Entries in "marketing"

July 21, 2007

Weatherhead's Dean, Mohan Reddy, continues to impress

In case anyone did not have a chance to read the article that appeared in Crain's Cleveland Business earlier this week, I will underline some of the key news. The headline in Crain's was Reddy's Ready For Action: With much of Weatherhead’s turmoil in rearview mirror, dean aims to revamp its MBA program . Here are a few key excerpts:

"An enhanced executive MBA program and a revamped MBA program will roll out in fall 2008, he said. ... The second year of the program [will] incorporate specialties that would be taught across the curriculum, which would make Weatherhead stand out among other MBA programs, according to Dr. Reddy. Some specialties the school is considering are social entrepreneurship [and] business sustainability. ...

With Cleveland’s population and corporate footprint shrinking, Dr. Reddy said it’s important to create an executive MBA program that appeals to students from outside Northeast Ohio. He said he’s beginning to meet with faculty and advisers now to figure out how Weatherhead can accomplish that goal.In the meantime, he said he’s also in talks with universities in China and India to create joint master’s degrees in areas such as organizational development and science and technology."

As I wrote last December, Mohan is a powerhouse. Stay tuned for positive results in the next year.

June 23, 2007

perhaps the iPhone is not underpriced!

On Thursday, this Wall Street Journal article by Walter Mossberg was the second-most-emailed item in the paper. Mossberg reviewed the Blackberry Curve 8300 and the Nokia N95, two alternatives to the iPhone, and raved about the N95 with its very high-end camera.

Perhaps I was not that far off base in considering the iPhone as a rival for the Blackberry in my previous post about the iPhone vs. the Blackberry and the Treo. There was another article in the WSJ highlighting how much pressure business IT managers are getting from their employees. Many current Blackberry users want to ensure that they can buy a new iPhone on their own, and still access their Blackberry-based work email when they want. Whether Apple and Research in Motion will work out a patch that satisfies security concerns is an open question... I'm fortunate that the outcome of that negotiation will not affect my ability to use an iPhone for email.

I do still want to know what the monthly charge will be from AT&T for data charges, though. That would make me think... but not for very long. I hope there are still some iPhones available in Cupertino on Sunday, July 1!

perhaps the iPhone is not underpriced!

On Thursday, this Wall Street Journal article by Walter Mossberg was the second-most-emailed item in the paper. Mossberg reviewed the Blackberry Curve 8300 and the Nokia N95, two alternatives to the iPhone, and raved about the N95 with its very high-end camera.

Perhaps I was not that far off base in considering the iPhone as a rival for the Blackberry in my previous post about the iPhone vs. the Blackberry and the Treo. There was another article in the WSJ highlighting how much pressure business IT managers are getting from their employees. Many current Blackberry users want to ensure that they can buy a new iPhone on their own, and still access their Blackberry-based work email when they want. Whether Apple and Research in Motion will work out a patch that satisfies security concerns is an open question... I'm fortunate that the outcome of that negotiation will not affect my ability to use an iPhone for email.

I do still want to know what the monthly charge will be from AT&T for data charges, though. That would make me think... but not for very long. I hope there are still some iPhones available in Cupertino on Sunday, July 1!

June 16, 2007

iPhone takes on the Blackberry and the Treo

I am by no means a marketing expert, but it doesn't take much education on the topic to figure out that products anyone can acquire are less desirable to trendsetters. Perhaps most users of the Blackberry and the Treo are not trendsetters -- perhaps they like to just follow the crowd. They may even be required to do so. (I have certainly been told that more than one employer requires the use of Blackberry, a dubious policy for organizations to adopt if they are to recruit and retain outstanding employees in today's world of work.)

The question is, how many people want to be trendsetters? My guess is, more than the number who will be able to acquire an iPhone between now and Christmas. Probably by a factor of three or four.

I'm definitely a trendsetter-wanna-be. The demo of visual voicemail was appealing -- I hate having to wade through seven voicemails without knowing if any of them were left by anyone I'm really waiting to hear from, or if they're just lower-priority communications that should have been sent through email. Appealing, but not compelling.

It was the demo of websurfing on the iPhone that was compelling. Clearly, I'm in the target market, because the webpage being surfed is not myspace -- it's the New York Times. The demo shows that Apple has applied the same attention to human-computer interface when designing the iPhone that they have become known for with their operating systems, laptops, and iPods. This commercial is really all the instruction in using the iPhone any typical user will need.

So, I have signed up for a Cingular/AT&T cellular account, and for email alerts with both the cellular provider and with Apple directly. I'm not going to be camping outside a cellphone store on the night of June 28, but I'd love to be able to figure out how to acquire an iPhone before I attend the Academy of Management annual international meeting in Philadelphia at the beginning of August. Perhaps I would not even need to take my laptop with me! It could be a new frontier in flexible work.

How much of the Blackberry and Treo market will Apple be able to take a bite of between now and Christmas? This report from last December doesn't even show Apple as a player in the "converged mobile device" market -- and in fact, the manufacturers of the Blackberry did not hold the top market share spot. That honor went to Nokia, with 38.7 million units shipped. Nokia also holds top honors in the smartphone market segment. The unknown is how Apple's exclusive partnership with Cingular/AT&T will affect trendsetters' willingness to go with the iPhone.

The logical followup question is, how much will the converged mobile device market grow between June 29 and the end of December? The 42 percent growth rate over 2005 sounds quite impressive. My bet is that the rate will be at least sustained, if not increased, through the end of 2006. In some ways, accelerating the growth of this market segment would be just as much of a victory for Apple as stealing market share away from the Blackberry or the Treo would be.

Once again, Steve Jobs' team will be creating an entirely new stream of Apple customers, who will almost inevitably be drawn to purchasing songs on iTunes and laptops at the Apple Store. Here's hoping that the product launch on the 29th doesn't cause any riots!

April 02, 2007

Case Western Reserve, highest quality education at a great value

I was pleased to read that Kiplinger's rated Case Western Reserve as one of the top 50 best values among comparable universities last week. (See the table for the full list of 50.)

I was surprised, though, to see the university's press release about our inclusion on the Kiplinger's list mentioning the other "peer" schools that we outranked on the list. I thought the point of the list was that these schools are not our peers, at least in the eyes of the people who compiled the Kiplinger's list. (why give the other "peer" schools another page to generate hits for them on the web?)

The table shows that only 15 of the top 50 schools have better student-to-faculty ratios than Case Western Reserve. Of all the private universities Kiplinger's ranked, only 15 do better than the 9 students per faculty member ratio at Case Western Reserve.

Also, only 5 of the universities on the list accept a higher percentage of their entering class. Case Western Reserve accepted 68 percent of applicants, according to the table. From an academic rankings perspective, a lower acceptance rate would improve our standings compared with other schools; however, from an applicant's perspective, a high acceptance rate is desirable, because it makes the investment of time in a college application less of a gamble.

At Case Western Reserve, we meet the total financial need of 92 percent of our students. The majority of that financial aid is in the form of grants, rather than loans. (Only 3 of the 50 schools provide a higher percentage of students with financial aid sufficient to meet their financial need.) Case Western Reserve is right in the middle of the top 50 universities in terms of the average debt of new graduates, at just under 21 thousand dollars.

December 22, 2006

a new powerhouse for Weatherhead

He may only be 5-foot-2, and yet, Mohan Reddy can light up a room. He is modest and unassuming, and does not choose to step into the spotlight; however, he can carry burdens far greater than most, and without forgetting to stop and ask "how are you?" of his colleagues, students, or alumni.

Mohan was named the interim dean of Weatherhead in August of this year (2006), and at that time, I did not know him well personally. (Click on the link below to read more.)

Continue reading "a new powerhouse for Weatherhead"

December 12, 2006

cheaper is not always better

Every entry-level marketing course emphasizes that price is not the only feature that attracts buyers to a product or service -- there's also quality, availability, etc. So perhaps it shouldn't be so fascinating to learn that when choosing between colleges, students prefer going to one with a higher tuition, as long as they receive some financial aid.

Here's the story, in today's New York Times.

November 20, 2006

Concern for the triple bottom line: From margins to center

On Saturday, I participated in a conversation about how to strengthen locally-owned businesses and deal with the challenges represented by national chain competition. (I invited my blog readers to participate in Unchained America day, which was the reason that the conversation at Phoenix Coffeehouse on Lee Road took place.)

One of the assertions I made during that conversation was that the values of the Millennial generation suggest that they are going to care more about the social and environmental impact of the businesses where they shop and work. This press release outlines the results of a survey supporting my assertion. Here's a quote:

"66% will consider a company's social/environmental commitment when deciding whether to recommend its products and services."

Another piece of data, more anecdotal, would be the article about giving circles like the Cleveland Colectivo, which I believe is made up of Millennials and some younger Generation Xers.

Want more background on the Millennial generation?


I would be curious for any suggestions about where to find information on the positions of millenials regarding their preferences for shopping at, or working in, local vs. corporate businesses.

November 09, 2006

Polishing our message

In Northeast Ohio, we typically think of ourselves as old manufacturing powerhouses (think TRW and the like), new financial services companies (think Progressive, MBNA, etc), and internationally reknowned healthcare (think University Hospitals, the Cleveland Clinic, and MetroHealth). One of the arenas in which I'm increasingly aware of our strengths, though, is in a different service industry: marketing, public relations, and the design of products and services.

Take a look at John Booth's recent blog entry over at Crain's Cleveland Business, for example. Or, think about the powerhouse that is Nottingham Spirk (as highlighted in the recent New York Times article about University Circle as a commercial real estate gem). Definitely check out the slide show available through the NYT, with glorious photographs by David Maxwell, entitled Rebuilding Cleveland.

The opportunities available for employment in communications, marketing, and public relations have never been more visible to me. As our region continues its climb to the top of the global heap, we will need individuals who can grasp those opportunities and polish the messages about Northeast Ohio and its companies, nonprofits, and government agencies. That's why I'm so pleased that Weatherhead is now offering our undergraduates the opportunity to concentrate in Marketing, within the B. S. in Management degree. Check out the course listings. (We also offer a minor to students in the College of Arts and Sciences, and a minor or a sequence to students in the Case School of Engineering.) Of course, those course listings understate the opportunities available to our students, because so much learning within the management major is experiential. My students demonstrate all the time how quickly they learn from their internship, career panel, and campus leadership experiences. Still, the chance to learn from and with six faculty in marketing (including our interim Dean) should draw many students into management in the coming years.

I'm delighted to see our region polishing our message -- Northeast Ohio is rebuilding, a renaissance is well under way, and we are proud of what we do here. And I'm heartened to know that my university is playing a role in building that justifiable pride.

September 13, 2006

a brief followup on last week's entry on CBS evening news

So, will I look foolish in retrospect for succumbing to the marketing and giving Couric & Co a positive early review? Perhaps. The buzz among marketers is now about how quickly viewer ratings are dropping for the CBS evening news. However, I wonder whether the management at CBS is watching statistics like these, or statistics like these. Which is more important, in a business sense? TV viewers, or website visitors?

If the trend that is hinted at in this graph comparing web traffic for CBS.com and NBC.com continues, along with the trend shown in this graph comparing the CBS news site and the PBS online newshour site, CBS may be happy to keep Katie in the anchor chair, all criticism of whether she is a "tough enough" journalist aside. I must say, though, that I was intrigued with the idea of Gwen Ifill filling the CBS Evening News chair. Now *that* would be something to challenge stereotypes about women and serious journalism.

It's interesting that the way the website domain names are set up, it's difficult to directly compare, on Alexa, the visitors to the CBS evening news website and, say, the NBC evening news website.

September 08, 2006

Another semester of students begin a blogging experiment

Yesterday, Jeremy Smith gave a fabulous presentation on blogging using the Blog@Case system to interested students in MGMT 250 and 251 this fall. He discussed why it is useful for professionals to maintain a blog, explaining the merits of controlling one's online brand. He also walked through how to start up a blog on the Blog@Case system, how to categorize or tag a blog entry, and how to manage comment spam. Many thanks to Jeremy for a well-organized, crisp, and informative presentation!

If any of my readers are interested in following the MGMT 250 students' blog entries, here's a link that will aggregate all entries that are tagged "MGMT250" (note the lack of space in that tag): topic=MGMT250

Here is the equivalent link for students in MGMT 251: topic=MGMT251. This fall, students in 251 will be starting topical blogs, in pairs or trios... the assignment has been modified slightly, so that there will be more than one student contributing on the same approved topic. I hope that the added number of entries on the same topic will help students find ways to draw traffic to their blogs. I will post later in the semester introducing the topic of each of those focused blogs, once they have an initial effort at relevant entries under their belts.

If you are curious about why I encourage my students to learn how to blog, you might be interested in reading this entry of mine from about one year ago.

September 06, 2006

the evening news

I do remember watching Walter Cronkite on the evening news as a child. I think I also watched Dan Rather for a while, and Tom Brokaw -- but of course, right about at the age when I would have started to pay more attention to current events, I moved to Switzerland, so I was removed from the high-stakes world of the American news media. That was in 1982.

Even after I moved back to the US in 1987, I don't remember often sitting down to watch the evening news. Certainly, I didn't do so once I started graduate school and got married, in 1993. Well before my daughter was born, my husband and I were accustomed to getting our news primarily via NPR during our commutes, and to eating dinner between 6:30 and 7, with the tv off so we could reconnect at the end of our workdays.

Once we became parents, in 2001, we didn't want our daughter exposed to the ugliest of the bad news in the world via video, so we made a special effort not to watch news shows while she was awake. Occasionally, I had time to catch the Today show at the top of the news hour at 7 am, when Katie Couric or Matt Lauer would send their viewers over to Ann Curry's desk for 5 minutes of headlines (or maybe it's only 2 minutes?) Sometimes I watched Katie and Matt for a few more minutes, but typically, I had to keep moving in order to get through my morning routines and out the door by 8:30 or 9.

When I heard that Couric was jumping from NBC to CBS, and from morning to evening news, I was intrigued. Would she be given a chance to reshape the evening news anchor role to fit her personal style? I created an account on CBSNews a few days ago, because I wanted to see how the network was preparing for Ms. Couric's official debut as news anchor for the 6:30 national news. Unfortunately, I didn't remember to set up the Tivo to record the debut show, thinking I'd be able to watch it live... but when I asked my daughter to change the channel, and she saw that I wanted to watch a news show, she asked why. I noted that the reporter in charge of the show was a woman, and she said, "So what? I want to watch Animal Planet."

(Hurray for the world she will grow up in, where it is not unusual to see women in positions of influence on television. May that be even more the truth by the time she begins making choices about what to pursue for her first career.)

So, I ran upstairs and turned on the second tv, and Tivo'ed the show.

Continue reading "the evening news"