ESCP Europe Business School
Login Signup          Sitemap

CMC Blog

Posted by Sebastian Carru at 0:00 - 0 Comments

Managing this project, for the development of the community of small businesses, with my peers at ESCP Europe, was possibly the hardest challenge of all during my Master.

Not only because it was hard to empathize with high street managers but also because we needed to show them concrete chances of short term results. In other words, it was hard to convey our "enterprise-case-studies-based" knowledge into something of value, something relevant for small businesses.


In her article on the Financial Times, Marketing and Creativity MSc co-director Meg Lee, gives a nice overview of the project. Putting emphasis on how this type of project can be beneficial to not only business owners but also MBAs.

On my side I learned three main things from speaking with around 50 businesses:

1. Digital Transformation for SMEs is not as simple as it looks on paper. Mainly because of lack of competences and time to dedicate. A lot of these business do not even have a website. They would like to have one, but they do not have the knowledge to create one or even the money to pay for.

2. Their focus is on short term "tactics" that can provide result immediately. While long term strategies sound like baloney. The willing to change the world does not make a small business successful.

3. They have deep understanding of their usual clientele, but struggle to attract new customers. The long lasting relationships created with the neighborhood are very strong, not only with customers but also other businesses. The new customers (lets call them "millennials" for the sake of it), they want to attract, are moving to online shopping and do not see them as a convenient alternative anymore.

It is all these boundaries that really force you to get creative and solve the challenges that businesses have. Having big budgets or big data is not a thing and that is why you can learn so much with this kind of experience. The same creative process, I believe, can be applied successfully to bigger sized companies or startups, that are trying to win in their industries or to achieve competitive advantage.

"Out of all limitations comes creativity"

Fun fact: A lady I met, owner of a pharmacy, very tough and stubborn walked me "politely" out of her shop with this line: "30 years of experience, and a bunch of students wants to teach me how to run my shop?! see you later.".

Sebastian Carru is Business Development Cloud & Cognitive at IBM & MSc in Marketing and Creativity Student.

Feeling inspired ed by Sebastian's blog? To follow in his footsteps, check out ESCP Europe and its Marketing & Creativity programmes:

MSc in Marketing & Creativity
Executive Master in Marketing & Creativity
Creative London Summer Course

Latest comments

There are no comments yet. Be the first to comment this post!


Get Social & Share


Latest from CMC Blog
Most active posts
How to Build a Billion Dollar App - 7 Comments
Posted by Creativity Marketing Centre @Creativitymktg
at 24/06/2015 7:49
Who's creative, who's not? - 3 Comments
Posted by Benjamin Voyer
at 09/11/2012 10:00
‘Growth hacking’, the new marketing trend in startups - 3 Comments
Posted by Vishal Kapadia - @vishkap
at 05/11/2012 15:10
The Vicious Spiral of Consumer Expectations of Creative Brands - 2 Comments
Posted by Benjamin Voyer
at 07/01/2013 12:45
Are retail stores dinosaurs? - 1 Comments
Posted by Minas Kastanakis
at 15/03/2013 10:37
Kristine de Valck, dry chicken, and paintball - 1 Comments
Posted by Tom van Laer - @tvanlaer
at 05/03/2013 16:18
Shakespeare was wrong - 1 Comments
Posted by Peter Stephenson-Wright
at 12/02/2013 13:50
How should companies respond to stories in social media? - 1 Comments
Posted by Tom van Laer - @tvanlaer
at 19/11/2012 11:50
Value as process - 1 Comments
Posted by Vlad Glaveanu
at 16/11/2012 11:31
Latest posts
Calling all creative innovators in Africa, the environment needs you
Posted by Kudzayi Ngwerume
at 01/03/2018 0:00
The time is now for renewables in Africa
Posted by Kudzayi Ngwerume
at 25/01/2018 9:23
How Meeting Local Street Shops Made Me Creative
Posted by Sebastian Carru
at 04/01/2018 0:00
Latest comments
On How to Build a Billion Dollar App by Free FIle Hosting

Anything in here will be replaced on browsers that support the canvas element