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Time to Learn Practical Marketing

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Time to Learn Practical Marketing



Fluffy and Weak

“Fluffy and weak”. That, according to a study by Marketing Week and Econsultancy, sums up what CFOs think of marketers.

Often irrational in their denouncement of each other, such perceptions stem largely from a lack of understanding. The problem is not merely that CFOs do not comprehend; marketers often struggle to grasp the intricacies of their trade.

Unlike accountants, lawyers, engineers, hairdressers, doctors, artists, sportsmen and so many other practitioners that are trained and qualified, and sometimes licensed, to practice what they practice, marketers do not go through a stringent filtering process. There is no equivalent of a bar exam, no widely accepted professional certification.

This could be a reflection of the way the subject is taught at business schools. Marketing courses tend to be too “classical”, too theoretical, and less practical. While they provide a strong foundation, they do not impart the practical training that is required for managing brands.

Not surprisingly less than 10% consumer marketing professionals correctly answer more than half of these questions (sourced from the Marketing Analytics Practitioner’s Guide) that relate to (or ought to relate to) their day-to-day work.

Marketers need to be better trained. After all, they are guardians of the most precious assets that a company possesses.

Fully realizing this, the major consumer marketing companies have been providing the framework and the training for grooming brand managers. Professional certification is supplanted by their in-house talent development programmes where associates are groomed to assume the crucial roles of managing power brands.

Not surprisingly, marketers from these great training grounds are highly valued. A LinkedIn search by AdvertisingAge in 2012 revealed that there were 100 CMOs of other companies who started their careers at P&G. The company has produced an even greater number of CEOs (713 based on AdvertisingAge’s search) including marketers such as Bart Becht, Mitch Barns, Fabrizio Freda and Paul Polman.

But, what if you are not one of the fortunate few to have benefited from the “P&G University” or the “School of Unilever”?

The Marketing Analytics Practitioner’s Guide fills the void between the theoretical concepts taught in business schools, and the practical knowledge and understanding that is required in the industry. It provides the opportunity for marketers to learn marketing, the way it is practiced.

Far from fluffy, the guide covers the marketing concepts and the marketing mix from the viewpoint of execution, devoting considerable attention to the analytic techniques and research practices that are required for effectively managing brands on a day-to-day basis. Written in a style that is clear and succinct, the book aims to teach, as well as to inspire.

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Marketing Analytics

In the age of analytics, this multimedia platform serves as a comprehensive guide to marketing management, covering the underlying concepts and their application. As can be seen from the snippets, the focus is not on the statistical theory, but more on the application of new analytics techniques and established research methods to enhance the marketing mix.

As advances in technology transform the very nature of marketing, there has never been greater need for marketers to learn marketing.

Essentially a practitioner’s guide to marketing management in the 21st century, the Marketing Analytics web learning platform blends the art and the science of marketing to reflect how the discipline has matured in the age of analytics.

Application oriented, it fuses marketing concepts with the analytical tools that practitioners use, to impart an understanding of how to interpret and apply research information and big data.

The focus is primarily on the practical application of well-established tools, techniques and processes, as the platform sifts through all elements of the marketing mix.

eLearning Platform

Over 100 Registered Corporations: If your organization is listed, register with your corporate email to use the online guide.

It is only apt that a book on Marketing Analytics should exemplify the use of digital technology. Unlike passive eBooks that replicate print versions in their original linear state, the online guide is a full-blown, multi-media platform that greatly enhances the reader’s experience.

As a website, it is dynamic, fluid, and connected with relevant and useful content, both within and beyond the platform. That it is continually updated and enhanced, keeps the guide evergreen, abreast of the latest developments in a the rapidly evolving fields of analytics and digital marketing. (In addition to numerous updates, over 100 new sections and four new chapter have been added, in the two years since the platform was set-up).

It is interactive with the facilities such as (shareable) notes/comments at any of the approximately 500 sections in the guide. The question papers/exercises allow subscribers to view answers and explanations. The site also supports business analytic platforms so that students can practise as they learn.

The online guide is made available on an annual subscription basis. Subscribers login with their email ID and password.

Marketing Analytics — Overview

Advances in information technology coupled with the explosion of business data, have fundamentally altered the manner we collect, process, analyse and disseminate market intelligence. The increased volume, variety and velocity of information enables marketers to respond with much greater speed, to changes in the marketplace. Market intelligence is timelier, less expensive, and more accurate and more actionable.

At the same time, the internet has transformed the very nature of marketing. Armed with smart devices, people are increasingly hanging out in cyberspace. We go there to interact with friends and strangers, or to watch videos, listen to music, read about something that interests us, or to shop for things we need or merely desire. This fluid, de-centralized and multidirectional medium has empowered us to engage in more impactful and diverse ways with people as well as with brands, and other objects of interests.

Anchored in this age of transformations, Marketing Analytics is a practitioner’s guide to marketing management in the 21st century. The text is devoted to market analytic and research techniques, and marketing concepts and processes, particularly in the context of the transformed consumer markets. Written by a marketing veteran, it is intended to guide marketers as they craft market strategies, and execute their day to day tasks.

The author, Ashok Charan, has over 25 years of industry experience spanning market research, analytics, and consumer and business marketing. He is presently associate professor at the NUS Business School, National University of Singapore, where he has been teaching marketing analytics for the past 10 years.

The book is available in the following formats:

  • Online Guide: Available on an annual subscription basis (US$ 28), this eLearning platform is updated on a regular basis to reflect the latest developments in the fast changing field of marketing analytics. It incorporates classroom presentations, and other digital content that is not included in the hard copy version of the text.
    Unlike typical eBooks that replicate print versions, in their original passive, linear state, the online guide is a full-blown website. State of the art in online publishing, it is very convenient and easy to read, on both desktop as well as mobile devices.
    (Register, to subscribe).
    For assistance on bulk requirements, such as courses or executive training programmes, please get in touch with the author.
  • Print version: Published by the World Scientific Publishing Company (WSP) print versions of the text are available in both hard and soft-cover formats. These version at may be purchased at WSP’s website, as well as at a number of other retail sites.
  • eBook: The eBook provides for a static digital version of the text that accurately reflects the print copy in a well configured user-friendly manner. It may also be purchased at WSP’s website.

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The physical textbook consists of six parts — brand, consumer, product, advertising, price and promotion, and retail. Collectively the 22 chapters cover the key aspects of managing brands and categories.

Not constrained by physical space, the web book, equivalent in size to over 1,200 textbook pages, is about twice the physical version.

While the focus remains on application, equal emphasis is given to the execution. So, this version is better suited for the measurement scientists and data scientists at analytics firms, as well marketers keen to learn “how it is done”. Technological developments are also making it easier for practitioners to take a DIY approach, and the web book will empower them to do so.

Note, however, it is not a handbook providing step-by-step guidance. It is intended to remain quick, easy and interesting to read.

New and fast developing frontiers such as biometrics and digital are given the attention they deserve. The number of chapters has increased from 22 to 27, and three new parts have been carved out. Existing chapters have been expanded and web pages are updated frequently.

The following details pertain to the web book:

Part I deals with brand, brand image and brand equity. It covers the analytic methods used for developing brand and marketing strategies.

Part II deals with qualitative and quantitative research methods, with emphasis on how these conventional research processes are embracing online platforms. It covers customer segmentation, customer satisfaction and customer value management. It also addresses how consumer panels, consumer analytics and big data enhance our understanding of consumers and their buying behaviour.

Part III is centred on product. It deals with the entire new product development process from ideation, concept and product development to product launch. It covers the analytic methods and procedures that are deployed to screen ideas, concepts and products, at each phase of the NPD process.

Part IV covers digital marketing. The New Media chapter explains how the internet has transformed the way brands engage with consumers, and outlines the new rules and the new perspectives. The Digital Marketing chapter imparts an understanding of how marketers must adapt, and the tools and techniques they should embrace. The next chapter, Digital — Execution, serves as a systematic guide to developing and executing digital marketing plans.

Part V relates to advertising and packaging. The fundamentals and vital concepts of advertising are covered in a chapter devoted to imparting the sense of how advertising works, and what mechanisms work best for different marketing objectives.

In the context of analytics, importance is given not only to the behavioural metrics that flow from the digital platforms, but also to the attitudinal engagement measures, which remain key to our understanding of the quality of advertising. Furthermore, in view of recent developments, the chapter Advertising Analytics also devotes considerable attention to the way analytic techniques and research processes are being refined and re-engineered.

Chapters are also devoted on the research techniques employed during the stages of development of packaging, and on the prominent biometric techniques used for the analysis packaging, advertising, and other elements of the marketing mix.

Part VI deals with price and promotion. It covers a variety of pricing research methods, and techniques for promotions evaluation.

Part VII, retail, covers retail tracking, retail analytics, sales and distribution, and category management. It focusses on the use of metrics and analytic techniques to develop sales and distribution plans, and manage categories.

Part VIII, the concluding part, is devoted to Statistics for Marketing Analytics. It covers basic statistics, sampling and market mix modelling.

This text also includes seven case studies that have been crafted to facilitate a deeper understanding of the subject. You may download datasets and charts pertaining to these case studies from the 'CASES' link at the bottom of the menu on the left side of this page.

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Article – Redefining how we learn marketing