CityU students analyse consumer psychology for corporations

Department of Marketing

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Outstanding final-year marketing students from City University of Hong Kong (CityU) have received Student Marketing Consultancy Project Awards for their innovative strategies for corporations.

Nineteen teams comprising more than 120 Year 3 students from the Department of Marketing took part in the competition and 10 were honoured at the Student Marketing Consultancy Project Award Presentation Ceremony on 6 January.

The students, acting as “image designers”, conducted surveys on behalf of nine corporations aimed at identifying the psychology behind certain types of consumer behaviour. The aim of the Student Marketing Consultancy Project is for students to develop effective marketing strategies for corporations.

The nine corporations were St. James’ Settlement, The Link Management Limited, International Payment Solutions (HK) Limited, The Dairy Farm Company Ltd - Wellcome, IDS (Hong Kong) Limited, Mentholatum (Asia Pacific) Limited, Pricerite Stores Limited, CASH Financial Services Group Limited, and Nu Skin Enterprises Hong Kong, Inc.

To understand the behaviour and mentality of today’s consumers, the participating teams conducted large-scale surveys and focus group interviews. With their creativity and professional knowledge, they developed specific marketing proposals containing valuable information for the corporations.

Guests attending the ceremony included Professor Arthur Ellis, Provost, Professor Gary Feng Gang, Associate Provost, Dr Cheung Chor-yung, Dean of Students, Dr Su Chenting, Head of the Department of Marketing, Mr Alex Tham Koy-siong, Teaching Fellow of the Department of Marketing and Coordinator of the Active Learner Award, and representatives of participating corporations.

The company representatives commended the students for their learning attitude and strong team spirit. They thanked the students for their proposals, which, they said, have strengthened the corporations’ confidence in launching certain marketing plans.

One of the winning teams conducted market research on The Dairy Farm Company Ltd - Wellcome. The students studied the behaviour of those buying groceries in the wet market and those shopping in supermarkets. By specifically considering the preference of local consumers for shopping efficiency, they suggested the corporation improve its operation mode and promotion strategies in terms of products, shopping environment and customer services. The aim of their proposal was to encourage shoppers to stay longer in Wellcome and purchase more.

Shing Sau-man, a member of the winning team, said, “The project has trained up my logical thinking and helped me understand deeper about the operation of a supermarket.”

International Payment Solutions (HK) Limited, established in 2000, is one of the first groups of third-party online payment companies in mainland China. The winning team working for this company interviewed more than 400 online shoppers aged 15-54 about their shopping behaviour and habits. Based on the survey results, the students recommended that the company set up its own online department store. In addition, as they found that online shoppers aged 15-34 mainly make impromptu purchases while those aged 35-54 have planned shopping behaviour, they suggested the company deploy different promotional strategies specifically for consumers of different age groups.

Students from the winning teams said the project offered them the opportunity to work with a business organisation and understand deeper online shopping patterns and problems as well as opinions about payment methods and service providers of local consumers. With first-hand market information and analysis, they could make concrete suggestions to help the corporations develop better branding strategies.

Ng Sau-fong, one of the winning team members, said, “The project has allowed me to learn how to do business interviews and how to communicate with my teammates from other countries. The experience I gained will be valuable when I join the workforce after graduation.”

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