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Marketing Works for useful learning

By Andrew Paddison - Posted on 8 June 2017

Students on the Marketing Department’s three Masters programmes take part in Marketing Works each year, a central component of these postgraduate degree programmes. Director of Postgraduate Programmes Andrew Paddison talks about what’s involved.

Marketing Works is a central part of the programme for all MSc degrees and is an excellent example of what we mean when we talk about the University’s ethos of ‘useful learning’. Working directly with industry with benefits for both students and business partners, it is a really useful learning experience.

Marketing Works is a compulsory, integral part of all three Marketing postgraduate degree programmes – MSc in Marketing, MSc in International Marketing and MSc in Tourism Marketing Management - where every student works on a project put forward by a business organisation.

A key aspect of Marketing Works is that the projects are tailored to the needs of the individual programmes. Groups are allocated by the department to an appropriate project – the Marketing programme has the greatest degree of scope but those studying tourism will have a project with a tourism element; and the international marketing students will have an international aspect to work on.

Our department is dedicated to what we see as an essential learning experience for our students which gives them great employability skills. It’s a key thing to put on their CVs. Through the Marketing Works process, students are applying theory in a real life setting. They are working in groups and learning from all the challenges that can bring. Everyone in the group will have different perspectives on the project and different ways of working and that’s a key thing about Marketing Works – resolving differences and learning to work together are key skills to have in the world of work and Marketing Works provides this.

What’s important to underline to the students before they embark on their work is that these are not notional, hypothetical projects – they are actual projects that companies wish help with. Some come from organisations who have offered us projects, others through discussions we have with companies we have a relationship with in other ways, and yet more from our approaching organisations direct. We are always delighted when clients come back to offer us a new commission as it’s a mark of their satisfaction with students’ work in previous years.

We stress to the students that they need to own their project. While we provide the project and organise the groups, it’s then over to the students to get on with the nitty-gritty of working on the project. They need to organise themselves into a working group, with a spokesperson to deal with the business client, they need to make arrangements to meet the client and manage the client’s expectations. Students need to work with the client to ensure they’re happy with the process.

Both soft skills and marketing skills are put to the test throughout the Marketing Works process. Students carry out primary research which can be challenging. While students are guided and we provide support , ultimately it’s their responsibility to go and knock on doors, meet people and get the information they need for their project.

We underline the importance of getting a good outcome for their project. Each group has to put forward a presentation during the process, and a full report at the end of the process. A good project means a valuable piece of work for the clients and the students’ recommendations are presented to the client for them to implement as they see fit. Making the most of this process is beneficial for the students and the clients. The Department chooses the best reports which are presented at a special dinner which the clients are invited to.

When the students go into the job market, we believe that the Marketing Works process will help them in that. It gives the students something tangible to talk about in a graduate interview. Not everyone will have gone through something like this so it sets our students apart – Marketing Works is a very practical and tangible expression of learning. Students have effectively carried out a piece of consultancy and that makes for something very exciting to talk about in an interview setting.

There are 170 students undertaking 33 projects this year for clients ranging from big companies to small enterprises. With projects encompassing a wide range - app commercialisation, promotional videos, consultancy companies, small breweries, tourism marketing in rural areas, tour companies, and financial services - it will be exciting to see what this year’s students produce for their clients.



Contact details

 Undergraduate admissions
 +44 (0)141 548 4114
 sbs-adviser@strath.ac.uk 

 Postgraduate admissions
 +44(0)141 553 6118 / 6119
 sbs.admissions@strath.ac.uk

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