October 2020: Do you know your customer needs? Part of market research is understanding the customer segments in the market of your product or service, for determining the target segments you want to market to. Results of this research will direct all marketing activities being done in the organization. In conducting this research, customers are interviewed and surveyed using various tools, including email, phone, written onsite questionnaires, observation in stores, etc. By analyzing data collected from this research an organization can determine what are the preferences of each customer segment they are targeting, so that their product development, pricing, distribution channels, and marketing messages can be tailored correctly to meet the customer expectations and achieve your business goals. This practice is ongoing to cope with changes in market, including competition and customer trends.
September 2020: How to keep your staff motivated? With exception of self-motivated and self-starter persons who will need minimal effort, your staff will need your motivational push from time to time to maintain and improve their performance. Different people are motivated by different stimuli, depending on factors like their personality type, current career stage, their personal and career goals, etc. While bonus or payment raise is considered the most common motivator, public recognition can be motivator for achievement oriented people, receiving more responsibilities can be a motivator for doers, and thinkers are motivated by being listened to and being assured of their vision. Motivation actions need to be taken regularly in a well planned way organization wide, it's the responsibility of leaders at different levels. Caution should be taken not to motivate some team members at the expense of demotivating others, and attention should be paid to balanced actions in this regard.
August 2020: How to understand market demand? A well known economic rule is the balance relationship between demand and supply, since this relationship is influenced by market price. The general rule is that prices increase as demand increases, and decrease as supply increases. The equilibrium point, which defines the market price, is the intersection point between demand and supply. Shift in supply or demand patterns will result in change of the equilibrium point and consequently market price. However, there are exceptions to this general rule in case of special kinds of products and services, which involve a factor of demand and supply elasticity to changes in price. Demand on essential products which have few substitutes usually exhibits low elasticity to changes in price, since the purchase decision of the target segment of customers isn't impacted much by the price, while demand on luxury products exhibits high elasticity to price changes. Supply elasticity on the other hand could be constrained by available resources and capabilities to increase production in order to exploit benefit of higher prices when the market moves.
July 2020: How to design a new service? Before starting to design a new service, you should have identified the requirements pertaining to this service, functional an non-functional, be it as specified by direct customer request, or as deduced by market demand analysis. Designing a new service doesn't only involve defining the functionality of the core service itself, but also includes architecting the whole environment within which the service is intended to be operated. Depending on the nature of the service, this could include architecting the underlying infrastructure layers, data and systems architecture. Designing a service will also cover determining the processes and procedures through which the service is planned to be used, as well as roles and responsibilities of actors playing role in use and operation of the service. Essential part of design is to define performance metrics for the service, and how it will be maintained and improved.
June 2020: What is Blockchain Technology? Blockchain is a new and promising technology that's getting quickly adopted in various applications and many business sectors. While the main area of application is in fintech (financial technology), like in recording and tracking banks transactions, it's still having applications in medicine, law and contracts, marketing and customer service, and many business purposes. This technology is based on decentralized, distributed ledger, where transactions are batched in records or blocks, and these blocks are verified by an encrypted hash code and linked to previous block in a linked chain. This linking makes the technology highly secured, because change or tampering with transaction data will make the pattern flawed and will be easily spotted and rejected. Moreover, transactions are recorded and maintained by many nodes on a network of independent record keepers, which provides for redundancy and recovery.
May 2020: How to manage remote teams? Companies use remote teams for many reasons, starting from accommodating for distributed workforce, to cost saving, to responding to emergency situations. In some cases, remote working can be a policy for the company. Despite the bright side of remote working, like achieving work-life balance and more autonomous control for employees tasks, there are downside impacts for this setup. Lack of direct communication and face to face interactions between team members will limit opportunities for collaboration and innovation, which are a key pillar for most successful teams. To overcome this drawback, managers need to provide suitable environments for remote interaction, with clear ground rules that guarantee everybody's discipline for a meaningful interaction. Many technology tools allow for establishing such an environment in secure and flexible way, with monitoring and tracking features to keep work in progress. Still, physical meetings from time to time as possible are a considerable enabler for team success in virtual remote settings.
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