Topic: Use of Proprietary Information
Characters: Beth, Assistant Product Manager; Amanda, Beth’s former college roommate, now in advertising Amy, Group Product Manager and Beth’s supervisor
Beth enjoys most aspects of her first job out of college as Assistant Product Manager for a consumer package goods marketer, except that Amy, her Group Product Manager, is very competitive. Amy would seemingly stop at nothing to achieve a competitive advantage in developing marketing communications programs. In fact, after a recent strategic planning meeting, Amy was lamenting to Beth that the next quarter was going to be particularly troublesome given the area economy and that something was needed to stay ahead of the competition.
Coincidentally, that evening Beth received a surprise call from her old college roommate, Amanda, who was in town to pitch a potential new client. As the two talked about what each had been up to since graduation, Beth learned that the company Amanda was presenting to was actually the primary competitor of Beth’s.
Beth thought how much it would mean to her career if she could secure some intelligence on the planned advertising campaign from Amanda, and pass it along to Amy. This might just represent the missing piece Beth and Amy’s product line needed.
Author: Richard F. Beltramini, Associate Professor of Marketing and Advertising, Arizona State University.