Guest Blog by Team ReAI Intelligence: Nikhil Kishore, Shalini Suresh Kumar, Tomás Soracco, and Victor Sosa
Team ReAI Intelligence, winners of the 2023 Kilts Center Case Competition, share their perspective and learnings from their experience and why other Boothies should apply!
The annual Kilts Case Competition provided a distinctive opportunity to bridge the gap between classroom-taught marketing concepts and the real-world challenges faced by marketing professionals. This year the Center partnered with Microsoft to bring an interesting case that entailed redefining the value proposition of Microsoft.com to increase conversion and customer loyalty. The challenge, intentionally, was open-ended so that teams could follow different approaches and recommendations to solve the same problem. It served as a platform to think creatively, prioritize appropriately, and navigate the complexities of real-world marketing scenarios.
Inside the Team
Emphasizing the importance of diverse perspectives, our team, ReAI Intelligence (inspired by the hot topic of 2023, AI), was intentionally composed of individuals with varied cultures, professional backgrounds, and skills. This intentional diversity proved to be a key asset as we navigated through the intricacies of the competition. We leaned in on each member’s strengths to build and deliver a compelling presentation.
Gearing up for the Competition
Before delving into the Microsoft case, participants were tasked with creating a short, creative application on leveraging Microsoft Copilot to enhance the student experience. This exercise not only fostered team dynamics but also revealed each member’s strengths.
Upon successful completion of this initial stage, we were presented with Microsoft’s case and given one week to brainstorm, create our strategy, build a deck, and prepare an engaging presentation. Notably, one of the most challenging aspects of the competition was the time constraint of 15 minutes allocated to our presentation.
To ensure an impactful presentation, we first set an internal deadline ahead of the final date. Working backward, we established incremental deadlines throughout the week. This timeline focused our brainstorming and research as we developed targeted solutions.
We analyzed many aspects of Microsoft and understood their products, main customers, and the market segment they were targeting. We also did a deep dive into their website, partnerships, and marketing strategies. We addressed the challenges we discovered in our research through collaborative problem-solving, transforming hurdles into opportunities for growth. This strategic approach allowed us to deliver clear and impactful recommendations.
The Final Presentation
Our collaborative effort culminated in a set of recommendations that aligned with established marketing frameworks. Understanding that prioritization is a crucial skill in a Product role, we ranked our recommendations to improve Microsoft.com based on three key factors: potential business impact, level of effort required, and timeline for implementation. We meticulously rehearsed our presentation, fine-tuning both content and pacing, scrutinizing every detail of the presentation. Additionally, we spent time coming up with and answering difficult questions about our presentation to ensure that nothing would catch us off-guard in the Q&A portion of the presentation. We wanted all of the effort we put in to shine through.
As a result of our efforts, team ReAI Intelligence placed first in the competition, which was an incredibly exciting moment for us! For the 1st place prize, Microsoft gave each of us a brand new Microsoft Surface laptop, which was quite helpful as several of us were in the market for new laptops.
Our Key Takeaways from the Experience Include:
1) Diversity: Our deliberate focus on diverse team composition underscored the importance of varied perspectives in approaching complex challenges, a principle particularly relevant for enterprise marketing teams aiming to foster innovation and creativity.
2) Problem-Solving: The competition emphasized the significance of structured problem-solving methodologies, mirroring the approach often required in enterprise marketing settings. This involved breaking down challenges, utilizing frameworks, and delivering clear, actionable solutions.
3) Time Management: The challenge of the competition is not only coming up with useful solutions but also delivering them impeccably in a short timeframe while managing other responsibilities, which makes it akin to a real scenario you would experience as a member of the Microsoft team.
4) Storytelling: While initially tempted to share numerous ideas, we realized that prioritizing a few core recommendations and telling a cohesive story about them would be more effective in communication. This approach enabled a more engaging presentation.
The Kilts Case Competition provides an invaluable learning experience, demonstrating the practical application of marketing principles and highlighting the power of collaboration and diverse perspectives. We strongly encourage students from all backgrounds to participate!