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Monday, February 14, 2011

Ten Jobs For Your Bright Future

We know where the jobs are today -- and we definitely know where they aren't. But what about done in next 10 or even 20 years?

As things like technology, medicine, science and environmentalism continue to advance in the coming years; several occupations are bound to emerge. By understanding these trends, job seekers can play a more active role in planning for their careers.

Some are speculative, some are definitive -- but here are 10 potential jobs of the near or distant future, based on the trends:

1. Cyber security specialist

Cyber security is a growing industry. Knowledgeable professionals who can protect websites and expose hackers will be a hot commodity in the coming years.

2. Genetic counselor

Genetics are advancing at a rapid rate. Doctors can now run tests that will predict genetic conditions, and soon, parents may be able to choose the sex of their unborn children. With the help of genetic counselors, families can educate themselves on available genetic technologies and options.

3. Organic food farmer

Organic food currently occupies about 10 percent of the food and beverage market -- and it's only going to increase. As a result, more organic farmers and producers will need to improve organic farming techniques and grow the food.

4. Medical records administrator

Medical records are at the forefront of innovative technology, with a strong push to digitize medical records. An increased number of medical researchers will be needed to help transition records from paper to digital, and to be able to navigate records quickly for patients.

5. Mobile application developer

Remember car phones? You know, the equivalent of a cell phone, except that you could only use it in the car and it was the size of a brick? With the development of phones like the BlackBerry, Android and iPhone, the mobile media industry is continually progressing. An increased number of developers will be needed to help develop applications, in addition to combating security and compatibility issues.

6. Robotics technician

Robots are becoming more commonplace and they don't run on their own. Technicians will be needed to build robots, maintain them and keep them from malfunctioning.

7. Simulation engineer

There's a simulator for nearly everything these days, from surgeries to flying to drinking and driving. As more simulation-based technologies follow suit, engineers will be required to help out.

8. Social media manager

Social media is the new "it" profession. It started with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and has expanded to many other platforms. Organizations are now employing social media managers to oversee their online communities and enhance/protect the company brand.

9. Stem cell researcher

Although it's a controversial topic, stem cell research is gaining ground. If this continues, more researchers will be needed to develop cures for diseases, genetic enhancements, and the other information these cells may potentially hold.

10. Sustainability officer

Sustainability has become a concern around the world and also among businesses. Since the executive suite may not have time to learn all there is to know, organizations are hiring eco-savvy individuals as "sustainability officers." These folks will find, research, and implement eco-friendly policies to benefit the organization.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

5 Leadership Lessons From Goldman's Missteps

No doubt Goldman Sachs was hoping for a better PR year in 2011, but a Facebook offering debacle and a widely-criticized business practice review set the bank off on a rocky start. So what good can come from the fumbles? Leadership lessons for us all.

The calendar pages have turned to a new year and already Goldman Sachs has found itself in hot water, again.

No doubt, Goldman (GS) was hoping for a better PR year in 2011 and frankly, many people were pulling for them to have one. (We like to see companies turn around and overcome their struggles.)

Unfortunately, with the Facebook offering debacle and the announcement of the results of their business practice review, it isn't turning out to be a better year for them.

So what good can come from their missteps? Leadership lessons for us all.

Lesson One: Results count more than membership.

Goldman's 67-page business practice review has some big name contributors, including Arthur Levitt, senior advisor of The Carlyle Group and former chair of the SEC, and oversight from notables such as Goldman director and author of Authentic Leadership Bill George.

But that hasn't stopped criticism of the report.

Just as a board of directors will be judged by its actions -- not the big names that sit on it -- all groups are ultimately judged on their results, not their membership.

In the past, this wasn't always the case. But with the host of disappointments from household names during the last decade -- and amazing success stories from upstarts and relative unknowns like Facebook – results-based judgment has become nearly universal.

Lesson Two: A failed defense may not be your best "new strategy."

All last year, Goldman defended itself on the Abacus case, and, more generally, on its involvement in the financial crisis, by saying it was simply doing what its clients wanted.

Most people found that to be a weak defense of its actions given the ripple effect on both the markets and the economy and the widespread harm caused by the financial crisis.

Yet the very first section of the new Goldman business practices report (after the structure of the report section) is entitled Client Relationships and Responsibilities. The report states: "We believe the recommendations contained in this report represent a fundamental re-commitment by Goldman Sachs: a re-commitment to our clients and the primacy of their interests."

Lesson Three: Stand for something. You can't please all possible clients all the time.

While the business practices report discusses the primacy of client interests, this approach fails to recognize that different potential Goldman clients can have very different interests. In fact, in defense of its actions last year, Goldman itself reminded its accusers that clients often take opposite sides of the same deal. (The report generally punts on this issue, saying senior management or an appropriate committee will decide how to respond.)

So when Goldman is saying it has made "a re-commitment to our clients and the primacy of their interests," which of its clients' interests are primary?

Lee Scott, a Goldman board member and chairman of Wal-Mart (WMT), helped oversee the business practices report and should understand the importance of the question: who is the client we are trying to serve?

Wal-Mart doesn't try to serve all possible clients. It tries to serve its target clients well: those who want low, low prices. Wal-Mart doesn't make every potential client primary. It chooses who it is (i.e. its mission) and then does its best to attract the people who want what it offers.

That's something every company must do -- it must stand for something that potential clients can then choose to support or not.

Lesson Four: Remember that clients aren't your only stakeholders.

The business practice review report had five major recommendations: strengthening client relationships, strengthening reputational excellence, strengthening committee governance, enhancing transparency and disclosure, and strengthening training and professional development. Other than enhancing transparency, all of these recommendations concentrated on improving client relations, missing big opportunities with other stakeholders.

Goldman had the same mindset with the Facebook offering. Beyond their Facebook client, they ought to have focused on the impact on the markets, regulations and regulators, the general public, other clients and the media. Too narrow a focus, even a good one, will lead to a negative outcome.

Wal-Mart learned that lesson when environmentalists teamed up with other coalitions to fight the company's practices in the last decade. The company realized they had to consider stakeholders aside from their target customers.

Lesson Five: Pursue a broad vision that inspires support. Why not do God's work?

Last year, CEO of Goldman Lloyd Blankfein said Goldman was doing God's work. For that choice remark, he caught all kinds of heat. But what if, in reviewing their business practices, Goldman Sachs stopped to ask, out of curiosity, what that would actually entail? While some may debate this point, the phrase "doing God's work" typically implies pursuing a vision that inspires.

Goldman's business practices report recognizes that sometimes a product shouldn't be introduced to the market. But in their Facebook offering, Goldman had the opportunity to recognize the bigger issues at stake, the implications of a workaround and a private deal for Facebook. The company had the opportunity to consider whether to do business in a way that had positive or negative implications for transparency and rights in our capital markets.

John Whitehead, former co-chair of Goldman Sachs would have considered these points. During his tenure, he actively turned away client business when he thought accepting that business would have negative capital market implications by limiting shareholder rights. He refused to underwrite business that did not include equal rights for shareholders.

Wrestling with bigger vision questions and making tough decisions is what defines the character of a company, not whether they are meeting the needs of one client or another.

Whenever a corporation stumbles, there is no cause for celebration, but there are benefits in the lessons to be learned. Goldman just gave us some lessons this year a bit earlier than they were hoping to.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Business To Business Marketing: Its Differences In Strategy

Business to business and business to consumer marketing types have essentially the same fundamental principles. Both choose target markets and based from them, they make their marketing decisions, such as in coming up with prices of their service or good and selecting the type of distribution and promotion they would employ.

However, in the way the issues are addressed, there is a clear distinction. The nature of business buying is largely dependent on the professional buyers, multiple decision makers, and the potential of having long term relationships. This is unlike the business to consumer marketing, which depends on the single decision maker and has a short buying or sales cycle.

The business to business marketing generally focuses on functionality of the product rather than on anything else. It also has the capacity and resources to buy from the international markets.

The marketing does not focus on the emotional but rather on the logical decision making. If the business has to deal with a business that sells business, it if often that the business buyer has more knowledge about the product or service that it is looking for than the business marketing provider.

It is for this reason why the marketers must be wise and intelligent enough as to how to market, promote, and advertise their goods or services. Business to business marketing employs wider and more complex tactics. Anyone who wishes to utilize it must be patient and determined to learn the length of the ropes as there are many things to be learned about before one can actually use the methods involved in such.

They are appealing to a wider, more intelligent buyer group after all. Anything that the business to business marketer does will have to be based on what that intelligent target group wants, but does not also necessarily mean forgetting the end-users, which for this case, are the buying public or consumers.

You have to remember that the business buyer is buying your service or good because they believe that it will sustain their business, help improve its sales and profits by having wide consumer group patronizing it, and turn in more benefits for them.

What are the strategy differences?

In business to business marketing, the supply and demand made on a certain product or service is taken into account. The same is true in the kind of industry that the marketer is trying to sell the business for. Others to be considered are the trends in the wider market environment. It also has to deal not only with the direct business clients but their customers as well.

Business marketing targets comparably smaller base of clients, but these are the big clients in the industry. And because it is dealing with bigger clientele, it is expected that personalized marketing techniques are provided, so that the business buyer will no longer have to employ different techniques in order to sell the product or service.

And since the clients differ in their preferences, the business marketer might be required to tailor technique to each. And because of this, deeper relationship with each is expected to be developed between business to business provider and business buyer to meet the demands of each big client as well as to foster longevity in the industry.

What Is Business To Business Email Marketing?

The business to business marketing is certainly nothing new in the business world. However, the concept has rolled into an entirely different trend. With the advancement that the technology has been receiving, the B2B marketing likewise has become a receiver of the significant change that business to business email marketing is now becoming popular in the competitive business world.

The B2B was coined with the purpose of distinguishing it between other business communication types, such as the business to consumer marketing or B2C, business to business network or B2BN, business to enterprise or B2E, and business to administration or B2A.

The business to business email marketing concept

In the new age of business to business to business marketing, communication has changed the way old businesses operate. Nowadays, the business to business email marketing has been giving easier life for the marketers. It involves electronic communication exchanges between two businesses making it extremely quick, convenient, and easier to reach the global world. Of course, using telephone will still be a powerful tool for communication.

How it works

The B2B email marketing is a big trend happening in the telemarketing industry today. It operates just like your standard B2B marketing, but in this industry, there are prospect lists that serve as the driving force of the email marketing. One or more companies provide these lists containing email or phone contacts, which belong to prospected people who might be interested to invest in their service or product.

The buying center

On another side, there is the so called buying center, which is that group consisting of company employees particularly assigned to do the sensitive purchase decisions in behalf of their employer. These purchase decisions are typically made for services or products such as software, conference calling rates, and information systems. Prospect lists are also target purchases that will contain contacts of people who likely will be interested with the targeted marketing.

The features

The business to business email marketing has features which you need to know in case you are interested to utilize it in the business industry. One is the increased awareness of brands through the spread of email communication. It allows you to do direct marketing sales in a convenient and hassle-free manner.

With the dependency on the technological advancement, it keeps you always in touch with your client base in the same manner that it allows you to build many new client relationships; therefore, more potential of meeting and tracking people who might be interested in your telemarketing business and might bring in profits to you. And of course, the B2B email marketing gives you stronger knowledge of your information database.

In this age when the advanced technology is obviously becoming the biggest influence in business industries, the B2B email marketing is an approach which businesses would benefit a lot due to its ho hassle approach and cheapest conference calling rate.

This business to business email marketing is web server based so it gives the most convenient and high-end manner of disseminating and forwarding messages. Messages can be pre-scheduled at your own discretion, you can track reports easily, and it has an ability that allows you to review status of your mailings.