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Marketing is critical for organic growth of a business and its central role is in creating, communicating, capturing and sustaining value for an organization. Marketing helps a firm in creating value by better understanding the needs of its customers and providing them with innovative products and services. This value is communicated through a variety of channels as well as through the firm's branding strategy. Effective management of customers and pricing allows the firm to capture part of the value it has created. Finally, by building an effective customer-centric organization a firm attempts to sustain value over time.

Our faculty addresses a broad array of topics in all of these areas. Our work attempts to get a better understanding of how consumers use information and make choices and how these choices affect the firm's strategy for new product development, customer relationship management, branding and other marketing efforts. We examine issues related to branding, business marketing, global marketing, distribution channels, pricing, direct and interactive marketing, sales management and return on marketing investment. Some of our faculty specializes in specific industries such as retailing, agribusiness, social enterprise, media, arts and entertainment.

There are several new developments in marketing that offer opportunities for us to make important contributions in the future. The current economic crisis is changing consumers' current and future purchase and consumption patterns. Search engines have changed the way consumers obtain information and make decisions and they are also dramatically changing the advertising industry. Social networks and user generated content have opened a new way for consumers to engage with each other as well as with brands and companies. There are significant changes in the attitudes of consumers and companies about social issues. Consumer preferences and choice of products are increasingly influenced by social factors. Companies are recognizing that there is a large market at the "bottom of the pyramid" and marketing to these consumers may require a new framework. These and related developments provide great opportunities for the marketing faculty to make a significant impact in the future.

eToro: Building the World’s Largest Social Trading Network

By: Elie Ofek and Danielle Golan

  • January 2021 |
  • Case |
  • Faculty Research

Social trading platform eToro was preparing for the launch of its expanded offering in the U.S. The company faced critical decisions regarding product-market fit, go-to-market strategy, positioning and monetization. Moreover, it faced the challenge of how best to make its social features relevant to U.S. consumers. eToro was founded in Israel in 2007, with a mission to democratize investing. The cofounders, the Assia brothers, were determined to open the global markets for everyone to trade and invest in a simple and transparent way. By 2020, eToro’s customers in most countries were able to trade multiple assets, and in most territories the company offered zero commission stock trading. The vast majority of its users shared their investment strategy, and others in the community could review and even copy their portfolio with a single click. A subset of users were able to garner a large following and become “investment celebrities,” enjoying fame and often fortune. Figuring out the best path forward with respect to the U.S. launch was complicated by shifts in the competitive landscape, which had seen consolidation of large players in the U.S. market and the emergence of fintech firms that offered zero commission trading and appealed to millennials. The U.S. regulatory approval was a pivotal milestone in eToro’s evolution. But with a limited suite of products, a modest community and a market where zero-commission stock trading was already commonplace, the management team deliberated on what it would take to make inroads in the U.S. and what success could look like.

Ofek, Elie, and Danielle Golan. "eToro: Building the World’s Largest Social Trading Network." Harvard Business School Case 521-057, January 2021.

Serum Institute of India (SII) : Racing to Save Lives During a Pandemic

By: Rohit Deshpandé, Anjali Raina and Rachna Chawla

  • January 2021 |
  • Case |
  • Faculty Research

The CEO of Serum Institute of India (SII), a $12.8 billion Indian Family business is faced with a risky choice between principles and profit. SII is the largest manufacturer of vaccines in the world and Adar Poonawalla, the CEO and son of the founder has to decide how to temper his responsibility to meet the world's need for an affordable, efficacious and safe COVID-19 vaccine with his need to maintain profitability.

Keywords: India; Business Ethics; Healthcare; Family Business; Leadership; Corporate Accountability; Fairness; Growth And Development Strategy; Family Business; Health Industry; India; South Asia

Deshpandé, Rohit, Anjali Raina, and Rachna Chawla. "Serum Institute of India (SII) : Racing to Save Lives During a Pandemic." Harvard Business School Case 521-028, January 2021.

Amazon Shopper Panel: Paying Customers for Their Data

By: Eva Ascarza and Ayelet Israeli

  • January 2021 |
  • Case |
  • Faculty Research

This case introduces a new Amazon program that has consumers upload their receipts from transactions outside of Amazon, in exchange for money. Through the discussion, the case aims to exlpore issues in customers’ privacy in the digital age, the value of customers’ own data, and the change in regulations aimed to protect consumers that move companies from using third party data to first party data. In addition, the case offers an opportunity to discuss the power dynmaics of online giants such as Amazon, Google, and Facebook.

Keywords: Data Analytics; Data Privacy; Data Management; Marketing; "marketing Analytics"; Marketing Communication; Marketing Research; Data-driven Management; E-commerce; E-commerce Strategy; Ethical Decision Making; Customer Relationship Management; Crm; Consumer Protection; Targeted Advertising; Targeted Policies; Data Ownership; Marketing; Retail Industry; Technology Industry; United States

Ascarza, Eva, and Ayelet Israeli. "Amazon Shopper Panel: Paying Customers for Their Data." Harvard Business School Case 521-058, January 2021.

Arçelik: From a Dealer Network to an Omnichannel Experience

By: Ayelet Israeli and Fares Khrais

  • January 2021 |
  • Case |
  • Faculty Research

Arçelik Turkey, the country’s market leader in household appliances, was at an omnichannel crossroads in January 2020. Arçelik was a B2B player utilizing a dealership network with an umbrella of brands and had one of the largest brick-and-mortar store networks in Turkey. In 2015, Arçelik, which was focused on offline sales, realized that online demand was growing and they were behind the competition, which was intensified due to the entry of global household appliances brands and online marketplaces to Turkey. So, they decided on a company-wide omnichannel transformation scheduled to go-live by 2020. They faced resistance from both dealers and employees. While Arçelik tried to gain the dealers’ trust and buy-in, they experimented with one of their smaller brands on online marketplaces to learn more about e-commerce. In early 2020, Arçelik felt the squeeze as pressure mounted from the growing presence of marketplaces and online demand. They needed to find a way to cater to the online demand quickly while keeping their established partners happy.

Keywords: Digital Transformation; Digital Marketing; Disruption; Bricks And Mortar; Franchise Management; Franchising; Dealer Network; Dealers; Sales; B2b; B2b2c; Tradition; Culture Change; Cultural Adaptation; Omnichannel; Omnichannel Retail; Omni-channel; Omnichannel Retailing; Sales Channels; Sales Channel Development; Channel Management; Channels Of Distribution; Marketplace; Consumer Behavior; Conflict Management; Platforms; Collaboration; Partners And Partnerships; Marketing Strategy; Online Channel; Online Data; Online Sales; Online Shopping; Online; Retail; Retailing; Disruption; Transformation; Franchise Ownership; Change Management; Partners And Partnerships; Consumer Behavior; Online Technology; Marketing Strategy; Conflict And Resolution; Conflict Management; Electronics Industry; Retail Industry; Consumer Products Industry; Turkey

Israeli, Ayelet, and Fares Khrais. "Arçelik: From a Dealer Network to an Omnichannel Experience." Harvard Business School Case 521-067, January 2021.

Pearson: Efficacy 2.0

By: Elie Ofek, Marco Bertini, Oded Koenigsberg and James Weber

  • January 2021 |
  • Case |
  • Faculty Research

Pearson, that billed itself as the "world's learning company," faced a host of critical decisions in mid-2020. Several years prior, it had embarked on a new path that put the learner at the heart of the business and committed to a new strategic orientation. The new approach, under the heading of "efficacy," was meant to ensure that products and services were developed with measurable outcomes that mattered to learners in mind; and such offerings would further be taken to market with an emphasis on touting their efficacy credentials. While several efficacy reports had been produced on existing products to hone the framework, 2020 marked the first year Pearson launched a new product (the AIDA Calculus app) with efficacy in mind from the get go. As CEO John Fallon, the main architect behind efficacy, neared the end of his tenure at Pearson, he wanted to chart the next phase of the efficacy journey. In particular, should the company develop all its products and services with efficacy as the guiding principle? Which learner outcomes made the most sense to focus on in the future? How could Pearson better communicate efficacy in the marketplace and get it to resonate with various stakeholders—particularly educators and learners? With competitors following suit and using efficacy in their own communications, often without the same rigor that Pearson had applied, how should Pearson combat such "copy-cat" behavior? Was efficacy a pillar upon which to build the Pearson brand? In short, should he and his successor bet the "Pearson farm" on efficacy?

Keywords: Education Industry

Ofek, Elie, Marco Bertini, Oded Koenigsberg, and James Weber. "Pearson: Efficacy 2.0." Harvard Business School Case 521-012, January 2021.

Tencent: Combining Technology and Culture

By: Elie Ofek, Billy Chan and Dawn H. Lau

  • December 2020 |
  • Case |
  • Faculty Research

Tencent, one of the largest Internet conglomerates in China, had a vision to become a "Tech+Culture" firm. With dominant market shares in online games and social networking, it had built a vast Internet-based entertainment ecosystem, and was now focused on cultural asset development. Specifically, the company had an opportunity to develop a media franchise that was rich in Chinese cultural elements and had the potential to turn into a blockbuster franchise comparable with Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe. Edward Cheng, the company’s vice president, had to decide how to launch the franchise – whether it should start with a game, movie, a streamed series, or something more innovative. He also had to consider how to promote Chinese culture and project the country’s image to a foreign audience.

Keywords: Marketing; China

Ofek, Elie, Billy Chan, and Dawn H. Lau. "Tencent: Combining Technology and Culture." Harvard Business School Case 521-066, December 2020.

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