Col­leges team up to of­fer dig­i­tal strat­egy

Gath­er­ing ex­plores ways to use me­dia to op­ti­mize per­for­mance in US, China mar­kets

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICA - By PAUL WELITZKIN in New York paulwelitzkin@chi­nadai­

As the dig­i­tal era rewrites the rules of com­pe­ti­tion and forces com­pa­nies to re­think their mar­ket­ing and brand­ing strate­gies, two of the lead­ing col­leges in the US and China teamed up on a pro­gram to deal with the changes.

Global Brand­ing in the Dig­i­tal Era is the ti­tle of the pro­gram from Yale Univer­sity and the Che­ung Kong Grad­u­ate School of Busi­ness (CKGSB) held Monday through Fri­day this week on the Yale cam­pus and in New York City.

Dig­i­tal refers to so­cial me­dia and mo­bile chan­nels, the uti­liza­tion of big data and cus­tomer re­la­tion­ship man­age­ment (CRM) tools, and e-com­merce.

“We want to demon­strate how US com­pa­nies that want to en­ter China and Chi­nese com­pa­nies that want to come to the US can use a dig­i­tal strat­egy to build a global brand,” Bao­hong Sun, pro­fes­sor and as­so­ciate dean of global pro­grams at CKGSB, said in an in­ter­view.

“How con­sumers learn about prod­ucts and ser­vices and how they shop has pro­found im­pli­ca­tions for all types of busi­nesses. How­ever, this does not mean that con­sumers learn, re­act or re­spond in sim­i­lar ways,” said Ravi Dhar, a pro­fes­sor and di­rec­tor of the cen­ter for Cus­tomer In­sights at Yale, in an email.

“China and the US are the lead­ing re­gions of the world where com­pa­nies have to learn to deal with rapid changes in con­sumer be­hav­ior. By part­ner­ing with CKGSB, we are able to highlight case stud­ies from the US and China to help man­agers learn the best prac­tices,” Dhar said.

So­cial me­dia, mo­bile chan­nels and e-com­merce are rel­a­tively young tools, but they have be­come an essen­tial ele­ment of any com­pany with global am­bi­tions.

“While IT (in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy) peo­ple have been mak­ing the big­gest break­throughs, big­ger brands are shift­ing more fo­cus to a dig­i­tal strat­egy,” Sun said.

Dig­i­tal has be­come a dis­rup­tive force in mar­ket­ing in which com­pa­nies, par­tic­u­larly those that have been slow to rec­og­nize the change, risk los­ing sub­stan­tial mar­ket share.

“Con­sumers around the world are spend­ing more time on­line be­fore mak­ing pur­chase de­ci­sions,” noted Sun. “Com­pa­nies need to have a plan to en­gage those con­sumers.”

“Dig­i­tal for most com­pa­nies is no longer a sep­a­rate de­part­ment, as it is in­te­grated into the main func­tions, whether it is ad­ver­tis­ing, cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence and re­tail. Com­pa­nies who can man­age the or­ga­ni­za­tional chal­lenges of in­te­grat­ing dig­i­tal will suc­ceed in the new era,” Dhar said.

In the pro­gram, par­tic­i­pants are shown how to lever­age so­cial me­dia and mo­bile chan­nels across dif­fer­ent ge­ogra­phies.

Al­though larger com­pa­nies may have more re­sources to de­vote to a dig­i­tal strat­egy, Sun said smaller firms can ben­e­fit as well.

“Dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy en­ables smaller com­pa­nies to be­come suc­cess­ful in a short pe­riod of time,” she said.


Par­tic­i­pants at Global Brand­ing in the Dig­i­tal Era, a pro­gram pre­sented jointly by Che­ung Kong Grad­u­ate School of Busi­ness (CKGSB), the Yale School of Man­age­ment, with WPP, pose for a group photo with fac­ulty mem­bers. The one-week in­ten­sive train­ing pro­gram be­tween Oct 17-21 has brought to­gether mar­ket­ing ex­ec­u­tives and other C-suite ex­ec­u­tives mainly from China and the US to fo­cus on the the­o­ries and tools of dig­i­tal brand­ing avail­able in today’s dig­i­tal age. Fac­ulty mem­bers in­clude Pro­fes­sor Ravi Dhar (sixth from right, sec­ond row), di­rec­tor of the Cen­ter for Cus­tomer In­sights at Yale Univer­sity; Pro­fes­sor Bao­hong Sun (sixth from right, first row), dean of Global Pro­grams, CKGSB; David Roth (sev­enth from right, sec­ond row), CEO of The Store, the WPP Global Re­tail Prac­tice for Europe, the Mid­dle East, Africa and Asia; Doreen Wang (sec­ond from right, first row), global head of BrandZ™; Mill­ward Brown; Mary Wadsworth Darby (sixth from left, first row), chief rep­re­sen­ta­tive, CKGSB Amer­i­cas; and other es­tab­lished pro­fes­sors and in­dus­try lead­ers. Par­tic­i­pants rep­re­sent in­dus­tries from finance and in­vest­ment, heath care, real es­tate, fash­ion, ad­ver­tis­ing & mar­ket­ing, as well as me­dia and pub­lish­ing.


The 2016 CKGSB Global Brand­ing par­tic­i­pants and fac­ulty mem­bers pose for a photo at the Google New York of­fice.


Ed­ward P. Evans Hall, the home of the Yale School of Man­age­ment.

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