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Molly Saks
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As we move into the final weeks of the semester, it’s time to record some advice for the next round of Capstone students. This feels a bit strange since my team is still over a month away from our client presentation. Nevertheless, I have still had many learning experiences during the past few months. Here are my three main takeaways: Manage your relationships. Capstone is so open-ended and self-directed that it’s essential to manage your relationships with both your client and your teammates. There isn’t a class every week or a strict syllabus around which to plan your semester. This... Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2016 at CAPSTONE!
This week, we received an estimate from the graphic designer we’re going to work with for our persuasion design project. Due to circumstances outside of our control, it will take longer than expected to approve the purchase order for this work. This was somewhat demoralizing news for my group, but I think it’s important to realize that these situations happen in the real world. There are always factors outside of your control that can have an impact on your efficiency and effectiveness. Consequently, we have been thinking of ways we can continue to progress while waiting to give the go... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2016 at CAPSTONE!
This week we had our last class session for Capstone. We talked about wrapping up our projects, crafting effective presentations and writing final reports. This was exciting, but felt somewhat premature for my team. Rather than wrapping up, we are right now getting to the meat of our project. Capstone is a strange class experience because we are all working at different paces. I don’t feel that my group is in trouble. Our client is willing to extend the project timeline if we need it. Yet, many of our classmates are putting finishing touches on their work and getting ready... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2016 at CAPSTONE!
The past two weeks, my Capstone team has shifted its primary focus to influence strategies. We have been working to apply persuasion techniques in on-pack communications. In doing so, we have seemed to hit a sweet spot with our client. One of the biggest challenges for my group has been to figure out how we can provide value to a client with sophisticated marketing capabilities. We have bounced around from one angle to another, and the persuasion techniques has been the first to truly resonate with our client. I have personally found the hardest part of Capstone not to be... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2016 at CAPSTONE!
This week involved a bit of a shakeup in our plans. Last Sunday, our team put together an action plan for the rest of the semester and added finishing touches to our charter. On Monday, we had a phone call with our client. We discussed the qualitative research that we had completed at that point as well as our future plans. He listened, gave feedback and ultimately challenged us to think more creatively. One of the big obstacles in our project has been trying to figure out how to deliver value to a company with seemingly infinite resources and a... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2016 at CAPSTONE!
This week has been all about qualitative research. My team put together a short series of questions, and each of us did three or four one-on-one interviews over the past seven days. Today, we got together to discuss our results and the next steps of our project. Before we even came together to debrief, I was struck by how telling the insights were from the four interviews I performed. Since we are dealing with a very low-involvement product, it should have been no surprise that my respondents were fairly uninformed and uninterested in the brand. However, it came as something... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2016 at CAPSTONE!
On Monday, my group had an important conversation with our client. During the discussion, we settled on a new focus for our capstone project. After being more or less stalled for a few weeks, this fresh direction was a relief to all of us. Still, when I sat down to begin doing research on the new topic, I wasn’t sure how to proceed. Even with more alignment, uncertainty had cropped up. It was immensely helpful to meet with my group today to talk over what to do next. We had to decide how to take our new focus and translate... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2016 at CAPSTONE!
My team had to make a tough, but very important, decision this week. For much of February, we have been unsure of our direction, primarily due to alignment issues. After these issues were brought to light with our client this week, we had the choice to continue with the project they originally proposed or start fresh with a new focus. Both choices had their pros and cons. Staying with the original project would have pleased the client, but the focus was outside the scope of anything we have studied in our marketing coursework. Charting a new course would mean being... Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2016 at CAPSTONE!
This past week, I have been in capstone limbo. My group is not sure of our focus, and I am starting to worry about time. Will we have enough of it once our project scope gets sorted out? Will we be able to provide something of value to our clients? Will we have enough time to complete adequate marketing research when we move into that phase? All of these questions have been rattling around in my brain. Still, I’m confident that, in the coming week, we will find a clear step forward. In the meantime, our group has decided to... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2016 at CAPSTONE!
This week has been focused on aligning with our clients and defining the scope of our project. Achieving alignment is more time-consuming than I initially realized. Although we discussed alignment and clarity in class, I naively assumed that this would not be much of an issue with our clients because they seem very reasonable. I’m now coming to understand that you don’t have to have an “unreasonable” client to struggle with alignment. When two separate groups work together, aligning vision and expectations is always going to be hard work. At this point, I’m a bit nervous that we aren’t further... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2016 at CAPSTONE!
This was the week of Systematic Inventive Thinking for me. I finished reading Inside the Box and then got together with my group today to apply the innovation concepts to our project. We came up with some (possibly) viable options, but I’m not certain we are completely on the same page with our client. It was more challenging than I expected to meld the SIT concepts to the specific scenario with which we are presented in our project. I think this situation underscores how important alignment and clarity are for the capstone project and for the field of marketing in... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2016 at CAPSTONE!
After three meetings over the past two weeks – two with our P&G clients and one with just my team – I feel that I have a pretty firm grasp on what we are tasked with delivering at the end of the semester. Our project was immediately intriguing and exciting to me. However, I struggled at first to understand exactly how we will go about executing it and how SIT will fit into the process. After going to the SIT training at P&G this past Thursday and meeting face-to-face with our clients for the second time, the pieces started to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2016 at CAPSTONE!
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Jan 13, 2016