A little while ago, in November, some Marketing Society members and I attended the Wharton Undergraduate Marketing Conference in Philadelphia, PA. Much like our own marketing conference, the Marketing Mix, WUMC had a variety of speakers ranging from professors to a Product Marketing Manager to the CEO of a start-up, the conference offered a day of informative and interesting presentations and panels.
Professor Jonah Berger, author of Contagious: Why things catch on, spoke on contagion and the spread of ideas in the marketing realm. The key takeaways from his presentation is that word-of-mouth is 13-17 times more effective than traditional advertising and is forever. It can be the key to making an advertisement go viral. Lisa Barkowski, former Marketing Director at Merck, shared the importance of brand equity as medicine becomes generic. She suggested that companies have to know their customers better than they know themselves. Beth McGrath, Product Marketing Manager at YouTube under Google, shared that the motto for marketing at Google is "Follow the user and all else will follow." You have to find the product "magic" in order to market effectively. Mili Mittal, CEO of Mor.sl, discussed marketing on a non-existent budget and stressed that start-ups can never lose their true meanings and purposes. After a panel of UPenn upperclassmen offering advice on internship hunting in the marketing world, the day ended with Professor Meyer discussing his research on biases in decisions to prepare for hurricane threats. The NYU students in attendance were able to give first-hand accounts of their behavior during Hurricane Sandy. Overall it was a great experience, and I think everyone who went really enjoyed it.