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  • Subject area(s): Marketing
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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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A company offered a rewards program to customers who usually make purchases is call loyalty program. Free merchandise, rewards, coupons, or even advance released product are the examples of loyalty program that may give to a customer. Ace Publishing Sdn. Bhd. (APSB) decided to develop a loyalty program to collect the database of end consumers or readers and use the data for future promotion by engaging with the customers either through email marketing or social media network. Before that, APSB should ensure that the processing of personal data must be in compliance with seven Personal Data Protection Principles.

Customer feedback can be a significant component of APSB's loyalty program. (Refers to appendix 1) Readers are encouraged to give opinion to the books they received in their subscription box in exchange for points on every month.  By motivating their reviews and surveys, APSB is able to secure valuable information on which items they should keep and which should be replaced. This not only ensures an amazing customer experience but also promotes the creation of brand advocates. (MCEACHERN, 2017) Section 11 Data Integrity Principle of Section 5 Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA)  2010 states that to assure that the personal data is accurate, complete, not misleading and kept up-to-date by having regard to the purpose the data user should take reasonable steps including any directly related purpose, for which the personal data was collected and further processed. (LAWS OF MALAYSIA ACT 709 PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION ACT 2010, 2010)

Collect data to refine the program is also a way to establish an effective loyalty program. (Refers to appendix 2 & 3) Many customers are willing to share their personal data in exchange for benefits. The more APSB know about its customers, the more personalized benefits APSB can offer. In addition, as if consumers make repeat purchases APSB will gain more access to data. Measurement also covers a more complete characterization of customer view.  For example, APSB may ask some questions like how do consumers feel about our brand and what benefits do loyal customers want in the form. (Bigcommerce)Section 6 General Principle of Section 5 PDPA 2010 states that permission from the data subject is requires while collecting and processing personal data and in section 40 all sensitive data processed must be in concurrence with the provisions. (LAWS OF MALAYSIA ACT 709 PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION ACT 2010, 2010)

APSB can sell books on a direct basis. (ESPOSITO, 2010) . APSB should give those consumers a reason to give their contact information go on their way to buy it from an online retailer. (Izenwasser, 2015) Section 7 Notice and Choice Principle of Section 5 PDPA 2010 states that written notice to the data subject must be given by data users to tell of the reason for which the data is being collected and processed. As to the origin of the personal data, the data subject's right to ask for access and correction of the personal data which includes amendment, variation, modification or deletion. (LAWS OF MALAYSIA ACT 709 PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION ACT 2010, 2010)

In conclusion, to build a loyal community and direct marketing program of the company for a future marketing campaign APSB should ensure that the processing of personal data must be in compliance with seven Personal Data Protection Principles.

The actions taken by the Ace Publishing Sdn. Bhd. (APSB) to downsize the company to a dormant status made 27 staffs were not happy and left with ill feelings. Before taking any action at all, APSB must first consider the costs and potential savings of a layoff versus other actions. The cost of breaking packages, which vary from province and by industry; benefit, pension and the cost of ‘perks' since they frequently form part of the severance package are include in the variety of costs associates with layoffs and rounds of terminations. Outplacement, legal fees for review of layoff packages and occasionally litigation are the example of another expense which is assistance to released employees and the example are following layoffs, payroll expenses related to the terminations. All those involved in preparing for and communicating the layoffs take for the cost of the time. (Uson)

Cutting staff is significant and show up immediately to generate the savings is a lay-off savings. Salaries, benefits, payroll costs and overtime are some of the direct savings. Nevertheless, sometimes employers forget to factor into cutting staff and these may far outweigh the savings so it called the hidden costs of layoffs. (Uson)

In fact, the National Human Resources Association reports downsizing often leads to more overtime pay for remaining employees and costs savings can be offset further while company marks on employees and the organization's culture leave. (Uhlig)Human resource department of APSB must make a downsize decision for example determine if and how strong performers with unique skills be replaced when things improve, and what risks are involved in losing those individuals. (Uhlig)

Besides that, if APSB persist to downsize the company it should develop an eight-step strategy for downsizing. First, be fair in implementing layoffs like not just among lower-level employees, arrange layoffs throughout the organizational ranks. Second, if possible allow employees to leave with morality and leave of their own agreement. Third, find new jobs for those displaced. Fourth, avoid underestimate laid-off employees. Fifth, be cautious as they may not be sufficiently knowledgeable of the industry to help the company when hiring outside executives. Sixth, let employees know about the company's goals and expectations. Seventh, set realistic expectations and executives must be idealistic but realistic. Lastly, use ceremonies to reduce annoyance and confusion for example to deliver to employees what is going on. (Tang, 1995)

APSB may compensate to 27 staffs who has been scaled down according to Section 60(1) Termination, lay-off and retirement benefits of Employment Act 1955 (Act 265), the Minister may, by regulations made under this Act, for the payment by employers of  and for the entitlement of employees to termination benefits, lay-off benefits and retirement benefits will be provide. If an employee contract of service is terminated for any reason whatsoever and under a continuous contract of service for a period of at least 12 months (Regulation 3), he shall be entitled to termination benefits except upon the employee attaining the stipulated retirement age, or on the grounds of misconduct after due inquiry, or upon resigning voluntarily [Regulation 4(1)]. (Employment Act 1955 [Act 265])

Apart from downsize the company to a dormant status, APSB own massive amounts of great content. Readers don't really buy books because they buy the content that they enjoy reading, it can be novels, non-fiction, or children's stories. The content is king, and publishers own an amount of it. If too much of this great content will be sits dormant in a publisher's warehouse and computer servers. Use the email list to market books is better way to attract a lot of readers than to give some of it away for free to build an email list. Building a large group of blog subscribers, social media followers, and even an old-school snail mail catalog list can be applied into this approach.

Next, readers don't care about publishers, they love authors but APSB are closest to the author so it can use that relationship to market books direct to consumers. Some publishers may complaint that partnering with authors who jump ship to another house is useless. But, APSB can always say that he or she is part of its roster and use that connection to attract readers if APSB has published an author's book. Exclusive interviews, lost chapters, video chats, and behind-the-scenes material from authors can be an example of APSB to create and promote. In addition, to attract people APSB could added relevant blog posts and articles from author websites and use that content.

APSB has to use great content and author relationships to become an attractive destination for readers if not there's no reason for the readers to return after their first visit. For instance APSB may pick a few topical categories that play to its strengths and shine in those areas and remember don't have to be all things to all men. It can refer to the New York Times position their websites like a news site where can get everything you want to know in one place Then the other publisher will not compete to APSB easily because their sites are just boring online catalogs for their books.

APSB can direct the book sale wherever they prefer. For the most part, the reader relationship has been maximized by retailers. And brainy authors are learning how to build their own following. But, that doesn't mean APSB can't do the same. When APSB own the relationship, it can direct the book sale wherever they prefer because it gives payoff to the authors. Imagine APSB owning a list of 500,000 email subscribers and using that list to help launch new books, re-energize backlist titles, direct sales to specific retail partners, and drive the overall purchasing process.

Even better, the benefits extend past the initial direct effect. A report that due to the promotional impact from their large email list, they sell directly via email, an additional 10 – 16 units for every book are sold indirectly through other retailers. APSB will always have to balance on a tightrope of reaching more sales and staying profitable. When APSB invest in direct-to-consumer marketing, they will take comfort to know that the tightrope won't break.

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