Weston Steele ’20 LABB Intern – This past week was a crash course in the world of marketing, and from segmentation to the 4 p’s, I feel somewhat proficient in marketing. I realized I had learned something after watching the Microsoft 2017 E3 press conference. When Mike Simmons visited us on Monday, he had us look at Microsoft’s mishandling of the release of the Xbox One. We analyzed how Microsoft mistook what their customers wanted, and failed to take their needs into account. Watching their press conference this year, it was clear to see that they are obsessed with their product, and they haven’t quite made that shift from just selling game consoles to selling entertainment. It’s sort of like the railroad industry vs. the transportation industry, and how railroads would be more successful if they expanded to branding themselves as transportation rather than just railroads.

The biggest thing I can take away from Mr. Simmons’ visit is the difference between selling “why?” and selling “what?” It’s important for businesses to tell the consumer why they are selling what they are selling, not just come out and say what they are selling. It’s not compelling to a consumer when the business is very straightforward, and doesn’t drive customers to make that purchase. It made me think about why I make the purchases I do, and what sort of products have great marketing and company appeal.

It was great to see two marketer’s opinions on the matter, and a quote from Roland Morin that stuck with me was “If you get 10 marketers in a room, you’ll get 12 opinions.” I think that’s why marketing is appealing to most, the fact that it is so very diverse, and that everyone has unique ideas. That’s why I’m attracted to the business world, because I believe for a business to be successful, it needs to have a multitude of diverse opinions flowing through it.

It’s been great to get a glimpse at all various aspects of business, and to see what drives a company to be successful. It’s feels like an opportunity to take risks in a safe environment, where there is no real fear of failure. I don’t feel afraid to experiment, and find new more efficient ways to perform tasks, and that has given me plenty of opportunity to expand my repertoire of skills. The feedback is fantastic as well, providing insight on how to improve my skills in communication, innovation, and participation within a group. I’m excited moving forward, and I’ve got a better idea of what I want to do as a career.