Pest Analysis of Standard Chartered Bank Sheila O Sullivan has recently completed by qcj15152

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									                                                                                      Sheila O'Sullivan has recently completed
Marketing the Internal                                                                   an MSc in Information Science at City
                                                                                           University.    The title of her MSc
                                                                                       dissertation is "The Practical Application
Library and Information                                                                    of Marketing Principles to Internal
                                                                                                           Information Centres.

Service - Part One
                                                        Sheila O’Sullivan


This article is Part One of a two part series on marketing         such as the Board, underestimate the value of
internal information centres. Here we take a look at the           information to their organisation. If this is the case, it is
theoretical aspects of marketing. Part Two, to be                  the responsibility of the LIS to take on a more proactive
published in the next edition of Business Information              role and spell out the significance of value-added
Searcher (Vol.13:1) will put the theory into practice by           information in the decision-making process. The
taking a look at a case study carried out in the                   following table summarises the characteristics of
information unit of a large City investment bank.                  information together with the benefits of "valuable"
                                                                   information to decision-makers:

What is marketing?
                                                                    Information          Valuable            The value of
To define marketing the first (and most logical) port of            has                  information         information is
call is the Chartered Institute of Marketing, which defines                                                  realised
the term as "the management process which identifies,                                                        through
anticipates and supplies customer requirements efficiently                                                   decisions
and profitably". (www.cim.co.uk, visited January 2003)                                                       which lead to:

Fortunately, most writers on the subject of marketing               Purpose              Assists the         Reduced costs
library and information services seem to accept this                                     organisation in
definition. It would appear from the above, therefore,              Identified           its survival        Eliminated
that “marketing is not about persuading people to buy or            user(s)                                  losses
use something which they do not really want or need”                                     Increases
(Bell, 2001)i. This is probably a relief to most information        Timeliness           knowledge           Increases sales
professionals who see themselves as service providers
and not sales people. Nor, as we will see below, does               Particular           Reduces             Better utilisation
marketing simply mean promotion, although this is,                  volume and           uncertainty         of resources
indeed, an important element of the whole process.                  level of detail
                                                                                         Corrects,           Prevention of
                                                                    Channel of           updates and         fraud
                                                                    communication        adds to existing
The steps involved                                                  Flow                 information         Alternative
                                                                                                             courses of
Like all management and business processes, there exists            Cost                 Confirms that       action
a series of basic steps that must be considered:                                         accuracy of
                                                                    Value                existing
                                                                                         information
  Set objectives
  Devise an overall strategy                                                             Increases
  Prepare supporting action plans                                                        control
  Implement the plans                                                                    Aids planning
  Monitor success and feedback the results
  Modify the plansii
                                                                   Source: Burke and Hall (1998)


The benefits of marketing the LIS                                  Several tools, for which gurus in the marketing world are
                                                                   keen advocates, can be effectively employed by LIS
                                                                   managers keen to put their department back on the
Before embarking on the above steps, the LIS manager               organisational map.
must first consider how his or her department can benefit
from the whole marketing process. Of course, this will
vary depending upon the nature of the LIS and its parent           Mission Statement
organisation. In general terms, a well thought out
marketing strategy can contribute to the overall strategic
                                                                   The mission statement should be a succinct and distinct
planning of the LIS by ensuring the effective management
                                                                   statement of the LIS's philosophy and purpose. It should
and creation of goals. More importantly, perhaps, it may
                                                                   answer a number of fundamental questions:
guarantee its survival and growth (Bell, 2001).

The LIS must therefore assure the quality of the services            What are we doing?
that it is offering, but at the same time consider the               Who are we doing it for?
needs of the customer, and ensure that the two entities              Why are we doing it?
correspond. Provided the LIS is run by a team of                     What should we be doing?
appropriately qualified information professionals, and it is       (De Sàez, 2002).
adequately funded, this should not be a tall order.
Unfortunately, problems occur when the upper echelons,


                                                               7                        Business Information Searcher Vol.12 Nos..3/4
Not only is the mission statement a marketing                     Portfolio Management or Product Lifecycle
communications tool, it should also form the basis for the
entire marketing strategy.                                        Once the needs of the customers have been identified,
                                                                  the LIS must ensure that its portfolio of resources can
                                                                  meet these needs. Portfolio management examines how
                                                                  individual products or services contribute to the overall
PEST Analysis
                                                                  success of the information unit. A well established model
                                                                  is that of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). which
Macro-environmental scanning (sometimes referred to as
                                                                  classifies the activities of the information centre into
PEST, STEP or situational analysis) can help determine
                                                                  small business units (SBUs) or in this case, individual
the mission or purpose of the LIS. Examination of the
                                                                  activities and services. The BCG model uses the
macro-environment identifies major influences that could
                                                                  classifiers Cash Cows, Question Marks, Stars and Dogs,
potentially affect the prosperity of the information unit
                                                                  as follows:
(De Saez (2002) These influences are uncontrolled
variables set in various contexts: political, economic,
                                                                     Cash cows generate the most income in a business.
social and technological/cultural - hence the acronym
                                                                  In LIS terms, this could mean those activities that attract
PEST. A PEST analysis is a prerequisite of any strategic
                                                                  most support from the users.
planning, whether for marketing purposes or otherwise.
                                                                    Question marks are those aspects of the service
                                                                  where potential is very high, but resources are often
SWOT Analysis                                                     expensive, and competition fierce.

The SWOT acronym stands for strengths, weaknesses,                  A Star is usually a former Question Mark. This does
opportunities and threats. Accordingly, this type of              not mean, however, that it is highly profitable - it still
analysis looks at the LIS from both an internal and               needs to be reviewed.
external standpoint. Firstly, the strengths/weaknesses
part looks at the information centre itself - staff,                 Dogs are those activities which should be withdrawn
resources, range and quality of services on offer,                because they generate little, if any, activity, run at a low
reputation within the parent organisation, specialisation         profit (or even a loss) and have no future potential.
of individual staff members, etc. Examples of strengths
could be the accumulated experience of the personnel,             Product lifecycle is similar to portfolio management, but
the speed and quality of the service, etc. A weakness of          refers to the distinctive patterns in a product's lifecycle in
the LIS could be low staff morale, poor visibility within         terms of Service introduction or launch, growth, maturity
the parent organisation.                                          and decline.

The opportunities/threats part of the analysis looks at the
external environment and in particular how the the LIS, is        Service and Market Strategies
affected by such factors as shortages of key resources,
market competition within the organisation, the success
                                                                  Examination of the product must go hand in hand with
of the parent organisation in its own external
                                                                  consideration of the target market. A series of
marketplace.
                                                                  market/service strategies can be used to achieve a
                                                                  balance. For instance, market penetration examines
Threats can take the form of trends such as end user
                                                                  whether existing users could be encouraged to make
access and outsourcing. In some cases a threat can be
                                                                  greater or more frequent use of existing services;
transformed into an opportunity. For instance, customers
                                                                  service/product development looks at how existing
who were previously obliged to go through the
                                                                  services can be improved; market development looks at
organisation's LIS in order to access news services such
                                                                  current services that might prove attractive to clients who
as Dialog or Factiva can now, thanks to the wide
                                                                  differ from the existing users. Finally, diversification
availability of the Internet, consult these products from
                                                                  entails branching out by developing a totally new product
their own desktop. As a result, some end-users are
                                                                  or service, which is perhaps beyond the original remit of
starting to believe that they can do without the
                                                                  the department.
information centre as they become more information
independent. Yet as access to information becomes
easier, the problem of information overload is on the rise.
Information professionals are best placed for tackling
such problems as they are uniquely skilled at filtering           The Marketing Mix
relevant information from that which is superfluous (Bell,
2001). Moreover, they are adept at evaluating tools,              The marketing mix is an integral part of marketing
manual or automatic, to aid this process.                         planning which looks at the entire package of elements
                                                                  that, together, make up the service being offered to the
Further opportunities for the LIS manager lie in areas            market. The 4 Ps of the marketing mix, which are well
such as: information policy, audit and strategy;                  documented in the marketing literature are:
knowledge management; records management;
internet/intranet development; environmental analysis.            · Product (or service)
                                                                  · Price (not necessarily financial)
                                                                  · Place (everywhere and were the service is made
Customer Needs Analysis                                             available)
                                                                  · Promotion (every communication method used to
                                                                    reach the target market)
The key to providing an excellent service lies in matching
the portfolio of services to the needs of the customer.
Customer needs analysis can take a variety of forms,              A service is only as good as the people delivering it so
such as email or paper surveys, one-to-one interviews or          Bell (2001) adds a fifth P.
focus groups.
                                                                  By introducing the concept of the four Cs, Kotler (2002)
                                                                  places the marketing mix into the context of the LIS. A
                                                                  customer-oriented marketing mix is one that looks at:



Business Information Searcher Vol.12 Nos..3/4                 8
· Customer (user value)       · User cost
· User convenience            · User communication

Promotion

Many LIS managers mistakenly believe that promotion is
marketing. We can see from the above that this is not the
case. Nevertheless, promotion is an important element of
the whole process. Various methods such as the creation
of a mission statement and branding can assist in
promoting a service. A major channel, but by no means
the only method, is via an Intranet site. In an ideal world
the LIS should be involved in the planning,
implementation and running of the corporate intranet.
Unfortunately this is not always the case, but the LIS
should, at least, lead by example in having a highly
informative and user-friendly intranet site of its own that
is constantly refreshed in order to maintain is currency.

Public Relations

The UK Institute of Public Relations defines this term as
"The deliberate, planned and sustained effort to establish
and maintain mutual understanding between an
organisation and its publics". In other words, the LIS
manager and his or team should take on a proactive role
by entering into constant dialogue with its customers,
whether existing or potential. A particularly effective
public relations exercise for the LIS is that of the open
day. As with all marketing initiatives, the invitees should
be targeted (e.g. influential decision makers).

The marketing plan

Finally, marketing strategies need to be expressed more
fully in a formal marketing plan. The following headings
may be used, although it is the content, not the form, of
the plan that is the most important, so these are merely
suggestions:
                              · Marketing Strategies
· Executive Summary           · Implementation Tactics
· Business Overview           · Budget
· Target Market               · Evaluation of Resultsiii
· Goals

Measurable outcomes must be incorporated into the
marketing plan so that the success of the entire project
may be monitored and controlled. This is perhaps the
most difficult aspect of the entire marketing process,
particularly where information services are concerned. It
may be more appropriate to measure the success of a
marketing plan by customer satisfaction rather than
income, for instance, or by increased usage of certain
products or services.

It is important to remember that marketing is an ongoing,
cyclical process. Accordingly, the exercise needs to be
repeated at regular intervals, and monitored continuously.
The marketing plan needs to be regularly updated, taking
into account of goals whether they have been achieved or
not. This should result in an LIS that maintains a high
standard of customer satisfaction, and is perceived to be a
thriving operation. (Bell, 2001).



i Bell, Fiona (2001), Marketing the Information Service,
in Handbook of Information Management, edited by Alison
Scammel, London, Aslib, p. 35.

ii Coote, H. and Batchelor, B. (1997) How to Market
Your Library Service Effectively, London, Aslib, p.6.

iii Dow Jones Resource Centre, http://www.factiva.com




                                                              9   Business Information Searcher Vol.12 Nos..3/4

								
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