In my day-to-day role, I don’t get to make a lot of the marketing decisions, as much as I may like. I simply analyze information and make recommendations based on descriptive and some predictive data that with the resources that I have, leaving it to the company shareholders to make final decisions. Of course, that’s not necessarily a bad thing quite yet, as I’m a marketing coordinator for a small managed-service provider, it would be unrealistic to expect otherwise.
Recognizing this lack of power and therefore experience, I found a recent experimental project given to me by my Marketing Analytics professor to be extremely insightful. I was to use a Business Simulation to gain experience in taking the financial, market, company, and consumer data to create and execute an entire marketing strategy. Doing the simulation was honestly a risk-free to get the experience I need. Instead of just being told to read and analyze, I was able to make decisions and see the outcome of those decisions with a team of other marketing students, being given the role of a Media Managers.
The simulation was by far a walk in the park, as it was really easy to get caught up in the data and not making insights out of the data trends. For instance, in my simulation, I was to create a marketing strategy for an energy drink company across three markets (urban, rural, and tourism) and three age ranges (Generation X, Millennials, and Gen-Z). When noticing that Millennials were the core group of consumers and Gen-Z was pacing to become a large group of consumers within the next few years, I had to choose which mediums I would invest in to appeal to these targets in each market. Having large name recognition but a lack of actual action (buying the energy drink) for Gen-Z was one of the initiatives I focused on in the first year, noting that social media, event sponsorships, and paid digital was the way to go, I ran my first year and accomplished that, but at the expense of losing more share of Generation X. I was able to see how my decisions affected my market share, my marketing budget, causing me to rethink my strategy for the second year to make up for that loss, which is how many marketing departments in large companies work.
Overall, as difficult as it was to take all of the analytical information and use it to construct a plan, I found the experience to be very useful.