Think critically about the choices being made by these companies? Do they have all of the information they need? Are they misinterpreting their data? Did they even ask the right questions. Use this article and this response to generate a 1 page response.
For this week’s DB, I chose to discuss an article written by Dave Smith. Although he writes about three different companies, for the sake of the assignment I will only focus on one: Kodak and their dismissal of social media. Kodak used to be one of the biggest names in film, but today, Kodak is doing nothing but file for bankruptcy. Why is this? How did Kodak make such a drastic 360? There are many factors that have led to Kodak’s failure, but one of the most significant was their attempted effort to drive customers away from the trend of digital photos, back to the original print outs that made Kodak famous. “People were taking more photos than ever, but it was all going digital. Kodak saw this trend, and had a chance to save itself” (Smith).
In 2001, Kodak acquired Ofoto, which was the first company to come up with the idea of digitally sharing photos with a community. Kodak integrated Ofoto into their website immediately, but with a different idea of how to use it. Instead of using Ofoto to make Kodak a more digitally friendly company, they attempted to use Ofoto to “drive behavior back to fuel printing and ignore digital sharing” (Smith). Kodak successfully discovered unmet customer needs, but did not tend to these needs in the most logical way. Instead, they simply tried to change those needs back to how they used to be. Kodak’s marketing research findings showed how popular digital photos were becoming, and proved to Kodak that they had to do something about it immediately. Kodak’s mistake, however, was what they did with this information and how they decided to try and solve it.
Kodak used this digital friendly company and integrated it into their own, but only with the strategy of driving behavior away from digital photos and back to print outs. If Kodak had simply altered their business model to become more digitally focused, they likely would not be filing for bankruptcy as they are today. “At one time, Kodak traded for $50 a share; now, it’s 27 cents. Even the most prolific and memorable brands can die by ignoring the power of social” (Smith). Kodak’s marketing research findings provided them with everything that they needed to make changes to their business that would lead to future success. It is unfortunate that Kodak simply did not make the right choice in how to approach this information, and they have suffered the consequences as a result.
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