The simulation was a group activity and each of the team members was given their specific roles to play. The key roles that were related to the simulation were as follows: (1) team leader, (2) marketing coordinator, (3) R&D coordinator, (4) budget controller, and (5) inventory management.
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The simulation aimed at making us aware of the strategic marketing consideration entailing the marketing decision-making process. In this essay, I will outline the various perspectives of the simulation and the way we worked as a team throughout the process. This essay is more of a reflection of a member of the team.
The simulation provided us with long-term goals to be achieved through the period of the simulation. We were given all kinds of tools for analysis and interpretation. Given this, we were expected to take the right strategic decisions right for the company in a competitive environment.
As teams were in direct competition in the simulated world, we needed to do a detailed analysis of the market and competitive environment. The simulation provided us data along with analysis tools like benchmarking, multidimensional scaling, conjoint analysis with the help of which we were expected to do a thorough study of the market and utilize this data for operations of the company.
Our team was formed following the basic rules of group formation i.e. forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. In the forming stage, we assigned different roles to the team members. I was given the responsibility of budget control of Distribution and Salesforce. Being responsible for the budget control of Distribution and Salesforce, I was responsible for maintaining budget for the distribution of the workforce, which was key for our firm. As we were operating in a highly competitive environment, all our decisions were important to achieve and sustain competitive advantage over and above our competitors.
As a team, we worked together in a well-coordinated and understanding environment. We understood that the goal of our team is to gain market share and a leading position for our company. Therefore, personal interests of responsibilities were overlooked in order to gain success for the company. We, as a team, valued the team goals, rather than personal goals, which helped us achieve the target that we had as a team.
Though our roles were determined at the very early stage of team development, we constantly helped one another. For instance, if I did not know or was not aware of a particular situation, or solution of a problem, one of my colleagues would definitely come up to help me if he was aware of the solution. Thus, our team environment was collaborative. We worked very hard in order to achieve our personal goals so that the team’s goal could be achieved.
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Our team leader followed a democratic form of leadership, where all decisions were taken through mutual consultation of all the team members. However, he provided us all the freedom to make a decision that we deemed right for our roles. The freedom that the leader provided helped erase all forms of ambiguity and hierarchy from the team operations.
All decisions taken by the team were reviewed by the leader and critical views of all the members were taken in order to sanction it. Any failure on the part of a particular member was viewed as a failure of the team and not that of the individual. Therefore, working in a team became easy and motivating.
There was clear role identity and we were completely sanguine as to what is expected out of us. We felt that we must work to achieve the goals that we have as a team and the personal goals we have set for ourselves in consultation with the leader. Thus, we were responsible for the decisions and there was accountability present among the team members.
My role was to budget control of distribution and salesforce. Throughout the simulation, I took various decisions pertaining to the area of my task. The data that I had regarding the distribution channel as specialty stores comprised 42.2 percent of customer attendees, department stores had 36.2 percent, and mass merchandise had 21.6 percent of the attendees.
I took decisions regarding the channel to be chosen for sales and the way distribution should be arranged. There were 30455 specialty stores, 6763 department stores, and 9595 mass merchandise to choose from. I decided that in the short run, we would distribute mostly through mass merchandise and specialty stores, which would consist of 37.3 percent of the total distribution and 30.8 percent, would be distributed through departmental stores. In the longer run, I decided that specialty stores would be cover 41.1 percent of the distribution, 39.8 percent will be done by mass merchandise, and 33.5 percent by department stores.
In the case of market shares based on unit sales, we captured 6.6 percent of the site market. In this, our product was sold through mass merchandise, which constituted 11 percent, department stores of 6.3 percent, and specialty stores of 4.9 percent of the total sales of the company.
In the longer run, we captured 14 percent of the market. Here the distribution ratio was changed with most sales occurring through specialty stores consisting of 15.6 percent of the sales, mass merchandise consisting of 13.5 percent of the sales, and department stores consisting of 12.3 percent of the sales.
The marketing simulation was an immensely helpful resource to provide a strategic view regarding the real-world climate and business environment. We were able to get a glimpse of the real decisions that a marketer needs to take, and the way these theories and mathematical tools could become helpful in such situations. During the simulation process, we took many right and wrong decisions. One such incorrect decision that helped us to learn a lot was at the very beginning of the simulation. We did not check for the level of the Inventory in the beginning, and that lead us to lose market share. This is a mistake that many companies have committed for instance AMD lost market share to Intel due to high level of microprocessor inventory (Shilov, 2008). In another instance, Nokia lost a considerable amount of its market share in Asia-Pacific due to a high level of inventory (Sandstrom, 2009). Further, the US homebuilders were foregoing a considerable amount of their sales due to a very high level of inventory available with the realtors (Hoak, 2008). Clearly, this is a mistake made by many companies and they have faced a downward movement of sales figures due to this.
In conclusion, it must be stated that the simulation has been an invigorating experience for me as I have learned many skills that will help me in the real world. Apart from the marketing and technical skill, which has been honed by the simulation, I have learned to be a part of a team, work with it, and be responsible for the performance of the team. This has helped me gain professionalism and made me a team player.
Hoak, A. (2008). Fixing the housing market. MArket Watch. Web.
Sandstrom, G. (2009). Handset Sales Rebound, Seen Rising In 4Q – Gartner. Web.
Shilov, A. (2008). AMD Continues to Lose Market Share to Intel – Analysts. Web.