Global Marketing

B2B challenges


Team “F” in the house!!! Better known as Bryan and Nabih. Here to make a splash and hope to provoke some great discussions on marketing, specifically B2B marketing.  This blog opens the discussion of the challenges in B2B marketing.


EXAMPLE of the Unknown with the competition: As in Harvard case study, Barco  Projection Systems (BPS), there were some significant challenges and tough decisions to their leadership had to make. Their COO Erik Dejonghe had to make some very critical decisions that could potentially a tremendous ripple effect and potentially lead to the demise of Barco's strongest business line. I would say a loss of 75% of forecasted profits is quite damaging and likely fatal.   The unknown of what Sony had up it's sleeve was the toughest part. A preemptive move, either significantly over or under shooting, which damaging implications either way. Being boxed in is difficult and making those tough decisions is where true leadership is unveiled  Unfortunately, even with the  best leadership, good decisions can made yet, yield a negative outcome.

Buying Situations: As reflected in Chapter 7 – Straight Rebuy, Modified Rebuy, New Task:  There are challenges with each one of these. Straight Rebuy, keeping the business customer happy, staying connected, having strong communication and building loyalty takes a lot of work. Showing that despite competitors and price fluctuation, there is a significantly value add to the relationship.  Modified Rebuy, dealing with customers that are always be shopping you, asking for the product to be constantly modified. These kind of customers may be more work than they are worth, and determining that is another challenge. The New Task is in my opinion the most challenging. There is no repore, prices have to be extremely competitive, and creating that connection to the right people – past the gate keepers is the hardest part. This is where companies must utilize their best resources, most knowledgeable experts and leaders which can sell not only the product but the value of the product AND the relationship.



Global Marketing

Are You Listening?

Ever wonder if you're marketing message is being heard?  The Chicago-based media group The Onion, created a marketing-focused offshoot in 2012 called Onion Labs to identify if audiences where hearing marketing messages.  The big brands where taking notice of Onion Labs, and their research.

Marketing Blog - The Onion LogoThe Onion is a “news” paper that was launched in 1988 that mocks real news items with humorous headlines becoming masters of satire and rambunctious wit.  The Onion is popular in bars and cafés as many of its followers read their stories on smartphones.  Popular among the Gen Xers and Yers, Onion Labs was created to understand if the papers message was reaching the millennials, who are the 18-to-34-year-olds.

According to staff writer Molly Soat of the American Marketing Association, brands big and small are in hot pursuit of millennials, who now encompass that marketing sweet spot, but it’s a hard audience to reach.  In her recent article, Onion Labs: Success by Self-Deprecation, Soat describes how “millennials are notoriously ad-blind, shunning—or simply not noticing—print or Web ads, or speeding past TV commercials with their DVRs.  To get their attention, marketing teams continue to experiment with a tech-heavy mix of tools such as Twitter feeds, Instagram accounts and videos in hopes of becoming a household (or dorm room) name.  But regardless of the tool or channel that marketers choose to use, one trend is quickly accelerating amongst Gen-Y-focused brands: content marketing—often the more ridiculous, the better.”

In the past, young consumers were often motivated by the use of humor, peppering print ads with pop-culture references or filming TV spots full of slapstick.  That market has now changed as “viral videos” are the king of persuasion.  Just look at the brands like Old Spice and Red Bull, who have created brand-focused messaging that consumers wanted to share with their peers.  These content-heavy brands are becoming bolder, and even poking fun at themselves, admitting their shortcomings, and revealing the human side as they try to connect with their audience.

The Onion recently discovered the power of bold when recent headlines read “Planned Parenthood Opens $8 Billion Abortionplex,” and “Kim Jong-Un Named The Onion's Sexiest Man Alive for 2012.”  If you're wondering how powerful this media group has become The Onion sports 5 million Twitter followers with 90% of its audience falling into the age group of 18-to-44-year-olds, 26% have household incomes over $100,000, and 35% have advanced degrees.

When Microsoft Corp. was launching Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) in 2012, the company admitted “…that our traditional marketing efforts didn't work as well in this audience because they're so skeptical of us.”  Microsoft partnered with The Onion to design a marketing campaign that was effective in reaching the millennials.  What happened next was unexpected as The Onion sent Microsoft 40 different ideas designed to make people laugh, in fact Microsoft exec's where caught off guard and described many of the ideas as being “completely out of left field,” but they appreciated their approach of not catering to corporate sensibility.

Marketing Blog - Uninstall
“Uninstall” Campaign – Click photo to view video.

The new campaign started with an online video of a young man with his therapist hating Internet Explorer (IE).  The young man flashes back forcibly uninstalling IE from his friends and families computers saying the only thing that IE is good for is downloading other internet browsers.  The video ends with him saying, “IE9 is actually good.”  The “BrowserYou Loved to Hate” video appeared on Microsofts Tumblr site dedicated to IE9 reinvention, and got an average viewership of 2.6 times per unique visitor, 765,000 YouTube views, over 14,000 Facebook “Likes” and more than 5,200 Twitter mentions.

If you're wondering about the results of the marketing campaign, IE9 has over 2 billion users.

It's a brave new world, and the marketplace is changing.  Are you ready to be bold, and different?  Ready to make your target audience laugh?

Global Marketing

REI Invests in Targeted Marketing Campaign… In Store and Out

REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.) was named most respected brand in the private company category by branding and advertising firm GreenRubino in 2011.  So how does this iconic outdoor retailer invest in marketing to support their success?

In 2011 REI spent approximately $60M to support their $1.8B business.  To put this in perspective, they spent 3% of their sales on advertising to drive an 8% growth in sales compared to one of their competitors who spent 8% of their sales on advertising to drive a 5% growth in sales.  REI’s marketing dollars are aimed toward supporting their catalog distribution and their social media campaign.  REI puts a lot of stock in their Facebook and Twitter relationships as well as their educational videos on YouTube, known as ‘REI Expert Advice.’  These simple short videos, which can reach millions of people, help foster a relationship with the consumer by sharing tips on topics from the basics of paddle boarding to how to teach your child to ride a bike.

REI doesn’t just market their brand through traditional market techniques that appear on their income statement.  Shopping with REI is very experiential–from the knowledge of their employees to their store design and layout.  They invest a disproportionate amount of time on training and focusing on employees, as compared to other retailers, to ensure that if you want to know which sleeping bag is best for camping in Yosemite in November or the best secret camp sites in the Sierra Nevada’s… the sales person will know the answer.  Their store designs and layouts also offer terrain to test out hiking boots and, in some locations, a rain tunnel to test the latest waterproof gear.  For REI it’s all about the experience and they rely on positive customer experience to build generational customer relationships.

Screen Shot 2013-02-12 at 3.03.38 PMAnother  example of REI’s relationship marketing is their ‘REI ADVENTURES’.  REI provides travel arrangements and packages to bring fellow outdoor enthusiasts together to enjoy what they love.  Pictured here is an example of one of REI’s adventure packages.

Bottom line,: REI spends their marketing dollars in all the right places.  They seem to have mastered how best to market their brand and created their desired customer experience in all that they do.

Global Marketing


Hello, we’re Team “I”- nice to meet you! We’ll be bringing you various INTERESTING articles to discuss IMPORTANT topics in the world of marketing. We’re looking forward to some INTERACTIVE conversation and hope you have an INCREDIBLE time visiting our blog…


So, you check your schedule and see you have an afternoon meeting, a brainstorm session on branding. Nothing peculiar about that. Just an average day at the office. But this isn’t the office. The meeting location is your kitchen table and the attendees consists of your family members…

The Wall Street Journal recently published an essay on the benefits of running a family like a business. And why shouldn’t you apply workplace solutions to the challenges families face in the home?

The general belief is that many companies fail if the make up is one or two charismatic leaders, but the others in the company don’t understand or practice the company’s core values or make decisions based on the company’s brand. This new practice engages all family members and gives them a seat at the decision table.

Families are using a progressive program called “agile development” that has quickly spread from manufacturers abroad to startups in Silicon Valley. It's a system of “group dynamics in which workers are organized into small teams, hold daily progress sessions and weekly reviews”.

These group dynamics move away from the “waterfall approach” of management, where orders come from the top down. It is more of a collaborative process, where decisions are made after group conversation where all parties get to weight in. Gone may be the days of the age old parental response, “because I said so!”

Jim Collins, the author of renowned business strategy book “Good to Great, points out that great organizations “preserve the core”. He encourages families to develop a mission statement and using the statement as a foundation for decision making for all members of the family. Children can then work their way through problems and base decisions on how the solution relates back to their family’s unique brand. It creates a “touchstone” for the family and is a great way of highlighting what the family is doing right.

If your family had a brand, what would it be??? Would you be open to drafting a mission statement with your family?

Global Marketing


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