4th Marketing Day:”Back to School”

Going back to school for a day was the objective of our eagerly awaited Marketing Day, the 4th edition of which was held in person this year. Three sessions were taught by faculty members from Esade Executive Education, which allowed alumni to catch up on the latest news and major advances in the field of marketing.

Marketing Day provides unique chance for members of the Esade Alumni Marketing Club to spend time developing their professional capacities as well as a great opportunity for networking, as Isabel Ferrer (Lic&MBA ‘95), the club’s president, pointed out during her introductory remarks. The event was organised to help members stay abreast of recent developments in the field and further their professional development through a combination of knowledge updates, information on the latest marketing trends, and opportunities for networking and making new contacts during coffee breaks and over lunch.

Marketing Day has consolidated its position as an event dedicated to knowledge and networking, thanks to the active participation of attendees during the sessions and debates. Feedback provided by attendees will make it possible for the organisers to improve the event for the next edition, which is scheduled to take place at the beginning of the next academic year.

Learning from D2C brands

Alexis Mavrommatis (MKED ‘02), Associate Professor in the Department of Marketing Management at Esade, gave a talk entitled “The Rise of Direct-to-Consumer Brands”, in which he presented a case study highlighting five D2C brands: Bonobos, Dollar Shave Club, Harry’s, Glossier and Allbirds. All five are digital-native brands that have optimised a business model based on customer experience, data, modern brand values, the adoption of technology and a vertically integrated supply chain.

With the help of the analysis of the alumni in the classroom, Prof. Mavrommatis used to case method to unpack the pros and cons of the brands’ proposals. The attendees concluded that, while it is true that the brands have agile and flexible production, direct access, customisation of the product and the experience, and minimal investment in R&D, they also had a few doubts: Are the products truly differentiated? Can they work in all categories? How big is the target market? Is the business model scalable? “In addition to the challenge they pose for traditional players, there is much we can learn from these brands,” commented Mavrommatis. “That’s why other companies buy them out: to eliminate competition, while at the same time gaining knowledge and reaching the target audience.”

Getting to know consumers better

This was followed by a session led by Kate Barasz, Associate Professor in the Department of Marketing Management at Esade, entitled “Using Experiments in Marketing”, which focused on her research on consumer decision-making. She focused on how we understand other people’s decisions, i.e. the assumptions and inferences we make about the preferences, motives and personalities of others based on the decisions we see them make.

Barasz argued that experiments are the best tool for obtaining reliable data about consumers and making businesses better suited to their customers. Data is always better than intuition, she insisted. She recommended isolating the questions and objectives of the experiment and finding the right tools. If you want to conduct surveys, you can use tools such as Qualtrics; for participant panels, you have Lucid, Prolific or Amazon Mechanical Turk; for A/B testing, you have HubSpot or Google Optimize.

Click here to watch the session led by Kate Barasz

Disruptive digital marketing

David López (MBA ‘04), Academic Assistant in the Department of Strategy and General Management at Esade, gave a talk on the future challenges in martech, i.e. the fusion of marketing and technology with tools such as digital analytics and big data to improve strategies and thus create opportunities and better measure results. Martech allows for greater segmentation, understanding and knowledge of the target and a better definition of the value proposition made to the consumer, thereby altering the established rules of classic marketing to obtain an immediate impact on the business and the digital transformation of the organisation.

The democratisation of technology and new digital media are radically changing how customers and users behave. This fact, coupled with the emergence of new disruptive business models in the digital sphere, means that all players in the market must transform themselves through the customisation of products, services and campaigns, as well as comprehensive digital measurement. Whether to attract traffic, convert customers, build customer loyalty or optimise their average ticket in the digital space, we have the various data science and artificial intelligence tools that David López shared with alumni.

Click here to watch the session led by David López

Isabel Ferrer (Lic&Master ‘95), President of the Esade Alumni Marketing Club
Isabel Ferrer (Lic&Master ‘95), President of the Esade Alumni Marketing Club
How important is this event for the Marketing Club? How is a meeting of these characteristics organised?
A few years back, the board members of the Marketing Club set three objectives for the club’s activities: to contribute to the lifelong learning of our members, to promote networking and to help members develop career plans. Marketing Day was conceived as a “back to school” event. As such, it allows members to get up to speed by spending a morning to updating their knowledge with Executive Education faculty and topical content. At the same time, we are interested in formats and moments that encourage discussion and networking among members. To organise this event each year, we contact Esade’s Marketing Department and they propose a list of faculty members well suited to the topics we want to address.
How do you feel about going back to in-person gatherings? How do you think the event went?
In an association like ours, it means a lot to be able to do face-to-face meetings again. It means being able to go back to using methodologies such as the case method, to be able to encourage debate among members, and to cultivate that sense of belonging to the school and to Esade Alumni, which is something that returning to the classroom makes very special. In any case, we will keep doing digital events as well, because they allow us to reach many members who live far away or prefer not to travel.
The topics emerged from focus groups: What are alumni interested in as we return to normal and face new challenges?
In the virtual focus groups we organised with alumni, we detected interest in topics such as innovation in marketing, the strategic value of marketing, how to sell on Amazon, changes in consumer habits, etc. We have been covering these topics at events throughout the year and will continue to do so at future events.
What are the Marketing Club’s objectives for this year?
We want to continue to meet the three objectives I mentioned above, while placing additional emphasis on networking: providing an opportunity to meet again and make our events – both face-to-face and digital – much more interactive, since our members are no longer simply listeners, but a fundamental part of the content we generate.