This year we’ll be offering our A-level Marketing Course in Gozo. Lectures will be starting soon. As usual, we only cater for small groups with individual attention and booking is on first-come first-served basis. Apart from lectures, students will benefit from first-class guidance in essay writing skills and in answering case studies, two very important skills for the A-level exam. All this under the tutorship of a lecturer, who was previously an examiner. Join our Gozo Group today!
For more information click here or contact us on 9951 7383.
The Tipping Point is that moment in time when an idea/product is set perfectly poised to be liked and accepted in widespread way by a critical mass. Once the critical mass like it, the idea will spread even further! It is that moment when the idea (like a stone) rolls down a mountain, creating an avalanche affect!
Social media is helping many products and ideas achieve the Tipping Point in a much less time. With ideas spreading like wildfire, many products and ideas are being assimilated into mainstream society rapidly. Such has happened to Disney’s animated film, Frozen. It is now being reported by BBC to have become the fifth biggest film.
The Tipping Point is a very valid concept for the online world because it helps us understand how ideas spread. This phenomenon is examined in the book that carries the same name, “The Tipping Point”, written by Malcolm Gladwell.
Today Malta University Consulting announced that the E-Marketing Course will be held once again during March, April and May 2014.
The course consists of8 lessons of 2 hours each has been accredited as a Level 2, 3 ECTS (Diploma level)by the Department of Marketing, FEMA, University of Malta. The course will be held at University Residence in Lija and sessions will be from 5.30 to 7.30.
Recently I stumbled upon an innovative site which I really liked. The site is Graze.com (www.graze.com) and it is a website through which customers can take out a weekly subscription on snacks.
Graze serves the British and US market with 2 localised websites and targets people who are after healthy and convenient snacking. Apart from snacking, Graze also serves other segments namely the breakfast and kids segments along with providing seasonal ranges, gifts both in individual portion or sharing boxes.
The concept behind the website is simple and this has been explained very clearly on the website. You choose the snacks that you like (from over a hundred), and then Graze will pick four of your chosen snacks in a box and deliver to your home or office on a regular basis (weekly, every two weeks, etc). You can then snack (or graze….) to your heart’s content on nutritional snacks that are free of GMOs, preservatives and high fructose corn syrup. Customers can manage their subscription so that even when they go on holiday they can postpone the regular deliveries. Customers can also rate the snacks, thus giving Graze valid market information about trends and what its customers really want! Graze has turned all the cycle into a learning marketing exercise and customers who want to stop their subscription are asked to fill in questionnaire.
From a customer’s point, the services provided by Graze is very convenient and from the company’s perspective, this model ensures a steady income flow of subscribed customers. Subscription means that the company automatically has repeat customers (which many times is one of the headaches of online retailers). The subscription mechanism allows a company to have clear projections about sales and cash flow. Subscription also eliminates a lot of guesswork (or forecasting) and one can also plan more accurately about volume of supplies to serve its base of subscribers.
The website which is very easy to browse, provides full specifics about the products and more important explicit calls for action, nudging the potential customer in the right direction to try them out. Information about ingredients, allergies and gluten have been addressed with clearly designed labels. The attention to detail in designing all aspects of the product and the product is really visible. For example, when it comes to packaging, the snacks are delivered in a cleverly designed recycled cardboard box and the website even gives precise dimensions of the box so that customers can make sure that their Graze box will fit their mailbox!
Back to the web presence, one can see that so much thought has gone into the planning – visually compelling photos, clear diagrams explaining how the subscription works and clear logical text along with branding that gives the product a lot of character. All in all, Graze are providing a truly differentiated online value proposition!
A Graze customer can get the first box for his or her friends for free and Graze also offers the first box for half price. There is no doubt that this promotion geared on sharing helps to bring the product to so many more people. Interestingly enough, the promotion of the first free box is not mentioned anywhere on the website and Graze relies solely on the word-of-mouth of its customers to give out the free boxes.
This sharing and giving has resulted in a very good presence in social media. There are many videos on YouTube and many have blogged about the Graze product. Graze has harnessed over 87,000 likes on Facebook UK page and another 80,000 likes on its Facebook US page but its social media presence does not stop there. Graze is also very active on Twitter and Instagram.
What we want to see in a new MATSEC Marketing Syllabus
The MATSEC Marketing A-level Syllabus has been in its current form and structure for a number of years. The current 13 topics, spanning a broad variety of marketing aspects, do cover a lot of material. However as a marketing lecturer for a number of years, I find that the MATSEC Marketing syllabus needs some major updates.
The following is list of suggested updates to the MATSEC Marketing Syllabus:
The most fundamental update in the MATSEC Marketing Syllabus needed is the recognition that digital or online is a pervasive phenomenon. The Internet is not just a channel like television or radio. It is an intrinsic part of our world, something that no one can avoid! Lecturers cannot miss dedicating time to this in order to set students on the right course about the marketing environment that marketers face in the industry!
Naturally one also needs to have a section in the MATSEC Marketing Syllabus dedicated to Online Marketing. This should not be overblown exhaustive topic (for example it should stay away from any implementation aspects) but should focus on aspects of how the Internet can help in various marketing activities ranging from marketing research, promotion, sales and distribution. Other fundamental topics that need to be mentioned in this discussion include:
How the Internet affects customer and business decision making;
How the Internet affects pricing;
The relevance of Social Media & Mobile to Marketing;
Major Tools used in Online Digital Marketing.
3. More emphasis on marketing case studies is also needed. The concept of applying marketing to everyday marketing scenarios is more important than covering a wide breadth of topics (that more often than not are skimmed through just for the sake of the exam!).
4. One also hopes, that when and if any updates are done to the MATSEC Marketing syllabus, these do not simply result as additions to what is already a wide syllabus but that updates will also trim down areas that are either somewhat not so relevant or that are more suited for a more advanced and mature Marketing student tackling further studies beyond the A-level.
Hopefully such updates to the MATSEC Marketing Syllabus will be soon rolled out so that more marketing students can embrace marketing as it is meant to be in our times!
The Internet is brimming with precious information about online marketing. Sometimes seeing a distilled version helps. These online marketing tips are not meant as the be-all and end-all but a starting point in the right direction. More tips will be added to this post in due course.
The 6 Is – Digitial Media Differences – that marketers need to keep in mind when designing effective digital marketing strategies. It is not just a matter Interactivity but one needs to factor the amount of customer Intelligence that can be reaped through the interactive aspect. Digital Media allows marketers to achieve one-to-one or Individualisation and online services can be provided Independent of Location. All this has to be done in a context of Integration of outbound and inbound-based communication while keeping in mind possible Industry Restructuring through disintermediation and reintermediation.
Pricing is already a laborious decision and when it’s pricing for online sales, there’s so much more to consider. From pricing strategies and payment options to other aspects like keeping in mind that if you are providing different prices in different countries this will be transparent and there is a good chance that your customers will soon discover your discrimination tactics….Also the wide knowledge of prices puts competitive pressure on the prices themselves, hence leading to possibly lower prices…..
If you are selling a product online make sure that you have effective landing pages. Apart from wowing the client with compelling pictures or videos, the page needs to present the product clearly both in terms of text and pictures. Extra links to more detailed information, instructions are important. Ensure that you are actually providing the online purchase facility along with more helpful aspects like links to contact, telephone numbers and possibly even online chat. Include testimonials or product reviews if you have that luxury. And make it shareable on different social media platforms.
The Marketing Force of a Newborn who is also a Prince
His title is Prince of Cambridge and doesn’t’ need a surname. But with a title like that who does?
There is no doubt that anything which is related to royalty is also a great opportunity to spin some money by a lot of businesses. If that news is related to babies, then that money is bound to multiply further. It is no secret that today’s mummies spend a lot of time online and always research baby-related purchases in depth. In this case, one will have to add that once endorsed by royalty, any item (from diapers to baby booties) will shine with the magic ‘fit for the Prince’.
Once the great wait was over, the birth was officially heralded in the most traditional of manners – a written document posted outside Buckingham palace. After all Royalty is also very much akin to protocol. His birth announcement was trumpeted across the media sites and the social networking sites like wildfire. The first news was that the royal babe was a boy, then came more details like his birth time and weight.
On his first day, his Christian name not yet known, many stores were already sporting competitions, discounts and deals as a celebration to honour the birth of the Prince. While the merchandising circus dished out souvenirs in all shapes and formats, cake decorators mulled on who will bake the christening cake and biscuit-makers baked all sorts of fancy-decorated cookies . Sites where women and mothers congregate, like Dailycandy (www.dailycandy.com) were brimming with info about London’s smartest baby shops and services. From the most prestigious preschool, to nursery decor and monogrammed linen, first haircuts, baby spa, and posh play dates, it seemed that nothing has been left out and everything was being laid out for Kate. But behind this, one can be certain that businesses are not only marking the birth of a Prince but hoping to unleash an ‘economic baby boom’.
Right on the baby’s first day, the Early Learning Centre launched its new toy, a set of toy dolls in the Happyland range, named ‘Royal Baby Set’, representing the Royal Family. Other stores like Mothercare had discounts. Next too highlighted its line of baby wear with the writing ‘Born in 2013′ and likewise Tesco marketed its British Royalty-themed clothes for babies. Once again, one of the themes chosen by price-savvy Tesco is ‘Born in 2013′.
On the second day, when his name was revealed, we had all kind of reviews about the Royal Family’s first appearance. Stores like NewLook reviewed Kate’s and William’s outfits and suggested items from their store to replicate the casual but elegant look that the new parents sported. Mothercare UK Facebook page covered the choice of baby car seat, Britax, a car seat that is available through Mothercare. Yes, the forecasts for some stores and brands which Kate and Will will favour surely have a rosy outlook!
Once all the forecasts die down, we will have the real story unfold. There is no doubt that in today’s connected world, the minute the baby is wheeled out wearing an outfit or in a carriage, that will be the biggest advert.
One can only imagine the queue of all baby-stuff suppliers at Kensington Palace all hoping to woe mummy Kate, who will then choose to pick their products or services. From a marketing’s perspective, right now, Kate’s most valuable title is the ‘mummy title’. After all she will choosing products and services and with every of her decision she will be making a big endorsement.
Honestly I cannot imagine a bigger endorsement – after all the choice will be fit for a real Prince !!
So much we take for granted that when something is amiss it’s like a slap in the face!
Recently I was out shopping for a couple of gifts. At one particular store, the display was so well laid out that it felt like an Aladdin’s cave glittering with trinkets and ‘nice-to-have’ items. The salesmen oozed charm and knew a lot about the products they sell. They presented themselves well, in casual but sleek outfits and perfectly coiffed hair, spoke clearly and in a good pitch, kept eye contact and moved to help me like there was no other care in the world. I was even offered espresso (or maybe water) and I had been in the shop for less than 5 minutes. I did find what I was looking for and once wrapped in exquisite packages, there was nothing left to be desired!
There was one crux – they did not accept credit or debit card!!
Imagine my surprise, when I heard “either cash or cheque”!
That was such a blow. I did not have a cheque book so I needed to walk back to the car, drive to an ATM and return back to the shop and once again find parking space – no mean feat in traffic-clogged Malta at 11.30 in the morning. Such a waste of time and energy!
I have always believed that the process or processes (including product payment process) surrounding and facilitating the acquisition of a product should be planned out in a way which are easy to understand and implement. They also need to be as user-friendly as possible. This might be coming from my background of system analysis and business-process-reengineering but having efficient and customer-centric services and processes is also a fundamental issue in marketing. I thus wonder why people who have clearly thought out about so many details and layers of their product offering leave out something like ‘payment via card’! In today’s world, where convenience is key, I have taken payment by card as part of the basic product.
Espresso?!!! I’d rather be allowed to pay by credit card.
The 2013/2014 A-Level Marketing Course will be starting on Tuesday 24th September. The lessons will be from 5.00 to 7.00 in the evening and will be held in Naxxar.
Lessons will be done once a week. The A-level Marketing lessons will go on through to April by which time, the full MATSEC Marketing Syllabus will be covered.
During the course, we will tackle past papers with special emphasis about how to work out essays and case studies. Full notes and summaries are provided to the students attending the A-level Marketing Course.