Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Marketing Marathon!

This is my favorite part of the quarter: when I start knocking off classes one-by-one. It's normally a little bit more stressful than the other parts of the quarter (except for week 7...good gosh that was rough), but being the goal-oriented person I am, there is something extremely gratifying about scratching classes off the list and knowing I am done with them. I have pretty much wrapped up two classes so far, Research Methods in Marketing and Power in Organizations, and I have three left (amounting to 3 finals and 1 group project). Sometimes it is easy to wrap up a class, and sometimes...well sometimes, it is an all-out sprint to the finish. Marketing was one of those instances.

As part of the course, we had a quarter-long group project that involved performing a market research study from start (problem definition) to finish (analysis and recommendations) for a client.  Fortunately, I found my way onto a great team, and we had a lot of fun working on the project throughout the quarter.

One of the key takeaways from the project, and the course in general, is to always approach marketing research via a backward approach, where you have your final goal in mind and work backward to structure the project to accomplish that goal.  For us, that meant having some concrete hypotheses laid out that we would aim to prove or disprove via our online survey.  In order to form those hypotheses, we did quite a bit of qualitative research, conducting one-on-one interviews and collecting use-case/daily diaries from our undergrad volunteers.  Afterward, we were able to do a "sticky note" session (see pic below) where we looked for recurring themes that we could use as a basis for the hypotheses that we would research further in our survey.

Hypothesis synthesis for marketing research project

At the end of the course, we had to submit a written report detailing the project, analysis, findings, and recommendations, as well as a presentation, which we had to present during the last day of class yesterday.  Everything was due at midnight on Tuesday, so of course we set in for a long day early Tuesday to finish everything up.

When we started working on it, I don't think any of us realized just how long it would take to get everything done. We spent 16 hours (most of them consecutive) working on the project the day before it was due.  Ultimately, we knew that there was no way we would be able to submit it by midnight, so we decided to just keep working on it, turn it in late, and take whatever penalty there may be for missing the deadline...but it turns out that a lot of teams were in the same boat, so I don't think there will be one!  Here is the team, MOSFET, hard at work in one of the little study rooms in Jacobs at 1:30 AM.

Marathon session to finish MKTG450 Project

It was a crazy session filled with gypsy jazz, delicious thai food, youtube videos, a thunderstorm, and miscellaneous conversations, and by the time we submitted the project at 4am, we were all extremely grateful to be done with it (though we still have to present it to the client next week).That is probably why we were so upbeat as we made our way back home in the middle of the night, not more than 4 hours following a reported robbery in the area, in a strong thunderstorm (getting caught in snow is so much better than getting caught in rain).


  1. Is all this worth it for a $125,000 paycheck??? I mean Im just wondering, $75,000 a year for two years just for TUITION? That's crazy expensive...And according to last years statistics, nearly 20% of people graduated in 2009 without a job offer????

  2. That is an amazing question. When I saw it come through in my inbox, it pretty much jolted me out of studying mode to think about it.

    Short answer: It depends (a Kellogg favorite)

    A few points:
    $75K is the total estimated cost, including living expenses, tuition, etc., per year.

    I'd be curious to see how many folks are still unemployed after some period of time, like a year.

    I personally don't regret it one bit, and I don't think I ever will (fair warning, I am an optimist, so consider that answer biased). I look at the rewards holistically, including intangibles (friendships, experiences, opportunities, personal growth, stories to tell the kids one day, etc) and tangibles (money, MBA, fancy email address).

    I could go on and on about this for hours, so I'll just stop myself here :)

  3. There possibly stands out to be more of the values and instances which are said to be pretty essential and would almost amount to better understanding.


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