Individual Reflection

How well the group worked together

As part of Marketing Communication and Media Management module, we were supposed to work as a team of six or five members and were given the choice to select team members on our own.
First meeting – we get to know each other, we start brainstorming what should we name our agency and why. We name it “Salinus” at first which means salt because salt makes food taste better. In addition, we decided on the colors, logo, website and social networks.
Second, we also discussed what marketing activities we can run for M&S, everyone were giving suggestions and examples, then we decided that everyone should think about what kind of marketing campaign we can adopt for M&S and to share what seems most suitable for M&S.
Third, Christmas holiday is coming up, some of the members are going home therefore we decided to meet every Tuesday on Skype to follow our progress we also created a plan sheet for every task and who is responsible for it and the due date in order to monitor our progress.

How you organized the allocation of specific tasks within the group

We started to allocate task to meet each member skills. Bader has experience in graphic design so he was responsible for all the art and design work. Alaa has an experience in real advertising agency so he knows how pitching works and what do we need to do in order to impress clients. Po-ling has an experience in social media activities and technology so he was responsible to create all social networks accounts and make it activate all time. Tao was taking notes, organizing and sharing ideas and also in analyzing data. And myself I was providing more academic outcomes.

What particular challenges your group faced and how you addressed them

After the lecture we decided to met as the lecturer didn’t like our Name/logo and all the design work, it was upsetting point for us all because we were really enthusiastic but probably because we didn’t presented with excitement, therefore we met and decided to rename our agency although a lot of arguments happened on that day half of the group wanted to stick with same name but make it just salt ! And the other half wanted to change the whole thing. For me, I preferred to change the whole thing because we don’t want just to be ok, we want to impress the client. After that we finally decided to re name the agency, so everyone was assigning to give some suggestions and why he chose this name, which led us to name our agency “Buzzer”.

What new skills you had to acquire and how you went about achieving them

Skills:
First and for most, dealing with conflicts in group. Second, communication and negotiation skills. Third, building relationships is a key, because if we do not get closer at this stage we would not pass through to the next step. And finally, time management as we also have other projects and exams in the same time period. However, the plan sheet helps me, and the group to be focused and prepared.

What specific learning points you will carry forward to future modules/dissertations/career planning.

A primary research was conducting to collect customer attitudes and behavior using questionnaire. The learning points here the use of secondary and primary data research that we can use for our dissertation, how it works and how to get out the most of it.

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Creativity!! is a key for Marketers..

Preparing for a career in Marketing:

Over the last few weeks, we’ve discussed recent marketing careers requirements posted in different sites. Almost every job requires e-marketing and digital as well as technological skills rather than traditional marketing skills which nearly died.  It is important for each student at this stage to consider asking how to be prepared for a future career every now and then, because marketing is a fast changing field. In addition, Recruiters are changing the way of searching and evaluating candidates, things like online identities is really a matter today which tells a lot to recruiters about candidates. In this post I will first identify an example of potential careers and key skills required along with how am I going to be prepared for these career positions.
I think the most important thing that marketing recruiters are looking for is Creativity, what’s the point for knowing the theories and knowledge and not knowing to apply it in real life. Recruiters will know, if you are creative from your online presence (social media – LinkedIn, Blogging, Personal website, slide share, projects etc..) therefore, this will shape a picture of you into employers mind. Take for example this desired job digital marketing executive. This job requires these skills, online marketing, social media marketing, customer interaction and relationships. In order to approach this job I have to align my skills with the job requirements. If someone imagine himself a brand or product, for instant apple adopted the most attractive and desirable products in the market that met individuals’ needs, and this what we need to do as a graduate students.

The first action needs to be considered, is to use and develop the opportunities that rose during my studies such as, keeping up to date with marketing issues, applying knowledge into practice, attending career fairs (Networking) and get the most out of employability workshops. In addition, subjects covered vary from marketing theories in today’s context that will teach us how to use tools like search engine optimisation, pay per click etc.. To web application that will develop my programming and website management skills, and communication skills that will build up my presentation skills because marketers need to be good speakers in order to convince customers. Also, leadership skills, engaging in teamwork will enhance my leadership abilities. As a consequence, these combinations will form the basic skills that every marketing job requires nowadays.

This brings us to the next action “self-developments”, which includes many things but the most significant ones related to online tools such as Google analytics, adwords, web design, social media and multichannel digital marketing. As a result, getting familiarises with these tools is necessary, because companies are shifting towards online activities as a channel rather than traditional channels,  which makes these tools now crucial requirements in marketing jobs.

In short, the ability to learn new skills continually and keeping up to date is a key, in order to be perfectly prepared for a potential career. Therefore, I must link skills obtained through my studies together with self-developments and adjust it with the job requirements.

“New DNA of Marketing” Vs. “Old DNA of Marketing”

Key Learning points

For me, the name of the module solely (Marketing in the 21century) is interesting. It emphasizes on major themes in marketing practice today and how marketing shifted when it first introduced in 1950s from product oriented to customer oriented. At that time customers had no other alternatives. So, businesses were focusing on the product functionality and features which rather based on the 4p’s marketing principles. While, as competitions increase, customers now have various substitutes and this makes it challenging for businesses to strive in the market. Therefore, marketers have identified new routes that concentrate on customers in order to differentiate their businesses. This particular module have provided us with different aspects that will lead us to build an insight into how to practice marketing in today’s environment. In this post I’m going to highlight the three most significant aspects taught through this module, giving some evidence and comparison on how marketing used to be (Old DNA of marketing).

According to Kotler & Armstrong (2012), the key objective for marketers is to manage obtaining profitable customer relationships. Building customer relationship forms an essential part of the new DNA marketing model which present marketing practice today. Organisations nowadays tend to exploit every touch point with customers. For instant, Companies like Amazon record every single item that you searched or bought, then the next day you receive an e-mail with suggested items that might interest you. This indicates how companies are shifting to one-to-one relationship whereby they create a specific profile for every customer in order to match their exact needs. This will link us to the next point which is Value proposition.

Building customer relationships can be created by delivering value to costumers (Kotler & Armstrong, 2012). Value is intangible, why would someone pay £20 for a cheeseburger from place like  “Byron” while he can pay only £1.99 for same cheeseburger from “McDonalds”. However, from a customer point of view, the higher the price, the higher perceived quality and value. People buy luxury cars like BMW because it looks nice and makes them feel good. Basically, value determines the net satisfaction derives from consuming a product (Baines, Fill & page, 2012). Therefore, Currently value proposition shapes the centre point in marketing, because it’s about what companies are giving that makes customers have no choice. Smart marketers tend to add value over a lifetime of a customer in order to sustain competitive advantage. Buying a car is always related to after-sales-services, take for example, Toyota has positioned it self at this area, providing services like 5 years guarantee.

This brings us to the last part which is pervasive use of Technology. Actually this what brought me to study Digital marketing. Thanks to web2.0 which allows both customers and organisations to interact in new ways. Customers are now more engaged with their preferred brands and hence this will lead to long-term customer relationships and adding more value to customers. Companies at this point have moved to digital marketing communications using online advertising, social networks, PPC.. which pretty much reduced the marketing costs. On the other hand, the main weakness of the old DNA of marketing was marketing communication which used to be push strategy and this doesn’t work in today’s environment because new generations of customers want to get involved and engaged with their beloved brands.

 

Rerefrence

Kotler, P., & Armstrong, G. (2012). Principles of marketing. New Jersey : Pearson Education.

Baines, P., Fill, C., & Page, K. (2012). Essential of marketing. New york: Oxford University Press.

My postgraduate Experience..

Challenges and opportunities

Nowadays searching for jobs are overwhelming, that’s why Masters programme are becoming an essential step stone for an individual future career. However, for students to make the most out of their masters’ programme, they should identify challenges they face and transfer them into opportunities, as well as highlighting opportunities that will lead them to fulfil their objectives. The decision to study MSc Digital Marketing in Southampton University has raised key challenges and chances for me that will be discussed in this first post of my personal development diary.

So the first part of this post will emphasize on opportunities and how I’m going to fulfil them. The following part will outline key challenges that I’ve faced and how am I going to overcome these challenges.

The first and foremost important is the opportunity to understand and learn the modern marketing, which this programme is all about. In addition, marketing is a fast paced changing field. Traditional marketing theory is not enough in order to compete in today’s market. From this opportunity I should make my self more up to date with the environment. Besides, studying with professional people (classmates) from different cultures will help develop my knowledge as well as learning from their own experience on how marketing does operates in real life. Moreover, teaching style through linking theories and practices (lots of useful examples on real time businesses).

Furthermore, preparing us for our future career by organising a daily base workshops related to career preparation. I’m going to attend as much as I can. Finally, this particular module have given me the opportunity to gain knowledge on social media and how it influence marketing today, and that’s what brought us to develop our first blog which maybe our path to be a successful bloggers in the future. In short, these new digital world techniques have opened up new methods for marketers that should be considered to predict what’s coming next.

On the other hands, there are some challenges that I’ve faced during this programme. The key challenge is to keep up to date with technology because it has a huge influence on marketing. Technology is a sea! It takes time to understand sometime. To develop myself, I need to consider the right time because there is no point to get to know something that is declining. Also, studying in different languages, which affects my confidence to present or speak, and this is a significant challenge because successful marketers need to speak confidently in order to gain trust. In addition, with all the materials covered and skills learned however, this doesn’t completely present how does a real business operate. So the lack of actual employability experience makes it challenging for me, that’s why I need to know what kind of skills do potential job require, in order to develop these skills and better match potential career.

At last, the key challenge is to combine the knowledge, skills and experience learned during this programme with the future careers.

Why it is important for Marketers to ‘delight’ their customers?

    The purpose of existence of a business is to serve its customers. Over last few decades customer satisfaction has emerged as the dominant paradigm within the marketing profession. This not only leads to profits but also business sustainability. Customer satisfaction is also significant because business competition has intensified to unprecedented levels. With commoditisation of products the role of customer satisfaction as market differentiation strategy has never been more significant. Customers have significant choices and switching costs have been lowered thanks to the rising usage of technology. Moreover, according to Meadows (2008) IT skills are natural to the upcoming generation of customers and this increased usage and comfort level with technology is affecting the way people communicate with each other. As a result, there has been a paradigm shift towards delighting customers and getting to know them better in order to maintain them and to serve their needs effectively. This essay will outline the factors that boost marketers to delight their customers.

The first factor is that today’s customers tend to spend more time online. Social networks, peer review sites and word of mouth recommendations have a great influence on consumers purchasing decision and this is creating new challenges for marketers. They are now expected to listen to, talk to, energize and support customers in a way that leads to positive emotions and consequently positive word of mouth (Bernoff and Li, 2009).  Smart marketers have to be innovative to generate positive word of mouth.  Take, for example, the mobile phone industry. There are many identical phones, which differ slightly in their appearance and brand but are moreover the same provide the same functionality to the consumer. Yet consumers exhibit a liking for one product more than the other. For many years Nokia had the highest market share but they have lost their market share significantly because they failed to understand what the new generation of customers wanted.  While Samsung and Apple have taken into account the forthcoming generation and learned about them in order to develop a phone that meets the needs of the new generation of consumers and even impressed them with the amazing design and features.

Delighting the customers will lead to repurchase behaviour or customer loyalty (Alexander, 2012).  According to Delgado (2001), customer’s loyalty generates benefits like “entry barriers to competitors, enhance the ability to respond to competitive threats, high sales volumes and revenues”. As a consequence, marketers started to build a relationship with their loyal customers through offering them unexpected and exclusive offers that will generate positive emotions and willingness to experience over and over again. For instance, Tesco records every single transaction related to the customer and creates a customer profile. This helps Tesco run targeted marketing campaigns enticing customer with offers which matches their needs.  Tesco’s success can be largely attributed to its customer focused strategy. Moreover, adopting strategies to generate loyalty is important in economic sense also because the cost of obtaining new customers is three to seven times higher than the cost of retaining existing customers (Geller, 1997).

To conclude, it is very important to delight customers by ensuring customer satisfaction.  The competition has intensified with the aid of technological developments and hence customer satisfaction has emerged as the key competing criteria. In such a market, only customer focused businesses are likely to survive especially those focusing on building one to one relationships. In my opinion, businesses should focus on understanding their customers and serve them proactively.

 

 

References:

  • Alexander,M (2012). Delight the Customer: A Predictive Model for Repeat Purchase Behavior. Journal of Relationship Marketing, Vol.11 No.2, pg.116-123
  • Bernoff, J., & Li, C. (2009). Harnessing the power of the oh-so social web. MIT Sloan management review, Vol. 49 No. 3, pp.36-42.
  • Delgado, B. (2001). Brand trust in the context of consumer loyalty . European Journal of Marketing., 35.
  • Geller, L.(1997) ‘Customer retention begins with the basics’. Direct Marketing; 60: p58–62.