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Quality for a lifetime

Aug - Sept. ‘09

S E N I BUS NOT

? L A U S U S A S

A C I R IN AF

Is the Current Global Economic Recession Threatening the Survival of your Company/Job/Business? OR Are you Just Sick and Tired of Your Company/Job/Business? If Yes, LEARN HOW East Africa’s Professionals & Business Leaders are coping in these Uncertain Economic Times? Visit: www.smartprofessionals.net Tel: 0738 420 317 / 0723 838 873


Editorial Managing Editor

Wangari Kimani-Maina Advertising Executives

Frederick Mwarangu Nahashon Mithanga Content availed by

Ryan P. Allis John Wright Doug Staneart

Paul Zane Pilzer Nancy Mann Jackson www.businessknowledgesource.com www.fujitsu.com Wangari Kimani-Maina Design and Photography

Frederick Rukungu Nahashon Mithanga Distribution & Circulation

Eagle Afric Holdings Ltd. Published by: Eagle Afric Holdings Ltd. P.O. Box 24329, Karen 00502 Tel: +254 020 3597825 E-mail: info@esteemedonline.com Copyright Information Esteemed is a bi-monthly magazine published by Eagle Afric Holdings Ltd. Views expressed in the articles and contributions are not necessarily those of the publisher. All rights reserved. While every reasonable effort has been made and precautions taken to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the content herein, neither the Esteemed team, nor its advertisers, nor printers can accept responsibility for any damages or inconvenience that may arise there from. The views expressed within the publication are those of the authors exclusively and not necessarily those of the Esteemed owners. Any material sent to us will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and may or may not be acknowledged as receipted. This material will also be subject to scrutiny for unrestricted editing and commentary at the discretion of the Editorial team. All content, including adverts created by Esteemed are Copyright of Eagle Afric Holdings Ltd. and may not be recreated in part or in whole without prior consent of the publishers. Copyright Š

Unusually Usual

I

n our 2nd year of success we are glad to be participating at the AGOA forum in Nairobi

It is said that insanity is doing the same thing in the same way and expecting a different result. It has also been said that you can be an ordinary person with extra ordinary results . The secret is work in an extraordinary way. Our advise to the many entrepreneurs around is very simple. Stop doing the ordinary to resolve the same never ending problems or challenges you face. Challenge your challenges. With the landing of the fibre optic cable that is expected to revolutionize our country’s infrastructure, we urge you to embrace technology in your business. Allow ICT to change your operations. If you run a tours & travel company, why install radio equipment limited to particular frequencies in the tour vans when you can equip each car/ van with affordable smart phones for use by the drivers and clients? While your staff use these for email and communication with the office, clients can enjoy uploading real time pictures and videos to their blogs or You tube. Opening your inner eyes is very possible by shutting your physical eyes. Perked up inner ears hear and listen better than the physical year. Stepping out of your shoes allows you to feel the world differently This is what our businesses need to make it this century Happy 2nd Anniversary everyone.

Wangari

Congratulations to Eagle Afric Holdings for participating at the AGOA Forum

Are you considering computerizing your business? Are you looking to outsourcing your IT requirements? Are you interested in polishing your IT skills? Talk to us

Next Edition After AGOA? What happens with the opportunities?

Eagle Afric Holdings Ltd P.O. Box 24329-00502, Nairobi Tel: +254 720 838446 Email: info@eagleafric.com URL: www.eagleafric.com


Business Principles The African continent is a land of great opportunity. Only knowledge, tremendous work ethic, positive attitude, self confidence and a desire to succeed, goodwill, persistence, perseverance and determination will bring forth rewards. Bottom line, international business success begins with an attitude of acceptance. Acceptance for a whole combination of things that we will be addressing in the ensuing paragraph. As more and more companies go global, astute businesspeople are finding that knowledge about other countries' cultures and customs can enhance their working relationships--and thereby affect their businesses' bottom line A Spirit of Acceptance The key to insuring smooth international relationships, lies in cultivating an open-minded spirit of acceptance towards other people and cultures. Acceptance and appreciation for other cultures requires willingness to explore and cooperate. This can lead to strengthening, appreciation and acceptance. There need not be loss of identity or compromised values. Research and Training Pay Off When the Thom McAn Company tried to sell footwear in Bangladesh, a riot ensued, injuring over 50 people. The company's executives

had not known that Thom McAn's signature, printed inside the shoes resembled the Arabic script for "Allah." Outraged Muslims concluded that shoe manufacturers were trying to get Bangladeshis to desecrate the name of God by walking on His name-a double insult because the foot is considered unclean in their country. Had Thom McAn executives expended the effort to learn more about the culture to which they were marketing their products, they could have saved the time and money required later to polish up their image and rebuild goodwill. Executives in today's global marketplace encounter many and varied cultural rules and protocols. Each has its own nuances, and the rules have many exceptions. In order to

Succeeding in Africa learn and stay current, corporations benefit by keeping consultants on retainer who are natives

underlying, often unconscious and unintentional beliefs can undermine otherwise well-planned business efforts of the countries with whom they do business. Such people prove to be valuable resources for instruction in values and customs, as well as the business etiquette specific to each country, such as gift-giving, handshaking and table manners. Cross-cultural training goes a long way in developing the sensitivity, knowledge and appreciation for other cultures that are so vital to business success. When Hosting Suppose you are preparing to entertain a distant aunt whom you have not seen since childhood. You would take steps to insure her comfort, such as inquiring ahead of time about what she likes to eat and whether she follows any particular dietary guidelines. You would probably do some advance research to learn what special interests or hobbies she enjoys, and whether there are any conversational topics about which she is particularly sensitive or on which she holds strong feelings. As business host to your foreign counterparts, it behooves you to do your homework in much the same way on other cultures, their diets and customs. Suppose that you are picking up an international businessman at the airport and then taking him to dinner before dropping him off at his hotel. He enters your car and immediately lights a cigarette. Because you have studied up on his culture, you know that his country does not have laws regulating smoking, and that it is not considered rude to smoke without first asking a host's permission. As you pull up to the restaurant, you might gently inform your guest that your city does not permit smoking in restaurants and in business offices, and that most people expect guests in their homes to ask permission. The Key Components Success in Africa and most of the other markets as an entrepreneur requires one to be: Respectful - Respect for other people and cultures is critical if businesses are to flourish in the global marketplace. Anything less puts interactions at risk of seeming insincere, condescending and manipulatory. Executives who approach their international counterparts as equals, and expend the effort to learn all they can about their cultures, will find the commitment pays off in more comfortable and profitable business relationships. Visionary - An international vision will focus your efforts to be aimed at the highest levels of achievement. 2nd place just will not do for you.

Page 3 Perceptive - the ability to identify the risk vs. reward in an undertaking and more importantly to maintain the proper balance between the two at all times Decisive - The innate ability to thrive on decision making, clear and independent thought as well as extreme dedication to your livelihood Master of the self - Transformation of your positive attitude into greater self confidence, that translates into greater achievement in the business world Persistence - persistent and focused actions of a dedicated person ultimately lead to the highest levels of achievement in any area of pursuit Passionate - With all the planning in the world, if you do not have passion, you will not have the enthusiasm or desire needed for your success across the borders. Enthusiasm is needed to keep going through the ups and downs that all businesses go through. You are more likely to fail in both productive ways and financially because if you do not have the enthusiasm and positive attitude necessary to get you through the slow seasons or even to make the good, better. On the other hand you are more likely to achieve success faster and in better financial ways in both the short and long term. Other success components include having: Effective competitive strategy Formulating an effective competitive strategy is another key success factor. A competitive strategy enables a company to project and position itself in a targeted manner in foreign markets Thirst for Knowledge Doing business at home may work for all of us in great ways and sometimes with eyes closed. But after saturating the local market and you need to cross a border or two, every entrepreneur needs to thirst and hunger for knowledge beyond the normal. Knowledge is power and continued education will

always be vital for your business success To conduct business with people of other cultures, put aside preconceived notions and strive to learn about the culture of your counterpart.


Standing out When you last made a presentation did this happen:

   

Your audience dozed off Your audience made noises Your audience kept walking in and out You walked away with nothing but a simple morale boosting ‘good presentation’ pat on the back

Esteemed Presentations Don’t sweat through preparing a presentation. Just tell us what you want to present, how much time you have, your audience - simple, professionals, politicians, children, young adults and leave the rest to us. You can even tell your boss you did it on your own! You will walk away from the podium - NOTICED!!! Talk to us - 020 3597825 or E-mail liz.maina@esteemedonline.com for personalized attention

To place your advert in Esteemed Magazine, contact us on info@esteemedonline.com or call +254 020 3597825/ + 254 720 838446 For those who have seen and used our badges, the feedback is generally the same. People like and cherish personalized items. Students will gladly wear a badge with their name and declare their achievements. For the young boys in games, it means a lot to have a badge that says - Best game scorer! For those events that last a lifetime such as the international Women’s day - it feels great to spot a colorful badge saying I am proud to be a woman Badges say what is in your heart, what you are proud of and that is what Kilimara badges do. We bring out your heart’s message at the most affordable cost with the highest quality possible. We do:  Social badges - weddings, birthdays  School badges - performance recognition; management; student roles  Staff Badges  Church Badges  Event Badges - conferences, seminars etc We think outside the box with you. Join our list of growing clients and enjoy the beauty of variety with Kilimara badges Kilimara Investments Mr. George Kimani P.O. Box 24979 - 00502 Nairobi, Kenya; Tel: +254 020 2099502/ +254 733 549099 E-mail: kilimara@gmail.com


Customer Relations

Great E-Customer Service

As a player on the world business platform it is becoming imperative that we learn some ecustomer service. E-commerce is no longer a distant dream for us in Africa and the sooner we embrace it the faster we will spread our business wings. The E-customer is as good as the customer visiting your business premises and must be handled with as much care, as if he/ she were sitting in your office. These days, given the tightening market for new customers and the shift to generating more sales from repeat buyers, online retailers are thinking long and hard about improving their customer service levels. Some are equipping their ecommerce sites with interactive self-service tools that enable customers to update profiles, track packages and view past transactions Paramount to any customer-oriented business is reduction of customer complaints and improving customer convenience. For online retailing this is no different as you need to empower shoppers to answer their own service-related questions, get real-time access to order information or update their personal information when it’s convenient. Consistency in service is also key. If a call or e-mail goes unanswered or a service representative can’t help a shopper track a package, customers will vote with their online shopping cards and take their business elsewhere. Before developing your online customer service plan, it helps to understand the differences between online and offline customer support, the advantages and disadvantages of an online customer service program, the importance of keeping up with customer expectations, and the elements that every online customer service plan should include. If you're wondering why customers aren't coming back to your e-business, maybe you should take a long, hard look at your customer service. A happy customer will tell one or two people; an unhappy one will tell 10! So it pays to keep your customers happy-especially when doing business online. Online, an angry customer might not just tell 10 people; they might also write a wordy rant on their blog, post comments on other people's blogs, write a negative review of your site on a shopping website, or criticize you on forums and message boards. Or all of the above. And worse, once something's been written about you online, it's very difficult to get it removed. This means that any prospective customer who decides to do a search on your business name could come across it.

Think how much losing even just 10 sales would cost you, and compare it to the extra sales you'll gain from making your customers happy.

Good customer service might cost a bit of time and money, bad customer service online could cost you dozens of prospective customers Strong customer service is a business essential. Providing it isn’t as difficult if you and your employees achieve these 10 basic rules: Commit to quality service. Everyone in the company needs to be devoted to creating a positive experience for the customer. Always try to go above and beyond customer expectations. Provide assurance of security of personal information transmitted over the Web Know your products. Convey an articulate and in-depth knowledge of products and services to win customer trust and confidence. Know your company’s products, services, and return policies inside and out. Try to anticipate the types of questions that customers will ask. Update and amend your FAQ page frequently. Know your customers. Try to learn everything you can Treat people with courtesy and respect. Remember that every time that you, your employees, and your colleagues make contact with a customer — whether it’s by email, phone, written correspondence, or a face-toface meeting — the interaction leaves an impression with that customer. Use conciliatory phrases — "Sorry to keep you waiting," "Thanks for your order," "You’re welcome," and "It’s been a pleasure helping you" — to demonstrate not only your commitment to customer satisfaction but your dedication to courtesy. Never argue with a customer. You know very well that the customer isn’t always right. However, it is important that you do not focus on the missteps of a particular situation; instead, concentrate on how to fix it. Research shows that 7 out of 10 customers will do business with a company again if that business resolves a complaint in their favor. Don’t leave customers in limbo. Repairs, callbacks, and emails need to be handled with a sense of urgency. Customers want immediate resolution, and if you can give it to them, you will probably win their repeat business. Research shows that the instance of repeat business goes up to 95 percent when complaints are resolved on the spot. Always provide what you promise. Fail to do this and you’ll lose both credibility and customers. If you guarantee a quote within 24 hours,

Page 5 get the quote out in a day or less. If and when you neglect to make good on your promise, apologize to the customer and offer some type of compensation, such as a discount or free delivery. Overall, only make promises that you are confident that you and your business can keep. Assume that your customers tell the truth. Even though it may appear that customers lie to manipulate a situation to their advantage, it is to your advantage to give them the benefit of the doubt. The majority of customers don’t like to complain; in fact, they’ll go out of their way — perhaps all the way to a competitor — to avoid it. If you hear unhappy rumblings from your customers, take their complaints to heart and do your best to appease their dissatisfaction. Focus on making customers — not on sales. Salespeople, especially those who get paid on commission, sometimes focus on the volume instead of on the quality of the sale. Remember that to keep a customer’s business is more important than to close a sale. Research shows that it costs six times more to attract a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. Moreover, happy customers are the best and most effective way to find new customers. Make it easy to buy. The buying experience in your store, on your Web site, or through your catalog should be as easy as possible. Eliminate unnecessary paperwork and forms, help people to find what they need, explain how products work, and do whatever else you can to facilitate transactions.

Building good customer service into the operation of a business increases a company’s efficiency as well as its sales.


Investing Wisely From a Hobby to a Career Do what you love, and the money will follow. – Unknown

net a great return. If it is priced too low, the seller could be giving away their heart and soul. More will be demanded from you. Do you have it? It is very important for the hobbyist turned professional to determine the amount of space and Do what you love, and the money will follow – Unknown

An entrepreneur at the AGOA forum In this day and age, people are coming to terms with the fact that academic pursuits do not always translate into high flying careers and legacies of success. If anything, some people abandon careers built from their academic background for other ventures. For instance a doctor turned musician or a banker turned into a curios exporter all over the world. In our column this time around, we share some key essentials drawn from people who have made names for themselves and their business by simply capitalizing on a hobby or talent they have. There is this lady I know who tweezes eyebrows by use of a thread and her fingers. For each job she charges Kshs. 150 i.e. (USD 1.9). In a day she will attend to approximately 100 clients and that translates to Kshs. 15,000 per day (USD 190). In a month assuming 22 working days. You do the math. For anyone who has ever considered turning their hobby into a full-time career, here are ten essentials you need to consider before venturing in that direction. Don’t let it become all work and no play Familiarity and repetition can breed contempt or cause one to take something for granted. Many times people take up a hobby because it relaxes them and takes their mind off their work and worries. Turning a hobby into a career will remove this element. Be sure to consider that this will now be a day in, day out venture or what was once a passion can quickly sour. You are investing time and money. Are you getting a return on your investment? It is important to understand how much people are willing to pay for services or products. Just because it takes someone five hours and lots of pain-staking love to put their item together, doesn’t mean it will have the same value to other people. That’s why proper pricing becomes crucial. If it is priced too high, it may not

time needed for this venture. Sufficient physical space for storage of inventory of both unfinished and finished goods as well as a reasonable number of hours needed each week should be determined in advance. Having a home-based business requires self-determination, discipline, motivation, and lots of hours may be required in the start-up phase. Work on the start up costs carefully Having sufficient financial backing to be able to meet expected production demands may seem far-fetched when first starting out, but it is important to be prepared for all situations. This includes investment in equipment such as computers or secondary phone lines. Along with having sufficient finances, it is equally important to have raw material resources - even if that just means the shop next door or seeds in your garden. Know your competition Whether or not there is a market is a very real consideration, so it is important to do research to determine if anyone already offers the product or service. Even if there is competition, differentiation goes a long way to shoe he heart in your product where it may be absent for your competitors. Know the industry It will be extremely beneficial to know the industry you are venturing into. It helps to know the high and low seasons if any as well as the varying customer tastes that have to be met. You also need to know if the industry is influenced by other markets in more developed countries and if there is a threshold for all your business. A little knowledge is as dangerous as no knowledge at all. Equip yourself greatly Develop a network of professionals who share the hobby either as a hobby or as a career A great way to find out what others are doing is to network. Whether online social networking or the traditional networking, you should take the initiative to find out if there is an association or organization for the hobby and participate in events, this way you can learn from other members’ experiences or even find out about the pros and cons of doing business.

Page 6 Know your market It is important for any new business person to consider their customer base. Are they local? National? Worldwide? For many people who enjoy arts and crafts and have turned it into their career, traveling to trade shows is a large part of the business. However, traveling all over the country or even all over the world not only eats into profits – fuel, show fees, living expenses – but can take up valuable time. That’s why many have set up personal websites, but only after traveling the circuit to develop a following. Not everything about the hobby is a hobby. You need to be ready for the non-hobby side of the business Anyone considering selling their craft must remember it’s not all about the fun of making something. There are real business aspects of turning a hobby into a career such as marketing, sales and administrative tasks. Not only is there accounting and filing to be done, but there are associated expenses with things like stationery and business cards. In addition for those who plan on using the Internet to attract customers there will be updates and maintenance required with the website. Don’t give up. Your hobby has more than one perspective For some people, actually doing their hobby – sewing, knitting, jewelry making – is the only way. However, if that is not feasible, consider an alternative: teaching the hobby. Another suggestion is for you to work for the related hobby association or even in retail selling items associated with their hobby. While not every hobby may be turned into a successful business, with a little investment of time, any hobbyist willing to do the research can find the answers to their questions and maybe ultimately to their dreams.

Feeling a passion for something makes it that much more enjoyable. And for people who have hobbies they truly enjoy, turning them into a money-making venture


Human Resource Managing Talent Have you noticed lately, even in these • leadership development times of times of economic meltdowns and high inflation that more people are leaving Above all we must maintain profitable growth to employment voluntarily? It’s like people are stay ahead of the competition sure of their Plan B and Plan C as far as making a living is concerned. I have been wondering about this trend a whole lot and it drove us to research far and wide. In our research we discovered that in the business world, as far as top notch employees are concerned, its not all about salary and benefits any more. TALENT is the big word that has set off HRM functions in many companies. It is quickly becoming apparent that identifying, managing, rewarding and talented staff is the only way to survive. It is talent that sustains and keeps fresh the innovative spirit within an organization. Recruitment firms, having realized this have gone a notch higher in head hunting for their clients and they are as many as those who they are hunting. Companies are therefore employing every means possible to attract and retain good people. In summation, one HR manager put it across that creating an environment and culture that supports and encourages talent exploration is what makes their company a career destination of choice.

Succession planning

Workforce planning

Compensation and

Diversity

Admittedly, competitive advantage has become increasingly more difficult to achieve with consumers being more informed and selective and globalization taking the face of an eliminator of traditional competition barriers. It is with this scope of information that the challenge of strategic talent management has become more complicated. The best companies are coming to the realization that managing talent is the most important element of their business strategy and they are taking action. How to manage talent - effectively? It just might be that talent is the last great hope for competitive advantage and business development. The open and public secret about talent is that it cannot be copied. That means if you manage the talent within your organization, competition will not have leverage over you. Unfortunately, mismanagement or non-management of talent is fresh ground for an attack from your competitors. Recruit, manage and Reward talent This needs to be developed and worked through the company culture for the current and foreseeable future of the company. In other words, see it, shape it, provide for it and reap from it

Page 8 the competencies that will lead us to achieving our business goals. To this end, we need to link position competencies and performance assessments directly to learning initiatives. We must direct human capital improvement projects to have the most impact on our business. Job enrichment In order to stimulate innovation and intrapreneurship, you need to involve high potential people directly in the (re)design of their own job functions. Enrich the jobs of your team members by engaging and challenging them to think about how everything can be done in a better way-including the design of their own work. Talent Management System This affects all business processes as it is the meeting point of all internals (HR, Finance, Marketing, Line management, etc) and externals (customers, labor, government etc. The challenge is to mould the talent in your people into a competitive advantage. Importance of Talent Management If we say that people are the most important asset in an organization, why then would we not manage talent with the same care and attention that we would manage any other part of the business? How can we expect a reasonable return on the investments we make in talent if we fail to manage it to the same level as other parts of the business?

Treat EVERYONE as a career employee

Why manage Talent? Simple answer: We need to come to grips with and take advantage of the continually changing nature of employment relationships. We must continuously improve business [processes, while maintaining top level efficiency and effectiveness. Additionally, we must maintain profitable growth to stay ahead of the competition. From the top of the career ladder to the lowest rung; from entry level to retirement and in every corner of the business, talent must be well managed through:

Talent doesn’t just jump out to you. You need to ensure that ALL staff in the organization know that they are appreciated and treat them like you want them to stay on at the organization. Even though you know that some will leave, we should provide everyone with realistic internal career development options and support. It would make succession management easier anyway. Cascade competencies This means linking the training and development for staff to overall company goals. Every organization needs employees that contribute their own skills and abilities to organizational competencies. We need staff to possess and demonstrate

The strategic business advantages of managing talent well, are equal in scale and business impact to the disadvantages of not managing it effectively


Our collection includes:

TyÜ|vtÇ XåÑxÜ|xÇvx

 Carvings from soapstone and wood such as mahogany among others.  Wall hangings that are batiks or beaded artworks  Household items such as serving spoons made of light wood, spoons and forks, fruit bowls, napkin holders

Fabrics & Attires

and candle holders.

The only thing that remain constant in the world of fashion is that it is its dynamism.

 Gift items are meant to be memorable. In our African experience we ensure that it goes beyond this. Our

African fabrics, designs and attires

gift items are made to create an extra feeling of be-

have began to find their way into

ing special and valuable. Jewelry boxes, business card

internationally acclaimed fashion

holders, pen holders and wall clocks, just to mention a

centres.

few, constitute our collection.

At EAHL, we recognize this and thus we ensure that the fabrics you receive from us are nothing but quality.

Jewelry & Other accessories The collection of African jewelry and accessories that we supply in-

In our selection of fabric the fol-

cludes bangles, necklaces, brace-

lowing elements are key:

lets, anklets, earrings, head gear armbands etc

 Printed designs : our clientele like unique items, we

These are made from raw material that are original to the

keep a keen eye on the designs to ensure we preserve the uniqueness of every fabric

communities that make them Beaded

 Luster: Before supply to our clientele, we test the fabrics through various processes to ensure that they maintain the “new look” long after they are purchased. A good fabric, should still look new even after you have worn and cleaned it every week in the year  Suitability: This includes color mix, texture, accommodating different shapes and styles, accessories as well as targeted clientele.

Beads are multicolored and are used to make an array of items. These include walking sticks for the old, bracelets, arm bands, head gear, earrings and anklets We go a step further in using beads to decorate attires and they thus brighten an otherwise dull outfit. Leather Belts, arm bands, open shoes and bags are made of raw but treated animal hide and their value increased by the use of beads. This can be done in exotic styles for our

Curios

clientele to stand out in a particular function, or conservative but smart and noticeable in official settings.

African curios are of high value as they tend to capture the true African culture in their physical look over the years. They have more value to our clients in the knowledge that they are made and sourced right from the heart of the African continent.

Integrating world cultures to your comfort


Technology in Business Marketing Automation Defining & finding its place Marketing automation technology has a direct impact on bottom-line cost reduction and top-line growth. For a very conservative definition, marketing automation is seen as technology that helps automate marketing management and customer engagement. In some cases marketing can be automated with formalized processes, but excluding technology, this is more marketing optimization and process. Technology can automate manual, repetitive, mundane tasks in the marketing function and therefore, would be seen to exclusively provide the source of marketing automation. There are two sides to marketing automation:

•

Marketing Management Automation. This encompasses automation of internal marketing processes and includes things like budgeting and planning, workflow and approvals, the marketing calendar, internal collaboration, digital asset creation and management, and essentially everything that supports the operational efficiency of the internal marketing function. • Customer Engagement Automation. This encompasses automation across one or more marketing channels: email, the website, intranets, direct mail, and dozens of marketing channels. In other words, the technology helps automate the process of engaging with customers across one or more channels. This might include setting up an email campaign, sending it out, and tracking performance; or creating a new home page with a contact form; or more importantly, managing communication with a prospect across multiple channels and tracking their behavior to identify the relative potential to purchase. The line between marketing management and customer engagement is very thin , and technology providers that deliver marketing automation typically automate elements of each.

in the right technology for the organization's resources and culture.

Page 10 tion between performance and the use of automated technology in the marketing function. However, it's important to note, that well performing firms display a unique set of organizational capabilities that allow them to extract more value from technology investments. Despite the noted benefits, challenges abound when it comes to automating marketing activities.

These include: Without a measurement and analytics component, all "automated" technology • multiple siloed niche solutions for is of little more value than a car without a automating marketing activities. This steering wheel. As such marketing autois a huge problem for most organizamation must return actionable data that tions. Data silos, multiple interfaces and a general inability to holistically Data integration has become the tie together performance and marfoundation for extracting limitless keting leave many in the managevalue from marketing automation ment level frustrated. can be analyzed and benchmarked over • time to consistently improve performance - otherwise what's the point of automating in the first place? The data is then transformed into actionable insights that allow an organization to make better decisions over time.

Why Invest in Marketing Automation? The value of marketing automation is that it has the potential to impact the top and bottom lines of an organization. Marketing management capabilities address operational efficiency, productivity and cost savings. Customer engagement helps maximize the demand for products and services -the top line - which is some way to measurably quantify and justify the tangible impact marketing has on the top and bottom line in one easy-to-use solution. This is the driving force behind adoption of marketing technology.

However, very many companies apply an integrated marketing platform that centralize the marketing management and customer engagement capabilities in one solution. Research consistently Most companies search for technology demonstrates that marketing automation to address a specific business pain: has a long way to go before it joins the "need to improve internal productivity ranks of Customer Relationship Manand process"; "need to send more personalized emails"; "need a more engag- agement sales force automation, and ing website"; etc. As a result, it's critical ERP (enterprise resource planning) in to understand the different solutions that terms of widespread adoption. fall under marketing automation to invest Admittedly there is a discernible correla-

the recession and harsh economic times. It hardly seems the time to make major purchase decisions about marketing automation technology investments. However, the recession might be the most forgiving time to work out new processes and add capabilities that automation will bring to the organization.

In conclusion Marketing automation will be a critical component for every organization to grow market share after the economy is over. Nobody expects stunning performance during a recession, so it's the best time to toss in a few strategic plans. Again, companies that achieved the highest performance in key areas like revenue, conversion and return on investments are more likely to use marketing automation technology. These are the organizations that are achieving the highest performance during the recession and, therefore, will be in a position to sustain a competitive advantage after the recession is over.


Benrah Safaris Giving you a true African experience


With a passion for innovation and an instinct for applications that help people live, work, play and learn, EAHL works to help improve the quality of life. Why you should you work with us Our operations are driven towards offering our clients:

Ukunda Flats P.O. Box 24329-00502 Karen, Nairobi Kenya Phone: +254 720 838 446 Phone: +254 725 773 574 E-mail: info@eagleafric.com www.eagleafric.com

improved service quality

superior competency

access to leading technology

more freedom to focus on strategic activities

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