By: Jorge Cespedes, Guest Writer
I decided to stay at the home of one my childhood friends in New Jersey while I attended the Global Brand Management Winterim in New York last January. So I had to commute two and a half hours a day on average. But the effort was really worth it. I spent the most rewarding moments learning marketing from the best exemplars in the global setting. How another experience can surpass the effectiveness of this academic experience for a marketer? This year, while the World Business Forum NYC has Richard Branson or Issac Isaacson, for instance, we had Richard Allison (President of Domino´s Pizza) and Beth Comstrock (GE´s CMO.) While the first venue of is The David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center at Columbus Avenue and 63rd Street in Manhattan, we were at the American Marketing Association in the heart of Times Square.
Professor Ettenson received the compliments of the speakers. They said, “I am a big fan of Professor Ettenson,” for instance. And there are reasons to believe in that. He articulates the knowledge shared with the mastery of someone who has many years of experience and knows how to separate the meat from the bone, and motivates the participation of a class full of bright minds.
We had the chance to listen to the best in the world, from big multinationals such as Coca Cola and Unilever, to traditional and iconic brands that maybe nobody has heard about before. We had consultants from Boston or New York who create the most advance concepts to help global companies to strengthen one of their most important assets: their brands. We visited the vanguard of marketing in the Big Apple, companies that are writing the future by using the most advanced technology to understand consumers´ behavior and is the state-of-the-art on management by building offices with new concepts about what is a great place to work.
What about the city? It is as good is gets, not only to visit its main attractions but also for sightseeing and night life, a perfect excuse to participate on the First Tuesday NYC in a fancy bar. Conveniently, the group assignment is based on a retail company which is located in the surroundings of Times Square, nothing more accurate to apply immediately what you learn in the Winterim.
This experience allowed me to meet Jim Elms, the CEO of Initiative, one of the two marketing agencies we visited that manages a $15 Billion budget that sum up all their clients’ marketing investments, where, by the way, we put in action its tactics to create value for global brands in a four-hour, impressive workshop. He was so humble that he said to us, “Please, think of our company when you guys finish your MBA.” And he was so humble that he sent me a message to my email saying thank you for being here. Humility, as well as passion, were the common factors of every single speaker of the Global Brand Management Winterim NYC.