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Weekend Conference Presentation
Morning Parallel Track - June 11th

Using a System of Stories to Create Innovative New Ideas
Presented by Bill Cummins

Primary Focus: Innovation
Secondary Focus:
Tools & Processes


Abstract: In this session, we will explore Systems Thinking through the lens of a non-technical profession: Marketing.  In the world of Marketing, we are basically "story tellers", i.e., we create stories that either: 
A) Lead to new product innovation and development, or..... 
B) Cause potential customers to "want" our new or existing products.   
In the world of Marketing, we deconstruct the status quo into a "system of stories", and imagine how possible changes to those stories might yield new products or new ways of causing people to want existing products.   

In our session, we will explore how Marketers think and do all of this.  We will discuss and examine pre-existing customer stories, how these stories work as an integrated system, and how we change those stories to create innovative new ideas.  Examples and case studies will be featured.


Bill Cummins

Biography: Bill Cummins is President of Cummins Marketing Consulting, Inc. (CMC).  Consulting clients have included large corporations in the U.S. and Japan, including J.P. Morgan, MasterCard International, Hewlett-Packard, and Yokohama Rubber Company.    Bill began his career in Chicago in the 1970's.  He started at Market Research Corporation of America and at Market Facts, Inc., both large consumer market research firms.  He moved to California in the late 70's as manager of market research at Hunt Wesson Foods.  From there, Bill moved to Toyota Motor Sales USA in Torrance, CA.  His first position at Toyota was in market research; he was then promoted to Long Range Market Planning Manager.  He did the first consumer research into the market for Toyota luxury cars (later named Lexus) in the U.S. in 1982.   

In 1985, Bill moved to Needham, Harper, and Steers advertising agency (which later became RPA), as head of Account Planning.  He managed a department of 12.  The Account Planning Department developed national and regional strategies for Honda advertising, as well as for other clients such as Disney Channel and US WEST.    In 1997, Bill founded CMC, based in Valencia, CA.  He has provided insights, ideas, and advice to a wide range of clients. 

Bill specializes in the fields of ethnographic market research and new idea generation.  He has developed his own proprietary methods of ethnography ("Joint Field Investigations") and idea generation ("The 2-D Imaginarium").    Bill holds an MBA in Marketing from Northwestern University and a BBA in Marketing from Loyola University of Chicago.

Contact: Bill can be reached by e-mail at bill@cmc-marketing-consulting.com for additional information about this session



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