The Role of Marketing in Challenging Times

Every cloud has a silver lining and the current economic down turn- which started in the West but is having an inevitable worldwide impact- is no exception. Despite feeling anxious about the overall state of the global economy. The marketing bodies have found that marketers remain relatively optimistic about the fortunes of their own companies, and crucially, the prospects for marketers themselves.

How is this possible? Simple. Marketing is now at the very heart of business and is accepted as the competitive differentiator in these challenging times. In short, there is recognition that it will be those organizations that attract and retain professional marketers who will be best placed to ride out and even profit from the economic turbulence.

Why marketing? Surely when budgets are tight, the last thing you need is marketers overspending on ever so-creative but ever-so-ineffective campaigns? In fact, more and more organizations have woken up to the fact that qualified marketers can have a fundamental role not just in the here-and-now, but in the long term success if their business.

After all, marketing is about so much more than advertising or promotion. When times are tough, forward-thinking organizations need professionals adept in anticipating, identifying and then meeting customer and market needs. Never is this more relevant than at times like this, when competition for consumers’ spending becomes fierce. The survivors- the winners -0 will be those organizations able to respond quickly and appropriately to changes in their customers and markets.

In fact, in bracing themselves for challenging times, many marketers are already significantly altering their plans to cope with the rapidly different climate of the recession. They are adapting to the changing needs of their markets and customers; they are using their resources ever more wisely; and they are monitoring their achievements with growing precision.

What all this means is that there has never been a better time to be a professional marketer, for you have a key role to play in guiding companies through the tough times ahead. Being at the very forefront of business means this profession has more and more to offer both those embarking on a new career or those already working their way up the marketing career ladder.

Indeed, marketing is one of the most dynamic, constantly evolving profession. It encompasses a wide range of activities and skills- from number crunching and analysis right through to innovation and creativity. Marketing executives are involved in planning, advertising, promotion, public and media relations, PD, distribution, sponsorship and research- just name a few. And although marketers are found chiefly within the private sector, there are more and more marketing jobs in the public and not-for-profit sectors as the long-term benefits that responsible marketing brings become more evident. Social marketing too is how firmly on the agenda as a cultural force for beneficial global change.

Whilst the responsibilities of the role will course vary, depending on the size of the organization and sector, and whether the focus is on selling a product, service or raising awareness of an issue, what all marketing roles share is being in an exciting, varied and challenging role at the very centre of business.

Not only is marketing an exhilarating profession, it is also an increasingly popular one. Not only are unprecedented numbers of people choosing marketing as their profession of choice, but many millions of others are making marketing decisions as part of their everyday job role. This does not, however, mean that the profession is saturated. Indeed, it is the qualified marketer the situation, decide the best options and implement appropriate strategies to meet the rapid changes that lay ahead of us all.

For anyone in any doubt about the extent of the transformation within the sector, you need look no further how the techniques of marketing have changes hugely in the last 40 years with the spread of radio and then television, faster and more pictorial printing of newspapers and magazines and the growth of digital media.

The introduction of digital media alone has brought an explosion in the number of channels marketers can use. This year is just the 10th anniversary of the launch of Google. Moreover, we have, as marketers in recent years, had to take on board other business issues such as social responsibility, reputation management and increasingly demanding stakeholder communication.

I think, it’s our time for marketers. I would go so far as to say that as marketers, we are now requiring more than any other professional to understand the business and our role in delivering strategic business objective. Do you all agree?

The Secret of How to Become Wealthy From Home

I used to be an automotive technician and one thing I noticed is that there aren’t any that are financially independent. They have control of their money and what they do on their time off but that’s it. It’s their boss that controls the hours they work, how much they get paid and when they can go on vacation. Even though they get to choose where they go, their finances limit that choice. Not that many people can afford their dream vacation.

The way the economy is going I was starting to get scared. I wanted to become financially stable, not live from paycheck to paycheck like most people do. I was looking for something extra and came across the IPC program (Internet Profit Centre). I started to do research on the program and to check out what other people had to say about it. I wanted to know if it really worked and to make sure it wasn’t a scam. With all the research I did I couldn’t find anything wrong with it.

I found the IPC program to be an excellent opportunity to become wealthy at home. They have a section that gives you all the training you need to run the program as well as promote it. It’s all step by step in video as well as audio format. You can even set it up so that the money you make goes directly in to your bank account. You have online support available to you 24/7. You also receive 51 e-books to show you how to become wealthy at home. And you get live training with Mr. Dan Miller, the person who started this wonderful program. This training provides you with the knowledge you need to be successful.

There are many ways to promote this program and guarantee your financial stability. Some methods are fast and have no cost, others though fast do require some investment, and there are free methods that take time to apply. These are all included in the training in easy to understand steps. If you are willing to put in some time the results are phenomenal. You start to receive $200.00 over and over again. You can make several sales a day and it all goes directly in to your bank account. You can make money in the first twenty-four hours, and because the program is 98% automated you can make money while you sleep. I don’t know about you but I’ve never had a job before that paid $600.00 to $1000.00 a day for only 2-3 hours of work. At the beginning it was only extra income for me, now it’s my only job.

You might be thinking that this program must be hard to run and that you need to be a computer expert to succeed. That is the farthest thing from the truth. If you can check your e-mail then you can run this program. Everything you need to know is there for you, all it takes is a bit of work to set it up and monitor it. And if there is something you’re having trouble with help is available, it’s only a phone call or e-mail away. If you look on the website you’ll see that I’ve also included my e-mail and phone number.

Emergence of IT & ITES – Effect on the Labour Laws

India’s emergence as the 4th largest economy as also a contender for a seat in the UN Security Council is the result of the high pace of economic development that it has achieved in the current phase of liberalisation. In the course of fifteen years, India has come to be acknowledged as the IT hub-centre, supplier of skilled workforce to the world, etc. It has also regained its position as the spokes nation of the developing world. On the other hand, India is poorly placed in terms of human development index. The development of social capital is inadequate and worst is its access, as it remains confined to urban areas and to rural elite. For majority of population, more so those who earlier constituted part of the Organised Sector workforce, the emerging conditions can’t be worse. The informalisation of work, skill obsoleteness, absence of any formal social security has left them in a state of desperation.

The direct affect of informalisation has been deterioration in respect for labour rights. The provisions of large number of labour laws remain non-enforced. The adherence to the core labour standards remains good in paper only. The desire to get more FDI and pressure from the MNCs have caused the government to overlook violations. Further the trade unions are divided on political lines. There are however, increased activities among non-mainstream labour organisations, but then they are not influential on the policy-making levels. The declining size of workforce in the organised sector, with dwindling support from the government against an aggressive employers have further enlarged the size of workforce that is not in receipt of benefits of legislative protection as also of government’s labour welfare policies.

The available discussions in the ITES-BPO sector in India strongly suggest that the sector is characterised by some degree of `representation insecurity’ or `voice-insecurity’. Near absence of trade unions or similar organisations in the sector, till recently, is reflective of this aspect. Striking absence of collective bargaining and social dialogue institutions, dismal scenario labour law implementation and a strong inclination of the firms towards managing industrial relations on an individual basis, technologically aided surveillance mechanisms and so on cumulatively led to a situation, where the industry is characterised with totalisation of labour control or the `end of employee voice’.

The dismal profile of trade union activities in the outsourcing sector of India, during the early phase of the industry, could be due to a host of reasons, which include unique profile of the workforce engaged in the sector, atypical nature of work and work organisation, mobile nature of work and high rates of turnover of the industry. Issues related to the newness of occupations in the sector (and thus, lack of experience of stakeholders in tackling the issues) and so on. Some of these aspects are elaborated subsequently to arrive at certain conclusions on the organising issues in the sector.

The business and technological modernization such as particularly web-based service outsourcing, should not be undertaken at the expense of labour, that is, by pitting workers against workers everywhere and rolling back labour rights through a race to the bottom, ignoring the universal core labour rights (freedom of association, collective bargaining, non-discrimination, non-use of forced labour and elimination of extreme forms of child labour) and forgetting that the end-all and be-all of any economic development is the improvement of the lives of the working people.

The well documented job turnover rates in the ITES sector, the highest among industries, only show too well that occupants of these ‘highly-paid’ jobs find their jobs difficult, boring and undesirable in the medium and long runs. Decent working conditions are a prerequisite for good and reliable service provision. To make these jobs sustainable and minimize costly turnovers, the owners and managers of call centers, BPOs, software and IT companies as well as governments have to address the human resource concern and respect the basic rights of these employees to establish trade unions of their own choosing and bargain collectively as provided for in the respective ILO Conventions.

It is also widely acknowledged that the lower degree of trade unionism or collectivity among the workers is closely related to the technology aided work organisation and controls practiced in the sector. The work arrangements and interactions at workplace are pre-designed and implemented, leaving the workers minimum scope for any `undesirable’ socialisation aiming at organisation or formation of employees collectives . The employees have to work continuously and in their endless run after work targets, they do not even find any time for thinking about collectivity and trade unionism. The HR practices in the ITES-BPO sector indicate a changed paradigm of personnel management vis-à-vis that of the conventional manufacturing/ service sectors. The task of camouflaging work as fun is vested with Human Resource (HR) managers. They pay attention to a host of issues, varying from hiring the right people to charting out their career options to the employees.

Agreements between companies and unions at the national level should ensure the following:

o Job Security: Companies should immediately cease proposals to outsource, offshore or contract out work that will result in the forced lay off of workers.

o Redeployment: Effective redeployment must be undertaken protecting career value and terms and conditions of employment.

o Labour Standards: Companies to which work is outsourced must observe all the core labour standards of the ILO. These are in particular the rights to organize and bargain collectively. Moreover, we need mechanisms to monitor observance of standards; they must include the trade unions and their global union federations.

The ITES owners and managers, governments and relevant international bodies have to consider the adoption of a universal charter. Recognition of a universal charter with clauses respecting minimum labour standards, core labour relations rights, healthy and safe work conditions, ceilings on work hours and employee representation are essential to protect the interest not only of the ITES employees but also of the ITES industries themselves. They are the key to the stabilization of jobs in what is otherwise seen as a ‘transition industry’.

It is evident from the above that due to multiple factors the penetration of trade unions in the ITES-BPO sector of India has been minimal in the first phase of advent and growth of the sector. However, it would be wrong to conclude that this sector would continue to be a trade union-free zone for years to come. Already there are spurts of organised collectivity among BPO workers in different parts of the country.

The recent clarifications of government that all the labour laws are equally applicable to the sector and the ongoing efforts of Government towards effective policy formulation are also suggesting towards the emergence of a more encouraging framework for healthy trade unionism in the sector. Thus, the approaches of various stakeholders towards collectivity in the sector are gradually changing and the worker associations are increasingly being viewed as desirable institutions to improve workplace relations and social dialogue.