UP Marketing students excel at PPS client project

Posted on February 12, 2021

The BCom (Marketing Management) Honours Class of 2020 worked very hard throughout the year, despite the unique challenges that the year lay before them. Their very last opportunity to showcase what they had learnt during the year was to develop a digital marketing strategy to recruit new product-purchasing members for PPS, from the Centennial target market.

PPS for Professionals (founded in 1941) is the only mutual financial services company in South Africa that provides tailor-made life and short-term insurance, investment and healthcare solutions, exclusively for graduate professionals. Since the honours students will enter this niche market once they graduate, it was rather apt that their exam client was none other than PPS.

On 28 October the students were introduced to their exam client via Zoom. Pierre Coetzee (Graduate Marketing Specialist) began the presentation by explaining the company’s current recruitment model.


Pierre Coetzee (PPS) giving the students feedback during the soundboard sessions via Zoom

Thereafter, FP Aldrich (Technical Marketing Specialist) challenged the students to convert the current model into a digital model that would appeal to Centennials. Part of the assignment required the students to conduct research, as input to develop an empathy map, so that the client (PPS) could better understand the Centennial target market. Empathy maps have become an integral aspect of Customer Experience (CX) mapping and design thinking.


FP Aldrich (PPS) presenting the exam client brief to the honours students via Zoom

The students had two weeks to brainstorm before pitching the first draft of their strategy to the client. During these ‘soundboard sessions’, the client had the opportunity to give the student teams suggestions to assist in refining their strategy for the exam presentations. After hearing the initial strategy suggestions, the PPS panel was very excited for the exam presentations.

Since Marketing of Services is an exit level module, students were expected to attend the exam presentations on campus in person (all COVID-19 protocols were observed). Although previously the norm, it seemed rather strange to be on campus again, after experiencing a whole semester online. The student teams successfully presented their strategies on 25 November to the examination panel, comprising JC Vorster (Graduate Division Manager), Pierre Coetzee (Graduate Marketing Specialist), FP Aldrich (Technical Marketing Specialist), Adri Meyer (External Examiner) and their lecturers, Dr Michelle van der Merwe (Marketing of Services) and Dr Danita van Heerden (Strategic Marketing). The examination panel was very impressed with the students’ creativity, originality and professionalism.

On the day of the presentations, two teams received spot prizes, for making a memorable impression on the client. The spot prize winners were:

Meticulous Minds: Kayla Strydom, Nicole Pattichides, Tayla Human, and
The Sages: Nadine de Bruyn, Mashudu Makofane, Russell Kampani.

Team Meticulous Minds won the first spot prize on exam day. From left: FP Aldrich (PPS), Tayla Human, Nicole Pattichides and Kayla Strydom

Team The Sages won the second spot prize on exam day. From left: FP Aldrich (PPS), Russell Kampani, Mashudu Makofane and Nadine de Bruyn

After a day filled with creative and exciting presentations, PPS had the difficult task of choosing the top three teams for the exam client challenge. The top teams were chosen by the client and given feedback:

LMM Trinity (third place): Lebogang Seakatsie, Mahle Sijovu and Mikateko Guliwe


"Your presentation was very professional. You were a confident team and made a good impression. And your strategy suggestions and ideas were implementable!"

Money maniacs (second place): Tayla Jonker, Alfred Letuku and Melissa O'Donovan


"You had the best catchphrase of the day! The campus activations are definitely something that we (PPS) can implement."

TED Logistics (overall winners): Tarah Ferreira, Daniela Schutte and Elria Kruger

"Wow! You three ladies really took the exam presentations to another level! Not only did you dress very professionally (and even had masks made with your team logo!), you also had a very entertaining presentation with a fun agency feel.

Over and above that, we (PPS) thought that your whole strategy design was excellent – you proposed a creative solution and excellently integrated data capturing and personalisation. You also answered all of the panel’s questions extremely well. Well done!"

A huge congratulations to the BCom (Marketing Management) Honours Class of 2020. You did really well in this exam challenge and made your lecturers, the Department of Marketing Management and UP very proud! We wish you all the best for a very successful future.

Below are some pictures of the students after their respective exam sessions:

Marketing Management honours students after the first exam presentation session

Seated: JC Vorster (PPS), FP Aldrich (PPS) and Pierre Coetzee (PPS)
Standing, from left: Francois Engelbrecht, Dr Michelle C van der Merwe (UP), Adri Meyer (external examiner), Michael Johnston, Tumelo Ntsie, Carla Vos, Tayla Jonker, Keabetswe Kgwele, Jessica Storey, Melissa O'Donovan, Kyle Williamson, Christian Boere, Alfred Letuku, Beatrix van Niekerk, Abdul Mahomed, Robert Webb and Oshai Moodliar


Marketing Management honours students after the second exam presentation session

Left: Kayla Strydom
Front row: Tayla Human, Nicole Pattichides, Dr Michelle C van der Merwe (UP), Alessandra Bicego, Katherine Hugo
Back row: Mikateko Guliwe, Mahle Sijovu, Courtney Locke, Eltricia Swart, Faiza Ahmed, Lebogang Seakatsie, Dr Danita van Heerden (UP), Melissa Da Gama
Right: FP Aldrich (PPS), JC Vorster (PPS), Pierre Coetzee (PPS)


Marketing Management honours students after the third exam presentation session

Front row: Dr Michelle C van der Merwe (UP), Daniela Schutte, Tarah Ferreira, Tanaka Vhumbunu, Adoré Goosen, Caylin Fortuin, Mashudu Makofane
Back row: Dr Danita van Heerden (UP), Nadine de Bruyn, Elria Kruger, Ashley Mamhunze, Natalie Sithole, Daniela Wilson, Pierre Coetzee (PPS), Russell Kampani, FP Aldrich (PPS), JC Vorster (PPS)


- Author Department of Marketing Management
Published by Nonkululeko Kubeka Moyo

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