Marketing honours students 'excel’ with customer experience solutions for Consulta

Posted on May 06, 2021

The BCom Honours (Marketing Management) Class of 2021 had the opportunity to showcase their data interpretation and data visualisation abilities to an industry client, namely Consulta. The project formed part of the industry partnership between the Department of Marketing Management at the University of Pretoria (UP) and Consulta – a leading customer experience consulting firm in South Africa.
The BCom Honours (Marketing Management) degree uses an apprentice-style approach to provide students with the opportunity to solve real-life industry problems. The project was presented in the Marketing of Services module, facilitated by Dr Michelle C. van der Merwe. Representatives from Consulta that were part of the industry partnership were Luzelle van Niekerk and Monique Munday, both Project Insight Solution Consultants (and UP alumni), and Charlene van Niekerk, the Online Community Manager.
Consulta prides itself on improving its clients’ business performance through best-practise consultation on customer engagement and customer experience (Cx). Hence the main learning from the Consulta project was for students to understand and convey key insights gained from a dataset provided by the client, and to advise Consulta on creative and implementable Cx solutions, based on the insights. The Marketing honours students received their client briefing from Consulta on 31 March via Zoom.

Consulta introducing the assignment to the students | From left: Luzelle van Niekerk (Project Consultant: Insight Solutions) and Charlene van Niekerk (Community Manager)

Two weeks later, on 14 April, the students met with Consulta online (again via Zoom) for an evening filled with excitement and growth, presenting their Cx solutions to the client panel. Initially the presentations were scheduled to be face-to-face on campus. However, due to unforeseen circumstances the students had to adapt and present to their client online. Although the change in plans posed challenges of a different kind, the students did not disappoint. Being adaptable and versatile in an unpredictable environment is an additional valuable skill that the students learnt during this assignment.

Absolute Weaponry receiving valuable recommendations from Consulta | From left: Daniel Skirrow, Chandi van Rooyen, Landi Visser, Sean Musgrove and Gabriella Simaan (team leader)

The client presentations were an overall success. Although the student teams were not physically present, valuable skills were learnt and exemplary efforts were displayed by all, to make a good impression on the client. The Consulta panel were impressed by the student teams’ presentations and provided encouraging comments and valuable feedback that the students can use going forward.

Arcane receiving feedback from Consulta | From left: Kival Dhavraj, Williams, Ruben Jansen van Vuuren, Henrietta Amofa (team leader), Kristen Oldfield and Kate de Wet

The top three teams that suggested Cx solutions that resonated most with the client were:
Arcane (third place): Henrietta Amofa (team leader), Kate de Wet, Kival Dhavraj, Kristen Oldfield and Ruben Jansen van Vuuren.
The Six Marketeers (second place): Emma-Leigh Torry (team leader), Amy Njoroge, Andrea Tratschler, Keagen Fulton, Michke Terblanche and Nicholas Veale.
Turkey Talkers (winners): Reolin Ramsamy (team leader), Chantelle Grobler, Jani Nel, Nicole Joubert and Polné Viljoen.
Luzelle van Niekerk (Project Consultant: Insight Solutions at Consulta) gave the following feedback upon completion of the project:
“Overall, it was a privilege to sit in on the presentations and see the creativity, confidence and professionalism with which the results were delivered. We believe that, if the students continue with the willingness to succeed and the innovative thinking that they have displayed, they will excel in the year ahead!”

Data Squad presenting to Consulta | Top row (from left): Cameron Satiah (team leader), Anke Frenzel and Sashe-leigh Padiachy. Bottom row (from left): Sonja Adelaar and Keyuran Moopanar

Below are some quotes from the student teams:
“This was a truly challenging yet captivating … assignment that pushed the Marketing Management honours students out of their comfort zones. We had to really think outside of the box and thoroughly scrutinise the given data set to come up with our customer experience (Cx) solutions. The students adapted well to the challenges of presenting online and it was an overall incredible experience.” 
~Creative Consultants

Creative Consultants | From left: Amieke Visser, Luke Macpherson (team leader), Tialegh Greyling, Karlien Bester and Brittany Chapman

“It was such a privilege to get the opportunity to work with Consulta and gain such valuable experience.”                                                                                               
~The Invincibles
“The teams were well prepared and I think it’s evident that being part of the BCom Honours Class of 2021 is really like being part of a family. When team members struggled with connections, others were there to jump in and help. This is what teamwork is all about.” 
~Mieke Birkholtz, Marketing Magicians

Marketing Magicians | Top row (from left): Mieke Birkholtz, Kimberlee-Jane Craythorn (team leader) and Chelsea Strydom. Bottom row (from left): Nuvesha Naidoo and Henru van der Merwe

The Marketing honours students are looking forward to the next client challenge.
Watch this space for more exciting things to come!
- Author Department of Marketing Management
Published by Nonkululeko Kubeka Moyo

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