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Ken Wong

Speaking on Marketing & Strategic Planning


Speaker Ken Wong is not your typical academic. With work that has earned him the cover of Canadian Business and Strategy magazine and a place in the Canadian Marketing Hall of Legends, he is known for his energetic, entertaining and content-rich presentations. He is the Distinguished Professor of Marketing at the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University— rated by BusinessWeek magazine as the world’s number-one non-US MBA program—as well as Partner in the consulting firm, Level 5 Strategy Group. His list of clients crosses industries and size of firms from multinationals like GE, Microsoft, Starbucks and 3M to small startups and government departments and agencies at all levels. +

Wong is the former Chairman of the Board for PBB Global Logistics Inc., and a member of Advisory Boards and Boards of Directors for the Canadian Marketing Association and a number of private sector and non-profit organizations.

Wong has received numerous awards for his courses in strategic planning, marketing, and business strategy. Most recently, he was named an “Inductee” into the Canadian Marketing Hall of Legends and the National Posts “Leaders in Management Education”. Beyond Queen’s University, he has also taught in degree programs at Cornell University, Carleton University, Radcliffe College, and Harvard’s Continuing-Education Program, and in executive programs at York University, the University of Toronto, Dalhousie University, and the University of Alberta.

Wong writes regularly for Strategy, Canadian Grocer, and Meetings and Incentives magazines, and has served as a regular columnist for Marketing Magazine and The National Post. Ken has also written for The Financial Times, The Globe and Mail, and the Conference Board Review. His current research focuses on enhancing marketing productivity and brand profitability. --

Topics & Categories
  • Business Management & Strategy
  • Creativity | Innovation | Disruption
  • Customer Service & Loyalty
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Learning & Development
  • Marketing & Branding
  • Performance & Productivity
  • Sales & Service
  • Social Media | Internet of Things
  • Trainers

Ken Wong's Speaking Presentations:

Note: All programs are customized to include examples specific to each audience. Ken offers keynote presentations, as well as 1/2 day and full day workshops.

Your next BIG Thing

Ken will do a review of recent trends within your industry and search for other industries that have common characteristics. Ken will then combine that information with state-of-the-art research to present an "outsider’s view" of the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead. This program has been done in several different sectors and is especially useful to those who are trying to communicate or get "buy in" for a new strategy or vision.

Staying At the Top of Your Game

Based on six years as a judge in the 50 Best Managed Companies in Canada contest, Ken looks at the characteristics of those who successfully re-qualified versus those who failed to do so. In the process, he discusses how companies can become "victims of their own success", not only through complacency but because they failed to understand the demands that growth would place upon their people, their systems and their way of doing business

Competing Against Giants
– How Smaller Firms Can Prosper

In an era where industry consolidation and mergers are creating scale-advantaged giants in almost every line of business, some smaller firms have found a way to not only survive but also prosper. Learn how to capitalize on the disadvantages that large size can bring, how to leverage the unique qualities of small scale operations and how to use organizational arrangements to reap many of the benefits of large size without sacrificing the positive aspects of being a smaller enterprise.

More Than New Products

Innovation has come to be equated with new product development. But innovation is much more, encompassing every aspect of business performance. Learn to identify areas ripe for innovation and how to promote a culture of innovation for employees.

Growing Your Top Line

In a world where industry boundaries are blurring and new forms of competition are emerging, every CEO is in a constant search for business development opportunities. The hardest part of that search is distinguishing what we "could" do from what we "should" do - moving away from finding sectors where we can "play" to sectors where we should "win". In this talk, Ken reviews the necessity of finding new revenue streams and discusses the keys to finding the right opportunities. A great session for companies that want business development to be part of everyone's job and not just the CEO's.

Delivering on Marketing Promises

One of marketing’s major roles is to gain “trial” so that customers can experience and believe the claims that marketing and sales make. But too often firms spend so much energy delivering their claims to customers that they forget to communicate and motivate employees on making the right first impression. The result? Great strategies with weak execution: a lost opportunity that can never be recaptured. In this session Ken covers what every manager and every employee needs to know about how to convert “trial” into customer satisfaction and long term adoption.

Building and Managing Customer Loyalty

Consumers today are awash in loyalty programs and business customers are constantly being encouraged to be a part or a customer relationship program (CRM). However, most of these programs offer little to either customers or suppliers that cannot be generated by a more traditional promotional program. In this session, Ken reviews the economics behind loyalty programs - why and how they work. By session end, your audience will understand why it takes more than "points and software" to succeed at building and maintaining loyal customers.

Setting and Merchandising Your Price

Price is commonly seen as a means to an end: we cut prices to build volume. But for the average North American firm, we need a 4% increase in volume for every 1% reduction in price just to keep profitability at an even keel: a ratio that makes it hard to build profitable market share.

Value-Added Marketing
Making It More Than a Hollow Promise

Learn how to augment your product or service with auxiliary features and services that not only add-value for clients but provide a basis for superior price realization or lower cost of service.

Branding a Winner and Winning at Branding

A primer on the basics of branding and a case study (with videos) of the development of the McDonald's brand and how McDonald's became "a victim of its own success."

Internal Marketing
– Getting Employee to "Buy" Your Vision and Plans

Marketing is most often associated with how we communicate and deliver value to customers. However, most organizations fail to use the same principles and concepts when communicating with their own employees. Learn how to use marketing to insure that "promises made to customers are kept by employees."

Using "Experience" to Make Differentiation Profitable

Differentiation is usually associated with brand images and creative ways of presenting product and service quality in its most appealing and unforgettable form. The reason is simple: differentiated products command premium prices. But as more and more companies pursue this pathway to profitability, the cost of finding new ways to present old messages is rising and the probability of success is falling. Learn the bases of experience-based marketing and the keys to staging experiences that resonate for both your customer and your bottom line.

Marketing for Profit
a.k.a. Survival in a World of Margin Sucking Maggots

Learn the four major sources of profit drain and how you can address them. Implications specific to client industry and situation are provided.

Branding, Positioning and Value Propositions
Putting Your Best Foot Forward

Learn how to present your value proposition (the six alternative basis for presenting ideas) and how to determine whether to brand at the product, category or corporate level. (Note: customized version for High Technology products and services is also available.)

Selling Change Inside and Outside the Organization
A Marketing Approach

Learn how to use the tools of new product introduction and apply them to selling change programs within your organization.

The New Marketing
How Traditional Views Hurt Progressive Firms

Learn how and why marketing has moved from the so-called 4P's to a more integrative and interactive discipline.

Relationship Marketing
Avoiding the Hype

Much has been made of the promise and potential of relationship marketing. However, recent evidence suggests that many organizations "talk" a better relationship than they provide, even though they may be spending thousands of dollars on new technology and programs. Why? Because they forget the basics: why we do it, how we do it and how we know whether it's working. Find out how to avoid the most common problems in pursuit of superior customer relations.

A Marketing Approach to Employee Acquisition & Retention

Do you believe that marketing and sales are essential to winning and keeping customers? Do you believe that marketing and sales can help generate deeper levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty? If you do, then substitute “employees” for “customers” and ask yourself “could we improve employee acquisition and retention by applying marketing techniques in the H.R. Arena?”

In this session, Ken shows how today’s best managed companies are finding innovative ways of “selling careers to employees.” The trick? These high growth businesses approach the labour market using the same tools and concepts they apply in customer markets. In the process, they not only achieve greater levels of employee acquisition and retention but build organizations based on shared values and visions. Learn the magic that can happen when marketing and HR break down the silos to tackle everyone’s number one issue.

Ken Wong is represented by K&M Productions. For more information. fees, Ken Wong's speaking schedule & booking Ken Wong, contact us.


Your commentary was exactly what we needed and focused the group on some of the possibilities that exist for our businesses, particularly during a down turn in the economy. I don't think that anyone was truly connected to the financial and psychological impact that price cutting has on a business considering both current and future results. While it is easy to take that 'easy' first step on a price discount, the slippery slope leads to immediate and long term destabilization of the business model and grooms a market for commodity behaviour.

–Garland Canada


Your commentary was exactly what we needed and focused the group on some of the possibilities that exist for our businesses, particularly during a down turn in the economy. I don't think that anyone was truly connected to the financial and psychological impact that price cutting has on a business considering both current and future results. While it is easy to take that 'easy' first step on a price discount, the slippery slope leads to immediate and long term destabilization of the business model and grooms a market for commodity behaviour.

–Garland Canada

Ken Wong elevates marketing strategy and execution to an entirely new level.

–C-COM Satellite Systems


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