. P. Guha
(Globsyn Business School)

Friday, October 24, 2008

The mother of all myopia

The “Modern Age” has been termed as the 'Age of Marketing'. With the advent of ‘Globalization’, markets of any commodity has grown beyond the horizon.

This has resulted in higher operational needs. Unless, substantial production is made how come the markets be catered !

So today, market is of essence and prime importance. All are trying to satisfy the market and every decision taken is targeted to win over them (market).

Furthermore, Marketing Era firmly believes and propagates the concept that, “if one has to do something, he needs to do it first before others could do!”

I would like to contradict here, and would like to try to prove that “The Marketing Era” started much before, than what, the ‘stalwarts’ perceive.

Let us go into the pages of history for a while and make some critical analysis of the facts presented by it.

The “Industrial Revolution” started in Great Britain in the mid 18th century, as by then, the British had colonies in all the continents known.

The British have been chiefly traders and businessmen, who took daring sea voyages to reach new land masses. One such exploration led to the discovery of India.

Initially, they would engage in trading activities and later on they would take their chances in grabbing the land.

History tells us, that by virtue of their superior arsenal and fire power they were able to defeat the natives (of the respective country), and proclaim themselves to be the master of that country. India being no exception!

The huge empire forced them to look for alternatives, as they were finding it increasingly difficult to cater to the demand of their market.

‘Industrial Revolution’ saved them. Machines took the role of human beings in producing goods. Mass production became a reality!

Advantage Britain! Once again they did it first, before others could do.

Today what we are, have only been a continuation of what started in Britain in the 18th century.

The ‘Marketing Era,’ is said to have started in India in the late 70’s and early 80’s, though it generated pace only after 1994.

In America and Europe the ‘Marketing Era’ started in the late 50’s.

And what tends to be the “mantra” of the ‘marketing era’:-
  1. Marketers’ needs to be pro active rather than re-active.
  2. All focus on Quality, quality and quality.
  3. Never to think of compromising Quality , and it should be of international standards.
  4. The consumers/customers (market) have the final say, and so, satisfying customer needs is of primary concern.
  5. Research, as an effective tool for the identification of future trends.
  6. Arresting the market’s need before the market senses or your competitors sense.

Now, way back in the 18th century the British also sensed, that, with their empire stretching from one hemisphere to the other, they would be requiring mass production to cater their markets.

Perhaps it needs no mention that, products of the British reign were much superior to that of today (so quality function was given due importance, proved.)

Is it not marketing! If not why? Thinking about the market first and then about self is what has been termed as ‘Marketing’ by the modern day ‘Management Guru’s’ and stalwarts.

That was absolutely what the British thought and did, as I, a modern day marketer is compelled to analyse.

Would it be absolutely wrong to say that, the “marketing era” started much before we had perceived it to be, and we have been “myopic” enough not to understand and identify that.

(Waiting for your esteemed observation and criticisms!)

Contributed By:
Malay Bhattacharjee
(Globsyn Business School)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Branding in a different way

"Necessity is the mother of all inventions” - Says the proverb.

The aim and objective of all ‘inventions and innovations’ has been to uplift the ‘Living Standard’ of men in general round the globe.

Now again, unless and until these inventions are given a material form they would perhaps not serve the purpose, that is, the cause of humanity and its development.

Furthermore, the common man needs to know that certain products and services are available in the market, which if being used, might serve them in their need. This when done, would automatically uplift “their” standard of living and hence, “quality of life.”

For example, The Great Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb, used to take one long year to travel to Deccan from Delhi, to crush the rebellion at Deccan, as history points out.

On the contrary, today, we the common man, who in no way can be compared to the might of Aurangzeb the great, take 2 to 2 ½ hrs to cover the same distance.

Our Sincere thanks to the “Wright Brothers” (the inventor of flying plane.)

With the rise in competition, the manufacturers felt the need of having their self-identity.

Here comes the concept of “BRANDING”.

(1) The process of Branding first started in 2000 B.C. in Egypt, involving the Livestock’s.
(2) The concept of “Modern Branding” started in the year 1776.
(Data Source: Research material of Prof. R. C. Bhattacharya)]

Through branding, one tries to carve out an identity of his/her own, very different from that of others.

Exactly like our own names, like Malay or John, which separates from others, though, all of us are primarily “human beings.”

Perhaps the idea behind, is to reach the people called the “consumers or customers.”

As a modern marketer, I would jolly well be interested about the performance of my brand of product(s). If other brands are performing well and mine is not then I don’t feel I have anything to rejoice for (assuming that product quality of mine and my competitors are at par.)

This makes me understand further that, not only the ‘quality standards’ of my product(s) would do, but the name or identity of mine should also reach my people.

Furthermore, they should be able to remember my name, and my name only, at their time of need (Brand Recall.)

Again, I’m not the only one to understand this, others do also! Result : The culmination of a “sea of brands.”

Result : The consumers are at bay to keep all these names in their brains.

Researches in this regards indicate that, people tend to remember something which is not commonplace or is something different from the rest.

Here should come the question of “Innovating Ideas” in the creation of a brand. This would be the topic of our discussion today.

As a marketer I would like to go into the issue of today, and my readers should not misunderstand me, as the area of our discussion would involve or to be more precise would center around a lot of big-bang politics of today. Whatever be it, I would be happy to look into the all concerning issue, purely from the modern marketing angle, and highlight the process of “Innovation” that has been silently used in the “awareness creation” of “NANO”.

Ratan Tata chose West Bengal as the place for the setting up of the small car plant because perhaps he knew this move of his would give him instant focus, as very few Industrialist earlier have taken such a bold step to venture into industrially starving Bengal (if I’m not wrong to say so.)

The Bengal Administrative machinery is (it being an on going process) direly looking for “investments” not only because of their new found knowledge that ‘investments’ can only save the State, but as also their face. But more so because, they wanted to prove that their way of functioning has changed and that they are no longer against the ‘industrialists’ or the so called “Capitalists”.

The Tatas took this opportunity and intentionally chose Bengal (Singur) the place with the word that Ratan Tata wants to do something for the people of Bengal.

Undoubtedly, a bold decision - hailed by leading industrialists!

Awareness creation and generation had been the principle issue at the back of mind(of the Tatas) in reality. So, it was MARKETING at the core!!

The “Singur” fiasco brought about a lot of media coverage almost regularly for over a period of two years. Once again, a very effective tool, for MARKETING.

Then came the moment of reckoning, news spread over the air – The Tatas’ are leaving Bengal!

Leading industrialists’, Chambers of Commerce, NRI’s and to end with the handful of Ambassadors and High Commissioners of different countries started speaking out their concern in the event that “Bengal loses NANO”.

So, NANO was no longer regional or national. Her name could be heard in countries like the U.S, the U.K. also (to name a few).

The circle has been complete! NANO have become nano to big and from big to bigger. Is it not M-A-R-K-E-T-I-N-G all the way!

Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and last but not the least Gujarat leaped into the scenario to get the NANO project in their respective states.

Ultimately, Gujarat emerged the virtual winner. NANO traveled “SANAND”. By then, almost the whole of the country have come to know about NANO.

“SANAND” has been renamed as “NANO GRAM” by the Government of Gujarat as a tribute to Nano.

NANO has turned to be a highly proclaimed “BRAND” even before a single car has rolled into the streets!!!

To me, it’s marketing all the way, and it’s a very unorthodox route to create a BRAND.

What a cute approach of brand creation and generation from the view point of a marketer, like me (that is, if we do not want to get stuck in the quagmire of politics).


Hats off to Ratan Tata, the new “MARKETING LEGEND”.

Contributed By:
Malay Bhattacharjee
(Globsyn Business School)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Luxury on Rolls

By Feeroz Ahmed

A Bentley is quicker and a Maybach is prettier, but there is no rival to a Rolls Royce in regal splendour and quiet cruise. That is probably why most heads of state, royal families and business moguls prefer to ride this 20-footer lounge-on-wheels than any other luxury automobile.

Rolls Royce has a history of almost a century in India. The maharajas of yore aspired to own this symbol of British engineering and craftsmanship. Now, the company is trying to reach out to the new maharajas, the billionaire enterpreneurs. It opened a dealership in Mumbai in 2005, and has now added one in Delhi. The new owners of the company, BMW,have sold 30 Rolls-Royce in India since taking over the company in 1998, 12 of them last year.

"These dealerships not only take care of the requirements of local customers, but also the local requirements of our global customers," says Graeme Grieve, director of sales and marketing at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

"Typically, our customers have offices and homes at multiple locations in the world, and they like to have a Rolls-Royce at each location." The demand for the Roller among Indians and foreigners with bases in India is growing. With three months still to go this year, already 12 Rollers have been sold – as many as in the whole oflast year. But the fastest growing market for the Roller is China, where more than 100 cars were sold in 2007.

In fact, sales of Rollers are an indicator of a country's economy. The most Roller-loving country in the world is the US, which makes up a quarter of the world's GDP. Last year, nearly 400 of the about 1,000 Rollers sold across the world were sold in that country. Of those 400, a little less than half were sold in one city alone - Los Angeles, Hollywood's home. Florida, with its colourful billionaires, was the next largest buyer of the uber-lux automobile.

It is one old men's car that even the young drool over for its subtelty and silence. It is the utter tranquility of Rolls-Royce amid the cacophony of traffic, its bump-less stability on rough roads , and its wafting-like drive at high speeds of150-200 kmph that awes the uber rich into paying about $400,000 to own a Roller.

According to the Delhi dealer of the brand, Yadur Kapur, a standard Rolls-Royce costs Rs 3.15 crore, including 112per cent import duty. But this car is nothing if not personalised, and that includes exterior and interior colour to personal monograms, choice of leather, wood, embroidery, and installation of a safe box for jewellery in the boot or a humidor for cigars. Such things can add about 10 per cent more to the cost of the car. The best thing is that you can see your car being made by engineers and craftsmen at its Goodwood factory, two hours from London. And you can actually be on the shopfloor and chat with the persons making your car.

Of course, the car's persuasion includes the luxury and sophistication of a nearly 20-feet ship on wheels powered by a 6.75-litre engine that seems to have power to spare even at high speeds or during sudden acceleration. Its interiors are made of 15-18 bull hides and 43 wood parts, and it is loaded with high-end electronics that close doors and extend driver's vision through cameras in addition to a 15 speaker sound system. In fact, a Roller can be intimidating for even the rich.

"Many of our customers have said that they did not feel that they were ready for a Rolls-Royce, that they were not successful enough," says Grieve. "Our job in marketing is to help customers get over their diffidence and enjoy the car for its great engineering and comfort."

According to Matthew J. Bennett, general manager for South and East Asia Pacific, once somebody tastes a Rolls-Royce, he keeps coming back for more. Ofthe 1,000 Rollers sold worldwide last year, 400 were acquired by those who already owned one, he points out.

A lot of Rolls-Royce owners use the car to do business. "It is so quiet and offers such privacy even in traffic that many of our customers do business as they travel in the car," says Bennett. The most interesting use of this car is at private estates. "Some of our customers use the car as a golf buggy," he says.

While a fortunate few get to own a Roller, the rest count themselves lucky even if they get to ride one. Don't miss a chance to travel in one if you get it.

Contributed By:
Prof. P. Guha
(Globsyn Business School)

Reference: Businessworld

Monday, September 29, 2008

Services Marketing is not about bottom lines alone

The letter below is written by a 93 year old lady to her bank. I think the letter could be considered a perfect tribute to a bank that put efficiency on a higher altar than customer satisfaction.

Dear Sir,

I am writing to thank you for bouncing my cheque with which I endeavoured to pay my plumber last month. By my calculations, three 'nanoseconds' must have elapsed between his presenting the cheque and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honour it.

I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my Pension, an arrangement which, I admit, has been in place for only eight years. You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and also for debiting my account £30 by way of penalty for the inconvenience caused to your bank.

My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me to rethink my errant financial ways. I noticed that whereas I personally attend to your telephone calls and letters, when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal, overcharging, pre-recorded, faceless entity which your bank has become.

From now on, I, unlike you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood person. My mortgage and loan payments will therefore and hereafter no longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank by cheque, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must nominate.

Be aware that it is an offence under the Postal Act for any other person to open such an envelope. Please find attached an Application Contact Status which I require your chosen employee to complete.

I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as much about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no alternative.

Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be countersigned by a Solicitor, and the mandatory details of his/her financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof.

In due course, I will issue your employee with a PIN number which he/she must quote in dealings with me.

I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modelled it on the number of button presses required of me to access my account balance on your phone bank service. As they say,imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Let me level the playing field even further. When you call me, press buttons as follows:

  1. To make an appointment to see me.
  2. To query a missing payment.
  3. To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there.
  4. To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping.
  5. To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to Nature.
  6. To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home.
  7. To leave a message on my computer (a password to access my computer is required and will be forwarded to the aforementioned employee).
  8. To make a general complaint or inquiry, the contact will then be put on hold, pending the attention of my answering service.

While this may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for the duration of the call. Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement.

May I wish you a happy, if ever so slightly less prosperous, New Year.

Your Humble Client

Contributed By:
Prof. P. Guha
(Globsyn Business School)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


The process of marketing can be described in many ways and each in its context can be considered to be reasonably accurate. But the American Marketing Association, a prime body of professionals in the field attempts to define and redefine the term at intervals so that the real meaning is always contemporary. The latest definition is given here.

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) January 14, 2008 -- The American Marketing Association today unveiled the new definition of marketing, which will be used as the official definition in books, by marketing professionals and taught in university lecture halls nationwide.

The new definition includes the role marketing plays within society at large, and defines marketing as a science, educational process and a philosophy -- not just a management system. It also expands the previous scope of the term to incorporate the concept that one can market something to "do good."

"One of the most important changes to American Marketing Association's new definition for marketing is that marketing is presented as a broader activity," says Nancy Costopulos, Chief Marketing Officer of the American Marketing Association. "Marketing is no longer a function -- it is an educational process."

The new definition reads:

"Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large."

The previous definition stated:

"Marketing is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders."

The American Marketing Association revisits the definition for marketing every five years in a disciplined effort to reflect on the state of the marketing field. This process, as laid out in the Association's bylaws, is guided by a committee whose members represent a cross-section of the marketing industry. The committee formed in late 2006, under the leadership of Donald R. Lehmann, the George E. Warren Professor of Business at Columbia Business School in New York.

The committee used qualitative insight generated through an evaluation of the 1985 and 2004 definitions of marketing to craft a new definition that better serves the constituents of the American Marketing Association. As part of this process, Association members were asked to provide input on what they liked best about the previous definition, and what they would change. Members were later asked to offer feedback on a draft of the revised definition. At the end of the revision process, the American Marketing Association found that more than 70 percent of their membership viewed the new definition as an improvement.

"Marketing and its various elements change with the times," says Costopulos. "American Marketing Association recognizes that shifts in the marketing world warrant a change in the way we define our practice.

Contributed By:
Prof. P. Guha
(Globsyn Business School)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


The message would reach the target audience if it is put on the appropriate media. Well, not any more. If one has to spend millions (literally) on communicating a message one has to choose the media that can attract the right people at the right time.

The big LCD screen at the South City Mall in Kolkata is an example of how things can go wrong. Please read on the extract from The Telegraph of 03/08/08 (Click here for the report).

Contributed By:
Prof. P. Guha
(Globsyn Business School)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Marketing Interactions

David Oglivy, the master of marketing communications had opined that...

If you're trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language in which they think.

And yet at another time he confessed that

“I once used the word ‘obsolete’ in a headline, only to discover that 43% of housewives had no idea what it meant. In another headline I used the word "ineffable," only to discover that I didn't know what it meant myself”.

But the marketers will always have their way. Norman R. Augustine had found that a recent government publication on the marketing of cabbage contains, according to one report, 26,941 words. It is noteworthy in this regard that the Gettysburg Address contains a mere 279 words while the Lord's Prayer comprises but 67.

Contributed By:
Prof. P. Guha
(Globsyn Business School)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Big Trouble for Big Three Automakers

Shares of General Motors Are Trading at Prices Last Seen in the 1950s


July 5, 2008

America's automobile industry may be facing the biggest turnaround challenge in its history, a problem punctuated Tuesday as the carmakers released monthly sales results.

General Motors sales consultant Mike Bechtolt hangs a banner in front of the GM.

Times were tough enough in Detroit before gasoline hit $4 per gallon, but in the past two months the outlook has taken a turn for the worse.

Shares of General Motors are trading at prices last seen in the 1950s, their value cut in half in just eight weeks. Ford and Chrysler are in even worse shape, analysts say.

The sobering implication: The Big Three may have to become the Big Two, and even survivors will have a tough road ahead.

Bankruptcy is not a near-term threat, but the three carmakers are fast burning through cash reserves. And while government assistance – or perhaps an energy policy that supports new automotive technologies – could become a lifeline, it can't substitute for the hard work of transforming product lines.

Contributed By:
Prof. P. Guha
(Globsyn Business School)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Marketing is all about satisfying the customer at a profit to one’s own self. But then how can one company do better marketing than its competitors? One way is to communicate in a more effective way. When Coca Cola became the official drink at one of the grand cricket tournaments, Pepsi walked away with the limelight by attracting the young generation with its slogan, ‘nothing official about it’.

In 1986 British Airways ran a promotion to give away 5,200 seats for travel on June 10th. Virgin Atlantic Airways ran ads that said, “It has always been Virgin's policy to encourage you to fly to London for as little as possible. So on June 10 we encourage you to fly British Airways.” The British Airways promotion generated a lot of news coverage, but most of the news coverage also included a mention of Virgin's funny ad. It cost British Airways a lot more than Virgin to get this coverage.

Contributed By:
Prof. P. Guha
(Globsyn Business School)

Friday, July 18, 2008


Branding starts with deciding upon a name. What should I name my product? Which name is likely to make my product sell more? Should it be easy to pronounce, easy to remember, easy to correlate with the function, easy to relate to the customer or just anything? Does the name really have any significance? Isn’t it that a rose would be a rose no matter what it is called? But then would the rose be equally acceptable with any other name? Difficult to answer such questions. So let us see what others have done. And that makes the matter more confusing.

Interesting excerpts from are given below.

If you are searching for a name for your new product or service, what guidance can you get from the world’s leading brands? Business Week and Interbrand’s "100 Best Global Brands" rankings show the world’s leading brands, according to their value. In the top spot for 2005 was Coca-Cola, with a value of US$ 67.5 billion.

Following Coca-Cola come Microsoft, IBM, GE, Intel, Nokia, Disney, McDonald’s, Toyota and Marlboro; these brands make up the world’s "top ten" by value.

Interestingly, these top ten brands cover the full scope of naming possibilities. There are family names, like Disney and McDonald’s; initials, like IBM and GE; semi-descriptive and "associative" names, like Microsoft and Intel; and abstract names, like Nokia and Marlboro. Taking the complete list we find that family names are by far and away the most prominent, with 46 of the 100 brands named after their founders. Next are abstract names and semi-descriptive or "associative" names, with 21 in each group, and then come initials, with twelve.

Many of the family names are concentrated in such sectors as finance (Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs) and fashion (Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel), but they are to be found in most industries, as Mercedes-Benz, Gillette, Kellogg’s, Pfizer, Harley-Davidson, Wrigley’s, Hertz, and Heineken show. Abstract names occur at random (Toyota—Toyoda was the family name, Gap, Canon, Nivea), as do semi-descriptive and "associative" names (Citi, Volkswagen, Motorola, Caterpillar). The same applies to initials (BMW, UBS, KFC, MTV).

The first is to do with family names. As we have seen, these make up 46 of the top 100 brands. They are spread across industries and are by no means confined to "smokestack" or "heritage" businesses. They tend to be associated with products and services where the personal touch and continuity over the years are both seen as important. Authenticity is therefore an important attribute that family names help express. Perhaps the lesson here is that family names can be most effective in areas where the product or service is innovative and unfamiliar, and where consumers need that extra degree of reassurance to buy for the first time. The presence of a personal endorsement in the brand name (and therefore the implied accountability) can provide the trust that is needed to prompt the purchase decision.

Abstract names (those without any obvious descriptive content when it comes to the nature of the product, its use or benefits) are potentially strong marketing and legal properties. They can create powerful differentiation, which, if backed up by products and services of high quality and value for money, can lead to strong and successful brands. Precisely because such names lack any descriptive content, they are relatively easy to register and protect as trademarks. However, they need to be explained to consumers at launch.

Semi-descriptive and "associative" names contain a clue about the product or service and are therefore more user-friendly. The reality is that the world abounds with such names (Kwikfit, Dunkin’ Donuts, Mastercard, Duracell… the list goes on). Semi-descriptive and "associative" names have become the "lingua franca" of international branding. Because they are relatively easy to understand, they simplify the task of positioning the product or service concerned, and therefore, they allow the advertiser the luxury of developing "brand personality," thus strengthening differentiation at an emotional level. But semi-descriptive and "associative" names can sometimes prove difficult to protect as trademarks.

Initials are perhaps the most difficult form of brand name in which to create meaning. They tend, almost entirely, to be business rather than product brand names, and used by organizations that are confident they will be understood (International Business Machines contracted its name to IBM many years ago; Imperial Chemical Industries also condensed to ICI) or who are happy to shelter under relative anonymity (LG, for example). The truth is that very few companies or products would choose the initials route if they were new to the market. Initials lack information, differentiation and personality; they are also notoriously difficult to protect as trademarks.

So which is the right naming strategy for you, as you ponder the launch of your new product or service?

Your first duty is to the customer, because if you look after the customer, as the saying goes, the business will look after itself. This means that you must strike the right balance between explaining what the new product is about, and creating differentiation to secure future purchaser loyalty. It is the role of advertising to explain features and benefits as the first phase in any new product launch; it is the role of the name to capture this information and to provide the platform for developing brand personality. Perhaps, therefore, you might be better served by an abstract name?

It is perhaps no coincidence that two of the fastest growing brands in the world—Samsung and Apple—have abstract names. They both have excellent products, and this is the most important factor. But their names, which are highly distinctive and memorable, provide an extra competitive edge, and in crowded marketplaces this can make all the difference.

Contributed By:
Prof. P. Guha
(Globsyn Business School)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Marketing Ethics

The question is ‘should we or should we not launch the product’. The question is not as easy to answer, as it seems. A number of industries will immediately cease to exist if the decision is in favour of not marketing harmful things – like tobacco, alcohol, drugs and armaments; unless of course clever words are used to prove that these items are actually good for the people and the environment!!

Contributed By:
Prof. P. Guha
(Globsyn Business School)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Flinch Test

There is an eternal love-hate relationship between the buyer and the seller. One cannot live without the other and yet they keep fighting all the time as if one’s survival depends upon how well the other one is fooled. And they have their own rules for the countless charades that they play. One of them is given below.

There is a trade secret in the purchasing world. They call it the “flinch test.” This is the test Procurement Agents and other professional buyers give to sales people when they provide pricing. “Wow! You are 25% higher than your competition.”

These pros are trained to react with surprise so that they can see if the sales person is confident in the price they have put forward. It is nothing more than a straightforward negotiation tactic. Often times, they overstate the price difference such that you can do some quick math and see that the differential is bogus. I can recall a time where I was told that we were 50% higher than the competition. When I reviewed the numbers, this meant that the competitor was losing 18% based on fixed costs that we both had. It was highly unlikely that the competitor was signing up for this kind of an account. When I asked the Procurement Agent about that figure again, he flinched and we ultimately won the business.

The key to passing the flinch test is to respond with confidence in your price. If you don’t believe you are providing a fair, competitive price for the solution, my question is why are you presenting it anyway? One would hope that you have integrity so why present something you don’t believe in?

Some responses that cause you to fail the flinch test.
  • What price were you looking for?
  • I’ll ask my manager if we can do better.
  • How about if I take 10% off?
The reason these are failed responses is that they create trust issues with the prospect. Were you trying to rip them off with the price you presented? One of two things is true. Either you were trying to rip them off or you believe you provided a fair price. What other option is there? Some will say that they were preparing for a negotiation. That’s a fair point; however, it is a terrible negotiation strategy to give the appearance that you will drop your price first moment someone balks. That approach gives the impression that you sought to gouge them. Most negotiations end at the middle ground. They wanted 5; you wanted 10 and settled at 7.5. That seems logical. However, if you lower your price early, the middle ground is lower. In the same scenario, if you dropped to 8 right off the bat, the middle becomes 6.5. As I mentioned, you have to manage the negotiation such that the middle is not lower than an acceptable price for your company.

Successful sales people have a planned, or dare I say “canned,” response for the flinch test. They don’t expect a prospect to respond with excitement about a price. They anticipate shock and have a process to handle it. Here are their secrets…
  1. They set expectations upfront. Early in the buying process, they set the expectation that they are not the low price provider. “To be clear, our company is rarely the low bid, does that mean that we won’t be working together on this project?” If they say no, you are set for the later phases of the process. If they say yes, at least you haven’t invested a ton of time in an account that you won’t win. If you are going to lose, lose early.

  2. They don’t flinch! “I’m not surprised by your reaction. I get that a lot. As I mentioned at the outset, we are rarely the low bidder.”

  3. They seek to understand. “When you say that you are shocked by the price, which part is surprising?

  4. They reinforce their position. “Since we are rarely the low price provider, what do you think our 1000 clients see that leads them to pay a little more to have us?

Contributed By:
Prof. P. Guha
(Globsyn Business School)

Monday, July 7, 2008


Mergers and acquisitions are the order of the day. If the Tatas are acquiring a company in the UK, can the Birlas be far behind in acquiring one in the USA. It seems to be the easiest way to spread one’s tentacles and expand or start businesses in new territories.

But what happens if the marriage turns sour?

Case study prepared by Prof. Sydney Finkelstein of Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth, USA is worth reading in this context.

Click on to

Contributed By:
Prof. P. Guha
(Globsyn Business School)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Mall is not Small Any More

DLF is planning to develop around 20 large shopping malls in the next 3-4 years, which would entail an investment of Rs16,000 crore. Billionaire K. P. Singh-promoted DLF is coming out with a 4.45 million sq ft “Mall of India” in Gurgaon - touted as the largest such facility in the country.

The shopping malls developed by DLF would come up at places like Chennai, Kochi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bangalore, Panipat, Jalandhar, Baroda, Goa, Mumbai and Ludhiana.

It may lease out space to reputed national and global brands including Louis Vuitton, Armani, Gucci, Cartier, Christian Dior and Fendi.

The news item contributed by:
Prof P Guha
(Globsyn Business School)

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Importance of Marketing

Essence of the countless definitions of ‘marketing’ is that it is the process of satisfying the customers at a profit to one’s own self. And nothing can be more important to a company that is in business than to do just that. A recent article on the net justifies that once again.

Some people believe that just by being in business they will get clients or customer. They ascribe to the theory that "if they build it they will come." It rarely happens that way. If you don't let people know about your business, not only do you lose but so do they. Every business owner and solo professional needs to understand the importance of marketing.

My town had an election for town meeting representatives in April. I live in a bedroom community and the local paper had recently reported that there were not enough town meeting candidates for the required number to get elected. The town was even considering reducing that number of town meeting members because so few seemed interested.

Shortly before the election I got a flyer under my door requesting a write in vote. The woman was clear about why she wanted to be elected. She stated her qualifications and she also explained how to write in her name since her name was not on the ballot.

I admired her courage, recognized her name and did in fact vote for her. Turnout was light as you might expect and she got 15 votes but she was elected.

In discussing this with my neighbor who was the one who put the flyer under my door, he told me that at the last minute her husband decided to run. Since he didn't "campaign" he was not elected. My comment to my neighbor was "I wish I had known I would have voted for him."

What a disservice people do when they have something to offer that others would benefit from but they don't let others know about it!

Do you understand the importance of marketing? Is your marketing like the woman or the man in this story? Both were well qualified for the position they were seeking. One kept it a secret and one introduced herself and made a request for a vote. Are you letting people know about your practice or keeping it a secret?

Many shy away from marketing because they think they are being pushy or that they seem desperate. In fact they are being more like the man in my story. Think of marketing as a way to alert those people who really need your services about what you have to offer.

How did my neighbor get involved in this marketing effort? He happened to be having coffee at a local coffee shop when he saw a friend having coffee with her friend. His friend's friend was the candidate. The candidate asked my neighbor to support her and he offered to help by canvassing his neighborhood. She gave him some flyers.

Marketing can be that simple. Notice what happened here. It is all about relationships. My neighbor met the candidate through a friend. I knew the woman from other organizations. You'd be surprised at how many people you know and your marketing action can start with them.

Of course your friends may not be in your target market but they may know someone who is in your target market or someone who could be a referral source for you. It is said that everyone knows about 250 people and each of them knows 250 etc.

Marketing can be as simple as tapping into your social network and asking people to help you. The importance of marketing to any business venture cannot be underestimated.

Take Action
  1. Who are your 250? Have you told them what you are doing? Start with those you feel most comfortable with first and begin calling them.
  2. Use your elevator speech when contacting them.
  3. Practice giving examples of how you have used your strengths in job situations. Sometimes just saying something out loud can get you beyond the discomfort. Practice with someone listening to you after you've done it alone for a while.
  4. Try creating your own network at LinkedIn
Contributed By:
Prof. P. Guha
(Globsyn Business School)


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Marketing Two-Upmanship

A retailer was dismayed when a competitor selling the same type of product opened next-door to him, displaying a large sign proclaiming "Best Deals".

Not long after he was horrified to find yet another competitor move in next-door, on the other side if his store. It's large sign was even more disturbing- "Lowest Prices".

After his initial panic, and concern that he would be driven out of business, he looked for a way to turn the situation to his marketing advantage. Finally, an idea came to him. Next day, he proudly unveiled a new and huge sign over his front door. It read, "Main Entrance"!

Contributed By:
Prof. P. Guha
(Globsyn Business School)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Blue Ocean Strategy

The universe of markets is divided into two parts. The red ocean comprises of the existing companies. The industry perimeters are well defined and each company competes against all the others to create a space for itself.

The blue ocean is formed by the industries not in existence today. Here the market space is created and not competed in. Competition does not exist. A company creates its own blue ocean when it innovates. It has to deliver in its products what is considered to be of value by the customers and eliminate features that are not considered to be of good value.

The book, “Blue Ocean Strategy” is written by Profs. W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne of the Insead Business School in 2005. Similar strategies have however preceded this. Profs. Jonas Ridderstrale and Kjell Nordstrom had a similar reasoning in their book, “Funky Business” written in 1995.

Prof. P. Guha
(Globsyn Business School)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Sales Techniques

It was Henry Ford who first stated 'nothing happens until a sale is made'. How true, and how often it is that the sale is left in the hands of an untrained person. Mr. Ford may well have had the manufacturing capability to produce cars at a phenomenal rate, but if they did not get sold, production capability was of no value at all. Contrary to popular belief, sales methods and techniques can be learnt just like any other subject.

Large companies spend fortunes on advertising their products, fortunes on lavish shops to attract the customer and fortunes on window and in-store displays, only to lose valuable sales through a lack of ongoing product sales training.

Broadly speaking, a salesperson must have the following skills and attributes:
  1. Job satisfaction.
  2. Product knowledge.
  3. Enthusiasm.
  4. Formal and up-to-date sales technique training.
  5. The ability to ascertain the customer's needs.
  6. The ability to fit the product to the customer.
  7. The ability to recognize the customer's problems, e.g. shortage of money, shortage of time, or just plain boredom.
  8. The ability to recognize the time to close the sale.
  9. A likeable and friendly manner.
  10. Last, but by no means least, a clean and smart appearance.
Before we go any further let me hit you with a few 'don'ts':

  1. Don't be aggressive, avoid the hard sell.
  2. Don't talk about yourself; it holds no interest for the customer.
  3. Don't approach the customer smelling of alcohol, cigarettes or anything that the customer may find the slightest bit offensive.
  4. Don't ever argue with the customer, simply ask questions.
  5. If you get a positive buying signal from the customer, cease your sales presentation - to continue can lose you the sale.
  6. Don't criticize others.
  7. Don't criticize other manufacturers' products.
ADA – Attention, Interest, Desire, Action

AIDA is a logical sequence through which the salesperson and the customer must travel to reach a successful sale.

A is for Attention: Give the customer your attention. Allow enough time for the customer to show interest in a particular product group, but remember that allowing too much time can lead to the customer leaving the shop through lack of salesperson attention. Verbally highlight a sales feature.

I is for Interest: Show interest in the customer's needs. Verbally list the sales features and at the same time begin to establish the customer's needs by questioning. For example:

 What type of vacuum cleaner do you use, is it an upright type or a cylinder type?
 Do you have a large or small house?
 Do you have any pets in your house?

This type of questioning helps the salesperson to ensure the customer will go home with the right product to suit their requirements, thus cutting down the risk of losing the sale or having the product returned at a later date.

D is for Desire: The desire for the customer to own the product builds as the salesperson marries the product sales features to the needs of the customer. For example:

 You mentioned you had two dogs - the selection of tools provided with the machine will make light work of the hair they leave on your carpet.
 As your home is on three levels the comparatively low weight of this product makes it a good choice for you.
 The rechargeable option is certainly a big plus when you travel on holiday in your caravan.

A is for Action: It's crunch time, the point at which you have to ask the customer to purchase the product, the point of no return and the pinnacle of all the work, time, effort and money that is now at risk. A simple mistake can ruin the sale, so what do you do? How do you bring the sale to a successful conclusion? There are three main methods used to close a sale:

1. Dual positive suggestion: Children are blessed with the ability to close a sale without their even knowing it, simply by asking a dual positive question, that is to say asking two questions that both have a positive answer. For example, little Robert says, 'Mum shall we go to the movies today or will tomorrow suit you better?' Either answer gets Robert to the movies.

Here are a few examples of dual positive suggestions that can help you close the sale:

 Would you like us to deliver, or did you want to take it with you?
 Will you be paying cash, or can I show you our credit terms?
 Do you prefer the pink or the white one?
 Would you like to purchase it with tools or without at a reduced price?

2. The concession method: Suggesting a larger quantity, knowing the customer will settle for a little less, will often close the sale.

3. The silent method: Having reached the end of the sales presentation, the skilful salesperson will go silent and remain that way, and the customer will feel obliged to speak and will order. (Only the experienced salesperson should attempt to use this method, as it can backfire.)

My Comments:

A number of my students are doing their summer internships in companies where they are expected to sell things. Some of them are finding it difficult to translate their knowledge in marketing to a success in selling. I have recently found a text on the net that addresses their issues and provides good practical suggestions.


Prof. P. Guha
(Globsyn Business School)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Best Global Brands

It is interesting to note that more than half of the top hundred brands in the world are of US origin. Six European countries and two Asian countries make up the rest leaving only four that are from the rest of the world.

According to Interbrand out of the top 100 brands in the world in 2006

51% were from USA
9% were from Germany
8% were from France
8% were from Japan
5% were from UK
5% were from Switzerland
4% were from Italy
3% were from South Korea
3% were from Netherlands
4% were from Others

Prof. P. Guha
(Globsyn Business School)


Monday, June 16, 2008


A product is not ready to be sold unless it is packed and labeled. A well packed product is well contained, can be stored and transported easily and can be identified anywhere. The label on the packaging serves to inform and educate the customers. It tells the customers what the product is, the quantity contained in the pack, what it is made of and in what proportions are the ingredients present, the ways to use it, the time within which it has to be used, the price to be paid, the expected and the unexpected side-effects of using it and also how to store it. But more importantly, it is the label on the pack that attracts the customers. Companies are now spending enormous amounts of money in designing the labels so that the products not only stand out on the shelves but also attract the right clientele. They are getting the services of reknowned artists to design the labels.

The extract from the New York Times of June 11 2008 given below proves the point.

Clockwise from top left: Wine labels designed by artists Liam Gillick, Raymond Pettibon, Jim Lambie and Anna Gaskell on recent vintages by Betts & Scholl.

Anyone who stumbled their way across MoMA’s lobby in the last couple of months has trampled over an explosive arrangement of multicolored stripes on the floor by the Scottish artist Jim Lambie. The experience is a full frontal assault on a viewer’s sense of balance — akin to guzzling a bottle of fine Shiraz. Aficionados interested in all of the above can buy a $79 bottle of Betts & Scholl’s 2006 vintage of Black Betty Shiraz, which features a red-and-black inkblot label designed by Jim Lambie.

With Black Betty, the sommelier Richard Betts (of The Little Nell in Aspen), and Miami Beach art collector Dennis Scholl (whose collection is on view at World Class Boxing in Miami) follow Château Mouton Rothschild’s tradition of art-wine collaborations. Betts hunts down the quality vines and Scholl procures artists to design the labels. The company has released a total of seven vintages since 2003, featuring the work of established contemporary artists such as Anna Gaskell and Liam Gillick, as well as Raymond Pettibon, a painter who once inked album covers for the punk band Black Flag. “The wine world is so staid and serious,” says Scholl, of the outré labels. “We’re like, ‘It’s wine — c’mon, it’s fun!’” Not that Betts & Scholl aren’t serious about their business: all seven wines have landed scores of 90 or higher from Wine Spectator.

On Thursday, Betts & Scholl will announce the release of its first ever distilled liquor: a mezcal called Sombra, that will be accompanied by one of the industry’s most unorthodox pieces of label art yet. The image, produced by an Aspen-based art collective, is an abstraction of a Mexican soft-core comic — a figure that Scholl merrily explains, “looks like turtles humping.” Safe to say that it’s not the sort of illustration that will ever grace a bottle of Mouton.


Contributed By:
Prof. P. Guha
(Globsyn Business School)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Crazy Marketing Ideas

Marketers who want to create an impact have invented some crazy guarantees. One of them was seen in late eighties when an Australian company offered a guarantee that was out of this world. It was framed along the following lines:

Book in for our two-day seminar and send us your cheque now. But we won’t cash your cheque. We’ll hold it. And during the seminar we shall have your cheque on a table at the back of the room. If at any time during the seminar you are not totally satisfied and feel that you are not receiving great value, you can go to the back of the room and take your cheque and leave. No questions asked.”

Now that was a crazy guarantee – but it worked wonders. The company consistently packed people in to their seminars and charged way above the going rate.

Prof. P. Guha
(Globsyn Business School )


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Visiting Cards

Open your visiting card album and try to find the one that you had not had the occasion to see for quite some time. You will suddenly realize that it is so difficult to find the one that you are looking for. All the cards look so frighteningly similar. Not one stands out. There are times when you will find that it so hard to decipher the phone numbers and the email ids on the cards. They are written in such small types! Sometimes the entire text is practically illegible as the font colors are faint or the card dazzles and reflects light.

It is not difficult to design a visiting card badly. Any printer can do it. And the printers who offer economical rates mess up even more. But at times the fault lies somewhere else. The professionals who order for the cards fail to appreciate that designing visiting cards also is a professional job and one who is not trained appropriately should not try it.

A visiting card is a very economical and effective way of advertising. A badly made visiting card succeeds only in wasting money. It achieves no other purpose. Some of the tips to make good and effective visiting cards are given below.

Most of the time many students of computer arts misunderstand the concept of designing visiting card. The space is limited and the matter too. People think it is easy but from the designing point of view, card designing is the most difficult part of DTP. In the good old days, PageMaker was the first preference. It is still going strong. Maximum potential of software is utilized while designing visiting card if it is really designed with proper care. Here are some tips useful to design proper visiting card.

Dimensions: Generally visiting cards comes in two standard sizes. American size and Business size. American size is 92 X 54. Both the cards can be designed either horizontally or vertically according to the choice of the user. 2-3 mm space is left for the margin from the border of the card.

Impressions: Using colors depends upon the type of the card and the cost. More the colors more the cost is the rule of thumb. Formal cards need less color. It can be single color card or maximum two colors. The type of processing is also important. If the photograph is used for the card then it goes for offset printing. If it is more of a text with no continuous toned graphic it goes for screen-printing. The cost of the card is decided on the basis of color impressions. It is generally impression per thousand cards.

Fonts: The choice of font depends upon the type of the card. If it is very formal card like the card of lawyer, doctor etc. Times New Roman is the best choice. Arial also can be used. If you want to use some script font, the distance between the characters has to be properly adjusted by loosing the tracks. Bold and thick font can be used for company title. Address font is generally the smallest of size and at the bottom of the card.

Spacing: As a rule, you should keep good amount of white space in the card. It can become too crowded if lots and lots of things are added. The matter has to be chosen very carefully. It has to be short and precise. Since the sight travels from left to right, the most important things have to be aligned left if the card is not center aligned. Sometimes short cuts can be used to save the space i.e. Rd for Road etc. Horizontal line can be drawn above the address if you desire. It creates prominent impression. If you are using more than one address it can be separated with the vertical line.

Graphics: Designers use the combination of page layout and vector and/or raster packages to design visiting cards. Use of graphics is little tricky area and requires experience. The balance of the card should be properly taken care of while using graphics. Generally people want to print company logo on the card. It is fixed and nothing can be changed. Not even color. At this stage you can try out something by changing the size of the logo uniformly.

Backgrounds: You can get the ready-made colored or textured cards. There are no. of types available in the market from simple card to plastic coated and pearl finished stuff. Everything depends upon customer's choice. Designer can suggest the proper combination of the color, which can stand out with particular background. He can actually create the card with specific colors and show it to customer. For screen printing you need to have B/W output.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Open Challenge...!!!

This is an open challenge to all. Readers of this blog who had walked through the portals of GBS earlier can take this test to find out how much of the marketing theories they still remember. It is just for fun. And readers who are presently the students at GBS can take this test to find out how much they really know the subject of marketing. The results could be quite revealing.

Just log on to

And answer the questions. Good luck

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Operator : "Thank you for calling Pizza Galaxy Kholi . May I have your..."

Customer: "Hello, can I order.."

Operator : "Can I have your multi purpose card number first, Sir?"

Customer: "It's eh..., hold........ ..on..... .889861356102049 998-45-54610"

Operator : "OK... you're... Mr Singh and you're calling from 43rd Floor, Akask View Apt, Cantt Road, ........ Your home number is 4094! 2366, your office 76452302 and your mobile is 0142662566. Which number are you calling from now Sir?"

Customer: "Home! How did you get all my phone numbers?

Operator : "We are connected to the system Sir"

Customer: "May I order your Seafood Pizza..."

Operator : "That's not a good idea Sir"

Customer: "How come?"

Operator : "According to your medical records, you have high blood pressure and even higher cholesterol level Sir"

Customer: "What?... What do you recommend then?"

Operator : "Try our Low Fat Hokkien Mee Pizza. You'll like it"

Customer: "How do you know for sure?"

Operator : "You borrowed a book entitled "Popular Hokkien Dishes" from the National Library last week Sir"

Customer: "OK I give up... Give me three family size ones then, how much will that cost?"

Operator : "That should be enough for your family of 10, Sir. The total is Rs 2249.99"

Customer: "Can I pay by! credit card?"

Operator : "I'm afraid you have to pay us cash, Sir. Your credit card is over the limit and you owe your bank Rs10,720.55 since October last year. That's not including the late payment charges on your housing loan, Sir."

Customer: "I guess I have to run to the neighbourhood ATM and withdraw some cash before your guy arrives."

Operator : "You can't Sir. Based on the records, you've reached your daily limit on machine withdrawal today."

Customer: "Never mind just send the pizzas, I'll have the cash ready. How long is it gonna take anyway?"

Operator : "About 45 minutes Sir, but if you can't wait you can always come and collect it on your scooter.. ."

Customer: " What!"

Operator : "According to the details in system, you own a Lambretta 1969 Vintage Scooter,...registra tion number USE 8999..."

Customer: " ????"

Operator : "Is there anything else Sir?"

Customer: "Nothing... by the way... aren't you giving me that 3 free bottles of cola as advertised?"

Operator : "We normally would Sir, but based on your records you're also diabetic.... ... "

Customer: #$$^%&$@$%^

Operator : "Better watch your language Sir. Remember on 11th Nov 1986 you were convicted for using abusive language on a policeman who stopped you for driving through a one way, in fact you were driving a 1973 Ambassador bearing registeration number UTD 4267.......

Customer: [Faints]

Contributed By:

Prof. P. Guha

(Globsyn Business School)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Why Salespeople Fail

The most important part of marketing is the sales. This is the operation that brings in the revenue. All other aspects of marketing, be it marketing research or advertisements or after-sales service, involve spending of money for the organization. If all the other activities that form parts of marketing do not lead to sales then those activities have no tangible effect and might as well not have been performed.

But then possibly the most difficult part of marketing is selling. Many salespeople even with the best of intentions fail. A person can never be successful in marketing unless he/she can do selling. A list of twenty reasons are given below to show why people fail in selling.

Any body who has failed in selling can go through the list and chances are fair that some of the reasons would be applicable in his/her case. The best thing to do would then be to make a willful effort on that front.
  1. Blame others for their mistakes or inability to perform.
  2. Lack the necessary level of persistence.
  3. Do not believe in the product they are selling.
  4. Do not commit to lifelong learning.
  5. Fail to listen and learn from those around them.
  6. Lack understanding of the industry or product knowledge.
  7. Fail to develop the essential attributes or skills required to become a masterful salesperson.
  8. Allow their ego to get in the way of change, as they try to do it their way and play by their rules.
  9. Are out of their comfort zone and fail to adjust.
  10. Cannot cope with change.
  11. Are not committed to creating a better possibility for themselves.
  12. Forget that the objective of selling is to deliver value to each client.
  13. Only care about what’s in it for them and how much money they can make.
  14. Do not demonstrate the level of patience required for meeting the demands of some clients.
  15. Choose to fail and simply give up.
  16. Do not ask for the prospect’s business because they feel they shouldn't have to.
  17. Do not ask for help (Never invested the time to see what the top producers are doing, how long it took them and the path they took to get there).
  18. Do not invest the adequate amount of time in their own training, coaching, and development.
  19. Are driven by fear rather than their personal vision and measurable goals, which honor their priorities and force them to have integrity.
  20. Are more driven for results than driven by a proven process -- they are more results driven and not process driven.

Prof. P. Guha
(Globsyn Business School )


Monday, June 2, 2008

Marketing Quiz...

Take the quiz...

Friday, May 30, 2008

Marketing success does not always depend on perfect marketing plans; it depends upon being alert to the environment

A person gets introduced to this brand quite early in life. It is possibly the first brand an individual gets to know of in his/her journey in life. It is the stuff of many a childhood pleasure and the infatuation with the brand stretches beyond the tweens and teens to early adulthood.
It is the Wrigley’s chewing gum !!

According to,William Wrigley of USA was trying to boost the sales of his premium baking powder by giving free samples of another product to the customers. This happened in 1891. The customers showed more interest in the free samples than in the baking powder. The free samples were that of Wrigley’s chewing gum.

The master marketer that he was, William Wrigley withdrew the baking powder from the market and concentrated on the chewing gum which as we all know had been a success for more than a century.

Prof P Guha
Globsyn Business School

Thursday, May 29, 2008


It is a boon to the marketers that celebrities are a dime a dozen today and they are all available for doing their bit for the marketing of products. The prime question is to find out which celebrities are the most ogled at. And the next question is to find out which part of the celebrity’s persona is most ogled at. The tennis star on a journey to the centre court at Wimbledon could fit the description of a star celebrity in July especially for a company that manufactures sports goods. Nike in its attempt to answer the second question imposed a certain condition on Monica Seles. An excerpt from the net ( is given below :

"In 1997 Monica Seles signed an endorsement deal with Nike. Among the terms of the agreement was a requirement that Seles sport the Nike logo... on her panties!"

There are other issues also that come into play in choosing the right spot for placing the logo. What would happen if an American sportsperson is photographed with the logo of a German company while accepting the highest honours in the field?

An excerpt from the net ( is given below:

"... at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, when Dream Team player Charles Barkley said he had 'two million reasons' not to accept a gold medal while wearing a USA sweatsuit bearing the Reebok logo (it transpired that he was actually getting $4 million that year); diplomacy prevailed in the end when team leader Michael Jordan wore the jacket with a US flag draped over the enemy's logo."

The above only goes to show that the entire exercise of ‘marketing’ is fraught with unexpected problems and the experienced marketer has to negotiate the minefields of controversy with aplomb.

Prof. P. Guha
Globsyn Business School