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Last Call for Social Media Sceptics

Idea posted: January 2013
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour
  • Marketing

Social media sceptics have all but scurried back into the woodwork. The game is up and the die cast: social media is here to stay. Each week the ‘fad’ seems to blow open a new way of doing things in a different industry; democratizing our flow of ideas even further. The scope of opportunity for science, art, and business here – seems infinite. But what role can leadership play to facilitate those opportunities and create value for their organizations?

Idea #062
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Satisfied customer

Failed CRM Initiatives and How to Avoid Them

Idea posted: January 2013
  • Strategy
  • Marketing

Customer relationship marketing (CRM) has become a big focus for companies in recent years, witnessing heavy investment in call centres, sophisticated database systems, online support services, etc. But despite these large-scale CRM investments, 55–75% of companies have failed to meet the expected returns. Why is this the case and, moving forward, how can managers ensure better results from their CRM initiatives?

Idea #099
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Samurai at a Waterfall, 19th Century Japanese Woodblock Print, Fuji Arts

Grapes of Wrath: How Self Control Leads to Anger

Idea posted: January 2013
  • CSR & Governance
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour
  • Marketing
  • Operations

Does making a healthy food choice make us angry? In an important piece of consumer research, a relationship is found to exist between exerting self-control, and a preference toward ‘themes of anger’ in e.g. entertainment. This mismatch - getting irritated by our own self-control - has far-reaching implications for marketers and policy-makers as we try to further understand consumer behaviour.

Idea #034
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Marriage à la Mode, William Hogarth, 1743-1745, National Gallery London (Source: Wikimedia)

Socially Aware, Media Savvy: Social Media Strategy

Idea posted: March 2013
  • Strategy
  • Marketing
Institutions: Henley Business School

Social media offers both great opportunities, and also challenges, to businesses. For those that embrace social media – by adopting the right strategy – risks can be averted and rewards unlocked. Using a simple framework to create an effective strategy for social media can enable your company to enjoy its benefits.

Idea #111
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Ximending District, 2013, Taipei, Taiwan

Consumers/Brand Relationships and Fair Treatment

Idea posted: April 2013
  • Marketing

Different brands have different relationships with their customers, just as social relationships differ among people (casual friendships, committed relationships, etc.) Some relationships are strictly transactional; in the case of brands, customers expect value for money, and little else. Other relationships are more of a partnership; customers expect the brand to ‘care,’ just as caring is a component of certain social relationships. New research from the Rotman School of Management and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business advances the concept that brand relationships mirror social

Idea #129
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Business woman draws modern business concept

New Priorities for Marketing Leaders

Idea posted: April 2013
  • Strategy
  • Leadership & Change
  • Marketing

The priorities of marketing leaders are rapidly changing. According to a report from Cranfield School of Management, improving marketing’s ability to work cross-functionally and building influence at Board level are currently two of the lowest priorities for marketing leaders. Could this pose a problem when it comes to long-term strategies?

Idea #130
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I am half-sick of shadows, said the Lady of Shalott', William Waterhouse, 1916 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Homeworking Beats Outsourcing: a 6 Step Model

Idea posted: May 2013
  • Strategy
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour
  • Marketing
  • Operations
Institutions: Henley Business School

The use of homeworkers as call centre operatives can benefit both businesses and homeworkers. For companies, common advantages include cost savings, increased flexibility, reduced absenteeism and improved customer satisfaction. But there are also potential problems to overcome. By adopting a six-step model, business leaders can plan homeworking projects effectively, identifying the key areas they need to address.

Idea #142
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Business people negotiating

Precise First Offers in Negotiations Vs Rounding

Idea posted: June 2013
  • Marketing
  • Operations

Negotiators will typically use round numbers in their first offers. Research from Columbia Business School shows, however, that beginning with precise rather than rounded numbers gives negotiators, whether buyers or sellers, an edge.

Idea #153
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People with children stand in queue to oceanarium at shopping mall RIO at Moscow Dmitrovsky highway

How Checkout Lines Affect Consumer Purchases

Idea posted: July 2013
  • Learning & Behaviour
  • Marketing
  • Operations

While retailers know that lines or queues are inevitable, new research shows just how much impact a long line can have on purchase behavior. The research, conducted by a team from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and Columbia Business School, also demonstrates that, contrary to the accepted wisdom, short lines each served by one checkout clerk is better than one line served by several clerks.

Idea #169
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Sales in Poznań, December 2011 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Myopic Pricing Strategies Lose Seasonal Sales

Idea posted: July 2013
  • Marketing
  • Operations

Dynamic pricing involves setting different prices at different times of the buying season. One of the complexities of dynamic pricing strategy is managing ‘strategic’ consumers who usually wait for end-of-season clearance sales. New research shows that many retailers are setting prices in a way that entice strategic consumers to early season purchasing; this strategy, however, is myopic because it limits potential revenues from end-of-season clearance sales. The researchers show that setting pricing levels in the early season that encourage late season-buying by strategic

Idea #177
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Brad Pitt, the first male to front a Chanel No. 5 perfume campaign, 2012 (source: The Sun)

Celebrities in Advertising: Neuroscience Insights

Idea posted: July 2013
  • Finance
  • Learning & Behaviour
  • Marketing

Companies pay celebrities large sums of money to endorse their products and ‘star’ in their advertising campaigns. Until recently, however, little was known about the processes that underlie the persuasiveness of fame. Now, research in neuroeconomics (a field that crosses the disciplines of psychology, economics, marketing and neuroscience) is providing insights into the neural effects of celebrity endorsement — and suggesting ways advertisers can best use celebrities to influence consumers and their decisions.

Idea #183
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Children showing a Koh-Kae can (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Healthy Bottom Lines – Food Marketing and Obesity Prevention

Idea posted: August 2013
  • CSR & Governance
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing
Institutions: Cornell University, INSEAD

Food marketing has a profound — and complex — influence on consumers and is often blamed for the (increasingly global) obesity epidemic. Food companies are not in business to make people fat, however. They’re in business to make money. Research into the effects of the ‘4 Ps’ of marketing — ‘price’, ‘promotion’, ‘product’ and ‘place’ — on food consumption suggests there are profitable changes they could make to help people eat more healthily.

Idea #188
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Word-of-Mouth and On/Off Line Marketing

Idea posted: August 2013
  • Marketing
Institutions: Insper

Increases in online communities have led to behaviours that influence online activities, such as shopping, becoming more and more important for executives to understand if they want their businesses to flourish. One of these behaviours is word-of-mouth communication (WOM). In this Idea, the impact of WOM on consumption is analysed, with a discussion of those strategies that work and those that do not.

Idea #190
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Pricing and the Power of Red

Idea posted: August 2013
  • Strategy
  • Leadership & Change
  • Marketing

Retailers commonly highlight prices and ‘good deals’ in red in their ads and promotional material. But relatively little is known about how this affects consumers. New research reveals that the impact varies significantly by gender. Put simply: men are likely to see a bargain when they see red; women are far less easily swayed. The findings have clear implications for companies — and for precision marketing.

Idea #197
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Ronald McDonald, Delft, Netherlands, 2005. Photo: M.Minderhoud (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Power of Colour in Marketing

Idea posted: September 2013
  • Learning & Behaviour
  • Marketing

Seeing red and yellow together is likely to make you think of McDonalds, according to this Idea. Such is the power of colours on brand recognition and long-term storage of advertisement information. Certain colours in particular are more stimulating than others, and marketing executives can use this information to build stronger advertising campaigns.

Idea #201
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How to Communicate CSR Online to Stakeholders

Idea posted: September 2013
  • CSR & Governance
  • Marketing

The online communication models used by organizations to inform on their CSR activity can impact negatively on the way they are perceived by stakeholders. How can they try to overcome such obstacles and create a format for the future that engages successfully with their audience?

Idea #207
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Mark Webber's Red Bull Formula One car, Canadian Grand Prix, 2012 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Product Choice: Are You Paying Attention?

Idea posted: September 2013
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing

Product choice is linked to the amount of prior attention or conversely, inattention, that we give to something before encountering it again at a later date, when we either choose or reject it. Leaders should ask themselves what their organization can do to guard against the risks of its brand or products being overlooked.

Idea #218
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1957 Oldsmobile Starfire 98 Coupe, detail from advert in Life Magazine April 1957

How Customers Watch What Others Buy

Idea posted: September 2013
  • Marketing

While consumers (and the marketers who market to them) believe that purchasing decisions are based on a combination of emotional and rational factors, a research team from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania identify a more basic motivation that pushes people to buy: they look at what others around them are buying. 

Idea #223
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A McDonalds Happy Meal (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Does Bundling Hurt Sales?

Idea posted: October 2013
  • Marketing

While retailers and manufacturers may believe that bundling two products makes the package more attractive, research shows that bundling an expensive product with an inexpensive product actually diminishes the value of the expensive item. 

Idea #238
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Marmite pop-up, 2009 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Building Brand Equity through Event Marketing

Idea posted: November 2013
  • Marketing

Brand event marketing will increase brand equity through brand experience, especially if the event involves a direct and intense customer experience with the brand. But brand attitude increases brand equity only for certain types of events (namely, trade and street events, but not pop-up shops and sponsored events). Pop-up shops exemplify the best type of brand experience-driven event marketing.

Idea #251
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The Effect of Pruning Sales Channels

Idea posted: November 2013
  • Marketing

A firm that eliminates a search or purchase channel, such as a catalogue, will lose customers who prefer that channel. The decision to eliminate a channel can still be profitable in the long run, as long as the savings from the elimination is greater than the lost revenues. Managers can help the math by taking proactive steps to reduce the level of lost revenues.

Idea #252
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Park Avenue foyer of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City, on Christmas Day, 1987 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Frequency Reward Vs Customer Loyalty Programs

Idea posted: November 2013
  • Marketing

Customer loyalty programs can be based on frequency rewards or customer tier benefits (e.g. special benefits when you reach a certain elite customer status). As companies try to decide which type of program is better, or if loyalty programs are even worth the trouble, new research shows a combination of both programs offer direct financial benefits, as well as better customer information for strategic decision-making.

Idea #265
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First Choice Most Chosen

Idea posted: November 2013
  • Strategy
  • Marketing

Human beings may be biologically hardwired to prefer the first option presented to them, particularly if they have to make that choice quickly. Businesses can use this finding to tailor their marketing and other strategies to nudge customers towards a particular product or service. Recent research confirms the importance of being first and why this should inform point-of-sale, online, and other marketing messages.

Idea #267
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Shoppers in Pushkar Fair, Rajasthan, 2007 (Source: Wikimedia Commons).

How and Why Shoppers Make Unplanned Purchases

Idea posted: December 2013
  • Marketing

Through analysis of video tracking of consumers in stores, new research offers a greater understanding of how and why consumers consider and make unplanned purchases at the point of purchase. The research highlights the categories of products most likely to be considered as unplanned purchases; correlations between categories of planned purchases and unplanned purchases; and the behaviour of consumers most likely to make unplanned purchases (e.g. standing close to the shelf or talking to an employee increases the chances of conversion). Retailers can use this information to develop

Idea #277
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At the market, Tajikistan, photo by Kate Dixon, 2008 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

RET: Market Research in Real Time

Idea posted: December 2013
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing

As market researchers cannot follow customers around 24 hours a day, how else can they understand what sways them to buy certain brands? This Idea discusses a new research tool — real-time experience tracking (RET) — which seeks to capture how people respond to experiences and interactions with a given brand, all in real-time.

Idea #282
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Genius Bar at the Apple Store, Prince Street, SoHo, Manhattan, New York City, 2003 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Servitization: Implications for Sales and Marketing

Idea posted: January 2014
  • Marketing

In a business world where competition is higher than ever before, it has become increasingly difficult for firms to differentiate solely on products. That is why many firms have begun focusing on services too. This Idea looks at this trend, referred to here as ‘servitization’ and considers how you can ensure the shift to such sales is a successful one for your organization.

Idea #293
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Search Engine Ranking: Consumer Behaviour and Revenue

Idea posted: January 2014
  • Marketing

New research shows that developing product search engine rankings based on best value factors — the logarithm for a hotel site search engine would be calculated not just on price but also on proximity to beach and/or proximity to shopping areas, for example — generates greater revenue than rankings based on one criteria, such as price. The research also explores a number of other issues related to product search rankings, such as how rankings impact click through rates for various classes of products or how consumers react to personalised rankings.

Idea #298
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Is New Product Exclusivity Always a Good Idea?

Idea posted: January 2014
  • Marketing

Having exclusive sales or distribution rights to a new product may sound like a good deal. New research shows, however, that exclusivity can reduce profits, especially if the firm does not have locked-in loyal customers, because it eliminates the potential for greater word-of-mouth marketing. 

Idea #312
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The Reception, by James Gillray, published 1792. Lord Macartney, the first envoy of Great Britain to China, meeting Emperor Qianlong  (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

When Supply Chain Partners Move Up the Value Chain

Idea posted: February 2014
  • Strategy
  • Marketing

The role of suppliers in global supply chains has been evolving from simply providing components to manufacturing entire products. Especially for suppliers in emerging economies, however, successfully moving up the value chain requires internal skills and capabilities as well as the willingness of the client to share not only technology but customer-facing capabilities as well. 

Idea #320
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The Three Wise Men at Nuevos Ministerios Metro and Cercanías station, Madrid (Source: Wikipedia Commons)

Optimal Marketing Claims: The Power of Three

Idea posted: February 2014
  • Learning & Behaviour
  • Marketing

When putting together an advertisement campaign, how many positive aspects of the product should you include? The temptation is to put in as many as possible, but according to this Idea, three is the optimal amount. Add more and you risk raising suspicions in your customers about the authenticity of all of the claims. 

Idea #328
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