Bryce Looze ’21 LABB Intern – Last week, fellow members of the LABB program and I had the privilege of having Mike Simmons speak about marketing in a brief but effective crash course. He leads the presentation by talking about the role marketers play in our daily lives and how “marketers think people obsess about their product.” He used this to show the disconnect that exists between the consumer and the industry in some cases. Throughout his talk, Mr. Simmons provided many excellent insights into the world of marketing. My favorite explores the connection between customer needs, the act of advertising the product, and how to meet the needs; “Marketing is… anticipation and identification of customer needs and requirements to be able to meet them, make a profit or achieve other key organizational objectives”. Another critical insight into the world of marketing is the differentiation between strategic and tactical marketing, strategic being the big picture of marketing while tactical deals with the creation of advertisements and campaigns. People want choices, whether that is in their professional career or going about their daily life. However, one place where this view is commonly shared is in the products we consumers purchase on a consistent basis. Mr. Simmons summarized by explaining that “people want more choices, but (they) don’t want to give up free time to consider (their options).” Using this quote, he challenged us to think about how marketers use this tool to influence people to buy their products. As we furiously thought about all the companies we see advertised, he used the example of the shoe industry to paint the battle that brands face. The major brands are continually fighting to occupy the largest amount of space in your brain as possible, all while maintaining a positive brand image. Over the course of his presentation, Mr. Simmons used relevant, real-world examples of industries that used marketing techniques and the thought process behind each one.