Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Holiday shopping? Caveat emptor

Have you been venturing onto the internet lately, or (shudder) actual mall stores in search of those killer holiday deals?  You might want to compare prices before you buy.  This New York Times article confirms what I’ve always suspected:  Most of those amazing deals are not so amazing after all. Researchers from The Wirecutter and The Sweethome found less than 1% of the 54,000 holiday deals they reviewed are actually good deals.  ”When we find a deal that we think is good, it’s a needle in a haystack,” says Editor in Chief Jacqui Cheng. ”We’re super-excited when that happens.”  Puts a whole new meaning on Black Friday, doesn’t it?

Faculty books highlighted

GSB faculty authors  now have their recent books showcased on our Popular Books racks, just inside the Library entrance. Currently on display, for example, is The Bankers’ New Clothes: What’s Wrong With Banking and What to Do About It, by GSB Prof Anat Admati and Martin Hellwig. This book asks the question ‘What is wrong with today’s banking system?’  The authors argue that we can have a safer and healthier system without sacrificing any of the benefits, and at no additional cost to society. Banks are not as fragile as they are because they must be, but because they want to be, the authors declare. The book calls for ambitious reform and outlines specific steps that can be taken immediately.  Says Eugene Fama of the University of Chicago, “A must-read for concerned citizens … should be studied and memorized by lawmakers and regulators so they won’t be duped by false claims in the future.”

Bob Sutton (Good Boss, Bad Boss) and Huggy Rao (Market Rebels) have teamed up to examine what it takes to build and identify pockets of exemplary performance and spread them to others in the organization in Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less.  Drawing on extensive research and inside accounts from a number of industries, the authors identify the key scaling challenges that confront every company. “Scaling Up Excellence is one of the finest business books you’ll ever read,” enthuses Daniel H. Pink (To Sell is Human).

Market Liquidity: Asset Pricing, Risk and Crises by GSB Prof Haim Mendelson, Yakov Amihud and Lasse Heje Pedersen presents the theory and evidence on the effect of market liquidity and liquidity risk on asset prices and on overall securities market performance, demonstrating the important role of liquidity in asset pricing. Stanford’s Darrell Duffie comments “This collection places the best available work on the topic between two covers. It must be read by anyone following this subject area,” while Nobel Laureate Robert Engle opines, “The liquidity of financial markets has never been a more important topic of research and policy and this book gives a very accessible way to understand both the traditional and current research.”

And finally, Absolute Value: What Really Influences Customers in the Age of (Nearly) Perfect Information, by Itamar Simonson and Emanuel Rosen. Going against conventional wisdom, this book reveals what really influences customers today, and offers a new framework — the Influence Mix — to help managers develop effective marketing strategies.  Chip Heath (Made to Stick) opines, “Every marketer is going to have to read this book (if only not to feel left out when everyone else is talking about it)”, and Ravi Dhar of the Yale School of Management says “Pay attention to this book. It offers important insights into changing consumer behavior and presents new rules for success in the marketplace of the future.”

Big Data, Big Mistake?

Tim Harford explores the brave new world of Big Data in the March 29/30 Financial Times Weekend edition. In ‘Big Mistake?’, Harford ruminates on the claims and the pitfalls of what some are calling a new panacea for all past deficiencies of marketing, statistical gathering, government programs and more. He examines and challenges four major claims advanced by the proponents of Big Data, in the process recounting now-classic anecdotes, such as the famous example of Google Flu Trends, and the case of the father who discovered his daughter was pregnant when Target started targeting her with baby products. Is Big Data just the latest media darling — or does it have the potential to rock our world?

Free data? Free data!

Looking for websites on a business topic or industry?  Consider the Library’s Business Web Sites  —  nearly 140 different sites on a fantastic range of topics. Coverage includes accounting, baseball, biotech, commodities, housing, international statistics, marketing, mutual funds, patents, private equity, real estate, supermarkets, video games and much more. All of these sites should have free information but, since Stanford is not paying for access, at some point you might run up against some restricted material. Of course at that point you might choose to purchase the data, if it suits you. But there is so much free information on industries and financial topics that you may be satisfied with what is readily available. And as always, if you are not finding what you need, just ask a librarian for help.

The game or the ads

I told myself I wouldn’t yet again blog on the Super Bowl ads but I just can’t resist! It seems that this year the ads were hyped as much as the game with ads being “previewed” on other TV shows prior to the big game. Is this another marketing ploy?

The current issue of Adweek, available in the current journal stacks in the GSB Library, has devoted most of the  issue to sports heroes and how they are branded in the ad world.

Finally if you’d like to read about past Super Bowl games final score, viewership and how much a 30 second ad cost in 1967-2011, check out this article SUPER BOWL AD TIME LINE I -XLIV. 

Tell The Story

Tell the story, engage the listener, close the deal. Peter Guber, former chairman of Sony Pictures and current CEO of Mandalay Entertainment Group, discusses the power of storytelling in an article in the March issue of  Inc. magazine.  Guber believes storytelling is one of the more valuable tools in marketing today, arguing that when people are engaged in your story they tend to metabolize the information, remember it and repeat it to others. Guber offers Steve Jobs, Lynda Resnick and Bill Clinton as examples of  successful story tellers.

What Matters?

Customer satisfaction leads to improved business results.  Really?  According to an article in the fall issue of Marketing Research  “Rank Matters”  by Jan Hofmeyr and Ged Parton, customer satisfaction does not translate to increased spending or customer loyalty. So what really matters?  It looks like being Number 1 in the customer’s minds is what consistently encourages them to part with their hard-earned cash.  The authors offer some simple improvements to research models that will give companies more accurate results.


 


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