Thursday, 12 December 2013

Master of Marketing Receives AMI accreditation

It’s been a big year, not just for us students, but also for our degree. To close finish it all off, the Master of Marketing at the University of Sydney Business School has received accreditation from the Australian Marketing Institute. The highly respected industry body has 7300 members nationwide, and the Master of Marketing will be the second marketing degree to be accredited in Australia.

The accreditation is the outcome of a long process of preparation and has involved a team of staff members of the Marketing Discipline and the Business School. It will add another dimension of quality to this already highly regarded program offered by the University of Sydney Business School.

AMI says the key focus of the accreditation process is on providing educators with industry feedback and assistance with curriculum development to “ensure continued professional relevance for marketing graduates”.

“The quality of each marketing course will ultimately be judged by the ability of its graduates to perform at a high level in a changing and competitive business environment,” the institute says. “This requires a flexibility of approach and a commitment to a lifetime of continuing marketing education.”

The Master of Marketing Program Director in the Business School’s Discipline of Marketing, Associate Professor Pennie Frow, has welcomed the AMI accreditation describing it as “hugely important to our students, faculty and the professional marketing community”.

“It is a recognition that graduates from our Master of Marketing are equipped with the practical skills and knowledge to tackle current business issues,” Associate Professor Frow said. “Accreditation means that employers can be assured our students undertake a program of rigorous applied learning that sets them apart in the job market.”

Congratulations to all the staff and lecturers of the Master of Marketing and the Business School for this prestigious recognition. What a great way to see off the year, and be sure to keep an eye out for more on this accreditation in the new year!

Hongi Luo: Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Jamie Oliver, Woolworths, Christmas, and our very own, Amanda!

December is well and truly here. Although in the southern hemisphere we don’t get the snow and frost, it doesn’t make the festive season any less of a celebration! One of the most important elements of this time of year is food. And how lucky we are in Australia, to be spoilt for choice and quality. However, in a season of overindulgence, the need for advocates for healthy eating is more important than ever.

Enter Jamie Oliver.

Along with the masses, I’m a huge fan. So it was very exciting to see him promote fresh food messages with Woolworths this Christmas season. But it doesn’t end there. A current Master of Marketing student, Amanda Nakad, worked up close and personal with Jamie in the UK and helped pull together the whole campaign. I jumped at the opportunity to ask her some questions about Woolworths and Bringing Christmas Together with Jamie Oliver.

View the Bringing Christmas Together with Jamie Oliver television commercial.

How was it co-coordinating such a big project? Especially an overseas project?At Woolies, we believe Christmas is about sharing good food and good times with friends and family. We know Aussie expats living in the UK miss great produce from home at this important time of year, so we wanted to bring them the great taste of Australian fresh produce in Jamie’s home town! Coordinating this project was definitely a lot of fun. We haven't had a TV shoot of this scale in a while, so I was honoured to be a part of it. There was a lot to be done, but luckily we have such a great marketing team at Woolies who love to get involved, so we had a lot of help! Knowing that it wasn't in Australia meant that we had to be very well prepared in advance, and it all ran very smoothly. We are so happy with the ads! Going to London in particular was amazing; it was actually my first trip there so I tried to squeeze the tourist activities in somehow... But getting to meet and work with Jamie was definitely the highlight of the trip.

How long have you been working on this for?We have been working on this for approximately six months.

Will Jamie be hitting our shores and a Woolies store any time soon?He sure will, and we're really excited to continue working with him. Watch this space!

Can you tell us a little bit more about the logistics of phasing out the sale of caged eggs in Woolworths stores?We are working with our suppliers to support them through the transition period including long term supply contracts so they can have the confidence to invest in infrastructure changes and reducing the cost of production, in turn keeping prices affordable for our customers.

Woolworths and Jamie Oliver are such a perfect fit, especially with Woolworths being "Australia's fresh food people." What do you think is the biggest marketing benefit from partnering with Jamie Oliver?Jamie is world famous for his passion for fresh food, and as Australia's fresh food people we believe our relationship is a natural fit. Jamie loves Australia and Aussies love him, so he’s a natural choice for us. Our partnership will focus on bringing better, healthier, affordable fresh food to life for everyday Australians, giving them the information and confidence to prepare great tasting fresh meals at home. Our biggest marketing benefit is the ability to communicate the benefits of eating healthy to Aussies everywhere, and potentially change behaviour and the health of Australians.

Amanda Nakad: Current student of the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School. Amanda is also part of the Brand Strategy team at Woolworths.

Hongi Luo: Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Louis Vuitton’s lesson in sensitivity

In advertising, especially in fashion advertising, it is all about shaping the boundaries of creativity. It is all about trying to make your customers to say WOW.  In doing so, marketers and advertisers sometimes forget that there are specific sensitive areas, like the deep seeded feelings of a nation, that could turn any creative idea into a mess. In such instances, nobody can predict how promotional words, images, or even a selected media spot in an event can resonate with a particular cultures' people.

Let’s look at last week’s example when French luxury brand, Louis Vuitton (LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton), placed a gigantic suitcase on Moscow’s historic Red Square. Suddenly, the massive nine-meter tall, 34-meter long Louis Vuitton trunk just materialised there. Placed just few steps from Vladimir Lenin's mausoleum. Once the first images of this mega-suitcase, branded with LV monogram, hit viral status, people hardly believed it was for real.

Photo: Reuters

Not surprisingly, it has sparked huge backlash among many Russians. I have learned from Russian media and comments amongst friends on Facebook that different social and political groups were insulted by Louis Vuitton’s performance. Some patriots were mad due to a foreign brand blocking the view of admired sites, like Lenin's mausoleum and St. Basil's Cathedral. But nearly all Muscovites simply complained for aesthetic reasons. 

It was initially intended to be a beautiful and whimsical Louis Vuitton promotional initiative – including an exhibition called "The Soul of Travel," with all profits from tickets being donated to children’s charity. However, it has now become a synonym to bad taste. The enormous Louis Vuitton suitcase was put down before the exhibition was even released.

Obviously, this Louis Vuitton performance got the attention of the Russians, but the question is whether it was for good for the brand and it’s customers. Do wealthy Russians want to associate with a brand that clearly hurt the feelings of their nation? Lack of culture research has more than just one negative outcome. In Russia, cases have always been a symbol of corruption as well as those Russian governments who have occupied the Red Square. Louis Vuitton might have just made too many wrong intentions with its gigantic case placed too close to Russian governments.

I do like Louis Vuitton for their huge effort in trying to keep people surprised, as well as their constant support and promotion of contemporary art. I was just wondering, perhaps it would be more reasonable if they had simply located that gigantic suitcase to another space. They didn’t have to offend those Russians who regard Red Square as an iconic space of national history in hosting military ceremonies during World War II. If they had simply done their research, been a bit more culturally sensitive, this whole campaign would have made the news for different reasons.

Elena Sveshnikova
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Getting happy (and getting page views) with Pharrell

Now that we’ve hit December, and the year is drawing to a close, people are either packing up shop, or preparing see the year out with a ‘bang!’ Last week, Pharrell released his song, Happy, with a world’s first 24-hour music video. I’m not going to list all of Pharrell’s achievements, but you can be sure that the singer, songwriter, producer, and business man has fit a lot into 2013. Happy is definitely Pharrell going out with bang!

Happy’s official website is still live with a constant stream of the day-long video. While I don’t think anyone will be sticking around for the whole length, I’m sure people are checking in every now and then. Checking in to see the many stars that appear fleetingly alongside seemingly everyday people. Checking in to hear the simple, yet catchy sunny tune. Checking in just to see if it’s still going!
But what has this got to do with marketing?

Maybe it’s a long stretch, but I think this project demonstrates the capabilities of a simple idea. It also shows how lines are continually being blurred between medium, artist, creation, and communication. Video art? Music video? Internet campaign? It’s a bit of everything. And Happy does it well. Somewhat utopic, the idea of people around the world watching the same video and sharing the same Happy feeling is comforting. I hope Happy brightens your mood and helps you ease into the busy holiday season. 

Hongi Luo
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Meet Burke, PR to the Vatican

Last week Pope Francis hit 10 million Twitter followers. He’s also been in and out of the media for cold-calling worshippers, joking around, and hanging out with a little orphan boy on stage during a public address (above). The Pope Francis seems like a pretty cool dude.

What’s the deal with the Pope’s transformation into a media darling? It’s all thanks to Greg Burke: the 53-year-old Fox News correspondent turned Senior Communications Adviser to the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, who is quietly changing the way the world views the Vatican city. Instead of the previous tactics of awaiting disaster control, Burke is leading the Vatican into the offensive, one newsworthy/viral-worthy titbit at a time.

Is it working? Last month Burke offered “10 things to know” about the Pope in a further step to humanise the Catholic leader. One of my favourites is number eight on the list, in regards to the Pope’s humility:

Living in a Vatican guest house instead of the apostolic palace, carrying his own briefcase on a trip… that’s just how the Pope is and people will have to “get used to it because we’ll see more of it,” Burke said.

It seems like Burke is doing a great job, and that we’ll probably be seeing more of Pope Francis and his antics!

Hongi Luo
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Coca-Cola to donate advertising spend to typhoon relief

It is incredibly rare to see a meme on the underdog site, reddit, praising the actions of a global giant. So when the above meme appeared on the forum, it was hard not to notice. Although discussion on the topic varies from critique to compliment, the commitment made by the company in support of the victims of Typhoon Haiyan is significant.

From 18 November, all media from Coca-Cola has been pulled in the Philippine area, with all efforts being directed to relief work. Coca-Cola stated “Any committed advertising space will be redirected to the relief and rebuilding efforts for the people in Visayas.” As well as this, Coca-Cola has already donated $2.5 million cash to relief efforts.

As one of the biggest advertisers in the region, Coca-Cola has not only dominance, but also responsibility to the community. Their swift action has not only demonstrated dedication, but also incredible marketing strategy. I know it’s probably very inapt to analyse the marketing tactics behind such a tragedy – but being a good brand means being a good neighbour. In this situation, where your brand has usually relied on the patronage of the people, it’s only right to give back when the people are in need.

Make a donation to the Typhoon Haiyan Appeal with the Red Cross.

Hongi Luo
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Wrapping up the year with Master of Marketing

I have said it many times, for me one of the great advantages of being a Master of Marketing student is the abundance of networking opportunities and collaborations with marketing practitioners.  Monday’s Master of Marketing event at the University of Sydney Business School CBD campus was another remarkable example of the continuing engagement of our program with the leaders of the Australian marketing industry.  

Despite the heavy rain, it was fantastic catching up with current and prospective students, teachers, alumni of the program, and a number of outstanding marketing industry executives. As well as a great atmosphere to network, value also came from the panel discussion “Marketing Innovation in the Digital Age” facilitated by Professor Donnel Briley.

The panel guests were John O’Nell and Craig Burtenshaw from Komosion, Georgia Scott from CTD and Kate Charlton, industry specialist and a lecturer of the Master of Marketing program. They shared their real business experience and spoke about what is digital marketing and what does it mean to be digital marketer.

Digital being a hot topic at the moment, there was a lot of discussion! Some key points of the lively and dynamic session is summarised by Professor Donnel Briley in the following order:
  • Be strategic – make sure that your use digital activities as a part of your strategic plan, not only for the technology sake
  • Educate your client and customer on digital – it is important to share similar digital experience with all your stakeholders in order to not be misled by them
  • Be transparent – digital marketing is always accompanied by data disclosure, behavioural tracking, online piracy issues, so marketers should ensure that their digital marketing is conducted in the right way
  • Stay constantly updated – in the digital environment things are changing all time, so it is a big challenge for marketers to keep up with the rapid technology development. You have to be truly passionate about what you are doing because engagement online is 24/7.
Although we all have degrees of personal and professional engagement with the digital world, it was incredibly beneficial to listen to the opinions of these professionals.

The cherry on the top of this Master of Marketing event was awarding two current students Adam Kennedy and Seray Korchagin who employed their digital passion throughout the course on various platforms. Prizes were also presented to students who achieved exceptional achievement in the 'Innovative Marketing Strategy' class.

Thanks to the University of Sydney Business School, Program Director Pennie Frow and particularly Associate Professor Terry Beed for hosting the event and allowing us the chance to engage with such an amazing group of people. 

Photos from the event.

Elena Sveshnikova

Current Student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

How to make a drop-dead cover letter!

Your cover letter is the first thing an employer will read about you, it is one of your key marketing tools, make sure it creates a positive first impression.  It should reflect your strengths and experiences in relation to the job you are applying for and be free of any spelling or grammatical errors.

If there is an advertised position make sure you target the skills sort by the employer for that role.  This means you can’t just use the same old letter for every job, you need to modify it for that role.


Where there is no advertisement (you might be asking for an internship or if a company would consider recruiting a recent graduate), you can use a standard letter but make sure you highlight your skills and experience relevant to employers in that profession.

Many large companies and government departments use online applications and some will not require a cover letter so you may not need to send one for every job you apply to.  Read the instructions carefully before you attach your cover letter.

Generally speaking cover letters should be no longer than one page in length.  The first paragraph should highlight why you are writing and your interest in the company and role.  The following 2 or 3 paragraphs highlight your skills, experience and attitudes relevant to the role – these will be fairly broad statements, you can include more detail in the resume.  Nonetheless you should provide evidence to support your claims. The final paragraph thanks the reader for their time and suggests arranging an interview.

Use good quality white paper and a font like Arial, Times New Roman or Calibri, no smaller than 11 point.  Layout is important – the cover letter is a business communication and your communication skills are being assessed by the employer.

If you are emailing your cover letter to an employer, mention in the text of the email that you are applying for the position and that your cover letter is attached.  Attach the document as a either a Word or PDF file.

If you want to stand out from the crowd, your cover letter should be individual and differentiate you from other people applying for the role.

For more information and help on how to write cover letters and have your draft reviewed, please attend the CEO workshops and appointments.  Visit our website for more information:

Susan Smith
Careers Services Manager – Education, Careers and Employability Office at the University of Sydney Business School

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Netflix is fighting illegal downloading

In our Integrated Marketing Communications class this past semester; we tackled the issue of piracy. After extensive research, many of us concluded that changing the behaviour of pirates is almost impossible. With Australia being one of the world’s most prolific downloaders, some of the research did point to access as being a solution to the problem. If people had faster Internet and if companies allowed instantaneous access to their shows, illegal downloading wouldn't be necessary…. Right?

Although research is still conflicting, with some research indicating downloaders will always download illegally regardless of access, the statistics are proving that access may be the answer. While there are many different sources of on-demand services out there, like Hulu and iTunes, Netflix proves to be the one that is fighting piracy more than the others.

When Netflix entered the Canadian market it saw illegal downloading rates drop by 50 percent, as subscriptions to the streaming service rose. In fact, Netflix say they benefit and learn from illegal downloading, monitoring what shows are trending and purchasing those for their company.

Not only is Netflix out performing its competitors, like Amazon and YouTube, it’s also directly affecting the traffic to sites like BitTorrent. The growth of Netflix has diminished BitTorrent’s traffic, which at five years ago attracted 31 percent of downstream traffic a day, to a measly 7.4 percent during peak traffic period currently. 

But when companies are offering similar access, what makes Netflix different? I believe it is their brand. With a strong personality, great interface, and personalised settings, Netflix is more like a buddy who likes watching TV, than a company providing a service. There is a whole science behind the algorithm Netflix uses to recommend you movies and TV shows, demonstrating the true dedication the company has to their service. And the results show it’s working.

I’ll be sure to keep my eye on the statistics if Foxtel ever let Netflix into Australia, because I believe everyone wants a caring buddy, just trying to please. That buddy is Netflix, and it may be the answer to Australia’s downloading problem.

Hongi  Luo
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Getting emotional about Christmas with John Lewis

I've never been to John Lewis. I had never actually even heard of it until today. But every fiber in my being is telling me I should shop there – and it’s because of their new ad.

The £7 million ad shows the loving story of a hare not wanting his bear friend to miss out on Christmas this year, and was debuted during an entire ad break in Britain’s X-Factor. But does high-budget equal success?

Not knowing much about John Lewis, I did a quick search. Like many retail stores around the world, Christmas is like…well…like Christmas, and they go all out to try to convert even the most stoic to believe in the magic of giving. Known for their high-budget adaptations of traditional songs, every year John Lewis adverts have topped millions of views on YouTube. And this year’s is looking to do the same.

Emotions aside, I think this has ticked all the boxes. Although it may seem a little cliché – nostalgia, friendship, glowing saturated hues – I think certain conventions just don’t get old when it comes to Christmas. Some classics are classics for a reason. Could #bearandhare be to John Lewis what Santa Claus is to Coca-Cola?

Hongi  Luo

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Make your resume exceptional

With the final Master of Marketing course wrapping up last week, many students have already begun looking for job opportunities. Some have even sought out short- term professional experience opportunities to undertake during the study break period. To speed up the process, we spoke to the Careers and Employability Office at the University of Sydney Business School who gave us some useful tips on how to effectively navigate the job application process.

We start this series of posts with tips for resumes
Your resume is your marketing tool to an employer.  They will use it to determine if you have the potential to do the job and want to further explore this potential at an interview.   Your task is to ensure that your resume presents you in the best possible light and provides information that convinces the employer that you can do the job.  Therefore it should focus on the skills set needed to for the advertised role – this skills set is often described as the selection criteria.

So how can you focus your resume? 

Don’t use the same resume for every job, highlight information most relevant to the selection criteria.

Under each job heading when you record your duties, record the most relevant duties (to the job you are applying for) first.  Use active verbs to start the sentences that highlight your duties.

Make sure your resume is achievement oriented – highlight academic achievements and work based achievements.  These could include positions of leadership, prizes, awards, promotions, additional responsibilities, targets met or exceeded etc.  The achievements could be included under each job you have held or recorded as an Achievement Summary

Include a skills section that directly addresses the selection criteria. Don’t rely on a simple dot point list – state the skill and then provide evidence to demonstrate where you have developed or enhanced the skills. For example:

Special Events Coordination - Initiated several local and regional promotions. This involved extensive research, planning, negotiation of sponsorship, liaison with police, councils, community service groups, volunteers, sponsors and media. Organised production of leaflets and promotional material and distributed and directed operations on the day. Responsible for budget and the financial success of events.

Employers will spend a very short period of time scanning your resume looking for relevant information.  An often quoted figure is that they will spend no more than 30 seconds –although one recent report says only 6 seconds! Therefore you need to make it reader friendly, with clearly defined headings, and dot points instead of long blocks of text.

Many large companies and government departments use online applications and some will not require a resume so you may not need to send one for every job you apply to.  Read the instructions carefully before you attach your cover letter.

Online applications
Think about this simple equation:

Your strengths and skills + the skills and behaviours the job requires = A MATCH!

Online application forms are designed to see if you have the motivation, the necessary insight and the personal effectiveness to make the right impact as a graduate in that organisation.   

Follow these top 5 tips and ensure your application form makes it through to the next round.

PREPARE! – all the clues are right in front of you.
Research and analyse the company, its goals and values, the graduate stream that you are applying for.   All the clues you need to complete your online application form are there on the company literature, annual reports and website.  Attend employer sessions on campus and use every opportunity to network through careers fairs and campus events.

WHY THEM?  - what is it about THAT organisation that stands out?
Don’t proceed to tell the employer why you want to work for them by stating the obvious. Banks already know if they are in the top 4 in the country. You need to differentiate more on why they are your employer of choice, by the values they hold, the graduate programme they offer, the opportunity for exposure to key influencers and mentors in your profession.

If you need anymore information, visit the Careers Office

WHY YOU? - be clear about your skills and value.
Approach the application with a clear idea of your strengths and skills and your career aspirations. Draw out how this organisation will play to your strengths and enhance your career prospects. You need to be aware that every question they are asking on the application is a chance for you to market yourself well. Have you really understood the role that you are applying to and what you will be asked to do as a new graduate? Within a couple of weeks, you’ll be working with your own clients and solving problems that you might not know anything about!  Resilience, the ability to ask the right questions, the confidence to take the lead, the professionalism to deal with the situation. 

WHY NOT? – give them a reason to say yes!
Try to steer away from bland, vanilla statements that don’t really get to the heart of the question. Really THINK what behaviour or skill they are trying to elicit from the question. Be specific, be focused and drill down to a deeper level to describe your behaviours and prove why you should get the job.

For more information and help on how to complete resumes and application forms, please visit our website for more information.

Susan Smith
Careers Services Manager – Education, Careers and Employability Office, The University of Sydney Business School

Monday, 4 November 2013

Breaking News! Don’t Miss ‘Marketing innovation in the Digital Age’

Don’t miss the Master of Marketing Event at the University of Sydney Business School CBD Campus, Monday 18 November 5:30-7:30 pm. Here is some more about Komosion and CTD who are joining our panel discussion on Marketing innovation in the Digital Age. These companies are active in both digital marketing and in bringing innovations to the market place.

Komosion is a strategic marketing agency with more than 10 years’ experience in fusing strategy, creativity and technology to drive client success.  They operate from offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Vietnam, have a team of approximately 30 and have enjoyed 60 per cent growth during the last three years. Their expertise extends across a broad range of digital technologies including mobile, social and website platforms. Komosion has more than 115 clients spanning private sector companies, member- based organisations, not-for-profits and state and local government agencies. They have won the AMI Awards for Digital Marketing Excellence two years in a row, 2012 and 2013.

CTD is also the recipient of a 2013 AMI award for an outstanding consumer product campaign built around a marketing innovation. Gaining access to the Australian grocery trade can be difficult for international and local brands and companies with new and emerging products. For Australian retailers, sourcing innovative products to drive sales and market share growth can also present challenges. CTD notes that it works closely with retailers and suppliers to bring unique products to market and get them into shoppers’ bags. Currently importing from countries all over the globe, with branded lines across multiple categories and channels in the Australian market, CTD understands what retailers are looking for. That’s how CTD has become the preferred partner and one-stop-shop to innovative manufacturers looking to establish or reinvent their brands in the Australian market.

Register for this event.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Live Webinar: Master of Marketing at the University of Sydney Business School

If you are interested in the Master of Marketing you can join our live webinar to find out how it can help take your career in the right direction. 

Join us for a webinar on November 6 2013 at 12:00PM AEST.

Hear from our Program Director Associate Professor Pennie Frow and current students about the extensive benefits of the program and how it can challenge you as a marketer. Find out more about: 
  • Course content and structure 
  • Practical and applied learning approach
  • Industry-based project options 
  • International project option 
  • Student learning experience 

You will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar following registration.

Elena Sveshnikova

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Movember already!

Can you believe that we are already at the end of October? For some Master of Marketing students, we are at our last two teaching weeks of the degree. A mixture of stress, joy and anticipation fills the air. Along with the warm Sydney weather, November also brings moustaches. Yes that’s right – Moustaches.

Since 2004, The Movember Foundation Charity has been raising awareness for men's health through international and local campaigns. They take a very serious issue, and communicate it in an unexpected, fun and engaging way. Considering their target market, I’d say their communications are spot on! It’s difficult to talk about topics like prostate cancer, but Movember has been changing the way men think about their own health.

This year moustache superstar, actor Nick Offerman is back again to promote Movember. Released last week, the ‘mo-cumentary’ is already gaining traction in the viral sphere. It’s funny, it’s high quality, and it’s for a great cause. Offerman also starred in 2012’s Movember video, one of the top 10 most watched charity videos with 1.9 million views.

In addition to this video there is the micro site, filled with very manly things. Mainly original content, with a few sponsors here and there, Movember have created a campaign that not only drums up interest, but also adds value.

Although I can’t grow a mo, I’ll be sure to give it a try in the mouth of November. If I’m looking hairier in December I’ll be blaming it on Nick Offerman and his majestic moustache.

Find out more information at

Hongi Luo
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School