Lesson of the Week: “Do not let yourself get stagnant, make sure you read and know what is happening in the marketplace and the world around you.”
“Innovation” “New” “Creative” “Differentiation” “Disruption” “the Customer Experience” – there are many buzzwords in business and Marketing. But what do they mean? How can they be applied? In a world filled with messages, ads, noise; it is hard for your consumers to hear your message. So how do you stand out? That is always the million dollar question in Marketing.
This week we had some fantastic classes around the 3 C’s of pricing; Customers, Competitors, Company. Our lectures were focused around Customer and Competitor pricing as these 2 drive a lot of the pricing decisions in the current market. We worked with Nielsen Company to look at some real case examples as well as were tasked with certain objectives and had the ability to use one of their pricing tools to do so. Both cases were very interesting and fun to play around with the pricing simulator. When approaching pricing there are many questions to look at from the price, distributions, competitor’s pricing offering, etc and to be able to look at in the sense of should we introduce a new product line? If so how and at what price to increase revenue as well as market share. Definitely skills that we as Master’s students can take with us as we look for internships and jobs.
The other class that I found extremely interesting was based around the Product Management focusing on the current Market Trends. We had a professor give a great presentation and discussion around The Unicorn Club- Companies that achieve $1 Billion + in Market Valuation and how it has become increasingly crowded with notable companies such as Facebook, Snapchat, Uber, etc. (photo attached). We discussed the 4 Keys to Success that really hit home for me:
- Quickly build a customer base- this is very important as customers drive everything
- Experience- in todays world the customer experience is even more important than the product
- Pivoting- the ability to change your product, even radically, based on what your customers are saying
- BE FAST- now more than every you have to be fast, fast to deliver, fast to enhance, fast to change, if you don’t you will be left behind
Customer Experience is one of the things that I appreciate and am passionate about when it comes to digital strategy. In today’s world with so many social media outlets where people can talk about your product, you have to be visible, and not just be visible but be active. Talk to your customers, listen, react if needed to provide them with a great experience. And not only the experience but from a Branding and Brand Equity perspective having a strong presence will help foster that Brand Community and increase your brand awareness, strength, and equity. I truly believe that for companies to continue to grow and thrive in the new and ever growing digital economy, you have to be active to be relevant.
Another very interesting topic that we dived into are the 8 Market Trends that we are seeing:
- Sharing Economy and Collaborative Consumption
- Do-It-Yourselfers and the Makers Revolution
- Startups & the New Entrepreneurs
- Phenomenon Crowd & Co-Creation
- Always On and Multichannel
- Quantified Self
- Internet of Things
So many great new companies fall into these categories and I could probably write a whole post on each topic, but some companies I find interesting that make up the new sharing economy include the explosive growth of Uber, the redefining music consumption company Spotify, and AirBNB. Amazing companies with very interesting platforms that offer low overhead and an amazing service and customer experience (there is that term again).
It was a great week of classes and starting to get into some of the exciting but ever difficult tasks of Marketing Managers!
I had made a goal for myself that everyday to read 4-5 articles, 2-3 (I usually read more) on Marketing trends, goings ons, etc, 1 in regards to financials, company acquastions, buyouts, etc, and 1-2 current events. It is very important as a Marketer to read and now what is going on not just in your industry but in business around the world. This was instilled in me by one of my Marketing Professors back at Simpson College and re-affirmed from every Professor that has lectured us this year. This is a list of websites that I like to use to check for articles, there are many great places to look but these have been suggested by multiple leaders that i have meet with, in the industry.
- Advertising Age
- Fast Company
- Wall Street Journal
- The Atlantic
- Food 4 Brains (this is a website by one of our professors and colleagues that are snapshots of major articles that were published from some of the biggest sources in the world)
- I like to also browse Yahoo and MSN
- Twitter is also a very good tool for finding great content depending on who you follow