Faculty Spotlight: Kate Mackie

Kate Mackie

For three decades, Distinguished Senior Lecturer Kate Mackie has worked tirelessly to rewire the way professionals and organizations value strategic marketing. As both a marketing practitioner and professor at The University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business, she remains an authority on how marketing can become an all-encompassing investment tool that strategically drives business innovation.

Mackie’s 15 years as a marketing practitioner started at National Semiconductor Corporation’s systems division, followed by the Green Giant division at Pillsbury. Where most marketing departments work to target markets with an existing product, Pillsbury staffed marketing as a ‘line job’ wherein a marketer’s success was measured based on achieving financial goals that improved the company’s bottom line. This opened the door for a “target first, product second” marketing approach. “Profits in the consumer packaged goods world are razor thin. Companies realized they had to take more of an investment focus,” says Mackie. “As competition gets more intense, companies realize they have to be careful with those investments.” By identifying market pain points—and then developing products that alleviate that pain point—time, money and resources are saved, and bottom lines are improved.

“Ultimately, it is about finding what consumers need and developing a product or service that solves that problem better than the competition”

According to Mackie, streamlining product innovation requires a simple reversal of perspective — treating strategic marketing as a process to drive product development instead of vice versa. “Tech companies recognized this and starting stealing people away from the Pillsburys and Procter and Gambles of the world,” says Mackie. These companies recognized marketing as a line job and it has served them well in developing new technologies. “The biggest issue in problem solving is figuring out what the problem is.” In an industry where the investment in development resources and intellectual property is ten-fold, being able to identify a market pain point and develop technology with the knowledge that it will connect with consumers, and be profitable, is an enormous asset.

“Ultimately, it is about finding what consumers need and developing a product or service that solves that problem better than the competition,” says Mackie. And to do that efficiently, order is important.

Enroll in the Texas Executive Education Marketing Program today.

Upcoming classes with Kate Mackie:

Product Marketing for Technical Professionals – Feb 16-17, 2017 and Sept 19-20, 2017
Develop a thorough understanding of the concepts behind marketing strategy. Explore how to effectively differentiate your product. Address the fundamentals of marketing strategy and how it is used to help you achieve your sales and profit objectives.

Mastering Marketing Mix Design – May 11-12, 2017 and Nov 16-17, 2017
Learn how to market effectively in a dynamic, competitive marketplace by leverage relevant differentiators based on customer insights. This course provides you with the methods and tactics to build your strategy and implement your plan for maximum success.