Weekly cases for the Associate competition are provided by sponsoring businesses from across the region. These companies pose real questions and challenges to which they can apply the candidates’ findings and recommendations. Cases have included planning round table events, organizing the consolidation of office space and developing a marketing plan. Participating companies have included AOL, Inc., Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE), Baltimore Magazine, Enterprise, Target, Von Paris Moving & Storage and more. The final case each year is provided by the presenting company, which ultimately offers the job for the competition winner.
The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. is one of the nation’s largest diversifiedfinancial services organizationswith assets of $305 billion. PNC provides retail and business banking, residential mortgage banking, specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending, wealth management and asset management.
PNC entered the Maryland market in 2007 with the purchase of Mercantile Bankshares Corporation, a regional banking company headquartered in Baltimore. Ranked third by market share in Baltimore, PNC continues to grow its retail market share in the region by attracting new customers and deepening our relationships with current customers.
The retail banking business is being transformed as a result of many factors including changes in customer preferences and behaviors, current economic conditions, the impact of regulatory changes, pressure of cost efficiency and technological advances. Consumer banking preferences are changing rapidly and trending towards a virtual banking experience. More than one third of PNC customers prefer virtual banking (ATM, online banking, mobile banking or call center), compared to 20% who prefer traditional branch banking and 46% who favor a combination of both. PNC continues to invest in innovative technologies in respond to the shifting customer preferences and to make it easier for our customers to achieve their financial goals. In 2011, PNC introduced its mobile deposit solution, enabling customers to deposit checks from their smart phones. This summer, PNC is upgrading its ATM network with DepositEasy ATMs that are capable of accepting deposits without an envelope and dispense cash to the dollar. PNC is positioning its mobile and virtual banking solutions as “always open,” and providing customers with more ways to bank than ever before. “Always open” gives customers 24/7 access to account information, supports banking transactions beyond branch hours and gives customers the option to bank when and how they want.
We want to accelerate the momentum of our mobile deposit and ATM deposit capabilities by increasing usage rates by 10-20%. PNC currently averages 10,000 deposits by smartphones per day. Our current online banking customers are our best prospects for mobile banking and the 18-34 demographic is the fastest-growing in terms of adopting mobile banking technology.
1. Recommend a strategy and tactics that will result in a 20% increase in the number of online banking customers who have completed a mobile deposit. Also, prepare a strategy and tactics for introducing the ATM DepositEasy deposit functionality to traditional branch customers with a goal of increasing usage by 10% within six months.
2. Your plan should also include tactics for creating greater awareness for the “always open” banking solutions (see www.pnc.com/alwaysopen) in the Greater Maryland market through a grassroots marketing campaign, local partnerships and other creative opportunities. Provide recommendations for targeting the primary audience (18-34 year-olds) and secondary audience (35-54). Recommendations should have the potential to be replicated throughout the PNC footprint.
Develop a presentation with a strategy and tactics that accomplish the two stated objectives. Include budget/cost to execute recommendations.
AOL, Inc. (NYSE: AOL) is a global company, committed to continuously innovating, growing, and investing in brands and experiences that inform, entertain, and connect the world. AOL is home to a world-class collection of premium brands and creates original content that engages audiences on a local and global scale. We help marketers connect with these audiences through effective and engaging digital advertising solutions. AOL has offices around the world. Our main technology center is based in Dulles, Virginia with significant installations in London, Palo Alto, Calif., and Baltimore. For this project, your client team is based out of the Baltimore office.
Select an AOL website property (brand) and create a consumer facing mutli-platform marketing campaign to drive brand awareness and usage.
AOL is so much more than AOL.com. Along with the flagship homepage (www.aol.com), AOL produces content across nearly every vertical and genre (entertainment, autos, women’s, technology, etc.). For example, did you know Engadget, Moviefone, MapQuest, TechCrunch, Stylelist, HuffingtonPost, Patch and DailyFinance were all AOL brands? Did you know AOL relaunched their mail service? Do you know what ALTO is? AOL wants your help to get the word out about all of the great brands we own and the content and services (email, maps, etc.) available to consumers.
1. Create one 30-second television commercial to promote one of AOL’s brands. It’s up to you to figure out which audiences to target and why. Your presentation of the commercials should highlight what product you choose, who the target audience is (and why), explain messaging strategy and define desired result.
2. Create a social media/viral campaign to promote the AOL brand. Define the different components of the campaign, who the target audience is, and how it will drive brand awareness and usage of the AOL brand.
3. Create a digital banner campaign to promote the AOL brand. Your presentation should include banner creative with messaging, media plan and strategy. Remember that banner ads have many possibilities such as video capabilities, social networking apps, expanding real estate and more. Get creative with your campaign.
PORT DISCOVERY CHILDREN'S MUSEUM
Port Discovery Children’s Museum is a nonprofit 501(c)3 institution that offers educational, interactive exhibits and programs that connect purposeful play and learning for children ages birth through 10 years. All of the museum's exhibits and programs align with the Maryland State curriculum.
Port Discovery is ranked among the Top 12 Children’s Museums (out of over 300 children’s museums) in the United States by Forbes, and serves 260,000 visitors per year, making it the fourth most visited attraction in Baltimore.
Adults (primarily women) ages 25-54, with children ages birth through 10.
Of our general visitors, 78% reside in Maryland, with the highest concentration of visitors residing in Baltimore City and surrounding counties; 7% reside in Northern Virginia and DC; 5% from Southern Pennsylvania; 2% from Philadelphia; the remaining 8% from out of market.
Heavy competition and limited marketing budget make us more reliant on public relations/social media/grass roots efforts to promote the museum. (Competitors can afford television/billboard advertising.)
Lack of free parking can deter stay at home parents in the surrounding counties.
• Admission fee - $13.95 per person. We offer several discount offers (Target $2 night every third Friday; $8 admission on Tuesday/Thursday afternoons; military discount) to be more accessible, and while that helps attendance, it hurts earned income.
• Busy days when we have a large number of school or summer camp groups who visit during weekday mornings, can compromise the experience for general visitors coming in at that same time, which makes them not want to come back.
National Children’s Museum (National Harbor) – Just opened in December 2012
Maryland Science Center
B & O Railroad Museum
Walters Art Museum
Drop in “play” centers in the surrounding counties. Though much smaller in size, they offer free parking and are very age specific, making it appealing for parents with young children. (i.e. Charm City Kids)
Out of market museums: Please Touch Museum (Philadelphia), Delaware Children’s Museum, Smithsonian
To increase top of mind awareness of Port Discovery Children’s Museum to parents/caregivers who are looking for something to do with their kids.
To increase general attendance/revenue by 3% over the next three years. (7,800 guests; $108,810)
$300,000 for one year.
This includes any paid advertising and production costs related to broadcast, web, outdoor, print, as well as printing for rack cards or other promotional material.
COVERGIRL/HARVEY & DAUGHTERS
The second case is presented on behalf of CoverGirl cosmetics by Harvey & Daughters.
The teams will give presentations on this case on Feb. 26 at 5 p.m. in Stephens Hall, room 216.
LEN THE PLUMBER: ONLINE/SOCIAL MEDIA CASE STUDY
Len The Plumber is a locally owned company that started in Baltimore and has evolved over the past 15 years into one of Maryland’s leading residential plumbing service companies. The company began with a fleet of just two trucks and now boasts a service operation with over 50 trucks that spans a region that includes 10 counties. (Currently servicing: Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Harford, Southern Cecil County, Carroll County, Howard, Anne Arundel, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County and the District of Columbia)
Len The Plumber’s operational strategy includes a licensed, skilled workforce, delivering on a Same Day Service business model. The majority of customers require service that is generally viewed as an emergency service rather than a pre-planned remodeling project for example. In addition, the average household hires a plumber every 2 ½ to 3 years making plumbing a fairly infrequent purchase. The company also has a strong focus on customer satisfaction utilizing the Net Promoter Score, tracking an overall company score as well as individual scores for each technician, ensuring an exceptional experience for every customer.
Len The Plumber is known for an aggressive marketing stance with a high visibility factor and is routinely among the first in the plumbing industry to adopt new and innovative strategies to advertise and grow the business. As consumers gravitate from the more traditional media channels like Yellow Pages and Print to Online, the overall marketing strategy must similarly evolve.
Len the Plumber attracts customers from nearly all demographic groups in terms of age, ethnicity, gender, occupation, income etc. however, there are two profiles that emerge that can be defined as a typical Len The Plumber customer. First and foremost they are a homeowner and would not be considered a do-it-yourselfer. The first main profile that emerges is that of a married and growing or maturing family where children are present in the household of any age. The second profile is that a person or couple that is Age 50+ and is considered to be an active adult. Both profiles are defined as having average to above average household income with the best repeat customers tending towards the upper income ranks.
Current Marketing Tactics:
Len the Plumber is looking for recommendations for their current Online Strategic Plan that defines how it can increase its online presence. Traditional marketing channels such as Yellow Pages are becoming outdated and less efficient. How should it best incorporate a social media plan with the goal of increasing top-of-mind awareness and engagement with the brand? How can it do this in a way that will ultimately generate repeat customers as well as acquire new customers? Are there any other online marketing elements missing that could increase brand awareness? (Your plan should include an analysis of current tactics)
Elements to consider:
The project should contain recommendations and strategies that include, but are not limited to:
1. Timelines/calendars for implementation
2. Budgets/cost to execute recommendations
3. Identify, if any, additional resources needed to execute or that would help streamline the recommended initiatives (such as online management platforms, software, personnel etc.)
4. Include any relevant examples of sites or companies that execute well any of the strategies you are recommending
5. References to research/resources used
6. Be Creative
7. Be impactful
8. Think outside the box (budget = $100,000 but don’t let budget limit your thinking or approach)