Prof. Rajiv Lal: "Marketing is difficult - there are too many good answers!"

The morning of June 30th started early for over 50 ambitious startups from the EIT ICT Labs and ClimateKIC communities. Already at 08:00 am they were expected at Ernst-Reuter-Platz in Berlin for a Master Class in Entrepreneurial Marketing with Rajiv Lal, a professor at Harvard Business School.

The participants were requested to go through six case studies beforehand in order to know about the fundamental information on those cases. In class they then studied the cases again in small groups, discussing possible strategies. Finally, Prof. Lal went through all cases together with the entrepreneurs, in several plenary sessions.

Create value

"Marketing is difficult, because there are so many good answers," prof. Lal warned several times during his lecture. And; "Not doing anything is not a marketing strategy". He showed the participants to focus on "creating a value for somebody" and "to have faith in the logical fit rather than the outcome".

Participant Emanuela Zaccone from (Italy) explained to strongly benefit from the Master Class, which is part of a workshop series jointly organised with ClimateKIC. Emanuela realised that the problems she is facing in her startup are similar to the problems that the people in the case studies had. Thereby she found keys to solving her own entrepreneurial problems by studying others'.

The big picture

Filiz Zorluer from twilight B.V. (Netherlands) takes away how to target better, in order to be more successful. She said: "I have been saying that my product is for everybody, which is not true. We want to reach decision makers and influencers, that is what I learned here. I now know why I had the feeling of having to step back and see the big picure to get my marketing strategy right."

In the middle of almost 20 hours of hard working, there was also some time to relax. During a rooftop BBQ the participants from both KICs got the chance to get to learn each other a bit. 

At the end of day 2, feedbacks sounded like "it was very intense" and "the case studies were very helpful" but most of all, participants liked the way how they were stimulated to come up with the answers themselves, not to hear them ready-made by the lecturer.


We expect most participants to go home fatigued - but with a big pile of homework and lots of incitements for entrepreneurial growth. Thanks for your attendance to a great Master Class!

© 2010-2020 EIT Digital IVZW. All rights reserved. Legal notice. Privacy Policy.