This might be a fun comic to show when you cover marketing research — or cross-functional interaction. Remember, to bring this into your classroom, you can place your cursor over the strip, right click – “copy image”, and then “paste” it into your PowerPoint.
We have mentioned before (skim these posts for more background) how we like to address the challenge of getting non-marketing majors involved in the introductory marketing course. I like to do it early by showing them now jobs flowing from every major use marketing concepts.
This post over at Harvard’s Working Knowledge site, “HBS Cases: QuikTrip’s Investment in Retail Employees Pays Off,” (May 25, 2011) describes how convenience store chain QuikTrip delivers high quality service at low cost. The case shows how operational and human resource decisions made by QuikTrip result in high quality service and reasonable prices.
The article describes and links to several Harvard Business School cases you could read for even more depth and other examples. Our text books have a cross-functional chapter where this example could be integrated into class discussion. The example could also work when you cover quality (we get to that in the product chapters) or retailing.
We have talked about this issue before here at T4Ps — how do we keep the non-marketing majors interested in our principles class? I have tried two approaches that have demonstrated some success.
First, I want to show my students how marketing interfaces with other functions in a business. I want to get the non-marketing majors engaged early. So, during the second week of class, I have students read the cross-functional chapter in Basic Marketing (chapter 20: “Managing Marketing’s Link With Other Functional Areas”) which describes how marketing strategy requires cooperation with human resources, production, finance and accounting.
Second, I try to show students how knowledge of marketing will help other majors to do their jobs better. So I add articles from the popular press and sometimes with guest speakers that show how marketing principles help people in other functional areas to do their jobs better. I will be using this article, “In Hiring, Firms Shine Images,” (Wall Street Journal, May 16, 2011 – non-subscribers click here) next fall to show how human resources uses marketing tactics to recruit the best employees.
Volkswagen’s global market share is about 11% — but it sits at only 3% in the world’s largest auto market — the United States. Volksagen’s managers hope to change that, so they are re-doubling marketing efforts. This article, “Volkswagen Rediscovers America” (Bloomberg Businessweek, May 19, 2011), offers some insights into its strategy — but mostly gives a few interesting nuggets of information. For example, I was surprised to read that as compared to its European counterpart, the U.S. Passat has more legroom, larger control buttons, and a better air conditioning system. And the U.S. customer gets these extras for for a price of about $8000 courtesy of lower U.S. wages and simplified product design. VW has just opened its first U.S. manufacturing plant since 1988.
The article offers some examples that can be used when you teach international marketing (product adaptation) and the local factory turns a weakness into a strength.
VW’s 2011 Super Bowl commercial (“The Force” see below) was one of the most popular — though I must confess I was not a fan. While I found the ad cute, I didn’t think it said anything relevant about the brand.
This long article looks at operational elements of the drive-thru window for quick-serve restaurants (QSRs). For many restaurants and especially for certain locations, the drive-thru is critical to business; at some Taco Bell locations 70% of the business was at the drive-thru window with 80% of that revenue coming in during a 90 minute lunchtime window! With this in mind, Taco Bell focuses on improving through-speed and quality of the drive-thru experience. This article, “Taco Bell and the Golden Age of Drive-Thru” (Bloomberg Businessweek, May 5, 2011) details many of those strategy changes.
The article provides a nice complement to the coverage of quality management in our text books — as well as our coverage of cross-functional collaboration (with production/operations) in Basic Marketing. Also posted at Learn the 4 Ps.