Wellbeing is the quality of life experienced by individuals. Like body temperature, it is maintained at a set level by a built-in mechanism called homeostasis. In most western countries homeostasis for wellbeing is between 75-80%. Factors affecting wellbeing include physical, economical, emotional, psychological and environmental. When these factors are at its optimal in a community, people experience a sense of security, trust, connectedness, and there will be plenty of employment opportunities.
Maintaining a high level of community wellbeing is critical to buffer the affects of misfortunes such as economic downturns and earthquakes. When the magnitude of misfortunes is too large to bear, a breakdown occurs in the community, as observed in Egypt and more recently in Libya. In these countries, the rulers were directly implicated for the breakdown. In both cases, the rulers and their allies were removed by their people.
In democratic countries, local bodies and governments are appointed to maintain the wellbeing of its citizens. They achieve this by formulating legislations and developing infrastructure to support and promote the factors of wellbeing. Thus, wellbeing is a measure of how the political system is faring in a country. Wellbeing measurement can be used by citizens to make an informed decision on Election Day to oust or instate individuals and parties from the government through a democratic process.
Wellbeing is also related to success at an individual and collective level. Businesses that maintain a high level of wellbeing amongst its employees will experience success in good times and, more importantly, survive hard times. Managers therefore need to ensure the above factors are upheld within their organisations. As it is related to success, wellbeing measurements can also provide inputs for making strategic decisions and justification for investing into infrastructure.
While wellbeing is about individuals, politicians, bureaucrats and corporate heads have a major role in creating an environment in which it is maximised. When everyone does their little part, the community becomes vibrant and attractive to investors, immigrants and visitors. For these reasons, there is a move in many western countries for independent organisations to monitor wellbeing. In New Zealand, the Great Survey Site, in partnership with the Department of Marketing, University of Otago, has commenced to produce wellbeing measurements using an itemised rating scale. The mean rating produced by the scale will be referred to as the Great Life Index. This index is based on the Great Survey Site panel consisting of over 200,000 New Zealanders. Preliminary tests of the scale were carried out during the 2011 Rugby World Cup that included four separate surveys, one in the week following the opening ceremony, two during the round robin games and the last one in the week following the final game.
Great Life Index for all five cities was 5.0, out of a maximum of 7.0 points. After the earthquakes in Christchurch, one would have expected wellbeing for this city to be lower than the others. This however was not the case as there was no statistical difference between Christchurch and the other cities. There may have been a departure from wellbeing homeostasis at the time of the earthquakes. However, at the time of this measurement, it appears that homeostasis was restored. This observation highlights the resilience of the people of Christchurch. The high wellbeing index observed for this city is an indication that it will be restored to its original glory.
Perhaps it is meeting the emotional and physical needs of people at a satisfactory level that influences wellbeing. In which case, a simple evaluative measure of wellbeing like the Great Life Index could force political parties and corporations to be competitive, which in turn would result in a smarter political and economic system that enhances wellbeing.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
If we fail to brand, the market will brand us. The way the market brands us may not be what we want. Hence, it is imperative to be proactive about branding our business. A carefully designed brand can rationalise our price, differentiates our offerings and define our target market. These are just few benefits of branding. More important, a brand is the intangible asset of a business. Therefore it is sensible to invest into ones brand and be strategic from the start.
We tend to relate branding to logos, ads, celebrities etc. While these may be essential, they are a means to an end. The end here entails to what the business stands for, similar to a candidate in an election. Therefore branding ought to commence with a clear definition of the business philosophy or world view – read an earlier posting on marketing philosophy. A brand developed in the context of the philosophy will provide identity that relates to the market place.
If we can see brand as an asset – intangible – we will be prepared to set resource aside for branding. Let me explain the idea of intangible asset this way. When you eventually decide to sell the business, you would tally up the stock in hand, liabilities, and physical assets to come up with a figure that is the worth of the business. You will then account for the goodwill (intangible asset) of the business in the market, but you need evidence to justify the amount. The cliental could be used to demonstrate goodwill and justify the amount charge. Very often this may be a limited listed because of Pareto's 20/80 rule, (80% of the business comes from 20% of the clients). If you have developed a brand, then the size of the brand in terms of brand equity could justify a larger amount. Next time, will write on a branding approach based on Collective Intelligence that all businesses, small and large, can use.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
The analysis of the search results for the super city election (refer to the previous two postings) suggests that candidates who did not come up on Google Insight were not in the contest. For these candidates, offline activities alone were not sufficient to win the election. What we can learn from the election experiment is that if you are not online then you are invisible to the market. This may sounds taunting, unfortunately this is going to increasingly be true in the years to come. The moral of the story - if you don't have an online presence, start making one now.
Establishing online presence is not done overnight but is developed over time. A web site is one of the tools to make that presence. Alongside having a website, participation in social media networking sites and active blogging are online activities that help in establishing online presence. These activities take time and, more important, incur cost. Therefore there needs to be definite strategies that these activities are designed to achieve. Once these tools (websites, social media networking and blog) have been strategised, employ them in conjunction with Internet marketing to establish online presence.
Next time will write about relevance and popularity, two imperatives of Internet Marketing.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Following from the previous posting, I have reproduced the search results of the two candidates ("John Banks" and "Len Brown") for the electioneering period ending on 9 Oct 2010.
The other candidates were not searched sufficiently to appear on Google search results. Was that indicating how they performed in the election? When considering the election results, perhaps yes. From this small experiment, can we safely conclude that if you are not online then you are not in the competition"? What do you think? Have your say by commenting below.
|Google search results for "John Banks" and "Len Brown"|
In this period, Len Brown was searched 252 times (55%) and John Banks 210 (45%). While these estimates are not suggestive of the election outcome (Len Brown = 49%; John Banks 35.7%), they clearly revealed who was the leading candidate. Based on the search results, the leading candidate became evident somewhere in the middle of the electioneering period. Compare to Digipoll announced on Sept 16 (Len Brown = 29.8% and John Banks 27.8%) the pattern produced by Google search was much clearer. Making predictions out of search results may be a far cry, but they seem to be able to tell who performed better, at least for this election.
Now, think of the two leading candidates as brands. Google search results provide a simple measure of which brand is performing better, provided the brand is online and Internet Marketing is the primary marketing strategy. Send me a note if you want help with Internet Marketing.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
This is a graph produced by Google Insight for search occurring on Google for the two main Auckland super city mayoral candidates - John Banks and Len Brown. Apparently none of the other candidates are featuring on Google search. It seems that John Banks and Len Brown are the two real contenders for the super city top job. What the graph is showing is the search result for the two candidates by their names. While we cannot say who will win based on the search pattern, we can deduce that more people are interested to find out about Len Brown. As this is happening at this stage of the election, it has to be to decide whom to vote. If the marketing teams of these two candidates are doing the right things, that is, having the right contents about them on the Internet then searching by name could eventuate in a vote in favour of that candidate. We will know if that is true when the results are announced. For now, we at least know who the true contenders are.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
When opportunities are missed or lost to competitors, little do we realise it is because of poor or no marketing. In the current environment, marketing is absolutely essential for the success of a venture - be it for making profit or for the common good. When we fail to see the significance of marketing as a business function, we also fail to invest in to the infrastructure required for marketing.
When running a business, we place ads in the local newspaper, dropping flyers around the neighbourhood. These are often referred to as marketing. They are some of the activities we do in marketing but by themselves they don't make up the marketing of a business. To get marketing right, we need to see marketing as an essential business function, just like accounting. We may not know much about accounting but we soon learn what is needed. If learning is not possible, we would outsource the accounting tasks, because of the tax man. Wonder why we fail to attach the same imperative to marketing when the success of the business is dependent on it. This is so ironic – we do things when there is a stick but refuse, when it is a carrot.
To prove the imperative of marketing let me relate to you the famous Pepsi Challenge by McClure et al (2004). In this study, 67 respondents were given two separate taste-tests of a cola drink while their brain activity was measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In the first test, respondents were asked to name the drink after tasting. Most of them said what they tasted was Pepsi. The brain scan showed activation of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, an area associated with rewards. In the second test, the brands were presented in their cans. Coca-Cola was observed to activate the lateral prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, the areas responsible for emotion and affect. Surprisingly no such activation was observed for Pepsi. The study revealed two brain systems at work when choosing a cola drink; one, based on sensory stimuli and the other on emotive stimuli. The system activated by emotive stimuli (lateral prefrontal cortex–hippocampus) seemed to generate a greater attraction to market offerings. This study provides compelling justification for marketing, in particular branding.
If you have not thought about branding for your business, talk to an expert soon.
More imperatives coming, return after a while or RSS : )
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
It’s been a while since I posted anything on my blog. I just did a lecture on Tribal marketing to my Internet marketing class. While it is fresh in my head, thought I continue from my previous posting on Tribal marketing.
Tribal marketing is based on segmenting the marketing by emotions. It is an extremely powerful approach to create tight-knit communities loyal to the emotive cause. Three elements are fundamental for Tribal marketing to be effective. They are 1) chieftain, 2) signs & emblems, and 3) meeting places. Notice I am using tribal terminologies. The nice thing about Tribal marketing is that these elements get established as tribalisation occurs. What’s important is that marketers recognise the elements as they are evolved and promote them within the tribe.
The role of marketers in Tribal marketing is that of facilitation in bringing individuals together to form a community. A website can serve in this facilitation task. The community grows by members recruiting new members. If the segmentation and targeting is done right the growth can be exponential. When the community reaches the size to have chieftains, you have a strong and stable market. At this stage you will also notice signs & emblems and meeting places evolving. One example of tribal marketing in New Zealand is Vodafone’s One Tribe - http://www.vodafoneonetribe.co.nz/. Trademe also uses many Tribal marketing principles. It will be interesting to find out if that is their marketing strategy.
If what I said so far sounds interesting, recommend reading Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin.
Next time, will blog about how to achieve business objectives using Tribal marketing – Ciao till then : )