Tuesday, 17 February 2015

An Intern goes to Manly

So who are marketing interns and what do they do? We’ve all been in that place before; having to find an internship to “gain experience” and so on. Sometimes we have the right experience and skills for the job, and sometimes we want to learn more. The following is the story of one such marketing intern, and their perspective of what it means to become a marketer:

“I must preface this blog by stating that I have absolutely no experience in the marketing world. Coming from (and about to complete) a science degree at the University of Sydney, the world of marketing was foreign to me. I chose to explore my options and to see whats out there. As such, when I was given the opportunity to intern with a large FMCG company (which shall remain nameless), I jumped at it to hopefully see how we are influenced, coached and (sometimes) conned into buying what we buy or behaving the way we do. Two weeks into this strange world, one thing I have very quickly come to realise is that there is WAY more to this than I ever imagined.

As you may have been aware, or you will know if you were anywhere near Manly over the past two weeks, the Hurley Australian Open Surfing was taking place. A brand awareness dream; thousands of surfers, skaters, wanna-be-surfers/skaters and your inevitable tourists mixed in to the scene. One thing a novice marketeer would realise is that Manly, and its Corso, is set up just like the ideal shop layout. Your prime market, tourists, inevitably have their point of entry into the stunning Manly Wharf. The customer knows exactly what to expect; they are brought into this idea of the stunning golden beach with the sapphire blue waters, and the self perception of attaining the bronzed god or goddess like body that is abundant in the imagery around them.

(Source: http://www.saltwaterwine.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/poster_800_572_80.jpg)

Before Manly-goers can even make it to the surfing event, one can’t help but get taken up by the building anticipation of where they can go next. Slowly but surely, the merchandise in the stores scream the “SALE 20%”, “BUY ONE GET ONE FREE”, that adorns every surf shop window, and thus lulls the consumer into this beach living appearance. Finally, you are immersed in surf living and the Hurley Open is then taking over. In this case, the marketing scheme isn’t just the discounts; it's the way of life that those brands represent, coupled with the actual personification of the lifestyle - with the athletes and their sponsors all present. The perfect cohesion of marketing and advertising hits bystanders like a ton of bricks, and by now, they’ve probably already picked up a cold beverage of ours of some sort.”

(Source: https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7183/6924734467_a177292082_z.jpg)

It’s so interesting to see from a novice marketers perspective the immediate change in perspective the second you are given insight into the skills a marketer needs to have in order to analyse situations and bring value to consumers. And to think our Master of Marketing program helps us perfect the way of thinking that allows us to make ethical and calculated business decisions in a world driven by insights. Although I can't release this intern’s name and company, the point is that their story is where we all started out, and it also helps explain the difference between marketing and advertising, as they often get confused.

Christine Drpich
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

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