Marketing Simulation: Interview with ESCP Student, Anshul Rathod

Anshul shares his experience about the Marketing Simulation! Boost skills, teamwork, challenges, benefits...

Marketing Simulation: Interview with ESCP Student, Anshul Rathod

The Marketing Simulation: where theory and practice collide!

Do you need help preparing your students for the business world? Business simulations are the ultimate game-changers, equipping them with the learning tools to succeed. 

At MEGA Learning, we offer many exciting games that give people a head start in their careers. This week, we're introducing one of our most popular learning simulations, the Marketing Simulation. Buckle up! In the simulation, players are thrown into the fast-paced automobile world. The goal of the game is to win against other teams by successfully leading their own automobile company and deciding how to manufacture and launch four distinct car models into the market.  

Are you interested to learn more? Anshul Rathod is an international student at the ESCP Business School Paris, completing the Master and Management (MIM) Programme. He recently participated in the marketing simulation and rose to meet the challenge. He was part of the winning team! They beat other players across Europe to become the Customer Value Challenge Champions! Read his story and learn more about The Marketing Simulation

Q: What was your general feeling about the MEGA Learning simulation?

Amazing, amazing and amazing! When we were handed the problem statement, I felt excited. I also liked that the business simulation involved the automobile industry.

I was equally excited about the randomly selected teams. Meeting people from different backgrounds was fun and interesting. 

So yes, the experience was awesome. The brief was great, and the platform made strategising easy. 

Logistics of the Game 

The Marketing Simulation is a strategy game for university students (advanced undergrad to post-graduate) and corporate leaders (managers at all levels). Participants work together in teams of 12, in-person, online or in a blended format that suits them. 

As Anshul pointed out, it’s a great way to meet, connect and collaborate with people.

The game has a total playing time of eight to 12 hours. Players can complete the learning simulation across days or weeks, depending on their preference and availability.

Q: What are the main skills you learned with the simulation?

First of all, I learned to apply analytical thinking. After every round of play, we’d analyse the results to figure out what worked, what didn't and where we could improve. Also important was that we studied the competitors’ strategies and asked ourselves: “What went right and wrong for them?”

The second was strategic thinking - another important one. We would build our strategies for marketing, engineering, and everything else based on our data, which helped us maximise profit, increase revenue, decrease our costs, and more. So, building effective strategies in this competitive atmosphere was key!

And the third, I would say, is communication and team building - the soft skills needed for experiential learning. As I said, my team members were a random batch - some mates and others I had never met. There were Italians, Indians and other nationalities, so we spoke about different cultures, which prompted team building and good communication.

Overview of the Business Simulation Game

With this exciting marketing-oriented simulation, take on the challenge of becoming an auto mogul!

Your team's mission is to design, manufacture and launch four car types: 

  • Low-cost: Budget-conscious for everyday driving
  • Family: Practical and spacious vehicles
  • Eco-friendly: Rides eco-friendly motorists will approve
  • Image: Top cars boasting style and high performance

You'll also need to achieve a strong business model for all car types to win.

Here's how you can successfully beat the market. 

Know your Customers: Build a value proposition for each segment. From affordability to luxury rides, highlight each car's unique features and benefits.

From Auto Parts to Showroom: Review the company’s internal value chain. Show how company resources (labour, materials) become the final product (the car). 

Will they make money? Analyse the above to determine how profitable each car may be. 

So, let’s recap.

1. Establish your customers’ values

2. Balance value proposition with profit

3. Race against time and competing against rival business teams

Q: What were the main challenges you encountered during the business simulation?

One of our major challenges was team conflicts because people disagreed about the strategies we should take. Adding on extreme time constraints and pressure made a few conflicts between team members unavoidable. But it (arguments and debating) was also enjoyable.

The second was how the competitive atmosphere influenced our team’s performance in this business simulation. So, amongst the different fields, with various competitors around, it became evident that your final results weren’t dependent just on your team’s strategy but also on the competitors' and what they were up to. Everything in the game is pretty interconnected, like the real world! 

In some instances, we forecasted that we would have some positive profit in the next quarter. But our competitors' strategies - like their pricing decisions - were reflected on our profit and balance sheets. This would definitely impact our plans. 

Be mindful that whatever strategy you use may not reflect positively because of the moves made by your competitors. 

The Marketing Simulation learning objectives

You have a four-product portfolio - unique car models designed for a specific driver; what's your next move? 

As active players, your learning objectives and play outcomes should feature the following.

Conduct Customer Segmentation

Consider your target audiences. Who do these groups represent, and can you tailor their dream car to match their interests and lifestyles? Are they budget-conscious or green? Are they image-driven or family-orientated?

Manage Market Positioning

You'll need to stand out ahead of the competition to get people interested in what you're selling. So, what are the unique selling points of your cars? Being light on petrol, offering extra protection, fitting an image, or making driving fun might be a few. 

Action a Unique, Concrete Strategy

Your strategy should detail various important factors, such as:

  • Value proposition, as we've mentioned (the cars' appealing benefits to customers)
  • Customers expectations
  • The costs and expenses to manufacture, market and sell your cars.
  • Evaluating market results - how is your dealership performing after every round? Are cars leaving the showroom?

Anything else? You want attractive cars that sell competitively, but don't forget about costs! After all, the goal is to make a healthy profit and become the best fictitious automobile company.

Q: How was the business simulation platform? Was it easy to use?

Among the best things about the simulation game were the instruction manuals, which only took 20 minutes to read before we were ready to start. Additionally, we become relatively familiar with the platform in one or two rounds. 

Everything you need is on the platform and a click away. Anyone can navigate the platform swiftly - it’s designed to be intuitive, user-friendly and easy to understand. 

The Marketing Simulation’s user-friendly Interface

The marketing-orientated simulation features a comprehensive dashboard that includes everything you need. It provides a gold mine of data you can leverage to advance. Here, you’ll find everything from cash flow, income breakdowns, and other fundamentals with an easy click.

Clear instructions, videos, screencasts and pre-reading materials are also freely available to help you understand the rules and expectations and optimise your play.

Ready to take your marketing skills to new levels? Sign up today!

Q: Was the simulation at this point in the course the right timing?

Yes! And I'll explain why with a personal story. 

After our team won, we reflected on how our performance stood at 100%. 

We reasoned it was because we got the opportunity to put our theoretical skills to work, applying them to practical efforts with this business simulation. 

We'd completed some of our semesters and gained all this theoretical knowledge and skills through our subjects, so the timing for implementing what we'd learned was just right. It was a good example of how to apply theoretical knowledge to a practical world. 

The best part? The simulation was not limited to a particular region but focussed on expansion and global participation, catering to the international students at ESCP. 

Closing the gap between theory and real-world application

Does classroom learning feel out of touch with the real world? 

Experiential learning is not about memorising facts but offers an active learning experience. They let you apply classroom concepts to real-world scenarios, closing the distance between theory and practice. They're also inclusive and cater for different learning styles.

Additionally, simulations are engaging and FUN. Simulations turn learning into a game, making it memorable. Like playing a game, simulations involve practice and repetition, which can help boost memory. 

Finally, they can motivate students to learn and help them gain practical experience and exposure.

Q: How was the atmosphere in the classroom? Was it competitive?

Yes, it was quite competitive both within and between the teams.

For instance, after every round, individual players from all the teams would start analysing the reports, figures, and so on to develop their next strategy. As expected, we ran into some conflict over differences in opinion. Fortunately, if things heated, we would resolve our issues and find common ground with data. Data can always back up strategies. 

Between the different teams, the atmosphere was quite competitive but friendly, too, and offered a great learning experience. This was especially the case on presentation day when other teams questioned us on our marketing strategy and our journey through the simulation process.

Building teamwork through business simulation

Business simulation is all about group work and collaboration, and The Marketing Simulation is no different. Players must work together to run a fake company and win.

Business simulation helps teammates get along despite their differences and paves the way for improved communication and conflict resolution. 

Q: Did you have the feeling of being in a real company?

Yes, it did feel like I was running an automobile company for real. We distributed the roles - I was CMO - and there were other positions, like CEO and CFO, for the other team players. 

So yeah, it gave us a real sense of running a company. As I previously said, the learning simulation is user-friendly, and the different metrics - the colour combination, for example, felt very similar to what you might see in real life.

An enriching learning environment replicating real-life scenarios

Simulation games put you in real-life scenarios. They force you to make quick decisions and consider all angles and outcomes –  like a rehearsal for the real world. But while simulations replicate reality, there aren't any real-world repercussions. This may create a safe space where learners can face and embrace failure without fear of consequences.

The more significant benefit of all is learning how to act when faced with similar real-world scenarios through trials and tribulations.

Q: What are your tips for future student participants?

First of all, go through the manuals very thoroughly. List all the important points, understand them, and refer to them later (if needed). 

Second, be a team player - don’t do everything; all the team members should contribute - not just one or two.

And finally, have a learning outcome. Make sure to analyse your results carefully and try to understand everything. This won’t be easy - you must apply your brain to these simulations. All the best to the coming teams!

Q: Anything else you want to add?

Yes, the platform was helpful to us. I also think all business schools - every business student should get a neck of such simulations. 

While schools provide theoretical knowledge - which you need - in real life, practical situations need some practical exposure. Simulations provide that space to see how things actually work. 

So, all business students should get to see their learning in action. I look forward to schools having such interactive platforms and similar learning experiences!

About MEGA Learning

Level up your business skills with MEGA Learning! With decades of experience, the company is familiar with delivering fresh learning approaches to business education. 

Their secret weapon? MEGA Learning have a passionate team of game-loving experts who make learning fun with entertaining simulations!

Here's what makes MEGA Learning stand out

  • Expert-made Games: Our games are created and used by experts, such as field experts, academics, and companies. 
  • User-friendly: Mega Learning Simulations are engaging and easy to navigate, even if you're new to gaming. 
  • Centred around Teamwork: Enjoy games involving group work and lively interaction.
  • Flexible learning: You control the pace! Use Mega Learning for a few hours, or spread your playtime over a few months. 

Choose from our many games. Besides our The Marketing Simulation , build your finance acumen with The Finance Simulation or whichever of our Business Simulations catches your eye.