Case Study

 Marketing One’s Self – (Helpful – chapter 11)

DR. JANE LEE : “Bob happened to be on campus today to attend a meeting of community leaders and I asked him to drop by my class for a few minutes during a break. He was once a student of mine and attended class in this very room. I told him that we have been talking about marketing and I asked him if he could share how he made use of what he learned here. I will let him take it from there.”

BOB : “Thank you, Dr. Lee. In this class, I learned about the importance of doing research and learning as much as you can about your customer and what your customer wants. You should learn what that customer wants regarding a product or service, the amount the customer will buy at various possible prices, the promotional techniques which will best inform the customer that you have what he or she desires, and the place or distribution system which will be most convenient for your customer. I applied the concept of marketing to searching for a job.

Before beginning that search, I recognized that I was marketing myself. I therefore did some research to find those potential employers who would most likely need my skills. As best I could, I tried to discover what they wanted in a potential employee. It was especially useful if I could get information about the portion of the organization where I would likely work and its particular challenges. Usually there was a lot of information available through public relations or shareholder relations and sometimes I simply asked friends and relatives if they knew anyone who worked for the company and they put me in touch with folks who could give a lot of insight into areas where the company needed help with something. I especially tried to learn the names of those people who might be interviewing me or who might make the decision to hire me. In some cases I was able to learn a little bit about their background and their interests.

That research was useful because I am the “product” I was trying to market and I had to determine what will most affect the “customers” (employers) buying or hiring decision. There could have been a be a lot of skills and background required for the job but current needs in the company at the time could mean that some of those qualifications were more vital than others. Also, the hiring decision could be influenced by qualifications, which were not listed, such as your ability to get along with those who would be interviewing you. The more I knew about the interviewer, I might be better able to show that we have some things that we share in common (whether it involved recreational interests, philosophical views, a place where we have both lived, etc.) and thus find it easier to gain the support of that person.

Knowing what the potential customer wanted in its product (the employee) to justify a particular price (salary) helped in my promotional efforts: the interview and the resume’. The interview was much like a sales call and my resume’ was a sales brochure. I never used “middlemen” (recruiting and job placement firms) but contacted each potential customer directly.

Of course, there were many competitors who were also seeking some of the same customers. However, I believe that by learning marketing to the point that I actually applied it to a real world situation, I had an advantage over many people who had no idea of how to market themselves.

  Questions

1. How could it be mutually beneficial to both an employer and a prospective employee when one approaches a job search in the same way as Bob?

2. Why do you suppose that many students study marketing in school and know how to use it in the business world but never realize that it has a wide array of applications to all areas of their life?

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