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September 2011: Vol. 6, Issue 8

Marketing Monthly Markathon Features Venky Shankar The following interview with Marketing professor, PhD Program Director, and Coleman Chair in Marketing, Dr. Venky Shankar, was recently published in Markathon, an Indian business magazine. Dr. Shankar: I had two career-changing points in my life. First, I was to pursue graduate studies in engineering at Rice University in the U.S. after my B. Tech. My original plan was to be at IIMC until I could get my US visa. However, during that short period, I enjoyed learning about management so much that I decided to continue my PGDM (MBA) at IIMC. Second, I was doing well as Business Development Manager at HSBC before I decided to do a PhD at Kellogg mainly to feed my intellectual curiosity. The biggest takeaways for me are: • Pursue with passion what fascinates you • Be flexible and be willing to learn • Aim for high impact in whatever you do.

Dr. Venky Shankar

Markathon: From IIT Kharagpur to IIM Calcutta to Kellogg Graduate School of Management--what, according to you, was the turning point in your career? What is your biggest takeaway from a long and illustrious career as a marketer in the industry as well as academia?

Markathon: In the Indian context, what is your take on disruptive innovation and marketing? Do you feel India is(has) been a pioneer in this field or a late adopter? Dr. Shankar: India has many ingredients that enable disruptive innovation—large and growing middle class, increasing aspirations, and low ability to pay. Because of the large customer base that needs/desires affordable goods and services, many innovations have to be developed outside the current customer mainstream (top end of the market), that is, they have to be disruptive. Many of the solutions are coming in the form of affordable/frugal/reverse innovations. GE's Mac 400 and Mac i, ultra-portable electrocardiogram (ECG) machines were made for India, all groundup, to be sold at 1/3-1/6 of the price of similar imported machines. Continued on page 2

Len Berry Researching Medical Service in the Midwest

Len Berry is well underway in his semester-long field study of three health organizations in Wisconsin which are achieving remarkable medical outcomes. Here, Len is shown at Gundersen Lutheran Health System in La Crosse

with some of the leading practitioners in breast cancer detection and treatment. Len will periodically send photos to mark his research adventure. He sends his regards to all of his friends and colleagues.

Marathon Interview, Continued from page 1 Markathon: How is international marketing different for a domestic company going abroad and a MNC setting base in another country? Does standardization of campaigns work or is it better to have individualized campaigns for each country? Dr. Shankar: Many principles are similar for both types of firms. All companies have to do a triadic market entry analysis (analysis of three dimensions: market attractiveness, competitive advantage and risk). Even a MNC must have started out as a domestic company at some point in time in its history. However, there are differences. Relative to a MNC, a domestic company typically has no international exposure, fewer resources, and little

brand recognition overseas. The standardization vs. adaptation of product decision depends on a number of factors such as product and marketing costs, speed-to-market, brand equity and its transferability across countries, culture boundness, satisfaction of target segment needs, and competitive intensity. An iPad is standardized to benefit from scale economies, similar global needs (touch-based communication, entertainment, and book reading), outrace competitors, and cash-in on Apple’s hip image. A fast food chain like McDonald’s store is adapted because what it sells is culture bound (e.g., hamburger in the US, Teriyaki burger in Japan, Continued on page 3


Markathon Interview (cont.) McVeggie in India), with differing customer needs and limited marketing/production cost economies due to localization. Advertising campaigns can be standardized if there is a global resonating theme, but are mostly adapted (at least in execution). Sales promotion campaigns are adapted. Consumers may clip coupons in one culture but may want to bargain in another culture. Markathon: Given a task of launching a new product, how would you proceed? What are the key considerations and parameters to keep in mind? Dr. Shankar: First, a firm has to be sure that the product should indeed be launched. To pursue a business opportunity, there should be both product company fit (internal analysis of strengths and weaknesses) and product-market fit (external analysis of opportunities and threats). These fits could be assessed using the strategic window analysis tool. Second, the firm has to develop a strong marketing plan with the right amount of resources. Once a firm decides to launch a product it needs to consider multiple strategic factors such as scale, scope and timing of entry, likely reactions by incumbents, targeting gaps, positioning spots, etc. Markathon: What interests you the most in the field of branding? How can a brand stand apart, according to you? Dr. Shankar: I am doing research in brand equity and brand extension, working with companies such as Allstate insurance and Colgate Palmolive. To standout in a sustainable manner, a brand needs to create a point of difference that resonates with its target customers. However, that alone may not be adequate in today’s competitive world. A brand should continuously build its value to those customers and should continuously measure, track and improve its equity and extension potential. Markathon: You are known for your expertise in digital marketing. Could you throw some light on its applications that we see in our daily lives? Dr. Shankar: Digital marketing is so interwoven

into our lives today that it is hard to imagine life without it. Even a cab driver or panwala or dhobi in India starts the day reading his/her SMS or checking the voicemail. We all use digital applications---SMS, email, online search, social networking, online banking, or stock trading. Effective digital marketing comprises anticipating (not just understanding) consumer needs and touching the consumers appropriately through the right touch points (e.g., the Web, mobile phone, kiosk). Markathon: What is the most effective way of engaging the customer through interactive marketing? Dr. Shankar: Successful engagement of customers requires a deep understanding of issues of interest to customers, of the relevance of the brand to these issues, and the triggers for customer action. A sound interactive marketing strategy should continuously engage the customer through creative programs using multiple digital touch points. Markathon: What would be your word of advice to MBA students? Dr. Shankar: Dream big. Tomorrow’s world is full of opportunities to be different. Follow your passion. Be creative. Embrace new insights. To succeed, be prepared to fail and learn from mistakes. Your learning of management principles and ideas doesn’t stop with your MBA. Fasten your seatbelts for a ride of lifelong learning. markathon |august 2011

Advisors’ Corner Leslie was very busy during Drop/Add week, meeting with and advising approximately 75 students. She has also been busy clearing our nearly 60 degree candidates for the December 2011 graduation ceremony.


M.S. in Marketing New Board Members The MS-Marketing Advisory Board has added 7 new members for the 2011-12 school year. They join current members Charlie Adams (PwC), John Balkema (Catepillar), Jeff Borgan (Curtis Wright Flow Control), Elaine Dausy (FedEx) Lauren Engebretson (HP), Kim Kemper (Texas Farm Bureau), Steve Moore (Texas A&M), and David Paradis (Tyco Flow Control).

Mrs. Yvonne Y. Bourquin is a Commercial Client Marketing Manager for Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., where she manages the alliance with AMD’s largest customer, Hewlett-Packard. Yvonne graduated Cum Laude from Texas A&M University with her BBA in Marketing in 2001 and her MS-Marketing in 2002. Mr. Justin Cade is the Natural Gas Liquids Distribution Manager for BP, located in Houston. He graduated from A&M with his BBA in Marketing in May 2003 and from the MS-Marketing program in December 2004 Ms. Tami Cannizzaro is Account Supervisor at SPM Communications, a Dallas-based PR agency, as well as an independent marketing and PR consultant. She previously worked in management positions for Neiman Marcus, Zale Corp., Nokia, Blockbuster and 7-Eleven. Tami is a 1980 graduate of Texas A&M University with a BS in Engineering Technology and received her MBA from Texas A&M in 1984. Mr. Sterling Hayman is a Client Services Director at TracyLocke Advertising in Dallas where he is responsible for leading all strategic planning and advertising/promotions activity on 7-Eleven, Clorox, Sony PlayStation and the Dallas Stars. Sterling earned his Bachelor of Political Science degree from Texas A&M in 1996. Mrs. Lauren ‘Calvert’ Lamb is Assistant Director of Digital Audience Development at The Dallas Morning News. Lauren is a May 2007 graduate of Texas A&M University with a BBA in Marketing and a December 2008 graduate of the MS-Marketing program.


M.S. in Marketing New Board Members (cont.)

Ms. Kathy Leonard is the co-founder and President of Freeman+Leonard, a firm designed to provide a full suite of marketing and advertising services to corporate marketers and agencies. Her previous positions include President of TracyLocke, President of The Integer Group Dallas, and a Senior Account Director of DDB. Kathy earned a Bachelors degree in Speech Communications and a Masters degree in Organizational Communication from Oklahoma State University.

Ms. Karen Raskopf is Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications for Dunkin’ Brands, the parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins. Karen previously served as Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications for Blockbuster Inc. and head of communications for 7-Eleven, Inc. Karen graduated summa cum laude from the University of Dallas with a degree in English.

Congratulations! Ram Janakiraman’s published and ongoing research on physicians’ prescription behavior and their response to promotional tools has been featured in a new pharmaceutical industry report titled “New Research into Prescribing Practices”. The report is available at The report is a part of the series of FirstWord Dossier reports. (FirstWord belongs to a business group that forms one of the world’s largest healthcare knowledge networks. FirstWord Dossier reports provide insight, analysis and the latest thinking on important trends and the most challenging issues affecting the pharmaceutical industry today).

Fall Seminar Series Speakers confirmed for Fall Seminar Series: September 30th: Robin Soster, Assistant Professor of Marketing, University of Arkansas. October 21st: Preyas Desai, Spence R. Hassell Professor of Business Administration, Duke University. Editor-in-Chief, Marketing Science. October 28th: Ty Henderson, Assistant Professor of Marketing, University of Texas Austin. November 11th: Michel Wedel, PepsiCo Professor of Consumer Science, University of Maryland, College Park. Associate Editor, Journal of Marketing Research and Marketing Science. December 2nd: Suresh Ramanathan, David R. Norcom’73 Professor of Marketing, Texas A&M University.

More information will be provided on speakers as their speaking date gets nearer.

Center for Retailing Studies Retailing Career Fair September 14

The Texas A&M University’s Center for Retailing Studies at Mays Business School recently hosted its semi-annual Retailing Career Fair. The event gives students the opportunity to meet over 30 companies to learn about career positions and internships in merchandising, store management, professional sales, marketing, and buying. While more companies participated– a sign of a recovering economy – many are making hiring selections earlier. Students looking for summer 2012 internships are encouraged to seriously search now, as job offers may be extended in November, rather than spring. Cheryl Holland Bridges, director of Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School Center for Retailing Studies, says, “Retailers want to hire the best talent. They are eager to meet candidates now. This event connects them with students passionate about building a career in retailing.” Participating companies (cont. top of next page)

Students discuss the possibilities with business reps.

Participating Companies: Academy

Island Companies Ltd.



Jason's Deli

Stage Stores






Toys R Us








Neiman Marcus




Zale Corporation

Home Depot

Reynolds & Reynolds

Continued next page


Retailing Career Fair (cont.) included many top ten retailers, like Walmart, Walgreens, Home Depot, and Target, as well as fashion leaders like Neiman Marcus and Dillard’s. New among the recruiters was Island Companies, a chain of 30 high-end jewelry stores serving cruise ships and Caribbean vacation travelers in Grand Cayman. The retailer traveled over 1,100 miles to hire Aggies for its professional sales team. Other first-time recruiting companies included AutoNation, Nestle Waters, and Reynolds & Reynolds. View a complete list of participating companies at The revamped website links to each company’s careers page. Students can easily research which retailers offer executive training programs, corporate positions, internships, and roles in store leadership. This research enables them to effectively plan for a successful career fair experience and positively impress recruiters with their company knowledge.

Derek Jenkins, College Relations Manager at Bridgestone Retail Operations, presents Kelli Hollinger with a check for the Center for Retailing Studies. Bridgestone has supported retailing education at Texas A&M for almost 20 years.

News & Updates Student Retailing Association September Meeting

The Student Retailing Association welcomed 30 new members to its September 6 kick-off meeting. With the Retailing Career Fair the following week, the recruits had little time for basic orientation. Instead they eagerly signed up to host the 30 recruiters, completed internship and Certificate in Retailing paperwork, and planned for an active fall semester. SRA emphasizes student professional

development. Throughout the semester, companies like jcpenney, Kohl’s, and Spoons will attend their meetings to inform students about real-life in retailing. Membership is open to all Aggies. SRA welcomes students freshman through senior classification. To join, students can visit the Center for Retailing Studies in Wehner 201 or attend the September 20th SRA meeting in Wehner.



Press Release from Dr. Busch’s MKTG 347 Class Walmart Analyst Shares Insight with Students in MKTG 347 College Station, TX September 13, 2011— Walmart Planning Analyst, Texas A&M Class of 2009, Maurizio Menchaca discussed retail strategies and customer relation insights with Marketing classes at The Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. After working at the company for only two years, Menchaca has moved laterally three times and been promoted vertically twice. Menchaca is in charge of 160 million dollars worth of sales, which may seem a large amount, but compared to Walmart’s 450 billion dollars worth of sales, this quantity is just one of many small business units. Walmart serves over 49 million customers per week in 31 different counties, operating under names such as ASDA, Suburbia, Superama, and Marketside. Although the stores cater to vastly different customers, Walmart sticks to three basic pillars to drive its success. Those pillars are Respect for the individual, Service to the customers and Striving for Excellence. In its effort to analyze its target market, Walmart has identified seven distinct customer groups; the key three focus on spending power and loyalty. Additionally, Walmart breaks down its customer base into five key groups: Hispanic, Caucasian, African American, High Income and Low Income. Inventory in stores differs based on buying tendencies and geographical location of these groups. Since the Hispanic demographic tends to place a higher value on fresh produce, the produce section may be given more attention in areas of higher Hispanic population.

Walmart’s Maurizio Menchaca in MKTG 347 classroom photo credit: Emily Colbert

Walmart currently considers Dollar General its biggest competitor, but focuses on offering higher quality products to gain competitive advantage. Even going as far as the specs in the plastic used in common household products, Walmart strives to offer products that will last. They carry this conscientious attitude into their Sustainability 360 program, which focuses on three key sustainable business practices. Walmart strives to create zero waste, use 100% renewable energy and sell products that sustain resources and the environment. Menchaca focused on the importance of adaptation within the retail sector, discussing the importance of forecasting future demand while constantly being aware of current challenges. “In our business, back to school is like our Christmas…we do the bulk of our sales in July and August,” he said, noting the level of preparation required to serve customers adequately during peak demand times. “Retail is really a Darwinian business. If you’re not changing and adapting to your consumer, you’re going to get left behind.” -----For questions please contact: Kaitlyn Kadlecek Rachel Armentrout


Congratulations! The Sales and Marketing Institute International awarded Professor Charles Futrell the professional designation of Certified Sales Professional (CSP). This Institute is the premiere professional body of sales and marketing practitioners in the world, with over 10,000 members and affiliates. SMI has more than 4,500 members in Australia and 6,600 in nine countries in the Asian region. SMI and Sales and Marketing Executives International use Professor Futrell’s personal selling textbooks published by McGraw-Hill in their sales personnel certification programs. Professor Futrell confers with a student.

Ying Zhu with her sisters, mother, and niece.

Ying Zhu’s family came from the other side of the globe (China and Australia) to witness her receiving her PhD in Marketing from Texas A&M in August. Ying spent a couple of weeks touring the

Dr. Zhu examines her graduation gift--a beautiful lap quilt made for her by Theresa Morrison.

USA with her family before heading to Canada for her new job at the University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus in Kelowna, BC. Congratulations, Ying!


On a Personal Note… Glenda’s husband, Dr. David Bessler, a Regents Professor in the department of agricultural economics at Texas A&M University, recently was named Fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, a recognition held by less than 3.6 percent of association membership. Bessler received the recognition for career contributions in the field of time-series econometrics and applications to commodity markets and price forecasting. The award was given recently at the association’s national conference in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Theresa Morrison won a third place ribbon at the BBQG (Brazos Bluebonnet Quilt Guild) Bi-Annual Quilt Show at the Brazos Center, Sept 9th-10th. This was Theresa’s first time to enter a quilt and she won third place in the miniature section with her Quilt called “Shakespeare’s Tulips. The quilt blocks are paper pieced and each tulip consist of 3 blocks. The entire quilt measures 11” X 17.

Len and Nancy Berry are new grandparents. Their son, Jonathan, and his wife Mimi, who live in Los Angeles, have a new baby boy. His name is Jacob Gold Berry and he was born on July 29. The whole family is enjoying him immensely.

We want to include your news items in the next issue. Please submit them to Laurie Marshall at,


Marketing Monthly - September 2011  

A look at the latest news and updates from the Department of Marketing at Texas A&M University's Mays Business School.

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