BMGT 311: Assignment #1

Students – Please add your comment for assignment #1:

  • Topic: Find and example of a company that does Marketing Research well?  What methodologies do they use?

Chris

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Fall Internship: The Resumator

Class: a good Fall Internship at a Technology Start Up: The Resumator.

The Resumator is a quirky, Pittsburgh-based software company that is reinventing the way employers hire. Featured on TechCrunch, Mashable and CNET, we empower growing businesses with recruiting tools they°ve never had, but have always needed. Our 1000+ customers include some of the fastest growing businesses and hottest startups in the world like Pinterest, Klout, Instagram, and HootSuite. We ’re looking for a Marketing Intern to contribute to digital marketing, branded content, market research, media relations, and event planning efforts.

This role is a paid part-time position. Must be able to work at least 20 hours a week. This is an excellent opportunity to gain valuable business and marketing skills before you graduate. MARKETING INTERNSHIP Responsibilities Learn and utilize Google Analytics, website testing, and CRM software Compile reports on the effectiveness of lead generation and marketing campaigns Research and recommend new advertising and partner opportunities Conduct market research and competitive analysis Write marketing copy for website and sales collateral Assist with marketing projects for print production, email campaigns, and events Qualifications College student majoring in Business, Marketing, or Communications (Juniors preferred) Prior marketing experience a plus Well spoken and engaging Self starter with the ability to learn quickly Proficient with Microsoft Excel Can take direction well and work independently for periods of time Ability to derive sound conclusions from raw data Ability to work minimum of 20 hours per week Bonus Points Experience working in a startup Entrepreneurial aspirations Perks include occasional free lunches, snacks and Xbox gaming system.

Bring in your favorite movies to have as background noise, or tell us what video games you like to play and we°ll get them. We even have free parking! Join one of the fastest growing startups in the Pittsburgh region!

Apply Here: http://www.theresumator.com/about-us/careers

Chris Lovett

What I learned this week: 8.24.12

3 weeks in a row!  I probably should get some sort of reward for my dedication to this blog.  Your continued reading is reward enough, actually.  I am up over 1,000 views since I started this blog.  I am humbled.  Thank you.

1. Another company uses social media for product marketing research to launch new products: Lego Cuuso and the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover

Developing new products is scary.  Some fail.  Some don’t.  But they all require a very heavy investment in the form of marketing research, concept testing, and profitability analysis.  It’s not easy to launch a new product.  A fan of Lego developed a concept for a Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover, and it gained 10,000 supporters in record time to possibly become Lego’s next toy.

Enter crowd sourcing.  What if you knew there would be demand for your product by testing the concept with thousands of fans for free before you invested any money.  Well that’s just what Lego did with their Lego Cuuso Project.

It’s actually pretty simple.  Fans develop a new Lego concept, and put it on the site for review.  Once the concept get’s 10,000 supporters, Lego reviews the project design, and decides whether or not to bring it to market.  If it makes it, the creator gets 1,000 in royalty sales on the product.

While some companies and people may be afraid from outside innovation, it is a really great way to source ideas and bring products to life that consumers really want.  I want one.

2. There is no Kobe beef in the US

I have always wanted to try Kobe Beef.  Heck, I thought I did.  Wrong.  There is no Kobe Beef sold in the US.  It’s true according to this article from Forbes.  So next time you see 20 dollar Kobe Beef sliders on the menu, skip it.  It’s a blatant lie.

3. We (I) need to become more visual

People have short attention spans, and are busy.  I am finding out more and more that a well designed 1-pager at work goes further than a 20 page PowerPoint deck.  One of my mentors told me a few years back that many great companies like P&G have a one-pager culture, where every plan, from the simple to complex product launch, are presented on one page.  I think that is why infographics are becoming so popular – they are quick hitting visual guides of a lot of information, but so clear you just get it.

Example on how credit cards are using social media – much more impactful than a bulleted list.

My goal is to get more visual in 2012/2013, and you should too.

Let’s have a great week this week, and learn something.

Chris Lovett

Is Marketing Dead?

If HBR can use this headline as link bait, so can I.  The Harvard Business Review ran an article last week that I have wanted to comment on.  The article, listed here, spells out why Bill Lee believes marketing is dead.

His first comment: Traditional marketing — including advertising, public relations, branding and corporate communications — is dead.

The most disappointing fact about Mr. Lee’s statement is this: Marketing is not advertising.  Marketing includes product, price, place, and promotion (and partnerships and people, but that’s just me).  The work that goes into developing a strong brand includes developing the positioning for that brand, and focusing on a core target market to grow the brand.  While I agree that the roles of traditional marketers has changed, it is far from dead.  Marketing like other functional business areas as evolved into a data driven practice, where to be successful, marketers must be laser focused on all elements of the marketing mix, including leveraging social media and advocates to help build their brand.

Marketing is not dead.  It is far from dead.  It has just evolved to be more customer centric.  It has evolved to be more targeted.  It relies on professionals to position products and engage with customers like never before.  Looking at the top global brands from the BrandZ report, most are very powerful marketers.  Their brands are growing because they have increased their marketing investment, and have not reduced it.  Their marketing investment is just more targeted and more digital than it used to be.

I think a good example of a brand evolving their marketing strategy is Ford.  Automotive companies used to be very media focused, often relying on incentives or price and item advertising to increase their sales.  Ford has continued to grow their brand, but has evolved their marketing strategy to include customer engagement as a key focal point of their marketing investment.   Ford is now a highly targeted marketing machine, like most top brands today.

Ford still runs TV ads.  But they are more targeted than they used to be.  They have not advertised on the Super Bowl in a few years, forgoing the “most eyeballs” approach to an approach where they target the most “prospective buyers”.  They have sponsored shows like American Idol, where a young and engaged audience is perfect for their products focused on technology (Ford Sync System).  They even developed original programing, featuring social media influencers like @ijustine with their Escape Routes show as part of the launch plan for the new 2013 Ford Escape.  Do they do TV?  Yes.  Do they do TV like they did 5 years ago?  No.

Social media is also at the heart of everything that Ford does.  Led by Scott Monty, Ford has a very wide coverage on all social media channels, including Facebook, twitter, and even google +.  With 1.5 Million likes on Facebook, Ford can engage with an audience larger than local TV or radio ads at the push of a button.  As a comparison, GM only has 400K fans, showing that a brand that is committed to social media can grow their fan base by engaging with customers and tying it into everything they do.  Ford, like most brands, realize social media is not “free.”  It requires a team of dedicated professionals to bring the brand alive in social media.  It requires taking the brand experience from their stores, and from their advertising, to each channel to engage with customers.

Ford is just one example.  Apple.  Target.  Whole Foods.  Starbucks.  All of the top brands are still marketing, they are just doing it in a way that is very different than it was a few years ago.  And that is okay.  People who work in marketing thrive on change.  If you are not innovating, you are dying.

That’s my take.  I don’t think marketing is dead at all.  I think it has changed, and if marketers refuse to change, then yes, sooner or later, they will die.

Chris Lovett

BMGT 411: Welcome to the Fall Semester

Students,

I would like to welcome you to BMGT 411: Advanced Marketing Management for the Fall semester.  Marketing Management is what I do by day, so I think you are going to enjoy this class very much if your goal is a career in marketing.  We have 2 guest speakers lined up, a real world project in marketing management, and a variety of in class group work that will expand your knowledge in marketing management, and the challenges managers face today who work in marketing.  If I can only teach you one thing this semester it is this – marketing is not advertising – it is much much more than that.  Soon enough, you will get a sense for what I am talking about.

This semester, you will be a part of an interactive learning project.  In addition to engaging in the classroom, I am going to ask you to engage here, to create robust dialog with me, your fellow classmates, and others who follow this blog.  Marketing is all about collaboration, and our goal is to learn through collaboration in the classroom and where ever we are.

Please take a look at the syllabus that we will review next Wednesday in class.  I may still make a few tweaks, but it is 90% there.  Your assignment for week one is to read chapter 1 of your marketing text and answer the two questions below.

Our class project will be to help a small business develop and execute a strategic and tactical marketing plan.  Marty’s Market is a new speciality grocery store that opened in July, and we are going to use what we learn in class to help them with their marketing  goals.  It’s an exciting opportunity for each of you to not only use real world marketing strategy to help a local business, but also an opportunity to prepare you for a career in marketing.  We will discuss the project in greater detail in class.  Due to the confidential nature of documents shared with me, they will only be available in hard copy.

I look forward to this semester.  An additional assignment, which we will discuss in class, is to answer the two questions below (In comments on this blog):

1. If you could work for one company in their marketing department, which company would it be?

2. Why?

Just two questions to get us started.  Enjoy this week and come ready to learn on 8.28.

Chris Lovett

BMGT 311: Welcome to the Fall Semester

Students,

I would like to welcome you to BMGT 311: Marketing Research for the Fall semester.  I am very passionate about Marketing Research as a driver for strategic marketing decisions.  I think you will enjoy this semester.  We have a busy schedule planned out, but I am hopeful that we will combine traditional lecture with a strategic project to help prepare you for a career in marketing.

This semester, you will be a part of an interactive learning project.  In addition to engaging in the classroom, I am going to ask you to engage here, to create robust dialog with me, your fellow classmates, and others who follow this blog.  Marketing is all about collaboration, and our goal is to learn through collaboration in the classroom and where ever we are.

Please take a look at the syllabus that we will review next Wednesday in class.  I may still make a few tweaks, but it is 90% there.  Your assignment for week one is to read chapter 1 of your marketing research text, and answer the two questions below in the comments section of this blog.

Our class project will be to help a small business develop and execute a marketing research plan.  Marty’s Market is a new speciality grocery store that opened in July, and we are going to use what we learn in class to help them with their marketing research goals, which as a result, will help them with their overall marketing strategy.  It’s an exciting opportunity for each of you to not only use real world marketing research to help a local business, but also an opportunity to prepare you for a career in marketing.  We will discuss the project in greater detail in class.  Due to the confidential nature of documents shared with me, they will only be available in hard copy.

I look forward to this semester.  An additional assignment, which we will discuss in class, is to answer the two questions below (In comments on this blog):

1. How would you define Marketing Research?  Not a book definition, tell me how you would define it – what Marketing Research means to you.

2. What is your career aspiration?  How do you feel marketing research will help you in your career?

Just two questions to get us started.  Enjoy this week and come ready to learn on 8.29.

Chris Lovett

What I Learned This Week: August 17

I learned a few things this week.  Look – I kept this theme going to weeks in a row.  Here are a few of the things I learned this week.

Streaming audio is finally being noticed:* I have been a fan of streaming audio for awhile now, and it is finally getting noticed as a viable media alternative to TV and traditional radio.  Advertisers are finally starting to take notice, and I expect this planning season for media to be very interested in services like Pandora, Spotify, and to some extent, iHeartradio.  Here is why:

  • It’s not just online.  It’s a truly mobile and audio solution.  You can advertise on Pandora using traditional audio ads during drive times when customers are streaming to their cars, target with online ads during the workday, and mobile in between.  While most social companies are struggling with monetizing mobile (Facebook, etc) Pandora and it’s peers are grounded and are delivering mobile solutions today.
  • It’s on Demand: Sometimes, I am in a Leonard Cohen mood.  Other times, it’s 2-Pac.  You never know.  I could never download enough cd’s for my random tastes, and streaming music helps me get my fix.  Traditional radio = push.  Streaming = pull.  I am in charge, and I and many others like it.
  • It’s in your car.  Any car with Bluetooth streaming audio can stream Pandora or Spotify wirelessly.  It’s genius.  And some cars like Toyota and Ford are building it right into the cars, making accessing the service easy at any age.
  • It’s local.  No – it’s really local.  Using the GPS in most smartphone’s, services like Pandora can target in a much smaller area.  Below is an example of a local ad served up on my ride.  This will redefine local targeting.

* Disclosure: I am a stockholder in Pandora Media.

I work for a great company: We have total visibility at my organization, with access to regular updates from our CMO, who has an ability to speak to each of us 1:1, even in a crowded room.  She has the ability get everybody excited about change, and realize change is necessary at every level in today’s marketing environment to be successful.  I love working where I do, and I think that we are in the begining stages of becoming a world class marketing organization.  Led by marketing at every level.

At any time, you may be asked a question in a meeting, and expected to know the answer: This happened to me this week, and while I gave an ok answer, I did not give a great answer.  This is just a reminder to me – never settle, and always be ready.  An ok answer is not okay, when you are doing great work.

The company I used to work at had a very passionate CEO.  Sometime’s he would walk the halls, and ask questions about the business.  I used to prepare a cheat sheet every morning, just in case he asked.  I knew what sales were in every market, every week, every day.  He never asked.  However, I don’t regret preparing, because it made me understand our business at every level.  This week I wasn’t.  It will not happen again.  I don’t accept ok answers from myself.

And lastly, Kohl’s is ridiculous.  And everybody loves it: Kohl’s implements a pricing strategy where they over deliver on savings.  I went back to school shopping for my kids, and spend $202 – yet my “total” savings, with coupons and deals was $325!  Now – when you spend $200 on kids gear, you don’t feel so hot.  When you leave and realize you saved $325 – you just feel giddy – like you are a genius.  I thought, I saved $325!  I pretty much robbed that joint!

Thing is – I did not save $325.  Koh’s has their pricing strategy baked into margins, so they over deliver.  It’s a really genius approach, and one that is working for Kohl’s, as they continue to grow and gain value while other retailers struggle.  These people, and millions of people, are feeling pretty solid about their Kohl’s savings too!

That’s what I learned this week.  Some good stuff, and I will continue to learn more each week.

Chris Lovett

Innovative Company: Birchbox

I think one trait of successful marketing pro’s is they are alway’s on the lookout for innovative ideas, inside or outside of their industry.  When I worked in retail, I would shop a different competitor’s store each week.  My theory is simple – you don’t know what you don’t know.  I think good ideas can be generated from any industry, and it is important to look outside of our current ones at times to generate the best ideas.

So let’s take a look at Birchbox.  Birchbox is a startup launched in 2010 by two business women who went to Harvard.  The premise of Birchbox is to send members a box of the latest samples of beauty items like perfume, nail polish, makeup, and other items for a fee of $10 per month.  Subscribers get to try the latest in beauty products, to see what they like, without having to commit to a large size, and something they may not like.  In 2012, the last time Birchbox released sales numbers, they had over 100,000 subscribers.  That number alone would generate about 12 Million in annual revenue.  So successful, that they recently launched a mens line up.  Although, because they have a very engaged audience, those companies that are placing samples in the boxes are probably paying to get their samples to their audiences as well.  Overall, it’s a really cool concept, and I actually joined the waiting list for a Christmas gift for my wife.  What makes Birchbox a success, and worth looking at for inspiration?

Loyalty: Their subscribers are extremely loyal, and in turn use word of mouth marketing to get their friends and family to sign up for the service.  And these woman talk about it – a lot.   Getting their Birchbox is like an event each month, and Birchbox is armed with thousands of fans who use social media to talk about what is in their Birchbox.

They sell surprises: Imagine an ordinary business telling you you would get a box of something, for $10 a month.  They would not tell you want you get – you just pay – and you get something each month.  That’s basically what Birchbox does – they handpick samples, and part of the excitement for women is getting that brown box each month, and discovering what is inside.  It is a business model that would most likely fail in most industries, but Birchbox has figured out a way to sell surprises – with customers really having no idea of what is in it for them.  I have talked to friends, and they say the excitement they feel when they see a Birchbox in their work mailbox is almost like euphoria, with a few describing it as a special treat they earn each month.

They are grounded in social media: Birchbox is highly engaged in social media, from Facebook (180K fans) to Twitter (50K follows), and engages on Pinterest and YouTube as well.  As a company helping women discover fashion and beauty trends, they are highly engaged and enthused with their following, engaging in conversations and providing tips and not just sales pitches.  It is refreshing, and a reason the company has done so well.  Sometimes being on social media is not just about getting the most fans, but building an army of advocates that sell your brand for you.

It’s customized: Subscribers fill out a questionnaire when they sign up, detailing out preferences and skin type.  So each subscriber gets a unique package that feels like it is just for them.  It seems like part of the excitement – knowing you are getting something that was created just for you.

e-commerce is built in from the ground up: The samples link to a full e-commerce site, where subscribers can buy full size versions of the products they like most.  It is a great way for the companies that give samples to reach a highly engaged audience, with easy access to their products.  And they can be sure there will be satisfaction as they have already tried it.

More background on Birchbox below.


So – tell me – have you tried Birchbox?  What do you love about it?

Chris