When I asked my friends what elective classes I should take to graduate, I got couple of answers for the laid-back type of classes, and one for a very intensive training class. In my opinion, senior classes are not supposed to be laid back, but insanely competitive to prep you enter to the real world. So I decided to choose the class that helps expand my knowledge. The class called “Marketing Management”, taught by Professor Laura Dwyer.
If you are a curious type of student and are not afraid to try new thing, and gain new knowledge, this class will be the best to take for your senior year. It gives you an in depth knowledge of middle and upper management level marketing problems. In addition to that, it encourages critical thinking and helps improve effective business writing especially in the report.
The class is divided into two main sections. The first half of the semester is a business simulation called Markstrat, and the other half is for developing a comprehensive strategic marketing plan.
This blog will give you some tips about Markstrat. Far-most, it was the most intense, interesting simulation game I have ever played. Our team ranked last for 4 periods and then won second place. I hope, through my experience, you will know what to do and be the lead in the game.
Do’s and Don’ts in Markstrat:
- Read the manual: even though it is long, and tedious. IT IS THE BEST GUIDE to SUCESS.
- Make an excel sheet to keep all the data about the competitors. This will helps you analyze and predict what the competitors are up to.
- Be the first one in the Vodite market. Do not be afraid that your product won’t be good enough. You can always change it later through R&D. Consumer’s awareness and perceptions are the most important factors to gain the market share in the Vodite market.
- Use your resources: talk to the professor early in the period, or others who already played this game.
- Continually have R&D to improve the products because the PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE in Markstrat is real.
- A product should only target one segment. Trying to target more segments with one products will be the disadvantage for the long run.
- Take a risk. Don’t be afraid to take short term losses for long term gains. Be creative but smart about your decision.
- Make sure that you have enough money to keep your product in the portfolio competitively. Too many products without management will decrease the market share in the long run.
- Map out your team decisions. Know why you are doing what you doing, have data, and numbers to support it. Do not go with “I think we should”. That’s vague and dangerous.
- Performances in the later periods determine your win or loss, so do not get too comfortable with the initial success.
- People said buy all the reports. But I think it is redundant. A couple of research reports I suggest buying are:
- Industry benchmarking: you will be able to see what other teams spend on R&D, thus predict their next steps.
- Market Report: shows how much product did other teams sold, their prices, and based costs
- Consumer Panel: shows the market share each product gains in each segment.
- Distribution Panel: market share per distribution channel. This will help to allocate the commercial team
- Semantic Scales: Brand perceptions, important characteristics that consumers want.
- Market Forecast: Helps you calculate production plan. ( I will have more detail on how to calculate this next blog)
- Competitive advertising and competitive commercial teams: shows how much competitors spend on these two categories. Help you determine how much you should spend to gain more market share.
Next blog, I will give out some tips and formula to calculate opportunity/real cost, perception and preferences, and production.