Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Marketing in 60 Minutes




Professor Perry Lowe from Bentley College put together a fantastic 60 minute workshop on marketing - I'm totally jealous of his students at Bentley College. Here's the 100 word version. I'm sure that I can't do it complete justice...


1. Target Consumer - Is your model selling business to business or business to consumer? Acquiring a new customer costs much more than maintaining a current relationship, think in terms of lifetime customer value.

2. Segmentation - Do you want to own a small part of a large market (generic cola), or a large part of a niche market? (a popular root beer, for example)

3. Positioning - Consider an X and Y axis with quality and price. Now think about where on the graph a product might place - high quality, high price (Ferrari, Maserati, etc) - Conduct market research to determine your own positioning

4. Product - Packaging (Is it an impulse purchase product?), naming (legal search and intellectual property), selling training and support services

5. Price - Price can be equated to quality and perceived value, consider pricing in volumes, and pricing relative to competitors (airlines match each others pricing)

6. Place - Direct distribution to consumers, or indirect distribution to consumers (through warehouses), just-in-time distribution, and keeping a small inventory that can satisfy demand

7. Promotion - Personal selling (direct sales force), selling to customers (grocery store warehouse) and store shelves (push the product) ,then marketing to consumers so that they purchase it from the shelves (pull the product), public relations (unpaid and uncontrolled advertising), advertising (paid communications)


Perry Lowe can be reached at plowe@bentley.edu.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Killer Presentation

The best part of the Imagine Cup is having the opportunity to attend the several days of business development workshops. Today Phillip presented on how to make an effective powerpoint presentation. Later, Perry Lowe from Bentley College ran a Mini-MBA workshop that summarized everything you need to know about marketing in an hour.


DSCN0691 - Copy 


So, here is Phillip DesAutels's The Killer Presentation in 100 words:


1. Don't make your audience think

2. Avoid the five sins - Too detailed, too long, no clear point, no clear flow, no audience benefit




3. Avoid MEGO - "my eyes glaze over" - Don't just dump data a slide. Data is for preparation for a presentation.




4. Know your audience (Who, Knowledge Level) and view yourself, company, product, and presentation through the eyes of your audience

5. Serve your audience's interests in your presentation. Present compelling benefits to help your audience realize why they should care.

6. Use the right (artistic) side of your brain to build a framework.

7. Brainstorm (Use a white board or post-it notes)

8. Cluster your key ideas into columns, eliminate stray ideas and focus on your primary topic

9. Don't forget the opening - capture the audience's attention immediately, persuade them to take action, keep their attention for the entire presentation

A Busy Day!

Whew! Today is finally starting to wind down - but we're not done yet.


We started this morning with more workshops on business models, understanding customers, and working with investors. At the same time, the SDI teams were doing their final presentations to the judges.


Towards the end of the day is when it got real busy - the Boys and Girls Club of Los Angeles visited all of the teams. In the back of the theater, the Microsoft Across America Bus was set up, along with two sync vehicles! If you haven't checked out newer Fords yet, it is totally worth it. I wasn't too interested at first, but after playing around with Sync for a while I was totally impressed...


I hooked up my bluetooth Windows Mobile phone and then attached my Zune. When a call came in, Sync paused my Zune and then automatically unpaused it when the call was over...this isn't particularly impressive for most car phone systems, but I am impressed by the fact that it handles interactions with two separate devices so smoothly. It seems like the kids that were visiting from the Boys and Girls Club were impressed too!


After I finished synching up with the other student bloggers I wandered around a bit and found Team CarbonCart from Seattle Pacific University...

Their official bio:

Developed by three freshmen and a junior at Seattle Pacific University, CarbonCart.com is an eco-conscious e-commerce site carrying online retail giant Amazon.com’s entire product inventory that allows consumers to carbon neutralize their internet shopping. By placing their orders for Amazon products through CarbonCart.com, consumers can purchase carbon credits to pay for renewable energy initiatives, reforestation or energy efficiency projects that offset the carbon dioxide generated in the shipping of their purchases.

Hopefully over the next few days I'll have the opportunity to speak a bit more with Team CarbonCart and post a bit more about their project.


Dinner was cool - salmon on buffet. Not too bad.

I met up with my old summer roommate Andy Sterland, Program Manager for PopFly and one of the Software Development Initiative (SDI) judges and also found the other student bloggers - all of which are also student partners.

Andrew Grapsas

Derek Horton

Nikita Polyakov


I took a little nap after getting into the hotel early. By little nap, I mean dinner started at 6:30 PM, but I totally overslept until 8:00 PM. Oops.

Millennium Biltmore Hotel

This hotel is pretty nice. The best word to describe it is ornate.  The walls and ceilings are all covered in sculptures and decor. The floors and walls are solid marble and stone.

Pictures of the hotel

The hotel is located right in the middle of downtown Los Angeles, but there honestly doesn't seem to be much to do around here.

Outside of Perry, I haven't met anybody else here for the Imagine Cup...yet.

Welcome to Los Angeles

My flight landed in Los Angeles at about 10:30 AM.

This much  earlier than most of the others coming in for the Imagine Cup...so Microsoft's travel agency, Tangerine Travel, hooked me up with a car to the hotel.

I was fortunate enough to share the ride with one of the Imagine Cup innovation experts also arriving at the same time, Professor Perry Lowe from Bentley College. 

Perry will lending his marketing expertise to the Imagine Cup teams as they prep for competition in a few days.

Imagine Cup Day 1

Yawn. It's 3:00 AM and my flight to Los Angeles leaves at 6:00 AM from Roanoke, VA.

I'll be connecting in Atlanta then head to Los Angeles and staying in the Millennium Biltmore Hotel downtown.

I'll have to leave in about an hour to get to the airport by 5:00 AM.