Sometimes marketers just shoot themselves in the foot. Such has been the case for consumer electronics firms trying to reinvigorate the television market. As prices for HDTVs plummeted, they foisted 3DTV and web connectivity on us — creating mass consumer confusion and delayed purchases. This article, “How Faulty Marketing Has Stalled TV Sales” (BusinessWeek, January 20, 2011) provides lessons from these mistakes.
Many of my students enjoy sports — and examples of creative marketing by sports teams tends to capture their attention. This article in the Wall Street Journal, “NBA Game Promises to be a Turkey? Call In the Turks — or the Filipinos,” (January 19, 2011 – non-subscribers may have to click here) shows some classic target marketing efforts by the National Basketball Association — and they seem to be working. For example, the Sacramento Kings, one of the worst teams in the league, are drawing big crowds on Jewish Heritage nights in Toronto, Washington, Atlanta, and Boston. Why? They have the leagues only Israeli, Omri Casspi. Teams have give away yarmulkes and provided kosher foods to further appeal to the Jewish fan.
You might want to show this video in class, and then ask your students what other organizations could offer similar special nights? How could they increase their appeal to such a target market? This was also posted over at Learn the 4 Ps.
We have always enjoyed how Harvard Business School professor Youngme Moon things. We have read her articles in the Harvard Business Review and used some of her business cases in our classes. I am looking forward to reading her new book, Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd, which is getting great reviews at Amazon.com and over at Bloomberg BusinessWeek “To Hell with the Herd,” (August 12, 2010). We think breakthrough products come from thinking different and look forward to reading some of Professor Moon’s thoughts on this subject.
KFC has found itself between a rock and a hard place. Following general trends toward healthier fare, the company has developed and more aggressively promoted some of its healthier fare (read grilled instead of fried chicken). On the other hand, many franchisees are upset with the new emphasis and feel the strategy confuses customers. They don’t want KFC to turn its back on its fried heritage. Interesting marketing strategy questions to raise in class — see “Why KFC Franchisees are Squawking” (Bloomberg BusinessWeek, August 12, 2010).
We have a boxed teaching example on “freemium” in one of our pricing chapters. Freemium refers to “giving away service to users and making money when some opt to pay for additional features.” Evernote, a suite of software and services used for taking and storing notes, has used the freemium business model with great success. This Fast Company article, “Evernote CEO Phil Libin’s 3 Steps to ‘Freemium’ Success” (July 1, 2010) describes how it works with real number examples. [NOTE: This post is also featured at our companion blog for marketing students – “Learn the 4 Ps“.]