Tag Archives: marketing

Live from the Workshop on Social and Business Analytics

“We have to unite the art and science of marketing. The MadMen and the MathMen.”

This post was created as a live blog from the Workshop on Social and Business Analytics (#McCombsWSBA) at McCombs School of Business on March 28, 2014. I’m not a data scientist, and much of the material presented was way over my head, so I’ll apologize both to the readers and the presenters. I know I got some of this wrong, and the rest is stated in an overly simplistic way.

Perhaps I’ll pull it down later, but for now I’ll leave it up as a resource for others who attended and want to recheck their own notes.

Welcome & Logistics: Rajiv Garg, University of Texas

Rajiv Garg is a new faculty member at McCombs, in the department of Information, Risk, and Operations, and he has played a primary role as an organizer and promoter of this event. For the first workshop of this kind at the university, that I’m aware of, he has managed to assemble a stellar list of guests and attendees.

Welcome Remarks: Janet Dukerich, Sr. Vice Provost, University of Texas

Purpose of this session is to bring industry and academics together. We can produce massive amounts of data, but how we manage to make sense of this data is a critical area to explore. There are enormous policy considerations in the management of these data. 

Session 1: John S. Butler, Chair

Shyam Venugopal, Frito-Lay/Pepsico “Analytics as an Organizational Change Force”

Frito-Lay is no longer on the sidelines on how to use business analytics as a decision tool. 

You don’t have to understand every complexity of analytics. Figure out how to organize the data and the questions. The “sexy tools” aren’t going to get you anywhere. 

When the CFO leaves a company, who do key metrics and processes stay in place, but when a CMO leaves everything changes? The reason is that marketing lacks metrics and processes that reliably tie our activities to financial return in a predictable manner.

This is easier said than done, because the world is very complex. It can be quite overwhelming to get to our consumers. We have to unite the art and science of marketing. The MadMen and the MathMen.

Frito-Lay centralized our marketing decision making for all of our brands, so that what works for the individual brand must also work for the entire portfolio.  This was a difficult transition. “Toto, I don’t think we are in Kansas anymore.” Continue reading Live from the Workshop on Social and Business Analytics


Banish the Holiday Blues! Three Tips From the Happiness Professor

“I think you ought to be happy. It’s a gift to others.”

Let’s depart from the normal ID University editorial flavor for a bit of light-hearted advice from a very talented marketing professor who also happens to be an expert on feeling happy.

Raj Raghunathan of McCombs School of Business
Raghunathan’s research on consumer behavior spurred his interest in the elements of human happiness.

As most everyone knows, the holiday season is often filled with pressure, unrealistic expectations, and complicated personal feelings involving family and friends (either their presence or absence). In short, a recipe for sadness rather than joy.

Professor Raj Raghunathan of McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin, creator of the blog Happy Smarts and author of the upcoming book If You’re So Smart Why Aren’t You Happy? has spent several years studying the true determinants of leading a happy and fulfilling life.

He has three recommendations for relaxing, enjoying the moment, and facing down negativity during the holidays, and throughout the rest of the year.

1. Employ positive role play

Holiday Blues PuppyHumans are social creatures, and the holidays bring families and friends together (sometimes too close together). That may mean face time with negative people who can bring your mood down with their non-stop pessimism, anxiety or distrust.

When walking away is not an option, Raghunathan believes the best alternative is to purposely assume the mindset of a happy, fully secure person. “Act like someone who is respected and loved by others, even if you struggle to feel that way at first,” he suggests.

Continue reading Banish the Holiday Blues! Three Tips From the Happiness Professor

Consumer Behavior – When Gift-Giving Threatens Our Identity

Shoppers might consider whether they are over-compensating for the emotional stress of gifting.

Shopper unhappy with giftAs posted on McCombs TODAY.

What happens when the perfect gift for a friend is just not you?

Two university researchers warn shoppers to beware of gifts that cause them to feel uncomfortable about their own identity (“I’ll give you this, but I don’t like it.”). Such purchases can spur gift givers to spend more money trying to regain their emotional balance.

We Are What We Buy

The guilty pleasure of buying something just because it makes us feel better is one symptom of the link between purchasing and personal identity. What we purchase is an expression of ourselves, so much so that selecting a gift can feel like interpreting a Rorschach test.

Morgan K. Ward, an assistant professor of marketing at Southern Methodist University, and Susan M. Broniarczyk, a marketing professor at the McCombs School, demonstrated in their study that gift givers experience actual discomfort when purchasing a gift that runs counter to their own self perception. This discomfort is magnified when the recipient is a close friend or family member because loved ones are an important part of our own self-concept.

Continue reading Consumer Behavior – When Gift-Giving Threatens Our Identity

The Branding Zone: Where Business Strategy and Operational Reality Meet

 Chief marketing officers must be adept at driving cross-company alignment in brand strategy and implementation.

Strong brands aren’t just the result of brilliant brand strategy, or excellent execution. In fact, the best brands are companies who have figured out the ideal mix of both. To illustrate the importance of that concept, I have often used this simple chart: The Branding Zone.

Click to enlarge

My favorite branding clients have been companies that “bend sheet metal for a living.” In other words, they are industrial enterprises such as Dresser Inc., or technology equipment suppliers such as ThermoQuest. Their executive teams are sharp professionals, but most began their careers as engineers or chemists, not business managers.

It is important for them to understand that an effective branding program is not just a “top down” initiative based on business strategy, nor is it just about a hard-working operational ethic. Rather, it is about the unique combination of these factors.

Continue reading The Branding Zone: Where Business Strategy and Operational Reality Meet

ProductCamp Austin Summer 2010 is this Saturday at UT Austin

So register today and I’ll see you there on Saturday.

There is only one problem with ProductCamp Austin. They insist on running their name together like it is one long word.

ProductCampAustinSummer2010. Quick, take a breath then try again.

But everything else about this unconference of marketing and product management professionals is first class.

“ProductCamp is a bunch of smart, passionate people coming together to discuss, debate, and collaborate on the issues they face every day.”

Many of us have paid registration money and traveled to faraway cities to attend professional conferences that are no better than what ProductCamp offers right here at the beautiful AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center.

For free.

Continue reading ProductCamp Austin Summer 2010 is this Saturday at UT Austin