Marketing of an Intangible Product

“Marketing is not about selling tangible products anymore. Media companies sell intangible advertisements through its media outlets creating a space for companies to approach consumers. ESPN, an entertainment and sports programming network, maintain relationships with many companies through its multimedia sales.”

Patricia Betron ’88, ESPN’s senior vice president of multimedia sales, gave a lecture at Whitman School of Management on Thursday March 20, 2014. She talked about ESPN customer marketing and sales and her experience working in the field since 1999 as a director of customer marketing. Betron’s lecture focused on how marketing is not only about marketing tangible products, but also about developing new business by selling multimedia programs. It was interesting to hear about marketing a product (content), that is not tangible to the consumers.

I recently applied to Korean Daily News, which is the biggest South Korean newspaper. I applied to an internship position in the new media sales team, but did not have a clear sense as to what kind of jobs the sales team performs. However, Betron’s lecture gave me a clear sense as to what a marketing of an intangible product does to a company and strategic ways to build relationships with other corporations. She also gave her personal experiences on working with people she did not like and how she overcame such issue. More, she gave her personal tips on how to succeed in the field when we work from the professional world in the future. She listed eye contact, confidence and public speaking to be the important factors that will determine whether people want to work with a person in business. Public speaking is one of my critical weaknesses so I hope to practice and build my skills before graduating next semester.

Betron is a former graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications and the Whitman School, which made me feel more connected to her for some reason. She has experience working as a director of the Midwest office in new media sales and for ABC Inc. She also worked as a national marketing executive and an account executive from various corporations such as WLS-TV. I believe marketing and public relations are a good combination of skills that can bring synergy to a good result when working with a company. Marketing is as important as public relations and I hope to gain more knowledge in the field of marketing through my marketing minor courses. I am a bit suffering this semester from a brand management class at Whitman School, but I hope this struggles gets me to grow as a more successful marketer and a communicator.


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