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Case Study

Annual Periodic Reports

              Topcon is an international company specializing in medical and positioning equipment. This past year ending in March 2018, Topcon’s net sales were 145,558 million yen ($1,306,790,000 USD) with a profit of 10,674 million yen ($95,830,000 USD). The net sales grew 13.4% from the previous year and the profit grew 40% from last year. The company continues to grow in countries due to the growing populations having more medical needs and infrastructural needs. Some countries are starting to make it required to have technology like Topcon’s on your construction equipment to make building more efficient.


Internal and External Productions

              Topcon’s marketing department produces many different types of videos used for both internal and external use.  Some of Topcon’s videos that are used for external use include: product promotions, case studies, trade shows, Roadshows, production, and event videos. These are the videos that are viewed and sent directly to the customers and media. The videos produced for internal use include: dealer training and executive quarterly reports. These ones go to the employees. The costs of these productions vary in budget. Some are very small and may cost as little as $0-$20, but others involving travel or hiring of outside sources can be several thousands.






              My video department within the Creative Brand team was rather small, consisting of KC Smith, Elmer Valencia, and Ralph Strabala. Others were in the Marketing Department; however, I did not work with them directly.

Elmer Valencia – Manager of Multimedia and Motion Graphics

              Elmer is in charge of video creation, distribution, content development, and style development. He was my main go-to person this summer. Elmer’s background has been 13 years working at Topcon moving from the positions of animation and video lead to design lead to his current position. Elmer studied at Pacific Union College here he majored in graphic design, photography, and film and TV Production. Having joined this branch of Topcon so long ago, he has been able to watch it grow and leave his mark on the department with his talents.


KC Smith – Video Specialist

              KC graduated from Boston College’s School of Management following up with another degree at New York University in Filmmaking and has been in the film/video industry ever since. KC has worked for Pure Image Associations producing videos for educational and marketing use for small companies and non-profits. After working with this company, he moved on to work for the Film Arts Foundation as a Facility Manager. Here is where he was in charge of the equipment rental facility, managed a staff, and taught classes. After 7 years there, KC took up working as a Video Production Coordinator for Wachovia Corporation. In this position, KC as responsible for shooting content for the bank. Surrounding this job, he was also involved in being a Freelance Director of Photography, Producer, and Director. KC owned his own brand called StorySmith Films. In this, he was able to shoot, edit, and direct for companies, such as: Adobe, Nat Geo BorderWars, American Ninja Warriors, Common Sense Media, and more. For the past 5 years, KC has been working for Topcon where he has a steadier income and doesn’t have to be away from home as much from his daughter. It uses all of his skills and he really enjoys it.

Ralph Strabala – Senior Manager of Advertising and Graphic Services

              Having a creative background, Ralph was interested in cartoon creation at an early age. After pursuing Marvel for drawing and making it far in the hiring process straight out of high school, he was afraid to move from Arkansas to LA, so he went to college for business studying marketing and advertising. While in college, he illustrated stationary, worked at ad agencies, sweatshops, and video animation. He really wanted to pursue film, but currently very much enjoys his job at Topcon where he has the freedom to apply what he loves to his job. He can apply his creative side at this job and make it his own His advice to me was to not let anything slow me down, “find a way” to make it work if you are passionate about it.


Some other co-workers that I worked with, but not super closely with were: 

Dave Driver - Freelance Cinematographer

Tina-Marie Monterroza - Head of Social Media 

Jackie Ferreira - Director of Branding and Communications

Professional Development Strategy

              Development strategies suggested by my supervisor and manager include the main idea of staying up with current trends. In order to do this, they recommended watching shows, taking any classes possible, watching YouTube videos, and attending conventions like the NAB in Los Vegas and Adobe Max.

Some professional organizations that were recommended by KC, since he was in free lancing for so many years, were the following: Bay Area Music Collection, Final Cut User Group, Film Art Foundation, San Francisco Film Society. He suggested looking into the groups in areas I am interested in working. He worked in the San Francisco Bay area, thus most of his suggestions were for that area.


Marketing Strategy 

         Topcon's marketing strategy involves many different factors. Looking at the physical year, Topcon will review Asana, thier project management site, with all the projects incorporated in it. The main outline is based on the products that are being released that year, that is how to set their timeline. They look at what areas of machine control and agriculture are growing and analyze how best to go about getting the information out to the masses. Other things to consider as an international company are the different political environments, mainly the tariffs on imports and exports. While all of these timelines are being created,  Topcon wants to focus on bringing recognition to the Topcon brand as well. For the branding side, Topcon focuses on the Roadshow and PR events. They are making sure to use certain words more often in their ads so that people start to associate those words directly with Topcon. The company also teams up with a lot of more well known companies, such as: Autodesk, Bentley, SAP, Microsoft, and Intel. So, they are using these partnerships as another way to get their name out there. By leveraging other brands, they can leverage themselves. 

How The Site Budget Is Determined And Monitored

               To find the budget information, I had the chance to sit down with Jackie Ferreira, our Director of Branding and Communications, who explained to me the processes. First, the company makes an estimated figure of what income from sales is going to be for the year. Then the budget has the frame of what to work with. There are different departments that it then gets divided between, including: Marketing, IT, HR, Manufacturing, etc. These amounts are determined on a historically based budget which looks at last year’s spendings and uses that to set this year’s budget. Once each department has their amount, within Marketing, the budget it the divided up even more into sections including: launches, events, PR events, ads, literature, web, etc. Once everything has been divided up to these smaller places and used throughout the quarter, there are reports made quarterly to check how things are going. If HR is spending too much, maybe marketing will make some cuts to help come out even. Moves like those help the budget stay balanced. Jackie had told how in a manager role like hers, you have to make decisions about what is able to be cut from this year to help the budget, and she says it is always better to cut projects then people. The people are much more important.


Project Management

              As projects come up, they are assigned by the senior staff members who are the heads of the smaller department divisions using a system called Asana. On Asana, the team member can put in the project, who is all involved, what the smaller tasks are that are needed to build it, and the deadlines. This system is relatively newer for everyone but seems to be working. Every so often, there will be a meeting to see how all the parts are doing on the project and see if anything needs changed. Also, once a month is an All-Hands-On meeting to discuss what all is going on in the marketing department, because there are people working in offsite locations all over the world and these meetings are beneficial in ensuring everyone is on the same page. These meetings help maintain quality because communication is key to any production or project.

              Project timelines really just are determined by when they are needed and when they were thought up. When there is a convention coming up soon, often there is a new video needed to be finished so that it is ready to be premiered at the event. Events are often the deadline it seemed.  Also, it is common for unknown struggles to occur and if there isn’t an event for the deadline, the date may get pushed back.

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