Category Archives: Sales and Markting

Make Them Choose You!

It has been a while since my first blog post. I’ve been really busy with school especially assignments. This 2nd year has not been easy for me but I’m trying to get things done, thanks to my university and lecturers. My university (Haaga-Helia University of Applied Science, Porvoo) is very flexible and makes one love school. The lecturers are amazing, they don’t just teach, they involve you, make you practice what you’ve learnt and share your ideas with the lot.

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Relaxing at the Fatboy room

Are you already wondering if this is an advertisement post for my university? Well, my topic for today is creating value through good services and I would like to start with my university. Many a time, people asked me “why did you leave all the universities in Helsinki and travel to Porvoo every day? Its far and the transportation is expensive”. My response has always been “My University is different and only the people that experience it will know what I’m talking about”.

I was in a university in Helsinki less than 20 minutes from my place. There I felt I go to school because I had to, no connection with the lecturers, no team work, and no practical. It was just “lectures and go home”. While in Porvoo, I feel happy to go to school, I feel welcomed and accepted. The teacher-student relation is priceless. The laptops given to us make studying easy for us. The teachers do not photocopy endlessly but upload learning materials to our learning platforms leap and Moodle. This saves us space and information are secured. The way the campus was built is relaxing and makes you experience real life working situations. Working in real life projects with companies is one of the advantages we have against other schools. It’s not just a university, it’s a place that makes you feel like an employee instead of a student.

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Perfect for meetings and teamwork

With this example above, I wanted to show you how creating good value through service design can attract people to your organization or business. Nowadays, people don’t want to feel like they are using a service because they have to. They want to feel like they’re using it because they love to, they want to experience the best. When you design a great service for your customers and employees, you make them stay and be loyal to the organization. Distance and price do not matter anymore as far as they get to have what they’ll love and enjoy.

What is Service Design?

“Service design is the overall experience of service as well as the design of the process and the strategy to provide that service.” (Morritz, 2005)

“There is no common definition to service design. It‘s a (new) way of thinking as its focus on human rather than organization and stakeholders. The way ideas spread and how organizations are organized is shaping how service design plays out in the company. More important than thinking if service design is part of marketing or something else is to understand the value and relations between people and other people, between people and things and between people and organizations. Gaining authentic customer insights the service designer slips into the customer‘s shoes to understand their individual service experience and it‘s wider context.” (Stickdorn, Schneider 2010, 37)

Here is a short video by Yosef Shuman on ‘What is service design?’

In order to have a successful service design, companies have to study their customers to know what they really want. Put yourselves in the customers’ shoes and try to feel what they feel. Understand their lives and try to see their invisible needs. To get these insights, companies have to make research on their customers. The research or collecting information can be through interviews, surveys, through social media, etc.

Service design should not just be about the customers only. Companies need to consider their employees too. You do not create a service to please your customers and forget about your employees. Your employees should be part of the creation, they should have a say like the customers. The service should be designed in such a way that, the employees will be happy to use it.

Companies have to realize that, they cannot satisfy everyone. With their findings, they need to make logical decisions to make the customer value creation easier for them. Different people want different things, as the saying goes, “one man’s meat is another man’s poison.” Companies should create services that all their customers will love and benefit from. This might take time but using services come in stages. Be patient, don’t force it and make adjustments along the way. Good services sell themselves. Do your best and make them choose you!

‘’When you have two coffee shops right next to each other, and each of them sells exact the same coffee at the exact same price, service design is what makes you walk into one and not the other.’’ (Stickdorn, Schneider 2010, 33)

Upgrade To Sell

I know most of you know the meaning of digitalization but do you know the impact it has on sales and marketing today? Well, as an International Business student focusing on sales and marketing, I tend to explore, learn, practice and share my ideas.

A couple of days ago I was fortunate to be part of a mind-blowing event that took place at Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences (Porvoo). This great event was DiGi Day. I know most of you are already thinking the way I thought when I first heard the name DiGi Day. ‘Yes! It must be about digital stuff.’ You might be right but let’s hold on with our conclusions and read on…

What is DiGi Day?

The main idea of DiGi Day was to learn about the impact of digitalization on business. How it’s changing the way we do and see things especially when it comes to the selling, buying and marketing our products and services. It focused on the modern day business, how we can utilize the available resources like technology to be successful. My area of interest as a sales and marketing student was to have a glance at how the future of business will look like.

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Digi Day

During the DiGi Day, I was able to gather many insights from the guest speakers that have great knowledge and experience in this field. With what I have learnt and gathered, I was able to come up with a collection of ideas that can help companies and customers make good use of digitalization…

But first, what is digital marketing? Below is a defination by Ari Nevalainen, the communication manager of Haaga-Helia UAS.

019Well-established companies and startup companies are making good use of technology. Using different ways of digital marketing to promote, sell and connect with their customers. After listening to Ari Nevalainen the communication manager of Haaga-Helia UAS say 80% of the university’s marketing is going digital, I realized that digitalization is a way forward for every institution or business. Ari Nevalainen mentioned the different angles of digital marketing which I found very interesting… See photo below.

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All these angles of digital marketing might be connecting, reasonable and up to date but there are obstacles that need to be conquered. Some of these obstacles are how to measure the return on investment and how to take ownership of all the digital channels since there is a huge spike in the use of these channels as I read Here. Another challenge companies need to take into account is the fact that, not all ages are active online. Companies need to consider how to overcome this challenge to enjoy the digital world. But how do companies overcome these challenges? Let’s help each other to answer this question. Every opinion matters in development.

Buying products and services has become easier for customers. We do not need to walk to the shop to buy all the things we need, online stores are making life easier for us. We can review and compare products before buying. The social media provides information about products we want to purchase. There are reviews on products and services that make you trust the product. I like the idea of online chat on websites because you can get some of your questions answered and doubts cleared before buying. Bryan Eisenberg a pioneer in online marketing mentioned in his article that, convenience, lower prices and peer pressure are some of the reasons why people buy online.

As a customer myself, I have few challenges that make me doubt online purchasing or interaction. Privacy is an issue for me, I will like to know how safe I am before putting my personal details online. Companies need to consider this and try to solve the privacy issues we face online to be trustworthy to their customers.

As a sales and marketing student, I think I need to focus on self-leadership and self-management and as Risto E.J. Penttilä, the President and CEO, Finland Chamber of Commerce said; ‘ in order to have a career in this world of technology, try to be proactive and a problem solver.’

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I would like to share some quotes with you that I gathered from the speakers on DiGi day; we can all make good use of these tips, whether you are a student, a company, a customer or someone thinking of starting a business…

“Invest in your personal development and take a leap before you jump” – Oladimeji Joseph Fakayode, co-founder of ClipMe.

“Listen to your customers and personalize your services for them” – Mika Leno, Managing Director of VAIMO Finland Oy.

“Be the guru of your business and show it online” – Janne Mikkola, owner of Mikava Oy

What changes do you think should be made to make digital marketing more flexible for both companies and customers?

Please share your thoughts on the question above -> We are all here to learn. Thank you!