Sometimes students think that developing a successful marketing strategy is so easy. Maybe it will help to show that some big companies can have bad ideas. See “9 Poorly Conceived Marketing Campaigns” over at the Business Pundit blog (February 18, 2010). The examples are all pretty dated, but the explanations for their failures are helpful.
I found Gareth Kay’s post at TalentZoo.com, “The Future of Marketing,” very insightful. While he posted this article last May, I just found it myself. Kay identifies four trends — and I think he is on track here. We are watching these trends as we think about revising our text books. Of course with all the changes in technology and customer behavior, we need to be preparing our students for an evolving marketing world. What do you think of Gareth Kay’s prognostication?
In our text books we discuss the external market environment, including the economic and social and cultural environments in chapter 2. This Wall Street Journal article (subscription required — or search the web using the article title and you will get “back door” access), “As Sales Drop, Burger King Draws Critics for Courting ‘Super Fans,’” (February 1, 2010) describes how two external trends are having a negative impact on sales for the fast food giant.
Thanks to high unemployment and healthier eating habits, those super fans haven’t been so super lately. Burger King has felt the impact more acutely than its main rival, McDonald’s Corp., whose sales are growing.
This might provide a good example to use when discussing chapter 2. The article also questions Burger King’s targeting strategy. The chain has focused on its “super fans,” those 18-34 year old, mostly male customers who account for half of all visits to Burger King.
Personally, I would probably consider printer/copier paper to be a commodity product. Obviously you don’t want to think that if you are in this market. This interview with Double A paper’s Thirawit Leetavorn explains how (Australian firm?) Double A has developed a brand with awareness, differentiation and preference through advertising. You could follow up this video with a couple of ads — the “Girl on the Copier” doesn’t do much for differentiation, but it’s viral and buzz potential built awarness. Another add – “No Jam” develops one of its key points of differentiation. This video series could be used with our books chapter 2 (marketing strategy planning), chapter 4 (positioning), or with a discussion of the product life cycle (market maturity), in Promotion tied to promotion objectives or advertising to create differentiation, or even around pricing. It’s also nice to show students some international examples.
Augie Ray provides a very thought-provoking post over at the Forrester Blog for Interactive Marketing Professionals titled, “2010: The Year Marketing Dies…” He does add the subtitle, “Or at Least Marketing as We Know It!” The post might have been better titled “The Year Advertising Dies” because it really primarily addresses the rapidly changing world of media. He eventually gets to this point — the title was mostly to be provocative. As consumers learn about products from a wide variety of sources outside the direct control of marketing managers — what does this mean for those of us teaching marketing?
I think that much of what we do stays the same. Many of our core concepts don’t change. If organizations make products that satisfy customers, price them so that customers see value in the purchase and make the available where customers want them, then there will be good word-of-mouth and brands will benefit from the buzz. Marketing managers will have to dig in deeper to better understand, customers, competitors, and their own company’s resources. They will have to segment markets better, position and differentiate their offerings — and will have to produce marketing mixes that appeal to target customers. Tomorrow’s (our students) marketers will need to understand these different media and work with them.
What do you think of Augie Ray’s post? What will it mean for those of us teaching marketing?