bang - 4th edition ( special first year anniversary edition)

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Editor’s Message The Changing Times W e are living in challenging times. From Dilly led revamped SL cricket team trying to rebuild in hostile English condition after the controversial world cup finale deba- cle, to Sri Lankan government tactics against Darusman Report and resurfaced Western al- legations , things are pretty much heated up around us and it demands the constant at- tention to the environment as well as prompt action to stay in the game. In this context, marketing is never be the same again and it needs the up-to-date knowledge of much more wider spectrum of areas other than sales or selling which is synonymous when it’s come to defining the subject marketing in Sri Lanka (Sinhala meaning of the word marketing itself provides the ample evidence of this misconception), to be a successful entity in these modern times. So the 4th is- sue of BANG – The Marketing Zine shows the readiness for that challenge, the knowl- edge of our own undergrads and their skill of seeking knowledge as well as putting them in to a mode of communication with a criti- cal point of view. This issue is the end result of the constant persuasion of our lecturers in the department to put up our own stuff in this zine which is previously been used to circulate the articles and knowledge which are already published in renowned maga- zines around the world. So the BANG’s 4 th edition will be a giant leap forward in the faculty literature and the constructive criti- cism on these articles from both students as well as lecturers will be much appreciated to strengthen this effort for the future. Dinesh Gunaratne Editor of BANG issue 04

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  • Editors Message The Changing Times

    We are living in challenging times. From Dilly led revamped SL cricket team trying to rebuild in hostile English condition after the controversial world cup finale deba-cle, to Sri Lankan government tactics against Darusman Report and resurfaced Western al-legations , things are pretty much heated up around us and it demands the constant at-tention to the environment as well as prompt action to stay in the game. In this context, marketing is never be the same again and it needs the up-to-date knowledge of much more wider spectrum of areas other than sales or selling which is synonymous when its come to defining the subject marketing in Sri Lanka (Sinhala meaning of the word marketing itself provides the ample evidence of this misconception), to be a successful entity in these modern times. So the 4th is-sue of BANG The Marketing Zine shows the readiness for that challenge, the knowl-edge of our own undergrads and their skill of seeking knowledge as well as putting them in to a mode of communication with a criti-cal point of view. This issue is the end result of the constant persuasion of our lecturers in the department to put up our own stuff in this zine which is previously been used to circulate the articles and knowledge which are already published in renowned maga-zines around the world. So the BANGs 4th edition will be a giant leap forward in the faculty literature and the constructive criti-cism on these articles from both students as well as lecturers will be much appreciated to strengthen this effort for the future.

    Dinesh Gunaratne Editor of BANG issue 04

  • Change says the amber One!

    2

    When driving down the roads and highways of the Metropolitan, we pass many a traffic light and although slightly annoying when it breaks the flow of the ride, we all abide by its rules ,thus, everything goes smoothly because everyone is told exactly what to do; STOP for the Red, CHANGE for the Yellow and GO for the Green. Yet, in the early mornings and late nights, the Colombo traffic system employs the Blinking Yel-low lights only, indicating to drivers that they must drive with common sense. With no orders and guidance, drivers have to decide on their own and pray to the heavens that every-one has similar states of minds.

    This is the same phenomena happening in todays business world,

    where the early morning Blinking Yellow lights prevail, calling for a change agent (first mover or pioneer) to make the move and then, as in the day time, the Red, Yellow and Green operate to guide the entire indus-try and Night time again calls for a change in trend.

    This is a marketing era where giant multinationals are the pow-erful and wealthy guardians and rulers of society, where market niches spring out everywhere search-ing for untapped gaps, where competi-tion is not a threat anymore but a part of life, where customers are the ultimate pot of gold at the end of a rainbow cluttered with competitor traf-fic, where ethics and social responsibili-ties are common to all and is no longer a differentiator, where a lifetimes business achievements can flow out of the window in less than a day.

    In this highly dynamic and fe-rocious competitive environment, companies thrive to be first mov-

    ers (since this strategy is, in most cases, the Best) and marketers are called to be change agents.

    In the global and local scenarios, many a company has fallen due to lack of recogniz-ing when to change and many a company has thrived by doing exactly the opposite.

    The story of the tragic fate of Encyclopedia Britannica is a classic example. Since its humble

    incorporation on the 6th December in 1768, the once popular Encyclope-dia Britannica ap-peared in 15 official editions throughout the years. With this success and promis-ing performance, the then growing Micro-soft approached Bri-tannica in the 1980s to work together on a CD-ROM ency-clopedia, but due to the anti-change and

    anti-technology attitude of Britan-nicas management, this offer was declined. Yet, Microsoft did not give up but went to Funk & Wagnalls Standard En-

    This is the same phenomena happening in todays business world, where the early morning Blinking Yellow lights prevail, calling for a change agent (first mover or pioneer) to make the move and then, as in the day time, the Red, Yellow and Green operate to guide the entire in-dustry and Night time again calls for a change in trend.

  • is whshdf.a column tlCustomer Service

    My FootService quality, services excellence, relationship marketing, personalized service, customer satisfaction and delight, these are all recurring topics of any Sri Lanka marketing related degree or di-ploma program on which any person who is working with business or in business must be thorough at. But in here no mat-ter what the scale or the type of business is, most of the Sri Lankan businesses tend to lose their plot on customer service and providing a memorable service to their customers to satisfy and retain them.

    Lots of people have bad experiences with customer services in Sri Lanka Take DIALOG Axiata for example which is bragging about their customer service but you know what happen when you dial their customers service hotline for a need you have to wait and listen to Britney Spears and Ricky Martin for ages before somebody picks up your call. It happened to me several times with Dialog Wimax connection and its so annoying when you are trying desperate to get the internet line connected again. What about Worlds local bank HSBC, once when I walked in to Uthum Pathum at Nuge-goda, its manager was literally scolding the customer service agent in front of her

    customers in the shop via phone. Bank name was revealed later after overhearing her conversation with the shops assis-tant. It was regarding some mistake in the amount charged for the credit card. Even when you consider the fact that people who are working in customer service are also humans and they tend to make mis-takes as well as they have bad days here and there, yet its appalling to see so many cases of dissatisfaction which you here from your friends, relatives relating to Sri Lankan businesses. Even when you go for a grocery shop or kade, you have to see all the katayams of the mudalali before getting your stuff. You can go for another shop, but what if its also the same. Sri Lankans are not all good at customer ser-vice I guess its kind of South Asian cul-tural trait I guess. They tend to get over boiled in pressure situations as well as being naturally lethargic on how others think or behave and reading the situation. Most of the time, I think that everybody who are doing business, from small kade to big banks should pay more attention to customer service and must learn how to handle it properly as well as retain the quality of the service. If not they should hire personnel who have knowledge about it... with so many preaching in our local marketing wisdom, itll be all time wast-ing crap if we dont practice the theory.

    One bright, silver lining in the black cloud is the professional print-ers SOFTWAVE in Thimibirigasyaya where one of my friends wrote about the inconsistency she faced with the customer service personnel on their comment book and next day she got a call from man-ager apologizing and explaining that the person who was on duty was in fact new and on training. Another instance where premiere restaurant (I forgot the name, Sorry) provided the customers with a gift voucher for dinner after they complained about the rudeness of the person who took the order and delay in bringing the order. So there are couple of times when the management do take the action ac-cording to the book and sometimes they have to take the employees side because of some troubling and nosy customers. But these few positive cases and stuff you might have heard will not set off our negative thought and action towards cus-tomer service in Sri Lanka because of so many bad experiences and dissatisfaction caused by the bad customer service.

    So we have to take necessary steps, as management to empower the employ-ees with the right way to do things and as customer by informing the bad to avoid as well as the good to go and buy next time.

    is whshd

    2 3

    cyclopediato create what we know today as Encarta.When Encarta came to the market in 1993, it became a must-have in every orga-nization and computer, and Britan-nica saw its doom in the blink of an eye. Although later on they did respond with their own CD-ROM version and later their own online version, it could not reach even the outskirts of the Encarta empire and eventually went into financial loss and was bought over by Swiss financier Jacob Safra for $135 mil-lion, only a tiny fraction of Britan-nicas book value. They not only lost the opportunity and the market but also lost the promising partner-ship with Microsoft, which would have been the corner stone of its success today. All this was due to their short sightedness and inabil-ity to recognize change and when to change.

    Along with Encyclopedia Britannica there are quite a few companies who have failed due to lack of recognizing how and when to change. Swissair, once the image of the Swiss and its businesses, which fell victim to budget airlines like Ryanair and EasyJet; Cunard Steam-ship Lines of Liverpool , once the world leader in Transatlantic pas-senger transportation, did not see the emergence and future of airlines like Boeing, who have cut the travel time from days to hours, and thereby lost the opportunity to remain the leader in transportation and is now confined to the cruise shipping business with a few cruise liners; Jaguar, once a major British Brand and European car maker, is now sold to the Tata Group while Ford, the precious child of Henry Ford is now looking for a buyer for its Volvo brand (both brands not seeing the future of eco-nomic cars, market failures and the rise of the East); in Sri Lanka, the Nikado company; the DASA compa-ny; the failing Maliban company and a lot more are going down the drain due to their lack of foresight and in-ability to recognize what, when and how to change.

    Are marketers to blame, or customers, or the economy, the government, or natural evolution itself? Whatever the answer, it all comes down to using sense, foresight and pro-change atti-tude at the blinking yellow lights.

    WORDS Ruwandi Perera

  • What is the concept of 3 E ?

    The concept of 3 E is not a strange, complex and hard methodology to practice for the success of different service providers especially in the medium scale hotel/ restaurant owners. The concept indicates three criti-cal activities to be performed to reach the peak of your industry. First critical activity relates to the emphasis of your own strengths/ abilities and positive, secondly you have to eliminate all sort of weak-nesses identified carefully. These are two primary functions that strongly lead to entertain market leadership without any obstacles.

    After achieving a dominant position in the market, it is es-sential to maintain the stability

    of having such leadership through different strategies. In this scenario, you should focus on crucial aspects like research, (habit of looking for information, new trends and new technologies) quality dimensions (which factors may lead to empha-size the quality of your service), and proper relationships with different customers (the appropri-ate means of dealing with peoples attitudes/ values and perceptions) to improve your strengths, remove negatives and reach a peak.

    Emphasize your value to others...Try to differentiate yourself from

    others...Become a giant among others...

    Making senses through Research

    The term research reflects the simple meaning that you should continuously find out or have a sense of what happening in the environment, in the business and should have sound and up to date information relating to the in-dustry. Therefore, think simply. Research is not a complicated process including heavy interviews with customers, suppliers or other related parties and heavy question-naires with critical questions to be answered.

    You must be aware about the environment and its changes well. It is a simple process where you can obtain relevant information to identify your good things and also

    3 E conceptFor improving your business in medium scale hotel and restaurant sectorHow you can search relevant information, How you incorporate quality dimensions in to the service, How to deal with different customers... WORDS Poorna Manushka

  • negatives by having simple discus-sions with your friends, customers, and relations. They will communi-cate what they exactly need from your hotel. While you are imple-menting your own methods/ strate-gies and tactics in accordance with your knowledge as a self experi-mental procedure, you can easily understand the progress or devia-tions. Do not forget the fact that in order to perform such thing, you should extract proper knowledge by reading latest business magazines, industry related research articles, by interacting with the peers, (other service providers in the same field) by concentrating different adver-tisements aired or published by higher level hotel segments and by dealing with your employees views in an appropriate way.

    As a middle level person, you are free to perceive that your main competitors are hotels/ restaurants which are similar and around to you. No, it is not the case. Your major competitor is the person who brings all bakery items, meals and snack items to the feet of custom-ers. Think for a while, such people provides quick solutions more than you do. You have to wait till cus-tomers interested to walk to your physical location. Thus, you must focus on the food quality, delivery time and price level of such dis-tributors to ensure that your service

    effort exceeds them. So you have to tackle such parties business strategies careful-ly. Also, you have to con-sider the reputation among the people while serving them properly. Above dif-ferent methodologies might help you to collect a bunch of relevant information, to understand the gap between the current position and the expected level by customers or industry.

    Enhancing com-petitive advantage through Quality

    When it comes to the ser-vices, the concept of quality is totally distinguishable from physi-cal products. If there is quality in your hotel/ restaurant, you will be able to have an integrated chain of advantages. Quality leads to have a value, value then leads to satis-faction of consumers, satisfaction leads to customers loyalty and fi-nally loyal customers will remain with your business. Quality is a competitive priority which leads to gain the competitive advantage in the market place.

    It is very much crucial to identify and understand what different aspects might make up quality concept in a hotel or restaurant segment. These consid-erations that you need to focus on the quality are also known as criti-cal dimensions relating to services quality. In simple terms, these are the factors you should con-centrate on heavily. Sometimes these dimensions are vital to other service providers also irrespective of the nature, scale of the business activity. First of all you must en-sure that the waiting of customers should definitely be reduced up to the acceptable level or eliminated completely because you are not aware about the tolerance level of them, what emergency situa-

    tion they are in. Also, you should ensure that the speed of fulfilling the order is at satisfactory level. Even though, your accompanying food items are in good condition, what is the point of a late delivery without caring for peoples basic need, hunger and thirst.

    All of your efforts made will be put in to the garbage bin by a dissatisfied customers. Thus, you must filter out the most feasible people as your employees who can serve customers fast. Additionally, you have to ensure that your forces are working in the hotel with self interest for their jobs. Speed and on time delivery is an integral part of competitive priority. Secondly, you should focus on whether all relevant food items which were ordered will be served or not. The completeness of an order at once gives around 25% of satisfaction to your customers. Thirdly, the different ways of treating custom-ers, behavior patterns of employees which are conducive and persua-sive for customers to deal with employees in a friendly manner are most important to emphasize on your strengths. Even a single positive word or a friendly discus-sion with customers or a nice smile is enough to win peoples mind rather having nothing for custom-ers. You should properly train your employees to deliver the service in an efficient manner, assign relevant

  • responsibilities based on their per-formance, communicate the vital-ity customer satisfaction to front stage people (waiters, chief ca-shier, bill preparer) plus back stage people (chefs, tea maker, buyer of ingredients for making food, cleaners), create an integrated team with necessary empowerment and reward based on their perfor-mances. The level of consistency of food quality, (level of nutrition, deliciousness) employees abil-ity to serve customers smoothly and ingredients quality should be maintained carefully. If you are in a position to start up a home delivery service it will ensure the easy accessibility of customers. You also need to create a physical environment (an attractive external outlook of the building premises with a commercial value and fabu-lous interior arrangements) that makes customers feel better, offer convenience and clears customers mind. You should understand that people do not prefer to have a meal alongside with garbage. Finally, the management and employees need to concentrate various tactics like problem solving techniques to handle unusual situations like the change in food taste, higher demand situations with shortage in supply of food items or late deliv-ery.

    Dealing with different customers appropriately...

    Just think, as a member of the society, you are continuously interacting with different types of people. Before incorporating a long term relationship with them, first you should correctly under-stand people and then you are in a position to trust them as well as share your emotions with them. The same social principle is ap-plicable for your business. The ultimate objective of providing a service related to food and bever-age is to deliver a superior value to

    people in the society for the pur-pose of satisfying their physiologi-cal needs.

    Your business rooted in a society which consists of different types of people. Therefore, you must have different approaches to reach different people. Without having customers or human be-ings, how can you proceed with your business as a service provid-er?. Until you provide a superior service, people will not visit the premises. So that, every person will definitely expect a good qual-ity first expression from you, your employees. Therefore, this is not a rocket science but it is a matter of your general understanding and common sense to deal with people.Your business in hotel or restaurant sector can be categorized under hybrid nature where it elicits a heavy requirement of creating and maintaining profitable customers and converting unprofitable cus-tomers in to profit making cus-tomers. Proper interaction with people is not a single day process and it will require a considerable time period to grow up. BUT, a single days feeling, attitude expressed by service provider will favorably lead to have a long term relationship or will adversely af-fect to impair the relationship.

    In conclusion, I would like to

    say that it is a continuous process of searching for up to date infor-mation, practicing quality dimen-sions and dealing with people in a amicable manner. Make sure that you have a habit of doing best things in an ethical way for the success of your future.

    6

  • The CONNECTED Man.Advantages and Implications of Rapid Digitalization in The Modern Times...WORDS Eranjana Kathriarachchi

    It was really a hard day. I was on my way home af-ter a function. Just for a moment a strange feeling came to my mind. What would happen if the mo-bile phone was not in existence? It was really hard to imagine such a situation. People are so connected that, they are to a greater extent rely on mobile technology. From personal relations, businesses to administration all the activities are interconnected with the mobile technology.

    It is the general understanding that the mobile phone came in to existence very recently. In Sri Lankan scenario it is no more than two decades. It is really hard to imagine how the daily work had been managed before the mobile phone was invented. In a research conducted recently it was revealed that 52% of the college graduates in US feel that they are iso-lated without the mobile phone. When extending this argument to more contemporary issues it is clear that the current population has gone even far beyond from the mobile phone.

    Now we are connected with more sophisticated yet desiring technologies. Especially with the internet technology, the average person is now free to commu-nicate as he or she wishes. There are number of av-enues on internet to stay connected. Social networking is that kind of a popular avenue. Now individuals have different forums to freely express their opinions and to communicate with others. There are no more cultural barriers or geographical barriers; every connected person has equal opportunity in these forums. This has gone so far that they feel as if they are isolated if they didnt have access to these mediums at least for a day or two.

    There are several important implications of this modern connectivity. A connected man will have to consume high levels of digital information in a given period of time. As consumers there will be lot of information and greater choice to choose between. For an example, WALMART already handles more than 1 million sales transactions every hour. That clearly explains the economic value of the digital information.There are different kinds of social collaborations

    technologies like on line groups and blogs other than the social networking. The diversity of the social relations will be extended from the traditional relationships of family, friends and colleagues. One such interesting blog that I came across is the Japura Kattiya. That blog is open to graduates and undergraduates from the University of Sri Jayawar-denapura. The blog facilitates knowledge sharing, publishing news and current affairs and even there is a career corner.

    Privacy is a major concern when it comes to online activities. When considering about the social networking and similar applications the concerns about privacy seem to be declining. Connected people are willing to share their personal informa-tion such as friends and personal interests. Face book itself now has more than 40 billion photos of its members. Connectivity provides individuals with the opportunity to project themselves to the others. Actu-ally your FB page is a top tool in branding yourself as one of my learned colleague said the other day.

    With the development of digital technology more novel business formats are coming in to light. Whether it is BPO or KPO, simply what has hap-pened is that no longer you are inside an office cubicle and there is nobody to direct you. The con-nected man decides the hour of work and the way of work. From a macro point of view China and India are leading countries that have become successful in exploring new business opportunities with digital technology.

    Alvin Toffler extensively argues that we are hit by the THIRD WAVE of social transformation. I am sure that the next wave to come is the digital technol-ogy, which currently shows the potential of a social transformation.

    Meanwhile shall we switch off our mobile phones for two or three days? Is it possible or will you feel isolated? That is a challenge to the CON-NECTED man.

    7

  • Travelogue on Local Travelling TrilemmaREVEAL THE FREEDOM, JUST LIKE A WAVIN FLAG!

    We all love to travel; to have treks & trips. The first ques-tion raised before arranging a trip would be Where to? Then the next question will come- By what? Our normal options would be limited to cars, vans, busses and trains. They are all means of land transportation. Thats all we have, isnt it? No! Things have changed. The newer alternative options are cooler! What do you think about airplanes, helicopters, ships and air-conditioned luxury trains?

    Thirty years of misery in Sri Lanka has changed into merriment with the dawn of peace. Various kinds of businesses, which had been contained in various extents due to the war are now grown into large busi-nesses. With the breakdown of boundar-ies, country had turned into a Ground Zero for innovations and the New Sri Lanka has now become a great place for the marketers.

    Local travelling industry is one of the industries which had quickly reacted to the emerging marketing opportunities. All the new travelling ideas implemented in the country are not wholly new ones, though they are new to us. They are avail-able and had been already available in most of the countries around the world. It was the Sri Lankan war which had been depriving the citizens of Sri Lanka from experiencing and consuming these activi-ties.

    Unlike before, now, while there are wavin Sri Lankan flags throughout the whole liberated country, the complete Travelling Trillema, which is land, air and sea, is open for the local travelers. This article is about the newest addi-tions to the Travelling Trillemma.

    We all know what are our land transportation alternatives are. In addi-tion to cars, vans & busses, we have the general trains, which are the cheapest, safest and one of the most enjoyable options. Trains provide several class options such as 1st Class Sleepers, 1st Class Observation Cars, 2nd & 3rd class seats. Now, theres a newest addition to those options as 1st Class Air-Conditioned Seats Cars, which are available in a limited number of trains only.

    The hottest addition to the land transportation is what the whole coun-try jestingly calls The IIFA Train. Its actual name is Airport Express Luxury Train Service and it is introduced by the AASL (Airport & Aviation Services Sri Lanka). Its first trip was run in 10th June, 2010 at 1100 hrs. It is originally designed as an air-conditioned, enjoy-able, hassle-free safe passage for the

    tourists, from the Bandaranayake In-ternational Airport to Hilton Corner in Colombo, with no intermediate stops. But the locals can also have a sip of it for just 1500 SLR.

    I believe that almost everybody

    in Sri Lanka have ridden a boat, be-cause we have many boat services around the country in places like Hikkaduwa, Bolgoda lake, Negombo lagoon, Nilaweli etcetera. But very few must have had a chance to ride a boat in the sea. Now the Sri Lanka Navy had provided us a much better option than a mere boat. Its the coun-trys most popular passenger vessel Jetliner. I know that a journey in the Jetliner is not just a boat trip, because recently I also had a chance to ride this luxury floating party are-na.

    Jetliner is the Sri Lankan Navys largest passenger vessel, which had played a key role in the humanitarian operations of the country. It is said that it could carry over 3000 person-nel at once! After the war, starting from 22nd January, 2010, with the joint effort from Sri Lanka Navy and Sri Lankan Tourism Development Au-

    WORDS Priyan Jayasuriya

  • thority, the Jetliner has started a whole new role as a local cruise ship, under the theme Visit Sri Lanka 2011. The ship is now used for holding corporate events and even onboard weddings! (Who wouldve thought a Sri Lankan would have the opportunity to say I Do in the middle of the sea?!) The ship is re-dressed and well-equipped to cater the needs of the new clientele. The ship is manned by a well disciplined and highly trained professional naval crew who are in par with the best in the industry. The Navy had introduced this new venture to both earn a profit from the currently-unutilized multi-million-dollar resource and to cover the extremely high main-tenance cost. So far, theyre doing real good. Its considered as the most hap-pening crusade in Colombo. The Jetliner has a huge demand in the country and it is said that one would have to bear a couple of months long waiting list to get a reservation!

    Saved the best for last. Its the cool-est travelling mode of all. If you want to find out what does Birds-Eye View re-ally means, its the best travelling form. There are two options available under this: The Air taxies & Helicopter Char-ters.

    The Air taxi service, introduced by the Sri Lankan Airlines was established in the country, a couple of years ago, even before the end of the war. But it was not fully functional in the past as it is now. The small 8-seater Cessna Caravan planes use waterways, lakes and domes-tic airstrips to land and take-off. Flights currently run 16 destinations, which are Kandy (2 sites), Bentota, Nuwara Eliya, Hingurakgoda, Galle (Koggala), Weer-awila, Ampara (2 sites), Katunayake, Ratmalana, Trincomalee, Katukurunda, Sigiriya, Dickwella and Anuradhapura. The air taxi is not just to be used for joy rides. It is in-fact, a flying taxi. One of the main benefits of Air Taxies shown by the company is time saving, which we dont have much relative to the work

    we have to do. Where it would take three hours for a car to go from Colombo to Kandy, it would take only 35 minutes for an Air Taxi! Different packages are avail-able from an affordable 50 USD to 200 USD.

    Finally, saved the best of the best for the end of the last. Helicopter Charters. This ones better than the Air Taxi Ces-sana Caravan planes, because of its ability to provide customized services. For four or less passengers, a Bell 206 B3 Jet Ranger could be used and for four to seventeen passengers, a twin-engine Beech 1900 aircraft could be used. The helicopters are able to travel in a maxi-mum speed of 425 km/h, thus making it possible to reach anywhere in the country within just 45 minutes! While an interna-tional charter would take around 72 hours to schedule, a local trip would only take two hours of prior notice to schedule! The main feature of the helicopter charter is its ability to land and take-off from any-where. It would just need a 15x25 meter area to land. If its large enough, you may get into the helicopter from your own back yard!

    The most problematic area in land transportation is traffic. In modern countries, most main roads which link major cities, avoid towns in-between. Its a good strategy for Sri Lanka to adopt. We do not possess the ability to re-do the main roads like Colombo-Kandy or Colombo-Galle. But instead, according to the resource availability, we could un-dertake smaller projects, such as the new time-saving access from Hekitta in Wat-tala to Modara in Colombo.

    The IIFA Train is a good example for the development of the railway in-dustry. Opening a new parallel railway line for the coastal line is another one. I believe Sri Lankas adaptation of bullet trains shouldnt be very far in the future. It would obviously enhance the quality of life of the general public, by providing a hassle-free time-saving transportation method for long-distance travelers.

    Sri Lanka possesses a wide-spread network of rivers and canals. Wouldnt

    we be able to use it for travelling pur-poses rather than using as a weed-bed? (Example- Hamilton Canal) We already have small companies provid-ing boating-trip facilities in the canals for tourists. Why cant we extend the joy-rides a little bit more and utilize them for permanent transportation? As an example, the Katunayake Ban-daranayake International Airport is situated near the Negombo Lagoon, which is connected to the Hamilton canal. The Hamilton canal meets the Kelaniya River at its river mouth. If a proper transportation system is estab-lished, the tourists can be given low-cost transportation facilities from the BIA to Colombo. The eco-ride would be more enjoyable than The IIFA Train! The irrigation system would not just be useful for foreign travel-ers. It would be able to be used as an alternative for busses & trains for the locals. It would obviously increase the efficiency of internal transportation system. Its not an impossible task to do. The Navy already do so in the Wellawatta Nawala area, providing a remarkable service.

    While the flags of freedom are wavin across the country, we have been lucky enough to be able to gain access to the whole Travelling Trilem-ma. Getting access isnt enough. One has to do it in style. For an example, Air Taxies had already been around for a couple of years now. But the jetliners a whole new story for Sri Lanka. Only six months have gone since the first trip. But look at the results! It is do-ing ten times better than the Air Taxies have done in throughout the years! Doesnt common sense tell you that a plane is cooler than a ship? Jetliners very expensive too! So whats going on? If its not good marketing, I dont know what it is! Its not just about tak-ing the chance; its about taking the chance while blowing a French horn!

    Many untouched resources and unseen opportunities surround us. They provide really hot & really cool prospects for the marketers. What we need to do is keep an eye open. (It is even better to keep both eyes open. Youll be able to see twice as much.

    WHAT ELSE CAN WE DO?

  • Who killed the messenger?Are we on the right path or bewildered in the maze? - Critical analysis of Sri Lankan AdvertisingWords by Dinesh Gunaratne

    Advertising is not an art form. Its about selling more stuff more often to more people for more money. Success is the result of scientific, disciplined process, and absolutely every single expenditure must generate a return

    This is the quote of a former director of marketing of Coca Cola, Sergio Zyman which gives the opening for the book 1001 advertising tips. Looking at this quote, it simplifies the narrow minded thinking of a typical market-ing manager who is turned out to be just a sales craving crow rather than an individual with the aesthetic appeal. Can we justify his opinion? Is advertising is just a commu-nication of the usage/benefits/price of the commodities or is it much more than that? Does advertising have an aes-thetic importance or is it just a crooks way of living only?

    Take a look at the new Commercial Bank Arunalu Childrens Savings Account advertisement. It depicts a child with an urge to break his clay till where he doesnt get any help from his adults until his dad comes and break it and only to find that the child wanted to break the till to save an insect that has fallen in to it. This advert doesnt communicate the interest rates or benefits of having the account to the parents or adults but it does communicate a good vibe about the brand to its audi-ence and as the Starbucks founders words go-successful brands are the brands which convey the good feelings to its customers.

    But when we speak about the multinational compa-nies, they are the ones who have destroyed the senses of our audience by feeding the crappy formula type adver-tisements and dubbed Indian adverts. Because of them, the advertising industry as well as common businessman tend to think that the most important thing about the TV spot or paper advertisement is to communicate the price and the benefits only using couple of boring words, im-ages or frames.

    Cant we do a good advertisement using the old for-mula or the basic objective of advertising as we learned it? Yes we can take a look at the first Dimo Batta ad-vertisement which conveys the benefit of the Batta lorry in a very simplistic yet humorous way. But that particular advert is successful because it speaks to the common man, the characters specially the way policeman addresses and how the vendor replies and the infamous Kopi Kades Abil-

    ing who escorted the policeman and slowly gets away from the scene after the truth is revealed - these all are pretty much what we have grown up with and only a brilliant advertiser with a sound aesthetic appeal and knowledge can mix up those vital cultural elements and make such a successful advertisement as well as only a shrewd, knowl-edgeable marketer can understand the value of an such advert and approve it as their campaign.

    One thing I noticed about Sri Lankan Advertising is even the aesthetically enriched advertisements tends to follow the same formula as their predecessors. The content may be enriching but presentation and the structure will remain somewhat similar in most of the advertisement. I think its time that we look out of the box and must go for innovative ideas and strategies before the clutter over-whelms us. Take for an example 2010 Cannes Lions award winning Volkswagen Fun Theory campaign (http://www.the-funtheory.com/) where the brand initiated artists and other activists to design certain meaningful installments in the cities where the public who interacts with those creations engages in something meaningful while enjoying the ex-perience. The piano stairways healthy way to burn some calories while dropping the automatic escalator, the slot machine like garbage dumpster where anybody can play while depositing their old used up bottles- these are some of the work which is incarnated by Fun Theory campaign which promotes the company image while giving some-thing good back to the community in an innovative way.

    Advertising messages in different mediums can be manufactured in different ways. But most important thing to remember is to make a good advertisement while keep-ing its aesthetic value and it should have the power to enlighten the people or at least the power to amaze the audience. If you can design an innovative way of doing that it would be a great plus point and it will stand out from the clutter without much effort while inspiring others in the field and in the business.

    One last thing the articles opening quote holder Sergio Zyman is the marketing guru behind several books namely The End of Marketing as We Know It, The End of Advertising as We Know It and also hes the one who is responsible for the launch of New Coke the one of the biggest new product failures in the history of marketing as we know it. Think about it

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