Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 2213
, Published on 11 February 2014
"The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress"Charles Kettering
Mostly student in India, sees MBA as an opportunity to achieve the life they had imagined. Everyone has their own set of hypothesis in their mind to achieve their aim. These hypotheses can be to focus on extra-curricular activities, academics or profile history.
Based on this, this is the story of three MBA students who were highly active in extra-curricular activities, yet were saturated with the level of creativity put into use. This story explains their experience of adding value to the system, i.e. their college, which seem easy of face value but very hard to execute.
On one fine day, three friends were sitting bored in a classroom. Suddenly, IP said - "this thing won't get us anywhere" and suddenly other two also accepted the underlying idea that we should do something different. They took their time and finally came up with an idea to start a college magazine since there wasn't any magazine for college students with the college students at all. Since, all were good in marketing, they decided to present a "Marketing Magazine", which can make the college a knowledge power.
They went to the authorities with their plan and it got approved. The Story Ends. However, that's where the story starts, that even bringing small positive change can be more difficult at times.
Image Courtesy: freedigitalphotos.net, pakorn
LESSON #1 - An Idea can come anytime and anywhere
All three knew their capabilities. IP was good in animation, Gagan was good at quiz & execution and Chatty was good in writing & marketing. Above all, they had several positions of responsibilities which can be used for liasioning with authorities.
Yet they lack content writers and editors to maintain standards and proofread. So, they roped in 3 more people. Where one was appointed as Editor (Ishita) and other were content writers & quiz. Apart from the editor (since her capabilities were known), adding other two members (without actually looking for choice) was a leap of faith based on verbal commitments.
LESSON #2 - Getting the right people
Finally, they decided a common time and place in college to meet and discuss strategies. When we started discussing, there was more of disagreement than agreement. Since, this has been the dream of Chatty to execute it come what may, he already had some plans to direct group think. First, he assured that everyone had an equally important role. Second, he assigned clear roles and responsibilities to be shouldered. Third, he introduced new ideas that since it is a college magazine, we will invite articles from students and call them "Guest Editor". For the first edition, they roped in their friend (Sukki) as guest editor, since they wanted this magazine to be confidential before launch.
LESSON #3 - Before you Group-Think, Do an i-Think
Execution is the most important part of any project. They presented their ideas to marketing club faculty coordinator (3rd Level). She liked the idea and forwarded a mail to the highest authority (1st Level) for approval. They kept waiting for a response. To keep the spirit high, everyone was asked to mail their part to make a prototype. There were some issues that popped up as two appointed content writer missed three deadlines of submission. As a result, using their verbal commitment, one of remaining four, had to take the role of tough taskmaster by running after the life for submission. Finally, they did submit and by that time, it was three weeks and there was no response. They were a bit amused by the fact their value addition is paid no heed. They finally went to penultimate authority (2nd Level) on your own and were asked to make final magazine for approval after winter vacation. However, when they approached back marketing club faculty coordinator, were scolded on breaking hierarchy and with due respect, they imbibed this lesson for corporate journey. After due apologies, the prototype of the magazine was prepared throughout winter vacations. Everyone spent their considerable time on finalizing the task regardless of holidays. To their utmost surprise, when they visited the penultimate authority after winter breaks with their prototype, she acted as if never asked for any prototype. She immediately discarded the idea without even looking at it. As a result, the idea got buried under the sand of ignorance and rigidity of the system.
LESSON #4 - The Failed Execution - Burgeoned by Bureaucracy
"Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life; dream of it; think of it; live on that idea. Let the brain, the body, muscles, nerves, every part of your body be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success". - Swami Vivekanand
It was hard to believe for everyone that idea didn't receive the correct acknowledgement. As a part of Knowledge management course, they asked for live project to add value to the college. They decided to test the rest of class as a sample for focus group and conduct feasibility & likeability of the idea. While giving a presentation for assessment, they unveiled the Markmity Magazine. To their surprise, for the first time, they noticed that audience, which is usually disinterested in class presentations, had straight back, raised eyebrows and awestruck faces. The Knowledge Management lecturer was amazed to see the idea and the level of effort, which she called as a benchmark for others. Finally, it ended with huge extended applause, which gave them confidence that the idea was worth taking the pain.
LESSON #5 - Love Your Idea Unconditionally or Leave it
As a famous line from Paulo Coelho's classic "The Alchemist" suggest "When you Inspire, Universe Conspire". After 8 months, a new faculty mentor of ABS Marketing Club took charge. During interaction, they found her openness for innovation and pitched his idea. Due to financial feasibility issue of getting it printed, she suggested to make it a blog and Facebook page to promote it. The rest is history as Markmity was born. So, when you have an idea, pitch it to right person rather than pushing to the wrong person.
LESSON #6 - Pitch your idea to the right person than pushing to the wrong person
The idea of a blog and Facebook page became so popular in college, that it started domino effect where almost every other club created their own. Yet, what they lacked was an originality of the idea, which was seen in the exponential rise of Likes as compared to others.
Getting likes and sharing marketing related post wasn't the only purpose. To increase popularity and engagement of the page, three strategies were followed
A) Human Connect - Audience who shared their post on the Facebook page wall was reported by Markmity as the page with due credits to people who shared. This encouraged people to share more to get recognition. Also the concept of Guest editor was also restored as people were constantly asked to write for the blog and were given due recognition. Last but not the least, Markmity recognized achievement of students in the field of marketing. For Example - Credits: John Smith.
B) Promotional Tool - One of the most innovative use of Facebook page was promoting an event. The event had a limited entry. They read a lot about social media engagement and implemented it. Instead of the usual way of promotion of the event, they used Facebook page to create hype. The Result - The event registration was closed in 45 mins of opening it. The photos of the event were uploaded in 24 hours of the event.
C) Focus on Higher purpose - The focus has been always on creating a knowledge pool of marketing rather than seeking personal recognition. So, in no way, identity was revealed and the page was led without bias. Sometimes, a sense of fulfillment is better than sense of fame. The succession planning of admins was also led quietly. Though the challenge of perpetual succession remains.
LESSON #7 - One innovation leads to another because it's a path
To conclude, if you want to bring change or even add small value, become a part of the system first. Understand knitty gritty and propel your change slowly. The idea isn't wrong, the way people handle it can be. Be 200% convinced of it by eating, drinking and sleeping it day and night. It is also important to understand that idea (marketing knowledge ecosystem) and product (magazine) are two different things. Also, as a student, one should come out of their shell and enhance employability skills. Lastly, we would like to end this article with the famous words of the Count of Monte Cristo - Wait and Hope.
This article has been authored by Chetanya Rajput, Orient Electricals, Student of Amity Business School
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