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Harvard Business School Working Knowledge, February 14, 2011, “Clay Christensen’s Milkshake Marketing” by Carmen Nobel CRITIQUE:
“Clay Christensen’s Milkshake Marketing” is about Market Segmentation. Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business School professor, argues that the reason why most newly-launched products fail is that their creators are using an ineffective market segmentation mechanism. They should stop thinking of products as something customers buy, but rather, something customers “hire” to do a certain job. The problem, in part, is that most companies segment their markets according to product category or customer demographics, neither of which is very effective. Products are more likely to succeed if companies segment their markets according to "jobs-to-be-done"--addressing the basic problem a customer is facing and providing a product that can deliver the necessary result. Each job has functional, emotional, and social dimensions. Companies can also apply the jobs-to-be-done approach to product branding. A "purpose brand" clearly reflects the job that a product does. REACTION:

The article reminds people that it’s all about the user (customer); not the data, the technology, or the endless exercises of marketing segmentation. Understanding market segmentation can be a useful strategy in business to deliver its products. With application of marketing techniques to a specific product line (branding) for the advancement of consumer choice, market segmentation often proves to deliver the best possible value of money spent in exchange of the durability, content or life span of product in terms of its quality and nature. “Clay Christensen’s Milkshake Marketing” also teaches us to dig deep for insights from our customers (and non-customers) and use those insights to build better, more relevant, more resonant, marketing programs. APPLICATION:

The “jobs-to-be-done” concept can be of great help to managers and companies if followed right. Taking IKEA as an...
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