A cold November evening brought together students from the University of East Anglia and marketing professionals from across the county in the very first NBS/CIM Marketing Club event.
The evening began with networking over tea and coffee discussing the possibilities of our newly formed club with Philip Preston, a CIM Network Manager introducing students to the Chartered Institute of Marketing and reminding current members of the values of the institute.
We were very fortunate to have user experience design agency, Foolproof, as our guest speakers for the evening with Anne, Rob and Rachel representing the agency. Anne and Rob got the night off to an engaging start where we learnt about their backgrounds and how they got to work in user experience or UX as it’s known in the marketing industry. Anne and Rob then introduced us to UX, how it works and some examples of how they have helped clients improve their user centricity. At the heart of user experience is the consumer and so market research is a key element of Foolproof’s business approach.
After being introduced to the key concepts of user experience design, we moved onto the activity part of the evening. Each table, comprising of an equal number of students and professionals, had several cans and three different can openers in the middle. Our first task was to decide as a table which can opener was the best in terms of a number of different categories. Each table was then given a persona, and we had to decide which can opener would suit them best, or alternatively design a new can opener to better suit the needs of our customer. All delegates seemed to thoroughly enjoy this task, inventing new, innovative can openers in a very short space of time with great input from professional designers and marketing students alike. A well thought out and straight-forward task meant that all the attendees got to delve a little deeper into how a user experience design agency will go about researching consumer needs for a particular client.
After finishing up the activity with almost everyone concluding that they “didn’t realise there were so many different types of can openers”, everyone slowly made their way to the sandwiches for some more networking and reflection on the evening’s session and activity. Speaking to local agencies, I found out that they find the lack of marketing networking events in the area frustrating and only through education about new marketing areas, such as UX, can they build and develop their own agencies to improve and be more forward thinking.
Attendees were asked to fill in a feedback form and we were thrilled to receive extremely positive feedback on the event, especially in terms of the workshop design of the evening with many delegates asking for details of the next event!
With thanks to Sarah Hindley for contributing to the NBS blog.