Simon’s Annual NYC region Corporate Tour Event

By: Anthony Garrison, ’13 MBA

Q: What happens when you combine a 108-time Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper company, the world’s third largest consumer goods company, the world’s second largest pharmaceutical company in sales, two leading companies in digital marketing and ROI measurement, and the most famous domestic PSA/non-profit agency into one tour?

A: A typical experience at the Simon School of Business with the Simon Marketing Association (SMA) Corporate Tour event held annually in the NYC region.

Each year, SMA travels to the NYC area with 20-25 students to visit successful companies championing innovation and smart marketing strategies.  Several of these companies recruit talent from Simon, and others are committed to the excellence in education Simon espouses.  Many Simon students will go on to be brand managers at these and other leading CPG, OTC, and service companies.  The tour is designed to broaden students’ exposure to marketing in various industries and across multiple functions.  And this year we added the Ad Council and AT&T AdWorks to our itinerary, increasing the impact of the tour for all those involved.

On Day 1 of the trip, students sat down with top executives at The New York Times in a boardroom overlooking Manhattan to discuss the print industry in the 21st century.  After exploring the integral relationship between 161 years of brand equity development and digital technologies for their corporate strategy moving forward, students heading uptown to AT&T AdWorks.  Following a lab tour, students engaged with AT&T employees on topics ranging from cross-platform marketing strategies to Big Data.

Day 1 was concluded with a visit to two companies striving for high-impact campaigns, the Ad Council and the Undertone Network.  Both have launched successful campaigns ranging from Smokey the Bear and Feed the Pig to COVERGIRL Flipstick and Ford F-150 trucks.  Students explored the nature of campaign building and digital marketing strategies in an increasingly congested advertising world.

Day 2 began with a kitchen tour at Unilever, followed by presentations and panel discussions on current and recent campaigns for product lines like Axe and Caress.  After maneuvering through integrated marketing strategies and data-driven decision making, students enjoyed an ice-cream social with multiple brand managers from Unilever.

Day 2 concluded with a hands-on strategy session at Novartis, where innovation continues to be a driving force for products and marketing strategies.  While working with current over-the-counter products, students engaged with brand managers and agency representatives to pitch ideas for product development, audience segmentation, and more.

The two days flew by, presenting students with a lot of useful information and tactical knowledge to use in their coursework and career search.  Next year’s tour is likely to be just as successful.  We look forward to seeing you there!

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