The Long Haul of Marketing

by Nicole Sim, MBA ‘14

Nicole Sim, MBA ‘14

In an attempt to shape myself into an adept marketer, I continuously search for knowledge. Building on core marketing courses, Johnson offers a spectrum of electives including E-Commerce, Digital Marketing and Disruptive Technologies that take those fundamental principles of marketing and dramatically magnify them. Coupled with the ecosystem of startups and technologies that I have been exposed to as a Cornell student, the result of this journey is to be in constant awe of the marketing landscape.

From a personal perspective, the world of direct marketing placed an emphasis on audience reach and product superiority but eventually this method took a backseat as companies strive to develop a “relationship” with customers. An era of relationship and services marketing emerged and it became crucial that products not only serve a primary need but also satisfy secondary desires that customers possess, be it convenience or treating the customer as an individual, or simply service with a smile. As if this wasn’t complicated enough, the massive explosion of data and rapid advances in technology added multiple levels of complexity. The materialization of customer data has revealed to companies numerous niche segments that encompass immense opportunities, but also layers of complexities. Technology advances led to the revolution of marketing that now comprises retargeted digital advertising, real-time bidding and feeding of display ads, mobile device geo-fencing to drive purchases in-store, social media influence, a consistent omni-channel presence, and countless other activities. A successful marketer in today’s complex marketing landscape has to grasp all of the above, without compromising on the core principles of traditional marketing.

Johnson has opened my eyes to the vast and complex world of marketing while also demonstrating the significance of a solid foundation, upon which agility and adaptability is key in succeeding as a marketer. Clearly, being a marketer is for the long haul, which comes with a lifetime of learning and is probably not suited for the faint-hearted.