Chair of Strategy and Marketing

WHU Campus for Marketing welcomes almost 100 delegates

Annual conference has the theme "Relevance rocks".

On June 30, the Düsseldorf Campus of WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management hosted the 7th WHU-Campus for Marketing. The theme for this year’s conference, which is headed by Professor Dr. Martin Fassnacht, Chair of Marketing and Retail, was “Relevance rocks!” Marketing professionals, researchers, and students were among the nearly 100 participants.

Following introductory remarks by Professor Dr. Markus Rudolf, Dean of WHU, and Professor Dr. Fassnacht, Kussai El-Chichakli, Director of Marketing at Coca-Cola Erfrischungsgetränke GmbH, opened the Conference. He explained the history of the Coca-Cola marketing strategy on the basis of commercials dating back to the 1980s. As El-Chichakli pointed out, even at the time, Coca-Cola was emphasizing the brand’s links with the youth, and beginning in the early 1980s, it responded to the emerging calorie-conscious fitness movement with an innovative product: Coca-Cola Light was born. Marketing was directed at a female audience, with the brand closely linked with the Coca-Cola Light Man and the theme of fashion. 20 years later, when more and more men became interested in a low-calorie alternative to classic Coca-Cola, the clear positioning of Coca-Cola Light as a women’s product meant that this would not be in a position to appeal to male consumers. So it was decided to develop a similar product, but this time one that would be promoted as a man’s brand: Coke Zero. Television advertising of Coke Zero was specifically aimed at a male audience. The clips featured plenty of action, beautiful women and references to James Bond, among other things. After this international campaign had worked well, Coca-Cola decided to develop a strategy specific to the German market, with the goalkeeper of Germany’s national team, Manuel Neuer, in the starring role.

Roland Auschel, Chief Sales Officer and member of the Executive Board of the adidas Group, also took participants at the Campus for Marketing on a journey through time. After a brief overview of the company’s marketing strategy since its founding in the late 1940s, Auschel presented adidas current marketing strategy, which is focused on Generation Z: those under 18 years of age. adidas consulted youth trends in social networks, for instance, to develop and produce its Ultra Boost Uncaged sports shoe. The launch of the shoe was a great success: The 80,000 pairs produced sold out within eight minutes.

In his presentation, Andre Alpar, founder of AKM3 GmbH, informed conference-goers about new online marketing strategies. Following the presentations, an interactive plenary discussion moderated by Professor Fassnacht gave all participants, presenters and listeners alike, an opportunity to interact about the topics addressed. Following the open discussion, Ulrich Selzer, Global Sales Director at SEAT, spoke about the things that make a car brand relevant. To explain the SEAT marketing concept, he pointed out that a brand needs a home. That’s why SEAT advertising presents Barcelona as the home of the brand.

Dr. Frank Breitschwerdt – a WHU alumnus and former doctoral candidate under Professor Fassnacht and now Managing Director at CHECK24 – devoted his remarks to the most important marketing areas at CHECK24: TV, SEM (search-engine marketing), other online marketing, social media as well as mailings and notifications. Erik Friemuth, Group Chief Marketing Officer of the TUI Group, concluded the Conference with a presentation in which he explained how they had taken TUI, a slightly shopworn German brand, and turned it into an international brand that was attractive to young people.nagement.
The scientific and the management-oriented results of the various projects on market-oriented corporate management are communicated by CMM. Thereby they may facilitate true exchange.
Also, teaching at WHU incorporates these findings. 

CMM supports academic work and co-operations on market-oriented corporate management on a national and international scale.
In order to encourage the interchange of scientific research and business management, the WHU-Campus for Marketing was introduced in 2010.