Tag Archives: marketing

UW Center for Sales and Marketing Hosts Customer Engagement Workshop

Professionals from around the Northwest attended the Foster Sales and Marketing Center's workshop on Customer Engagement.

Engagement: firms’ initiatives to occupy the attention of an existing customer by providing special benefits and experiences that go beyond the core offering.

            The UW Center for Sales and Marketing Strategy hosted a Designing Customer Engagement Strategies to Increase Customer Advocacy and Performance workshop on Thursday, March 12th. The workshop started at the Burke Museum with drinks and networking, and then the group moved into Paccar Hall for the workshop presentations. Key speakers were Derek Drake, CEO of DriveShop and Colleen Harmeling, Ph.D., a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Center for Sales and Marketing. Attendees included representatives from Starbucks, Microsoft, Swedish Medical Center, Sila Solutions Groups, James Hardie Building Products, Accenture, Cats’ Exotics, ACS Technologies, BECU, PACCAR Parts, Geocaching HQ, and many others.

            The presentations started with introductions and examples of engagement. Derek Drake spoke about his company, DriveShop. DriveShop is a leader in automotive engagement strategies. Their motto is: “We create driving experiences that inspire people to fall in love with their next new car.” DriveShop works with automobile manufacturers to set up customer engagement experiences for their cars. The company had experienced huge success due to the effectiveness of their customer engagement programs. Derek Drake spoke about the importance of engagement marketing: 96% of consumers who participate in an engagement activity of some sort are more likely to purchase. This element of promotion is growing; In 2015, experiential engagement investments grew 29% for brand marketers.

            What is an example of customer engagement? DriveShop was hired by Maserati to promote their new 4-wheel drive car. Through extensive customer and market research, DriveShop decided the ideal place to create a customer experience driving the new Maserati would be Aspen Snowmass. Aspen Snowmass is a luxury ski resort in near Aspen, Colorado. DriveShop developed partnerships with hotels, retailers, and restaurants to display the cars in front. The company hosted “après ski” receptions to schedule drive appointments. DriveShop exceeded their goal of 650 1-hour winter drive experience appointments with a professional driver in 3 weeks. The strategy was so effective that Maseratis were being sold on the spot.

            Next, Colleen Harmeling, Ph.D. spoke about the Theory of Customer Engagement. Interest in customer engagement has grown in recent years, and more firms (such as Budweiser, Enterprise, and MasterCard) are hiring Customer Engagement Directors. Firms are switching to service-based models and consumers have a desire for a deep connection with products, that is, they are seeking experiential consumption. Customer engagement can benefit firms by differentiating their product from “me too” products (product that are similar to a competitor’s product in order to prevent that competitor from maximizing their market share.) Also, when a customer has an emotional connection to the brand, rational considerations – like price – play a less important role.

            There are two types of engagement: experiential and activity. Both are important because engagement influences the perception of a company’s core offering. Experiential memories are as important as true product performance or brand connections in a customer’s decision to buy. Colleen talked about each of these types of loyalty, their pros and cons, and how to achieve them in detail.

            The next part of the presentations was 3 Steps for Engineering Effective Engagement. The first step is to generate data-driven insights, both qualitative and quantitative. Next, firms must design engagement programs, selecting the type of experience, target audience, and designing activity-based and experiential-based strategies. Finally, companies should test the programs on a small scale and make any changes necessary before fully implementing them.

            The workshop ended with an invitation to all attendees to join the Customer Engagement Special Interest Group (SIG). Special Interest Groups enable 7 to 10 non-competitive managers interested in the same topic to benchmark and learn from each other and network. SIG’s are led by academics from the Center for Sales and Marketing Strategy, who analyze data and solve problems to help firms achieve their goals.

            The Center for Sales and Marketing Strategy’s mission is to align important sales and marketing problems with academic research and analysis techniques to develop strategies that improve business performance and facilitate business-academic collaboration to create and disseminate sales and marketing knowledge. The business model is that businesses get access to academics with deep knowledge in specific areas from around the world and researchers get access to current problems and rich data sets. Workshops and Special Interest Groups are just two of the many ways the Center for Sales and Marketing accomplishes these goals.

Marketing in healthcare – Special Interest Group recap

The UW Center for Sales and Marketing Strategy was formed to link business professionals and academic researchers. One way to link academics and professionals is through programs like the Healthcare Special Interest Group (HSIG). The purpose of the HSIG is to bring the best marketing minds in healthcare together and come up with projects to develop new knowledge. The meeting was hosted by Robert Palmatier, research director of the Center for Sales and Marketing Strategy. John Henson, the VP of Medical Affairs from Swedish Hospital helped to facilitate the discussion.

The first meeting was designed to set the direction and future for the HSIG. The group decided to focus on creating value by sharing best practices in marketing. They agreed to have a topic for each future meeting and look at challenges facing the companies and healthcare industry. Marketing is often competitive, but the company representatives agreed that it is beneficial to work together.

One topic in the open discussion was the Shift in Marketing in the Healthcare Industry. The shift in marketing is from individuals to employers because employers choose the plan options for their employees. This is enterprise marketing, and healthcare companies have to market to both individuals and employers, and keep consumers involved and engaged. Otherwise the customers will choose a different plan. One example was the pressure from Boeing- healthcare practices changed and the speed of innovation improved. Employees can now choose between two plans: Swedish and UW Medicine

Companies want to market “wellness” so customers don’t visit doctors only when they’re sick. They want to shift the consumer thinking to: “I want to be well.” UW Medicine is only 12 years old, and the brand is 6 years old, so they are relatively new to marketing their company. Healthcare is being run like a business, creating a potential need for healthcare focused EMBA or other programs, but the market is small, so these would only be offered every 2-3 years

One challenge concerns the use of Technology in Medicine. UW Medicine recently introduced a program that allows patients to communicate with their doctors using video chat. Providence launched HealthExpress, a similar program in Washington. Getting consumers to engage with these new technologies requires marketing. Digital Healthcare is the fastest growing segment in healthcare. A problem the HSIG noted was that IT and medicine departments often do not communicate well. An additional concern is how to get customers who are offline to engage with these online offerings.

Behavior Change as a Marketing Endeavor, was another discussion topic as most marketing efforts go to behavior change. Problems included the determent issue with life insurance, financial services, and healthcare, and how companies can deal with the episodic nature of healthcare. The ACA (Affordable Care Act) is bringing thousands of new patients into the healthcare system, many of whom are getting coverage for the first time. One question is how to get them into the doctor for preventative care, rather than to the ER.

Loyalty Programs are very effective at creating behavior change. When using loyalty programs, companies should limit communication and communicate only when they have something new and improved to offer. For example, when airlines use random upgrades, customers feel gratitude (vs. “I earned those miles”). Surprising people is important. A concern for healthcare companies is finding loyalty cards that customers are motivated to use. Regulations about private healthcare data make accessing information about customers difficult. A potential research project would be to get people to volunteer to have health-related data recorded on a card and analyzed.

Finally, every local healthcare company can benefit from making Seattle a Healthcare Hotspot. Economic development attracts new businesses and creates a virtuous cycle. Washington has strong potential and a history of innovation. Seattle could be among the first cities to achieve the Triple Aim in healthcare (improving the patient experience of care, improving the health of populations, and reducing the per capita cost of healthcare.)

Syncing to the digital age of marketing

Wired In ConferenceOn January 31, the Foster School of Business welcomed 170 student registrants from 10 universities across the Northwest for Wired In: Syncing to the Digital Age of Marketing, the 2nd Annual Undergraduate Marketing Conference. The event, hosted by Foster Undergraduate Career Services and the UW American Marketing Association, was sponsored by Eddie Bauer for the second year.

Centered on the theme of digital marketing, the day’s presentations included an opening keynote by Eddie Bauer, breakout sessions by Bing, Porch, Delightful Communications, and Drake Cooper, and a closing keynote by 4th Avenue Media. The attendees could choose which of the breakout session options to attend based on their own personal interest level.

In addition to the presentations, students participated in two interactive elements; team activities led by Puget Sound American Marketing Association and a networking event. The team activities were designed to get students talking about relevant marketing topics which included: designing a Google AdWords campaign, creating a sales pitch, responding to a social media blunder, creating a content marketing campaign, and brainstorming for a guerrilla marketing campaign. The networking event featured 16 companies of various sizes and industries, offering attendees opportunity to meet more professionals in the field.

Message from the Sales and Marketing Center’s Research Director

Have you ever wondered how other firms are solving sales and marketing problems or if there is a better way to analyze a marketing issue or benchmark best practices? We have designed the Center for Sales and Marketing Strategy to help address these issues by matching business professionals and their sales and marketing challenges with world-leading academic faculty and research as well as with other sales and marketing executives.

After spending over a decade as both a business executive and marketing professor, I am convinced these two groups can and should work together to improve business performance. Yes, they often speak different languages and can work at different speeds, but there is also an opportunity for tremendous synergy. Business professionals know today’s problems, interface with “real” customers and have great access to real-time data. Academic researchers have deep knowledge in their research domain and the motivation and skill to rigorously analyze specific problems, but often lack a connection to real-world business problems, customers and data.

We are committed to building the necessary linkages between business professionals and academics. Help us make sales and marketing research relevant to your business by engaging with the SalesMark Center. You can sign up for our newsletter, attend a conference or networking event, take a one-day class or join a Special Interest Group (SIG) with other executives focused on a specific sales or marketing problem.

Please contact me by email or phone at palmatrw@uw.edu or 206-543-4348 for more information.

Best regards,

Rob Palmatier
Professor of Marketing
John C. Narver Chair of Business Administration
Research Director, Center for Sales and Marketing Strategy

Todd Fishman, Nathan Kaiser, and Katlin Jackson: marketing your startup

Startups are hard—identifying opportunity, developing a business plan, understanding legal issues, marketing your product. Luckily, you can learn a lot about navigating the startup world from entrepreneurs who’ve been there, done that, and lived to tell the tale.

Resource Nights, presented during winter quarter by the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship, feature experts from the local entrepreneur community sharing their knowledge on various aspects of starting a business.

This week’s class, “Marketing your Startup,” featured Todd Fishman (Evergreens Salad), Nathan Kaiser (2bar Spirits), and Katlin Jackson (Haiti Babi). The three entrepreneurs shared their thoughts on identifying their startups’ uniqueness, developing marketing strategies, and establishing footholds in competitive environments.

Read some of our favorite advice and insights below, watch the entire class video here, and check back weekly for more Resource Nights coverage.

Nathan Kaiser on identifying your uniqueness:

2bar_6.2013_2“Branding is how you play the game and grow your business to wherever you want to take it,” says Kaiser, “and our brand is about legacy.” His company, 2bar Spirits, takes its name from the family ranch back in Texas—a story that is shared with every potential customer. While the brand is also known for being entirely handmade from local ingredients, Kaiser believes that 2bar “resonates in the consumer’s mind for the reasons that are important: legacy and celebration.”

Todd Fishman on communicating uniqueness:

static1.squarespace.com“We communicate our uniqueness through our people,” says Fishman, explaining that it’s his employees who share Evergeens’ distinctive qualities—a focus on health, organic and sustainable ingredients, giving back to the community—with customers. “When we are hiring, we look for people with heart—with the ability to communicate and care—over people with technical skills,” he says. “We pay more for better quality employees, and we don’t rush the hiring process.”

Katlin Jackson on messaging:

HaitiBabi_set+stone+teal“Figure out what the customer actually cares about,” says Jackson, whose company employs moms in Haiti to knit baby blankets that are sold in the United States. “If someone has just one second to learn about [Haiti Babi], what is it we want them to take away?” she asks. For Haiti Babi, she says, “It’s hope. We want them to understand that this is a hopeful product.”

Todd Fishman on preparation:

“Take every meeting, meet with everyone you can, and follow up,” says Fishman, when asked what advice he’d give to those just starting out. “ When Hunter [his cofounder] and I moved from New York back to Seattle, we met with 320 people in three months. That is ultimately how we’ve succeeded to where we are now.” He continued, speaking directly to the students in the audience, “You are at a University that has unlimited connections and networks. Tap into that!”

Is your marketing vision 20/20?

Guest post by Marissa Freeman, UW undergraduate and VP of public relations, UW American Marketing Association

UW American Marketing Association Regional Marketing ConferenceOver 150 students and professionals gathered in PACCAR Hall in February for a full day of keynote speakers, breakout sessions, a case competition and a career fair as part of the first annual UW American Marketing Association Regional Marketing Conference. The conference’s theme was “Vision 20/20: A Clear Vision into Marketing in the New Millennium,” and it was sponsored by Eddie Bauer. Foster’s EY Center for Undergraduate Career Advancement and the UW American Marketing Association co-facilitated the event.

Professionals from 4th Avenue Media, KeyBank, Razorfish, Eddie Bauer and Edelman participated in the conference and students from UW, Seattle University, Pacific Lutheran, University of Montana and Western Washington University attended the conference. During the breakout sessions, marketing professionals led students in discussions about how to stand out in the marketing industry. The breakout sessions covered how marketing in a digital world means understanding the language of a digital market. Mel Carlson, founder of Delightful Communications, shared his take on how social media is more than a way to flood people with information, but rather a way to begin discussions with customers. He made the point that conversations online have shared the B2C dynamic for the better.

Keynote speakers included Lucas Mack, founder of 4th Avenue Media, and William Boucher, senior vice president of marketing at KeyBank. Mack opened up the conference with encouraging our attendees to understand “the why” behind their actions and how it fits into their larger story. Standing out in the marketing industry means finding creative ways to tell a story. Story telling is at the core of the marketing world, as suggested by Mack, and helps marketers connect with their audiences like never before. Adding the story telling element to any marketing campaign allows for the target audience to understand why they should look more into a product or idea. Mack also shared his personal mantra: “Discover truth through story, discover story through truth.” This helped attendees see how crucial it is to be open and excited about advertising and marketing so the truth behind the product or idea’s story comes to life.

Students shared that the conference as a whole was worth the early wake-up call. While marketing classes teach the core ideals of the industry, nothing can compare to hearing from professionals in a more casual, intimate setting. The UW AMA’s Regional Marketing Conference created an environment for students to raise their hand and open up a discussion between marketers in Fortune 500 companies and aspiring marketers.

The buzz throughout PACCAR Hall was one of excitement, intellect and passion. There was an excitement for conversations, the intellect of those professionals in attendance and students’ passion to learn. The UW AMA and EY Center for Undergraduate Career Advancement are proud to have hosted the first annual Regional Marketing Conference and look forward to organizing this event again next year.

Sharp leadership

Jerry HeinlenSOG CEO Jerry Heinlen has a mission: to increase awareness of a brand that got its start in covert operations.

If you’re not an aficionado of specialty knives and outdoor tools, or the kind of person who pages through Outdoor Magazine’s seasonal gear guides, you might not know about SOG Specialty Knives and Tools. CEO Jerry Heinlen (MBA 1987) is counting on a career managing top brands, and a talented team, to help change that.

The SOG story begins in Vietnam, where members of a highly classified US special ops unit—known as MACV-SOG (Military Assistance Command, Vietnam – Studies and Observations Group)—carried a bowie knife greatly admired for its form and function. That knife would later inspire a young designer named Spencer Frazer to found SOG Specialty Knives and undertake a reproduction of the fabled bowie knife. That single commemorative model became Frazer’s starting point for designing a full line of innovative tools.

His story

Meanwhile, the story of Jerry Heinlen’s career begins during his undergraduate years at the US Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point. Upon graduation, he served as a deck officer aboard vessels operated by the Military Sealift Command.

“I had little knowledge about the maritime industry before I entered Kings Point,” says Heinlen. “I grew up as the fifth of six children in a family that valued education—both of my parents were educators. I chose Kings Point because it offered an excellent education, and it was at the academy that I developed a love of the sea—but my plans had always included graduate school and a career ashore.”

Heinlen pursued his MBA at Foster in order to broaden his focus and equip himself for transitioning between industries. He specialized in both marketing and finance, and although he considered a job with Hewlett-Packard in finance after graduation, he took the marketing path, joining the Ore-Ida Foods divisions of H. J. Heinz to learn consumer packaged goods (CPG) marketing and brand management.

“The CPG arena was, and still is, a fantastic training ground for young marketers and business people of all disciplines, and five years working on brands including Weight Watchers frozen foods, Ore-Ida, and Steak-UMM sandwich steaks gave me an excellent business foundation,” says Heinlen.

After leadership positions at big brands, including Waterloo Industries (manufacturers of Craftsman), Dremel, and Skil power tools, he returned to the Pacific Northwest in 2006 to lead Yakima Products, Inc. in Portland, Oregon. Yakima was owned by private equity investors and Heinlen’s role was to turn the iconic brand around and expand internationally. Mission accomplished, he transitioned the business to new owners in 2011.

Cut to SOG

“I wanted to stay in the Northwest, and networking led me to the opportunity to be CEO of SOG,” says Heinlen. Since joining SOG in January, he’s already forged ahead with a goal to double the company’s current size over the next four to five years. “We are off to a great start and expect to grow at a healthy double-digit pace in 2013. Long-term, our goal is to continue to establish SOG as a market-leading brand and company in the outdoor products space.”

Certainly Heinlen’s deep understanding of brand management will play a large role in meeting SOG’s goals. But he believes that an environment of open communication ultimately fuels high-performance teams. “I encourage everyone to speak up about challenges early enough to enable others to help with a solution before a deadline arrives, to over-communicate during times of complexity, and to be unafraid of articulating what they know—and what they don’t know—about an issue. Good communication is the oil that keeps a team’s engine running smoothly.”

And great leaders have a passion for on-brand communication that never dulls.

Foster team wins Intercollegiate Marketing Competition for third time

Jordan Barr, Marnie Brown, Elliott Klein, and Leta BeardOn February 23, 2013 Foster students won the Intercollegiate Marketing Competition held at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. This is the third time Foster students have won the competition. The case was about Modo, a Vancouver co-op that offers a car sharing program. The students had three hours to read the marketing case and prepare a solution. At the competition they had 20 minutes to present their solution and 10 minutes for Q&A with the judges.

The judges commented on how professional the team was and how they were the only team to “understand the total picture” of the problem and address the main issue Modo is facing.

The team was comprised of Jordan Barr, Marnie Brown and Elliott Klein, all are juniors at Foster and members of the UW American Marketing Association (AMA). They, along with Leta Beard, their faculty coach and lecturer of marketing at Foster, traveled to Vancouver to compete in the competition. Barr is president of AMA and studying marketing, Brown is studying accounting and Klein is studying marketing. The three were selected from a pool of applicants from the UW American Marketing Association.

“I am extremely proud of this team. They worked very hard on their case practice sessions and took the initiative to learn as much as they could before heading up to Vancouver. The judges came up to the team after the announcement and commented on how well they did and said they were anxious to implement some of the team’s suggestions,” said Beard.

The American Marketing Association is a national organization comprised of marketing professionals and students of marketing. The UW AMA is a student run organization at the Foster School of Business.

Student Consulting Program – student perspective

Guest post by Rai Huang, Foster undergraduate

BEDC Student Consulting ProgramI initially enrolled in the BEDC Student Consulting Program without really understanding what consulting means; my impression was that consulting is the dream job of many of my peers at the Foster School of Business, yet it wasn’t something I particularly cared for.

I expected to walk away from the class with experience in conducting market research and formulating online marketing/public relations strategies, which is related to my dream career after graduation. And I liked the idea of working with a team; the communication skills learned would prepare me for work in any field. The fact that it would look good on my resume didn’t hurt either.

My team’s assignment is to formulate online marketing and social media strategies for our client, Concourse Concessions, who currently operates a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf franchise in the Seattle-Tacoma Airport. A newcomer in the Seattle market, they wish to grow brand recognition through traditional and non-traditional public relations methods as they expand to locations outside of the airport within the next year. It was an exciting task to take on, as the overall business environment and market for coffee in Seattle is very saturated, and would require creative thinking to accomplish the mission.

The first step for our team was to identify the strategy and comparative advantage of the franchise.  Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has only been in operations for about three months, and there was lack of substantial data for us to analyze. Challenged by our advisers and mentors, we were able to take a step back and look at the project from a wider perspective. We learned to think in terms of what is most valuable for the client every step of the way. With the support of our mentor and advisors, we came up with a framework in which every question raised had to be answered in a way that would help the business.

During the research phase of the project we gathered survey data and took a close look at local competitors such as Peet’s Coffee and Tea, Uptown Espresso, Espresso Vivace and Café Vita. We examined how they are utilizing social media and promotion strategies to maximize brand equity. Marketing concepts we’ve seen play out in real life include: how social media is being utilized for Customer Relation Management; how Search Engine Optimization is becoming increasingly intertwined with social media; why it’s essential for all business owners and managers to understand the marketing concept; how to really use a business’ competitive advantage; and how to communicate through interaction with the consumers.

As we come near to the end of the project, I now understand what consulting really comes down to is communication. It is important to practice the art of listening to your client and really hearing their needs, and finding resources and formulating recommendations with your team to create value for them. Through the process of tackling the different obstacles, my team and I have bonded together and grown both professionally and personally.

I look forward to applying the skills I’ve learned to a future career in Public Relations. I now understand what it is like to work with a real client, how to identify their wants and needs, and strategically come up with solutions that would benefit the client and heighten awareness of the brand. The Student Consulting experience is not just a line on my resume, but truly a real-world experience I was fortunate to have as an undergraduate student.

Learn more or become involved in the Student Consulting Program as a client or volunteer advisor.

Former Schwab CMO and “mad woman” illuminates “talk to Chuck” case study in MBA advertising class

 
It’s Thursday afternoon, and in one of the University of Washington Foster School of Business classrooms, former Charles Schwab Chief Marketing Officer Becky Saeger was talking to MBA students about the experience of digging deep to revitalize a major brand. As the architect and marketing protagonist of the integrated “Talk to Chuck” campaign platform, Saeger had plenty to offer the students on this Harvard Schwab Case.
Former Schwab CMO Becky Saeger (middle) with Associate Dean Dan Turner and Senior Lecturer Elizabeth Stearns

She discussed the importance of the big picture marketing process. From there the focus was on the decision metrics, advertising strategy and execution, and ultimately how that contributed to Schwab’s overall brand objectives.

Saeger’s also great in her capacity as guest lecturer, which was her role in Marketing 540, taught by Elizabeth Stearns, senior lecturer. Saeger brings to life the lay of the land at Schwab. The year was 2004 and the CEO who hired her was replaced by Charles “Chuck” Schwab himself, reclaiming his role as CEO of the $4.2 billion company he founded in 1971. Saeger reinforced the problem as described in the Harvard case, on the potential for losses and eroding customer loyalty, as the company struggles to fulfill its promise to the individual investor.

Following Professor Stearns’ lead, Saeger asked as many questions as she answered. One interesting aspect of this class is that Stearns does not play the role of professor—but rather that of a marketing client. Students have formed teams acting as advertising agencies vying for Stearns’ business. There’s very little handholding – and that’s good, because as any marketing agency veteran will attest, clients expect initiative and brilliance. The students demonstrated considerable chutzpah—one memorable moment occurring when a student agency, Drapers’ Disciples, turned down Saeger’s request for an additional $50 million budget with their excellent ROI analysis.

In the end Saeger won out with exceptional rationale; moreover, she proved success.

This teaching model brings intense realism into the classroom, as do guests like Becky Saeger.  There was an exhilarating quality to the session, and an overwhelming sense that Foster MBAs are getting the best of rigor where it intersects relevance to their futures.

As a side note, there was some irony that the ‘agency’ challenging Saeger’s budget request was “Draper’s Disciples.” As it turns out, she began her career at Ogilvy & Mather in NY, where she made a name for herself with global brand campaigns for American Express, among other clients. A true Madison Avenue prodigy.