UP Marketing honours students invest in their future with the PPS Exam Client Challenge

Posted on September 03, 2021

After an eventful semester, the BCom Honours (Marketing Management) Class of 2021 had one last milestone to reach before enjoying a well-deserved winter recess. Their exam assignment was for a unique client – PPS, the only financial services company in South Africa operating under the ethos of mutuality, that provides tailor-made life- and short-term insurance, investments and healthcare solutions, exclusively for graduate professionals with at least an honours equivalent qualification or higher. Founded in 1941, PPS is proudly celebrating 80 years of serving professionals this year. What’s more, the Marketing honours students are eligible to become part of PPS, so it was a wonderful opportunity for them to learn more about what PPS has to offer.
The students were introduced to their exam client via Zoom on 19 May 2021. Pierre Coetzee, Graduate Marketing Specialist at PPS, began the presentation by explaining the company’s current recruitment model. Next, FP Aldrich (Segment Head: Graduate and Early Professionals) challenged the students to develop an inbound marketing strategy that appeals to working Millennials that meet the PPS eligibility criteria.
Pierre Coetzee (PPS) telling the honours students about PPS, via Zoom
FP Aldrich (PPS) presenting the exam client brief to the honours students, via Zoom
The students had two weeks to conduct desk research and brainstorm their recommendations, before pitching the first draft of their strategy to the PPS panel. A “soundboard session” was held via Zoom, which gave the PPS panel the opportunity to assist the students in refining their ideas. The panel was very excited after hearing the initial strategy suggestions, and grew eager for exam day to arrive.
The Disruptors (special mention prize winners) getting ready for their soundboard session, via Zoom
Top row: Michke Terblanche, Henru van der Merwe
Bottom row: Cameron Sathiah, Chantelle Grobler (team leader)
On 23 June the student teams successfully presented their strategies to the examination panel. The Marketing of Services module is an exit level module, thus students were expected to attend the exam presentations on campus in person. With all COVID-19 protocols strictly observed, the exam presentations were rather different to previous years. But despite the challenge of identifying the cheerful students’ faces behind the masks, a fun day was had by all.
The examination panel, comprising representatives from PPS: JC Vorster (Senior Manager: Graduate Division), FP Aldrich (Segment Head: Graduate and Early Professionals), and Nicky Lillywhite (Strategic Relationship Manager); an external examiner: Adri Meyer (Unisa); and the lecturer, Dr Michelle C. van der Merwe (UP), was very impressed with the honours students’ enthusiasm, creativity and professionalism.
Based on the superb strategies presented by the 13 student teams, PPS had a tough task choosing the top three teams. They decided to give a special mention to one team that stood out on exam day.  Congratulations to The Disruptors: Chantelle Grobler (team leader), Cameron Sathiah, Henru van der Merwe and Michke Terblanche. Your presentation was very original and we had a good giggle at your dinosaur-related theme and terms. This approach made you look and feel like a real marketing agency, and makes your “agency” memorable.
After some deliberation, the top three teams chosen by the PPS panel were:
In third place: Professional Prosperity Squad
Kimberlee-Jane Craythorn (team leader), Jachin Thomas, Landi Visser and Sean Musgrove.
Your idea to incorporate an unconventional platform to advertise to the PPS target audience was very creative and you answered the panel’s questions very well.
Professional Prosperity Squad presenting to the exam panel
From left: Kimberlee-Jane Craythorn (team leader), Sean Musgrove, Jachin Thomas amd Landi Visser
In second place: Coverage Captains
Margaretha le Roux (team leader), Kate de Wet and Tialeigh Greyling.
Your strategy idea was well in line with PPS’s values. We also liked the fact that you took things that they already use and suggested how to improve them.
Coverage Captains presenting to the exam panel
From left: Tialeigh Greyling, Kate de Wet and Margaretha le Roux (team leader)
And the winning team was: Premium Professionals
Jennifer Cazalet (team leader), Chad Gold and Mohamed Jaffer.
Your strategy idea truly resonated with PPS. Your overall presentation was very well-structured.
Premium Professionals presenting their winning strategy to the panel
From left: Mohamed Jaffer, Jennifer Cazalet (team leader) and Chad Gold
Congratulations to the BCom Honours (Marketing Management) Class of 2021.
You did extremely well in the exam challenge and certainly carried the UP name high!
Session 1
UP honours students after the first exam presentation session
Front row, from left: Dr Michelle van der Merwe (UP), Camille Desvaux de Marigny, Amy Njoroge, Kristen Oldfield, Jennifer Cazalet, Sonja Adelaar, Amieke Visser, FP Aldrich (PPS)
Back row, from left: Luke Macpherson, Keyuran Moopanar, Mohamed Jaffer, Polné Viljoen, Luke Henman, Chad Gold, Phemelo Khunou, Keagen Fulton, Daniel Skirrow, Chaney Weyers, Sasheleigh Padiachy, Nicky Lillywhite (PPS), JC Vorster (PPS)
Session 2
UP honours students at the end of the second exam presentation session
Front row, from left: Adri Meyer (external examiner, Unisa), Robert du Toit, Chelsea Strydom, Nicole Joubert, Landi Visser, Jachin Thomas, Jani Nel
Back row, from left: Henrietta Amofa, Karlien Bester, Sean Musgrove, Kimberlee-Jane Craythorn, Nicholas Veale, JC Vorster (PPS), Reolin Ramsamy, Tariro Mutomba, Nicky Lillywhite (PPS), FP Aldrich (PPS)
Session 3
UP honours students after the third exam presentation session
Front row, from left: Chantelle Grobler, Tialeigh Greyling, Margaretha le Roux, Nuvesha Naidoo, Ruben Jansen van Vuuren, Henru van der Merwe, FP Aldrich (PPS)
Back row, from left: Michke Terblanche, Brittany Chapman, Erin Buirski, Andrea Tratschler, Kate de Wet, Kival Dhavraj, Jason Engelbrecht, Cameron Sathiah, Nicky Lillywhite (PPS), JC Vorster (PPS)
Published by Nonkululeko Kubeka Moyo

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