SalesMark Summit 2015

The Center for Sales and Marketing Strategy Advisory Board member panel at the SalesMark Summit

The Center for Sales and Marketing Strategy Advisory Board member panel at the SalesMark Summit

The University of Washington’s Center for Sales and Marketing Strategy hosted the first ever Sales and Marketing Summit (SalesMark Summit) on September 17, 2015. With over 160 attendees, the conference was the largest the Center has hosted. Attendees represented companies ranging from small local businesses to global firms.

The SalesMark Summit was designed to give participants the latest insights in sales and marketing research, and help them apply it in a useful way to their respective companies. Presenters included business leaders from local companies, academics, and the Center for Sales and Marketing Strategy’s affiliated researchers.

Pam Greer, a board member of the Center for Sales and Marketing and the Vice President of Global Consumer and Partner Insights at Starbucks, spoke about “Looking Forward at Consumer Insights and Trends,” and the different methods Starbucks uses to learn more about their customers. Starbucks is motivated by a “love of customer,” the driving force in their marketing decisions.

Elissa Fink, CMO of Tableau Software, and Abhishek Borah, PhD, Social Media Researcher, Foster School of Business, gave a presentation on “Business and Academic Insights on the Effectiveness of Social Media.” Dr. Borah talked about his research in social media, and metrics firms can use to measure social media effectiveness, which complemented Elissa Fink’s demonstration of how to use Tableau Software and gain deeper insights from social media data sets.

Kelly Martin, PhD, Colorado State University and Rob Palmatier, PhD, Foster School of Business talked about “Managerial Insights from Recent Academic Research.” Dr. Kelly Martin gave a presentation about data breaches and privacy policies, illustrating the paradox of consumers putting a high priority on their privacy, but also doing little to protect their own information and giving it out to companies easily. She offered solutions for companies for how to best manage customer data and privacy concerns. To minimize the impact of a data breach, companies should be transparent about their loyalty programs and give customers opt-out options.

Dr. Palmatier spoke about the latest research in customer engagement strategies and loyalty programs. He gave the example of airline loyalty programs, which work using two different mechanisms: gratitude and positive status for those receiving the reward, and unfairness and negative status for bystanders. Companies must recognize that both these mechanisms are at work on any loyalty program and measure them to determine the effectiveness of a program. For example, when certain customers are given priority boarding, the bystander effects of unfairness and negative status are larger than the positive effects, making this aspect of a loyalty program relatively ineffective.

Finally, the Advisory Board members of the Center for Sales and Marketing Strategy held a panel and allowed the audience to ask them questions about the presentations or about any business problem. Board members include representative from Accenture, Alaska Airlines, Boeing, Esterline Corp, Microsoft, Nordstrom, Philips Healthcare, Premera Blue Cross, Starbucks, and Tableau.

The SalesMark Conference concluded with a networking reception held in Anthony’s Executive Forum.

Learn more about the Center for Sales and Marketing Strategy and its events here.

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