Flipping the Classroom?

Posted by Joe Cannon

flippedAre you “flipping your classroom”? Do you want to flip your classroom? Would you like to share ideas about flipping the classroom? My answers are yes, yes, and yes.

I have long tried to utilize a lot of active learning approaches in my classes — less so in my principles of marketing class (typically with 90 students per section) and more often in my marketing strategy class. This coming semester I will be using a new experimental classroom specifically designed for “flipping.” The class will be arranged for students to sit around tables and without a formal front of the class podium.

I am interested in sharing experiences, ideas, activities, projects, etc. with others who are currently flipping their marketing class, using a lot of active learning in the class, or simply interested in this topic. Or maybe even with those of you simply curious about “Flipping” or interested in more active learning approaches. If you are interested, please send me an e-mail at joe <dot> cannon [at] colostate [dot] edu if you are interested in sharing ideas. Maybe we can get a little online discussion group around resources specifically aimed at marketing instructors.

Creative Campaign Helps Financial Services Company Gain Awareness

Posted by Joe Cannon

Willis-Resilience1We don’t usually think about insurance and reinsurance markets — but risk management is an important behind the scenes, B2B business. Seeking to increase brand awareness, the Willis Group out of London, got into sponsorship . The resulting “Willis Resilience Expedition” (article at B2B Marketing, December 23, 2014) shows that careful planning can generate significant publicity. While this case study provides some details about the campaign and the media results, it is unclear what it cost. Consequently it is not possible to know the efficiency of the approach — but the impressions generated appear to be pretty significant.

This is a nice example of publicity in a non-traditional B2B market.

Tom Peters – Still Full of Insights After All These Years

Posted by Joe Cannon

I read Tom Peters now classic In Search of Excellence shortly after I graduated from undergrad and started working in sales for Eastman Kodak. The book had a profound effect on me. I also remember that I used to show a Tom Peters video in class — one where he passionately walked around a stage sweating like a boxer in a ring. Tom is a bit older these days, but he is still a wise man. While much of this McKinsey Quarterly article (“Tom Peters on leading the 21st century organization ” September 2014) explains his views on leadership, there are also parts relevant to marketing. There is some discussion of strategy implementation.  In chapter 8 we have a box highlighting the value of design — which Peters discusses here. And what he also talks about is the importance of “living” like your brand.

Emerging “Two-Tier Economy” Changes Product-Markets

Posted by Joe Cannon

bmwm4The economic recovery in the United States has not been the same across the income spectrum. While the wealthiest 5% are doing quite well, those in the traditional “middle class” have not seen similar gains. This Wall Street Journal article “How a Two-Tier Economy Is Reshaping the U.S. Marketplace” (January 29 2015, non-subscribers click here) points out that those at the top 5% of the income scale spent an inflation adjusted 12% more from 2009 to 2012. During that same time period, the bottom 95% spent 1% less. It also reports the top 5% now account for 30% of all spending — up from 23% just twenty years earlier. The article details some of the implications for sellers of cars, houses, and beer. Hint, apparently that $64,000 BMW M4 (see inset photo) is a hot seller.

Similar income distribution exists in China — and this has influenced the smartphone market there. Another Wall Street Journal article “In Smartphone Market, It’s Luxury or Rock Bottom” (February 1, non-subscribers click here) which describes the Chinese market, where Apple’s iPhone stands alone as a “luxury” and brands like Xiaomi (at on third the price of an iPhone with similar technical specs) dominate the low end.

This story has implications for when you cover segmentation and targeting (many of these firms are now targeting premium or budget — not the middle any longer) or consumer behavior.

IKEA Tells Fun Story – Demonstrates the “Joy of Storage”

Posted by Joe Cannon

Hey it is storage — cabinets, armoirs, chests of drawers — how can you make that appealing. IKEA tries (and I believe succeeds) in this cinematic and stunning ad is part of IKEA’s “Wonderful Everyday” campaign.

Guest Speaker: Steve Jobs on Market Research

Posted by Joe Cannon

This short (1:26) video clip can bring Steve Jobs to your class to talk about when market research will and will not be helpful. Showing this could lead to a broader discussion about whether and when Steve Jobs is right and how marketing managers might generate those breakthrough ideas.

Galileo on teaching…

Posted by Joe Cannon



Do you agree?

Why aren’t we teaching students how to learn?

Posted by Joe Cannon

Perreault14e15km_nm2There is growing evidence about the best ways to learn and how to learn more efficiently. In anticipation of the next revision of Essentials of Marketing and tied to my “flipping the classroom” this semester, I have been looking through some of the academic literature in this area. In that search I came upon a review article “Strengthening the Student Toolbox” (American Educator, Fall 2013 – for a more “academic” treatment of the same research, see Dunlosky et al., 2013, “Improving Students’ Learning Techniques: Promising Directions From Cognitive and Educational PsychologyPsychological Science in the Public Interest) that summarizes the research in this area. I found the paper very interesting — and a pretty straightforward read. The study reviews 10 prominent learning strategies — and identifies which actually work.

My fascination brought to me a Coursera MOOC “Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects” (taught by Dr. Barbara Oakley and Dr. Terence Sejnowski). It was very insightful and gave me ideas about how I could be a better teacher and a better learner — and how I could help my students to be better and more efficient learners.

It came as no surprise to me that practice testing and distributed practice (see the article for a detailed explanation) are clearly the most effective strategies. That adds to growing evidence that tools like McGraw-Hill’s SmartBook and LearnSmart can help students learn better and more efficiently. Full disclosure, my marketing textbooks Basic Marketing and Essentials of Marketing use this adaptive learning technology. The constant testing and adaptive learning help student learn. We have a related post at Learn the 4 Ps which offers some of these tips to students.

Have you utilized any adaptive learning technology? Do you have any tricks to implement distributed practice for your students?

Carlsberg Does it Again…

Posted by Joe Cannon

As you may know, I am reluctant to promote alcohol commercials. Still, I sometimes show them in my classes — many are quite good. Some of you may prefer not to show ads like this to your students. Others of you may figure that it cannot hurt and such ads are often funny and can be used to demonstrate interesting marketing concepts. We have previously posted one of Carlsberg’s ads. In this one Carlsberg creatively tries to position the brand around friendship.

This ad/viral video  made me smile, too. I hope it brings a smile to your face, too.

Can software detect emotions? How can marketers use this? Should they?

Posted by Joe Cannon

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 3.02.36 PMPowerful computers now allow software to read people’s emotions. Some of this new software and various applications are described in this article and the video below “The Technology that Unmasks Your Hidden Emotions” (Wall Street Journal, January 28, 2015, non-subscribers may need to click here).

This article and/or video might be used to spark your students’ creativity and problem-solving. The article describes a technology, but only a few applications. You could have your students read the article (or you could show the video in class) and then ask your students to design a market research study that uses the technology. Alternatively, you might ask students how a retailer like Best Buy or a specialty store like say Victoria’s Secret. The software also raises privacy concerns that you might choose to discuss. We have also posted this at Learn the 4 Ps. 

The Challenges of Online Retailing in India

Posted by Joe Cannon

Screen Shot 2015-01-04 at 11.07.32 AMWhile online retailing holds great promise in developing countries like India, there remain challenges. Venture capital is flowing into this market, and some big players are fighting it out. This article, “Logistics Are Holding India’s E-Commerce Companies Back” (Bloomberg Businessweek, December 15, 2014 highlights some of the logistics challenges facing e-tail startups Amazon India, Snapdeal, and Flipkart — including the story of a man who bought a phone but received a brick (see image).

This article provides some examples to use when covering international issues and/or online retailing.