Made by me. You can check out the text version of Marketing Concepts in Two Minutes.


Walking down on one of the streets of Istanbul, I have seen a sign that says “Japanese Bazaar”. This was a place where everything was very cheap and low quality. It was the image of Japanese products in the past and now they are the symbol of hard-working and high-quality, so how did they achieve it?

The answer is Kaizen:

What is Kaizen ?

Kaizen is the the translation of kai (“change”) zen (“good”) is ”improvement” in Japanese. It is sometimes known as “Continuous Improvement Process”. The basic idea is not to have revolutionary changes but to have evolutionary changes during the journey to the success.

Kaizen is mainly composed of the following elements:

  • Teamwork,
  • Personal discipline,
  • Improved morale,
  • Quality circles, and
  • Suggestions for improvement.

The Japanese Way of Doing Things

Japanese companies break down all their major jobs into three basic functions:

  • Maintenance: Keeping the business running, doing the daily tasks.(Workers)
  • Innovation: Coming up with fresh ideas and new methods. (Upper Management)
  • Kaizen : The process of ongoing, systematic, incremental improvements in the way things are done. It’s the mass  of small, almost insignificant changes that over time add up to unbeatable performance. (Everybody)

Kaizen Job Functions

Source: Kaizen Improvement

How do you think companies can apply Kaizen in their businesses?

Related Sources:


I have been working at Forteks AB for my e-marketing master thesis. Lately we have created a blog where an employee writes regularly about the products and their usages. Since, he is very new to “blogging”, I decided to prepare a How to Write a Blog (PDF) guideline along with a “BlogChecklist“(PDF).

Blog Content

  • Write the type and quality of content for your own website that you would want to find yourself, if you were searching on the search engines.
  • Write about the content that most interests you. Show the passion in your text to the visitors. Don’t write solely for Google, focus on the people.

Use Paragraphs and Titles:

Don’t post chunks of text. Instead, make it easy for the readers to skim by having titles and sub-titles. I.e.:

Main Topic

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut mi odio, condimentum vel, porta nec, blandit vitae, orci. Curabitur dictum. Sed sollicitudin euismod velit. Nullam scelerisque. Maecenas libero nunc, vehicula sed, ultricies lobortis, fermentum sed, ipsum. Praesent sed justo. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos.

Sub Topic

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut mi odio, condimentum vel, porta nec, blandit vitae, orci. Curabitur dictum. Sed sollicitudin euismod velit. Nullam scelerisque.

Sub Topic

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut mi odio, condimentum vel, porta nec, blandit vitae, orci. Curabitur dictum. Sed sollicitudin euismod velit. Nullam scelerisque. Maecenas libero nunc, vehicula sed, ultricies lobortis, fermentum sed, ipsum. Praesent sed justo. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos.

To achieve this, think about what you are going to write and make a logical outline of your text before starting it. A reader should be able to get an overview of your content just by reading through the titles and the bold words.

  • Try to use descriptive images when possible. But never use image for a text otherwise search engines will not be able to track it.
  • Proofread your work before posting.
  • Read related blogs and follow what they are writing about. You can add a new point of view or challenge them as well to increase the activity.
  • Think about the frequency of your posts. Instead of having many short posts, consider combining them in a longer post.
  • Sometimes timing is more important then the content, if there is an event or news that everybody needs to know now, be as fast as possible to blog about it.
  • Ask questions and encourage readers to interact with you. At the end of each post, you can ask a question like, “What’s your opinion on this one” to stimulate the interactivity.
  • Try to have a catchy headline. Sometimes writing “How To” guides help a lot. I.e. “How to diagnose your car?” or” Three things you need to know about OBD”.
  • Use bulleted lists where possible.

Search Engine Optimization

Link to Other Websites:

Link to other websites as well as other posts of yourself. I.e. If you are writing about “Advantages of AMX 530” and you have written about “How to use AMX 530” before, you should add a link to this article in your post. You can have a title like “Further Reading:” and list the other links there or use the links in the sentences.

  • When you link to other websites or your older posts, use “definitive titles” for your links. I.e.:

Bad Linking:

To learn how to use AMX 530, click here.

Good Linking:

You can also check “How To Use AMX 530“.

This kind of linking lets Google associate your link with the keywords that you have used for naming that link.

Comment on Other Blogs:

Read other people’s blogs and comment on their posts adding a link to your related post. I.e. If somebody has written about “OBD Readers” you can make a comment on his blog and say “I have also written about this in my blog, you can check it at this address”. You can even make a couple of friends during this process.

Use Your Keywords:

After defining the keywords for certain products, use these keywords in your text whenever you write about them. I.e. Assume that we have the following keywords for AMX 530, “obd reader” “eobd codes” “fault code reader”. When you write your content, you should use these keywords here and there in the sentences. Be careful about using them too much. Try to make it as natural as possible.

Better Page Names:

Permalinks are editable. It is better to have page names that contain some keywords or description about the content. WordPress creates them automatically but consider revising them. I.e. If your post title is “How to Use OBD Reader” your page name will automatically be something like “how-to-use-obd-reader” you may consider revising it and writing “obd-usage” if that is an important keyword for us.

  • Link to products on the WebShop whenever possible. I.e. if you write about AMX 530 it is pretty natural to have a link to the “product page” on the WebShop.
  • Use the pre-defined tags (micro-categories)for your content.

How to Write a Blog Guideline (PDF)

BlogChecklist (PDF)

PS: I have prepared these documents for the Forteks but it can be applied to any blog.


So you have chosen to carry out your project in an iterative way and completed the first iteration. How should you write an iteration report ? What should this report contain ? Why is it important?

What is Iteration?

Iterations stands for the repetition of activities in the computer jargon. In simple words, if you are following the same activities in different phases of your project, you are iterating the project. You can read more about iteration.

Purpose of Iteration Report

Since a successful project manager should always involve the stakeholders in the “information loop”, iteration report is used as a means of formal reporting  on  the  status  or/and  the  progress  of  the project to  key stakeholders.

Outline

Although it may differ from project to project, here is what I have done for my e-marketing master thesis.

Report Purpose
Objectives Status
Adherence to Plan
Problems and Lessons Learned
Suggested Changes
Risk Assessment
Future Directions
Schedule
Best Practices

What do I write in these titles ?

Report Purpose : This is very straight forward. Just state why you are writing this report.
Objectives Status: This is the most important part of the report. Since most probably, you have already stated your objectives before the iteration, list all the objectives and their statuses here. Example:

Objective Status
Create the Forteks Webshop:
  • Order “WebShop Basic” version from Textalk
The version has been updated to “Webshop Basic” packet from the “Webshop Lite” in order to be able to use Forteks’ own domain and the advanced SEO tactics
  • Order the SEO Add-on from Textalk
The add-on has been ordered and configured successfully.
  • Use virtual hosting to redirect Forteks.se to the Forteks WebShop
The necessary “CNAME” settings have been carried out and now the “forteks.se” domain redirects visitors to the actual “Forteks WebShop”.

Adherence to Plan: Here you can have a table which contains your deliverable, its due date and actual delivery date.Example:

Deliverable

Due Date

Delivery Date

Deliverable Status

Situation Analysis Report

14.2.2009

10.2.2009

Completed

Short-Term Action Plan

18.2.2009

18.2.2009

Completed

Problems and Lessons Learned : It is a good exercise to state what type of problems you have come across and what you have learned. If you have a big problem about the project, it is good to mention it now since you wouldn’t want to “surprise” the stakeholders at the end ! (This is again the “information loop” principle.)
Suggested Changes: So you have seen some aspects of the project that  you haven’t been able to see at the beginning and you want to change your plan. Then you should write them in this part.
Risk Assessment: Every project has its risks, but to minimize them you have to spend some time on them. It’s a good practice to have a table of the possible risks and your strategies to minimize them. Example :

Risk

Mitigation Strategy

Contingency Plan

Not many visitors on the website. Create effective ads on Google and other sources. Try increasing the conversion rate.

Mitigation Strategy: How can I prevent this risk?

Contingency Plan : What can I do if the risk takes place?
Future Directions : What is coming next after this iteration ? You should define what you are going to do next in this section.

Schedule: Since you have stated what you are going to do next, it is also great to show the stakeholders your schedule of doing them.

Meanwhile, check out my “First Iteration Report” for my master thesis. What else do you think must go into the Iteration Report ?


Mustafa is a kebap shop owner in Antalya. He recently subscribed to Avea’s (a major mobile operator in Turkey) tariff which lets the customers call any domestic number for an unlimited time with a fixed monthly price. Since he was now able to call 7/24 anyone he wanted to call, he came up with a promotion idea for his business !

Eat here and call free !mustafacep

So he has put banners on his shop’s window saying that “even if you buy the cheapest food from us, you are entitled to call anyone for 10 minutes”.

The promotion boosted the sales with a rocket speed ! People who didn’t want to pay the fixed price of the tariff, had their lunch at Mustafa’s place and called their beloved ones freely.

Seems like a win-win situation, huh ?

Stop there, brother !

But of course Avea didn’t think so !  They have recently announced that because of the misuse of the campaign by many people, they are going to stop subscribing new customers. Mustafa has already increased his customer base by his promotions, anyway.

Conclusion

Sometimes boosting up your sales can be done just by simple stuff like this. Can you come up with any examples from your country?