Market Researcher’s Need a Pitch

I am awake and it is the middle of the night and I can’t sleep. I have a question. What is a Pitch?

Google defined it so, as a noun, it is a form of words used to persuade someone to buy or accept something, and as a verb, it is defined as a set or aim at a particular level, target or audience.

Sales pitch, business pitch, video pitch, etc are the phrases that have arisen from the word pitch to simply represent concise verbal manifestation used to represent a product or business plan in a positive light to a person or people with the intention of selling the product to them or to attract investments.

What a successful pitch does is that it starts one on a journey, if not for the listener then for the speaker. It initiates something that would usually result in an exchange or a transaction.

Why am I doing this in the middle of the night?

Though the art of the pitch is ingrained in the world of sales, the word is not necessarily limited to sales and business development domain.

Researcher’s pitch is an essential assistance that acts as an integral tool used to successfully persuade people to spend 15 minutes speaking with the researcher. In a world that teaches people time is money, one needs to be persuasive in getting people to be interviewed. This is more so in the case of B2B researchers as the number of potential samples for interviews are usually limited.

This is because every business is different, and every project that arises due to unique challenges faced by the business will also be different. As a result, a B2B researcher will only have a small pool of people to take as a sample.

Mark Towery in his book Quirks Marketing Research review says -“The more industrial the project’s focus, the less likely you are to find a panel or even a directory of qualified targets”.

Multiply this by the fact that a group will be needed to come to a decision in a company which would probably be spread through the different hierarchical position in the organization. And higher the tier of the position they hold busier they will be and lower the position they hold lessen the chance they may be able to give information due to regulations and need for permission.

In essence, each member with whom a researcher can contact needs to be impressed or persuaded to share their knowledge with the researcher.

One can be persuasive by giving monetary rewards but that could simply rocket the cost of research and in many situations providing the decision makers of organizations with monetary rewards will appear dubious.

So one needs to have the right approach and in this case the right pitch especially when the first contact with the person is made through a phone. From my experience in telephonic conversation, one needs to sound enthusiastic and confident. And a pitch well prepared helps one to appear confident and enthusiastic.

As for the right pitch.. hmmm…?

A sales pitch is a line of talk that attempts to persuade someone or something, with a planned sales presentation strategy of a product or service designed to initiate and close a sale of the product or service.

Similarly, a researcher’s pitch is a line of talk that attempts to persuade a particular person, with knowledge about the research product or service being designed to solve a challenge faced by an organization or knowledge on the challenge itself so as to be able to get an interview with the person.

As for the right pitch, it would start the listener or the speaker on a journey, which would result in an exchange of knowledge between them.

Ugh lost track of time. It’s already a new day with a new morning and someone out there must be giving a right pitch for the right research. Good day.

From Organisations with Love – Package of functional, emotional and psychological benefits

It’s the intern season and most of us rookies are taking the first steps out there in the real world and feeling the corporate wind on our faces, for some it blowing up in their faces, for some it’s a strong gale that they have to weather, for some it’s a gentle breeze that is soothing and some might just not feel anything.

And then there are the occasional few who comes back to our little gatherings boasting about their organization and how they enjoy working there. Now that’s peer to peer marketing and employer branding in progress.

Now technically employer branding is formed as a result of the application of the marketing principles to human resource management and thus helping organizations to differentiate themselves from their competitors to attract skilled employees. Especially since the skills and talents of people are at a shortage and every organization wants best people to work for them. For this, the organizations need strategies and ideas with which they can attract people to join/stay in their company itself. And brands are what that captures people’s attention and around which the strategies and ideas transpire.

Brands we use can be said to be identifying marks of our aspirations that when properly analyzed would give us an insight into the nature of the way we do things. And these days branding has become an integral element in our day to day lives. Choosing from what brand of car to buy to what drinks to be consumed, branding takes an important role. So similar effect is what comes when we choose a company for working too. And companies are now positioning their brands in such a way to attract employees to them.

Now for my third semester in college, I wrote this term paper trying to find some insight on employer branding and its key benefits, the power of brands and influence of corporate branding on the freshers. From what I learned the main reasons as to why employer branding became so important is due to the changing aspirations of employees and changing nature of workplaces.

In order to tackle the above-mentioned troubles, the companies these days uses/spends more time and resources in understanding the ambiance, value, support or any cause that an employee expects from an employer.

For this process to be easier the organizations need to identify the value and factors that make the current employees stay and attract new job seekers. Understanding these will help the managers in the recruitment to develop more effective job, advertisements and to further comprehend the perceptual difference of different job seekers.

Also as part of the term paper, I conducted a small survey among my friends that gave me some insights on what spurs them to go for a particular company. It showed that the operations domain job aspiring classmates of mine were more concerned more about the workplace being interesting and challenging to them and at the same time hoping that the work they do is meaningful and knowledgeable.

The marketing and HR domain students showed an interest in working in a fun place with talented people and great organizational culture. For them it’s the work they find meaningful, and the hope that the knowledge and skill they learned can be applied to the day to day work life that spurs them.

Meanwhile, the sales students were looking at companies with more opportunity for growth and career advancement and the finance domain was looking at the organization that rewards with great salaries, benefits, and perks.

Now for the record, my sample of people was not widespread and probably do not represent the wider spectrum and should be taken with a pinch of salt.

In the article “A great place to work!? Understanding crowd-sourced employer branding” crowd-sourcing has been employed by some organizations to collect and analyze employee opinion.

Collective employee opinion shape not only increases the loyalty engagement and retention of existing workers but also have improvement on how firms are seen publicly and how they attract new talents and so making it a necessity to understand the current pulse of employee collective.

The data collected using crowd-sourcing helped them to understand dimensions that represent organization attractiveness to employees which could provide structure to the decision-making the process of employees. Six factors like social value, market value, economic value, application value, cooperation value, workplace environment were identified as the dimensional values that employees look for in organizations.

The data found from the factor analysis shows female respondents attribute higher importance to social value, market value, application value and cooperation value dimensions compared to males. And as the job seekers get older, they slightly tend to be more attracted by employers who produce high quality and innovative products and services and are customer oriented. But the changes in cultural differences of the organizations have not been considered as a variable while above factor analysis was done and as a result, each of the factors could vary for organizations with a different culture.

Another reason employee branding has ridden to the forefront is due to the emergence of new technologies like internet and mobiles which have enabled the employees to spread their tale. And the option of anonymity has given employees more strength. The downside for the company is that it has given the people the option to give negative or fake stories to disparage the company.

To circumvent or prevent these unreliable and unrepresented data spread through online is unlikely and as a result, there is a need for the employer to create a good rapport among the current employees as the perception of employees inside the company will flow out and influence the perception of public as well.

An employer can create a good perception of the company in the mind of employees through the work environment of a company. A good work environment will leave a positive attitude towards the company. But great work environments do not emerge by happenstance, but rather as a result of deliberate and strategic initiatives aimed at attracting, engaging, and retaining employees

We can see employee branding as a long-term strategy that can be defined as a package of functional economic and psychological benefits to targeted employees provided by management to manage the awareness and perspective identified towards the employing company. It helps to communicate with the internal audience -the active employees and external audience -the public and potential employees .

Some of the propositions that the existing, potential and previous employees care about are social elements of work, interesting and challenging work tasks, the extent to which skills can be applied in meaningful ways, opportunities for professional development, economic issues tied to compensation, the role of management, and work/life balance.

The strength of a corporate/product brand has a huge and an immediate effect on the employer brand. From the previous survey that I conducted a majority of the students gave more priority to the brand name, the few exceptions were all interested in startups. As a result, an organization which has a weaker corporate base or product brand has to work or struggle twice to attract or retain the employee. Consider an example of Google. The product itself has a billion dollar brand which attracts people to work for it. Moreover, Google does more steps to increase employer branding by providing amazing work culture and environment. In simple terms, google creates value which attracts people towards its company for work.

For an employeeAs an employee, it not only speaks about your employment or the post of designation but also the represents him/her itself as a company’s identity. So, as far as employer branding is concerned, it’s like providing assurance stamp in a potential and existing mind of employee that “It’s a great place to work for”.

As an HR managerWhen employer branding of a company is high, then the HR manager who goes for recruiting will have minimal work of proving or convincing what the company is worth to a potential employee.

Consider a small company which provides a pay of Rs.7 Lakh per annum from Chennai and also consider Google providing same work for the same amount of salary. What would be people’s preference? Most would want to work for Google, let’s say 99 out of 100 would choose Google over Chennai based company. It is because of the brand that Google has. People would fall in line to apply for it whereas the Chennai Company has to prove or convince that it also provides such a service or about their value proposition.

So summing up, for an HR manager it’s a factor/strategy of how strongly you can attract people into your organization or how strongly you can improve your retention rate of employees.

The study “Getting the Right People on the Bus”: Recruitment, selection, and integration for the branded organization argues that person to person communication in relation to employer branding is much more effective than advertising because it is memorable and employees can use their personality to transfer the brand to customers. Also, peer to peer communication has a history of moving hearts much more than written words.

In the end employee branding is done as part of the organization to reduce the cost of employee acquisition, improve employee relations, increase employee retention and even offer lower salaries for comparable staff to firms with weaker employer brands.

In the end, the finding I have come to accept is that employer branding is an Omni-process required to work parallel to all other processes in an organization. There is a need for it to exist before and after recruitment, as a result, the process needs to be sustainable.

The end goal of employee branding and recruitment process is not to ensure quality in employer-employee relations, but rather to secure a quality in building and sustaining long-term brand-costumer relationships which arise from a good employer-employee relationship.

Reference –

  • Conceptualizing employer branding in sustainable organizations – Helle Kryger Aggerholm, Sophie Esmann Andersen and Christa Thomsen
  • “Getting the Right People on the Bus”: Recruitment, selection and integration for the branded organization – Stephanie Russell , Matthew J. Brannan
  • A great place to work!? Understanding crowdsourced employer branding – Amir Dabirian, , Jan Kietzmann, Hoda Diba
  • Identifying Dimensions of Attractiveness in Employer Branding: Effects of Age, Gender, and Current Employment Status – Esra Alnıaçıka , Ümit Alnıaçıka
  • Attracting Talented Employees to the Company: Do We Need Different Employer Branding Strategies in Different Cultures? – Esra Alnıaçıka , Ümit Alnıaçıka , Serhat Eratb , Kültigin Akçinb
  • Employer branding dimensions – a discriminant analysis approach in campus recruitment – Dr. V. Samuel Rajkumar, V. Padmanand, Dr .P .Ganesan, Dr. Pulidindi Venugopal
  • Employer branding: What constitutes “An Employer of choice?” – Ghadeer Mohamed Badr ElDin Aboul-Ela

DOSANOMICS AND DOSAMATIC MACHINE – Will it help?

 
In a session with the former RBI Governor Reghuram Rajan, a student had asked him the reason for the rising food prices. The question was when the inflation prices go up the prices of dosa goes up but when the inflation rates are lower the dosa prices are not lower.
Reghuram Rajan explained this situation by giving the audience an insight into Balassa-Samuelson effect. The idea is that the technology for making dosa has not changed. There had not been any technological improvement in this domain. But the wages for the worker has been going up. So what’s happens is in an economy which is growing, the sectors that don’t improve technologically the goods produced by those sectors will be much higher.  
 
Why I brought this up? In a recent assignment that involved my team seeking out trends in Indian market. One of my friends brought my attention to a machine known as Dosamatic machine. This machine will help you wend out Dosas, now for those who have never heard about Dosas. It’s a dish made in India, prominently in the south Indian states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, etc.
It is a type of pancake-crepe with a wide type of variety but that is not the point I want to talk now. What I am wondering is how dosamatic machine will affect the Indian economy once it becomes a full-fledged household item. I will have to research some more before coming to a consensus. I will post the works on it later but from a quick study it can be said that dosamatic machine will not make a serious impact as it would only be a pin drop in the economy due to the different types of cuisines present in the country. So I am guessing Balassa-Samuelson effect will be sticking around for a while more.

Optimism

A strong optimism can strike a note on one’s engagement with the world. It helps to make the state of mind firm and to make one reach his full potential.

A strong framework of an optimism can be made only from the good diplomacy of heart and a strong policy of mind. An optimistic mind can create a convergence between heart and mind and people and people

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The effort taken for a particular purpose will be much less if the mind is optimistic.Cooperation, coordination and a will to fight are some things that stem from the conundrum of optimism. It can help one reach the helm.

Optimism also helps to face the uncomfortable, unanswered question that sometimes arises from the depth of an expanding ocean of knowledge.It helps in closing down the charm of self-doubt.

But being critical of oneself is also necessary. If not an unchecked optimistic mind can result in a travesty of decision making and can even be seen as being complicit to idiocy.

Wisdom Well

Trying to bring philosophical S.H.I.T ( Some Hegemonic Ideological Theology ) into a novel is really hard. I mean you have to have a point that is valid or that sounds like valid. I have been trying to come up with topics that could be added to story. I had thought of different ways as to how they would be presented.

So far I had been only able to come up with something like this

It is said that with age and time a person would change maybe for the the better or for the worse. They say that it can be seen in their eyes, they will be more deeper, more understanding and filled with wisdom. That they can wash themselves in the wisdom well. But of course not every one is allowed that.
The fools, stubborn ones , mad ones and ones with a thirst for vengeance are never allowed for the spirit of madness and spirit of vengeance have been prohibited from the well of wisdom.

See, it just isn’t cutting it. I feel like I hadn’t got everything right.

I was told that a good narration could overcome any stupidity that an author sprout. But since I am not really that good at narrations. I will have to come up with more credible topics that could incite minds. Yeps that what one random person that I came across online said to me.

Incite minds, me ….. its going to be hard. Really hard. 

Despicable me – Self Reflecting.

The true alchemist do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words”                                                                                                                                                    – William H. Gass
Some are born writers, they start to scribble in the walls of the house as soon as they learn to walk, they draw and scrawl in their parents or bigger siblings books writing in the secret words that originate from the corners of their mind. Though not all of them continue sharpening the inborn quill, some goes on to pursue art.
While some others get inspired from their parents or some one who was close to them like their favorite teacher or their favorite uncle. They listens in classes and are interested in the art of spinning tales, they hone their skills and grows up to go to colleges to pursue education in literature and history.
The third group are the ones who got inspired by the books written by their favorite writers and they were also probably in their teens when the comet of inspiration stuck them in the form of a book. I was one of them. But the thing that separated me from the other inspired teen book heads were that I lacked passion for the writing at least in the beginning of my life.
Do not get me wrong, I was and am a reader. A book worm . But the thing that attracted me to writing was the money. I had looked up about the writers whose book I have read which also happened to be famous ones and apparently all of them had ended up rich after getting their books published and that decided it for me. Woe me for my shallow and flippant heart. I overlooked the fact that all of them were famous, that they were all passionate, hard workers with a million following and almost all of those writers had not started rich and a larger number of writers had never been able to enter the spot light either, which had left me with a bad taste.

But now I had matured a lil bit or thinks I have and as a result and have kinda changed…. and the writing that I began as a pursuit for money kinda became my hobby…. I don;t think you will find any moral from my life or at-least from this production of my writing. I am trying to refer to this post and can’t find an apt name …. I do not know whether to name it article or an autobiography snippet.
So here I am getting all the typos from my mistypes due to lack of practice in typing, trying to make a better writer out of myself. 

Editors are hard to find – A conversation

ME: hey check this out … I wrote this . it’s one of the chapters of the story am working on
FRIEND: ah well I will check it out later
ME : nope you have got to do it now.
FRIEND : dude I don’t want to read it. Am not in the mood to read
ME : wat da fuck….. read it fucking write now…. You should be honored that am allowing you to read it
My friend obediently sits down to read with a grim look on his face which said everything that was prolly running through his mind