Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success.
This week, we’re featuring one of the latest Hall of Fame entrants, Logun Williamson from the University of Utah. He landed 10th place in the Music2Go Multi-Player (All Time) Hall of Fame.
The Smartsims team reached out and interviewed Logun to speak on his experiences, the lessons he learned and advice he would give future students.
What is your decision making process within the simulation?
My decision making process began by analyzing the market from the previous year, comparing growth of all the companies in my world, and studying as much as I could about the industry. It was critical to gather as much information as I could so I could see which decisions were the most successful, and which areas of my strategy required revision. From there, I would typically make one or two changes per product each year. By making fewer changes, I was able to reduce variability and know more precisely which changes were affecting my growth.
What was your strategy going into the simulation?
Going into the simulation, my strategy was to increase awareness of my products as much as possible. I wanted to gain as much of the market share as I could, as quickly as I could, because I figured it would be more difficult to gain market share as time went on. I also knew I needed to launch a youth focused product before a sports focused product because early in the simulation, the standard product is able to capture some of the sports segment, but it doesn’t capture any of the youth segment.
How did you begin implementing that strategy?
I focused the majority of my budget on advertising and sales promotion. By studying the statistics and graphs in the manual, I was able to determine how much of the budget to allocate to both of these categories, and customize the distribution of funds going to the different channels within advertising and sales promotion.
How did you familiarize yourself with the simulation?
Reading the manual is critical to understanding the market in this simulation. At first, I just read the quick guide, but when I decided to read the full manual, my growth escalated rapidly. In addition to that, practicing in the single player simulation gives instant feedback on how different decisions affect growth in the industry. When I didn’t fully understand how a part of the simulation worked, like salesforce management for instance, I would play with different numbers in the single player mode. It really helped me get a better idea of how it all connected.
What resources did you pull on to develop your winning strategy which led you to the top of your course and then top in the Hall of Fame?
I relied on information I had gained from previous marketing courses I had taken, and like I mentioned before, the manual was a critical resource to my success. In addition, I created my own resource by making an excel spreadsheet that multiplied the reach of the different advertising channels per dollar by the percentage of each segment that used the different channels. This was incredibly useful as a quick reference to maximize the amount of people my advertising reached in each product segment.
What challenges did you face? How did you overcome these?
My first challenge was when I launched my first youth product. I thought I was a little aggressive with my projections, but they ended up being quite conservative. I lost a lot of sales because I didn’t order enough product. To overcome this I was much more aggressive in my projections for the next year and gained a majority of the youth segment. The second challenge I faced was maintaining growth towards the end of the simulation. I wasn’t able to overcome this, but after speaking with a classmate after the course I learned that I could have discontinued old product and launched new ones the next year. I knew I could discontinue products during the simulation, but didn’t understand that I could launch a new one in their place. Had I known this, I wouldn’t have ended the simulation with all 4 products in the decline phase of the product lifecycle, and would have been able to sustain my growth.
Was there anything in particular you did that you think helped to prepare yourself?
I went through 10 rollover periods on the single player simulation before starting multiplayer. When I wasn’t finding the success I wanted at first, I would restart the simulation, or redo the previous period. Taking the time to practice was the best way to prepare for the multiplayer simulation.
How has participating within a course which uses a business simulation to supplement their teaching materials helped you? What do you think of the business simulation?
I feel like I learned a lot more about marketing from this simulation than other marketing courses that were more focused on lecture and quizzes. I am a hands-on learner, so when I was able to see feedback on decisions I was making, it helped cement a lot of the concepts I had previously been lectured on.
Comments on your experience with the simulation itself
I had a negative attitude about the simulation before participating in it. I have participated in simulations for other courses that were very confusing and frustrating. But this was well organized, and had a lot of information to reference when I felt confused. By the end, it sparked my competitive nature and I actually enjoyed spending my time researching the market and developing new strategies.
Comments with the staff
You did a great job putting together this simulation, I feel like I genuinely learned from it, and I feel like I know how to apply these concepts in the real world. Thank you for developing a great product!