A Conversation with 2017 Master of Marketing Graduate Chris North
MoM: How would you describe the overall experience in completing the capstone's project marketing audit, project proposal, completing the research and then presenting the final report to your client?
MoM: What challenges did you find in your client's business that had to be overcome to get your project enacted and then communicated to Velocity's management team?
MoM: We could describe your project as an arduous yet rewarding journey. You completed extensive customer research including both in-depth interviews and a broad-based customer survey to inform your recommendations. You had a plethora of findings showing a great depth of understanding of the customer's mindset. How challenging was it to deliver such deep findings to your client in a succinct way to support your recommendations?
MoM: The business environment changes more rapidly now than it ever has, so changes to the scope of works in the consulting project do happen. That’s life! What were the key things you focussed on that allowed you to consider your client’s instructions, and then quickly devise a realistic and achievable project that was in accordance with their instructions?
MoM: Your report was very illuminating for your client with telling marketing implications. Can you tell us about how some of the main findings (even unexpected findings) that was valuable to the business?
MoM: You have talked about the benefits to the business, what were the main benefits you received from completing the capstone project?
MoM: What advice can you give those students who are about to commence their projects or are now working through their projects?
- Be led by the overall business challenge and not nuances of a single marketing campaign. If I was to anchor my work to an idea, instead of a business challenge, then it would end in disaster. Focus on the challenge to the business, provide them with what they need. The Super Bowl as can always come later.
- Be a solutions person, not a problem person. Put each challenge into the sentence “you know the problem with this company? (insert problem here)” and then imagine being the CEO listening to that. Your marketing career will go nowhere fast if you’re the ‘problem person’.
- WWALT? (what would a layman think?). This seems weird but it makes perfect sense because it forces you to use everyday, simple language, and not get hooked up into management speak. Does the business face disconnected and imbalanced mission synergy? What does that even mean? If you want to say “the business needs to become more customer focussed”, then just say that.
- One thought per slide. What? Really? Yes. It’s an old radio adage “one thought per microphone break”. It forces me to be succinct and relevant. I put every slide, every recommendation, and every info-graphic through the filter: what is the one thing I want them to remember? If I’m asking them to remember too much, they’ll lose interest.