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Maia Dauner
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I had my capstone presentation last week. I gave the presentation and the report to my client at the same time. It was good to have the report completed for the presentation because it gave my client the chance to look through the appendix tables during the presentation. Also, it was nice to be able to refer to the report ("you can find more detail on pg # of the report") while I was giving the presentation. I think this was effective because it allowed me to show my client the work I had completed for the project and also... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2014 at CAPSTONE!
This past week I've been revising my powerpoint and report. Throughout the semester I've been creating smaller documents with all my information from the capstone modules and I created a draft powerpoint for my class team mock presentation, but putting it together has been a lot of work. The biggest challenge I've had this past week has been making sure that all the work I've done makes sense to my client. My client is not familiar with the Big Picture model, so I had to add a brief explanation to several modules about exactly how the Big Picture applies to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2014 at CAPSTONE!
Presenting my power point to my fellow students last week was very helpful. They helped me identify inconsistencies and they challenged my to think more closely about how my project relates to my client’s overall business goal. One of the biggest issues they helped me see was that I had focused on how to reach a sales goal, rather than communicating how my work on the project supported specific aspects of that overall business goal. With a more targeted and nuanced approach, I am can better explain how the marketing plan will address some, but not all of the challenges... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2014 at CAPSTONE!
I’ve had to expand my ideas about digital marketing beyond social media as I consider the final part of my capstone workplan. When I started the capstone, I thought of digital marketing from the point of view of a consumer. I am familiar with promotional emails, ads, banner ads, newsletters, etc. that arrive in my inbox, that I scroll past on my facebook feed and pop ups that I immediately close when I’m browsing online. When I created the workplan for my capstone this was my default framework for thinking about what my client’s digital strategy might include. As I’ve... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2014 at CAPSTONE!
I’ve encountered some challenges in developing a channel strategy for my client. As an online retailer, my client has the potential to reach a very broad market through major online retailers and through their own website. When I initially considered a channel strategy for my client I thought strategies to increase sales on their website that would include driving traffic to the site and marketing products directly to the consumer. However, my client has a strong presence on the major online retailers and they hope to increase sales in existing markets and to expand to other online retailers. It is... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2014 at CAPSTONE!
This past week I’ve been struggling with pricing model recommendations that will fit my client’s fluctuating levels of inventory. Sourcing is a major variable for my client. At present sourcing requires a significant amount of time and resources for the company, and as they grow, it will continue to influence how they price products and which channels will be the most profitable to sell through. As a student consultant developing a marketing plan I won’t go into depth about sourcing, rather I’ll focus on how price effects the strategy my client will pursue for distribution. I’ve been reviewing how my... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2014 at CAPSTONE!
This past week I had the opportunity to speak with several client staff members and interview some more customers. These discussions were very helpful. I expected to find out more about the refurbishing process from staff members, and I certainly did. In addition, the conversations I had this week also raise some important questions as this project moves forward: within my client’s specific competitive environment, should my client pursue a position that communicates its overall value to customers or should my client focus on how they can provide a specific and unique value to customers? Communicating an overall value to... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2014 at CAPSTONE!
I had a productive meeting last week with my client. I expected to spend time reviewing all the spreadsheets and data that I had prepared for the meeting, but instead we had a great conversation about how my client views the competitive landscape. It was really helpful because I have an idea of the competitive landscape from internet and database research, but I have only been looking at this problem for a few short weeks, while this is my client’s business. I learned a lot from asking questions and listening. Another reason I consider the meeting productive is that we... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2014 at CAPSTONE!
The past few weeks I have been concerned about how to manage communication with my client. After my project review I realized that I'm not helping anyone (myself or my client) with my normal polite, wait-and-see approach. How can I expect my client to know that I am concerned if I don't articulate those concerns to them? So I adopted a different strategy and I think it will be helpful. I think part of my difficulty with this situation is that I am accustomed to working in an office environment where you interact with co-workers daily or regularly. For me... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2014 at CAPSTONE!
I am inspired to do a Value Attribute Map for my client. Initially I thought this needed to be joint exercise between the client and student consultant and I didn’t consider the benefits of using this tool on my own. For this me, this realization really pinpointed my tunnel vision regarding the structure of the capstone project. From the beginning of the semester we’ve been told that Field Book is an outline, or combine aspects of the project modules to fit your project etc, but I haven’t fully embraced that approach. I am concrete thinker and this month has been... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2014 at CAPSTONE!
One aspect of charter timeline is communicating with my client. Currently, we communicate mostly by email and at the end of each week I send an update on my progress and problems I have encountered. Initially I was completely satisfied with this format - I like creating summary emails because it is easy for me and the client to keep track of our communications when they are clustered. But find that this type of communication does not engender dialog and its easy to not respond to a question buried in an email that discusses 4 things. I think that I... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2014 at CAPSTONE!
I'm still a little nervous about completing the project charter because i worry that I have not thought of everything that I may need to include in this capstone project. Over the past few days i've come to the realize that I will need to do some in-depth interviews to better understand how customers perceive my client and how they perceive the industry (refurbished computers), and what they are looking for when they buy a laptop. Additionally, hours of research through the Business Library database have yielded some useful information about the consumer electronics and laptop industry, but I wasn't... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2014 at CAPSTONE!
I was excited when I learned my client would be Blair Technology Group because it is a small company I thought I might get the opportunity to learn a lot about the business challenges and make some meaningful recommendations; however, I worried that I might encounter a lot of technical information that I don’t know anything about. Going into my initial client meeting I was nervous to discuss the scope and parameters of the project because our class had been canceled. I decided to learn as much as possible about the company from online sources, review the Field book and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2014 at CAPSTONE!
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Jan 7, 2014