Global Marketing: Building Brand Engagement While Leveraging Customer Understanding

Thank you to Subramaniam Palghat Balasubramanian, Director of Corporate Outreach - GMARK, for contributing this post. 

It was to my great pleasure to attend the Global Marketing Event presented by the Graduate Marketing Associations from UIC Liautaud, DePaul Kellstadt, and Loyola Quinlan. It was a first of its kind event. 

The event commenced at the very busy downtown campus of DePaul at 9AM with networking and a light breakfast. This was followed by the first keynote speaker Angela Johnson, Worldwide Managing Director at Ogilvy. Angela expressed really important insights on the topic, “Don’t give your customers what they need: Give them what they want,” using illustrative examples of advertising and campaign strategies used today.  It was a very informative talk with the examples providing a vivid picture  with brands such as Coca-Cola, British Airways and DuPont being standout examples.

This was followed by my favorite part of the day, the panel discussion on, “The Art of Global Branding.” The panel was composed 

of our own Professor Benet DeBerry-Spence, Professor Geraldine Henderson of Loyola, and Professsor Mark Skroch of DePaul. The panel was expertly moderated by Professor Zafar Iqbal of DePaul. It was an extremely engaging discussion on how branding and engagement are two sides of the same coin in today’s very global day and age. Additionally, the panel answered many questions regarding the use of social media for community building. Professor DeBerry-Spence was the stand-out on the panel with her valuable contributions and insights on the emerging African markets, which she gained through her many years of engaged research there.

The final speaker of the day was Ignacio Sola, Founder of S/A Chicago, on “Myths of thinking and acting globally.” He discussed important aspects to be considered when building a global team and busted some myths that stakeholders invariably consider when doing so. He explained in lucid terms the intricacies of working on projects across the globe, the difficulties faced by global teams, and some really intuitive ways to overcome them. He was also able to throw light on some finer points of brand messaging across geographies and how replicating a great campaign from one country in another could easily spell disaster even for the most experienced marketing teams.

Following the end of the event, we had the opportunity to interact with keynote speakers, panelists, and of-course peers from DePaul and Loyola during lunch. All in all it was a great morning spent and I encourage the GMARK team to organize many such events during the course of the coming semesters.