• Game-changing Innovation in the Paint Industry?

    Companies dream of creating game-changing innovations in their spaces. By definition, a game-changing innovation transforms customer behavior, competition and market outcomes in its industry. It dramatically alters the game by delivering substantially superior customer value, replacing existing alternatives. Such superior value can be generated by multifold increase in benefits or a drastic reduction in costs or both. Often such value can only be created through technological breakthroughs or ecosystem advances or both, which are hard to come by. Therefore, game-changing innovations rare.

    In the paint industry, Sherwin-Williams (SW) may have created a game changing innovation. Calling it ‘Paint Shield,’ SW claims that the new paint kills bacteria on surfaces after about two hours of application and that this safeguard may last up to four years. If this is well accepted by the market, it add tremendous value to health care institutions, hotels, schools, cruise ships, day care centers, and homes. In particular, for the U.S. hospitals, it can potentially help save several lives lost to accidental bacterial infections and cut $30 billion in annual costs. This potential impact is only in theory.

    In practice, however, Paint Shield’s success would depend on how effective it holds up against its own claims, how well it is marketed and serviced, and how easily it is embraced in the ecosystem. First, SW has to demonstrate its effectiveness in use by selling, tracking, and documenting its success in big hospitals before moving to market it to all its target audience. SW should also learn from these lead users and adapt its offering. This process can be slow initially but could be extremely rewarding later. The success of Salesforce.com is a classic case of battling against the existing ecosystem to succeed with a disruptive innovation. Second, since not every customer is ready to repaint its doors, walls, and ceilings at any given time, SW has to target those with immediate needs and make compelling initial offers to those prospects to induce them to repaint earlier than needed. Third, it should be prepared to cannibalize its own existing profitable offerings. Unwillingness or slowness to cannibalize has resulted in the downfall of many a heavyweight company. The likes of Xerox, Kodak, Nokia and Blackberry come to mind.

    It is too early predict whether Paint Shield will be a game changer, but it is an exciting development among the humdrum of incremental innovations. Its success will depend on SW’s marketing strategies and actions.


  • Do Companies with Marketing CEOs Create More Shareholder Value?

    With the stock market posting record declines in the last several days, the focus is on shareholder value or market capitalization of companies. A key to improving shareholder value is demand growth, which is typically more conducive under a marketing CEO. A relevant question is: What proportion of CEOs have marketing background? Importantly, do companies whose CEOs have marketing background have greater market capitalization than firms whose CEOs have non-marketing background, such as accounting, finance, operations, and legal/law?

    To answer these questions, I studied Fortune 500 firms in 2006 and 2012-14. The preliminary findings of my study offers fascinating insights. The proportion of marketing CEOs have more than doubled during this period. Curiously, the market capitalization of companies with marketing CEOs are significantly higher than those of firms with non-marketing CEOs (See the video of American Marketing Association’s interview of me https://youtu.be/cDttMnqQBNM). Why and how is this the case? To answer this question, I’m on to my next phase of my study. Stay tuned for more findings. https://youtu.be/cDttMnqQBNM

  • Are Millennials Any Different from Baby Boomers?

    Contrary to popular belief, millennials may be no different from or more competitive than baby boomers?

  • Big Data and Marketing

    Venky Shankar Big Data

    by Venky Shankar

    Marketers are faced with the challenge of transforming “Big Data” into insights and action. What is Big Data? What is the big deal about it? What are they typical marketing problems that can be solved by Big Data? What models are being used to analyze Big Data? What are some successful Big Data applications in marketing? What research projects relating to Big Data am I working on? What is the future of Big Data for marketers? This presentation addresses these questions.

  • International Marketing

    This course is designed to give you a good understanding of how marketers evaluate, develop, and implement marketing strategies and programs in the international context, to meet with the needs of their customers while achieving their business objectives. It will enhance the skills you may have developed in earlier marketing course(s) by emphasizing their application in an international context. The course is designed for students who expect to undertake international marketing assignments, work for multinational corporations, or help smaller companies expand internationally. The focus will be on understanding of international marketing concepts and application of the concepts in the form of case analysis, discussion of real-world examples, and development and presentation of an international marketing plan.  The course will emphasize the following key elements: 1. International Marketing Environment:  The focal concern is the impact of external forces that shape marketing decisions, i.e., economic, cultural, legal, and political environments; 2.  International Marketing Strategy:  The important elements include international market evaluation, market entry, and market development strategies; and 3. International Marketing Mix:  This section will cover analysis of the key elements of marketing mix such as product, price, place, and promotion to make appropriate decisions in the international context. The course will cover the different international regions such as Europe, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Latin America and North America.  It will also cover a gamut of industries ranging from food to software.  In addition, the students can pick an industry and international region of choice for their final project.  The major emphasis of the course will be on application of the relevant marketing tools to international marketing decisions.  Financial analysis of marketing decisions will be stressed.

  • Marketing Strategy

    This course is designed to give you a good understanding of how marketers develop and implement marketing strategies to meet with the needs of their customers while achieving their business objectives. The focus will be on understanding the basic concepts and application of marketing strategy in the form of case analysis, discussion of real-world examples, and development and presentation of marketing strategies.  The course will emphasize the following key elements: Strategic Analysis of Market Opportunities and Marketing Strategy and Marketing Decision Making Process. The major emphasis of this process will be on application of the relevant marketing tools of analysis to the marketing decisions.  Financial analysis of marketing decisions will be stressed.  The competencies developed include: market opportunity analysis, strategic marketing analysis, product analysis and pricing analysis.

  • Seminar in Marketing Models

    The objectives of the course are to review the foundations, major contributions, and recent developments in marketing models, to develop the abilities to understand, formulate, and critique marketing models, and to enable the creation of a research proposal involving marketing models. This seminar will review the foundations, major contributions and recent developments in marketing models. The emphasis will be on foundations of modeling and the most recent developments in research using marketing models. We will examine commonly used models in marketing, as well as emerging ones, and discuss their principles and implications. This review and discussion will provide participants with new ways to think about modeling marketing phenomena. In addition, a principal purpose is to generate new ideas, new research topics, and new modeling applications for existing marketing problems. The seminar is meant to provide an overview of marketing models and will only cover selective research using marketing models. The seminar will facilitate their learning of methodologies. Participants are expected to fully get into the research rigor of modeling in the readings, assignments, and research proposals. Participants are also expected to attend presentations involving marketing models by visiting speakers and candidates and be prepared to discuss the presentation material in class. Occasionally, external speakers will make research presentations in the marketing department. If relevant, such presentations could be made part of this seminar and participants would be required to treat such presentations as one of the classes.

  • Marketing Management

    This course is designed to give the student a good understanding of how marketers develop and implement marketing strategies and programs to meet with the needs of their customers, while achieving their business objectives.  The focus is on understanding of the basic concepts and application of the concepts in the form of case analysis, discussion of real-world examples, decision-making using game simulations, and development and presentation of marketing solutions.  The course emphasizes the following key elements: 1. Strategic Analysis of Market Opportunities: Issues of focal concern include analysis of company, industry, competitors and customers, segmentation analysis, target segment selection, and product positioning; 2. The Marketing Program/Mix: The important elements include the 4 P’s of marketing mix, viz., product, price, promotion, and place (channels of distribution): and 3. Marketing Decision Making Process: This process enables the marketing manager to systematically organize the relevant issues to make appropriate decisions on marketing strategies and programs based on analysis of the market situation.  The major emphasis of this process is on application of the relevant marketing tools of analysis to the marketing decisions. Financial analysis of marketing decisions is stressed. The course also highlights special topics in marketing such as digital or online or interactive or direct or Internet marketing, services marketing and international marketing, which are weaved into the course in the form of cases and industry examples.

  • Research for Marketing Decisions

    With the spurt in complexity of problems facing the marketing executive, there has been an increase in her/his need for relevant marketing information about the environment, competition, and particularly customers.  The sophistication in information technology has accelerated this process and has underscored the utility of marketing research toward managerial decision-making. The objectives of this course are to: to develop marketing research problem definition skills, to develop the abilities to create marketing research designs as well as critically evaluate alternative research designs, and to provide an introduction to the various data analysis procedures. This course is designed to make the interaction between management and marketing research as productive as possible, by making each student an intelligent user and consumer of marketing research.  Three learning vehicles are used in the course: a) textbook and readings, b) lectures, and c) discussion of problems and cases. This course is designed primarily for executives who will be using marketing research than just doing marketing research.  The course recognizes that to be an intelligent user of marketing research, the marketing executive needs to have a very good understanding of the various stages in the marketing research process.  The learning vehicles aim to provide this understanding.

  • Strategic Allocation of Marketing Resources: Methods and Managerial Insights


    by Venkatesh Shankar

    This artcle was published as MSI Report, 08-207.

    This article discusses how firms strategically allocate their resources between marketing and non-marketing variables, across products, markets, channels, customers and over the product life cycle.  It presents resource allocation processes, models, and insights with examples drawn from different companies and industries.  It highlights emerging methods and research directions in strategic resource allocation and planning for both executives and researchers.