2017 Presentation Topics

MarketPoint principals Laura Pasternak and Michael Zimmerman speak regularly at industry conferences and events, as well as regional colleges and universities. Please feel free to contact us to arrange a speaking engagement. Our current list of available presentations includes:

Branding: The Whole Picture – This presentation provides a window into the complex concept of Brand, explaining why organizations shift brand strategies and how they go astray in the process. It continues with an 8-step process to organizational (re)branding, and concludes with an explanation of MarketPoint’s Three Guiding Principles and the new cultural imperative. Ideal for undergraduates and local entrepreneurs. (50 minutes, plus Q&A)

Six-Cylinder Marketing – This presentation, designed exclusively for Chief Executive Officers, provides a comprehensive overview of the six competencies organizations should expect from their marketing departments. All participants receive hand-outs, including a checklist of detailed questions to ask their senior marketing executive (COM/VPM) and a scoring mechanism to help them determine their organizational preparedness for effective marketing. Ideal for mid-sized and larger businesses, colleges and universities, and nonprofit organizations. (90 minutes, plus Q&A)

Guerrilla Marketing – Originally developed for the Maryland Council of Community College Public Relations Officers, this presentation covers both the historical perspective on guerrilla marketing as well as several current definitions. Attendees will review and discuss more than two dozen photos and videos that exemplify good guerrilla marketing, both on a limited budget and on a seemingly unlimited budget. They will also receive a list of criteria which should be met by effective guerrilla marketing, and a list of appropriate tools and venues. The session concludes with a small group workshop where participants are asked to develop a simple guerrilla campaign for an assigned marketing challenge. Appropriate for undergraduates or graduate students. (50 minutes, plus Q&A)

Blue Ocean Strategy – Designed for both undergraduate and graduate students, this introduction to Blue Ocean Strategy explains the underlying logic of Kim and Mauborgne’s groundbreaking theory and presents several examples of Blue Oceans that launched new industries or simply extended existing ones. It also offers two examples of local companies who successfully entered Blue Oceans and built multi-million-dollar global icons. (50 minutes, plus Q&A)

Challenger Brands – Working from the framework presented by Adam Morgan in his seminal book Eating the Big Fish, this presentation walks through the “8 Credos” of Challenger Brands, revealing the secret to successfully challenging the market leader. It concludes with an exercise in which the class takes on a consumer icon brand, building a strategy for competition and mindshare dominance. We recommend against having students read the book in advance of the class, as this lecture is self-contained. (60 minutes)

Conducting Focus Groups – Originally developed for the Maryland Council of Community College Public Relations Officers, this presentation explains the advantages of in-person and online focus groups, as well as when not to use focus groups. Attendees cover a step-by-step process for planning and executing focus groups by either modality and gain perspective on current best practices, including a discussion of social media as a possible modality. Perfect for undergraduates or as an introduction for non-marketing graduate students. (50 minutes, plus Q&A)

SWOT Analysis: an Introduction (undergraduate level only) – Nothing is more fundamental to situation analysis than SWOT. This presentation introduces the beginner to the SWOT process, and ends with a series of 5-minute group exercises that apply the SWOT process to well-known consumer brands. Perfect as an undergraduate intro to SWOT, or for first-time entrepreneurs. Caution: This presentation is very rudimentary and should not be used if the group has already covered the basics of SWOT. (50 minutes, plus Q&A)

Beyond SWOT (undergraduate level only) – For those who are already familiar with the SWOT process, this presentation approaches situation analysis from four additional perspectives, covering Esty and Winston’s AUDIO Analysis, Porter’s Five Forces (“5 Cs”), and PEST (or “pestle”) Analysis. By placing the options in graphical relation to one another, it helps the participant understand the options’ differences as well as when each should be applied. Covering issues ranging from the environment to social buzz, it challenges participants to consider all of the factors that affect business. Perfect for undergraduates or as an introduction for graduate students outside of the business majors. (50 minutes, plus Q&A)

Challenges of the Independent Consultant – This personal perspective draws on the real-world experiences of MarketPoint’s principals, exploring 10 issues that would-be consultants should consider before striking out on their own. From time management to ethics, and from supply chain management to brand and strategy decisions, participants will be exposed to the issues that make or break many first-time entrepreneurs. Designed for writers, designers, and young strategists considering life as an entrepreneur. (50 minutes, plus Q&A)

Writing for the Web (undergraduate level only) – This presentation is intended to expose the young writer to the unique challenges of the web audience. The principles covered apply equally well to writing website copy, or articles or blogs. The presentation begins with five universal truths of web copywriting and moves through a series of tips intended to improve the writer’s focus and style. (50 minutes, plus Q&A)

SPIN® Selling – This one-hour session, covering Neil Rackham’s classic SPIN selling model, provides a comprehensive overview appropriate for the novice salesperson or the most experienced sales rep. The SPIN Selling model (used by more than half of the Fortune 500) is based on solid research spanning more than 35,000 sales calls. It provides a simple but effective behavioral model applicable to any high-value sales situation. This session is facilitated by a veteran salesperson, who was among the first group of sales professionals to receive SPIN training (1982), and who has been using it ever since. We recommend against having students study the SPIN Selling process in advance of the class, as this lecture is self-contained. (120 minutes, plus Q&A)

*SPIN® is a trademark of Huthwaite, Inc.