Activity: the job application
In this activity: the job application, you are asked to demonstrate your understanding of marketing. You have been given a scenario of a fictional couple as they go through the buyer decision process for selecting a European River Cruise. You are asked to demonstrate your understanding of marketing from the perspective of how marketing can prepare graduates for a B2B role within an organisation. This activity requires a different approach to most activities and case studies.
This fictional activity is employed to highlight the importance of being able to synthesise the philosophy and theory of marketing and then be able to demonstrate an ability to apply your knowledge to a set of situational factors and consider the B2B interactions with channel partners.
Please Note: Although this was written in the COVID period the job application is in the POSTCOVID period.
Learning outcomes: HINT: You will notice there is intentional overlap in the following. After completing this activity you should be able to:
- Identify the relevant marketing theory
- Discuss how your knowledge of marketing theory can be applied by you as an employee in the advertised role [you are not saying what the organisation should do].
- Discuss how the philosophy and theory of marketing can be employed at a TACTICAL level by an employee to contribute to the 9 key marketing objectives of an organisation.
- Define what is the salespipeline and how the salespipeline may be managed to meet the 9 key marketing objectives of an organisation.
- Define how the ideals outlined in the circle of satisfaction may be employed through social media to maximise positive WOM and minimise negative WOM in social media [HINT: read forward to controllable and uncontrollable communication].
Recently, you have applied for a marketing position in an International travel company. This organisation is seeking a “Business Development Officer with university qualifications in marketing and with a sound conceptual understanding of marketing and a knowledge of traditional and more recent communication tools … the successful applicant will need to liaise with travel agents [B2B] and the in-house online communication team, therefore, both well developed written and oral presentation skills are required”.
Two weeks later you receive the news in an email that: “Your application and your CV were well received” the email also states that “there were a number of applicants and we are pleased to advise you that you have progressed to the final 5 candidates”. Furthermore “all 5 candidates are recent university graduates with outstanding academic qualifications, however, without a work history to demonstrate that you meet the requirements we must ask that you complete the following tasks to showcase your skills”. The email goes on to state that the next part of the selection process is for the candidates to “demonstrate their understanding of marketing and how this knowledge of marketing can be applied by a Business Development Officer working with the retail travel agents and the customer service staff”. A deadline for the submission of your work is given.
You talk this over with your parents. Your mother [an account manager for a software company] suggests that “perhaps only 3 will be keen enough to take this further, so this might be about eliminating some of the 5”. Your father [a sales manager] states that “you have an opportunity to shine and demonstrates how your marketing degree can create value for the organisation, the channel partners and consumers”. During the conversation they both suggest that some research into the ‘river cruise industry’ and the ‘target market’ would be beneficial.
Previously you discovered that the organisation has an extensive product range with different products designed for different target markets – .
The organisation has provided a scenario of a fictional couple who go through the buyer decision process for selecting a European river cruise. the organisation has asked that you demonstrate your understanding of marketing from the perspective of the customer and the organisation. In preparation, you visited a travel agent specialising in river cruises and collected physical brochures and visited a number of online web sites, in addition you have spent considerable time reviewing online customer comments.
Mary and Brendon have been married for 27 years, they have two children both children have jobs, and both live at home. As long as Mary can remember she has always wanted to go on a European River Cruise, however, her first priority was her family.
Routinely, she reads the travel pages in newspapers, buys travel magazines from time to time, is a regular viewer of travel shows on TV, pays attention to TV advertising, and increasingly searches the web on her devices. Her husband Brendon is also keen, and they have decided to visit a local travel agent that specialises in cruises. Mary and Brendon are careful consumers and have saved for many years. Mary and Brendon have arranged to have long service leave in 12 months. They are considering August for their European River Cruise. The time to book the European River Cruise is fast approaching and the search has begun.
Comments from the organisation to candidates
Dear candidate – as you can see from the above scenario, Mary and to a lesser extent Brendon have begun their search – it is self-directed and much of the search has been independent of any organisation and the couple know what they want before the first touch-point with the travel agent or an online booking service.
With the availability of on-line information, the search behaviour of Mary and Brendon is very common and presents a challenge for marketing practitioners to think of new ways of intercepting the customer on their buying journey.
It is unlikely but not impossible that Mary and Brendon will make a decision on their first visit to a travel agent. Knowing this, the travel agent should have communication objectives – for example, one may be to populate their salespipeline through information rich two-way conversations, with regular contact [perhaps – emails, newsletters, informal evening presentations].
Software for marketing practitioners can help automate many of the communication tasks and track the customer along the salespipeline.
- That your CV has been well received [i.e., you don’t have to resubmit a CV]
- The scenario
- The instructions contained within the email
- Your parents’ advice
Provide a demonstration of your knowledge and skills and how they could be applied. The assessment should be restricted to a maximum of 3,000 words and 12 pages. The word and page limit will permit student to format their work with ‘white space’, diagrams and images.
Writing in first person is acceptable.
Please note: In-text referencing the e-book is not required; end-text referencing the e-book is required; all other sources should be in-text and end-text referenced to appropriate academic standards.
An important consideration is to demonstrate a broad understanding of your marketing knowledge and how it could be applied in a B2B business setting, where there are channel partners. Keep in mind that in this activity it is a tactical position you are not designing and developing strategies to be implemented by others. The activity highlights how internal and channel marketing [see circle of satisfaction and the MAP: internal and channel marketing] is important.