Marco Bertini

Inquire About This Speaker
Marco Bertini

Foremost Authority on Strategies that Build and Sustain Revenue; Leading Expert on Creating and Sharing Value with Customers; Co-Author, “The Ends Game: How Smart Companies Stop Selling Products and Start Delivering Value” (MIT Press, September 2020); Professor of Marketing, Esade

Biography

Many companies have a great brand, product or service but still struggle to convert it into revenue that can fund future innovations, repay investors, and support social and environmental initiatives. This is the type of challenge Esade professor and business strategist Marco Bertini helps companies tackle every day.

Bertini is a foremost authority on creating and sharing value with customers. For years, he has been teaching firms – including AT&T, Boston Consulting Group, H&M, Coca-Cola, Procter and Gamble, Fox Networks and Novartis – how to capitalize on innovation and competitive advantage so they can effectively generate revenue and build stronger brands. His unique frameworks and insights – a rare blend of economics and psychology – form the basis for sustainable organic growth at organizations struggling to realize the full value of their commercial efforts and customer relationships.

In the Fall 2020 issue of MIT Sloan Management Review, Bertini and his co-author, London Business School marketing professor Oded Koenigsberg, unveiled their newest framework which outlines three powerful business models that escape the tyranny of traditional “make and sell” transactions. The article draws on the authors’ latest research presented in their book, “The Ends Game: How Smart Companies Stop Selling Products and Start Delivering Value” (MIT Press, September 2020) which explores how modern technology stimulates accountability, challenging organizations to succeed on the quality of the outcomes they deliver rather than the specific offerings they bring to market.

“The way we see it, ‘impact’ data – and the technologies that deliver and analyze it – is transforming corporate accountability for customer outcomes from a fashionable marketing slogan into a strategic imperative,” says Bertini, who cautions companies not to dismiss this idea as a passing trend.

The new framework puts customers right at the center and shows how firms can best expose untapped market potential and “capture the lion’s share of the resulting value” by competing increasingly on customer outcomes rather than products and services. The authors argue that, for example, paying by the pill, semester, food item, vehicle, or theater act is a poor proxy for the health, education, nutrition, transportation, and entertainment customers actually seek from their purchases, and that business models anchored on these “old-school” metrics open themselves up to disruption.

This is really a story about technology,” says Bertini. “In the last ten years, market research has gone so far that we can now understand what, when and how customers are consuming and often what value they derive. This is an opportunity to flush out inefficiencies and significantly increase the value pie ultimately shared by customers and firms.”

# # #

Marco Bertini has directly applied his methods as an advisor to leading companies such as ExxonMobil, IBM, Pfizer, P&G, Telenor, Vodafone, Young Presidents’ Organization and many others. His research appears in the leading journals for management science and practice, including Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing, and Marketing Science. His work and commentary are often featured in top media including the BBC, Financial Times, Strategy+Business, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

Bertini received his doctorate from Harvard Business School and previously served on the faculty at London Business School. He has been nominated for the Business Professor of the Year award, a global competition held by The Economist Intelligence Unit, and recognized by the Marketing Science Institute as one of the most promising scholars in the field. Bertini was also named to the Thinkers 50 “Radar Thinker” list of the scholars “most likely to shape the future of how organizations are managed and led” in 2017.

Marco Bertini is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Videos

A-Z Name

Bertini, Marco

Biography

Many companies have a great brand, product or service but still struggle to convert it into revenue that can fund future innovations, repay investors, and support social and environmental initiatives. This is the type of challenge Esade professor and business strategist Marco Bertini helps companies tackle every day.

Bertini is a foremost authority on creating and sharing value with customers. For years, he has been teaching firms – including AT&T, Boston Consulting Group, H&M, Coca-Cola, Procter and Gamble, Fox Networks and Novartis – how to capitalize on innovation and competitive advantage so they can effectively generate revenue and build stronger brands. His unique frameworks and insights – a rare blend of economics and psychology – form the basis for sustainable organic growth at organizations struggling to realize the full value of their commercial efforts and customer relationships.

In the Fall 2020 issue of MIT Sloan Management Review, Bertini and his co-author, London Business School marketing professor Oded Koenigsberg, unveiled their newest framework which outlines three powerful business models that escape the tyranny of traditional “make and sell” transactions. The article draws on the authors’ latest research presented in their book, “The Ends Game: How Smart Companies Stop Selling Products and Start Delivering Value” (MIT Press, September 2020) which explores how modern technology stimulates accountability, challenging organizations to succeed on the quality of the outcomes they deliver rather than the specific offerings they bring to market.

“The way we see it, ‘impact’ data – and the technologies that deliver and analyze it – is transforming corporate accountability for customer outcomes from a fashionable marketing slogan into a strategic imperative,” says Bertini, who cautions companies not to dismiss this idea as a passing trend.

The new framework puts customers right at the center and shows how firms can best expose untapped market potential and “capture the lion’s share of the resulting value” by competing increasingly on customer outcomes rather than products and services. The authors argue that, for example, paying by the pill, semester, food item, vehicle, or theater act is a poor proxy for the health, education, nutrition, transportation, and entertainment customers actually seek from their purchases, and that business models anchored on these “old-school” metrics open themselves up to disruption.

This is really a story about technology,” says Bertini. “In the last ten years, market research has gone so far that we can now understand what, when and how customers are consuming and often what value they derive. This is an opportunity to flush out inefficiencies and significantly increase the value pie ultimately shared by customers and firms.”

# # #

Marco Bertini has directly applied his methods as an advisor to leading companies such as ExxonMobil, IBM, Pfizer, P&G, Telenor, Vodafone, Young Presidents’ Organization and many others. His research appears in the leading journals for management science and practice, including Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing, and Marketing Science. His work and commentary are often featured in top media including the BBC, Financial Times, Strategy+Business, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

Bertini received his doctorate from Harvard Business School and previously served on the faculty at London Business School. He has been nominated for the Business Professor of the Year award, a global competition held by The Economist Intelligence Unit, and recognized by the Marketing Science Institute as one of the most promising scholars in the field. Bertini was also named to the Thinkers 50 “Radar Thinker” list of the scholars “most likely to shape the future of how organizations are managed and led” in 2017.

Marco Bertini is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Speech Topics

This selection of speech topics can be presented in keynote or workshop format. Click here to explore additional speaking topics.

The Ends Game: How Smart Companies Stop Selling Products and Start Delivering Value

Technology is rewriting the rules of commerce. In our era of mobile and cloud computing, the internet of things, advanced analytics, and micro-transactions, enhanced transparency is putting pressure on organizations to profit from the actual value they provide, not from what they make. Today, accountability is no longer a fashionable marketing slogan, but a strategic imperative. Customers demand it: they struggle to understand what their money buys them, and technology empowers them to challenge the promises that businesses make. Similarly, many startups tout accountability as a means to stand out from tired incumbents. In this presentation, based on his upcoming book with Oded Koenigsberg, “The Ends Game,” Marco Bertini uses examples from sectors as diverse and consequential as healthcare, automotive, education, media, aviation, and mining to map the gradual but relentless evolution of markets to a point where money flows to proof rather than promises. He helps organizations not only grasp the fundamental challenges of this revolution, but also transform what is essentially economic waste into tangible value that market players can capture.

Prices, Pricing and Society

Henry Ford once said, “A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.” While the role of business in society is often criticized, many of the debates revolve around pricing. Typically, prices determine access to the market and the norms and expectations that customers hold about a trade. Prices also guide attention and dictate what customers do (or avoid doing). In this presentation, Marco Bertini will clarify the broader implications of the pricing policies of organizations. Then, he’ll take these insights and lay the foundations for a revenue strategy for you to follow that is at once both profitable and responsible.

A Better Harvest: Four Steps for Turning Strategy into Lasting Revenue

If you want to understand how successful organizations sustain their edge over time, look beyond their ability to understand and serve customers and study how they turn insights into income. Monetization expert Marco Bertini explains that, while firms ultimately exist to create value for customers and revenue for themselves, many business leaders obsess over the first task and treat the second as a tactical afterthought. In fact, generating lasting revenue is as much about creativity and strategy as it is about dollars and cents, and the decisions one takes educate and stimulate a market as much as they mark the value of a sale. In this presentation, Marco Bertini talks broadly about the “mission” of prices and pricing and lays out an intuitive framework to improve this basic skill. Bertini also addresses common strategic challenges, such as the impact of the digital revolution, how to design a revenue strategy that is customer-centric, and understanding the underlying psychology of markets. Getting all of this right unlocks surprising opportunities to capture value – and even to grow it.

How to Price Anything

Every business has to price what it sells. It is inescapable, yet deeply misunderstood. Most organizations have the right intuition: know your costs, track the prices of competitors, understand what customers want and value, and agree on the broader corporate goals. However, the problem often lies in juggling this information and combining it with sufficient confidence. In this presentation, Marco Bertini recommends that organizations follow three steps: scope, set, and tweak. He draws several lessons, but three stand out. First, pricing anything is a balancing act between looking inside and outside of the organization for direction. Second, the dominant ingredient is appreciating how one’s offering is unique and meaningful in the eyes of customers. Third, management must question how the processes of creating and capturing value in a market feed into each other. Decoupling the two causes organizations to act incongruently and squander long-term profitability and growth.

Selling Value to Customers

At the heart of every selling strategy lies the need to communicate value to customers and defend one’s price. Indeed, Marco Bertini subscribes to the belief that price is seldom a problem when the value of an offering is clearly understood by sellers and buyers alike. In this presentation, Bertini discusses the complications that often arise when an organization tries to sell value in a market plagued by customers who, strategically or otherwise, are skeptical. To remedy the situation, Bertini lays out a roadmap with five clear actions. In an interactive presentation, Bertini reveals how to achieve a better understanding of what value means to customers and how firms can be true to their promises. Implementing this roadmap gives a sense of calibration and confidence that helps fight off the pressure imposed by clients and competitors. Organizations that “stay calm and sell value” see immediate returns, followed by sustained growth and profitability. Bertini’s framework is therefore a recipe to capitalize on value creation, particularly in markets where innovation and creativity are fast-paced and expensive.

Anchors, Nudges and Charms: Mastering the Weird Psychology of Price

Perceptions of value are not only measurable, but also malleable. Indeed, customer preferences are not as clear and stable as classical economic thinking predicates, explains Marco Bertini. Rather, one’s needs and wants can shift across situations and time in ways that researchers in psychology and sociology have been mapping for years – and that business leaders are only now starting to grasp. Bertini helps audiences understand how the nuances of human thought and behavior influences even the most mechanical of pricing decisions. He explains some of the popular anchors, nudges, and charms at the disposal of organizations interested in motivating and empowering customers. As Bertini explains, it is a critical, differentiating ability for any business plagued with customers who appear disinterested in any argument other than a low price.

Media

Array

Books & Research

Array

Workshops

Marco Bertini is available for interactive workshops based on his presentation topics. Workshops typically begin with a presentation, which Bertini then expands to include feedback and discussion with the audience. The specific format of a workshop varies based on the size and composition of the audience: a small, intimate group of senior executives engages freely with Bertini, asking any questions they desire and exploring specific aspects of the topic in greater depth, while larger groups experience a more structured exercise based on the subject. Each workshop is tailored to the sector and made relevant to the goals of the organization.

Recommendations

Advance Praise for “The Ends Game”

“Digital technologies are transforming every business but the core principle of value creation endures: take care of the customer. But how? Bertini and Koenigsberg provide managers an insightful roadmap based on careful research and lively examples.”

— Erik Brynjolfsson, Professor, Stanford University; co-author of “The Second Machine Age”

“In order for organizations to justify a ‘forever transaction’ with the customers they serve, they need to start by aligning their goals with those of the customer. Only by putting the customer at the center of everything they do can organizations maximize value creation. Before hopping on the bandwagon of the latest pricing scheme, read this book to understand the bigger picture.”

— Robbie Kellman Baxter, Founder, Peninsula Strategies; author of “The Membership Economy” and “The Forever Transaction”

“‘The Ends Game’ elevates our current understanding of pricing to the next level. The book is simultaneously rigorous and practical, and belongs on any executive’s shelf.”

— Hermann Simon, Founder and Honorary Chairman, Simon-Kucher & Partners

“Consumers don’t buy products, they buy solutions to their problems. Products are a means to an end. This book highlights this simple but powerful idea, and explains its implications for business practices. A timely and must-read book.”

— Sunil Gupta, Edward W. Carter Professor of Business, Harvard Business School; author of “Driving Digital Strategy”

Social Media

Similar Speakers

Array