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Marketing: Helpful or Hurtful?

March 3, 2004

One of Bentley's greatest strengths is the avenue in which the real world meets the classroom. Giving students the chance to balance theory with practice when considering and discovering the "big picture," the Center for Marketing Technology (CMT) has continued that intersection this spring with its Executive Speaker Series.

"The purpose of the series is to bring in industry leaders to share their insight and experiences with students, faculty and staff here," said CMT Director Abdi Eshghi.

Marketing Productivity

The Series kicked off on March 1 with David Edelman, Executive Vice President for Digitas. His talk, "Marketing Productivity: The New Challenges Facing Chief Marketing Officers,"detailed Digitas' efforts to reconnect with consumers.

"Consumers are shutting out marketing and advertising like never before. Over 95% who see any kind of marketing see it as completely irrelevant. We should be connecting with consumers in a more meaningful way," said Edelman. "Instead of the right message at the right place, it's any message, any time, to whoever can receive it."

While Edelman noted that marketing should not be a "battle between consumers and marketers," he discussed a Customer Behavior and Purchase Funnel and the Four Principles of Marketing Productivity:

  • Manage purchase funnel as an integrated system
  • Use the right metrics to drive alignment
  • Quality = Relevance
  • Test and learn for continuous improvement

He also came away from his campus visit impressed with Bentley's integration of IT into the business curriculum.

"I realized that you have an amazing array of tools at your disposal. Think about those tools in bigger campaigns and objectives," he said. "What you're trying to create in the end is a marketing productivity engine."

"Spam" vs. "Legitimate" Email Marketing

On March 4, the CMT welcomed John Schwarz, President and Chief Operating Officer at Symantec Corporation. His speech, "Spam vs. Legitimate Email Marketing: Can Technology Help Solve the Problem?" tackled the current problems, future trends and directions of Internet marketing and security.

"There are different facets to these concepts," he said. "While you think of security as protecting your infrastructure from an attack, "spam" is more of an undesirable interaction with your computer and receiving communication that you don't wish to receive."

According to Schwarz, nearly 60% of all current email traffic is spam."But what might be spam to me might not be to you," he added. Schwarz also touched on security, and the dilemma of how much of the interaction between an owner and his/her computer can be kept private.

"There are over 800 million computers in use right now," he said. "There have been 900 million attempts of either virus infection or hacker attacks. Ninety-two percent of U.S. businesses were hacked last year. The $12.5 billion dollars spent in recovery costs are astounding."

In regards to privacy, entities ranging from credit card to cell phone companies collect personal information, so how much of that is truly kept private?

"Chances are our personal data is potentially floating around somewhere. For most of us, there is no such thing as privacy anymore. It does not exist," said Schwarz.

The Executive Speaker Series continues on Wednesday March 31, as David Fowler, Vice President of Marketing for Groove Networks discusses "Gorilla Marketing in a Market of 800-pound Gorillas."

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit

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