Monday, December 31, 2007


Micromarketing is another concept that I picked up during my participation in the AIMS 5th International Conference at Hyderabad during 27-30, 2007.

In my search on internet I came across an article in Journal of Marketing in 1982

The Macromarketing/Micromarketing Dichotomy: A Taxonomical Model
Shelby D. Hunt, John J. Burnett
Journal of Marketing, Vol. 46, No. 3 (Summer, 1982), pp. 11-26

So the concept is old. But the emergence of emails and internet must have made it more cost effective.

Financial Services Marketing Handbook

Financial Services Marketing Handbook

by Evelyn Ehrlich and Duke Fanelli
Bloomberg Press, 2004

Some reviews

"The Financial Services Marketing Handbook is an ambitious, encyclopedic resource for bank marketers. It covers a lot of ground and is easy to digest. Experienced marketers can consider it a refresher course... There are many useful tables that distill essentials [and] practical checklists to help jumpstart strategies. The authors cover a lot of ground... managing to bore down deep, despite touching each topic only briefly... Ehrlich and Fanelli's painstakingly detailed analysis reads like a transcript from a meeting with an experienced, down-to-earth marketing consultant...The sheer volume of material covered by these marketing mavens is daunting. But it's presented concisely and is easy to follow."
USBanker, January 2005

"Before describing what marketing tools and techniques to use, the Handbook takes us through a strategic planning exercise...designed to build brand awareness, profile and attract new clients....The book concludes with a 40-page appendix focused on helping financial product and service sales professionals translate the marketing principles and tactics described [in the book] into their practices....Advisors will definitely benefit from the book."
"Effective Marketing for Greater Sales," by George Hartman in Investment Executive, April, 2005.

"Marketers who understand the complex and rapidly changing financial services industry are rare and increasingly in demand. The Financial Services Marketing Handbook is a unique and invaluable training tool for beginners that also offers new insights to veteran financial marketers."
Andrea Trachtenberg
Senior Vice President, Head of Global Marketing
Lehman Brothers Wealth & Asset Management

Financial Services Marketing Handbook
Table of Contents

The Unique Challenges of Marketing Financial Services
Products or Services?
• Financial Services as Products
• Financial Services as Services
• Service Is What It's About
Marketing Money Is Different
• Psychology of Money
• Third-Party Relationships
• Multiple Sales Channels
• How End Users Select a Financial Services Provider
• Cost Doesn't Matter Very Much
• "Stickiness" of Money Decisions
• Legal and Regulatory Constraints
• Successful Financial Marketing

Part I: Strategic Marketing Planning
Chapter 1: Segmentation
• Learning from the Consumer Side
Choosing Target Segments
• Methods of Segmentation
Objective Methods of Segmentation
Segmentation by Psychographic Clusters
Customer-Value Segmentation
• Finding Your Target Segments
Identifying Current Market Segments
Chapter 2: Positioning and Branding
• Positioning
Determining Positioning Strategy
• Branding
Creating a Brand Image
"Borrowing" a Brand Image
Supporting a Brand Image
Repositioning and Rebranding
Chapter 3: The Market Plan
• Types of Marketing Plans
• Researching Your Plan
Quantitative Market Research
Qualitative Research
• The Elements of the Plan
The SWOT Analysis
Competitive Analysis
Marketing Objectives
Implementation Tactics
Choosing Tactics
Metrics to Track and Measure Success
Section II: Marketing Tactics
Chapter 4: Media Advertising
• Media Selection
Print Advertising
Choosing the Right Publication
Print Buying Decisions
• Advertising Effectiveness
Creating Effective Creative
• Legal and Regulatory Considerations
• Field Advertising and Co-op Programs
Chapter 5: Public Relations
• Third-Party Endorsement
• The Tools of Public Relations
• Public Relations for Every Budget
• Getting Press Coverage
• Dealing with Bad Press
Chapter 6: Sponsorship and Event Marketing
• What Is the Value of Sponsorships?
• Cause Marketing
• Activating a Sponsorship Program
Planning to Maximize Sponsorship Value
Measuring the Effectiveness of Sponsorship
Chapter 7: Direct Marketing
• Techniques and Goals of Direct Methods
Finding the Best Lists
Factors Affecting Direct Mail Response
Getting Past the Gatekeeper
Dimensionals, Premiums, and Other Gimmicks
• Elements of the Package
• Telemarketing
• Regulations Affecting Direct Marketers
Chapter 8: The Internet
• The Internet as One Channel among Many
• The Internet as a Marketing Tool
Improving Website Usability
• Website Content
Company Information
Educational Information
Customer Service
Sales Support
Relationship-Based Marketing
Customer Acquisition

Chapter 9: Personal Selling
• Traditional Relationships between Sales and Marketing
"Bottom-Up" Marketing
Third-Party Sales
High-Net Worth Sales
Institutional Sales
• Changes in the Sales Distribution Model
How Sales Can Help Marketing Help Sales
Chapter 10: Trade Shows and Seminars
• Trade Shows
Breaking through Booth Clutter
Following Up Leads
Measuring Results
• Seminars
Marketing the Seminar
During the Seminar
The Presentation
Follow-up: The Key to Success
Measuring Results

Chapter 11: Relationship Marketing
• Why Customer Retention Matters
• Methods of Relationship Building
• Formal Loyalty Programs
• Client Publications

Appendix: Applying Marketing Principles to Sales Practices

BUZZ Marketing

Association of Indian Management Scholars organized their 5th International Conference at ICFAI Business School, Hyderabad during 27-30, December 2007. I participated in the conference and presented two papers.

1. Neglect of Industrial Engineering in Management Literature.
2. Role Industrial engineering in Technology commercialisation.

There was a paper on technology and marketing and it mentioned buzz marketing as one of the new themes. I started my efforts to understand this topic.

What is buzz marketing?

Buzz marketing is a viral marketing technique that attempts to make each encounter with a consumer appear to be a unique, spontaneous personal exchange of information. The advertiser reveals information about the product or service to only a few "knowing" people in the target audience. By purposely seeking out on-on-one conversations with those who heavily influence their peers, buzz marketers create a sophisticated word-of-mouth campaign where consumers are flattered to be included in the elite group of those "in the know" and willingly spread the word to their friends and colleagues.

Although buzz marketing is not new, Internet technology has changed the way it's being used. Buzz campaigns are now being initiated in chat rooms, where marketing representatives assume an identity appropriate to their target audience and pitch their product. Personal Web logs (blogs) are another popular media for electronic buzz marketing campaigns; advertisers seek out authors of the "right kind of blog" and trade product or currency for promotion. Instant messaging (IM) applications are also being looked at as a vehicle for carrying out buzz marketing campaigns with either humans or IM bots doing the pitching. As with all buzz campaigns, the power of the IM model relies on the influence an individual has in an established small network -- in this case, his buddy list. As technology continues to facilitate the delivery of a electronic buzz marketing message easier, and software applications make message deliveries easier to quantify, some advertising experts predict that electronic buzz marketing techniques will become a standard component in all cross-media advertising campaigns. Definitions (Powered by,,sid11_gci939341,00.html

buzz marketing is the practice of gathering volunteers to try products, then sending them out into the world to talk up their experiences with the people they meet in their daily lives.

Buzzing, which might also be described as 'micro-marketing,' assumes that a person-to-person marketing message is much more powerful because it is so personal

What is the buzz about buzz marketing
12 January 2005
Hindu Business Line carried an article on it in November 2003
What is the word-of-mouth in the ad world, now?
Tuesday, Nov 18, 2003

The article starts with Prof C K Prahlad's statement.

WITH the growing fragmentation of conventional media, and with consumers getting increasingly networked, word of mouth (WOM), or `buzz', will become a more important tool for firms and marketers, according to Mr C.K. Prahalad of the University of Michigan Business School.

It also quotes Yale's professors' study.

A recent study by the Yale University professors showed European studies indicated that 60 per cent of consumers in Europe said that family and friends influenced their decisions on specific brands.

Business Week had a cover article on buzz marketing in 2001

JULY 30, 2001


Buzz Marketing

Suddenly This Stealth Strategy Is Hot--but It's Still Fraught with Risk


Books on buzz marketing

Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing by Ron McDaniel (2006)

Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking by Andy Sernovitz (2006)

Buzzmarketing: Get People to Talk About Your Stuff
by Mark Hughes

Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover; 1 edition (July 7, 2005)

Buzz: Harness the Power of Influence and Create Demand
by Marian Salzman (Author), Ira Matathia (Author), Ann O'Reilly (Author)
Wiley; 1st edition (April 25, 2003)

The Anatomy of Buzz: How to Create Word of Mouth Marketing by Emanuel Rosen (2002)
An interesting article on how to create buzz.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Creativity - Creative Thinking

Amabile, T. M. 1998. How to kill creativity: Keep doing what you're doing. Or, if you want to spark innovation, rethink how you motivate, reward, and assign work to people. Harvard Business Review (September-October): 77- 87.

According to Amabile, “Creativity within each of us is a function of three components: expertise, creative-thinking skills, and motivation.” (p.78)

Definitions of Creativity

Process that results in a novel work that is useful— M. Stein 1953

Production of something new and valuable—R. Rothenberg 1990

Process extended in time, characterized by originality, adaptiveness, and realization—D. MacKinnon 1975


For a slide show on creativity

Amabile, T. M. CREATIVITY IN CONTEXT. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1996.

There is consensus that the environment in work is a great influence on creative thinkng of persons involved. The organizational climate should encourage assertion of ideas, not rely on order and tradition, and not make people afraid to fail. Other environmental factors include the following (Amabile 1996; Powell 1994): providing time and resources; developing expertise; giving positive, constructive feedback that is work or task focused; encouraging a spirit of play and experimentation; providing a mix of styles and backgrounds with opportunities for group interaction; making a safe place for risk taking; allowing free choice in task engagement; offering rewards that recognize achievement or enable additional performance but maintain intrinsic motivation rather than controlling behavior. Surveillance and evaluation are detrimental, as are stress and pressure unrelated to the project (Amabile 1996).

Amabile suggests the use of creativity heuristics that guide problem solving and invention: rearranging/juxtaposing elements of a problem; brainstorming--less concern with the validity of an idea than with its value in generating further ideas; making the familiar strange and the strange familiar; and generating hypotheses by using analogies, accounting for exceptions, and investigating paradoxes.

Powell, M. C. "On Creativity and Social Change." JOURNAL OF CREATIVE BEHAVIOR 28, no. 1 (1994): 21-32.


Innovation, as defined as bringing new ideas to market in the form of new product and services - is what generates the ultimate value. Innovation could be thought of as harnessing the creative energy and moving those great new ideas through a defined set of processes to an ultimately valuable conclusion.

I read today an article titled "Managing Innovation" in HRM Review of January 2008.
It is mentioned in the article that creativity refers to contributing novel insights that can generate new opportunities or alternatives for the organization, whereas innovation refers to the implementation of such novel insights.

The article also has discussion on creativity. That lead to me to look at literature related to creativity and innovation and this post.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Brand Equity and Branding - Websites

BrandEquityBrandEquity is a visual marketing and brand communications firm.

Strategic Marketing And Research Techniques - Brand Equity & ImageUsing Brand Equity and Image Assessment to differentiate goods or services from those of competitors.

Boston Advertising Agency - Branding Strategy Consulting

Brand Equity

Brand Equity

Max Brand Equity - Customer Driven Brand Value

Brand Equity StudiosBrand Equity is an Internet web development agency that specializes in innovative conventional xhtml, hybrid, flash web development, and multimedia


Branding - Some Linguistic issues presentation

Mental illness - Stockbrokers

Research has shown that employees with heavy workloads, tight deadlines and overbearing bosses are twice as likely to develop mental illnesses as those in jobs with less pressure and stress.

Every year one in 20 workers becomes clinically ill as a result of work-related stress, leading to depression and anxiety. The annual cost in lost productivity to the economy is estimated at £12bn.

Researchers analysed 891 workers, whose jobs included politicians, stockbrokers, farmers, IT workers etc.

Dr Maria Melchior, of the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London, lead author of the study published in the journal Psychological Medicine, said: "Our study shows work stress appears to bring on diagnosable forms of depression and anxiety in previously healthy young workers.

"We found that high work pressure, high workload, working very quickly to tight inflexible deadlines doubled the risk of depression and anxiety."

August 2007

Monday, December 24, 2007

Meaning of Brand and Branding

A discussion in orkut branding community motivated me to look into the dictionary for the meaning of word brand.

I had a look at the oxford dictionary. It gives the meaning for brand as:

n. burning or charred log or stick,permanent mark deliberately made by hot iron, stigma, trade mark, goods of particular mark or trade mark, iron stamp for burning-in a mark

v.t. burn with hot iron, label with trade mark, impress on memory, stigmatize

I think we are using the meaning "impress on memory" when we are talking of branding now in marketing.

KVSSNrao (24-12-2007)

Meaning of Branding

The meaning of branding in communication is to bond the brand's personality with that of the intended audience - consumers, employees, stakeholders. By creating the right emotional and rational connections, Brand>Form ensures that the brand is owned by all who engage with it.

Few B to B professionals have an adequate grasp of the meaning of branding. What you don't understand you can't trust. So here is a simple definition of branding.

Branding is implanting your company message and image the way you want yourself to be understood in the minds and hearts of your target audience.

Or putting it more simply:

Branding is getting people to think of you the way you want to be thought of.

Yet branding is much more. A strong brand generates an identity with the target audience. A brand is perceived as a set of values with which people identify. Everybody is driven by values. People feel comfortable identifying with values they hold. A brand I relate to is something I can believe in. Something I can trust. In this way, a brand is like a person.


Where marketers gather to ruminate, the discussion about the meaning of branding takes on the texture of discussions on how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. But this is clear...

The value of the brand exists not in the product or company, but in the customer's mind. This value is measured beyond the usefulness of the product (or service) to include perceptions of "quality", consistency, reliability, and simply getting one's money's worth. It would be easy to dismiss the concept of a brand as an intangible, except that tangibility is irrelevant. To the customer with a specific brand of choice, the brand is very tangible.
There's a difference between reputation -- even a favorable one, with great name recognition -- and a brand. The reputation may serve as a backdrop for receptivity for other marketing efforts, but other marketing efforts there must be. Reputation and name recognition are not the same as the array of perceptions and emotional attachments that consumers have for a brand. Subtle distinctions, perhaps, but very real ones. Everybody, including those who don’t hire accounting firms, knew Price Waterhouse by name, because they did the highly visible Academy Awards for years. But without a great deal of marketing activity that seems almost irrelevant to the name recognition, Price Waterhouse might not have gotten another client.
Branding for a professional service may very well be different from branding for a product. Which is not to say that there isn't some viability in branding for a professional service. But different it is, and therefore harder to do. Ultimately, (and except for very large or specialized firms), people don't usually buy a firm -- they buy an individual service or an individual accountant or lawyer or consultant whom they believe has the specific expertise to address their needs or problems.
Joseph Vales, a leading and thoughtful marketer with Price Waterhouse (now PriceWaterhouseCoopers), enhances the definition. "A brand," he says, "is more distinctive than a product. It is, first of all, a name -- a means of identification. Second, it is a set of added values, values that offer both functional and psychological benefits to the consumer, such as performance in use, price, packaging, color, taste, smell, shape and form, associations, and the perceptions formed by advertising."

I went through first 30 sites brought out by google search for "meaning of branding" but could not not locate any thing worth including in this note today.

Corporate Legal Consultants LEX Nexus India

LEX Nexus re-structured with new managing partner

Mumbai, Maharashtra, INDIA, 2007-12-24 1 (

Binita Hathi, a solicitor, with masters in law also admitted to the Supreme Court of India as Advocate on Record (AOR) practicing at Bombay High Court is the new managing partner of the law firm LEX Nexus from December 24, 2007 thus replacing Suhail Farooqui.

Mr. Farooqui continues as partner of the law firm and have stepped down as the managing partner since he is involved with a major Middle East based oil and gas deal which entails traveling overseas frequently and is also involved with LPO project (legal outsourcing) for ATI Avocats, a sister concern of the firm.

Recently on November 16, 2007 Hathi & Partners had spinned-off its project works by forming a specialised project law firm under LEX Nexus with two offices in Mumbai and New Delhi with ten associate offices at major cities and forty offices globally. Hathi & Partners was known as LEX Nexus before it was renamed in October last year. Hathi & Partners is a full service law firm focused on maritime, corporate and commercial, dispute resolution, banking and finance, sources said.

Binita Hathi, managing partner of LEX Nexus, said the company will remain focused in specialising on projects mainly pertaining to oil, gas, energy, infrastructure, privatisation, real estate, aviation amongst other project work and is also considering appointment of new partners.

LEX Nexus with two offices at Mumbai and at New Delhi with ten associate offices at major cities in India and forty offices globally at EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), America and Asia Pacific.

about LEX Nexus

LEX Nexus is a specialised project law firm accepting work from all overseas and domestic corporates, government bodies etc and all those seeking assistance from our law firm including acceptance of work from overseas law firm,advising financial institutions, commercial enterprises, and state and regulatory bodies on complex and critical legal issues.

With multi-jurisdiction offices, associate law firms and lawyers in the Asia Pacific, EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and America, we offer in-depth local knowledge and a uniquely global perspective. LEX Nexus lawyers advise internationally and domestically.

The firmaim is to provide consistently high quality advice understanding of the commercial environment in whichclients operate. LEX Nexus offers in-depth local knowledge and a uniquely global perspective.

The firm is structured for project related transactional work including dispute resolution. Each area comprises industry-focused teams dedicated to delivering incisive advice.

The Firm's domestic and international clients range from privately owned to publicly listed companies, including Fortune 500 entities.

LEX Nexus is a law firm with eight partners, the firm also has associates and support staffs. The firm aims to provide clear; concise and practical advice based on in-depth knowledge of the legal, regulatory and commercial environment within which our clients operate and with a full understanding of their overall business objectives.

Given a rich human resource base, the firm has the ability to assemble dedicated teams of professionals with the requisite expertise to meet client requirements and handle complex and large transactions.

Each client has a dedicated partner who leads, coordinates, and is directly responsible to meet client requirements efficiently. The ability to respond to client requirements and to render the highest level of services is fundamental to the approach of the firm towards its clients.

The new era of globalisation, where the work force is as intermingled as modern culture, it is the objective of LEX Nexus to provide clients with the latest and the most appropriate strategies using analytical tools and management science, encompassing when required legal minds practicing in various jurisdiction, to serve the profession and further legal issues.

LEX Nexus, organised and registered law firm including registration with the Bombay High Court as Advocates & Solicitors and with the Bombay Incorporated Law Society as Solicitors. All partners are registered on the rolls of their respective Bar Councils to practice law while some partners are advocates on record on the rolls of the Supreme Court of India.

LEX Nexus - Mumbai
Phone: +91-9869025182
Fax: +91-22-22691882

Online Advertising - Effectiveness

Post-IPO Ad Campaigns Successfully Driving Traffic to Sites, Reports AdRelevance Division of Media Metrix
Business Wire, May 23, 2000

this article gives statistics of advertising impressions and unique visitors to its site post IPO Advertising and Traffic Activity
Source: AdRelevance, a division of Media Metrix

Date Impressions Unique Visitors
Campaign launches 12/13/99 1,800,000 370,000
12/20/99 2,000,000 344,000
12/27/99 2,400,000 520,000
1/3/00 2,700,000 517,000
1/10/00 3,400,000 576,000
1/17/00 4,600,000 673,000
1/24/00 5,100,000 603,000
1/31/00 5,800,000 553,000
2/7/00 8,400,000 478,000
2/14/00 6,500,000 641,000
2/21/00 11,000,000 941,000
2/28/00 12,000,000 1,085,000
3/6/00 14,000,000 661,000
3/13/00 14,000,000 958,000
Campaign peaks 3/20/00 15,000,000 883,000
3/27/00 13,000,000 750,000
4/3/00 10,000,000 935,000

Terms: "Impressions" refer to the number of times an ad is rendered for viewing by a user; "Unique Visitors" refers to the actual number of total users who visited the reported website or online property at least once in the given time period. All Unique Visitors are unduplicated (only counted once).

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Organization Structure Changes - International

Société Générale

Paris, London 18 December, 2007

Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking: appointment at the helm of market activities

Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking makes two appointments in the
management of its market activities.

Christophe Mianné, will head all of the corporate & investment bank market activities in the framework of his position as deputy to Jean-Pierre Mustier, Chief Executive Officer of Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking.

With these new responsibilities, Christophe will supervise both the Global Equities &
Derivatives Solutions division, and the Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities division.

He will thus foster the sharing of expertise and the creation of greater synergies across activities, in particular in the areas of risk management and financial engineering.

Luc François, previously co-head of the Global Equities & Derivatives Solutions division with Christophe Mianné, will take full responsibility for that division.

Christophe Mianné
Christophe joined Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking in 1988 in the sales department of the derivatives group and was later the Head of Financial Engineering until 1992 when he was appointed Head of Sales & Marketing for Equity Derivatives. In 1996 he became Deputy Head of the division and was appointed Global Head of Equity Derivatives in 1999. In January 2007, Christophe Mianné was named Deputy Chief Executive of Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking and co-head of Global Equities & Derivatives Solutions. He has been a member of the Group Management Committee of Societe Generale since July 2001 and is also the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Lyxor Asset Management. Christophe is a graduate of the Ecole Centrale de Paris.

Luc Francois
Luc has been with Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking since 1988, when he started out working as a trader for Delahaye Generale Options. He subsequently held various trading positions in the US and Paris, before being appointed Head of Trading and Arbitrage for French Equity Derivatives activities in Paris in 1993. He later moved to Tokyo to work as Head of Asian equity derivatives and in 1997 returned to Paris to take up the role of Head of Trading. In 1999 he was appointed Deputy Head of Equity Derivatives Division. In 2007, Luc has been appointed
co-head of the Global Equities & Derivatives Solutions division. He is a member of the Group Management Committee of Société Générale. Luc is a graduate of ESE (Ecole Superieur d’Electricite).

Société Générale
Société Générale is one of the largest financial services groups in the euro-zone. The Group employs 120,000 people worldwide in three key businesses:
􀂃 Retail Banking & Financial Services: Société Générale serves 24 million individual customers worldwide.
􀂃 Global Investment Management & Services: Société Générale is one of the largest banks in the euro-zone in terms of assets under custody (EUR 2 585 billion, Sept 2007) and under management (EUR 450,1 billion, Sept 2007).
􀂃 Corporate & Investment Banking: Société Générale ranks among the leading banks worldwide in euro capital arkets, derivatives and structured finance.
Société Générale is included in the five major socially-responsible investment indexes.

Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking

A leading player present in over 45 countries across Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific, Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking is the bank of reference for:
􀂃 Euro capital markets. A top 5 player across euro debt capital markets (bonds, securitisation, loans), and a leader in French Equity Capital Markets with European reach.
􀂃 Derivatives. A world leader in equity derivatives, and with forefront positions in many interest rate, credit,
foreign exchange and commodities derivatives.
􀂃 Structured finance. A worldwide leader in export, project and structured commodity finance with global expertise in energy, infrastructure, real estate and media & telecom finance.
Tailoring solutions in terms of capital raising, financing, risk management and investment, Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking combines expertise, innovation and advisory skills coupled with quality of execution to both issuers and investors clients across debt and equity.

Soure Media release

Organization Structure Changes - USA

Organization Structure Changes - India

Alliances, Collaborations - Mutual Funds - International

Alliances, Collaborations - Stock Brokers - International

Alliances, Collaborations - Investment Banks - International

Alliances, Collaborations - Mutual Funds - India and International

Alliances and Collaborations Stock Brokers - India and International

Alliances among Investment Banks - India and International

Ambit and Soceity Generale
Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking partners with Ambit to develop cross border M&A advisory services for India

The partnership will enable Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking to propose acquisition opportunities to its Indian client base, together with advisory services to assist in the negotiation and structuring of the transaction

Mumbai, Maharashtra, IND, 2007-12-18 16:22:33 (

In the context of growing cross border M&A transactions between India and Europe powered by both Indian acquisitions abroad and foreign investments in India, Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking and Ambit, a leading independent Indian Investment Bank, signed a cooperation agreement to offer advisory services to their respective European and Indian clients in the field of cross border M&A transactions.

The agreement sets a principle of exclusivity for cross border M&A transactions between Europe and India and defines a framework of joint marketing efforts and execution of assignments between the two partners.

The partnership will enable Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking to propose acquisition opportunities to its Indian client base, together with advisory services to assist in the negotiation and structuring of the transaction. It will also give the bank the opportunity to become Ambit’s partner of choice for European transactions. In turn, the partnership with Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking will provide Ambit with a platform to identify, introduce and execute transactions for its clients in the European market.

Ambit is an independent investment bank well positioned in the Indian market for M&A. It employs a team of over 30 professionals across Mumbai and Delhi dedicated to M&A. Ambit is organised according to sector specialisation, with a particular focus on Media, Automotive, Transportation, Logistics, Financial Services, Pharmaceutical, Fast Moving Consumer Goods and Real Estate. The bank has developed close relationships with Indian businesses and recently advised on several significant transactions such as the Viacom joint venture with TV18, the Heidelberg acquisition of Mysore Cement, and the merger of Indian Airlines with Air India.

Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking’s M&A teams are located in Europe and the US. The bank has acted as adviser in many significant cross border transactions, such as the acquisition of Arcelor by Mittal, as well as the divestiture of several European assets, including the acquisition of Bristol Water by Agbar, the acquisition of Dendrite by Cegedim, and the merger between Euronext and The New York Stock Exchange.

- End -

A leading player present in over 45 countries across Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific, Société

Générale Corporate & Investment Banking ranks third in the euro zone in terms of NBI. It is the bank of

reference for:

· Euro capital markets. A top 5 player across euro debt capital markets (bonds, securitisation, loans), and a leader in French Equity Capital Markets with European reach.

· Derivatives. A world leader in equity derivatives, and with forefront positions in many interest rate, credit, foreign exchange and commodities derivatives.

Structured finance. A worldwide leader in export, project and structured commodity finance with global expertise in energy, infrastructure, real estate and media & telecom finance. Tailoring solutions in terms of capital raising, financing, risk management and investment, Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking combines expertise, innovation and advisory skills coupled with quality of execution to both issuers and investors clients across debt and equity.


Since its inception in 1997, Ambit’s commitment to create true value has been the cornerstone of its business approach and has enabled the firm to establish strong client relationships with several worldclass companies. What started out as a boutique investment bank has now grown to be one of India’s leading investment banks. Over the last 3 years, Ambit Corporate Finance has ranked amongst the top 3 Investment Banks by deal counts on the Bloomberg league tables for India.

Ambit understands and has extensive experience across industries and has represented leading organizations across a wide range of sectors. Ambit is privileged to serve a distinguished client portfolio that includes many Fortune 100 and 500 companies and represents enterprises that enjoy a leadership position within their respective industries.

Ambit is acknowledged for its vast resource of intellectual capital and accredited for its ability to deliver.

Its team has structured various complex transactions, some of which can be particularly singled as being the first of the kind to be executed in recent times. It views its innovativeness and ingenuity as being central to its success and positioning – clearly differentiating it from others.

Ambit has a dedicated Private Equity Fund, Ambit Pragma Ventures led by a senior team of professionals. In 2007, Ambit entered into a joint venture with Nikko Asset Management of Japan to launch Asset Management Business in India.

To get more information on Ambit please visit


Since its inception in 1997, Ambit’s commitment to create true value has been the cornerstone of its business approach and has enabled the firm to establish strong client relationships with several worldclass companies. What started out as a boutique investment bank has now grown to be one of India’s leading investment banks. Over the last 3 years, Ambit Corporate Finance has ranked amongst the top 3 Investment Banks by deal counts on the Bloomberg league tables for India.

Ambit understands and has extensive experience across industries and has represented leading organizations across a wide range of sectors. Ambit is privileged to serve a distinguished client portfolio that includes many Fortune 100 and 500 companies and represents enterprises that enjoy a leadership position within their respective industries.

Ambit is acknowledged for its vast resource of intellectual capital and accredited for its ability to deliver.

Its team has structured various complex transactions, some of which can be particularly singled as being the first of the kind to be executed in recent times. It views its innovativeness and ingenuity as being central to its success and positioning – clearly differentiating it from others.

Ambit has a dedicated Private Equity Fund, Ambit Pragma Ventures led by a senior team of professionals. In 2007, Ambit entered into a joint venture with Nikko Asset Management of Japan to launch Asset Management Business in India.

To get more information on Ambit please visit

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Investment Banking Carbon Emissions - Climate Change


LONDON, 26 September 2007
Lehman Brothers, the global investment bank, today announced the appointment of Laurent Segalen as managing director, global head of Carbon Emissions, responsible for structuring and origination. Mr. Segalen will be based in London and
report to Henrik Wareborn, managing director and head of Commodities, Europe.
Mr. Segalen joins Lehman Brothers from Natixis, where he was managing director of the
European Carbon Fund and was responsible for the structuring, placement and management of the €142m fund. He has previously worked at PwC where he was the leader of the climate change business.

“As carbon emissions trading becomes an increasingly important aspect of managing the
challenge of climate change, the opportunities for participating in this market are set to grow exponentially. Lehman Brothers has been a participant in this market since inception, and with the appointment of Laurent we are looking to position our operation to effectively service our clients in this strategic sector of the global energy market,” said Mr. Wareborn.

Lehman Brothers is engaged in efforts to find environmentally sustainable solutions and to develop market-based mechanisms in response to the threat posed by climate change including a strong and growing platform in underwriting, advising and investing in renewable energy companies. In addition, in February 2007, the Firm established the Council on Climate Change, which will bring together clients, policy-makers, academics and non-governmental officials to facilitate constructive dialogue through summits in New York, London and Tokyo. On 20 September 2007, Lehman Brothers published “The Business of Climate Change II,” a direct response to the principal question posed by the Firm’s clients: what policies are likely to be enacted in the name of climate change?

Lehman Brothers’ commodities business complements the Firm’s existing strength in natural resources and energy investment banking, and covers a full range of sales, trading and structured finance in commodities globally. The Firm’s commodities business has operations in the world’s main commodities hubs.

Based on media release

Lehman India


MUMBAI, 12 June 2007

Lehman Brothers, the global investment bank, said today Jayanta Banerjee has joined the Firm as managing director and head of Private Equity (excluding Real Estate) and Growth Capital, India. Based in Mumbai, he will report jointly to Tarun Jotwani, chairman and chief executive officer, India, and Christopher Manning, head of the Investment Management Division, Asia.

In his new role, Mr. Banerjee will be responsible for managing Lehman Brothers’ growth capital principal investments and will work closely with members of the various global private equity funds. Having been involved with the Indian private equity industry since 1998 and having been a member of the senior management team at one of India’s largest and most successful private equity firms, Mr. Banerjee brings vast experience and an indepth knowledge across various sectors as an investor.
Mr. Jotwani said, “Lehman Brothers’ India franchise continues its robust expansion and, under Jayanta’s leadership, we expect to capitalize on the tremendous growth in mid-capcorporate India. With corporate profit growth in the mid-twenty percent range, and private equity investments growing at a rate of more than 100% in India, we are very pleased to have someone of Jayanta’s caliber leading this effort for us.”
Mr. Manning added, “We are excited to have someone of Jayanta's talents as we continue to grow our private equity business in India and we look forward to partnering with management teams to help them achieve their growth plans.”

Prior to joining Lehman Brothers, Mr. Banerjee was Director-Investments at ICICI
Venture. In addition to being a member of the Investment Committee of ICICI Venture’s
US$810 million India Advantage Fund Series 2, the largest Indian private equity fund,
Mr. Banerjee played a pivotal role in raising funds from investors across the globe. He is an alumnus of Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIM B) and holds a Bachelor of Engineering from Jadavpur University, Kolkata.



MUMBAI, 30 April, 2007

Lehman Brothers, the global investment bank, today announced the appointment of Prashant Purker as managing director and head of Global Finance, India.

In this new role, Mr. Purker will be responsible for the Firm’s origination efforts across debt, equity and the client-based Risk Solutions Group in India.
Mr. Purker has more than twenty years of business development and managerial experience across a wide range of financial services and products, including foreign exchange, equities, fixed income, asset-backed finance and interest rates, as well as their related derivatives.

Based in Mumbai, Mr. Purker will report to Surojit Shome, head of Investment Banking,
India and Joonkee Hong, head of Global Finance, Asia.

Mr. Shome said: “We are delighted to have someone of Prashant’s caliber join our
Investment Banking franchise. With M&A on the rise and demand for innovative structured financial products increasing, Prashant’s experience will be an invaluable asset to the Firm.”

Mr. Purker joins Lehman Brothers from ICICI Bank Ltd, where he was head of Global
Principal Investments and Trading, responsible for the bank’s Indian proprietary trading business and the investment and trading activities of its overseas branches. Mr Purker is an Indian Institute of Technology (Kanpur) alumnus and has a post-graduate diploma in management from the Indian Institute of Management (Ahmedabad).



MUMBAI, 23 April 2007

Lehman Brothers, the global investment bank, today announced the appointment of Pankaj Vaish as managing director and head of Equities and Fixed Income Liquid Markets, India. Based in Mumbai, he will report to Tarun Jotwani, chairman and chief executive officer, India and Hyung Lee, head of Equities and Fixed Income, Asia.
Mr. Vaish brings to the Firm vast experience across product lines. He has worked extensively in equity and derivatives trading, structuring and trading structured products. He also brings in-depth knowledge of hedge funds, having previously founded a global macro hedge fund, called PV Capital Management, and has worked with New York-based Vega Asset Management.

Mr. Jotwani said: “It gives me immense pleasure to welcome a professional of Pankaj’s exceptional standing to the Firm, who brings with him over 16 years of capital markets experience. Currently, India is a market with great potential in the capital markets. His leadership and expertise in financial products will be an invaluable asset as the Firm grows in equities, rates and commodities, among other liquid markets products. His appointment highlights Lehman Brothers’ commitment to expanding our businesses in India.”

Mr. Vaish joins Lehman Brothers from Citigroup, New York, where he was most recently managing director, responsible for proprietary trading of Global Equity Markets via cash and derivatives. Earlier he was responsible for the North American Equity Derivatives Trading, Global Commodity Derivatives business and Fixed-Income Derivatives Trading activities at Citibank. He has a Master of Science in Management as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


MUMBAI, 23 January 2007

Lehman Brothers, the global investment bank, today announced the appointment of Surojit Shome as managing director and head of Investment Banking, India, based in Mumbai.

Mr. Shome brings to the Firm a depth of experience in the Indian market covering the corporate banking, capital markets and investment banking product range. He is responsible for building the Firm’s investment banking franchise in that market and reports to Kunho Cho, head of Investment Banking, Asia Pacific, at Lehman Brothers, and Tarun Jotwani, chairman and chief executive officer, India, at Lehman Brothers.
Mr. Shome joins Lehman Brothers from Citigroup, where he was most recently a managing director and head of Corporate Banking for the Indian sub-continent overseeing corporate and financial institutions coverage teams for India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. He has a bachelors degree in Economics & Statistics from Presidency College, Kolkata and a post-graduate degree in business management from XLRI, Jamshedpur.

Tarun Jotwani, chairman and CEO, India, at Lehman Brothers, said, “I am delighted to have someone of Surojit’s calibre leading our rapidly expanding Indian investment banking franchise.

India is an exciting growth market and Surojit brings 19 years of experience, enormous domain knowledge and great leadership skills to Lehman Brothers. His appointment highlights the Firm’s commitment to expanding our investment banking presence in India.”

Bsed on media release by Lehman

Options Trade Execution Alogorithm Lehman Brothers 2007


NEW YORK, November 29, 2007

Lehman Brothers, the global investment bank, today announced the launch of Options Work and Pounce, a new algorithmic order execution strategy for the U.S. listed options market. The new strategy is an extension of LMX® (Lehman Model
Execution), Lehman Brothers’ market leading global suite of algorithmic order execution strategies, available for both equities and futures.

Frank Troise, managing director and head of U.S. Equities Electronic Trading Products,commented, “Options trading continues to migrate to electronic venues. We are committed to staying on the forefront of electronic trading by constantly expanding our product offering.

Delivery of algorithmic tools that access electronic options liquidity is in direct response to growing client demand for advanced derivatives trading capabilities.”
Options Work and Pounce, which leverages the award-winning LMX platform, is designed to provide price improvement. The algorithm manages orders anonymously on behalf of clients and opportunistically reacts to available liquidity, allowing clients to build or reduce positions while minimizing market impact.

“Providing our clients with innovative electronic execution tools is of paramount importance in today’s markets,” commented Brian Fagen, managing director and head of U.S. Equities Electronic Trading and Program Sales. “We are thrilled to offer these expanded capabilities to our clients.”

With its reliable, high-performing environment, the LMX suite has seen more than 100% volume growth in 2007 over the prior year. The LMX suite of direct access algorithms complements Lehman Brothers' broader offering of electronic trading tools and analytical services. LMX was ranked #1 algorithm for hedge funds by Alpha Magazine in 2007.

Lehman Brothers’ Equities Capital Markets, which reported record net revenues of $4.4 billion in the first nine months of fiscal 2007, is consistently recognized across product lines and continues to demonstrate top-tier market positions, as evidenced by a series of #1 rankings. In 2007, the Firm ranked #1 for the fifth year in a row in Institutional Investor’s All-America Research Team survey, and #1 in Institutional Investor’s U.S. Equity Trading poll. Lehman Brothers was the first broker to execute four million electronic order book trades in one month
on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and ranked as the #1 dealer by trading volume on LSE,Euronext and Xetra. The Firm also ranks #1 by program trading volumes on the NYSE. In addition, Alpha magazine ranked Lehman Brothers #1 in Algorithmic Trading. Investors ranked the Firm #2 for Overall Equity Derivatives Quality for Europe in 2007, up from #10 in 2005.

The Firm was also named the #1 Prime Broker in Europe and Japan, and was awarded 42 “Best in Class” awards for excellence in the 2007 Global Custodian Prime Brokerage survey.

Source: Media release of the company

Monday, December 17, 2007

Bangalore HR Summit 2007

Noida, UP, IND, 2007-12-17 11:53:56 (

The much awaited Bangalore HR Summit 2007 'Leveraging technology for HR’, concluded with a very humble request by Human Resources managers to the Technocrats working in the HR field to walk along and not walk ahead. The suggestion was to find means to fill the knowledge gap between HR Professionals and HR Solution providers. The eminent speakers, who had been benefited by technology, highlighted the following points:

1. Technology is an enabler.

2. Positives of effective automation are Speed, accuracy, 24X7 Help desk functioning, real time data and authenticity, paperless office and effective employee engagement, identifying performers.

3. To become HR Evangelist from HR Admin.

Performance Management and Talent Management softwares have suddenly caught the fancies of the Human Resource Management Leaders. It has become so important that HR Technology Conference 2008, Chiago will have 'What is the Talent Management Suite? And what are vendors actually delivering?' on its first day’s agenda. Performance Management and Talent Management are now an integral part of Human Resource Management Software (HRMS) - without which HR management means merely playing with the employee data & reports on an excel sheet.

"The industry is not yet mature, and there are ample opportunities for HR Managers and Organizations to benefit.” says Tushar Bhatia, chief architect and designer of EmpXtrack - an Integrated Human Resource Management, Performance and Talent Management suite ( He continues," Having a development center in India and sales & marketing networks in United states has helped us to offer very competitively priced solutions to the customers worldwide. Replacing the currently used HR process - oriented niche solutions with 'EmpXtrack' will surely result in substantial cuts in the budgets for HR automation. In US and Europe, in particular, where per employee cost for a SaaS based software is huge, the financial savings will be enormous if 'EmpXtrack' is deployed".

The HR Summit attracted participants from across the industry verticals. The list includes Wipro, InfoSys BPO, IOL, reliance Infocom, Sapient, LG Soft India Pvt. Ltd., Makino India, Honeywell Technologies and Patni Computers. "Technology should follow the change, not precede it", said one of the keynote speakers.

Ankur Arora, Vice President (Sales) Saigun Technologies, a participant and sponsor of the HR Bangalore Summit, was more than happy from the response he received at the showcase of 'EmpXtrack - Lite', a flagship product of Saigun Technologies for the SME segment. Also EmpXtrack with its 18 modules attracted visitors like Reliance Infocomm, Sapient, LG Soft India Pvt. Limited, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Honeywell Technologies, etc. EmpXtrack's positioning as a 'Modular and fullyCustomizable' solution was well received .

Bangalore HR Summit 2007 ( achieved its aimof bringing together HR Professionals, Academicians, Researchers, Technology providers and Management Students on a common platform to deliberate on various aspects of the theme: " Leveraging Technology for HR Effectiveness".

- End -

About Saigun Technologies

We provide application development and systems integration. We assist our clients with the design, build and project management aspects of e-businesses. We provide integration to the existing systems or supplier systems in the existing supply chain.

We provide application management services, where our services help you manage your application portfolio to achieve maximum business value. We provide Infrastructure and systems management and can plan, deploy, optimize and manage your complex, multi-vendor IT infrastructure. We offer a variety of services designed to test, improve and tune the performance of your business infrastructure.

We also provide maintenance services designed to help keep your multi-vendor environment operating at peak performance. We manage data and storage, right from planning, installation, optimization, migration to testing.

Gireesh Kumar
Sr. Content Writer
Saigun Technologies
Phone: +91 120 431 5560
Mobile: 09210770591
You can also visit for more information.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Attracting traffic with banner ads

Types of Banner Advertising

Although Web advertising has a variety of formats such as email marketing, sponsorships, classifieds, search engines, Web sites etc., the most frequent type is banner advertising, which is a display advertisement hyperlinked to an advertiser’s Web site (Li & Bukovac, 1999). Banner advertisements are not only effective for advertising products, providing information, generating traffic to a targeted Web site, and making on-line sales but also effective in creating brand effects such as brand awareness and brand attitude. However, the strength of this impact depends on the type of banner advertisement (Cho et al., 2001). In particular, banner advertisements can be classified into five major types such as static, pop-up, animated, dynamic, or rotated (Search-Engine-Optimization-Ethics, 2002).

A static advertisement that neither moves nor changes its contents with every loading page includes only one GIF or JPEG image file (Search-Engine-Optimization-Ethics, 2002). It is deemed passive because it does not interrupt visitors’ Web activity (surfing).

A pop-up banner advertisement appears on a separate small window at the top of a visitor’s screen when navigating from one Web page to another. However, a pop-up is considered intrusive because it interrupts visitors’ Web navigation, particularly so when the information displayed does not match visitors’ interests. Because of the annoyance factor and the availability of pop-up blocking software, their use is not growing, and their share is only 4 to 7 percent of the total banner advertising market (Koegel, 2004). Despite these disadvantages, pop-ups are more effective for creating brand awareness than are static banner advertisements (Cho et al., 2001). Specifically, they are more effective when the advertising message is emotional rather than rational.

An animated banner advertisement includes many GIF or JPEG files that are shown in rapid succession to create animation effects. The impact of animated banner advertisements on consumers’ cognitive, attitudinal, and click-through responses varies. They do have a positive impact on consumers’ cognitive responses (Dreze & Hussherr, 2003; ) but do not have a greater impact on persuasion (Taylor & Thomson, 1982; Taylor & Wood, 1983), and click through (Dreze & Hussherr, 2003 ) than non-animated advertisements.

Rich media or dynamic banner advertisements are made-up of audio, video, Java, and Macromedia Flash etc. that impact on consumers in the same way a TV commercial does with an added dimension of interactivity (Koegel, 2003). Almost 39 percent of all Internet users in the US logged on through broadband connections in 2003. Subsequently, it is expected that more than 50 percent of all on-line advertising will contain dynamic advertisements and will become the standard for Web advertising by 2005 (Koegel, 2003).

A rotated banner advertisement consists of an array of advertisements shown in different successions in a single presentation. It is considered one of the effective ways of presenting banner advertising because different messages from one or a number of advertisers can be delivered to visitors during a single visit.

Cho, C., Lee, J., & Tharp, M. (2001). Different forced-exposure to banner advertisements. Journal of Advertising Research, 41(July/August), 45-56.
Dreze, X., & Hussherr, F.-X. (2003). Internet advertising: Is anybody watching? Journal of Interactive Marketing, 17(4), 8-23.
Koegel, K. (2004, March 2004). Doubleclick's year in online advertising 2003.
Li, H., & Bukovac, J. L. (1999). Cognitive impact of banner ad characteristics: An experimental study. Journal of Mass Communication Quarterly, 76(2), 341-353.
Search-Engine-Optimization-Ethics. (2002). Banner advertising.
Taylor, S. E., & Thomson, S. C. (1982). Stalking the elusive vividness effect. Psychological Review, 89(2), 155-181.
Taylor, S. E., & Wood, J. V. (1983). The vividness effect: Making a mountain out of a molehill? Advances in Consumer Research, 10, 540-542.

Main Source:
Research Study Proposal
Multiple Banner Advertisements: A Proposed Model of Consumers’ Cognitive Responses
Banner advertisement.

In the beginning of Internet era, banner advertisement was one of the primer methods of online marketing. Visitors were clicking through banners aggressively. Today, things are totally different! Today, visitors tend to avoid clicking through the banners unless there is a very compelling reason to do so. Does that mean the banner advertisement is dead? Not so soon! Although, banner click through rate is quite low in comparison to what it used to be, depending on your objectives banner advertisement can still be very effective according some research studies. Banner ads are used today, either for creating brand recognition or for bringing in more traffic to the website and consequently generating more sales. As an overall brand awareness campaign, companies place banners on targeted websites.

Banners of products with mass appeal are frequently posted on high traffic portals. If your goal is to make any of your products or services popular to certain niche market, you should find websites catering this particular audience and post banner ads. When visitors see your banners, whether they click on it or not – same like traditional bill boards and TV advertisements – it helps you building consciousness to your brand.

According to a recent study, online banner ads can be as effective as television advertising as far as brand recognition is concerned. A survey was conducted among members of American Online who saw an ad of a product as a banner on the website and on TV commercial. The result indicated that 40 percent of the audience remembers the static banners and 41 percent remembers the TV commercial at the time of the poll conducted a few days later(*Notice the similar percentages).

Forester Research claims that you can get similar brand recognition effect from online ad campaign in comparison to traditional forms of advertisements for around 60 percent less cost.

However, same like offline ads, in order to create a sustainable brand recognition, your online advertisement campaign also needs to run for a prolong period of time.

Generating traffic

Banner ads could be a good source of high quality traffic for your website if you manage your banner ad campaign wisely. If your main purpose of the campaign is to generate more sales by attracting traffic - which is any way should be the main goal of any e-commerce site – you have to select sites to post banners where you target audience frequently visit. Pay per click search engines like Overture or Google Adwords are good options for your textual banner ads. Since the visitors are already looking for a website like yours by searching for the keyword that you have selected to place your ad, you get highly targeted traffic from this.

There are no fixed rules of effective banner ads campaign. You have to learn the program works best for you by trial and error. The principal idea behind any advertisement is to grab viewers' attention, ignite their curiosity and motivate them to act. For banner ads it is no different!

The following tips should help you getting better result from your banner advertisement campaign:

1. Choose an attention grabbing content. Space is so limited in a banner – same like newspaper headlines – you have to come up with something that really gets viewer's attention.

2. Call to an action. Many people like to be guided. Tell them what to do such as "Click here" or "Go to the website".

3. Focus on one offer. Your banner ad should carry one single message. By including several offers in one ad, chances are you will confuse viewers rather than intrigue.

4. Make it readable. Even a greatly designed banner will fail to motivate a viewer if the text on it is not readable.

5. Avoid information overload. Too many pictures, colors and texts make banners look clumsy. Viewers tend to ignore this type of banners. Animated banners should have less than four frames.

6. Don't use heavy banners. Make sure that your banner file size is less than 5K. Bigger files take longer time to load.

7. Test your banners before publishing. Check how your banners will look with different browsers. Verify that the banner link URL is correct and linked to the right page on your website. Whenever, you make changes to your website, make sure to double check your banner ads.

Recent practice shows that a banner, which looks like a text has 4 times more click through rate than a conventional banner. So use text banners to increase efficiency of your banner ad program.

From an article by Nowshade Kabir, the founder, primary developer and present CEO of A Ph. D. in Information Technology, he has wide experience in Business Consulting, International Trade and Web Marketing. Rusbiz is a Global B2B Emarketplace with solutions to start and run online business. You can contact him at mailto:nowshade[at],

Friday, December 14, 2007

Brand Building, Brand Equity, and Brand Market Building

In the Economic Times 14 December 2007, page 17, I came across the article “Brand Building’s Key to Long-Term Success” authored by Jacob Cherian.

The article begins with the statement that Mocha coffee shop started brand building from day one. But focused on developing a critical mass of users through word-of-mouth. It started brand building only in 2007, even though it had started in 2001.

The article focuses on the dilemma of start-up companies whether to build a brand or not? Because while a strong brand equity can bring enormous value to the company, it also requires a large commitment of capital and management energy early on. To add to the confusion some experts recommend brand building even at the pre-product stage, where as others recommend waiting till the company establishes the core attributes of their product or service offerings.

Harshal Shah of Reliance Technology Ventures supports the idea that a company should start building its brand, as soon as it has validated its core. The core according to him comprises the venture team’s values, experiences and capabilities.

Some of the points made in the article are as follows. A strong brand is a profitable asset. Brand identity is essence of the attributes of the offering, which will be consistently performed every time a customer experiences it. It is not mere advertising, nor even just marketing, but a clear recall in the consumer’s mind of all that a product or a service stands for. Living the values that the newborn brand claims to represent and communicating to the audience that the same results can be expected in all the transactions with the brand has to be done repeatedly for sufficient period of time to build the brand. Longevity and profits in the long term are a good reason for early brand building.

This article increased my curiosity in the concept of branding. What is branding? Is it a part of marketing? Is there a war of words going on between marketing and branding? Such war is being fought between management and leadership. While in the earlier texts on management, leadership was a chapter. We have now a set of people who claim that managers are not leaders or managers were not trained to be leaders.

I quickly glanced through the Kotler’s Marketing Management (Ninth edition) for refreshing myself on the issue. Kotler gave a view of the marketing process originally proposed by in McKinsey staff paper.

In the process, there are strategic marketing steps and tactical marketing steps.

Strategic marketing steps:
---- Customer segmentation
---- Market selection/focus
---- Value positioning

Tactical marketing steps:
** Providing the value
---- Product development
---- Service development
---- Pricing
---- Sourcing or making
---- Distributing and servicing

** Communicating the value
---- Sales force
---- Sales promotion
---- Advertising

Where is branding in this marketing process? Branding needs to be brought into the marketing process to clarify its role in marketing.

Kotler covers brand decisions in the chapter on “Managing Product Lines, Brands, and Packaging.” The definition for brand used by Kotler is the one given by the American Marketing Association.

“A brand is name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them, intended to identify the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors.”

Kotler is not happy with the definition as he elaborates immediately that a brand is essentially a seller’s promise to consistently deliver a specific set of features, benefits, and services to the buyers. And he further states that a brand is even a more complex symbol. It can convey up to six levels of meaning: attributes, benefits, values, culture, personality, and user. In this context is it not better to define brand as a specific set of characteristics of an offer uniquely identified by a name, term, sign, symbol, or design or a combination of them? By defining it that way we may be able to identify the major groups of items that go with a brand:

Brand name
Brand design
Brand technology
Brand organization of production and marketing.

Each and every item above can be sold by business organization and bought by another organization. We can even think of brand market information as an additional item. It can be thought of as part of brand organization also.

What is brand building? Kotler does not describe and discuss the concept of brand building (Ninth edition). I feel brand building is concerned with potential users in the market. Recall that one of the points made in the Economic Times article is that brand is a clear recall in the consumer’s mind of all that a product or a service stands for. This is really the issue in brand building. For indicating this meaning a more appropriate terminology could be to say that brand building consists of ‘brand offer building’ and ‘brand market building.’ Having developed a brand or an offer identified by a brand name, the organization has to develop a market for it. This meaning is implied by discussions of brand equity in Kotler.

In the discussion on brand equity, Kotler says brands vary in the amount of power and value they have in the market place. At one extreme are brands that are not known by most buyers in the market place. They are brands for which buyers have a fairly high degree of brand awareness (measured either by recall or recognition). Beyond this are brands with a high degree of acceptability-in other words, brand that most customers would not resist buying. The next two categories are brands having customer preference and brands having customer loyalty. This discussion brings out the relation between brand and potential users. Brand building is costly because the brand is to be placed before the potential users for them to become aware of it, become users and accepters, and then develop brand preference and brand loyalty. All this brand building may need to be done even before the first sale is made. This is an upfront investment in developing a market for a particular brand.

What are the benefits of brand market building? The upfront investment in brand market building is to be equated to investment in high technology equipment. High technology equipments require large capital investment compared to low technology equipment, but they offer savings in terms of operating cost. The cost benefit analysis of using high tech equipment is a trade off between initial cost and running cost. Similarly, brand building which includes brand offer building and brand market building will reduce selling expenditure. A company that has not built a brand has to incur higher selling cost to transact with the customer. The salesman has to communicate much more with the customer and spend more time with him to show that the product works before a sale is made. The salesman has to use his personal relationship with the potential buyer to convince him to buy the product. Brands with large markets make selling easy and therefore dealers and distributors stock them more willingly for lower commissions.

Explained in this way, the dilemma of a start up is clearer. The decision is similar to the scale of production capacity and level of technology. Initially the start up may have small production capacity with general purpose equipment. This may result in high production costs. But investing in large plants can be risky. Similarly when it comes to brand market building it may not do in a significant manner but rely on experienced salesmen to make the sales. This will mean that selling costs are high but incurring upfront brand market building expenditure is risky.

This also explains the recommendation of some experts that brand building should start once the core of the offering is finalized. At this stage, the venture team is confident of the success in production side as well as market side through its initial forays through avenues that have high current or operating costs. The venture capitalist is happy to release money for both building a large plant with more automation and brand market building.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

CEO Level Interviews

Today, I came across the ET Corporate Dossier of 30 March 2007 having the the topic of CEO level interviews.

He said CEO candidate should possess and position the following aspects.

Successful past experiences that are relevant for the company. So the person has to carry out the homework to ascertain the deliverables of new role.

The candidate must have strategic, intellectual and operational abilities. On a strategic level, awareness of international trends, competitor moves, product portfolio, cost structures in the industry is required. On the operational side, past instances of execution excellence of various strategies of the organizatino led by the candidate need to be highlighted.

Interest, excitement and passion to display and demonstrate energy required in the new terrain/environment he is seeking to enter needs to made visible. A candidate who speaks and thinks only of past and not of future may be considered to be pateauing.

Coming to the international scene, americans prefer aggressive, front ended, highly articulate, energetic, and team playing skills apart from industry knowledge and management expertise.

Europeans prefer systems oriented and complaint persons who are willing to follow standardised code of conduct.


There is an interview guide for CEO's position prepared by IOWA hospital association. The guide is available on internet at

The interview question schedules may be useful to think of possible questions at the interviews at CEO level.


1. Describe your experience in the health care field.
􀀹 Tell us about yourself—how do you feel about yourself?
􀀹 What jobs have you had? Why did you leave?
􀀹 Why do you want to work for our hospital?
􀀹 Describe your vision of health care delivery and the role this
hospital would have.
􀀹 Describe your strengths and weaknesses.
􀀹 How do you deal with areas where you are not as strong?
􀀹 What were the three most important decisions of your life?
􀀹 What books have you read in the past six months?

2. Number of years in senior management positions in:
􀀹 Hospital Administration _________
􀀹 Skilled nursing and
nursing home administration _________
􀀹 Home health care _________
􀀹 Physician clinic _________
􀀹 Other (explain) _________

3. Describe your academic preparation—college—graduate and
continuing education.
􀀹 How does your education and continuing education relate to our

4. What experience, if any, have you had in the areas of
􀀹 mental health
􀀹 substance abuse
􀀹 critical access hospitals
􀀹 hospice

5. What has been your experience in a competitive health care
environment, specifically in developing strategies and activities that

6. How do you balance health care access, quality and cost?

7. Do you have a specific reason for leaving your present employment
apart from this present opportunity? Please explain if your answer is

8. In terms of your next career move, what are you looking for and how
would these objectives be met by the position of chief executive
officer of ___________________ hospital and its related organizations?

Community Relations—Marketing

1. What do you consider to be the most important communication skills
necessary for this position?
2. Illustrate that you understand marketing and can affectively promote
services and programs.
3. What do you consider your most successful public relations
4. What do you consider your strong points in negotiating tactics and
strategies when dealing with individual physicians and secondly, in
dealing with the medical staff as a group?
5. How effective have you been at recruiting physicians?
6. What kind of background check do you conduct in addition to the
usual references? In your experience, how reliable are references?
7. Do you have any experience in fund development?
8. How have you helped develop a strong image of your hospital and/or
clinic in the community?
9. How do you keep abreast of trends and issues in the health care
10. What is your role in political advocacy at the local, state and federal
11. Public hospitals in Iowa (municipal, county and state) operate under
an OPEN MEETINGS LAW which means that any time a quorum or
more is gathered the press can be present. How do you see yourself
effectively processing sensitive issues? (Please note, there are some
exceptions to this law dealing with legally protected


1. What has been your role in:
􀀹 Budget preparation?
􀀹 Budget performance?
􀀹 Handling budget variances?
2. How well do you understand various Iowa hospital payment systems
(e.g., Medicare, Medicaid, Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield)
3. List one or two specific examples of programs or services which you
have implemented that have or will produce additional revenue.
4. What has been your experience in dealing, negotiating or contracting
with an HMO, PPO, insurance company or other risk assumption
5. What experience have you had in reorganizing staff to meet:
􀀹 A reduced occupancy in the hospital?
􀀹 Reduced demand for physician services in a clinic?
6. What experience have you had in addressing various compliance and
regulatory issues and requirements (e.g., HIPAA)?

Management Skills

1. Are you a leader or a follower? Give an example.
2. How would you describe or characterize your management style?
3. How would your present employer or board chair evaluate your
4. Describe your three or four major accomplishments during the past
5. Describe a past management decision that wasn’t successful? Why
wasn’t it successful? How would you deal with it differently today?
6. What specific management strengths would you bring to our
7. What traits or skills do you look for in recruiting and hiring the
people that work directly with you?
8. What has been the greatest challenge facing your present hospital?
9. What do you believe will be your greatest challenge at our hospital?
10. How would you rate your effectiveness in dealing with upper level
associates in management?
11. How do you keep subordinates informed about decisions important
to their performance?
12. How well do you work under pressure or in an emergency? Can you
give an example?
13. How have decisions been made in organizations in which you have
held the position of chief executive?
14. How good are you at conflict resolution? In brief, describe the
process you have employed or may have to employ in the future.
15. Do you use the setting of goals and objectives and their attainment in
your management practice?
16. What has been your specific role in developing and implementing
strategic planning?
17. How good are you at delegating authority? Do you exact strict
accountability attendant to the authority you have delegated?
18. As chief executive officer, do you see yourself as being responsible
for the development of management skills and mentoring your upper
level management staff?
19. How important do you see creativity and innovation in guiding the
destiny of your organization?
20. How do you define the role of the board of trustees of a not-for-profit
21. What is your experience and style in working with a board of trustees
22. What are your two greatest strengths in working with a board?
23. What customer service and employee satisfaction initiatives have
you initiated in prior positions? What is your view regarding
employee satisfaction and customer service?
24. From your review of this hospital, what are the issues and challenges
this hospital faces?

Health System Development

1. What new programs have you created? Explain their development.
2. How do you see leadership of hospitals/clinics positioning their
organizations in the future?
3. What is your present view of developing affiliations with larger
organizations? What do you see as benefits or detriments inherent in
such affiliations?
4. What experience have you had in the development and operation of a
local integrated health care system?
5. How do you see the hospital of tomorrow continuing to be the focal
point of health care delivery in its community?

Community Involvement

1. Describe your community activities and hobbies.
2. To what extent do you see yourself involved in community
3. Will you live in our community?
4. In your opinion, what would make _______________, Iowa, a
satisfactory environment for your spouse and children?

Concluding Questions

1. Where do you hope to be in five years? What is your career goal?
2. What would you like to ask us?
3. Ask for references if they have not been provided.
4. What is your earliest date of availability?

I came across this reference that supports Suresh's ideas.

The above document is from this book

From the book Search: Winning Strategies to Get Your
Next Job in the Nonprofit World.
Copyright (c) 2004 by Larry Slesinger.
Available at

The important points covered are:

Doing Well in the Interview

At the strategic level:

1. Connect your past to the interviewer’s future.
2. Be concise when answering questions.
3. Know the organization before you sit down.
4. Bring three questions.
5. Be animated in the interview.

. . .and at the tactical level:

1. Arrive 15 minutes early.
2. Stop by a mirror to check your appearance.
3. Accept a glass of water even if you’re not thirsty.
4. Turn off your cell phone
Develop yourself into CEO Material

Important points from

Below are the main criteria given by Beverly Lieberman, President of Halbrecht Lieberman Associates, Inc. (, an internationally recognized executive search firm, to focus on by upcoming company leaders to fine-tune themselves if they want to be considered for the top positions. Determine which areas you need to work on. By focusing on the areas, you greatly increase your chances of attaining your professional goals.

A solid business track record that would make others take notice?

Traditionally, hiring companies want people who are considered "best of breed" in their sector. They tend to look for the best business people who have helped turn around a faltering company or who have developed a winning business strategy that has resulted in major revenue growth and profitability.

Candidates are expected to have recently been in a leadership role with substantial operating experience, including P & L responsibility. The executive of choice is someone who would be viewed as directly contributing to his/her company's stock growth.

Critically analyze your business accomplishments. If you seem to be lacking anything noteworthy, you need to develop the track record in your current position before seeking a move upward.

Specific credentials hiring companies are looking for:

Most successful CEO candidates have backgrounds that include serving as CFO (Chief Financial Officer) or CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) for a similar organization.

These previous positions give them a mixture of line and operating experience.
Additionally, their backgrounds include an average of 20-25 years experience with at least 10 years in substantial management roles. More than 50% have an MBA degree and are involved in various industry, trade, and professional associations. Many are involved in community activities as well.

These individuals are first and foremost leaders - people whom others tend to want to follow.

They are generally risk-takers and willing to relocate for their next assignment.

International experience

Having a business stint outside the United States is very important for top executives who want to move up the corporate ladder. Most companies expect their CEOs and COOs to have had considerable international experience.

If three to five years of international experience are not on your resume, investigate opportunities that can take you abroad. This is one important yet overlooked qualification that can help you advance your career.

Top-notch interpersonal skills

In today's business environment, there is an increasing emphasis on communication skills - everything from the ability to persuade others to the ability to send and receive clear messages throughout the organization.

In fact, one of the most important ingredients for up-and-coming CEOs is their ability to develop strong interpersonal relationships.

The skill of working with people and gaining their trust and confidence is vital.

In addition, knowing how to manage upward and laterally are as important as knowing how to manage your staff.

How well tuned are your interpersonal skills? Do you find that others relate well to you, or do you constantly struggle to get your point across?

To gain additional skill with interpersonal communication, some savvy executives utilize professional coaches. Many have attended courses and seminars in personal development. If this is one area that troubles you, perhaps attending a Dale Carnegie should be your top priority.

Do you look like a company leader?

Executives today are expected to be tuned into their physical and psychological health. Because they are considered role models in their organization, they must be able to present a positive image to their staff and to the public. That's why it's common for companies to hire executives who appear fit and who have "executive bearing."

Top executives are often involved in a regular fitness program. Jogging, golfing, playing tennis, and having a membership in a health club are the norm.

Closely examine how you portray yourself to others. Do you continually look tired and out of shape?

If not, make your health a priority so you can physically and emotionally handle the stresses that come with leading a company. Remember, the company's health is only as good as its leader's.

Becoming a company President or Chief Executive Officer requires a critical balance of both professional and personal skills and attributes.

Take the time to polish your skills and image today. Doing so will give you the competitive edge you need to reach your professional goal.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Branding Superannuation Funds

The battle for brand
By Christine St Anne
Thu, 01 Feb 2007

Some important points

Marketeers have known for generations that powerful emotions can be precipitated and nurtured through symbols and words. These symbols and words then become the shorthand method of delivering an image or promise, which ultimately becomes a brand.

Devising a brand that would communicate to members the identity of a new and bigger organisation was one of the key issues that faced the Australian Retirement Fund and Superannuation Trust of Australia when they merged in May 2006 to create the $20 billion AustralianSuper.

The concept behind the brand was developed from in-depth research with staff, members and employers. The fund's research showed there was a positive connotation with the notion of Australia and Australian.It signified honesty, diversity and real strength.

For an established player like AMP - which was founded in 1849 - branding is a continuous process.

To engage its members, AustralianSuper segments along a number of variables. In particular the age of a member, their stage in life and the industry they work in. The fund also considers the level of super savings that each member has in their account.

"This most oft en correlates very closely with their level of interest and the types of products, services and offers which will be most relevant to them," McIvor says.

The fund also communicates to its members by phone, online and in person. To ensure its website encourages its members to engage with their super, AMP Corporate Super continually tests client response to its website.

"We do a lot of research with our member base. This includes group testing where we put eye goggles on each member and sit them down in front of our online member education site. These eye goggles monitor where the eyes go, giving us an idea about what our members think are the most useful things on the web," Healy says.

BT has embarked on a campaign designed to reflect the life experiences of its clients in a way that also entertains them and teases out their interest.

They chose boxer 'Aussie' Joe Bugner and supermodel 'The Body' Elle McPherson to represent the growth of wealth on the back of hard work and achievement. The campaign also includes a reference to the Ashes series to inform people that the performance of the Australian share market will not continue its dream run of double-digit returns.

The campaign is continually monitored to ensure people understand the company's messages, and Evans says to date it has been successful. "The Investment and Superannuation Truths campaign resulted in significant lift s in brand awareness and consideration. There were big improvements in brand perception, as measured by the brand attributes we track," he says.

For Livanas there is still a long way to go before the industry understands the true nature of how people operate as a group, let alone how they approach the purchase of financial products.

"We are at the crossroads of understanding the way people act as a group. Understanding the way people purchase financial products poses an additional challenge. Our task is to provide shorthand messages to communicate effectively these product promises in a way that will enable people to make appropriate decisions," he says.

To encourage these 'avoiders' to become proactive with their super savings, corporate superannuation provider Plum Financial Services launched its Escalator Program in September 2006 (see box).

To ensure its clients think more about their super, Plum uses the web, workplace seminars and brochures to communicate. The company is also considering other, more creative, mediums to get its message of super saving across.

"At the moment we offer after-work seminars that talk about super saving. To make it exciting we offer nibbles and funky drinks, but we want to reach people who may not be able to attend these seminars. We would even consider something like YouTube," Company persons claim.

130/30 Funds - Opportunity

Download the Merrill Lynch report August 2007

download Goldman Sachs report

In Brief about the opportunity

The term “130/30” refers to an investment strategy that maintains 100% net long exposure by a combination of 130% long (i.e. leveraged long) and 30% short. However, the term is also used more broadly to include funds that similarly net to 100% long exposure e.g. 135/35 or 125/25. These funds are sometimes referred to as “short extension” funds because the 100% long position has been “extended” to 130%, or “relaxed constraint” funds, because the constraint against shorting has been “relaxed”.

The basic value proposition of the 130/30 strategy is that it permits the manager to more fully express positive and negative views on individual securities than is possible through a long-only strategy, and thereby offers a significant opportunity to provide incremental return over a long-only strategy.

There seems to be significant anecdotal evidence that the fee structure for 130/30 funds may include up to 20% of performance above the benchmark index.

Hedge funds offering 130/30 strategies may be more successful in asset gathering because they have well established processes for shorting and a longer track record in equity long/short trading.

A bandwagon is rolling on 130/30. Asset managers are falling over themselves to offer these new style funds, which have emerged in Europe in the wake of the Ucits III regulation.

The estimate of the size of the current investments in the market is in the range $2bn-$5bn. 80 per cent contributed by European pension funds and the the remaining 20 per cent taken up by small institutions and some high-net-worth individuals.

Professional managers anticipate taht US success will be replicated this side of the Atlantic.

Funds have been launched by
Barclays Global Investors (BGI),
Fortis Investments,
Goldman Sachs,
State Street and

Many new launches are in the offing.

Goldman Sachs’ Flex products, which at the moment come in European, US and Japanese equity versions, follow a 135/35 format.

Benefit of the fund

Mark Samuelson, head of UK institutional business at Investec Asset Management, which has just launched a global equity product not limited to a 130/30 ratio, says the secretive nature of hedge funds makes investors nervous.

“People have no idea how the hedge fund process operates,” he says. “That has scared a lot of people off. What our product does is it brings both worlds together in a very transparent fashion. In our product people know what we bought what we sold and why we’ve done it. In addition to that the fees aren’t ridiculous like in a hedge fund.”
ING 130/30 Fundamental Research Fund

Investment Objective

The Fund seeks long-term capital appreciation.

Portfolio Management

Investment Adviser

ING Investments, LLC

Investment Sub-Adviser

ING Investment Management Co.

ING Investment Management is the investment arm of ING Group. Their broad scope encompasses Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas. They employ an active investment style to identify strong and improving business fundamentals and investment value for their clients. ING IM employs more than 700 investment professionals located worldwide, which puts them in a unique position to offer clients access to investment options on a global scale.

Portfolio Managers

Christopher F. Corapi
Portfolio Manager
Michael Pytosh
Portfolio Management Team Leader

Oct 2007

JPMorgan Asset Management has announced the launch of four 130/30 Funds aimed at institutional investors in Europe, the JPM US Select 130/30 Fund, JPM US 130/30 Fund, JPM Europe Select 130/30 Fund and JPM Europe 130/30 Fund.

130/30 strategies are appealing because greater capital is committed to insights. Shorting permits managers to commit more capital to stocks where they have high conviction, in both long and short positions. It also makes more efficient use of stock research by drawing on insights into unattractive stocks to maximise returns.

September 2007

The Bank of New York Mellon has introduced the first platform that provides complete support to managers of 130/30 strategies.

The bank and its subsidiary, Pershing LLC, are offering managers a 130/30 platform as a result of enhancements made to the prime brokerage capabilities at Pershing. Through this new platform, the bank can provide 130/30 managers with a range of prime services, including securities lending, execution and financing, and asset servicing capabilities such as custody, fund accounting and administration and collateral management.

A full suite of integrated services and financing functions needed to manage eligible 130/30 funds such as limited partnerships, 40 Act Funds, hedge funds and separately managed accounts is unveiled by the bank.

The Bank of New York Mellon currently has more than $20 trillion in assets under custody