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Inspired by entrepreneurs and business professionals in my family, I have had the opportunity to appreciate the various disciplines needed to run a successful business. My observation of both small companies and larger corporations is that sound application of core business principles is critical to the success of any business. Whilst different functions may view their field as being paramount to a company’s success, a quote I came across by Phil Knight (founder of Nike) has stuck with me: “You can have the best product in the world, but if nobody knows about it, what good is it?”
During a two week internship placement at the Headquarters of Debenhams Retail plc, I worked as a marketing coordinator within the Press Office and Social-Media teams. I gained valuable experience of different disciplines of their marketing function from research of online and print publications, analysis of consumer behaviour, targeted marketing opportunities, social media scanning for company sentiment data, to reporting my findings to management. This gave me indispensable insight of the application of theoretical principles to real business world scenarios. To further my understanding of the discipline, I attended a Marketing taster course. My key take-away from this was that Marketing is often misunderstood by many outside the field as equating to communication functions such as advertising and publicity. The reality is that marketing is at the core of a business in determining what customer need one is aiming to solve. This is the first step before even creating a product. Once ready, the marketing function is central in ensuring that the target audience is made aware of the product’s unique selling points to differentiate from the competition.
My chosen A Level subjects are all relatable to Business Management and Marketing. The book ‘Why We Buy’ was a fascinating read into understanding the psychology and science of purchasing behaviour and how it differs by gender and the impact this has on when and how to effectively communicate marketing messages to consumers. In my current part-time job at Clarks Shoes, I am able to see the learnings from this book play out and make recommendations for how we can tweak our offerings to increase the likelihood of making a sale and create customer satisfaction and loyalty. This exposure has led me to conclude that a good marketer must understand all aspects of business management to be successful. If marketing is central to the success of a business, an appreciation of how the other business functions are influenced by or conversely impact the marketing function, is just as important.
I recently read the book, ‘Growth Hacker Marketing’ by Ryan Holiday which discusses how traditional marketing is being eclipsed by “growth hacking”. It reinforced the view that whilst “product development and marketing were two distinct processes, ” this has been replaced by growth hacking. With the global trend of ever increasing digital awareness and reliance most successful businesses understand that the methods they use to reach customers has to change too. It seems that social and digital marketing tools are slowly making traditional advertising methods obsolete.
I am extremely interested in researching and investigating this further. In and out of school, I am committed to making a positive social impact and developing my leadership skills. At school I have co-ordinated activities for several charities as School Charity Captain. Most recently, I summited the highest peak in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro, and raised over £2000 to fund housing and medical aid facilities for orphans robbed of their childhoods by the war in Syria. The climb was both physically and mentally challenging but I was motivated by the plight of the orphans. This experience has taught me that one can achieve great feats with the right motivation, training, perseverance and support; a lesson that will hold me in good stead in my chosen career path.
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