Undergraduate Students as Digital Consultants to L’Oréal Egypt
Blending theory with practice, e-marketing students were provided with an exceptional hands-on experience that engraved the course deliverables in their memories thought to be marketers for L’Oréal Egypt products.
The AUC School of Business e-marketing course teaches students how to be smart marketers through the understanding of the different strategies that can be used to market products and services online while assessing performance through tools providing insights and metrics. With their fast pace, digital transformation methods of providing customer value are getting more innovative and creative, while the pace of technological innovation is also providing businesses with a wealth of information and tools for predicting and understanding consumer behavior.
Knowing that theory is best learned when putting into practice, assistant professor Rania Samir provided her students with the opportunity to act as digital marketing consultants for different L’Oréal brands and products. "Learning by doing has proven to be one of the most effective ways to test students’ understanding of concepts and ability to apply them. When students work on existing company challenges, they are better able to visualize real-life problems and make decisions on how to deal with them. Digital Marketing attempts to apply experiential learning by equipping students with the tools needed to create and manage an online business”, explains Samir.
For their semester project, students were first introduced to the L’Oréal brands and products and were then assigned one of three products under the brands of L’Oréal Egypt (mainly La Roche -Posay and Yves Saint Laurent) by the digital marketing manager. They were then requested to identify key digital problems these products are facing with their existing paid, owned, and earned media, and ways to overcome such issues.
Through the usage of online tools previously experimented with in class, students conducted full online analyses and social media critiques for the products to identify the problems, and finalized an E-SWOT; identifying strengths, areas of improvement, threats and opportunities. Based on the research, students made their recommendations for the marketing of the products that would boost sales and increase demand, and further took the extra mile of implementing them through designing an improved POEM strategy ‘paid, owned and earned media’ for the company including creating e-commerce websites and social media platforms for the products.
Finally, students identified short- and medium-term objectives for the assigned products, a timeline for achieving them, and settled on the key performance metrics by which success or failure would be measured. The outcomes of the projects were presented to a team consisting of the L’Oréal Egypt digital marketing manager, HR manager and brand managers, who witnessed students’ final presentations while providing constructive feedback.
“The experience was truly on-ground. E-marketing is an area that is continuously changing, almost every day, so implementing its concepts on a company that is well-established and up to date with best practices such as L’Oréal was extremely beneficial. We used tools that we had never come across previously and did a tremendous amount of market research, and I believe both of these methods were very essential to know. The best part of the project was the constructive feedback we received from the brand managers on our work-both the rights and wrongs”, comments undergraduate student Nada Walaa on the semester-long project.
The partnership with L’Oréal Egypt has been going on for a full academic year, with many students obtaining internships, job shadowing opportunities and visiting the L’Oréal premises, with the support of the AUC Career Center’s practical learning programs.
Such collaborations are always of mutual benefits, where companies benefit from the recommendations and fresh eyes of the students, and students benefit from the hands-on experience that is gained through being involved in real-life situations where their decisions have an impact. At the AUC School of Business, we always aim to provide our students with more than just theoretical education. Rather, we aim to provide a reality that shapes learning and self-development.