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Today is the last inhouse day of the National Marketing Battle and I was placed to visit Hilit. Hilti? Oh yes, I recognize the name because they are often present at MAA events. But what exactly do they do? I was about to experience it for myself. Hilti is a company that is all about building equipment and building software, in other words buildings from A to Z. It’s not everyday that companies meet marketing students, so I was sure this was going to be something different than the many other companies we usually get to know.

sam_4633-minUpon Arrival, a line of cars were ready to receive us. They taxied us to their office in Rodenrijs, which is near Rotterdam. The marketing director of Hilti Netherlands gave an impressive presentation, told us what they are doing right now, and what they have achieved. I was impressed by their numbers, global presence, and the passion they embodied. Everyone seemed to love being on building sites, even girls like me – nothing I would have expected!

Before starting on the case, we visited the Hilti equipment store where we could see and feel the equipment for ourselves. I don’t know anything about drilling machines, but even I got the feeling these were high quality materials. After lunch, we were reset into groups to solve a case. It was a marketing case on employer branding. It was an interesting case, where we had to find a solution as to how Hilti can attract more students like us and increase their awareness. It is a tough job for them, as marketing students are less aware of the B2B business world, especially in building, than the standard FMCG companies who have huge budgets to spend on their recruitment. The case made us think outside of the box and was rather challenging.

sam_4649-minSadly enough, we did not win, I must say we had strong competition! Before I knew it, they day had come to an end and we were taxied back to the train station. I ended the day knowing a lot about Hilti, the industry they work in, their traineeship, and the possibilities.

Curious about Hilti yourself? Check out their traineeship and other vacancies at www.careers.hilti.nl/nl-nl!

Kind Regards,

Sascha van Ginneken

dare-to-be-different-1PepsiCo, Storymail, and Heineken. The much-anticipated Amsterdam Commercial night hosted three very different companies, each representing their own distinctive brands. All of which demonstrated the ways in which their advertising strategies and campaigns dare to be different. The impressionable and unique Vondelkerk was the perfect location to set the tone for an evening of stimulating conversation among marketers, all while enjoying a handful of Doritos and a refreshing Heineken.

What distinguishes you from the competition? And, what is the future of advertising were among a few questions asked during the Amsterdam Commercial Night.

PepsiCo uses online influencers to captivate its audience

PepsiCo started the night off by presenting the Doritos’ bold flavor campaign, A or B. By developing a unique twist to previous campaigns, Doritos differentiated its brand by asking consumers to vote to ‘eliminate’ their least preferred flavor of Doritos. PepsiCo’s marketing team explained, “we devoted 60 percent on digital marketing allowing Doritos to socially construct a viral competition between flavor A and B that captivated millions online.” With Internet users as the target audience, Doritos used YouTube influencers as a major driving force of the campaign. YouTube influencers were able to effectively motivate their followers to cultivate interest in the Doritos campaign, demonstrating the power of digital marketing.

“Digital marketing must stay human”

Storymail presented itself as a personal video company that adopts video content based on their audience’s interests and location. Storymail’s Rogier Ros stated, “It’s all about making the customer’s journey as personal as possible, digital marketing must stay human. Providing relevant videos to our audience is the key message here.” In a digital environment where consumers are exposed to an immense amount of content online, relevance is certainly an issue. Storymail dares to be different by customizing videos with the right message, being sent at the right time, in the right form. Interested in learning about this process? See for yourself!

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“Lager really is full of surprises”

Heineken’s beer market is not exactly as you would expect it. Did you know that the lager sales have been decreasing, while specialty and non-alcoholic beers are dominating the market? This is precisely why Heineken felt the need to reinvent its lager by releasing the H41, a new lager that is brewed from rare wild ‘mother yeast’. Heineken was adaptable, and proved that daring to be different can be an effective marketing strategy, when looking to revive a declining product.

Every year the Amsterdam Commercial Night provides a great opportunity for students to network over drinks, circulate their CV to potential employers, and reach out to the evening’s presenters and fellow marketers. Student’s commented on the high energy of the event, “the presenters were young and enthusiastic, the Pepsico team told an incredible story of how to engage customers. Not to mention the location was fantastic!”

After another very successful event we can surely be excited to see what will be in store for the coming years! In some ways the future of marketing appears to be clear. As seen with PepsiCo and Storymail, both companies have proven that digital marketing is the way of future. Yet, the creative nature of digital marketing remains crucial, proving that the best advertising campaigns must dare to be different.

Written by Alexandra Martin

After being sold out one week before the deadline, the Amsterdam Marketing Event 2016 was a big success. This edition’s theme was the Future of Marketing, and discussed was what’s next from different viewpoints. Again, the greatest marketing recruitment event of the year exceeded everyone’s expectations!

From drilling machines to drilling content

Joris Demmers (assistant professor at the University of Amsterdam Business School) opened the event with a brief overview of the origins of Marketing. This led him to highlight the trends and threats Marketing currently faces. A live poll showed that a majority of the AME participants believes that the most important trend is Big Data.

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Next up was Nils Boss from Hilti (a leading-edge technology company that operates in the global construction industry) who impressed with his performance, as he entered the stage with his drilling machines and sunglasses on. For him, the trend of Marketing is aligned with Hilti’s main philosophy: focusing on customer content and customer contact in order to fulfill customers’ desires. To meet those desires, they personally ask them about their needs, sell only through self-owned stores and are present on every important exhibition of the construction industry. With this concept Hilti presented itself as an attractive employer to young marketers striving for challenges and new fields to explore.

Afterwards, VICE (once launched as a punk magazine, but has now developed into a leading global youth media company) convinced with its fresh and young firm culture. Rens Verweij, Head of Strategy, showed why VICE is defining the future in music and entertainment. VICE is globally present in 40 countries where curious employees are looking for stories. By using a network of channels in which these stories are exchanged, Vice is able to provide its viewers with the most relevant and exciting content. Particularly interesting is the way Rens explained how they reach their target group: the Millennials. Considering the audience’s mindsets, VICE brings their stories into the world by using the right medium. Rens ended by recommending every young marketer to follow VICE’s mantra: “Let’s try not to be shitty”.

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During the coffee and tea break, the participants got their first chance to speak with people from these two companies to gain an even better insight into the company cultures.

Two products you can’t live without

After the first break, MOBGEN (the leading mobile solutions specialist) presented itself as an innovative and global brand. This presentation was especially relevant as the speaker, Zouhair Ouriaghli, got his job by networking at the Amsterdam Marketing Event 2015. Zouhair showed the benefits of MOBGEN’s focus on building a long-term relationship with their customers. It can be said that MOBGEN represented itself as an attractive future employer by putting a high emphasis on innovation.

“Hearing that one of the speakers found a job through the Amsterdam Marketing Event really gives me the confidence to find a job myself!”

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In the very last presentation Paulien Streater and Saida Bou Chamach explained why Nespresso is more than just George Clooney. The Armani of the coffee industry is recognized for its ultimate coffee experience worldwide. But how does Nespresso achieve this exclusive market position? Of course, the answer is quality, but it is not only their excellent choice of coffee farmers and innovatively designed coffee machines. By offering a high variety of capsules and the option to recycle, Nespresso fits every customer’s needs and aims to meet the expectations of the Millennials, as they strive for individualism.

The following lunch break enabled the participants to speak with speakers to find out more about job opportunities and if the companies fit their expectations. Moreover, Walters People gave participants the chance to have their CVs checked and offered valuable tips. A few lucky participants were invited to recruitment lunches with HelloFresh and Henkel.

“The recruitment lunch gave me the opportunity to get an excellent insight
into what it’s like to work at HelloFresh!”

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How good of a marketer are you?

The afternoon was full of interesting workshops. Leading Talent, FrieslandCampina, L’Oréal, Henkel and Dorst & Lesser offered various case studies for students to work on. From Leading Talent asking the participants to work on their personal branding, to FrieslandCampina challenging their participants to come up with an innovative product idea for 2020.

“The workshops enabled me to become more familiar with the company and to
interact with the recruiters!”

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The day ended with networking drinks, giving us a great chance to review the day and thank the Amsterdam Marketing Event committee for their excellent work. All in all, it can be said that this event achieved all of its goals of offering insights into interesting and future oriented companies to students that are looking for an internship or a graduate position by connecting Master’s and last year Bachelor students to the recruiters of these companies.

We are looking forward to welcoming you to the Amsterdam Marketing Event 2017!

Written by Meike Behrens

, , So many festivals, so little time: how to market for success

Right, festival season is officially in full swing. 12 hour food, music and other- and evening time events are popping up all over the Netherlands. It’s a nice change from the cold season we’ve just emerged from, when we are basically either hybernating, drinking hot chocolate and eating cheesy things on the couch, or dancing till dawn, only to loose the next day to our hangover. Coming home from a food-truck festival, like TREK or De Rollende Keukens, at 12 actually means you might still get a good night sleep and be productive the next day.

Despite the fact that we don’t actually always get the good spring weather that originally inspired the productions of these festivals, we, the tough Dutchmen, collectively attend them. Even when it rains, many of us still find the will to join the party. After all, we’re not made of sugar right?

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But, with more and more festivals becoming a part of the our pool of options, how can marketers make us choose THEIR event over others? To make matters even more complicated, most of these festivals only occur once a year, meaning that there is really only one physical touchpoint, and the fanbase for such an experiential product must be created almost solely through online marketing.

Andy Crestodina wrote 50 solid suggestions, but I will spare you the time and effort of reading them all, so I’ve composed a more concise set of tips for effectively marketing a festival.

On the events page:

1. Provide a compelling description, so people know what you do and who you are. Prospective attendees should get a feel for the kind of festival that you are, and the type of atmosphere that you’ll create. What food will you serve, what music will you play, who will be there? Let us know what the identity of your festival is.

2. Curate tangible content leading up to the event. We want pictures, videos, and updates about the fun elements of your festival as they develop! How else will anyone get excited?

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In the pre-event email:

(if you’ve got an address from last year’s attendants or through registration)

7. Pay attention to your tagline; use a quirky, sassy title to draw attention to the message (for example, with “10 things you’ll miss if you dont celebrate this summer with…”)

With pre-event social activity:

12. Create the hashtag. It should be short and unique to your festival, and link strongly to the description on your events page.

13. Post the event on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and any other online world your market might find themselves in. Make sure people can find your festival any time, any place, so they know you’re serious!

In the search engines:

32-35. Choose a keyword, use it in your headers and event description so people can find you easily.

During the event:

37. Share pictures, of the people, the foods, the extraordinary things that are happening and use hashtags to create visbility! With constant connectivity on our smartphones this is super important!

After the event:

41. Compose a photo gallery for the festival. Give people something to look back on and smile about!

50. And then KEEP sharing those photos, along with related messages and content, in the days that follow! This is how you make sure people don’t forget you next year:)

Personally, I think the most important part is related to tip #1; you must tie everything together, to brand a consistent festival identity. You HAVE to hold a strong image, or there won’t be anything for us to connect with! Now, lets see what this summer has in store for us 🙂

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Written by Susanne ten Brink

Image credit: Paul Townsend, Andrea Cousino & FFEP

 

The most social airline of The Netherlands has come up with a new great way to engage their customers: layover with a local. Here’s why it’s an amazing idea.

Layover with a Local is based on an app which allows travelers with a layover at Schiphol Airport to hang-out with a local from Amsterdam. An excellent piece of extra service for travelers with a layover of 6 hours or more and concurrently great marketing of KLM. It is based on the idea of Icelandic air, which already introduced a ‘stop-over buddy’ on their layover stops. Other than the Icelandic version, where all the buddies are Icelandic Air employees, in the KLM version, your layover buddy is a local Amsterdammer.  The first drinks and train ticket to the city center are paid for by KLM.

 

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When thinking about branding, this initiative is great for KLM’s brand value. With this peer-to-peer application KLM provides an extra service to their customers. When customers specifically choose to fly with KLM, they might even prefer a layover of 6 hours or more. In my view, it sets a very approachable, fun and kind brand image completely in line with their image and slogan ‘Journeys of Inspiration’.

In short, applause for KLM and this creative use of online technology. Amsterdammers get a change to proudly show travelers our kindness and our beautiful city. And if those reasons are not enough, the first free drinks that are payed for by KLM will make the difference! “Why is that a good reason?” Would you ask as a foreigner. Well, you will learn soon enough that we are kind, but also parsimonious. ‘Going dutch’ when you split the bill is not just an expression. If you don’t believe me, you can ask a Belgian person 😉

… Okay, enough with the generalizations: let’s support this great initiative!

The trial version will launch from the 22nd of March until the 31st of May. In order to make this application a success, all possible ‘bumps on the road’ (misuse, mismatches, lost tourists in the gracht, etc) need to be resolved. If you are a local and want to guide some travelers through our wonderful city, you can sign up here. You will be notified when the application is live and how you will be able to participate. In the trial version it will be available for travelers from the US, Canada and Italy. 

Written by: Marjolein Tromp

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Either you’ve been living under a rock, or you’ve seen SuitSupply’s provocative new advertisements around Amsterdam. The campaign has caused an intense reaction from the public, because of the practically naked women that take porn poses in the frames. The media exploded, accusing the brand of being sexist and offensive towards women. But is it really?

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Let’s take a look at the facts:

  • SuitSupply sells suits and related apparel and accessories for men only
  • The pictures show big women, and tiny men
  • The ladies are very scarcely dressed, and the men are fully dressed


The photos are suggestive to say the least, with a women’s boobs depicted as loaded guns with men as their bullets, a man sketched as a lollipop being licked by a lady, or a model’s chest being used as a couch.

suits3One side of the story is that women are being portrayed as the mere combination of boobs and butts, and as props rather than whereby the ladies themselves become irrelevant. Common reactions deem the campaign extremely degrading. However, are the men characterized any more positively? They look like boys, whereas the women look like glorious goddesses (naked ones, but nonetheless magnificent). The series is called Toy Boys, doesn’t that imply that the men are in fact the dolls, and the women the rulers of the world.

suitsupply2And isn’t this is just what happens when you have a brand that sells only to men? We can all deny it, but men like naked women. Even those who have girlfriends/fiancees/wives, as much as us women would like to believe otherwise.

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So, is the brand really sexist? Kind of, but only in a way that puts women on a pedestal. The way I see it, their marketing has been blown way out of proportion. Sure, the pictures are provocative, but the campaign fits SuitSupply’s pattern. Really, it’s a part of the brand’s core identity. It sets them apart from the rest, and personally, I like them more after seeing the bright images.

Written by: Susanne ten Brink

Pictures: Suitsupply, from suitsupply.com