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News Article

Developing marketing strategies for Audi

Monday, 3 January, 2011

UOWD students participate in a unique project to segment potential buyers demographically
In a unique project that engaged students in real-life marketing scenario, UOWD tied up with Audi Middle East to obtain demographics-focused inputs about the Audi brand.

Six teams from the post-graduate and under-graduate levels were involved in the project that was designed to obtain fresh market insights and find new talent among students of marketing.

In a final presentation made before Chayne Brand, the Marketing Director of Audi and Karin Haferkorn, PR Manager of Audi, the students presented their findings that threw ample light on the preferences and peculiarities of different demographic segments in the UAE.

"We were impressed by the amount of research the teams put in, said Chayne Brand. "The passion with which the students worked helped them get insights into the psyche of each segment. We would like to congratulate each student for doing such an excellent job on this project.

In the intensive, semester-long project the students were grouped into teams that focused on one particular demographic segment, such as Arab expatriates, Emiratis, Indians, etc. While the undergraduates focused on the 18-25 age group, the postgraduate students dealt with working adults with a disposable income who could afford an Audi. Students were given a case written by their professor, Dr. Melodena S. Balakrishnan, and the Audi team.

The project kick-started with a seminar by Chayne Brand, who spoke about the heart of the Audi brand "Vorsprung durch Technik" and its plans for the Middle East. Students were expected to use this information, the data collected through secondary research and market insights on their target customer and the existing market they collected through primary research to create a strategic plan.

The competition was fierce and the winner walked away with a model Audi R8 Spyder. Two students from the winning team have received internships.

The postgraduate team that won was Saheba Kohli, Jenny Kurien, Sara Matalebi and Bojana Batricevic. A very close second was Pouya, Nassim and Amjad and Sinan. While the winning team focused on presenting a crisp professional report, the second team had very astute findings. The winning undergraduate team was composed on Bader Al Lawati, Mushood Ahmed, Marwa Mohamed, Dalal Mansour, Enas Shara and Mengyan Ding. This winning team outdid itself with a mixed methodology - survey, focus group, interviews and observational research.

Dr. Melodena S. Balakrishnan, an Associate Professor and Deputy Dean at UOWD has worked with brands like IKEA and Krushers (Yum restaurants International) to create live university-industry tie-ups. She says: "These types of initiatives represent a win-win situation for both industry and students. The industry is not only able to give something back to the community but obtain some interesting insights as well as identify potential new hires. From the student point of view, these are real cases and it allows them to interact with one more industry and gain important market knowledge giving them a chance to apply their theoretical learnings."