Last week we had marketing for start-ups panel with four pretty awesome companies. There was Artsicle, a company that allows you to rent and change out pieces of art for periods of time. There was Front Lab, "the world's first growth hacking shop for start-ups. Husky Laboratory, which has a Chrome application that allows you to chat with other people who are on the website at the same time called Husky chat, was the third panelist. And finally, there was a small company that you may have heard of: foursquare.
Stan, Marketing Society's vice president, took charge of the questions. He started off by asking how start-ups are different than the other companies the panelists have worked at. Some of the answers included more ownership of projects, a lot less budget, flexible hours, and stronger camaraderie between co-workers. Next Stan asked about how one goes about acquiring customers for a start-up. The plan for Front Labs is to go to events and talk about the company ALL THE TIME. Husky Lab and Artisicle both focus on "figuring out the formula" to keep people. It's more about users and less about customers. foursquare leans a lot on partners they have to keep them going.
Start-ups aren't for everyone and they aren't always what you have to start with. A few of the panelists moved from corporate to start-ups. Start-ups are about finding what you are passionate about and being persistent. It isn't always easy, but it can be really fun if you find a place that you feel you belong in. If you have never tried working at a start-up, try it out. It may be exactly what you're looking for.
On Wednesday, Eric, Greg, and Nathan came to talk to the Marketing Society about Nielsen, you know, that tiny market research company that started in 1923. Today it has grown so large as to include employees and clients from over 100 countries. Whoa! (Or Woah! for those of you who like to spell it wrong.) Eric told us that Nielsen has three main functions: measure, track, and monitor. He said that Nielsen analyzes 55% of the world's advertising, but he also said that number might be low. Nielsen scans billions of transactions in retail stores so they can consult clients on what consumers are buying. They have alliances with many other companies including dunnhumby who came in a few weeks ago. Eric said that clients are split into two categories. One is watch which is where they try to understand media consumption and monitor competitors, and the other is buy which is when they try to understand consumer behavior and help develop and launch new products.
Next, Greg, who has worked at Nielsen for less than a year, talked for thirty minutes about how great the company is. Not really. But he did say it is a terrific placed to work and that he is very impressed. Nielsen can help clients optimize their efficiency with real-time feedback. Also, Greg mentioned that Nielsen would be relocating to the old Goldman Sachs building downtown. Everyone in the room responded with an "oooooo" only to be followed by collective laughing. Greg discussed the shift form offline marketing to online marketing and then within online marketing, a shift from banner ads and such to social media. Nielsen has a three tier model to measure effectiveness. First they look at reach to see if it got to the right people. Then they look at resonance to see, well, if it resonated with the people it reached. Finally, they look at reaction: did the campaign work?
At the end of the presentation, Nathan came up to tell us about his experience as an intern. He told us that Nielsen is seeking A-level talent. He said there is a merit based culture at the company which means that you get rewarded for the work you do. If you are interested in an internship, check out the Emerging Leaders Program at nielsen.com.
Facebook is slowly starting to monetize through its new promoted statuses. For $7 anyone can have a status promoted by the site. Facebook hopes that users will promote statuses about wedding, garage sales, birth announcements, etc. Promoted statuses have been rolled out in 20 countries and is available to people who have less than 5,000 friends. Promoting a post will place it at a higher spot in your friends' news feeds and will be seen by a larger portion of your friends. It will be interesting to see what sort of success Facebook sees with these promoted posts. Maybe one day this service will be an integral part of Facebook or it could flame out and disappear quickly. Time will tell how this little venture works out.
On Wednesday, the number one cosmetics company in the world came to NYU to give an informative and entertaining presentation. This company was created in 1909, has 27 global brands, sells in 130 countries, and invests more in Research and Development than its competitors. They also have the mother of all case competitions. Have you guessed it yet? That's right. L'Oreal.
L'Oreal strives to offer men and women across the world the safest, most effective, and highest quality products that meet beauty needs. (That was paraphrased, but sounds pretty good. So if that's not their mission it should be.) (I should be a mission statement writer. Huzzah!) A main focus of L'Oreal is, surprise surprise, beauty. They believe beauty is eternal and universal and it isn't just about cosmetics. It's about aesthetics. The company puts a lot of time and money into science and research. They want to be know for their innovation and superior quality. Something I was amazed by was how many brands are under the L'Oreal umbrella. Let me name a few: Garnier, Maybelline, Essie, Lancome, Diesel, The Body Shop...
[RANDOM FUN FACT ALERT: 1 tube of Great Lash Mascara (he pink and green tube) is sold per 1.2 seconds!]
L'Oreal is big on diversity and culture. They like recruiting students who want to work internationally and can speak more than one language. (I better go brush up on my French.) They are very ambitious on a global sense. They concentrate on emerging markets and like to expand into new product margins. L'Oreal is also a big company with a heart. They are committed to sustainability and giving back. Every employee is given eight hours for community service purposes in addition to the time they get for Citizen Day. It's a pretty cool plus.
Thinking about working at L'Oreal? If you are a junior or senior, check out the mother of all case competitions, Brandstorm, at www.brandstorm.loreal.com. Or if you are a junior who is thinking about interning in the summer, check out www.atasteofloreal.com. For everyone else, see if you have what it takes to launch a product by playing Reveal at www.reveal-thegame.com.
Last Friday Marketing Society partnered with Project Empower and Miss New York to help teach Ave Marie Catholic middle school students marketing. We had a great turnout, over 7 NYU students volunteered as mentors for over 60 middle school students! The 6th, 7th, and 8th graders were tasked with creating their very own chocolate company and had to make many decisions from defining a target market to creating a slogan/advertisement for their company.
Working with these students was an amazing experience. The students were extremely friendly and quite receptive to both their mentors and the event in general. Community service events are a great way to interact with fellow students, give back to your neighborhood/city/state/country, and even learn something about yourself or the world. Project Empower is a great initiative, and it is one of the countless opportunities we all have to make a difference!
Director of Industry News and Social Media
On Wednesday of this week, a company called dunnhumby joined us. Founded by Clive Humby and Edwina Dunn in 1989, the company does market research and tries to get companies to focus more on customers and less on finances. dunnhumby has three core values: 1. data insight; 2. brand value; and 3. customer experience. Using data insight, dunnhumby helps to shape the brand value of companies in a way that will result in the best customer experience. dunnhumby is about the long-term when they take on a project: "We help brands and organizations build value based upon deep shopper insights." The help set up a plan for the long run.
After getting an explanation of the company we we invited to do a little market research of our own. We did the Shopping Receipt Exercise. We paired up and were given two receipts, A and B. We were instructed to review them and she what information we could get. By looking at what items shoppers A and B bought, we could infer that one was the mother of a baby. We could also infer that the other shopper was a little more well-off. We were then given two more receipts from both shoppers. We examined all aspects of the receipts to see what else we could learn about these particular customers. We were able to figure out if the customers were price sensitive, if they used a car frequently, whether they were impulsive buyers, and if they were frequent shoppers. We were asked to use this information to make suggestions to the store on how to improve the shopping experience of the customers. It was a cool way to understand some of the things dunnhumby does.
If you are a junior interested in an internship, check out their website at dunnhumby.com.