<![CDATA[Vaidya Consulting - Our Blog]]>Tue, 20 Dec 2016 23:16:30 +1300Weebly<![CDATA[All you want to know about PPC/SEM - What, Who, Why, When, Where & How of PPC (Pay Per Click)]]>Fri, 31 Oct 2014 18:06:34 GMThttp://vaidyaconsulting.com/1/post/2014/10/all-you-want-to-know-about-ppcsem-what-who-why-when-where-of-ppc-pay-per-click.htmlPicture
PPC is one of the fastest & best ways of advertising in the Digital Marketing  world.  
There are still many companies (CXO/Directors), including some of my clients/prospects, who are either not aware of PPC or not using PPC or have never tried it as a Digital Marketing tool; leave aside understanding & using it as a powerful Digital marketing tool.

PPC or SEM  is one of the powerful Digital Marketing tools which can generate a lot of instant traffic to your website & if planned well can generate lot of relevant leads which can easily convert into business. It is also very risky tool if you do not know what you are doing (like a Gun in a hand of a Kid), as it can burn a big hole in your pocket without any significant results to show for.

In this article, we will try to explain, what is PPC? Who should use PPC? How you should do PPC to reap the power of PPC?

What is PPC ?

PPC (Pay Per Click) is a paid advertising  in internet to bring traffic to your website, where advertiser only pays the publisher  when someone clicks on the advertisement.  The examples of PPC  are the ads that appear  on the top  or on right hand side of the search results or the banner ads that you see on top, bottom or on sides of any websites.   There are two types of  PPC - Search engine ads and Display ads.

Who should do PPC?

PPC is an integral part of Digital Marketing strategy. It can give you lot of quick business and in some cases, if you do not know what you are doing, it can burn a hole in your pocket.  So, who should do PPC as main strategy for their Digital Marketing initiatives? Here are few companies/situations where it makes sense to go for PPC:

·         Need Quick wins
·         Need lot of traffic quickly to your website
·         Have decent advertising budget
·         Need to build brand
·         To attract some traffic using keywords that you(your company/website) do not stand a                  chance to compete through SEO.

Why PPC? 

PPC has one unique advantage - instant result. It is one of the Digital Marketing tools which produces the fastest results. When you search any keyword or phrase in a search engine, based on several criteria and algorithm, search engines rank you and accordingly you are placed in the search results. In order to come higher in the search results for certain keywords, you have to optimize your site, which is called SEO, which may take at least few months.  In certain cases, it may also take few years for keywords in high demand.  Contrary to this, in PPC, if you pay (bid highest) you can come on top in few minutes. In other words, PPC is buying your way to higher ranking in the search results.

When  PPC?

If you are a new company & have recently developed the website, it would take lot of time to do SEO & get ranked in the first page of the search result. This is an ideal time for an organization to consider PPC where you can get lot of traffic  from day one.  It also makes sense for start-ups/SME with funding (Angle/1st round), who need to quickly show some good results to qualify for the next round.  PPC can give you those quick wins.  

It can also make sense for large MNC which has lot of marketing budget & wants to build a brand for their existing or new product. Using display ads or remarketing/retargeting, they can reach mass,  economically.

Where should you do PPC?

In other words,  this means, where you should spend your money? Which platform?  There are several platforms like Google Adwords, Bing/Yahoo, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter,…. etc., to name a few. You can also do display ads or banner ads in many websites. One of most important & powerful PPC platforms is Google Adwords.  However, the  other platforms like FaceBook, Linkedin, Yahoo/Bing work in the similar way, just slightly different. Each one has some advantages & disadvantages. If possible, I will cover where you should do PPC in detail, where we can discuss the pros & cons of each platform & which platform you should spend your money & why?

How to do PPC?

PPC process can be divided in to 4 parts:  

1.       Initial R&D & Planning
2.       PPC set up
3.       Management
4.       Continuous improvement

One of the questions I am often asked is, "Should you do the PPC in-house or outsource it? In a nutshell, if you have a dedicated resource who knows what he is doing, then it is OK to do it in-house, else you should outsource. Also, always look at the ROI.  If you are getting significant ROI for the PPC spend, then you can continue in-house, else outsource. One of things I propagate is that if you are doing PPC in-house & if the campaigns are well optimized; then you should challenge a marketing agency to improve the performance further & link the payment to the performance & not the total budget/spent.  If you are a SME or a start up with very limited PPC spend, it is OK to do it in house, but when you are a large organization with multiple products, services, geographies,…..etc. it gets complicated & the ideal way to handle this is to outsource.  Like the proverb goes:  Why buy a cow when you can get milk, whenever you want at an affordable price, without the pain of maintaining a cow.

To summarize, here are some advantages of PPC:

1.       Fastest way to generate business
2.       Scalable
3.       Measurable
4.       Easy to outsource & monitor the progress
5.       Excellent analytic/ reporting

It is easy to set up a PPC account & start advertising & start getting some traffic to your site, however it is difficult to optimize the campaigns & get the ROI from PPC. If you are not able to achieve the ROI from you PPC budget,  please call us  or write to us. Vaidya Consulting can help.  Click here to contact us.

<![CDATA[Why Contract to Hire is better than FTE and Contract Staffing?]]>Thu, 09 Jan 2014 19:33:21 GMThttp://vaidyaconsulting.com/1/post/2014/01/why-contract-to-hire-is-better-than-fte-and-contract-staffing.htmlPicture
Contract staffing is a growing trend. According to the CareerBuilder, 42% of the employers are planning to engage contract workers in 2014. In India also similar trend is seen. In the early days of IT boom in India only the MNC would use the contract staffing to manage the number of employees, costs and  the  statutory obligations. In the recent times the SMEs have joined the band wagon.  The reason behind this growing trend is the economic uncertainty & fast changing technology trends.

The top 5 industries in which the contract jobs are growing are : IT (Information Technology), Manufacturing,  Healthcare,  BFSI & BPO/BPM.  With the advent of Digital marketing, contract staffing in the areas like Content Creation, SEO & Social Media is also seeing a unusually high growth.

Before we get into the advantages & disadvantages of  FTE and Contract staffing, Let us understand the terms (these terms have slightly different meaning/perception in different  countries):

FTE ( Full time Employment/Equivalent) - FTE is employment in which a person is required to work fulltime (30-45hrs/week depending on the country) & qualify to get  benefits like  health insurance, & retirement benefits like PF.  FTE   may be restricted from working for other employers.

Contract Employment (or Independent contractor) -  Contract employer provides services under a specific contract for a specific duration and may or  may not have minimum/maximum hrs/week specified in the contract ( in the later case it may be  work specific  with flexi hours).  Contract employer is free to work for multiple employers at a time.

Pros & Cons of Contract staffing:

Here are the Pros of contract hiring:

1)      Speed: Because of the temp nature of the Contract job or possibility to get a replacement for unsuitable candidate, employers are quick in making the decision & as the candidates are readily available, as there is no notice period required,  the engagement starts quicker than FTE.

2)      Less Risky: If the candidate is unsuitable the contractor will replace a non performing candidate. Because of this  there is less risk to the project.

3)      Cost savings: Although contract staff may be paid more than FTE in terms of per hour,  the overall cost may be less because there are no expenses related to employee benefits & hiring cost

4)      Short term projects: Contract staffing is an excellent option for a short term project (one off) which may not be in one’s core competencies or where quick turnaround is required.

5)      Flexibility: Contract staffing provides the maximum flexibility in terms of starting & stopping of an engagement or increasing or decreasing  the number of contract staff on roll.

Here are the Cons of contract staffing:

1)      Lack of control: Unlike FTE you have less control over the contract staff.

2)      Long term availability: In case you require some specific candidate/s for long term ( longer than originally envisaged), these candidates may or may not be available for the extended assignment.

3)      Security: Some people think that by using contract staff one may take risk of not protecting sensitive data or innovative processes; which may not be true. The risk is same(or more) with FTE once they leave the organization.

Advantages of Contract to Hire model:

In this model you have advantages of both FTE & Contract staffing and more. You can TRY BEFORE YOU BUY with no strings attached. If you do not like, replace or cancel the contract as per the contract terms & if you like the candidate hire the candidate for some commercial terms. 

In this model, both the employer & the contractor (candidate) can check out  each other. Employer can get a feel of  the knowledge & skills of the candidates as well as some of the intangibles like his/her work habits, how he/she get along with the peers or the boss etc. The candidate also can get the feel of the organization, culture, working environment & his/her peers & the boss.  If both of them find this as a perfect fit, employer can convert the candidate to FTE.

Also it is observed that employees coming through this model will have a long lasting employment compared to conventional methods of hiring FTEs.

In conclusion, the Contract to Hire model give you the maximum benefits with minimum risk.

If you are looking for Contract staffing or Contract to Hire, please contact us or click here to know how we can help. 

<![CDATA[Why Email Marketing plays an important role in Lead generation & Brand Building for SME/SMB ?]]>Thu, 18 Jul 2013 18:22:37 GMThttp://vaidyaconsulting.com/1/post/2013/07/why-smesmb-should-do-email-marketing-content-marketing.htmlEmail Marketing is one of the oldest & most cost effective Digital Marketing tools.

Here are some of the interesting Email Marketing facts:
  • According to DMA, Email marketing ROI is $40 for every $1 invested. 
  • Survey of US marketers found that 88% of the B2C  & 71% of the B2B organization use Email Marketing  - Forrester 
  • 88% of the respondents said that their Email Marketing budget will increase  or stay same  for next 12 months – MII
  • There are 3.6 (Approx) billion email accounts in 2013
  • 64% of the Decision Makers  read their email via mobile device (mostly instantly) 
  • Email which include social sharing buttons have 158% higher click through rate  - Getresponse 

Here is a Chart to demonstrate that Email Marketing plays a significant role in inbound marketing & produces 13% of all the Leads:

Despite the ever increasing toolkits and techniques available to marketers, email still holds its place as a channel that offers a strong ROI, with two-thirds (72%) of in-house marketers rating email as having an “excellent” or “good” ROI – According to Econsultancy. 


With the above mentioned facts on Email Marketing & the charts it should be very obvious that Email Marketing is one of the cost effective marketing tool.

Here are five reasons to summarize why Email Marketing is one of the most popular marketing tool for Lead generation & Brand building:

  • It has the maximum reach
  • It is very simple to use (No learning curve)
  • It is very inexpensive
  • The ROI is very high
  • Overall one of the best Digital Marketing tool

Now let us look at how to do Successful Email Marketing. Here are three steps to do Email Marketing which will produce desired results:

1)      Build the right Database – There are two ways to build the database. You can buy the database or build your own database. Although the first option is quickest & easiest, the second option is highly recommended. When you build your own Database, using opt-in (single or double) option, you are sure of the authenticity of the database & hence will produce better results.  Also with the purchased database list you run the risk of getting blacklisted by your ISP/ESP & your digital reputation can be in jeopardy.

2)      Plan & design your campaign properly - this is one of the most important step in the how to Email Marketing Campaign process.  In this step you need to decide who your target audience is, what is the message that you are going to communicate & how are you going to entice your reader to click some of the links. You have to design the email (text or HTML) with attractive look & feel & interesting content.  You also should have appropriate Landing pages in your website to guide them to take anticipated steps.  Here few  things you need to pay attention to during this stage;

a.       Make sure that your campaign is CAN-SPAM compliant
b.      Need to have adequate call to action buttons in email & in landing pages
c.       Subject line is very important ( almost 60% of the reader open/don’t open the        email looking at the subject line)

3)      Execute the campaign successfully - You need to decide on how you are going to execute the email Campaign, whether to do it in house or use an ESP/ Marketing agency.  Here are some of the steps to pay attention to:

a.       Test, test , test  email campaign before executing the actual/final campaign.
b.      Try to use auto responder for better results.
c.       Schedule the email campaign  as the time of the day & day of the week may have significant impact on the opening & click through rate (CTR)
d.      Manage the bounce & subscribe properly to avoid any negative impacts.
e.      Based on the reports analyse the campaign; fine tune  the future campaign for better results.  

Here is an interesting chart to help you do an effective Email Marketing:


  Email Marketing has come a long way. Unlike earlier where email campaign use to be one page email describing features of your products with attachment/s and the outcome of the campaign was not measureable accurately.  In today’s Internet world, Email Marketing is one of the important tools in the digital marketing and can be used for various campaigns & is highly measurable.  It is not only inexpensive but also one of highest result generating tool.  Email marketing is hence one of the best tools for lead generation & brand building. 

<![CDATA[Pros & Cons of Outsourcing]]>Thu, 27 Jun 2013 08:17:20 GMThttp://vaidyaconsulting.com/1/post/2013/06/pros-cons-of-outsourcing.htmlBefore getting into the advantages & disadvantages of Outsourcing, first let us look into & understand what is outsourcing & why organizations outsource.

Outsourcing is a practice of transferring or contracting non-core activities (like project or business process, in full or in parts) to third party vendors or to their subsidiaries or captive offshore centers for some specific objective mostly cost benefits.  There are several types of outsourcing viz. onshore, near shore, offshore outsourcing. In the recent times few new models of outsourcing have emerged like co-sourcing, multi-sourcing, crowd-sourcing. One of my favorite is global sourcing – which means using combinations of different models like onshore and offshore and more to achieve the specific objective.

The reasons to outsource may differ from company to company but most common reason is cost benefit.  Other reasons include time saving, quick turnaround, minimizing capital investments, tax benefits, mitigating labor & union challenges, workaround for corporate/HR/ hiring policies, continuous work or development (24/7).

Outsourcing is not a recent phenomenon; it has been in existence for a long time; in fact you can find its roots in the Industrial Revolution era. The offshore outsourcing in a large scale started in the mid 20th century in the manufacturing sector when lot of electronic manufacturing was outsourced to china. IT offshore outsourcing is comparatively a recent trend, where India has taken a leading role. Why India & what are the socioeconomic impact of this offshore outsourcing on  India as well as on outsourcing country & who actually is true beneficiary, is an interesting topic to discuss later. With the latest technological collaborative tools and with the onset of pervasive Internet/cloud computing the offshore outsourcing is going to the next avatar  where the physical location  of developer is irrelevant.  This seems like a good topic for my next blog article.

For now, let us look at the Pros & Cons of  Outsourcing, here they are:

Pros of Outsourcing

  •  Time savings
  • Cost savings
  • Access to resources ( which are unavailable or difficult to find)
  • Better/consistent  Quality – using stringent SLAs
  • Risk mitigation
  • Focus on the core business
  • Increase competitiveness with faster, better & cheaper product/service
  •  24x7 Continuous work possible
  • Adoption to new technology
  • Innovation

Cons of outsourcing

  •  Language challenges
  • Cultural challenges
  • Lack of control
  • Finding the right service provider
  • Low quality – as the adage goes” you get what you pay for”
  •  IP/Data integrity
  • Lower than expected  results – because of lot of hidden costs
  • Fixing and legal cost if things go wrong


Outsourcing has become indispensable in spite of several  Geopolitical & socioeconomical  criticism and challenges.  Outsourcing is here to stay because the benefits of outsourcing outweigh the drawbacks.  To sum it up, outsourcing can increase productivity at a lower cost which can provide the required boost  to many ailing companies for their rapid recovery. 
<![CDATA[The Evolution of Enterprise Software: An overview]]>Sun, 19 May 2013 18:48:51 GMThttp://vaidyaconsulting.com/1/post/2013/05/the-evolution-of-enterprise-software-an-overview.htmlSummary: Enterprise software is evolving under selection pressure from challenging economic conditions and the adaptive possibilities afforded by cloud computing, mobility, big data analytics and social engagement.  - By Charles McLellan 
Global enterprise software trends
How big is the enterprise software market? In Gartner's latest worldwide IT spending forecast (March 2013), enterprise software accounts for $296.6 billion in 2013, showing an annual growth rate of 6.4 percent over 2012's $278.8bn. The only sector currently growing faster in Gartner's forecast is Devices, at 7.9% (driven by premium smartphone upgrades). Enterprise software only comprises 7.89 percent of the 2013 IT spending pie; the biggest slice, 44.8 percent, goes to Telecom services:

At $297 billion, enterprise software will account for 7.89 percent of the total worldwide IT spend in 2013, according to Gartner's forecast. (Data: Gartner Market Databook 1Q13 Update)Gartner's figures are projected to 2017, over which period Enterprise software shows the biggest CAGR (6.6%), resulting in a spend of $383.8bn (out of $4,384bn, or 8.75 percent).

These high-level numbers only tell part of the story, however, as there are considerable changes afoot when it comes to the types of enterprise software that CIOs are considering buying.Gartner's January 2013 CIO Survey puts Analytics & Business Intelligence (BI) at the top of the priority list, followed by Mobile technologies, Cloud computing and Collaboration technologies:
<![CDATA[How to select the right ERP?]]>Wed, 06 Feb 2013 19:05:29 GMThttp://vaidyaconsulting.com/1/post/2013/02/how-to-select-the-right-erp.html
Whether it is a Fortune 500 company or a SMB/SME, replacing an existing ERP or selecting a new ERP is one of the most crucial and difficult decision any organization has to take. By selecting the right  software and the right vendor which will result into successful implementation, will be very beneficial to the organization on a long run. This may lead to higher revenue, better performance and lower costs, in turn higher profitability. Where as a wrong selection of the software/vendor can be very detrimental to the organization may include loss of time, money, productivity and which may lead to lower revenues & profitability for several years.

This article is an attempt to help organization (especially SMEs) in their ERP selection process.  

Before we look at how to select the right ERP for your organization, it is very important to understand why it is important to select the right ERP. There are various research and statistics on this topic & they vary a great deal. The variation is due to the different  sample size & data quality & interpretation.  In general the failure rate is higher for SME/SMB compared to large organization/MNCs. The reason behind this is very simple, large organization has lot of time (people) & money and can afford to spend lot of time & money in the selection process. Unfortunately small organization does not have the luxury of either one of these.  Hence they rely on their own knowledge,  the information provided by the vendors & select the lowest cost solution. Penny wise Pound foolish approach, the reason for more than 60% of the ERP implementation failure; see the pie chart below:

As you can see, the statistics of ERP failure or unsuccessful/unhappy implementations are mind boggling.  Before we get into the selection process there are two more things I think one should know to avoid the common pitfalls many SMEs fall into, knowing them & avoiding them will save you lot of time & money (& the headache of dealing with the unsuccessful EPR implementation). 

 Let us look at some of the reasons why many of the ERP implementation fails:

·         Wrong ERP Software
·         Wrong Implementation vendor
·         Improper planning/change management/Project Management
·         Circumventing  BPR/SOP before ERP implementations
·         Lack of commitment from certain group/team/division/top management
·         Inadequate training
·         Implementing limited modules  ( mostly because of lack of funds)
·         Biased Decision 
·         Selection based on lower price
·         Inexperience in selection

Here are some of the steps (partial list) that should be taken to avoid the ERP implementation failures:

  •  Do the due diligence on an ERP or the vendor before finalizing one. This can includes research available solutions (local & international), seeing the detailed demo, mapping it to your organization, talking to the references etc.
  •  Make sure that you go through complete proposal carefully, including the fine line. Avoid all the hidden cost mostly craftily concealed in the assumptions.  Also go through the entire Terms & Conditions & avoid the possible pitfalls.
  • Make sure that NDA, SLA, rewards & penalties are in place in the contract.
  • Look into ROI & TCO.
  • DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS.  Make sure that you go through the entire implementation process in minutest detail & clarify roles & responsibility of your organization and the vendor/s.
  •  Follow the structured ERP selection process ( see the steps below)
  •  If you are inexperienced in ERP selection (first time ERP implementation) or had a bad experience with your last ERP implementation then I would highly recommend that you take some ERP consultant’s help in the selection as well as for implementation. 

Structured vs. Unstructured ERP select process:

Now that we have seen the reasons why ERP implementations fail & how to avoid such failures,   I am sure now you would appreciate the need to know “How to select the right ERP”.  Every organization does go through some or the other selection process. In spite of that why do most of the organizations select the wrong ERP? 

Answer is quite simple. The selection process what most of the organization adhere to is ad-hoc or unstructured. This is why most of the time they fail. In fact, one of the important criteria of selection for an SME is low price. In the unstructured selection process the price seems to be low at first, however it increases gradually & TCO for say 5 years is higher compared to structured process, where sometimes the initial cost may be higher but the TCO for 5 years will be lower than that of unstructured.  The following diagram depicts the graphical representation: 

Here is the Structured ERP selection process:

  1. Select an internal ERP Selection Committee consisting of at least 1 person from management team and 1 person from each department; optional - include the external ERP consultant in this steering committee.
  2. Define the requirement/scope/budget/ RFP
  3.  Define the selection process
  4. Do the due diligence
  5. Select 5-10 software/venders which initially meet your criteria
  6. Go through the short listing process ( high level  demos)
  7.  Short list the final 2 vendors
  8. Go through detailed demos, T&C, Project management, R&R, SLA, NDA,….
  9. Price negotiations. 
  10. Select the vendor – award the contract. 

There are several surveys on why many ERP implementations have failed in spite of careful planning for its success.  One of the important factor which can reduce the chances of ERP failure is to have a external/independent consultant who can help you with the entire process of planning, BPR, architecting/designing, budgeting, preparing the RFP, selecting the right vendor.  External consultant can also take up the entire Project Management and give you independent view on the progress and if required escalate the problems in its early stage to mitigate the risk of the major failure or bottleneck at the later stage.  In a nutshell, while selecting the ERP, make sure that you know what you are doing, if not hire someone (consultant) who knows what you should do.

If you are a SME and are in the process of selecting an ERP for the first time or the second time and are not sure of the ROI, are having challenges  in the selection process and need some Consultation or Advisory services please take advantage of our FREE Consultation  or Click Here. 
<![CDATA[Advantages of SaaS (Cloud) over On-premise  ERP.]]>Fri, 28 Sep 2012 18:24:15 GMThttp://vaidyaconsulting.com/1/post/2012/09/advantages-of-saas-cloud-over-in-premise-erp.html
There are several advantages of Cloud/SaaS over On-premise ERP software (or any software solution).  Before we get into the benefits, let us look at the basics:

Definition according to Wikipedia - SaaS - Software as a service sometimes referred to as "on-demand software", is a software delivery model in which software and associated data are centrally hosted on the cloud. SaaS is typically accessed by users using a thin client via a web browser.

According to me one of the biggest advantages of SaaS is its pay as you use model, there is minimum or no upfront cost. This advantage is most beneficial to SMEs.

We can categorize all the benefits of SaaS over On-Premise into two, tangible (measurable) benefits and intangible (strategic/not measurable) benefits.  

Tangible Benefits of SaaS ERP:

·         No Upfront cost: pay  as you use model
·         Availability: up to 99.999%  uptime
·         Reliability : Automatic back up & data security (physical as well as digital)
·         Automatic Upgrades: no upgrades  requires
·         Faster & easier deployment
·         Fewer IT resources required
·         Minimum IT hardware/software required
·         Better ROI/TCO
·         No AMC required
·         Energy efficient ( greener solution)
·         Better productivity & performance
·         Lower operation cost & better bottom line

Intangible Benefits of SaaS ERP:

·         Better accessibly (anytime, anywhere)
·         Quicker scalability
·         Customer satisfaction
·         Employee satisfaction

While we are discussing the advantages of SaaS over On-Premise solution, let us also look at the disadvantages of SaaS (which are the advantages of On-Premise):

·         Very limited control over the software/data
·         Minimum customization available

<![CDATA[Role of a Consultant in a Successful  ERP  Implementation.]]>Sat, 08 Sep 2012 18:17:12 GMThttp://vaidyaconsulting.com/1/post/2012/09/role-of-a-consultant-in-a-successful-erp-implementation.htmlThere are several surveys  on why many ERP implementations have failed in spite of careful planning for its success.  One of the important factor which can reduce the chances of ERP failure is to have a external/independent consultant who can help you with the entire process of planning, selecting, customizing & implementing the ERP. 

An ERP consultant can help  you with any of the following:

  • ERP Selection
  • Project Management
  • Change Management
  • Infrastructure Management
  • System Integration

As ERP consultants would have worked with several ERPs, hence would be aware of Pros & Cons of each of them, would be familiar with the price-features comparison with other ERPs;  with this knowledge he can help you with the selection of a right ERP & this could save you lot of time & money. An ERP consultant also brings experience of several industries, including the best practices of your industries,  he can guide with setting up the SOP and /or BPR, which in my opinion a “must do” task before selecting the ERP.

Over the entire ERP selection and implementation process you would be inundated with the choices and in some cases it would be difficult to decide. An experiences consultant can   provide  you pros & cons of each options & the ramifications of some of the critical decisions.

“To hire or not to hire” an ERP consultant is a difficult decision. If you know what you are doing  and have experience  in selection & implementing  an ERP successfully in past,  then you may not need an ERP consultant, else, I would highly recommend  to hire an ERP consultant.

An ERP consultant/s can cost you 5-20% of the ERP cost, but it is worth it.  You will have a trusted adviser  who will guide you every step of the way and make sure that your ERP implantation is a success.

If you are a SME and are in the process of selecting and implementing an ERP for the first time or the second time and are not sure of the selection process and are having challenges short listing the vendor, calculating the ROI/TCO, setting up the SOP/BPR and need some Consultation or Advisory services please take advantage of our FREE Consultation  or Click Here.    ]]>
<![CDATA[Importance of Lead Generation]]>Fri, 17 Aug 2012 18:53:07 GMThttp://vaidyaconsulting.com/1/post/2012/08/importance-of-lead-generation.html
Large organizations spend millions of dollars on various advertising like  TV ads, Print ads, Hoardings, & promotions, etc.  to build their brands & attract customers to buy their products & services . On contrary, SMBs  do not have budget to spend Millions of dollars on advertising.   However, the need to attract customer is same or more.  Hence the SME have to rely on innovative & cost effective ways  to generate these leads  on a shoe string budget.

First, let us look at the various sources of leads (a partial list):

·         Advertising (TV Ads, Print Ads, Radio Ads, Internet ads, Hoardings,…)
·         Trade shows
·         Seminars
·         Mailing Campaign
·         Telemarketing
·         Internet Marketing ( SEO, SEM/PPC, SMM)
·         Referrals
·         Through Partners/Dealers

All these lead sources can be categorized into 2 types:

1)      High cost leads
2)      Low/zero cost leads

In option one, if you have the budget for it, one has to find the right agency & they can give you hundreds of options to choose from.   In this article we will take a closer look at the second option.  SMEs have to be very innovative in order to generate low/zero cost leads.  This again differs from industry to industry & from geo to geo.

One of most economical way to generate low cost leads is by Internet marketing (Digital Marketing). This method can cost as low as 10-20% of  the cost of conventional marketing. If you know how to do it & have the time to do it, with little effort you can generate many leads in a short period of time.

There are 4 steps to follow to generate low coat leads:

1)      Develop a excellent website (Content/ look & feel/ Value proposition)
2)      Increase traffic to your website using tools like SEO, SEM/PPC, SMM
3)      Lure your customers with hard to refuse offers & downloads
4)      Make them fill the form & collect the name & contact info

Once you have the Database of leads, you need to contact them  through mailing campaign/s or telemarketing & follow up to close deals.  Most of the SME/SMBs do not have a Marketing department with a dedicated marketing person. Rather than doing it yourself,  is also advisable  to outsource these activities to a small marketing company which can generate low cost leads for you, so that you can focus on your core activities like development, manufacturing & delivery.

If you are having any challenges Generating Leads & effective Mailing Campaigns on a shoestring budget  and need some Consultation or Advisory services please take advantage of our FREE Consultation  or Click Here. 
<![CDATA[Website design & development]]>Sun, 12 Aug 2012 16:51:35 GMThttp://vaidyaconsulting.com/1/post/2012/08/website-design-development.html
I am not sure which one is the worst to have, a good website with no visitors or a bad website with lots of visitors.  Both the options are non productive.  In today’s digital world, every organization should have a good website which generates some business for the organization.

Every website should have the basic pages like Home, About us, Products/services offered and Contact us. Some optional content  includes pages  like online demo, videos, blog, downloads, case studies, news,….etc.

A SME/SMB which does not have a website ( in this day & age, yes there are still companies owned by lawyers, accounting service provides, independent health care service provides to name a few….) should immediately go  for a minimum 4-5 pages  website which is called a Brochureware.    These type of website are generally developed for SMEs  which do not have  web presence ( 1st web site), have very limited budget  in the tune of Rs. 5000 to Rs. 10000 ( $100-$200).  Brochureware are generally not updated frequently.

Even brochureware site can attract web visitors  as high as 100 -500 per month  with appropriate SEO/SEM/SMM.  These visitors  can easily convert into 10-50 leads per month and can generate some business for the organization.  Once the SME has reaped the benefit of the Brochureware, the organization can graduate to a serious website  with all the bells & whistles & some aggressive SEO/SEM/SMM.  I am sure this will result into multi-fold business generation for the organization. 

If the whole website design & development  and  SEO/SEM/SMM is done with careful planning & execution by  a professional vendor, the ROI can be measured & can be achieved in less than a year.

Now let us look at  organizations, which  already have a website.  8 out of 10 websites of SMEs according to me do not have a website which reflects the true capability & reputation of the organization.  I have heard several SMEs  complain that I have a website but does not generate any business for me.  Why?  There are only two reasons: the website is not good enough for the visitor to do business with you, and secondly  it is not optimized for  SEO/SEM/SMM & hence there are hardly any visitors to these websites. One has to find out which is your problem (or both). Discuss this with your web site service provider & find the appropriate solution to fix the same.

Gone are the days when website just provided the info on products & services. In today’s competitive environment website is a business generating channel or tool. Every organization should ask how much  business is generated by my website.  If  the answer  is nil or insignificant, then you are leaving lot of money on the table for your competitors.  You should seriously consider revamping your website such that it generates some significant  business for your organization.

Here are some of the components of a good business generating website:

1.       Good Website design
2.       Good Website content
3.       Good web site look & feel
4.       Contemporary style
5.       Good Navigation
6.       Blog with good article
7.       Basic on-page & off-page SEO
8.       Basic SMM
9.       SEM/PPC(If you have internet marketing budget)
10.   Google Analytics

Also make sure that your website is W3C compliant, thoroughly tested for all broken links, optimized for various browsers ( with their earlier versions) , optimized for Mobiles & Tablets(various OSs).

If you do not have a website and are contemplating to have one or you have a website but are not satisfied with the look & feel or it is not generating any business for you (no ROI) or does not have some of the above mentioned components & are planning to incorporate some of these, Vaidya Consulting can help. Please contact us for a free consultation.