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Authentic Leadership

Authentic leadership theorist proposed that trust, behavior, and emotions are what exert authentic leaders’ influence on their followers. The formula that creates an authentic leader includes: early challenges, relationship influences, education, crises, and life experiences (Avolio, Walumbwa, & Weber, 2009). Authentic leadership theory is gaining increased attention in the scholarly communities (Klenke, 2007). An authentic leader is suggested to be developed based on their life’s story over time and through introspection. An authentic leader can help followers find meaning and self-awareness. Trasformational leadership can be accomplished by building optimism, confidence, and fostering positive ethical environments (Avolio, & Gardner, 2005). Theorist Bill George suggested that corporations select leaders based on their character and not charisma. He argued that leaders’ values and motivational abilities needed to be genuine in order to restore public trust. Authentic leaders influence followers from a moral perspective. This type of influence is said to energize followers by creating meaning and constructing positive reality. There are four elements of self-awareness in an authentic leader: values, cognitions regarding identity, emotions, and motives/goals. Authentic leadership constructs the importance of leaders’ inner life instead of focusing on leadership as having or doing. It assumes that the inner imaginations and spiritual identity are what guide and motivate the leaders’ behavior (Klenke, 2007).

Growing evidence suggest that an authentic leader approach is effective for organizations. This type of leadership is desirable and considered to achieve positive outcomes. The term authenticity is described as  “owning one’s personal experiences.” If individuals know themselves, they will display higher levels of stability. Persons who are not authentic are believed to be fragile, biased, and will have lowered self-esteem. Authentic behavior will reflect consistency based on the leaders’ values, beliefs, and actions (Walumbwa, Avolio, Gardner, Wernsing, & Peterson, 2008). Authentic leaders are considered expressive of their authentic self and known to foster high-quality relationships while projecting their values and visions onto followers (Klenke, 2007; Northouse, 2013, p. 259; Walumbwa, Avolio, Gardner, Wernsing, & Peterson, 2008). The theory of authentic leadership is a result of writings on transformational leadership, which suggest that not all transformational leaders are genuine (Avolio, Walumbwa, & Weber, 2009). Authentic leadership is considered a transparent and ethical leader that is open to accept followers’ input (Avolio, Walumbwa, & Weber, 2009; Avolio, & Gardner, 2005).

Social Media

The development of the internet has created challenges for businesses who fail to grow with the technology or properly manage social media. Social media has opened a door for customers to express their concerns to or about companies and this method of communication gives customers the power of opinion and change. Customers are a significant factor in generating brand awareness for businesses. This is due to users promoting the brand as well as creating content and exposure through social comments, questions, and answers on forum boards and social media profiles.

Because of technology and social media, the customer has the power to help improve and enrich business activities as well as add value to brands. Considering customers are paramount to the success of your business, your marketing strategies must move away from traditional transactional marketing to facilitator marketing. Facilitator marketing focuses on sharing knowledge with your customers and being open to the opinions of your customers. This method will assist in promoting positive sales and satisfied customers.

Risk Mitigation

Organizations have almost become completely dependent on technology to run their everyday operations. In situations where security threats are possible, it is your responsibility as a leader and decision maker to minimize damages and losses generated by security incidents. A major concern with security breaches is that many businesses do not know how to manage or countermeasure the effects. Hackers and phishers are responsible for most online thefts and fraud. These individuals use their abundance of computer knowledge to remotely invade computer systems to access, download, sell, and defraud individuals.

Using, copying, and distributing intellectual software without permission is considered pirating. Forging someone’s identity with the intent to use it for fraud is considered identity theft. Your business should have a clear understanding of potential theft vulnerabilities, and have a plan in place to serve as a countermeasure if a breach were ever to occur. You should focus on protecting the major three components of information technology (IT) systems, which include people, information, and IT. Without the proper knowledge, hardware, and data security encryption techniques, you allow your business to be vulnerable to IT security breaches.

A risk management system can be used to monitor and analyze security threats and create countermeasures. Security breaches can disable business functions and pilfer confidential data. No matter the size of your business, you must understand the financial cost of a potential security breach to your company, and protect your business, and your customers from theft and fraud.

 

Email Spamming

tudies are conducted on websites to discover how often current and potential customers visit, and make return visits, to websites. Often, those numbers are much lower than expected. One solution to gaining more return visits includes bulk email marketing. A Direct Marketing Association study found that email marketing is second only to search engine marketing (SEM) as a top method of driving traffic to websites.[1] Your email marketing tactics should target only users who have specifically opted-in to your mailing list to receive updates on new sales, discounts, and other company information. In addition, these campaigns can drastically lower the cost of developing promotional direct mailings including savings on printing, packaging, and postage. Email marketing is also known to yield a much higher response rate than traditional mailings.

Email SPAM. If you have ever heard of the term bulk marketing, then you have probably also heard the term SPAM used to describe it. SPAM is the acronym used for Specifically Persecuted Advertising Mail. The term spam was first introduced in the early 1990s to describe e-mail messages not related to the topic of discussion and postings that swamped newsgroups. SPAM is frequently described as e-mail that is sent in bulk; flooding the internet with copies of the same message and forcing these unwanted messages on to users who might otherwise have chosen not to receive them. Most SPAM is commercial advertising and has received the negative title of SPAM due to its subject matter often relating to dubious products, get-rich-quick schemes, or quasi-legal services.

The CAN-SPAM Act. The CAN-SPAM Act was introduced in 2003 and is an acronym which stands for, Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing. This law was the United States’ first attempt at a national regulation with regard to the sending of commercial email. In addition, it gives email recipients the right to opt-out of receiving unwanted messages. The CAN-SPAM Act includes tough penalties for those who are caught spamming without abiding by the rule of law. Violation of the CAN-SPAM Act is subject to penalties of up to $16,000.

A well-known case involving spam concerned the popular social networking site Facebook, Sanford Wallace, and two others. In February 2009, it was alleged that Sanford used phishing sites or other means to fraudulently gain access to Facebook accounts and used them to distribute phishing SPAM throughout the network. The result of this case was that Sanford was charged and was made to pay a fine of $711 million dollars. This is an example of an extreme case of spamming that had a perfectly reasonable outcome. The reality is that unsolicited SPAM has absolutely no benefits. It is unethical, has notoriously low conversion rates, and can land you in jail — or leave you owing millions of dollars in fines.

While spamming is illegal, bulk email marketing is perfectly legal. The difference is that bulk email marketing campaigns consist of an opted-in list of users who have signed up to join a mailing list because they were interested in your product or service. If you do send bulk email, be aware that, despite its name, the CAN-SPAM Act does not only apply to bulk email. It covers all commercial messages, which the law defines as any electronic mail message that has a primary purpose of commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service. This also includes emails that promote a commercial website and its content. The rules cover messages that are sent to current or previous customers, and include exceptions for business-to-business emails.

Your goal should be to create an easily accessible and convenient way for your website visitors to opt-in to receive promotional emails and newsletters. Market your email program as you would any other effort to encourage customer engagement. Obtain their contact information in the form of their email address in addition to their mailing address, and let the customer state their preferred method of interaction. However, it is important, in terms of a marketing strategy, to entice them to utilize email to receive timely notifications of current sales, discounts, and promotions. Remember, while the First Amendment gives you the freedom to say what it is that you want to say, it works best when you say it to people who want to hear it.

  • Guidelines for legal email communications: Don’t use false or misleading header information. Clearly state what the email is about and what users can expect. Match your headings to the message body. If the body of the message is to promote your upcoming sale, your header should read: “Save on ….” Don’t use deceptive subject lines. If you are looking to promote a 10% discount on your customized product for a particular month: the subject title should read, “Save 10% on customizing….” If the message is an advertisement, it should be clearly identified as one.
  • Emails must contain the company’s address and other contact information.
  • Provide users with a way to opt-out of receiving any further mailings.

 

[1] “DMA Releases 2010 Response Rate Trend Report,” Direct Marketing Association, www.the-dma.org, June 15, 2010.

International Finance

International Finance
International finance deals with more than individual markets by including managing exposure to exchange rate, and financing international capital marketing and budgeting. Additionally, foreign exchange focuses on aspects such as political risk, legal, cultural, and taxation. Corporate finance relates to the financial activities of a corporation. The goal of corporate finance is to increase the value of the firm to shareholders through implementing plans and strategies to achieve the goals. Strategies include making profitable decision on raising and managing capital, dividend distributions, and acquisitions.

Exchange Rate
The exchange rate is one of the most significant factors of international finance. which assist in creating financial balance. Exchange rates are used to provide information for corporations when undertaking capital budgeting and making financial decision regarding foreign markets. The exchange rate is the currency value as determined by domestic and foreign currency.

Domestic and International Markets
Corporations are called international corporations or multinational if they have significant foreign operations. The principles of corporate finance are applied to international corporations. International corporations seek investments that generate company value and shareholder wealth. To increase the value of a firm, companies take on projects that have a positive NPV. With both international and domestic markets, a positive NPV is paramount for organizational success. Both international and corporate finance focus on generating profitable capital investment decisions related to dividends, leverage, and financing.

Conclusion
The Foreign exchange market is the worlds largest financial market. The difference between international finance and corporate finance is that international finance not only considers domestic rules and regulations, but also considers foreign policies, politics, risk, culture, environmental changes, and government intervention. Consequently, international finance is not just simply “corporate finance with an exchange rate.”

In addition to an exchange rate being the value of one country’s currency transacted into another country’s currency; nearly all currency trading takes place in U.S. dollars, and the rate of exchange changes constantly. The abbreviation used for foreign exchange is FX; currency swaps are considered to be FX swaps. Currency swaps present hedging risk in international trade. For example, if a firm produces in products in one country and then exports to another, the firm is responsible for paying its workers along with its suppliers in its domestic currency. However, the firm may receive revenue in foreign currency. The risk involved with currency exchange rates is that currency changes over time. If the value of foreign currency decreases, the firm loses profits. To protect itself against rising and falling currency, the company can enter a currency swap. A currency swap protects companies by setting fixed terms of revenue exchange over a period of time. In addition to currency swap, there are also the interest rate swaps, and credit default swap.

In addition to the foreign exchange rates, there is the foreign exchange market, which give opportunities and provides information to international organizations when undertaking capital budgeting and making financial decisions. Within the foreign exchange market, countries trade their currency for another country’s currency. Within the market, most trading takes place between the U.S. dollar, the British pound sterling, the Japanese yen, and the euro.

The foreign exchange market is not an actual physical location where participants meet to trade and exchange currency, but instead its participants go to major commercial and investment banks around the world to convert their currency. Additionally, trading can take place over computers, telephones, and through other methods. A popular communication network for foreign transaction is the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), which uses data transmission lines to help banks communicate with one another. Foreign exchange participants include importers, exporters, portfolio managers, brokers, traders, and speculators.

Brand Evangelists

A happy customer is likely to tell their friends and family of the service they received. Creating brand evangelists doesn’t necessarily involve rewarding the customer with free products or services. The best method for building loyalty and creating brand evangelists is by letting the customer know that they are appreciated as a customer and that you enjoy referrals.

Satisfied customers are also likely to spread the word through social media about the service they received from your company without being asked. If they are happy, they will likely tell everyone why they are. Customer satisfaction goes a long way when creating brand evangelists. You can identify a brand evangelist by joining and staying current with social networks and watching for your business name to be mentioned on those networks. Another great opportunity for building evangelists is to get involved with customers online by incorporating widgets into your company website. These widgets can be used to allow for site visitors to communicate their thoughts and share them on their favorite social networking websites with the click of a button.

Business Crisis Management

Definition of crisis management

A crisis management is the way that a person or business handles an emergency. In a family, this could be a member having to suddenly go to the hospital because of an accident. In a business, a crisis can be anything from a defective product recall or an economic change that causes a drop in sales.

How crisis management relates to business

Within the marketing industry, having the ability to understand and react promptly when crisis arises is crucial for maintaining the businesses market share, trust, and reputation. Not managing a crisis properly can have the potential to damage carefully developed equity, and spoil consumers’ quality perception (Chen, Ganesan, & Liu, 2009).

Personal experience with crisis management

As an online marketer, I run into crisis management issues oftentimes on a weekly basis. Each week I monitor my clients websites ranking through analyzing Yahoo, Bing, and Google search engines for algorithm changes. It’s normal for search engines to change their algorithm and I do advise my clients that their website rank may change drastically if such a change occurs that may affect their website. Once this happens, a site that previously ranked on the first page could drop out of the search engine completed. As this occurs, It usually causes a loss in site traffic and sales. The solution to this is for me to research and analyze the issue, check whether it’s a search engine issue or a website issue and then correct or explain to the client that recovery is impossible.

Summary of About the Crisis Marketing and The Crisis of Marketing

This article focuses on the global economic-financial marketing crisis. According to the article, marketing may be just the solution for many companies to get out of the crisis, but what is sadder is that a lot of them do not realize it (Cornelia & Mihaela, 2011). The article tackles the subject of why marketing is needed within a failing economy and how to successfully implement new strategies to help increase and sustain profit and productivity.

Avoiding negative impacts of a crisis

Research has indicated that a proactive strategy may have positive consequences on consumer perception if the crisis is responded to with a constant, active, and firm response (Chen, Ganesan, & Liu, 2009). The business being affected should respond quickly to the crisis and should focus their attention on building and strengthening consumer trust. During a crisis, marketing strategies should be analyzed and focus on resonating emotionally with the consumer through a human, friendly language (Cornelia & Mihaela, 2011). Without proactively managing the crisis, the risk of negative impact rises.

 

Credits

Cornelia, M., & Mihaela, B. (2011). ABOUT THE CRISIS MARKETING AND THE CRISIS OF MARKETING. Journal Of Academic Research In Economics, 3(3), 311-316.

Chen, Y, Ganesan, S., & Liu, Y. (2009). Does a firm’s product-recall strategy affect its financial value? An examination of strategic alternatives during product-harm crises. Journal of Marketing, 73(6), 214–226.

Email Marketing

When done correctly, email marketing serves as a tried-and-true way to get readers to download content, convert prospects with special offers, and upsell existing customers. It’s important to focus your time and attention on email marketing in addition to social media, paid advertising, and search engine optimization. It’s one form of marketing that’s not going anywhere any time soon, and rightfully so.

With emails, you can foster a deeper, one-on-one relationship with your customers. Your emails have the opportunity to appear more personal and authentic than any other marketing effort. This builds trust with your customers considering the message creates (or appears to create) a one-on-one dialogue. Email subscribers are 3.9 times more likely to share content via the social web. Plus, your target audience wants to hear from you via email. It was discovered in a survey conducted by MarketingSherpa that 72% of people actually prefer to receive promotional content through email from businesses they like, as compared to the 17% who prefer social media.[1]

When sending email campaigns, make sure your strategy, and your business, answers questions such as:

  • What are you trying to accomplish with the email?
  • What actions do you want customers to take?
  • How will you prompt customers to take this action (i.e., using buttons, CTAs, or by clearly spelling it out in the content of the email)?

Whether optimizing your email or just writing the content, you should always do so as if you were speaking directly to one person in your target audience. Use the same language in your email as you would if your ideal customer were standing in front of you. Speak (or in this case, write) to your one reader as if you already know them. This can be tricky at first, but it will get easier over time as you come to understand more about who your ideal customer is. One easy way to sound more conversational is to use second person pronouns — “you” and “your.” This is a simple adjustment that makes the email about the reader, not your company.

Personalize the Content. In the same way that you personalized your subject line, you should also personalize the content within your email. According to research conducted by Aberdeen Group, personalized emails showed an increase in click-through rates of 14% and an increase in conversions by 10%. To get started with personalization, the simplest thing to do is address your recipients by their first name in your email greeting. Your customers will also appreciate your efforts since 74% of online customers get frustrated with websites when content (e.g., offers, ads, and promotions) appear to have nothing to do with their interests. [2]

 

[1] http://content.marketingsherpa.com/data/public/reports/benchmark-reports/EXCERPT-BMR-2013-Email-Marketing.pdf

[2] http://www.aberdeen.com/research/4904/ra-email-marketing/content.aspx

Sourcing Workload

When it comes to lowering stress levels and accomplishing tasks within your business, there is the option to insource, selfsource, or outsource specific duties. Insourcing means to use capable individuals within your business to complete appropriate tasks. Selfsourcing is developing and utilizing internal IT systems that can be used by trained workers to complete a wider range of duties. Outsourcing is when you choose to use third-party companies or outside individuals to complete tasks.

Outsourcing is growing at an exceptional rate and businesses use outsourcing services provided by individuals throughout the globe. Outsourcing may be an effective solution that can save time and money by providing resources and capabilities outside of the business’s structure. In addition, outsourcing allows your business to potentially acquire leading-edge technology without purchasing needed software, updating your current systems, or training employees. Outsourcing allows you to focus your resources on the tasks that matter most and are indicative of your core competencies. Other benefits of outsourcing include lowering development costs, hiring the best talent for the job, and realizing a higher quality of work.

Short cycle time systems development involves utilizing methods including automation, outsourcing, and technology to complete tasks quickly. A benefit of this type of structure is that new products and innovation are brought to the marketplace sooner and benefits your business by having a competitive advantage. Concerns with outsourcing short cycle time systems include privacy, security, and potential loss of in-house resources.

The quick reaction of cycle time systems allow the development of new products and services to align with market and environment changes. A disadvantage of producing products or services quickly is that quality may suffer. Furthermore, using outsourced individuals could also present legal issues, financial setbacks, and provide limited control over outcomes. To try and mitigate the damages of outsourcing, you should use service level agreement (SLA) contracts with your vendors which ensure (with penalties) that you receive the desired performance and that expectations are met. Another disadvantage of outsourcing includes cultural differences. Outsourcing is often accomplished between organizations with different backgrounds, languages, and cultural differences. To outsource successfully, you should implement corporate policy that provides data security and protects the privacy of your customers. While cost reduction is a valuable benefit, you should be aware of outsource individuals who may have hidden costs associated with the work they provide.

 

Electronic Word-of-Mouth

Customers often use social media channels when purchasing products or services. Social media channels including Facebook, Amazon, and Yelp are greater influences than electronic word-of-mouth communication on business websites and testimonials. Electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) has a significant influence on the success of your business, and has become a major factor in customer decision-making processes.

The main contrast between traditional word-of-mouth and eWOM is that eWOM has a greater reach and accelerated interaction. Considering the simplicity of accessing eWOM reviews, your business should progressively seek to analyze related factors and outcomes influencing eWOM. Electronic word-of-mouth goes far beyond traditional word-of-mouth to include online communication and networking through social forums, review sites, and news sites. Therefore, your sales are highly dependent on eWOM influences. Moreover, eWOM affects the trust and perception of your business, and the products you offer. When there is a large number of positive eWOM referrals, sales and business profits are likely to increase.

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