Rosetta Stone’s Marketing Woes

Today’s issue of Bloomberg Businessweek featured a story entitled “Rosetta Stone’s Management and Marketing Woes”. For some people, Rosetta Stone is the pinnacle of technology-based language learning. It has become somewhat of a household name among language learners. In 2009 the company went public, selling shares that increased in value almost immediately. A year later however, stock prices have dropped, leaving investors wary.

One reason cited for the company’s downfall was unsophisticated marketing. Sure, they ran ads on TV, but it seems what they lacked was a long-term, comprehensive marketing strategy that accounts for the ups and downs of the economy. This is a topic I’ve written about both in articles and in my PhD thesis.

Marketing in good economic times is easy because money flows freely. Marketing during an economic downturn requires more creativity, more tenacity, more focus and better strategies.


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Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


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