The Master in Management class had the exciting opportunity to meet with P&G representatives as part of our marketing class. Not only were we given a glimpse into their professional world, but also a chance where we could exercise what we learnt in class through a real-life case study.
Guest lectures in colleges usually have up-and-coming professionals, experts or a well-known personality of a field. Frankfurt School aims at bringing students the best learning experience and one of the ways to do so is having the best and the brightest talk to students about their knowledge and experience. Guest lectures often help students connect the dots between classroom and the boardroom. It also helps student realize unique career paths.
We had two guest lecturers for the day. Mr. Alexander Zwetz, the Senior Account Manager of Sales has been working in P&G for almost all his professional life. Ms. Eva-Maria Amrhein, Brand Manager, has been working for P&G for over 6 years now. There were two main objectives for guest lecture. First was to introduce us to the exciting world of P&G, their core strengths, principles and brand management framework. The second was to present us with a real-life case study about Oral B (an oral care product of P&G) in the UK market.
The lecture essentially had three parts. How P&G adds value to its:
In the first part, and what essentially made this lecture quite unique, Mr. Zwetz talked about the values of P&G that are important to its employees. The values were Integrity, Leadership, Ownership, Passion and Trust and how the company’s interest and the individual interest are in alliance. The representatives were passionate while explaining that these are not mere words for them. For example in P&G they value trust so much so that they do not have people on the check-out machines in canteens, the employees are responsible for paying the apt cash for their purchase.
Mr. Zwetz explained the value creation chain for P&G as a company. They focus on growth, margin improvement and asset efficiency which in turn lead to increase in profit and cash flow. The ultimate aim is to better the total shareholder profit. He also stated that the sales team was called the “Customer business development” previously, and the name literally explains how they conduct sales in the company, driving business through driving the customers’ business.
The final part on brand management presented by Ms. Amrhein gave us a brief outlook on the framework they use to manage a brand which creates value for the end consumer. The key questions that they asked themselves while working on any brand were Why, How, What and Who.
Who – Concerned with consumer understanding.
What – Concerned with iconic assets and establishing the entity pyramid.
How – concerned with the actual actions to be done consistent with the entity pyramid.
Why – Concerned with logic and patterns of the market. Prototype of a category.
The presentation was lively with students asking the representatives insightful questions. .
Later we were introduced to our case study which was to increase the sales revenue of Oral B in the UK market by 5%. In the afternoon the students were left to brainstorm and the representatives stayed at Frankfurt School until the evening so that they could clarify any questions. The students (in teams of 5 – 6) will present their solutions to the board comprising of Thomas Adler, Associate Director P&G and Prof. Dr. Britta Meinertduring the following week, where our case studies will be assessed and we will receive professional feedback.
It was a wonderful way to wrap up the Marketing class by Prof. Dr. Britta Meinert, by bringing in experienced professionals from P&G, which is a pioneer in the marketing world. Thus, proving Frankfurt School’s continued efforts to provide excellence and relevance in classrooms.