Aug 112017
 

social media planning Columbia Business School EMBA It was my honor to teach social media planning for the Executive MBA program summer session at the Columbia Business School.  Professor Emeritus of Business Marketing Don Sexton leads a lively class of fresh thinkers with insightful questions.

The curriculum I presented as guest lecturer provided an historical overview of social media, with a strong focus on processes and tools for social media planning–including many links to deeper insights, templates, and more. The rest of the class focused on where this fast-changing field is headed in terms of technology, user habits and expectations, and marketing tactics:

Social Media Landscape

  • Evolution of Social Media from 1973 to Present
  • Changing Dynamics
  • Users and User Habits of Different Sites

Elements of Social Media Planning

  • Goals and Objectives
  • Competitive Social Media Audit
  • Finding an Audience
  • Choosing Channels
  • Engaging Influencers
  • Content Strategy
  • Tactics for Engagement
  • Tools
  • Planning Templates
  • Budget and Staff

Trends: Top Directional Changes for 2017 and Beyond–With Current Real World Examples

  • Social video—live, 360°, mixed reality
  • Integrated and omni-channel
  • Increasingly robust reporting
  • Better tracking of users, including military grade social listening
  • Customer relationship building
  • Making the customer an insider and humanizing companies
  • Customer service
  • Holding companies accountable
  • User-generated content
  • Not social if not human?

The Executive MBA Program at the Columbia Business School is a world-class Executive MBA education that provides access to leaders across many business fields and functions; access that leads to even greater impact and success. Immersed in a dynamic business environment in one of the world’s great business cities, you’ll study with renowned professors and prominent practitioners. The core curriculum embraces both big-picture business and entrepreneurial dreams. The program is identical to our Full-Time MBA in every way but with a flexible schedule for working executives.

Aug 112017
 

Marketing EDGE Marketing Plan CompetitionThe winners of the Marketing Edge Collegiate ECHO Marketing Challenge competition for best marketing plan have been announced. Judging this competition makes me excited about the upcoming generation of marketers. Congratulations to the winners:

MARKETING EDGE ANNOUNCES 2017 COLLEGIATE ECHO WINNERS

—International Challenge Provided by Collette, an International Guided Travel Company—

NEW YORK – August 10, 2017 – Marketing EDGE, a national education nonprofit committed to shaping the marketing industry as diverse, inclusive, and highly skilled, today announced the winners of its 2016-2017 Collegiate ECHO Marketing Challenge. The content of this competition for college students worldwide was provided by Collette, an international guided travel company. Altogether, six student teams – three from undergraduate programs and three from graduate programs – were honored for undertaking research to determine the likes, dislikes and desires of Baby Boomers (fall semester teams) and Generation Xers (spring semester teams). More here>>

Jul 212017
 

call for clarity siegelvision simplifying businessSimplifying business is good branding. It was my honor to produce the backstage interviews for the first annual Call for Clarity Conference in New York City, hosted by Siegelvision. Siegelvision is a branding agency with a unique philosophy:

“In a world plagued by complexity, our work is governed by a passion for clarity. We organize every engagement with clarity in mind and help purpose-driven organizations to achieve clarity of identity, clarity of expression and clarity of experience. Our commitment to Clarity Above All means we deliver clear, hard-hitting solutions that inspire action and drive impact.”

The event features speakers from different industries and sparked conversations among the 200 attendees about the damage that complexity causes brands. Simplifying business enhances the customer experience and impacts the brand. By making communications, processes and policies simple, the brand is enhanced. The videos of the speakers from the fields of finance, health, communications, criminal justice, academia, design and non-profit, feature “after talk” interviews that expand on the simplicity theme.

Jun 142017
 

Marketing EDGE Marketing Plan CompetitionIt is my honor to judge the 2016-2017 Collegiate ECHO Challenge marketing plan competition held every year by Marketing EDGE. Marketing EDGE is a national non-profit bridging the gap between academic theory and the practical knowledge and skills required in the workplace.  For 50 years, this organization has been bringing together marketing professionals, corporations, academics and students to apply classroom learning to real-world marketing challenges. Undergraduate and graduate students worldwide competed in the marketing plan competition.

Marketing Plan Competition Challenge: Collette

Students developed  marketing plans for Collette, a third generation, family-owned company with offices in the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. Competing teams researched and evaluated the travel needs of consumers and their expectations for travel experiences today, and for the future. Then they developed an integrated marketing plan with a $5 million budget to entice consumers to travel with Collette. Competitors were given free rein to innovate on the product and the customer experience.

Scoring the Marketing Plan Competition Entries

As a judge, I looked at a number of different criteria across the entries. 50% of the score depends on the quality and use of market research. 50% rests the resulting marketing plan. Success criteria included:

  1. How thorough is the market research?
  2. Is the marketing strategy clear and concise?
  3. How effectively does the marketing campaign drive leads?
  4. In what ways do teams expand/evolve existing product lines and/or create something new and different?
  5. Do the proposed product line amendments flow from the market research?
  6. Is the budget realistic?
  7. How achievable is the projected return on investment?
  8. How well integrated is the media plan?  Does it employ media where the targeted demographic will likely be found?  Does it take into consideration the way the audience plans its travel?

Clear Winners in the Marketing Challenge

Judging will be complete in a few weeks, with the undergraduate and graduate winners announced in mid-July.

Prizes in each division:

  • 1st Place Gold: Team members are eligible to split a $2,000 award.
  • 2nd Place Silver: Team members are eligible to  split a $1,000 award.
  • 3rd Place Bronze: Team members are eligible to split a $500 award.

Teams demonstrating excellence in the following individual categories are eligible for honorable mentions:

  • Market Research
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Media Plan
  • Budgeting / ROI
  • Creative Strategy
  • Executive Summary
  • Visual Summary
  • Innovation
May 272017
 

  • 2017 Marketing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony held May 11, 2017 in New York, New York.
  • 2017 Marketing Hall of Fame inductees.
  • Past President of AMA New York Dr. Don Sexton, Professor of Marketing at Columbia University presents the award to Dr. Jerry Wind, Lauder Professor of Marketing at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Academic Director, SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management
  • Seth Farbman, Chief Marketing Officer of Spotify inducts IBM Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications Jon Iwata into the Marketing Hall of Fame.
  • Past President Joanna Seddon presents the award to Jim Stengel, the former Global Marketing Officer of Procter & Gamble
  • Lisa Merriam, member of the board of directors for the American Marketing Association New York joins Ogilvy executives at the Marketing Hall of Fame Celebration.
  • AMA New York President Bob Kahn Congratulates Gary Briggs, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Facebook

The Marketing Hall of Fame is the only award which recognizes individual marketers who have made outstanding contributions to the field of marketing.  American Marketing Association New York created this award, hosts the annual induction ceremony, and manages the Marketing Hall of Fame Academy. The Academy, which draws its membership from the corporate, agency, academic and research worlds, selects honorees by democratic vote.

This year, the induction ceremony was held on May 11, 2017, at the ground breaking headquarters (the world’s most connected office) of R/GA  at 450 W. 33rd Street, facing the Hudson Yards on Manhattan’s west side.

The 2017 inductees were Gary Briggs, Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, Facebook; Jon Iwata, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, IBM; Jim Stengel, President and Chief Executive Officer, the Jim Stengel Company; and Jerry Wind PhD, Lauder Professor and Professor of Marketing, The Wharton School.

Apr 292017
 

american marketing association leadership summitThe American Marketing Association Leadership Summit in Chicago reinforced the value of this group for anyone with a career in marketing or for anyone who works with marketers. This meeting of AMA chapter leaders from across the nation and Canada was a chance to network, exchange best practices and ideas and further develop leadership skills with top marketers across specializations and industries. Chapter President Bob Kahn and I are bringing back not only best practices, but next practices to NYC.

Join the AMA

Volunteer and get involved with the New York City Chapter

 

Nov 202016
 

national-geographic-thumbnailWhen market dynamics and business strategies change, it impacts the brand. National Geographic, a brand with over one hundred years of history behind it, needed rebranding after the entity split off the non-profit Society form the for-proft National Geographic Partners a joint venture with 21st Century Fox.

Rebranding doesn’t always mean changing a name or logo, and that is the case here. The National Geographic rebranding is more about refocusing the positioning and aligning the growing number of media properties clearly under one “rallying cry.”

The iconic gold border and priceless brand name stayed. What was added was the idea of “further,” which focused the company on progress and the quest for knowledge, science, adventure and exploration across all platforms, including the flagship magazine and travel magazines, television networks, social and digital properties, kids media, live events and even consumer products.
rebranding national geographicThe brand plays a role internally as well, as a strategic filter for future initiatives, as a motivator and source of price for employees, and as a tool for recruiting talent.

National Geographic’s brand now, by definition can go further–“It never ends, it knows no bounds.”

Aug 122016
 

Marketing history is dotted with examples of companies who have been successful entering a “saturated market.” The secret to winning is carving out a niche. Entering a crowded and competitive market is a good strategic option. I provided the San Fernando Business Journal with insight into such a winning scenario. Existing markets have large numbers of consumers and proven demand. “Going into a well-developed market and carving out a niche in an existing market can be less risky and expensive for an entrepreneur than doing something totally new.” Selling a new angle is easier, faster and cheaper than trying to introduce a brand no one has heard of for a product no one has heard of.”
San Fernando Business Journal Niche Market

Aug 022016
 

Rio_Olympics-2016-Gold-MedalCongratulations to Scott Lange for a successful panel discussion at the Marketing Executive Networking Group on marketing, media, trademarks, sponsorship, ambush marketing and branding and the Olympic Movement–particularly the upcoming Games in Rio.
Download the presentation
Meet the panelists

Jul 112016
 

Rio olympics sports sponsorship roiOn the eve of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games, sports sponsorship for brands is drawing greater interest. Will pollution, crime, political bungling and Zika impact ROI? Probably not. Getting the highest ROI for event sponsorship depends “activation”most of all—and that extends far beyond the event itself.

If all you are getting for your sports sponsorship is your logo pasted on a few communications, you are missing an opportunity and surely are not getting your money’s worth.

Event sponsorship should generate returns in the areas of:

  • Increased exposure
  • Enhanced reputation
  • Conversions—selling product

To win across all three areas, you must “activate” with a solid strategy and tactical follow-through.

Establish Sports Sponsorship Brand Strategy

Your sponsorship strategy begins with the “why.” You must have a compelling story of why your brand connects to the event. I helped develop Johnson & Johnson’s sponsorship strategy for its first-ever  Olympic Partners Program worldwide sponsorship of the Beijing Olympic Games. For many sponsors, their Olympic sponsorship story is obvious. Nike is about athletic achievement. Coca-Cola is about enjoying the events. For Johnson & Johnson, maker of diverse products from baby shampoo to replacement hips, the story wasn’t immediately obvious. After considerable research among all stakeholders, the company adopted the story En Ai Er Shung—“Because we care.” Caring for people became the powerful unifying narrative relevant to every brand from Tylenol to DePuy to Splenda. Getting the “why” of the sponsorship right is what enhances your reputation and what underpins all tactical execution.

Spread the Story

Once you know your why, you must get the word out. Obviously put the logo everywhere. Wherever you can expand the story with at least a tagline, do it. Then go beyond the logo and tagline, to long form narratives, imagery, graphics and more. Think about everywhere your company touches audiences, internally and externally. Include the story on signage, marketing materials, vehicles, uniforms, email signatures, even invoices. The more you tout the sponsorship, the bigger your exposure benefit. The old novelist’s saw of “don’t just tell it, show it,” has relevance here. Create stories that dramatize the why of the sponsorship. Johnson & Johnson brought the caring message to life through dozens of initiatives, such as the Sight for Kids Program that provides vision screening, education and care to the children of migrant workers in rural China. Make the “why” more than a tagline—turn it into real life actions told through every possible sort of media.

Promote the Sports Sponsorship

Doing good is rewarding, but companies need to realize business goals as well. Developing customer-facing promotions and activities is the key to driving sales and profits. I had the opportunity to work with a BMW dealer group during the run up to the London 2012 Games. The BMW Olympic sponsorship strategy focused on a story that linked advanced technology to performance. They created the “Drive for Team USA” program that offered a special  performance test drive experience, a $1,000 new vehicle purchase allowance, and a $10donation to Team USA for every test drive taken. I cannot reveal the specific dealer group results, however, the program nationally led to 26,535 test drives, 25% of which converted into new vehicle sales, for a return of some $150 million. Turn the purpose of your sponsorship into a practical program to stimulate sampling, demonstrations, education programs and other lead and sales generating programs.

Involve Your People

Your best sponsorship ambassadors are your employees.  Make sure they understand the “why” of the sponsorship and the goals you hope to achieve. Spark their creativity by sharing best practices by other sponsors. Then ask them to help. Employees are a great source of ideas, big and small. Ideas can be as specific as ways a particular person or department can contribute, to as large as national programs. Educated, motivated and engaged employees are what can truly turbo-charge your sponsorship.

Keys Sports Sponsorship ROI

Winning at sports sponsorship takes many of the same qualities athletes need to win in sports themselves:

  • A compelling motivation
  • Ubiquitous and consistent effort
  • Sustained from start to finish line (and beyond!)
© 2014 Lisa Merriam