2017

Stories related to "Marketing".

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From Fail to Prevail

When Lotika Pai, ’08, arrived for her first day on the job, she was told to leave. Her role had been eliminated. It wasn’t personal; Pai’s start date was September 15, 2008—the same day that Lehman Brothers, her would-be employer, filed for bankruptcy. After enduring a competitive recruiting process and graduating from business school, Pai looked forward to switching into the fast-paced world of investment banking. The setback was understandably terrifying. “It was the sense of being overwhelmed by something that I had no control over,” she recalled. “I just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.” In the next few years, Pai got valuable experience as an investment banker at Barclays (which acquired Lehman Brothers days later), but she never forgot the anxiety she felt during the turmoil. “That situation was pivotal for me, in terms of wanting to change the trajectory of my career,” said Pai. That first setback with Lehman inspired Pai to consider entrepreneurship once she had finance experience under her belt. Last year, she cofounded Powwful, a Chicago-based women’s activewear brand that aims to change the conversation around fitness and empowerment. “Ultimately,” Pai said, “I wanted to be more in control of what happened to my career.”

perspectives

A Workday With Shilpa Gadhok

Shilpa Gadhok, ’13, is a strategic brand builder. Blending creative ideas with analytics, she has amplified the reach of Hershey brands and revitalized its iconic Kit Kat bar. When Chance the Rapper sang his own spin on Kit Kat’s famous jingle, Gadhok was behind that. Now the brand manager of barkThins, a craft snacking chocolate that Hershey recently acquired, she relishes the challenge of creating an appetite for a new product category. “I’m at a point where I know what I love and what I want to do, so I try to be intentional about myself and my career at every moment,” said Gadhok, who moved to Hershey, Pennsylvania, last summer. <br/>

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The Innovator

A digital countdown clock sits atop a giant flat-screen monitor in Tyson Foods’ Innovation Lab. It reads 11 days, 0 hours, 1 minute and 14 seconds—and counting. The lab’s brain trust—led by Sally Grimes, ’97, Tyson’s group president, prepared foods—sit comfortably dispersed around the room. Today Grimes is getting the rundown on the Innovation Lab’s latest snack-food creation ¡Yappah! from her handpicked team, many of whom have colorful, self-appointed titles, such as culinary ninja and experimental brand dreamer. Grimes herself doesn’t really need a distinguishing sobriquet—she’s well-known around the halls of Tyson as not only a food innovation guru, but a key leader helping position the company for growth. She runs about $10 billion of Tyson’s $40 billion business worldwide, guides operations for 45 of the company’s 100-plus plants and facilities, and leads 20,000 team members, whom she readily admits are the backbone of the business. Despite her executive-level responsibilities, she has been intimately involved in many of the company’s biggest successes. Grimes is pleased with everything she’s hearing from the team. As promised, ¡Yappah! will be in stores within 11 days, a mere six months after the countdown clock began and the assorted flavors of the chicken-based snack now displayed before us were just an idea. <br/>

conversations

Changing the Channel

Over the past eight years, Walmart’s Daniel Eckert, ’05 (XP-74), has had a front-row seat to the profound transformations that have been gripping the retail industry. “We have not ever seen the pace of change as fast as we are seeing it today,” said Eckert, senior vice president of Walmart services and digital acceleration. “It’s forcing new ways of thinking, and entire new ways for organizations to work within themselves and with customers.” As the keynote speaker at Chicago Booth’s inaugural Marketing Summit, Eckert shared how he’s developing products at the nexus of digital and physical that help the world’s largest retailer reach customers where, when, and how they want to shop. Sponsored by the James M. Kilts Center for Marketing, the summit gathered executive-level alumni in marketing with renowned faculty members to exchange ideas, dig into the data, and look ahead to what’s next. Read on for some of their top takeaways from the summit:<br/>

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Putting Creativity to Work

These days, companies are deploying creative thinking across departments while replacing strict office policies with opportunities to tinker. Firms are allowing employees time to test out ideas, encouraging new concepts without a fear of failure, and building out collaborative, couch-filled office environments. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach, and tapping into the potential of creative thinking can be a challenge. Striking the delicate balance between brainstorming ideas and moving forward on a project is one way Ted Wright, ’00, founder of Fizz, a word-of-mouth-marketing agency headquartered in Atlanta, taps into his own creative abilities. When Wright works with clients, one of his strategies is to use hard data as the backbone for creative thinking without heading straight for the answer. In the beginning of each project, he and his team spend hours gathering data on 53 questions in 18 categories to get an idea of the client objectives. Back at the office, teams set aside time for idea generation based on the results. “If you start to care what the answers are, you throw a lid on creativity. The trick is knowing that it’s a journey,” he said. Wright is not the only one figuring out ways to encourage this kind of open-ended thinking at work. Here are some other ways alumni create opportunities for creativity:<br/>

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Reaching a New Breed of Consumer

The Approach: Since 2016, professors Pradeep K. Chintagunta and Lil Mohan have been cohelming Digital Marketing for Executives, a three-day Executive Education course offered at Gleacher Center in downtown Chicago. Like other open-enrollment courses at Booth, it offers a chance for executives to take a step back from their day-to-day responsibilities in order to sharpen their skills and keep up with the evolving business landscape.<br/>About three-fourths of those who sign up come from traditional verticals. It’s the remaining fourth, though, that help keep it eclectic. “I had a participant who worked for a large cosmetics company and another who was the CEO of a money-transfer business between here and Mexico,” Chintagunta recalled. For many, the course is their first Booth experience, and they find themselves learning alongside peers with diverse experiences—between two and three each session are over 60 years old, Chintagunta said. Mohan, a renowned entrepreneur, teaches the framework and brings the applied perspective, while Chintagunta delves into the analytical topics. The Preparation: Participants are asked to read a few thought-starter articles beforehand, including Think with Google’s “How Mobile Has Changed How People Get Things Done: New Consumer Behaviour Data” and Harvard Business Review’s “Competing on Customer Journeys.” They also complete a short questionnaire so that Chintagunta and Mohan know what role the participants play in their organization and what they hope to get out of the course. The Curriculum and Case Studies: In the first hour, the executives are assigned a team project to devise a holistic digital marketing strategy that they must complete and present to Chintagunta and Mohan on the final day. “I tell them not to pick a strategy for the whole, giant company,” Mohan said. “Instead, pick a division of the company and put yourself in the position where you can actually make a decision and make it happen within a 60-day window.” Teams generally meet up after hours to design and fine-tune their strategies, as classroom time is devoted to several modules on what’s new and what’s next in the field. Mohan takes the lead on lessons, especially those relating to models and frameworks, content marketing, search marketing, mobile marketing, social-media, and omni-channel marketing. <br/>

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A Toast to Data-Driven Marketing

We had just 48 hours. None of us got much sleep. It was 2015, and I was part of a team of Booth students tasked with digging into Kraft consumer data to come up with an actionable solution to a real marketing problem—revitalizing its beloved Capri Sun juice drink. It was a crash course in real-life brand management. Participating in that Kilts Center Marketing Analytics Case Competition emerged as a standout experience for me at Booth. I found this experience so valuable that I wanted to pay it forward after I graduated. When I heard Kilts was looking for new case competition sponsors, I rallied my fellow brand managers at MillerCoors to participate. People were at first a little wary and were unsure about what we would get out of it. Though the investment in terms of cost was minimal, this would require time from our CMO, our vice president of innovation, and other team members. But I knew how to sell this—especially because I had been a participant myself. Even though I had never organized anything like this before, I was confident the partnership would be equally valuable to Booth students and MillerCoors. Students would get a crack at exploring real data-driven marketing. For MillerCoors, it would be a recruiting opportunity as well as a way to bring fresh ideas to a difficult marketing problem. It turns out we had a pretty big one: we had to figure out how to market a new beer brand to an audience that’s trending toward wine and spirits.

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This is Working for Me: Carla Dunham, AM ’98, MBA ’03

Carla Dunham first arrived in Hyde Park not to study business but with the intention to graduate from the University of Chicago art history department with a PhD and become a professor. After completing a master’s degree in art history, Dunham switched gears and applied to Booth. “I was intrigued by the opportunity to take my career out of the library and into the larger world,” recalled Dunham, vice president of global brand strategy at Kate Spade New York. After Booth, Dunham tackled successively bigger roles at Target, Henri Bendel, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Amazon before moving to Kate Spade New York. Based in Manhattan with her husband and son, Dunham leads the team responsible for driving brand awareness across all marketing channels globally.<br/>