s Marketing Focus: Sentiments are not Sentimental | I2P: Information to Pharmacists - Archive
Publication Date 01/07/2014         Volume. 6 No. 6   
Information to Pharmacists

Editorial

From the desk of the editor

Welcome to the July 2014 homepage edition of i2P (Information to Pharmacists) E-Magazine.
At the commencement of 2014 i2P focused on the need for the entire profession of pharmacy and its associated industry supports to undergo a renewal and regeneration.
We are now half-way through this year and it is quite apparent that pharmacy leaders do not yet have a cohesive and clear sense of direction.
Maybe the new initiative by Woolworths to deliver clinical service through young pharmacists and nurses may sharpen their focus.
If not, community pharmacy can look forward to losing a substantial and profitable market share of the clinical services market.
Who would you blame when that happens?
But I have to admit there is some effort, even though the results are but meagre.
In this edition of i2P we focus on the need for research about community pharmacy, the lack of activity from practicing pharmacists and when some research is delivered, a disconnect appears in its interpretation and implementation.

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Newsflash Updates for July 2014

Newsflash Updates

Regular weekly updates that supplement the regular monthly homepage edition of i2P. 
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Feature Contribution

Woolworths Pharmacy - Getting One Stage Closer

Neil Johnston

It started with “tablet” computers deployed on shelves inside the retailer Coles, specifically to provide information to consumers relating to pain management and the sale of strong analgesics.
This development was reported in i2P under the title Coles Pharmacy Expansion and the Arid PGA Landscape”
In that article we reported that qualified information was a missing link that had come out of Coles market research as the reason to why it had not succeeded in dominating the pain market.
Of course, Woolworths was working on the same problem at the same time and had come up with a better solution - real people with good information.

Comments: 5

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Intensive Exposition without crossing over with a supermarket

Fiona Sartoretto Verna AIAPP

Editor's Note: The understanding of a pharmacy's presentation through the research that goes into the design of fixtures and fittings that highlight displays, is a never-ending component of pharmacy marketing.
Over the past decade, Australian pharmacy shop presentations have fallen behind in standards of excellence.
It does not take rocket science - you just have to open your eyes.
Recently, our two major supermarkets, Woolworths and Coles, have entered into the field of drug and condition information provision - right into the heartland of Australian Pharmacy.

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The sure way to drive business away

Gerald Quigley

I attended the Pregnancy, Baby and Children’s Expo in Brisbane recently.
What an eye and ear opening event that was!
Young Mums, mature Mums, partners of all ages, grandparents and friends……...many asking about health issues and seeking reassurances that they were doing the right thing.

Comments: 1

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‘Marketing Based Medicine’ – how bad is it?

Baz Bardoe

It should be the scandal of the century.
It potentially affects the health of almost everyone.
Healthcare providers and consumers alike should be up in arms. But apart from coverage in a few credible news sources the problem of ‘Marketing Based Medicine,’ as psychiatrist Dr Peter Parry terms it, hasn’t as yet generated the kind of universal outrage one might expect.

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Community Pharmacy Research - Are You Involved?

Mark Coleman

Government funding is always scarce and restricted.
If you are ever going to be a recipient of government funds you will need to fortify any application with evidence.
From a government perspective, this minimises risk.
I must admit that while I see evidence of research projects being managed by the PGA, I rarely see community pharmacists individually and actively engaged in the type of research that would further their own aims and objectives (and survival).

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Organisational Amnesia and the Lack of a Curator Inhibits Cultural Progress

Neil Johnston

Most of us leave a tremendous impact on pharmacies we work for (as proprietors, managers, contractors or employees)—in ways we’re not even aware of.
But organisational memories are often all too short, and without a central way to record that impact and capture the knowledge and individual contributions, they become lost to time.
It is ironic that technology has provided us with phenomenal tools for communication and connection, but much of it has also sped up our work lives and made knowledge and memory at work much more ephemeral.

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Academics on the payroll: the advertising you don't see

Staff Writer

This article was first published in The Conversation and was written by Wendy Lipworth, University of Sydney and Ian Kerridge, University of Sydney
In the endless drive to get people’s attention, advertising is going ‘native’, creeping in to places formerly reserved for editorial content. In this Native Advertising series we find out what it looks like, if readers can tell the difference, and more importantly, whether they care.
i2P has republished the article as it supports our own independent and ongoing investigations on how drug companies are involved in marketing-based medicine rather than evidence-based medicine.

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I’ve been thinking about admitting wrong.

Mark Neuenschwander

Editor's Note: This is an early article by Mark Neuenschwander we have republished after the soul-searching surrounding a recent Australian dispensing error involving methotrexate.
Hmm. There’s more than one way you could take that, huh? Like Someday when I get around to it (I’m not sure) I may admit that I was wrong about something. Actually, I’ve been thinking about the concept of admitting wrong. So don’t get your hopes up. No juicy confessions this month except that I wish it were easier for me to admit when I have been wrong or made a mistake.
Brian Goldman, an ER physician from Toronto, is host of the award-winning White Coat, Black Art on CBC Radio and slated to deliver the keynote at The unSUMMIT for Bedside Barcoding in Anaheim this May. His TED lecture, entitled, “Doctors make mistakes. Can we talk about it?” had already been viewed by 386,072 others before I watched it last week.

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Dispensing errors – a ripple effect of damage

Kay Dunkley - BPharm, Grad Dip Hosp Pharm, Grad Dip Health Admin, MPS, MSHPA

Most readers will be aware of recent publicity relating to dispensing errors and in particular to deaths caused by methotrexate being incorrectly packed in dose administration aids.
The Pharmacy Board of Australia (PBA), in its Communique of 13 June 2014, described a methotrexate packing error leading to the death of a patient and noted “extra vigilance is required to be exercised by pharmacists with these drugs”.
This same case was reported by A Current Affair (ACA) in its program on Friday 20 June
http://aca.ninemsn.com.au/article/8863098/prescription-drug-warning

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Take a vacation from your vocation

Harvey Mackay

Have you ever had one of those days when all you could think was, “Gosh, do I need a vacation.”
Of course you have – because all work and no play aren’t good for anyone.
A vacation doesn’t have to be two weeks on a tropical island, or even a long weekend at the beach. 
A vacation just means taking a break from your everyday activities. 
A change of pace. 
It doesn’t matter where.
Everyone needs a vacation to rejuvenate mentally and physically. 
But did you also know that you can help boost our economy by taking some days off? 
Call it your personal stimulus package.

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Explainer: what is peer review?

Staff Writer

This article was first published in the Conversation. It caught our eye because "peer review" it is one of the standards for evidence-based medicines that has also been corrupted by global pharma.
The article is republished by i2P as part of its ongoing investigation into scientific fraud and was writtenby Andre Spicer, City University London and Thomas Roulet, University of Oxford
We’ve all heard the phrase “peer review” as giving credence to research and scholarly papers, but what does it actually mean?
How does it work?
Peer review is one of the gold standards of science. It’s a process where scientists (“peers”) evaluate the quality of other scientists' work. By doing this, they aim to ensure the work is rigorous, coherent, uses past research and adds to what we already knew.
Most scientific journals, conferences and grant applications have some sort of peer review system. In most cases it is “double blind” peer review. This means evaluators do not know the author(s), and the author(s) do not know the identity of the evaluators.
The intention behind this system is to ensure evaluation is not biased.
The more prestigious the journal, conference, or grant, the more demanding will be the review process, and the more likely the rejection. This prestige is why these papers tend to be more read and more cited.

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Dentists from the dark side?

Loretta Marron OAM BSc

While dining out with an elderly friend, I noticed that he kept his false tooth plate in his shirt pocket. He had recently had seven amalgam-filled teeth removed, because he believed that their toxins were making him sick; but his new plate was uncomfortable. He had been treated by an 'holistic dentist'. Claiming to offer a "safe and healthier alternative" to conventional dentistry, are they committed to our overall health and wellbeing or are they promoting unjustified fear, unnecessarily extracting teeth and wasting our money?

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Planning for Profit in 2015 – Your key to Business Success

Chris Foster

We are now entering a new financial year and it’s a great time to reflect on last year and highlight those things that went well and those that may have impacted negatively in the pursuit of your goals.
It's also a great to spend some time re-evaluating your personal and business short, medium and long term goals in the light of events over the last year.
The achievement of your goals will in many cases be dependent on setting and aspiring to specific financial targets. It's important that recognise that many of your personal goals will require you to generate sufficient business profits to fund those aspirations

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ReWalk™ Personal Exoskeleton System Cleared by FDA for Home Use

Staff Writer

Exoskeleton leader ReWalk Robotics announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared the company’s ReWalk Personal System for use at home and in the community.
ReWalk is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) to stand upright and walk.
ReWalk, the only exoskeleton with FDA clearance via clinical studies and extensive performance testing for personal use, is now available throughout the United States.

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Attracting and Retaining Great People

Barry Urquhart

Welcome to the new financial year in Australia.
For many in business the past year has been described as a challenging period.
Adjectives are a key feature of the English language.  In the business lexicon their use can be, and often is evocative and stimulate creative images.  But they can also contribute to inexact, emotional perceptions.
Throughout the financial pages of newspapers and business magazines adjectives abound.
References to “hot” money draw attention and comment.  The recent wave of funds from Chinese investors, keen to remove their wealth from the jurisdiction and control of government regulations is creating a potential property bubble in Australia.

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Updating Your Values - Extending Your Culture

Neil Johnston

Pharmacy culture is dormant.
Being comprised of values, unless each value is continually addressed, updated or deleted, entire organisations can stagnate (or entire professions such as the pharmacy profession).
Good values offer a strong sense of security, knowing that if you operate within the boundaries of your values, you will succeed in your endeavours.

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Evidence-based medicine is broken. Why we need data and technology to fix it

Staff Writer

The following article is reprinted from The Conversation and forms up part of our library collection on evidence-based medicines.
At i2P we also believe that the current model of evidence is so fractured it will never be able to be repaired.
All that can happen is that health professionals should independently test and verify through their own investigations what evidence exists to prescribe a medicine of any potency.
Health professionals that have patients (such as pharmacists) are ideally placed to observe and record the efficacy for medicines.
All else should confine their criticisms to their evidence of the actual evidence published.
If there are holes in it then share that evidence with the rest of the world.
Otherwise, do not be in such a hurry to criticise professions that have good experience and judgement to make a good choice on behalf of their patients, simply because good evidence has not caught up with reality.

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Laropiprant is the Bad One; Niacin is/was/will always be the Good One

Staff Writer

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, July 25, 2014
Laropiprant is the Bad One; Niacin is/was/will always be the Good One
by W. Todd Penberthy, PhD

(OMNS July 25, 2014) Niacin has been used for over 60 years in tens of thousands of patients with tremendously favorable therapeutic benefit (Carlson 2005).
In the first-person NY Times best seller, "8 Weeks to a Cure for Cholesterol," the author describes his journey from being a walking heart attack time bomb to a becoming a healthy individual.
He hails high-dose niacin as the one treatment that did more to correct his poor lipid profile than any other (Kowalski 2001).

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Culture Drive & Pharmacy Renewal

Neil Johnston

Deep within all of us we have a core set of values and beliefs that create the standards of behaviour that we align with when we set a particular direction in life.
Directions may change many times over a lifetime, but with life experiences and maturity values may increase in number or gain greater depth.
All of this is embraced under one word – “culture”.
When a business is born it will only develop if it has a sound culture, and the values that comprise that culture are initially inherent in the business founder.
A sound business culture equates to a successful business and that success is often expressed in the term “goodwill” which can be eventually translated to a dollar value.

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ReWalk™ Personal Exoskeleton System Cleared by FDA for Home Use

Staff Writer

Exoskeleton leader ReWalk Robotics announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared the company’s ReWalk Personal System for use at home and in the community.
ReWalk is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) to stand upright and walk.
ReWalk, the only exoskeleton with FDA clearance via clinical studies and extensive performance testing for personal use, is now available throughout the United States.

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Pharmacy 2014 - Pharmacy Management Conference

Neil Johnston

The brave new world of health and wellness is not the enemy of Pharmacy, it is its champion.
Australian futurist, Morris Miselowski, one of the world's leading business visionaries, will present the Opening Keynote address on Pharmacy's Future in the new Health and Wellness Landscape at 2.00pm on Wednesday July 30.
Morris believes the key to better health care could already be in your pocket, with doctors soon set to prescribe iPhone apps, instead of pills.
Technology will revolutionise the health industry - a paradigm shift from healthcare to personal wellness.
Health and wellness applications on smartphones are already big news, and are dramatically changing the way we manage our personal health and everyday wellness.

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Generation and Application of Community Pharmacy Research

Neil Johnston

Editor’s Note: We have had a number of articles in this issue relating to pharmacy research.
The PGA has conducted a number of research initiatives over the years, including one recently reported in Pharmacy News that resulted from an analysis of the QCPP Patient Questionnaire.
Pharmacy Guild president, George Tambassis, appears to have authored the article following, and there also appears to be a disconnect between the survey report and its target audience illustrated by one of the respondent comments published.
I have asked Mark Coleman to follow through, elaborate and comment:

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Marketing Focus: Sentiments are not Sentimental

Barry Urquhart

articles by this author...

Barry Urquhart, Managing Director of Marketing Focus, Perth. Barry is an internationally recognised conference keynote speaker, facilitator of strategic planning workshops and marketing business coach.
Contact Barry: TEL:61 8 9257 1777 - EMAIL: urquhart@marketingfocus.net.au -
WEB: www.marketingfocus.net.au

Stop the bashing
Bank bashing is a favourite past-time of many Australians.
Some media commentators and numerous politicians have developed the pursuit into an art form.
In recent times the Australian Prime Minister, the Federal Treasurer and a number of leading cabinet members (each a former union leader) have, to the extent that many people believe, has overstepped the mark, with overly-politicised remarks, criticisms and demands.
Australia, its people (including share-owning superannuants) and businesses enjoy the fruits and advantages of a competently managed banking sector. Competence is not a description that sits well or is used freely when referring to the incumbent Federal Government.
The Federal Treasurer inherited a significant surplus which within 3 years he has converted into a deficit approximating $160 billion.
At this time, commerce, intending and existing home buyers and the public at large need financially viable and liquid banks, which have the capacity and disposition to maintain lending, as a key lubricant for keeping the wheels of the economy, turning efficiently.

Liquidity dries up

The recent assertive initiatives by the IMF (International Monetary Fund), the ECB (European Central Bank), Germany and, to a lesser extent, France to inject liquidity into the Eurozone were intended to protect the Euro currency, the banking systems of all European countries and to shore up national economies against the inevitable drawn-down on liquidities which will be a direct consequence of the Greek meltdown.
 
Those goals, benchmarks and outcomes appeared to have been achieved, or are about to be.
 
However, this is an enlightening case study of the importance of setting the “right” goals and being strategic, rather than tactical in focus.
 
The contributions which exceeded 1.5 trillion Euros, have improved the current balance sheets and liquidity ratios of the major European banking and financial institutions.
 
Sadly, there is no widespread evidence of a multiplier-effect impacting any of the Eurozone or broader European national economies. Consumer demand remains sluggish, unemployment rates are increasing and business failure statistics are growing.
 
The multiplier effect is only ever achieved if the currency (read: liquidity) flows through the whole economy. In this instance, the European financial institutions, having received funds from the central banks, are simply redepositing such with those lending entities... with improved financial records.
 
There is little or no evidence of more money or relaxed lending being made available to businesses and to consumers.
 
Hence, the immediate pending financial liquidity crisis for financial institutions has been avoided, but little more.
 
Resolving the structural and financial inadequacies which prevail throughout Europe will only be addressed and redressed by increased expenditure, demand, improved productivity and, yes, a touch of inflation.
 
Each seems to be politically unpalatable.
 
Therefore, the prudent will adopt the expectations of the governments of the United States of America and China and prepare for a long, (minimum one decade) path back to buoyancy.
 
In Australia, we are witnessing the flow-on effect of the scenario detailed above in the better placed sector of a two-speed economy.
 
An increasing number of smaller, start-up entrepreneurial mining companies which have previously made public declarations about their plans for highly profitable mining projects and resources export earnings are encountering the reality of the lack of available funds and/or the imposition of very demanding lending policies by the financial institutions, which wish to retain their liquidity ratios.
 
Cashflow remains imperative. For future local, national and global growth to be achieved and sustained, unimpeded cashflow through economies will be a prerequisite.
 
So, think long.
Act short... and...
be very friendly to your bank manager.

The not so silent "P"

The responses to the commentary in the last month’s e-zine about the silent “P” of customer service were received loud and clear.
 
Creativity knows no bounds among the recipients of these communications.
 
It was evident that no suggestion in the nominations of what was the silent “P” was wrong. These included:

* People
* Personal
* Personality
* Planning
* Preparation
* Performance
* Professional
* Projection
* Preparation
* Presence
* Plan
* Promise
* Prioritise

Interestingly, none of those nominated attributes and aspects actually corresponded with the silent “P” which was released to and embraced by four entities (a company, a buying group, a franchise network and Curtin University Students Guild) during February, to their advantage and benefit.
 
Indeed, the date and occasion of a national conference keynote address delivered for The Coffee Club group introduced a new, creative and appropriate dimension to the silent “P” of customer service. It just gets bigger and better!
 
In recent weeks we have introduced the concept to the departments of one of the world’s largest companies, a diversified mining and exploration group and a legal practice, for application in the dealing with internal customers.  The responses from participants were refreshingly positive and upbeat.
 
Your thoughts, perceptions and contributions on this energising and topical issue are welcome. I’m learning lots and am having a great time applying the concepts.

Rant about rents

The bi-annual reports to shareholders of a number of public-listed Australian property companies during February provided significant insights.
 
Officially declared shopping centre rents had been maintained, if not increased in the previous year.
 
Indeed, Westfield declared the highest rentals achieved among its 118 shopping centres and precincts, which are located in five countries, was up to $15,000 per square metre, per annum – at the Pitt St precinct in Sydney (CBD).
 
In the Bondi Junction shopping centre (metropolitan Sydney) rents were reported to be up to $12,000 per square metre, per annum.
 
One needs to draw on the generalised conclusion of the Productivity Commission, that to be viable and sustainable retail rentals should represent around 7 to 8% of gross annual turnover.
 
Accordingly, for $15,000 square metre to be 8%, gross turnover needs to be $187,500 per square metre, per annum.
 
Fortunately, for those lucky few in Bondi Junction they need only achieve sales of $150,000 per square metre, per annum. That is a lot of shoes, books, cups of coffee and bras. Doubtless, some retailers will need support!
 
Little wonder, the Chairman and Chief Executive of JB HiFi, arguably the most successful retailing network in Australia, declared at their recent shareholders’ meeting that they were pursuing active negotiations to lower rentals. That is a timely call-to-action for its peer retailers.
 
Rent is an issue that cuts both ways. Local municipalities which allow the conduct of growers’, farmers’ and cultural markets in strategically important and well-located sites at low or peppercorn rents are impacting negatively on the viability of property and business owners who pay substantial local council rates (That is:  statutory rents).
 
It seems to be, and is, unfair and unequitable, particularly when many stallholders in such markets are not local and are not growers, orchardists or producers. These people are simply opportunists who are capitalising on subsidised and discounted rents.

And to think that some consultants are promoting themselves as champions of these ventures – at the expense of often long established local businesses. It’s enough to start a new phenomenon....

Rent rage.
  

Article text: Sentiments are not sentimental

Fickle consumers.
 
How can retailers possibly cope?
 
Actually, it is the sentiments of consumers rather than the consumers themselves that are fickle, and thus hard to analyse and forecast.
 
Much consumer sentiment is the product of newspaper, television, radio and magazines headlines, stories and innate editorial biases. Accordingly, they can and do, in many instances, change daily.
 
This is a reality strikingly evident in the discourse between, opinions and expressed buying intentions of participants in focus groups.
 
One is left to conclude that consumer sentiments, to a large extent, are an “effect” rather than a “causal” factor, which must be considered in the planning of the marketing, advertising, promotions, product lines, inventory and financial forecasting of many retail businesses.
 
Over-riding consumer sentiment can be materially and significantly affected by the public statements of politicians, bankers and other spheres of influence.
 
Declarations by high profile retail industry spokespersons about price deflation, sales leakages to internet on-line retail websites and entities, rampant price discounting and a general sense of lack of consumer loyalty can influence prevailing sentiments. More disturbing, it can awaken, educate and influence consumers to consider and try competitors, substitutes and alternatives as means to satisfy their needs, wants and desires.
 
Compounding the issue is the lack of uniformity in such expressions, driven largely by short-term, often conflicting, self-interest.
 
Some industry leaders even get very sentimental about the whole issue, to their and businesses’ detriments.

Economic short-comings

Expectations of economists typically exceed the disciplines and the practitioners’ capacities, training and abilities. To expect economists to accurately forecast within .1% interest rates 12 – 24 months hence, is unreasonable and, above all else, their attempts to do so, unbelievable. So too are such forecasts.
 
Many economists determine their projections on established or unique modelling. Retail association spokespersons use or refer to similar templates and concepts.
 
Many business leaders share a general consensus that economic forecasts are inevitably wrong. The major point of disagreement is just how wrong the economists are in their forecasts.
 
Interestingly, a common deficiency of economic modelling is the absence of consideration of and tolerance for the role and influence of consumer sentiment.
 
It is estimated that the sentiment of consumers is a variable that can influence demand, and thus sales, profits and dividends, by up to 25% of standard economic forecast modelling.
 
Hence, it seems that consumer sentiment is something that business people, retailers in particular, cannot do with or without.

Filtered sentiment

Consumer sentiment is a cruel, fickle master. It is also a rewarding but not compliant servant.
 
Sentiment is a filter through which consumer perceptions are developed, established and, over the short-term, sustained.
 
It can and does impede and block out communication. Moreover, it is often a pre-emptive factor which determines whether purchase, investment or consumption will be contemplated. That is a powerful variable which will directly and, most importantly, indirectly impact on spending patterns. Care must be taken about the capacity for mass consumer sentiments to change and to do so rapidly.
 
One need not look beyond the fortunes of retail brands in the “beach culture” sector of retailing to register a salutary lesson.

Be disciplined

Consumer sentiments and their importance to all businesses underscore the importance of a principle enunciated in my co-authored book on Australian entrepreneurs which was titled, The Jindalee Factor. That was
 

“Plan long. Manage short”

 
Don’t attempt to plan in anticipation of sentiments or manage oneself around them. Consider, respect and allow for them, with appreciable tolerance for variability.

The year ahead

If one is not able to accurately and consistently forecast mass media headlines 7, 14 or 30 days ahead, then no attempt should be made to project consumer sentiments or to believe that concise sales and profit totals can be documented and “banked” in advance, based on those premises.
 
Likewise, economists’ statistics about the future should be studied carefully and then, in most instances, be summarily dismissed. Economics is the discipline of the allocation of scarce resources, not of declaring within .1%, the official interest rates and the All Ordinaries Index, twelve months hence.
 
Accept the fact that the headwinds which has been spoken and written about so freely since the onset of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) in August 2008 will persist during 2012. They will be fluky, inconsistent in direction and in intensity and they will be compounded by the changing tides of consumer sentiments.
 
In short, astutely set course for the finish-line, but be flexible, malleable and responsive. Recognise the nature, role, importance of and influence of consumer sentiments. Don’t attempt to control such emotions. Rather, reach out, connect, and interact with consumers and at all times endeavour to guide (but not unjustifiably talk-up) their sentiments.
 
If one possesses a high tolerance of risk and has a “business auto-pilot”, then at least push the reset button.

 

Barry Urquhart
Marketing Focus
Mobile: 041 983 555

Contact: Kate Power
Marketing Focus
Email: kate@marketingfocus.net.au

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