Leading Companies to Reveal Recession Marketing Strategies at Yale SOM Conference

New Haven, Conn., October 20, 2009 — The economy may be starting to show signs of recovery, but the extended period of economic anxiety has fundamentally altered the way consumers think, spend, and save for the foreseeable future. Executives from Unilever, American Express, Toyota, and Publicis Groupe will share their insights on how consumer habits have changed as a result of the recession and reveal the strategies they are successfully employing in response at the “Finding the Upside in the Downturn: The Changing Role of Marketing” conference on Friday, November 6, 2009 at the Yale School of Management.

“The easy stuff like cutting costs has been done, but focusing solely on costs is not going to position the companies for the future. How do you create value when your customer behavior might have been completely reset? Every company, regardless of their size and industry, is dealing with this challenge,” said Professor Ravi Dhar, Director of the Yale Center for Customer Insights. “We have assembled the leaders of several world-class companies that are not just waiting for an upturn, but are proactively finding new opportunities in the downturn to discuss what they are learning about the new consumer mindset and how they are innovating and revising their business strategies.”

The conference will feature keynote speeches from Michael Polk, President, Unilever Americas; John Hayes, Chief Marketing Officer, American Express Company; Rishad Tobaccowala, CEO, Denuo, Publicis Groupe; Steven Sturm, Group Vice President, Toyota Motor North America, Inc. The topics they will explore include how their companies are rethinking their marketing, innovation, pricing, product, and communications strategies; their use of new media and new technologies; changes in media consumption and brand building tools; and consumer behavior challenges and opportunities in both developed and developing countries.

For the full conference program and to register, please visit the CCI website. Members of the press are invited to attend. To request a press pass, please contact Tabitha Wilde, Director of Media Relations, Yale School of Management, at tabitha.wilde@yale.edu or 203-432-6010.

“Finding the Upside in the Downturn: The Changing Role of Marketing” is presented by the Center for Customer Insights and the Marketing Club at the Yale School of Management and is sponsored by Unilever.