Babson Professor Bill Bygrave, Case Director

Dan D'Heilly and Jeff Selander, Case Writers

Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship

© Babson College, 1996.


Bill and Lisa Pernsteiner created a best-of-class sales automation software product but agonized over their marketing campaign, which consisted of magazine advertising and trade-show exhibitions. They received a significant number of advertising inquiries, but sold few copies of their product. Then their sales consultant, Torrey Russell, suggested replacing magazine advertising with a guerrilla marketing campaign. Students must decide whether the present campaign simply needs more time to produce satisfactory returns, how to modify the campaign, or to discard it entirely. The case introduces students to a product-focused software engineer turned entrepreneur and a "me too" marketing plan for a unique product. The case offers an opportunity to explore technology adoption rates and buying behavior, guerrilla marketing, and the marketing mix (especially the marketing communication and advertising strategies). The case is best used in courses with a focus on family business, new ventures, guerrilla marketing, high-tech marketing, direct marketing, and distribution issues.

Location of the company: Seattle, Washington

Year(s) spanned by the case: 1992 through 1994

Industry segment(s): Marketing software for automating customer relationship processes

Stage of the company: Start-up

Age of the entrepreneur(s): 40s


A 23-minute DVD is available for this case. It is a presentation to Babson MBA students by the case principal, Torrey Russell. Please place orders through ecch.

Teaching Notes

A five page case teaching package, written by Bill Johnston (compiled by Dan D'Heilly), is available for this case. The teaching package includes strategies for case presentation, key concepts, solutions to the assignment questions in the case, and suggestions for the most effective ways to work this case into a course.