RPZ Marketing Scenario/Background
Narrator: You are an organizational consultant who works in the marketing industry. Today you are at a major marketing trade conference.
Narrator: At the conference you run into Carl Genaflek, your old boss. Carl is the CEO of Genaflek Marketing, a consulting company that he started 30 years ago.
Narrator: You also run into your former colleague, Regina Poincy Zimmerman. After working for Carl for seven years, Regina founded her own organization called RPZ Social Media Analytics.
Carl has a problem he wants to discuss with you and Regina. He invites the two of you to have coffee.
Carl: Hey, thanks for joining us for coffee! It is good to see you.
Regina: Yeah, thanks for joining us!
Carl: Regina was just telling me about her little marketing startup company.
Regina: I was. Although I do not think we count as a startup anymore. We are up to 25 full time marketing consultants now.
Carl: Whoa! That is impressive. You still just focusing on that Internet stuff?
Regina: Yeah. We do “that Internet stuff,” although our focus is social media analytics.
Carl: Social media whatever. Actually, that is what I wanted to talk with the two of you about. Some of my larger clients have been asking for us to use that Internet stuff as a part of their marketing strategy. I just… you know. That is not what Genaflek Marketing is all about. I have been doing this for thirty years, and we have always focused on the basics.
Regina: What are the basics?
Carl: Well, you know. Press releases. Surveys and focus groups. Message targeting, image development. That has always been the bread and butter of our industry. And I taught you how to write a solid press release, Regina. Remember?
Regina: I remember.
Carl: And we have always focused on doing print and television ads. I do not see why that has to change. It is not like people have stopped watching TV, right?
Regina: Of course they have not stopped watching TV, but they are watching it differently now. And they are also spending an increasing amount of time engaged with social media outlets.
Carl: I do not know, Regina. I am going to be retiring in a couple of years. I just do not think now is the time for a successful company like mine to change direction. We have still have a full roster of long-term clients. Plus we have the inside track on that local Infinity Corporation account.
Regina: Um… In the interest of being honest, I have to tell you that you are competing with RPZ on that Infinity Corporation account.
Carl: What? Really? Well, good luck on that one.
Regina: Carl, I know you do not want to hear this. But I really think that you need to think about expanding into social media marketing. I do not think you realize how much the market has changed. And I do not think you realize how much competition you have with social media analytics companies. You may even be vulnerable to a takeover by a successful social media company that is interested in your client list.
Carl: I am sure no one is going to try to take us over. But I have been thinking about adding a part time consultant to help us figure out the basics of this Internet stuff. What do you say to helping out your old mentor, Regina?
Regina: Are you offering me a job? Carl, I am flattered, but I am plenty busy with my own company now.
Carl: Oh darn. Just tell me you will think about it, Reggie, okay?
Carl: But hey, we have not heard much at all from you about this! What is your take on the situation?
Narrator: It is several months after Carl Genaflek met with his old employee, Regina Poincy Zimmerman. Since then, Regina’s company, RPZ Social Media Analytics, has acquired Carl’s company, Genaflek Marketing. The new company that resulted from the acquisition is called RPZ Marketing.
The following video appears on the About Us page on the RPZ Marketing website.
Ravin: Welcome! My name is Ravin James, and am the Director of Business Development here at RPZ Marketing. I am here to tell you about the exciting new developments at RPZ Marketing, and to tell you about how RPZ can help your business maximize its marketing strategy.
Ravin: RPZ Marketing is a new company that resulted from the exciting merger between RPZ Social Media Analytics and Genaflek Marketing.
Ravin: What Genaflek Marketing brings to the table is thirty years of experience as a pioneering leader in the marketing industry! What RPZ Social Media Analytics brings to the table is expertise in contemporary social media marketing strategies, like search engine optimization. With the combined expertise, we will be able to serve your diverse media needs better than anyone else in the industry!
Carl: Hello, I am Carl Genaflek, the founder of Genaflek Marketing. I am excited to be part of this new partnership. Both our old and our new clients will benefit by the combined expertise of these two companies. I will be leaving to day-to-day running of this business to spend more time with my family, but I will continue to play an active role in the company.
Ravin: In today’s business, there are no one-size-fits-all solution for your marketing needs. Here at RPZ Marketing, we will be able to create individualized service packages that leverage traditional marketing strategies and innovative new ones that reflect the dynamic world of social media.
Josh: I have been a proud part of the Genaflek family for about 10 years, and I am really excited about the opportunities that come with this merge. I look forward to working with old clients to develop groundbreaking new social media strategies. And I look forward to working with new clients to develop comprehensive strategies from the ground up.
Regina: Hi! I am Regina Poincy Zimmerman, CEO of RPZ Marketing. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to serve your differentiated marketing needs.
Ravin: All of us at RPZ Marketing look forward to working with you, our clients, in new and innovative ways.
Regina: Nick, this is the organizational consultant I was telling you about. This is Nicholas Anthony, from Corporate Ventures. Corporate Ventures is our venture partner in this merger and has provided us with the majority of the capital to make this thing happen. And Of course you remember Carl.
Carl: Well hello! I have not seen you since that marketing conference. That was quite the coffee meeting we had, huh? There I was, thinking that I was offering my old protégé Regina a job to help me develop these social marketing strategies. And instead she went and bought my company? I guess we underestimated our old friend Regina, huh?
Regina: Well, I am very excited about the opportunity to work with Carl again. I would also like to introduce you to Ravin James. She is our Director of Business Marketing.
Ravin: It is SO nice to meet you. I am thrilled to hear your ideas about how to help RPZ Marketing maximize our market potential. I cannot say how excited I am about this merger!
Regina: Ravin’s enthusiasm is contagious.
Regina: What we are talking about today is developing an organizational structure for RPZ Marketing. As you know, it can be quite a challenge to merge together two existing companies. We are going to trying to do this in a way that capitalizes on the strengths of both of these companies. This is a big decision, and we have a had a lot of additional ideas about the best way to go about this.
Carl: Well, in my mind it is pretty simple. You divide things up by account coverage. The new organizational structure needs to allow the account managers from the two organizations keep their accounts. That way the clients do not lose any continuity in coverage.
Ravin: That is a good point, Carl. We do not want clients to lose confidence in us. But we also want to bring together the strengths of the two organizations. If everything stays the same, we lose that opportunity.
Carl: I think you underestimate the importance of continuity for the clients. Long-term clients get nervous when there is a merger. We cannot undermine their trust.
Ravin: But we cannot focus so hard on relationships that we fail to focus on the market. I think we need to organize the new company in ways that reflect industry needs and that take advantage of our internal areas of expertise.
Nicholas: I am in Ravin’s camp on this one. We need to start bringing social marketing strategies right away to former Genaflek accounts, even if it means disrupting relationships. RPZ had huge revenue growth because clients need new strategies.
Carl: I understand that Regina’s company had huge revenue growth while our revenue was declining. But I would like to point out that Genaflek had more clients and was overall more profitable.
Nicholas: That is absolutely true, Carl, and we absolutely appreciate that. And we appreciate your concern about maintaining client relationships. We know that your presence here will help give us market credibility and put your long term clients at ease.
Regina: I can see both sides. I think we need to continue to focus on our relationships with long-term clients. But we also need to focus on the needs of the market as a whole. We need to strike a balance here. So, what are your thoughts on restructuring?
Defining Competitive Advantage
Regina: Glad you are here. We need your advice on a strategic issue.
Ravin: Regina and I have been having a high-level discussion about competitive advantage.
Regina: Exactly. Now that we’ve merged into RPZ Marketing, one of our biggest challenges has been to clarify what distinguishes us from our competitors. When we market ourselves to new clients, we need to be able to define for ourselves what RPZ Marketing brings to the table that nobody else can bring.
Ravin: Regina and I have slightly different ideas about how to position ourselves in the marketplace.
Regina: Well, I would not say that our visions are entirely different. Ravin’s perspective is that we need to focus on our social media marketing strengths, even though we have acquired a more traditional marketing company.
Ravin: I do! The thing is, I have just been so proud of all the groundbreaking social media marketing work RPZ did before the merge. We were innovative and cutting-edge – a real 21st century company that I have been excited to be a part of! Our company grew so quickly because that is what today’s clients want and I think that is what we need to continue to focus on.
Regina: And I do not disagree with that. We need to continue to differentiate ourselves in the social media marketing. But we also have acquired Genaflek. We can also differentiate ourselves by offering clients the total package – traditional marketing plus social media marketing.
Ravin: I agree that we need to offer an integrated approach. But in terms of how we differentiate ourselves in the marketplace… well, I just think there are other companies that offer that kind of integrated approach. I do not think that’s what makes us special.
Regina: But other companies also offer social media marketing.
Ravin: But they do not do it as well as we do! We are the thought leaders and the innovators in the social marketing marketplace.
Regina: I do hear what you are saying, Ravin. But one thing we have to consider is that we’ve acquired a company with a traditional marketing focus. We now employ a large number of talented consultants who have experience with traditional marketing.
Ravin: That is true. I do not want to leave these new people in the dark. But I think the market needs to determine how we position ourselves, not our employee base.
Regina: I think we need to focus the market, but I also think consider the strengths of our team. The former Genaflek employees bring with them more stable and predictable systems and approaches. I think that can be the ideal complement to our more renegade style of adopting at RPZ. We could really benefit from more efficient system and procedures.
Ravin: That’s all well and good. But I still think we need to differentiate ourselves in the marketplace as social media innovators.
Regina: We’re not disagreeing about that. But we do to need to come up with a way to talk about our company. What do you think?
Human Resources Scenario
Narrator: You are continuing your work as an organizational consultant for RPZ Marketing. Regina Poincy Zimmerman, the CEO, has called you in to attend a meeting.
Narrator: Regina has also invited Human Resources Director Carmen Alongway to the meeting. Carmen was formerly the Director of Human Resources at Genaflek. Because RPZ Social Media Analytics was too small to have a Director of Human Resources, Carmen was asked to take this position when Genaflek was acquired.
Regina: Hi. Come on in!
Charlie: Nice to see you.
Regina: Charlie, Carmen, and I were just discussing some things we would like to have your feedback on.
Carmen: As you know, we’re working on a plan to restructure our teams from Genaflek and RPZ Social Media analytics.
Charlie: Well, whatever decision we make needs to make it easier for me to assign resources. I have not been able to schedule consultants to clients effectively.
Regina: And why is that, Charlie?
Charlie: Well, we are branding ourselves as a one-stop-shop for all of the clients’ marketing needs. But the reality of it is very few of the consultants have expertise in both social media marketing and traditional marketing. It is hard for me to schedule consultants when there is a gap in just about everyone’s skills sets.
Carmen: I know that is a problem. I think we should consider extensive training to get everybody up to speed.
Regina: What do you mean by “up to speed,” Carmen?
Carmen: Well, we want each of our consultants to be true marketing experts.
Regina: Do we? Why not have teams of consultants that work together?
Carmen: I can see the appeal of that, but to me marketing is about establishing relationships. It is that one-on-one that people trust, and our clients are used to having that consultant that takes care of all their needs. If we assess the skills and talents I think we can get people where they need to be and get the resources that they require.
Charlie: I do not know if that is feasible, Carmen. The RPZ consultants are accustomed to being social media marketing specialists, not marketing generalists.
Carmen: I understand, but at Genaflek, that is what our consultants did. They just did not do the social media marketing components.
Regina: Okay, alright – there are a number of different directions that we can go here. I think we really need to think outside the box. What do you think?