Saturday, 26 May 2012

Business Product Strategy: A case on Magneto

Product attributes

This would involve the features or characteristic of the product. Before Magneto goes into production they need to understand the ability for the product to fulfill the needs of the customer
Quality – the major tool in positioning your product. It encompasses two key elements: 1) quality level - how it is made or perceived, and 2) quality consistency - how it performs over its life.
Features – the physical or intrinsic characteristics of your product that contribute to the benefits it offers.
Design – a combination of how the product looks and how it performs.
• Branding
A brand is a name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of these elements that identifies the maker or seller of a product or service. Branding is an important part of a product and contributes to its personality and perceived value. The power of a brand cannot be underestimated – many people buy on the strength of brand alone with no regard for price or performance.
• Packaging
Packaging incorporates the wrapper or container for your product. It serves to protect the product, ensuring it reaches the buyer in good condition and also conveys the personality of your brand and important safety and statutory information.
• Labeling
Labeling incorporates all the written information about your product and usually takes the form of an adhesive sticker, a tie-on tag or a printed piece of packaging.

The characteristics of the target market

The characteristic of the target market or the product’s potential customers is an essential part of the product strategy. This is because the company needs to understand the potential customers’ needs and their characters for the purpose of developing a product that this group can connect with. Magneto will need to consider their geographical locations which may encompass region, climatic conditions and so on, demographics which may include their age, gender among other variables, psychographics which includes the general personality and lifestyle, behaviors which includes their level of knowledge and attitude.

Market share objectives

Magneto will need to place focus on their market forecast for this product and their market share intentions. This will depend on whether they need to achieve market share dominance or they will just pursue profits or both. Market share objective will involve determining the size of the market and estimating how much of that market Magneto will require to meet their corporate and product goals.


Magneto will need to understand the competitive environment within the product category and class. In case Magneto is the pioneer for the said product they will need patents to protect their product from competition if this is not possible then they should gather information about other companies that are more likely to produce a similar product. This will enable them develop their product with strong features to withstand the threat. Competitor analysis makes up for an important part of product strategy because it seeks to offer insights on how well to beat the competition through taking advantage of their weaknesses and the opportunities that generally exist in the market.

Desired product positioning

This will involve the development of a unique selling preposition about the product. The product by Magneto can be positioned on the basis of an attitude or benefit, use or application, price or level of quality. The positioning should play to the company’s product strength and away from weakness.

Profit objectives

Depending on the product Magneto is making they may not be able to set their own prices but in most cases companies can set prices for their products. In that case then Magneto should pay close attention to the pricing of their product to ensure they offer value to the customer but also make profits. The price set versus the cost of production would directly impact profit objectives. Pursuit of cost leadership which affects the price will also have a direct impact on the profit targets from the product developed by Magneto. 

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Importance of Strategic Marketing to businesses

Strategic marketing seeks to establish a sustainable competitive advantage for an organization. This can be achieved through allocation of resources to opportunities that are geared towards meeting the organizations objectives. Strategic marketing employs processes beyond the marketing mix scope to ensure the organization differentiates itself effectively through providing superior offerings to customers. It provides the organization with an opportunity to improve on its strengths while seeking out opportunities and avoiding or dealing with threats appropriately.

Strategic marketing and customer value

Strategic marketing plays a major role in delivering added value by increasing consumer satisfaction and the quality of the organization’s offerings. Value from a strategic marketing point of view would include
·         The quality offered being commensurate with the price being charged
·         The value that is attached to the reputation of the brand
·         Value through customer service
·         Value provided by exceeding the customer’s expectations
In order for the above to be achieved strategies need to be implemented to better understand the customer’s needs and how they make their decisions, to incorporate features in the product or service that would meet these needs and cultivating loyalty and trust to ensure long-term engagement with the customer.

Strategic marketing and business portfolio

Strategic marketing enables the organization to determine the businesses that it should engage in. Thus the organization only concentrates its efforts and resources towards developing an attractive business portfolio and understanding the businesses that it engages in. Apart from determining the direction of the businesses the organization should engage in, strategic marketing will also guide the process of developing the organization’s growth policies.

Strategic marketing and understanding of the environment

Strategic marketing provides for the understanding of the environment and situation. A PEST analysis would guide the marketing process in order to gain the highest level of benefits. Political, economic, social-cultural, technological, legal and environmental factors are given high priority to enable the organization to recognize both the opportunities and threats presented by these factors.

Marketing strategies

Strategic marketing provides the approaches that would be used to handle the different strategic business units as they are determined by the organization. These approaches are derived from the different characteristics of a particular unit. For example, using the BCG matrix, different units would be classified in different levels which are stars, cows, question marks and dogs. Stars are high growth products that are stronger than competitors and have the potential of becoming cash cows in future. Cows are low growth products with a considerable high market share. Question marks they operate in high growth markets but are currently in low market share. Dogs are units that operate in low growth markets and have low market share making them unattractive.

For each of these levels different strategies may be employed such as building share to turn a question mark into a star, hold where the organization would invest only enough to keep the unit going in the case of stars, Harvest in the case of stars to turn them into cows and Divest in the case of dogs.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Do private secondary schools in Kenya need a strategy

Private secondary schools in Kenya need a strategy in order to ensure that they offer value to the community they serve. The schools are also driven by results and the performance of their students and this means that they need to implement some strategy to ensure that they meet these objectives. It is through meeting these objectives that they are able to gain their competitive advantage. Private secondary schools in Kenya cannot base their performance or expect results without implementing a strategy that gets them to where they want to be. If it is the case that these results are achieved through guesswork then this makes them unstable and unsustainable which eventually reflects negatively on the stakeholders.
Strategy ensures growth and development in private schools in terms of enrollment, improvement of learning equipments and facilities. Private secondary schools need strategy to ensure that there is a low student to teacher ratios in order to improve the effectiveness of their service and enable them address the different needs of the students with a personalized touch. Strategy in the private schools will also guide professional development of the staff this will in turn translate to better overall performance. This will ensure that the private schools are able to retain excellent and differs faculty.
Strategy will ensure that the private secondary schools utilize their resources adequately through appropriate allocation. This ensures that all resources allocated for educational or administrative purposes are utilized as such. For example the school bus may not be used to run the principals private businesses instead of taking students and teachers on educational field trips. This represents misuse of the resources which were to be used for purposes of improving the schools performance.
Private secondary schools need a strategy to ensure they remain focused on their objectives. Just like any other entity private schools can also lose focus of their goals in the long run. A strategy helps ensures that the stakeholders are constantly reminded of what they are required to achieve. For example if the institution’s vision is to offer world class standards of education or increase the level of diversity or improve performance to be the top school nationally. Then all actions by the institutions should be in support of that vision. This means that private schools need a strategy to govern their actions in order to work towards achievement of the vision.
Private secondary schools need a strategy to help them in dealing with the external and internal environments. Just like any entity, private schools also exist within an environment which is unpredictable and can wreak havoc if the entity is not prepared. So the strategy helps in forecasting and predicting some of these events and if they are noticed earlier the negative impacts from the environmental changes can be minimized or avoided altogether. Strategy also presents opportunity for adaptations to the environment for private schools.

In conclusion, private secondary schools in Kenya need a strategy as illustrated. It would be risky for private secondary schools to operate without a strategy and miss out on the benefits that it offers.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Internet marketing in Kenya businesses

Economic survey of Kenya and effects on Internet marketing
According to data from the Economic survey of Kenya report 2013 Kenya recorded a decrease in inflation from 14.0% in 2011 to 9.4% in 2012. Total electricity generation increased by 3.9% in 2012 (7,851.2 GWh) as compared to 2011 (7,559.9 GWh). Number of connections under the rural electrification increased by 23.7% in 2012, this explains the sustained growth in mobile subscriptions and internet connectivity.
In regards to internet marketing the data shows opportunity for companies and businesses to invest in internet marketing. This is because the number of people with access to mobile phones is increasing and their ability to connect to the internet is improved. This means it is important to capture this traffic by paying attention to the changes and growth currently being realized in terms of connectivity. This can also be attributed to consumers growing purchasing power given the drop in inflation and increased in electricity access to the rural parts of the country.
The need to enhance connectivity to the entire population is entrenched in Kenya’s vision 2030 under the economic pillar. Within its objective to improve infrastructure the country seeks to improve telecommunication networks and in turn provide internet connectivity to all.
Forms of Internet Marketing In Kenya
In this case, business owners of various kinds employ web developers to develop for them websites and they advertise their products there. This is a very powerful form of Internet Marketing in Kenya because as the web users come across the site they are interested in or the products they are looking for, they get in touch with the web owners and the business deal is sealed. Nearly all the organizations in Kenya are employing this technique of web development in their marketing strategies.
Another common form of online marketing mostly used in Kenya is the use of social media. Internet Marketing in Kenya via social media has been very effective especially in the fashion industry. Many organizations have opened social pages like face book and twitter where they interact with their clients and respond to their views. Some of them design specific products for their customers and hence social media has become an effective tool of marketing.
E mail marketing is also very common in Kenya. Internet Marketing in Kenya is sometimes done by business people sending messages to the target population randomly to their phone numbers or e mail addresses. The challenge is that this method has been used by many fraud stars to steal from the general public. There are many other forms of Internet Marketing in Kenya, but these are the most common ones. 
Challenges of Internet Marketing in Kenya
As a developing country, Kenyan infrastructure is not well developed. Internet connection heavily relies on internet connection and power supply. Research shows that a very small population of Kenyans has a 24 hour access to the internet. This means that very few people can be reached on Internet Marketing in Kenya. A very big population in Kenyans also leaves in the rural areas where there is limited or no power supply. This renders the population that can get access to computer use to be very few.
The challenge of infrastructure in Kenya makes online marketing to mainly reach the people in towns and a few people in the villages. Given that a big population of Kenyans lives in rural areas that have been connected with the fiber optic cable and lack power connection, poor infrastructure is a major drawback to Internet Marketing in Kenya. The other challenge is that many Kenyans live below the poverty line, thus fighting for basic needs cannot allow them visit the internet. Information posted online ends up reaching only part of the target market.
Benefits of Internet Marketing in Kenya
One advantage with e marketing in Kenya is that with the arrival of the fiber optic cable, it has become very cheap and fast to advertise on the internet. Internet Marketing in Kenya is becoming one of the cheapest forms of marketing that is available within the region. The other advantage is that there are several institutions country wide that trains the basics of computer use at very reasonable price. A high percentage of Kenyans are therefore computer literate and thus accessing information on Internet Marketing in Kenya is not a challenge to many Kenyans.
However, firms are rolling out different solutions to reduce the gulf between payments and e-commerce. In February this year, Safaricom launched the M-Pesa prepay safari card which allows its users to transact business online. In September Airtel and MasterCard launched payonline, a platform that enables the former’s subscribers to buy and pay for goods and services online using the latter’s cards. And down South, MTN launched paid, a system that facilitates South Africans to pay for goods and services online using a pin-based debit card.
These efforts are commendable, but insufficient if they are not complemented by measures to persuade Kenyan online shoppers to consider shopping and paying for goods using these cards. This festive season is a great opportunity about to vanish for Kenyan businesses to do that. They are offering an abundance of Christmas offers and even advertising them on their websites, but there’s neither information nor incentives to encourage customers to shop and pay for these offers online.
On December 16 2011, Safaricom concluded a nationwide tour to promote its products/services. These events attracted crowds similar to those who attend political rallies. They were not only entertained by comedians and musicians, they also won freebies such as tee shirts, hats and umbrellas. Why can’t Safaricom conduct a similar initiative to persuade (and reward) its subscribers with internet connection in their homes to use its safari card? Why hasn't Airtel Kenya added information regarding its Payonline solution to its website? Both mobile phone service providers account for approximately 80% of Kenya’s 25 million subscribers. Imagine the effect their efforts to convince a substantial number of these subscribers to sign up to their respective offerings would have on online transactions in Kenya. One result is that the number of cards (Visa) will increase from the current 2 million. In addition, none of these companies have displayed the energy to update the public on the successes and challenges of these initiatives, compared with the enthusiasm they exhibit when they regularly update us on the progress of their other promotions, particularly those that have to do with winning cash.
Kenya cultural effects on digital marketing
Globalization in Kenya has led to a digital awakening. Kenya is now an IT hub in Africa with some of the greatest innovations being born as a result. Mobile money transfer and mobile banking services have revolutionized Kenya. There are more people online using their mobile phones in Kenya than in any other country in East and Central Africa.
Communication has been much easier across Kenya with the advent of technology. This has also made it to interact more with her neighbours if not the whole world. Diplomatic relations with other countries has been made much easier through the use of technology. It is easier to have a Skype/video conference with someone thousands of miles away in real time. Countries are now connected and have bilateral relations.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

ICT for development MDG6

Combating HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases is the sixth goal in the ongoing initiative by the UN and member countries which began in 2000 at the turn of the millennium known commonly as the millennium development goals (MDGs).
ICT has a role to play in combating HIV through stopping or reversing its spread globally. ICT has been able to spread information about the disease faster and effectively to far flung areas of the globe. Radios, televisions, mobile phones, computers and other gadgets have been used to relay information that is aimed at combating the spread of HIV. People all over the globe have been educated on issues that revolve around stigma associated with the disease. Communities are now more open about this disease and the victims are continuously being encouraged to seek medical help.
Scientists and researchers also use ICT to share their findings among themselves and with the rest of the world. This has helped in coming up with new ideas that would see cures being developed to eliminate the disease. Media has been used to bring together groups of scientists, victims of the disease and those susceptible to falling victim for purposes of research and cure development.
ICT has also been used in documenting progress in how the disease is being dealt with and reports are published to show areas where management and containment have been successful and where some strategies have failed. This increases the awareness of all stakeholders in the fight against the disease and works to improve their participation in programs that would help stem the spread of HIV/AIDS.
ICT has also been used by patients to access information that is useful to them. Mobile phones have helped in relaying this information to where the patients are. Mobile applications have also been developed to ensure that treatment is taken at the appropriate time using reminders

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Causes of slow intranet and impact on business

Reasons for slow intranet 

  • Users could be wasting the bandwidth through running heavy downloads or opening a variety of tasking websites like social media platforms. This reduces the amount of bandwidth available thus slowing down the system. This is because such websites and downloads use a lot of bandwidth when running.
  • The other reason could be that the number of users has increased and thus running of tasking websites has also probably increased. This would result to slowing down the entire system of the intranet and thus connectivity would be hindered.
  • A router could also be used in the intranet connection and if that is the case users accessing the intranet remotely would encounter slow speeds if the router is unable to encrypt VPN (Virtual Private Network) fast enough.
  • Network interface card, computers with bad network adapters can slow down the entire network. Faulty NICs are known to broadcast junk (useless) packets of data. This increases traffic on the network and eventually slowing down all users.
Below are solutions to the above issues in respective order.

  • There are several softwares that can monitor the protocols that are putting pressure on the bandwidth. These softwares also have the ability to kill some of the protocols and stop certain websites from loading and other operations such as downloads.
  • Another solution would be to increase the amount of bandwidth in direct promotion to the amount of use in the organization. This will ensure everyone is allocated enough to continue with fast speeds on the network.
  • The router can be replaced by use of a pfSense box (open source firewall/ router) as replacement or used with the router to improve its VPN encryption speed in order to keep up with connectivity. This would be best for people accessing the intranet remotely. This is because data being sent via VPN needs to be encrypted and if this is not done fast enough then the resultant effect would be slow response for the user.
  • Network interface cards that are faulty should be replaced to ensure the speeds on the network improve.