What are SMART Goals and How Do You Use a SWOT?

What are SMART Goals and How Do You Use a SWOT?

These are two of my favorite topics to teach at the front-end of a marketing course. There is nothing terribly complex about either topic, but I love to see the lightbulbs go off when students are asked to apply these concepts within group cases and individual marketing papers. After teaching marketing for over ten years, my hope is that students think back to lessons like these when a sales manager or executive asks for SMART Goals or for them to be part of a strategic development team. I have seen plenty of instances in my experience where these have been used incorrectly or not at all. I will never forget when a colleague asked if we could change the “Weaknesses” section in a SWOT to “Concerns” instead. Nope! I refused to complete a SCOT Analysis ;  ) I would like to start describing the TOWS Grid in more detail. It’s a little beyond this course, but I think it helps put the SWOT Grid into...
Marketing Environment vs. Marketing Mix

Marketing Environment vs. Marketing Mix

I have fallen behind in recording my mini lectures for my online sections of Principles of Marketing which means I need to crank a few out over the weekend. I wasn’t sure if I was going to record and produce this topic, but enough students have had questions about the marketing environment in the past that I thought it would be a good idea. This is nothing revolutionary on its own, but it should create a nice foundation for my next mini lecture on SWOT analysis as nearly all of the external opportunities and threats are part of the marketing environment. This was also a good opportunity to begin discussing the marketing mix. I am becoming a little more efficient in the recording and producing process and have hopefully become slightly more natural and less stiff in front of the camera. I am still enjoying the experience. We’ll see how I feel in...
Features, Advantages, and Benefits. Why do we care about FABS?

Features, Advantages, and Benefits. Why do we care about FABS?

On the first day or evening of one of my seated sections of Principles of Marketing I typically bring up and discuss the concept of Features, Advantages, and Benefits (FABS) while introducing the concept of the marketing mix. I have always felt that it was a straight-forward way to get students to begin thinking about products as more than just a bundle of features. I always wish I would have had more of this mindset when I began my first job is sales. However, for how much I have discussed this short topic in class, it took much longer to get it on video than I thought it would. As I watch it back I’m still not 100% happy with it, but there will be plenty of opportunity to make tweaks and adjustments in the future. In addition, I am predicting that forcing myself to create these videos should also have a reciprocal benefit to my face-to-face...
Prenzlow 2014 Memories and 2015 Predictions

Prenzlow 2014 Memories and 2015 Predictions

I can’t express how much I appreciate my family for putting up with requests like this one. I just had to get a record of a couple of our favorite family memories from 2014 and what we were looking forward to the most in 2015. We did not share our answers with one another before getting in front of the camera, but I was not too surprised at the consistency of our answers. The list of questions we all answered included: What was your best memory from 2014? What are you looking forward to the most in 2015? What is one prediction you would make for the upcoming year? I probably could have included a question about “the worst part of 2014,” but I really didn’t want to get into the details about flying off the side of a cliff again. However, nine months after the crash thoughts still creep in, but it just makes the good times that much better. Relatively speaking it was a great year, but I expect bigger and better things in 2015 for the...
Who was Your Best Friend When You Were Nine?

Who was Your Best Friend When You Were Nine?

Do you remember who your best friend was when you were nine? It may have been a friend you had for years or possibly someone you knew for a very short time, but if you were anything like me that bond was special. Times change and people are very different, but this relationship probably existed before the opposite sex entered the picture, prior to massive amounts of peer pressure, and in advance of needing to adapt to specific social roles. I would give anything to have a video of me and Carl Nienow at that age being just as silly and spontaneous as Koen and Brody in this short clip. Just as these two spent the night playing Mine Craft on their tablets and role-playing characters from Ninjago, Carl and I would crank the soundtrack to Footloose as we acted out Transformer battles before playing the Atari 2600 long into the night. I love watching the complete free spirt attitudes of this age as I know too well that it can be very short lived. If Koen continues to mirror his dad in this area, middle school and high school will bring some new challenges, but new joys as well. I was testing my new Neewer 216 LED light on top of my Canon Mark III and I got plenty wrong in this video. That camera angle was a little low, the light was a little hot, and the color was pretty awful, but after a few tweaks later in the weekend I am starting to get the hang of this light. I’m just glad Koen is still at an...

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