Thursday, August 7, 2008

Love it AND Leave it

Welcome to Lebanon!

What has this land become? .... A party land. Our awaited vacation destination. A place no one can afford unless of course, he gets his income from, well, elsewhere.

A paradise with a double folded glory, so controversial that it can be heaven for people with different, even opposite, values.

Lebanon is ruled by the skies, bound by religions, a place where satanics and gays are sentenced to death. Rough, you might think... but you haven't digged into the reality of it all, that's only the icing of the cake... but the bulk is just as juicy, and, boy, are you in for a surprise.

With wars and political unrest, this heaven has maintained its sanctity, safe from the media and the tourists, it has kept its cultural purity.

Life! You know not what it's like, if you have never been there. Try booking a table in any restaurant any time of day, any day of the week - full house. The pubs, the night clubs, the night life, unbeatable... and it's not just walls with nice decorations, it's the people!
Beauty! The city lights at night look as festive as a christmas tree. The sound of the waves crashing on the rocks, the wind, the sun, the sand... can only be knocked down by the snow covered mountains.

What did it all bring us? An over-educated population, with a living standard it cannot keep up with. A local inflation in prices of goods and real-estate that cannot be constrained. An additional dose of freedom that others would have done without. The safety to dress up and look stunning every single day with absolute innocence... and without standing out in the crowd. A socially defined set of standards we all abide to, unconsciously, the will to strive and succeed and meet communities' unreachable requirements. Consequence? Brain drain, immigration, temporary working visa...etc.

Lebanon has fought its wars from abroad and left many dazzled by its unmoved economy despite the local security issues.

That's Lebanon! We love it, and we leave it, swearing we'd be back.... WHEN the situation calms down, and we all see the irony in that.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Measuring Your Marketing Efforts

I have been reading about economics in relation to marketing. In general, the marketing effectiveness is measured as a relation between the marketing budget invested and the sales returns. The formula is simple MR=MC.

Sounds logical? Maybe, but it isn't quite so.

Marketing efficiency depends on the marketing campaign's success. A marketing budget is only relative to the marketing costs (graphic designer, medium, marketing research... etc) which in their turn change under different settings. Meaning? The same marketing budget can be translated in campaigns of different sizes, depending on the market costs. Thus, a marketing budget is irrelevant in the calculation of marketing efficiency.

Moreover, sales in $ is not representative of the response to the marketing efforts. The same amount, let's suppose $3,000 of total sales, can be a sale of 3 products of a value of $1,000 each or 300 goods costing $30 each. Moreover, the profit margin on the products can be different; thus looking at the sales profit makes things even more complicated.

The real criteria that one needs to look into are frequency and reach of the campaign...

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