Students “consulting for Consulta’’

Posted on October 16, 2020

Plato famously said that “opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance”. On 2 September 2020, the BCom Honours (Marketing Management) class of 2020 took this philosophy to heart as they sought to translate the opinions of survey respondents into actionable solutions for Consulta, one of the Department of Marketing Management’s industry partners.
 
Team ‘Allegiance Analysts’ dressed in their zoom attire virtually outside Consulta. From left to right: Kayla Strydom, Tarah Ferreira, Melissa Da Gama, Keabetswe Kgwele
 
Consulta is a leading customer experience consulting and market research firm in South Africa. The challenge posed by Consulta tested the students’ analytical and problem-solving skills, as well as their creativity. To complete the challenge, students were provided with a large dataset from a recent survey, which they used as a point of departure to provide insights and recommendations for the industry partner. The focus of the challenge was to teach students about customer experience and the important role that marketing of services plays in improving such experiences.
 
Team ‘Researchers et al.’ presenting virtually to Consulta. Top row: Alessandra Bicego, Adoré Goosen. Bottom row: Mikateko Guliwe, Abdul Aziz Mahomed
 
The Consulta team met the Marketing Honours students via a virtual meeting on 19 August, during which the students received insightful information and their first client challenge brief of the semester. Two weeks later, student teams took the digital stage, using a video conferencing tool (Zoom) to present their insights and recommendations to the Consulta panel. As the world becomes more digitally oriented, being exposed to presenting virtually has provided the students with valuable new skills. Although students and panel members were in their own homes, the evening was filled with energy and everyone’s presence was almost tangible.
 
The Solutions (third place). Top row: Carla Vos, Dr Michelle van der Merwe, Jessica Storey. Middle row: Eliria Kruger, Ashley Mamhunze, Lizelle van Niekerk (Consulta). Bottom row: Charlene van Niekerk (Consulta), Marketing Assistant, Monique Munday (Consulta)

Consulta was impressed by the innovative recommendations from the various teams. Even though choosing the top teams was a difficult task, the decision was made and the winning teams were named. Congratulations to the winning teams!
 
FEON Media (second place). Francois Engelbrecht (left) preparing for the Consulta presentation from his home. Oshai Moodliar(right) presenting to Consulta
 
Students had a glimpse of what it would be like to work for a consulting firm, which links to the “apprentice style” learning that is an integral component in the UP Marketing Management honours programme. The honours students mentioned that the Consulta challenge was tough, yet inspiring. They were grateful for gaining valuable skills and learning from the challenge, and felt good that the client wanted to hear their opinions. It was an honour to work virtually with the Consulta team!
 
CFKN Consulting (first place). From left to right: Courtney Locke, Faiza Ahmed, Katie Hugo, Nicole Pattichides.
 
 
 
 
- Author Department of Maketing Management
Published by Liesl Oosthuizen

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