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Contingency Alertness – The Ability to React and Adjust to Unforeseen or Foreseeable Changes in the Business Environment



Brian Kazungu, 12/05/2023

I can describe Contingency Alertness as the ability to react and adjust to an unforeseen or foreseeable shift or change of circumstances that has got a positive or negative impact on the operations of an institution.

In any business community, there are various changes that are always taking place because of a number of man-made and natural causes.

Technological advancement, globalization, natural disasters, the knowledge gap, political changes and new discoveries in the realities of life are some of the determinant factors to the way how consumers react to your products and services.

The changes in these variables can have a significant impact on the viability and profitability of your business and as such, you must always be on the lookout for such developments in order to devise a good approach towards making the best possible response.

 The failure to note or identify the point of transition (the time to react) is one of the main reasons why some SMEs fail to make it on the business terrain.

There is a need for you to be conscious of the fact that the business environment is always changing and therefore you need to able to quickly re-align your goals, targets and specifications in adapting to this ever changing business climate.

As an entrepreneur, you must have the skill and ability to know when to maintain the approach, products and services or when to change the same in any given environment.

Rigidity (being not flexible) is a business enemy in that the failure to react to the prevailing business trends undermines your relevance in the market.

This lack of relevance interferes with the viability, profitability and expansion of the business.

You should give attention to whether a certain concept should now be adopted or be dropped, whether to adopt technology or go the manual way as well as whether to continue as a cash based entity or to adopt other forms of payment.

With the advancement in technology and a continuous shift in customer needs and wants, it is increasingly becoming dangerous to maintain the old and traditional methods of doing business.

People are now always on the lookout for better and efficient products and services and as such, if you do not adjust you are likely to keep offering products and services that are no longer relevant at the expense of your own institution and other stakeholders.

When this happens, those businesses which are adaptive to change are the ones who can be seen getting ahead and conquering in the business field.

New and advanced methods of doing business are coming up because of extensive research and changing customer needs and therefore there is greater need to pay attention to these developments and analyse them in line with your industry.

In environments where people are using various forms of effecting and accepting payments it is not a good practice to cling to cash payments only since you will lose the market share to those who are innovative and adaptive to the changes in the business field.

Every business starts on a certain level, and when it is properly managed, it then grows from that stage up to even becoming a multi-national corporation.

Facebook is one such company which experienced this type of growth and expansion that results from being responsive to circumstances.

I am going to highlight the stages that Facebook went through, so that you can learn and appreciate the importance of being on the lookout for opportunities and that you may also know the right time to execute your plans when opportunity strikes.

Facebook started off as a university campus social networking platform where students from Harvard University could interact with each other and it later on became one of the most popular and biggest social network platforms of the 21st century.

It was launched as a company in 2004.

The membership to the network site was initially limited to the Harvard students only but was later on opened up to other universities and corporations.

By the year 2006, it was open to everyone aged 13 and older who had a valid email account.

During its early days, the company had to engage private investors for funding and later on went public in February 2012 to enable it to raise more capital.

In every business, there are important decisions to be made and there are also serious considerations to be done on who should join the company as an investor as well as in deciding on the right time to go public.

The best decisions that you can make under such a scenario is based on your understanding of the ever changing times, markets and the operational dynamics of a given industry or field.

As a business person, you should therefore be well versed with your business’ operational variables and thus be in a position to adjust and accord the proportionate due attention to every component of the business when the need arises.

This means that foresight must be one of your invaluable qualities as an entrepreneur, and you must also make sure that your team is nurtured to acquire this same quality as well.

Failure to adjust to the changing environment and circumstances would either fail the business’ growth or threaten its existence.

Wal-Mart, one of the world’s biggest retail entity started off small in the 1950s, operating only in Bentonville, Arkansas State in the United States of America but later expanded rapidly across America and into the rest of the world.

The company’s expansion was not only premised on low prices but also in the ability to adjust and suit the market by adopting creative mechanisms that enhanced customer service.

In 1987, Walmart had computerised some of their activities in order to track inventory, sales, and send instant communication to their stores.

Continuing with their technological upgrades, they equipped their stores with barcode readers to further assist in keeping track of their large inventory.

In 1988, the first Wal-Mart Supercenter was introduced in Washington, Missouri.

The supercentre concept added more features to those that were already offered in the traditional shop setup in order to appeal to a wide clientele and thus increase traffic and profitability.

These adjustments and changes made a positive result on the Walmart business because the activities and new concepts they adopted enhanced customer service, efficiency and competitiveness in line with the changing times.

Emphasis on multi-corporations such as Walmart and Facebook is meant to inspire you to know that you can still start small and go far as long as you are responsive to the dictates of the new business environment.

The point of transition can be tackled from different angles and stages of the business. It can either be started from a departmental level or can target the whole business concern.

The manufacturing sector is of the critical areas that are mostly affected by technological changes because new and efficient processes are being regularly introduced into the market and these are essential for coping with quality, quantity and demand.

As a manufacturer, the adoption of new and advanced technology enables you to cover a wide area or a broad customer base with good quality products which is vital for expansion.

From the examples above, we can see that being adaptive and responsive to the developments in technology will be rewarding in the various aspects of your business operations.

In the case of the retail industry in general and the supermarkets in particular, the way how customers are being served at the point of sale (till points) has a great influence on turnover, profitability and business continuity because of the volumes that are registered.

Computerised point of sale machines have been found to help serve the customers faster because of the barcode readers in charging for the goods as well as in price look up when a customer wants to confirm the price first before paying for the product.

Sticking to the old till (cash register) in a busy environment would prove costly especially in a fast moving consumer goods industry.

This is because you will serve less people and yet in this regard sales volume determine profitability.

In this case, you must bear in mind that customers do not want to wait for a long time in queues before they are served since they have other things to attend to.

The Point Of Transition can also take into account the need and ability to know the correct time to increase the wages of management and staff in your organisation.

This plays an important role in determining customer service which in turn determines goodwill since an appreciated workforce exudes a warm atmosphere for customer engagement.

Mostly, as an entrepreneur, you engage in business because you see an opportunity both for your self-sustenance and for broadening your sources of income.

You should not forget that the same applies to your employees as well since they also have needs and wants that they want to satisfy through the exchange of their labour.

If you fail to take care of your employees, it means that your competitors may eventually end up being the employers of the same staff members who would have gained experience and exposure from your company.

Unfortunately, these people can leave your company because of your lack of flexibility in decision making especially when it comes to adjusting salaries and other working conditions.

When a business grows, the people who make it happen should be recognised so that they do not feel neglected and deceived by seeing you as the only beneficiary from the expansion.

Always bear in mind that the success of your enterprises is also a result of staff members having maintained or even increased the amount of effort they are investing in your business and as such they also deserve attention, recognition and appreciation.

Adapted from The SME HANDBOOK written by Brian Kazungu

Amazon Book Link: https://amzn.to/3geP4ux Author Profile:

Brian Kazungu is an Author, Poet, Journalist, and Technology Enthusiast whose writing covers issues to do with Business, Travelling, Motivation and Inspiration, Religion, Politics, and Communication among others. https://www.amazon.com/author/briankazungu https://muckrack.com/brian-kazungu http://www.modernghana.com/author/BrianKazungu [email protected] @BKazungu-Twitter He has written and published several books covering various aspects of human life including leadership, entrepreneurship, politics, personal development as well as poetry and travel. These books are found on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/author/briankazungu

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The Importance of Analysing Information in Making Critical Personal and Corporate Decisions



Brian Kazungu, 20/05/2023

Have you ever wondered why people do what they do? Have you ever asked yourself why some people do good things while others continue to do even the most despicable things on earth?

The secret to all this mystery is INFORMATION.

People don’t just do what they do, they follow a process. Whether it takes a few seconds, hours or days to do something, the action process remains the same.

The Action Process is made up of the following stages: Imagination, Thinking, Decision, and Action.

When you imagine something and then quickly decide and take action without critically analyzing the information you have, you are likely to contribute towards most of life’s tragedies, blunders and regrets that torment humanity from to time.

Most of the problems that are faced by people from all over the world, be it at work or at home are a result of the failure to objectively and open-mindedly process information before you commit to do something.

I can generally describe THINKING as the open-minded and objective processing of information towards decision making.

As such, when you want to do anything in life, you must think or process the information you have about what you are dealing with so you can make the right decision and take the right action.

Regardless of circumstances, you must be able to master the art of open-minded and objective processing of information since whatever you do, whether it’s a crime or a good deed, it is determined by access to information and the interpretation of that information.

I refer to information as merely a collection of signs and symbols that you use for decision making in the execution of your duties and responsibilities be it at home, at school, at work or anywhere else.

The way how information is arranged, packaged and transmitted determines how you interpret it, and the way how you interpret it determines the quality of decisions that you make and the action that you take.

Education, Religion, Parenting, Past Experiences, and Dreams as well as Gossip (Grapevine), Intelligence Service, Propaganda, Culture and Tradition etc. are some of the predominant sources of information that we have about ourselves and the world around us.

These sources of information determine what you consider to be good or bad or what you consider to be right or wrong. They determine what you choose to do and what you choose to ignore.

As such, the main difference between those who make smart (wise) decisions and those make foolish decisions is Information Processing or Thinking.

Without processing the information, you have through the act of thinking, you are bound to make abrupt and regrettable decisions out of excitement and ignorance, but if you think through a certain matter, you are bound to make an informed decision with lasting benefits.

When it comes to making wise decisions, knowledge on its own is not enough. It must be coupled with understanding in order for you to make informed decisions and act wisely.

N.B: Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding – Knowledge simply means the possession of information, but wisdom refers to the understanding and correct application of knowledge.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a president, or you consider yourself to be a commoner, your actions are always based on information.

Whether you were forced or manipulated to do something or not – the answer remains the same – you used information to make a decision and that decision resulted in a certain act.

The thoughts and imagination you have are subject to your exposure to some information (knowledge) that you have about the world around you. This information is then used in the response to opportunities and threats as they unfold from time to time.

Please note that your actions are immediately influenced by two things: 1) Opportunities 2) Threats. Whatever you are doing in this life, whether good or bad, is based on whether you saw an opportunity or you felt threatened and thus your action was the response.

It is thus important to understand that it’s the information you have about yourself and the world around you which makes you to perceive something as either an opportunity or a threat.

In this regard, anything that disturbs your peace, joy and development is a threat and anything that promotes your peace, joy and development is an opportunity.

Threats can also be anything which harms you or takes away your life and in response, you can choose to fight or surrender. On the other hand, opportunities also refers to that which gives you a lease of life or which makes your life easy, and is thus worthy pursuit.

When you look at everything that has been said here so far, you can see that it is important for you to carefully think about something before you make a serious decision.

As such, you must understand that your choices, wishes, dreams, aspirations, fears and concerns are determined by the information you have or what you know about:

a) Yourself (your identity, ability, strengths and weaknesses),

b) Fellow human beings (their identities, abilities, strengths and weaknesses)

c) Nature (the benefits and dangers of water, land and air and the contents thereof).

It is this knowledge about yourself and the world around you which then determines your decisions, and these decisions are the ones which determine your actions.

If you have wrong information about yourself as well as about other people and nature, you will develop wrong imaginations which will unfortunately cause you to make wrong decisions and subsequently you will take the wrong actions.

This is why there is a battle for the control and interpretation of information on Earth either by governments, businesses, religions or even families.

Those that are in charge of information in any society do determine the reality of mankind.

You may not have the power to control the flow of information, but you must strive to learn the art of processing any piece of information that you come across before you make a decision.

The Smart Decision Handbook which I wrote is one good resource that can help you to master the art of thinking which I also loosely defined as the open minded and objective processing of information.

It is therefore important to identify mechanisms that help to define and determine the type, quality and quantity of information that is exchanged for decision making since people and their natural environment are always transmitting information.

This information must be correctly interpreted in order for you to take advantage of opportunities and to guard against threats as they unfold.

The sending, receiving and interpretation of information which takes place in any community determines the interaction between:

1) Men and Women 2) Children and Elders 3) Leaders and Followers 4) Natives and Foreigners 5) People and Nature etc.

As such, if you wrongly interpret the signs and symbols transmitted by people and nature, you will unfortunately make wrong assumptions and decisions and subsequently take wrong actions which then results in negative consequences.

Since we use information for decision making, it means that the same information must be scanned for impurities before being used to determine the next move. This therefore brings us to Data Integrity Analysis (DIA).

I describe Data Integrity Analysis as the systemic and systematic analysis of the intention and authenticity of the source, the path taken and the changes in the quality and package of information along the path from the sender to the receiver.

A Data Integrity Analysis is done in order to make sure that the correct information is used for the correct purpose using the correct channel.

Adapted from THE SMART DECISION HANDBOOK written by Brian Kazungu

Author Profile: https://www.amazon.com/author/briankazungu

Twitter – @BKazungu

Twitter – @BKazungu

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Effective Marketing Approaches and Their Impact on the Accomplishment of Business Objectives



Brian Kazungu, 13/05/2023

When we are talking about marketing, there are three interconnected words or issues that must be discussed in order for us to clearly understand this important business function.

Marketing – Selling – Sale.

Basically put, marketing means engaging in activities that makes your products and services appealing to your targeted clients.

Having looked at Marketing, let us now focus on the following terms: 1) Selling 2) Sale

Selling – offering or presenting products and services to clients so that they can buy at their convenience.

Sale – the actual exchange that happens between the buyer (customer) and the seller after meeting the conditions of a transaction.

As a component of marketing, we also have the field of advertising which means: to appealingly and accurately present a product or information about a product to your targeted clients in way that enables the selling process to achieve an intended sale.

Advertising can also be described as an appealing generic public display or customised private presentation of data about a product or service to a targeted audience in a way that arouses interest in order to create, maintain and promote a mutually beneficial transactional engagement.

We are looking at marketing because, generally, individuals and corporates engage in business in order to offer products and services to others in a way that enables and guarantees attainment or achievement of business targets at a profit.

As such, the failure to effectively market your products can thus interfere with profitability and hampers the attainment of your set goals.

Marketing on its own is an art that must be mastered, it’s a skill that must be learnt and it’s a profession that must be respected because it is an activity that makes sure that all the other aspects of business continues to operate fluently especially for mutual good.

In order to make the field of marketing clear, simple and easy, we must align it with the Mission Statement of your enterprise.

The main reason for such an alignment is that a Mission Statement helps you to run your business professionally and efficiently since it summaries your whole business and gives you a solid and clear picture that must guide you in your commercial activities.

More-so, a Mission Statement gives your company an identity and defines what your business is all about and what it is going to be in the future.

It is like a blueprint (map) of where the company is going and how it is going there.

The same Mission Statement defines who you want to be and highlights the unique products and services that you are going to offer and how you are going to achieve that.

You should not have a problem with coming up with your company’s Mission Statement because even as an individual you can have your personal Mission Statement in life.

I am going to demonstrate how to design or craft a Mission Statement so that it becomes easier for you to come up with one on your own especially towards helping you in designing effective marketing approaches.

Your Mission Statement should clearly show us three basic components namely:

  1. Your target market.
  2. The product or service that you are going to offer.
  3. A unique way of presenting your product or service to your target market.

Let us say that our company is called SME Consultancy and it specialises in offering training material for small to medium enterprises.

Our Mission Statement would thus look as follows:

Mission Statement for SME Consultancy:

To provide effective and practical training material to the global small-to-medium enterprise community in a customised, easily understandable and practically usable format.

In this case the target market is the global SME community, the product or service is effective and practical training material while the unique way of doing it is to provide it in a customised, easily understandable and usable format.

On the other hand, my Mission Statement as Brian Kazungu is to provide management advisory services to entrepreneurs across the world through identifying, solving and eliminating administrative incapacities across the business sector.

In this regard my target audience becomes entrepreneurs all over the world, my product is management advisory services and I am going to do that by identifying, solving and eliminating administrative incapacities in the businesses that I engage with.

I believe that these examples have helped you to clearly understand the relevance of a Mission Statements in relation to the field of marketing, and I believe that you can now find it easy for you to come up with one for your own company.

We have highlighted that a Mission Statement is made up of three components which are:

  1. The product/service – what is it that you want to offer?
  2. The targeted market – who do you want to offer this product to?
  3. The unique approach – how do you intend to effectively and profitably engage the market with your product?

Based on the above explanation, you can now see that a Mission Statement determines the marketing and selling techniques that must be employed towards achieving a sale.

You must also understand that market identification should precede product formulation and in between these two comes the approach that must be adopted for effective engagement.

Let me help you to clearly understand the logic behind the importance of designing a product after having identified a market as compared to doing it the other way round.

I am going to present a justification for my point based on the assumption that you want to run a professional, civilized and people centric institution.

The basis for saying that market identification precedes product formulation is based on the understanding that people in any environment are faced with two things namely;

  1. Opportunities
  2. Threats

It is these opportunities and threats that entrepreneurs respond to by crafting products and services that help people to efficiently and effectively react to the prevailing environment.

So basically, effective marketing starts with identifying opportunities and threats that are encountered by people in a given community and then crafting a mechanism (products and services) that enables them to seize these opportunities or to defend against these threats.

This angle helps you to be an effective marketer or salesperson as compared to an angle where you start with product formulation and then market identification.

Unfortunately, some companies correctly engage in business by firstly identifying a market and then designing and offering relevant products but later on end up concentrating more on the product than on the dynamic needs of the market.

Knowing people’s opportunities and threats helps you in coming up with the correct approach since you will be aware of their wishes and concerns in the pursuit of their goals.

This enables you to effectively package your promotional material in a way that quickly captures the attention of the target audience since people are generally emotionally attached to the issues that disturbs them as well as to those that gives them a sense of achievement.

Those issues that disturbs their peace and development are called threats and those issues that promotes their peace and development are called opportunities.

So, on this basis, you can see that marketing calls for you to have an observant mind that recognises various changes in people’s behaviour since it is this behaviour that influences or determines people’s expenditure.

At this point, you have to know that the behaviour which determines expenditure is influenced by what people love or fear relative to prevailing circumstances in their communities.

However, merely identifying opportunities and threats of a given society and then crafting a product in this regard does not automatically guarantee you a sale.

This is because you also need to craft a unique way of interaction and then approach the relevant people with what you have observed (their opportunities and threats) and what you have done about it (the solution).

Let us demonstrate this by giving examples.

If you run a company that offers accounting and company registration services, you need to ask the following questions and then use your answers as a guide in designing your general marketing approach or even in crafting your advertising campaign for that matter.

  1. What is this (Product or Service)?

Company Registration

  • When and why do people need it (Timing and Purpose)?

You always need a formally registered business if you want to professionally transact with those clients who value proper business procedures and this includes individuals, corporates, NGOs and even the government especially when responding to tenders.

N.B: These entities usually engage formally registered businesses for both insurance, auditing, tax, social responsibility and corporate governance purposes.

  • What happens when they do not use this product/service (The Consequence)?

When a client does not use our service, in this case, if the potential customer does not get formally registered, he/she/they may lose out on the possibility of engaging high value clients who have a definite ability to pay and who can also sustainably utilise your products over a long time.

More so, your unregistered (informal) client misses out on eligibility to get loans for expansion and even for order financing. He/she is also likely to miss out on entrepreneurship related government grants and other funding opportunities especially from entrepreneurship centred NGOs and other business investors.

As such, when you approach an inspired and hardworking entrepreneur who is not formally registered, you must be able to enlighten him/her about what he/she is missing out if he/she chooses to continue trading informally.

After that, you must then inform this client that you can offer the service efficiently and affordably at his convenience and more so, you can emphasize that such a move helps them with eligibility for funding, loans and tenders that can help them to grow as a business.

You can actually look for companies that are regularly looking for the services that your potential client offers and then show him/her the requirements or rules of engagement.

When that is done, you can then advise them that once formally registered, they also stand a chance to supply their goods or services to such financially stable and reputable clients who can increase their chances of success and boost their business profile.

In real terms, you must capture the attention of your targeted clients and develop in them an interest to know more about your products and to create in them a burning desire for experiencing the reality of what you said that your product can do.

Adapted from The SME HANDBOOK written by Brian Kazungu

Amazon Book Link: https://amzn.to/3geP4ux

Author Profile: https://www.amazon.com/author/briankazungu

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The Effect of Good Communication Skills on Your Business Marketing and Advertising Approaches



Brian Kazungu, 13/05/2023

In order for you to capture the attention and interest of these customers and to arouse them into action through your advertising and marketing campaigns, you must consider using properly designed Effective Communication approaches that are based on the following attributes:

  1. Information packaging – language, tone, gestures
  2. Product/ Service packaging – size, ingredients, shape, colour
  3. Approach design – premise layout, transaction facilities

Let us get into detail with the above issues in order for us to understand the subject better.

Age, beliefs, background and aspirations of your target audience determines Effective Communication (language, tone and gestures) tools that you use when interacting with them.

Please note that Effective Communication is the intentional and purposeful exchange of mutually beneficial data using common or easily agreeable symbols.

As such, when you communicate, you must use the right language (signs and symbols) in a way that makes the client to quickly understand the benefits of engaging you as well as the disadvantages of not engaging you or your products and services.

Using the wrong language, tone and gestures can interfere with the appeal of an otherwise good product or service.

There is always a language that is unique to people in a given geographical area. The tone and gestures that you use when interacting with such people can be interpreted differently when compared to what happens when it’s used on people from other communities.

Thus, when packaging your marketing information, you must come up with what I call a Message Header, which is divided into three components namely;

  1. The intention – why do you want to share the information with the client?
  2. The specific benefit – What do the parties involved benefit after the transaction?
  3. Common or easily agreeable symbols – do the signs and symbols that you are using to communicate with them have the same meaning on both ends?

The above mentioned message header approach helps you to come up with a brief but effective promotional or advertising material.

This is because you are going to use a mutually understandable language to:

  1. Express your awareness of what the customer needs and wants.
  2. Tell or inform them of the product or service that you have crafted to address that.
  3. Enlighten them on the benefits to be achieved from using your product or service.

The same applies with the size, ingredients, shape and colour of the product since they all have an element of relative appeal to people of different ages, beliefs, background and aspirations as well.

Some communities may not tolerate a certain production process or ingredient in your products and yet they still need that product when their concern is addressed, for example, we can include the issue of Halal on meat products and even allergens on some food items.

More so, age and religion are some factors that influence people when they are buying your products and services, and so, you must consider such in your communication material.

Having talked about the intention and benefits of your message in crafting the promotional material, we now need to look at the approach or unique way of presenting your products.

This is what seals the deal, since after you have captured the customer’s attention and developed in them an interest and desire to experience reality, the transaction must be done.

By approach, we mean the actual ways of engaging the customers towards transactions i.e. how does the products and money end up changing hands between buyers and sellers.

The approach that you use to engage customers is a serious determinant on the long term sales volumes since it also influences continued patronage and traffic levels to your business.

Some of these approaches includes the location of your premises, the design and layout of your shop as well as the available transaction facilities, since these are what ultimately determine who will come for engagement.

For example, customers consider if there is a reserved place to park their cars and whether there is enough and secure space to do the transactions without undue disturbances.

They also consider the available facilities for transactions to see if they suit their preferred mode of payment i.e. cash, bank cards or online payments.

All these fall within the context of an effective approach that inspire customers into engagement and thus must be given due attention.

By now, you should have realized that marketing in itself determines the attention, interest and desire while selling determines the sale (action).

Marketing entails the various ways and mechanisms of getting people to know about your company and its products while selling entails the presentation of these products to the customers in way that confirms what you said in your promotional (advertising) material.

So basically put, selling covers issues to do with the real shopping experience.

Your marketing approach should encourage an increase in traffic and activity to your business site. As such, you must be familiar with the various ways of communication that people use in their day to day interaction in order to effectively draw them towards engagement.

When you get familiar with the methods and channels of communication, you must then correctly and accurately package information to effectively reach your target audience.

As such, you must be able to observe how people share information as determined by their professions, culture, religion, tradition and even the law.

People’s professions, their culture, tradition, religion and the law determines the way how they exchange information in a given environment, and such, you must be able to identify the impact of each of these in relation to your marketing campaign.

This knowledge will determine how you will effectively package your information in order for it to move smoothly, efficiently and quickly to and from your targeted customers.

Misinterpretation of this information will have an effect on the response (sales) that you get, and as such, you must consider having a clear understanding of the market firstly and then come up with a message header that appeals to that community or market segment.

Generally speaking, marketing helps you to capture the hearts and minds of your customers in order for them to visit the business site while selling creates a shopping experience that excites them to transact with you and which also motivates them to pay you another visit.

When the promotional material and the shopping experience guarantees an increase in traffic and activity in your business, it results in high sales turnover which brings about economies of scale that translate into profitability, continuity and further expansion.

As such, you must therefore not look down on the importance of marketing in your business.

However, you also have to understand that the selling or shopping experience must be in line with the promotional (advertising) material since people will come to the business site with a preconceived perception that was put in them by your marketing techniques.

When customers realize that the shopping experience is below the picture painted by your advertising, they feel cheated and thus can go somewhere else when there is an alternative.

It is therefore better that your customers can find the shopping experience to be more appealing when compared to the advert than vice versa.

When it comes to entrepreneurship, you must understand that business is not only about having the right product at the right time but it also entails having an appealing communication about that product or service in a way that arouses customer engagement.

Your marketing approach thus determines the first engagement and relationship that you create with your customers and it also creates a reminder and a conviction in them to revisit.

The selling or shopping experience on the other hand establishes the relationship, solidifies the engagement and creates memories which when they are ignited by an advert again, it can then spur the customer to come once more.

This relationship is good for your business reputation and thus it must be promoted.

A good business reputation determines the kind of stakeholders that you will engage with since good suppliers, exceptional employees and loyal customers need to be associated with a good name.

In any industry, it is highly critical to consider creating, establishing and maintaining a long lasting relationship with your customers through devising a good marketing approach which helps clients to quickly and efficiently access effective solutions to their needs and wants.

When designing your marketing approach, you must ask the following questions and then beautifully craft and package your information and products in a way that addresses these questions for the mutual good of your business and its stakeholders:

  1. Does the market know about my business and the related products and services that I am offering?
  2. Is the market convinced enough that the products and services that my business offers can satisfy their needs and help them to succeed?
  3. Does the market have any concerns about the quality of my products and the ability of my business to continue offering products and services?

Such questions are very necessary, because if people are constantly subject to negative information or doubts about the reality to be experienced when they engage you, there is likely to be a very limited inflow of clients to your business.

It is therefore the duty of every entrepreneur and the related sales and marketing personnel to ensure that the market is properly furnished with the correct and appealing information about your products and services.

One acid test that you can do is to make random surveys on your target market in order find out how much information do people have about your business and the related products and services that you are offering.

If they have some information about your products, you also still need to find out, if the same market has confidence in your business or in your products and services.

Your marketing material must then be crafted with all these issues in mind in order to create, maintain and promote continued engagement with your clientele.

When you fully and clearly understand the issues to do with marketing and then devise a properly engaging and effective marketing approach, you will create for your business, a unique customer service signature and a commercial identity that defines your company.

Customer Service Signature or Identity – is a company’s unique way of interacting with its clients as determined by the duties, responsibility and accountability assigned to the individuals in an organisation.

There is a certain unique and almost indescribable feeling that customers get when they engage a business that values them.

When you value your clients across all the spectrum of your business, they get tickled when they see your advert, they get excited when they consume your product and they get passionate when they refer others to engage in your products and services.

Such a feeling makes them want to continue patronising your business and it makes them want to visit your premises or regularly browse your website. This is because the experience that they get when they engage your services is a unique signature that you imprint in their hearts and minds.

It is important to also understand that imprinting your customer service signature in the hearts and minds of your clients does not happen on its own but it takes an understanding of what marketing is, what it does and how it is done especially as explained in this pocket book.

Commercial Identity – is a company’s image/reputation to its stakeholders based on its unique and independent trading practises and characteristics that comes from exposure and adherence to a defined Policy and Mission Statement.

Just as like what we do with people when we describe them especially according to how they are perceived by our senses, we can also do the same with businesses.

This is because, from how we see and perceive a certain business based on its operations, we get an identity or we can give it an identity that reflects whether or not, that business attracts or repels us.

As such, when designing a marketing approach, it’s important to understand that it has an effect on your business identity and that such an identity reflects to your various stakeholders who in turn make an engagement decision based on your marketing material.

The mentioned identity must strike awe in the hearts and minds of your clientele, whether actual or targeted, so that they feel like missing out on something when they are not engaging you as a product or service provider.

Critical Attributes of an Advertisement

Generally, a typical advertisement has the attributes of communication (information dissemination), corporate responsibility, marketing and public relations, among others in the sense that when you read, listen to or even watch an advert you can see that there is:

  1.  An element of profitable selling (commerce) through use of good communication mechanisms.
  2. An element of passing helpful community information (corporate social responsibility)
  3. An element of initiating, establishing or even restoring commercial relationship (public relations) through good communication practices.

One of the most important issues to consider in designing and implementing an effective advertising campaign is to understand that advertising is a form of business communication which must have the following attributes:

  1. It must be easy to process and understand (the message must be quickly decoded and must prompt or bring about informed action)
  2. It must create an interest in the product or service in a way that quickly and clearly convey a sense of benefit or achievement to the consumer (satisfaction) and commercial gain to the entrepreneur (profit).
  3. It must promote responsibility and uphold morality (pursuit of profit must not directly or secretly tear the social fabric)
  4. It must enhance the community ambience or mood (must excite and create positive expectations among stakeholders).
  5. It must enhance community knowledge about a certain issue, must inform and educate (whether they buy or not, the message must leave the targeted audience better informed about a certain issue)
  6. showcase talent, promote creativity and encourage excellence in a given field (whether print, audio or visual, an advert must be a platform for the gifted creatives (artists) to thrive and shine)

When the above mentioned attributes are incorporated in an advertisement, the advert will have an emotional appeal that creates a bond between and among the organisation and its targeted audience.

On the contrary, failure to consider the above attributes will result in an advertising campaign that fails to achieve the intended results, thus creating unnecessary but avoidable expenses to the organisation.

It is therefore important to understand that an advertisement must touch the hearts and minds of the targeted audience and influence them towards expenditure in a manner that is sustainable to both the respective individuals and the community at large while at the same time bringing viability and profits to the organisation.

Adapted from The SME HANDBOOK written by Brian Kazungu

Amazon Book Link: https://amzn.to/3geP4ux

Author Profile: https://www.amazon.com/author/briankazungu

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