Last week was the 2013 National Middle Market Summit – Leading From The Middle, which is a collaboration between Fisher and GE Capital. The event ensures that the middle market receives the attention it deserves – and helps drive conversation around these vital industries. Fisher students have been given the opportunity to have Q&As with C-level executives from GE, and if this event is anything like last year, it’s going to be a great experience for students.
I had the chance to sit-in on a round table discussion with Ian Forrest, the Vice President of Global Marketing for GE Capital on Monday afternoon. Here is a quick snapshot of Ian’s bio:
“Ian is responsible for the GE Capital value proposition, brand and global marketing communications activities. He is responsible for the GE Capital’s National Center for the Middle Market partnership with The Ohio State University.”
Bottom line, it was a really interesting discussion and a great opportunity to learn from a very talented marketer. Ian talk about how winners will redefine scale and that markets are becoming frictionless.He stressed the importance of not being constrained by traditional thinking and always, always, always investing in R&D. Ian discussed how R&D is the sure way to become better and point the company forward.
I thought the most interesting point was his opinion concerning global corporations and brands. Ian talked about how there are “No longer global brands, only global marketers”. He told our small group of Full Time and Working Professional MBAs that some companies know how to win in every market – and that’s what will keep them in the forefront of their industries. To be successful, a company needs to be global and treat every market differently. Taking the exact business model that works in the US and trying to force its success in Brazil or China will only lead to failure.
Ian made several well articulated points – my notebook was full of snippets I want to remember! It was a great kick-off to the Middle Market summit, and I am excited to attend the main event on Wednesday!
Here are some ways to join in the Middle Market conversation: