Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Old Millennial Wisdom

Despite being reminded that we are “old millennials” by a recent guest speaker, the Marketing Fellows continue to be solicited for advice about how to engage younger generations. Millennials, generally referred to as those born between 1982-2001, will soon outnumber Baby Boomers in the workforce. With more spending power comes greater attention from brands. However, millennials tend to resist overt advertising and are rarely brand loyal, which creates inherent tension among companies and customers.

In this week’s Customer Strategy class, our discussion centered around this hot topic: How can established brands reach and retain younger customers?

Michael Westgate, W2O Group
Michael Westgate, Head of Marketing at W2O Group and McCombs MBA alum, began the session with a challenge facing one of W2O Group’s current clients, NBC.  

Westgate shared with us the W2O Group’s 1-9-90 principle to digital audience segmentation. One percent of customers create content (Opinion Leaders), nine percent share, comment and repackage content (Influencers), and 90 percent listen and lurk (The Market). According to Westgate, companies are skilled at identifying the Opinion Leaders but not the Influencers, which W2O Group helps them to understand and identify.

 Another interesting opinion held by W2O Group is that paid media should come last in the planning cycle after earned, shared and owned media. This nontraditional approach encourages W2O Group’s clients to optimize and exploit free channels and then select a highly targeted, relevant media buy.

Alice Liu, American Airlines
American Airlines’s Alice Liu, Managing Director of Onboard Products, and Brian Richardson, Director of Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity, led the second session of the day. The McCombs alumni were interested in hearing the Marketing Fellows’ ideas about branding and promoting American Airlines’ wireless entertainment offerings.

 Sessions like this prove to be invaluable learning experiences both for the Marketing Fellows and the company executives who volunteer their time to engage with us. The real-world experiences and feedback we receive will no doubt help us old millennials as we embark on our summer internships in the coming months.

Allie Wallace is member of the McCombs Marketing Fellows, Class of 2016. She's passionate about marketing because she loves that it allows a mix of creativity and discipline.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Dr Pepper Snapple Group

On Friday, February 27th, Jim Trebilcock (CMO) and Benjamin Kraft (Associate Brand Manager) from Dr Pepper visited the McCombs Marketing Fellows Customer Strategy class for a session focused on college football strategy. Dr Pepper Snapple Group is a leading beverage company with 58 brands. Its flagship brand, Dr Pepper, is a unique, one of a kind beverage that is one of the most differentiated brands out there. With humble beginnings in the office of a pharmacist in Waco, Texas, Dr Pepper’s heartland is the five states that surround our great state. In 2014, Dr Pepper became one of the main sponsors of college football (the #2 sport in the USA after professional football), working closely with ESPN. In the first year of their six year agreement, they were able to reach millions of customers nationwide through powerful campaigns involving lovable Larry Culpepper, who is shown selling Dr Pepper at stadiums. The partnership with college football aligns well with Dr Pepper’s target market of 18-24 year olds who are truly one of a kind but also want a sense of belonging socially. College football is all about spending time with your friends and enjoying the game, and it can be made even better with an ice cold Dr Pepper!

First, Jim presented on Dr Pepper’s history, brands and the positioning of Dr Pepper. In the second half of the class, Ben provided insight into how to succeed as a marketing intern and answered questions related to succeeding in our summer internships. He then explained Dr Pepper’s Tuition Giveaway program.
There were several key takeaways from the session. First of all, having a consumer-driven strategy is paramount. Whenever decisions are made, you have to keep the consumer in mind, and DPSG has been very successful by continually doing this. Additionally, we stressed the importance of differentiation and positioning. Dr Pepper has been able to achieve excellent positioning and occupies a clear place in the hearts and minds of its audience. Whenever we think about building brands, we need to spend a lot of time developing strong positioning. Overall, the session was extremely insightful and we all enjoyed learning more about Dr Pepper’s sponsorship of college football and the company’s history of innovation. We can’t wait to see what they implement this fall when football season comes back around!

Michelle Sutton is member of the McCombs Marketing Fellows, Class of 2016. She's passionate about marketing because she loves getting inside the head of the consumer and trying to understand why and how they make decisions. She also loves how marketing combines creativity and analysis. It's really a great blend of qualitative and quantitative functions.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

What do Johnnie Walker, Folgers coffee and Dos Equis know about marketing that you don't?

Author: Rob Malcom, Executive in Residence in the Center for Customer Insight and Marketing Solution
Each of these brands have achieved dramatic and  transformational growth within static or declining categories many years apart, by mastering perhaps the most powerful and under appreciated lever in marketing.  No it is not social media, harnessing "big data", nor digital, nor product innovation - although these tactics and tools were part of the programs. 

Each of these brands - Folger's coffee in the 1980's, Johnnie Walker starting in the late 90's and Dos Equis in the 2000's uncovered what I believe is the most powerful secret in unlocking growth for brands - "THE ONE TRANSFORMATIONAL INSIGHT ".  This is the "singular most powerful discovery about their target consumer's motivation that could be leveraged to unlock growth".  

 For Folgers it was identifying the major generic category motivation - why people drink coffee in the first place - "to get their day off to a brighter start" which led them to abandon 20 years  of "better taste" positioning for the most successful, longest running advertising campaign  - " the Best part of wakin' up is Folger's in your cup' - now in its 31st year on air.

 For Johnnie Walker it was the discovery that the target group of 25-30 upwardly mobile men all over the world were motivated by the same core driving force - the desire to make progress in their lives.  This led to the breakthrough global campaign "Keep Walking", and inspired men all over the world beginning in 1999,  It turned years of decline into rapid growth for the next decade and was awarded "global campaign of the decade" in 2010.

Dos Equis cracked the code and separated itself from the tangled mass of imported beer, by uncovering that it's target - guys 23-28 - were maturing and no longer wanted to be seen as "crazy frat boys".  At this point in their life they wanted to be seen as "more interesting or sophisticated."  Enter the " Most Interesting Man in the World" - the most successful idea in beer in the last decade.

What so many marketers seem to forget in today's world of digitally enabled cool tactics, is the root of understanding all consumer behavior lies first in finding and harnessing the singular most powerful motivation that drives their behavior - their choice.  Until this foundation work is complete - the rest really doesn't matter.

Rob Malcom, Executive in Residence in the Center for Customer Insight and Marketing Solution

A graduate of the University of Southern California with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in marketing, Malcolm has spent 24 years at Procter & Gamble before becoming president of marketing, sales and innovation for Diageo, the world’s largest premium alcoholic beverages company. He retired from full-time corporate work in 2008, but continues his influence by serving on the boards of the American Marketing Association, Hershey Foods, and others. He also taught marketing at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business from 2009 to 2013. Rob has been an Executive in Residence at the University of Texas McCombs School of Business Since 2013. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Highlights: McCombs Marketing Conference 2012

By Angela Adams, Marketing Fellows, Class of 2013

A few weeks have passed since the first annual McCombs Marketing Conference, and I still find myself remembering lessons from the event. The speakers and panels were engaging and thought provoking, and following the event on Twitter (#McCombsMktConf) was not only a great way to share thoughts with other atendees, followers from the McCombs community and beyond were able to take part in the conversation. Reflecting on the event has inspired me to write my own “Top Five Conference Highlights” list.

IT’S A VUCA WORLD: Bob Johansen, Distinguished Fellow from the Institute for the Future, and our keynote presenter introduced the idea of a V.U.C.A, world (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous). As marketers, we must accept this new reality and show up prepared to win.

FROM ‘MARKETING’ TO ‘ENGAGING’: During the first panel, The Impact of Innovation on Shopper Marketing, we discussed how marketing is shifting towards people focused engagement. Though all agreed with the thinking, our panelists were asked if they were ready to change their titles from “Marketing Executive” to “Engagement Executive” – not quite there yet!

A FAST DECISION THAT IS WRONG IS BETTER THAN A SLOW DECISION THAT IS RIGHT: Panel two, Leveraging Marketing Analytics for the Future, again brought great discussion and thought provoking questions. Chris Winiewicz, Director for WW Channel Management at AMD, reminded us not only of the power of data in decision making, but of the importance of speed.

NEXT GENERATION ANALYTICS: George Sadler, Marketing Director at Dell, during the second panel, encouraged us to think about the future of analytics, and how we might go about quantifying things we think can’t be quantified. This is particularly true of social media; we must learn to count the digital conversations surrounding our brand. Speaking of social media, we had over 80 tweets about the conference this year!

LOOK FOR HUMAN INSIGHTS TO ACHIEVE PURPOSE DRIVEN MARKETING: Jodi Allen, the Vice President of NA Marketing & Brand Operations at Procter & Gamble kicked off the event Thursday night with a keynote presentation, showing us how P&G is using purpose driven marketing to promote brands at the 2012 Summer Olympics. The sample ads she showed even brought a few tears!

Looking back on the conference, I am truly proud to have been a part of it. The Marketing Fellows and CCIMS did an incredible job bringing together outstanding keynote speakers, panelists, moderators, and attendees. The event provided great opportunities to learn and network, and participating in the social media conversation was a really fun way to not only share insights, but to promote the great things CCIMS and McCombs Marketing Fellows are capable of. And I am definitely looking forward to next year’s event already!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

ALL ABOUT MARKETING FELLOWS: The Professors' Perspectives

Professors Kapil Jain and Wayne Hoyer, instructors of the two MBA Marketing Fellows courses, weigh in on their favorite parts of being involved with this unique University of Texas program.

From your perspective, what is the greatest benefit that students gain from being a part of Marketing Fellows?

Professor Jain: The opportunity to (i) understand the various dimensions of 'leadership' in marketing directly from today's marketing leaders and to (ii) develop their own capabilities via projects and leadership roles within Marketing Fellows.

Professor Hoyer: CCIMS and the Marketing Department are creating experiences and opportunities to benefit our and richen the learning experience for our top students.  Also, being a Fellow is a special mark of distinction that is of value to potential employers.

What is the most common feedback you hear from executives who speak to the Marketing Fellows class and from companies sponsoring the Fellows practicum projects?

Professor Jain: Executives who interact with the Fellows class come away impressed and eager to bring such talent on board their own companies.

Professor Hoyer:  They are very impressed with the quality of the comments, ideas, and questions that come from the Fellows in the CS class.  They really enjoy the interaction during class.

Where do you see the Marketing Fellows program in 5-10 years from now?

Professor Jain: I see the MBA Marketing Fellows program growing only moderately in size but significantly in terms of the breadth of specialized learning opportunities such as focal tracks in alternative industry sectors and key hands-on initiatives in the branding and digital marketing arenas.  Most importantly, I see the Marketing Fellows program as a reputable branded experience within McCombs that is a magnet for the best marketing students.

Professor Hoyer: Leading the way in defining new directions for MBA education.  Being at the forefront of top Marketing MBA programs in the world.

What is your favorite part of teaching Marketing Fellows each year?

Professor Jain: I enjoy the sense of fraternity that exists among the Fellows and the take-charge attitude they bring to the practicums.

Professor Hoyer: I learn a lot from the students and speakers as well.  This is due to the fact that we deal with cutting edge topics.  I also really enjoy interacting with the Fellows.

What advice would you give to a first year MBA student who is trying to decide whether to go into marketing as a career path?

Professor Jain: Marketing is about navigating the business by understanding the dynamic waters of the marketplace.  Success requires creative skills coupled with financial acumen and analytical rigor.  It also requires the ability to zoom into a problem context and zoom out to recognize deep and subtle trends.   Most importantly, it requires the ability to empathize with customers.  Nothing less will do.  In return, it promises a varied, always exciting, and sufficiently rewarding ride.

Professor Hoyer: Learn as much about the marketing career path as they can before deciding.  There are a lot of misconceptions about the marketing career path, but learning more helps students to realize all the great opportunities marketing has to offer.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Second Annual Fellows Brand Camp!

On Friday, September 2, the Marketing Fellows put on their second annual Marketing Camp for first-year McCombs MBAs, this year represented by CCIMS companies AT&T, Deloitte, and Frito Lay.

Over 50 first-year MBA students got the opportunity to learn about marketing careers through a morning career panel with representatives from each sponsor company and networking lunch.

During the afternoon, the students worked in teams to create a nationwide marketing strategy for (the now (in)famous) Calbee’s Shrimp Flavored Chips, a historically niche product with appeal on the west coast. The team consisting of Allison Steinberg, Alejandra Carlos-Padilla, Colleen Butts and Tiarna Harman (pictured below) won based on their comprehensive short term and long term strategy and ability to present a complex marketing plan in a clear and concise manner.

The camp was beneficial to both students and sponsors alike, and we look forward to working with them this year.