Last week I attended ‘Don’t “Blink”! Use Facts-Based Marketing ’, an all day marketing conference hosted at UTD’s Morris Hite Center. The keynote was delivered by Dr. Kevin Clancy, Ph. D. and co-author of “Your Gut is Still Not Smarter Than Your Head: How Disciplined, Fact-Based Marketing Can Drive Extraordinary Growth & Profits”. Not only was it a conference that “told” you how to get it done, but there were several real life case studies by leading companies in their industries who shared HOW they are doing it. These guys are definitely not asleep at the wheel.
Dr. Faker Zouaoui with Sabre Holdings/Travelocity and his team are behind the killer algorithm that takes all the customer data such as time, flight, price sensitivity and from the billions of possible options available, figures which options are the best match….in a matter of seconds. Yes, he did have to dumb down his presentation for some of us !
Steve McElderry shared how Cisco leveraged virtual, viral and visual web 2.0 technologies and reduced the cost of their traditional launch efforts by 83%! They also managed to create 40M+ impressions from just their case study launch…can you imagine the number of leads that they generated out of 40M+ impressions? Calculate that ROI and chew on that!
My favorite was the case study presented by Jeffrey G. Jarrett, Kimberly Clark. When you think about product attributes for diapers it’s mostly about stretch, leakage, comfort and so forth. But the challenge is moms are super loyal to a brand thus making it a tough market for Kimberly Clark to steal market share from competitors like Pampers. But then they thought, Mom’s love dressing up their kids…hmmmm… let’s make some trendy diapers and maybe that might work? Wrap the launch with a serious social media strategy and voila…a great new product launch. If you have not seen the jean diaper ad…search for it on YouTube…it is genius.
Overall, the one point that came across loud and clear is that it’s anybody’s game right now. To be successful in today’s market (regardless of your space), you have to invest in the right research data, translate it correctly and MOST importantly, implement it correctly. A good strategy with bad implementation is just as bad as not having a strategy at all. In addition, use the data to try and gauge what the future holds for your products. Whether you like it or not, Gen Y and Millenniams have a totally different “value” system when they choose products. If your brand will clearly struggle in the future…REINVENT IT and do it now!
And oh, guess what, social media is NOT a goal. Some think of social media as something that they need to get done, as in a project per say. Or as a channel to help sales push a few more boxes of product. It’s more about way of “doing” business, it’s a business strategy that is not just about pushing products. It’s about voice of the customer, it’s about collaboration or co creation with customers, it’s about listening, it’s about free and rich research potential, it’s about community (the list goes on…) and it requires dedicated teams to manage it. Southwest Airlines even has an employee social media handbook! But listen, most importantly you need to ensure it makes sense for your product and do it well.
I walked away from the conference with my head spinning and could probably go on rambling about the random thoughts running around in my head. But like most great presentations…you just had to have been there. A big kudos to Professor Alex Edsel and the UTD staff for pulling together an outstanding group of presenters.