Marketing students help business prospects for Chester company.

Posted on 23rd May 2012

A group of Marketing students at the University of Chester has carried out a piece of research to look at improving business prospects for a city printer.

Colin Strobant, group leader, Emilie Verdon, Stuart Paul, Steve Dedo, Eimuraz Bezhanidze, Shaina Shaukat and Maude Lardier.
Colin Strobant, group leader, Emilie Verdon, Stuart Paul, Steve Dedo, Eimuraz Bezhanidze, Shaina Shaukat and Maude Lardier.
By taking part in this project the students learned a number of key skills such as applying theory to practice and gaining the practical experience of working with an organisation
Stuart Paul

Students on the BA Marketing programme worked on a piece of market research for Qubic Print Direct which sells business forms, stationery, gift vouchers, signage, along with many other products to businesses throughout the UK.

The company wishes actively to increase the number of customers it has in the hair and beauty market and asked the students to obtain some current market research information, on which to base its plans and strategies.

The students were set the task of finding out what printed materials such businesses require and how to send the correct information out to them.

Using Chester as a snapshot of other hair and beauty businesses around the country, the students looked at such areas as whether the city businesses were part of any regional or national associations, how the companies market themselves and their specific print requirements.

The group also conducted interviews with 20 hairdressers and beauty salons in Chester, investigating the nature and size of the competitive print market and the needs of the businesses. The nature and level of customer service required by the beauty salons was also investigated.

The group was led by Colin Strobant, 20, from Taverny, on the outskirts of Paris, who came to Chester to study for a year. He said: “We created a survey to give some recommendations to Qubic Print on whether they should invest in this area. I really enjoyed doing the primary research such as going to salons and interviewing them. This allowed me to meet the salon managers and to understand the market, which was unknown to me before.

“Moreover, I really enjoyed meeting with my colleagues and gathering all the information to highlight some recommendations. I gained some valuable experience in the marketing research process.”

Another member of the group, Shaina Shaukat, 22, from Bagillt, Flintshire, said:  “This assignment was totally different from other assignments because it was all about how to answer a research question. It was a good experience that gave me an understanding of how to work independently as well as in a group in a real life situation to meet the tight deadlines. I now have experience of how to complete a lengthy project and how to meet the objectives of research question. I particularly enjoyed the interviews of participants and collection of data.”

Stuart Paul, Senior Lecturer in Marketing, Tourism and Events Management, said the project aimed to give the students experience of using market research techniques, including gathering and collecting data and producing a final report, which they can then take forward into their future careers.

He added: “By taking part in this project the students learned a number of key skills such as applying theory to practice and gaining the practical experience of working with an organisation.

“I’d really like to thank everyone at Qubic for their encouragement and the way they helped and welcomed the students. It was the fourth year we have worked with them and I hope the findings have been of great benefit to the company.”

Steve Dedo, Marketing Director of Qubic Print Direct, said: “The students worked well as a team and I believe they benefited from face-to-face interviewing. This technique provided more in depth information regarding the market than that obtained through publications and the internet alone. 

“The students’ findings were well presented and provided some good information which can be used in our efforts to increase our presence within this dynamic market.”