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Although I had had a busy week, and university deadlines had been piling up on top of each other, I made sure I was able to attend the Amsterdam Commercial Night (ACN) event last week. Partially as a gesture of commitment as the MAA’s Chief Digital Marketeer, but mostly because it seemed like an event jam-packed with knowledge beneficial to me as a future marketeer! This blog post is here to tell you exactly how the event unfolded.

 Upon first entering Posthoornkerk – yes, a church – I encountered  the inevitable array of nuts, chips, crackers and free drinks: a display of the classic Dutch borrel. As I was barely on time (unsurprisingly), I had no time to enjoy these treats and had to scurry up to the main hall where the presentations were being held. I was in awe; the stage was set right beneath the church’s main spired tower you see from the outside, and the seats were lined by dimly lit, small bricked atriums that lead to the stage. 

 The main host of the night was Gijs de Beus, the strategic mastermind behind Friends & Foes: a creative agency located in Amsterdam. He opened the ACN Storytelling event with a little clip on how Friends & Foes was founded, while teaching us the basis of what storytelling is and how crucial it is for brand strategy. He paved the way for the three speakers of the night. The first speaker, Rik toe Water, represented GroupM: the world’s largest advertising media company, with subsidiaries that make beloved shows such as Love Island possible. It isn’t hard to imagine the source of GroupM’s success if all their employees have personalities and presentation skills like Rik’s. He was able to make the church echo with laughter while still remaining educational throughout his entire presentation. He provided exceptional visuals for the audience to understand the power of brand storytelling, as well as pitfalls that come with it if it isn’t done right. His take home message, repeated adamantly throughout the presentation, was to: use all platforms available, consistently engage with your consumers, scale your message, and stick to one main story.

 The second presentation took a surprising turn from the first one. Philips, represented by Dirk van der Horst, offered us an insight into their own (hi)story as game changers within the healthcare industry. We were taken back to 1891, when the three founding fathers of Philips joined forces to establish what has become a powerhouse of innovation. The presentation focused on Philip’s own success story while looking into the future at the incoming trends bound to shape the digitalisation of healthcare technology. Of course, a presentation about the healthcare industry would have been incomplete without a little side note reminding us students to take care of our  alcohol intake. Don’t get me wrong, it was greatly appreciated – but hilarious given that we were fortunate enough to have Grolsch sponsor the event’s supply of beer! 

 Following the two presentations, we had an interim break where we headed back to the borrel area to network, nibble on some snacks, and grab ourselves a bottle (or two) of Grolsch’s beer. The speakers joined too, engaging with students and divulging the companies’ secret recipes to success (or so I hope). At the borrel, Walters People – a recruitment consultancy firm operating  in major European countries – was there to help us with our LinkedIn profiles. I would like to take this opportunity to say that my LinkedIn profile was actually complimented by Walters People themselves…although they did say that my profile picture needed an update (to which I wholeheartedly agreed). After this ego boost, I went back into the main hall where I saw the opportunity to talk to the host, Gijs, and ask him what he was most looking forward to during the event.

 “I was really curious to hear the first presentation because it’s very close to what we [Friends & Foes] do, but with a slightly different take. The second presentation – yea, I know Philips intimately and have worked for them as a consultant. It’s such a complex organization, they’re going through such a profound transformation so it’s interesting to hear how story can be used in that transition. The third presentation I think is a classic example of marketing done well through the use of a story; we still need to hear it, but I’ve had a sneak peak of the presentation and I’m really curious to hear it – really excited.”

 After speaking to Gijs, and sharing his excitement, it was time for the  last company presentation of the night. Ard Bossema, Grolsch’s very own Marketing and Strategy Director, was the third presenter of the night. He kick-started his presentation with an incredible promotional video capturing the essence of the company, and continued to woo us with facts about the company that really set it apart from the rest. Did you know that Grolsch was the first beer to use a swing-top bottle cap? Me neither! Supposedly, it makes Grolsch’s beer bottle the second most famous bottle in the world – after the Coca Cola’s, that is. We were then immersed into stories of Grolsch’s explosive past. Literally speaking. Their first brewery in Enschede was destroyed by fireworks 19 years ago. Nonetheless, they made an astonishing comeback and rebuilt their brewery from scratch. Ard then dove into the company’s strategic trajectory, which included being completely transparent about how they were going to successfully entrance us, their target market, into choosing their new beer targeted to the youth. Watch out for Kornuit! 

 The evening concluded with even more drinks, nibbles, and a goody bag! By this time, everyone was way more social than during the interim break (thanks Grolsch!), and we all got together to discuss the presentations and other less important things, such as our impending workloads and unfinished theses. Overall, I’m glad I attended Amsterdam Commercial Night. I had a great time, felt productive, and left the event more equipped for my future career than I was when I came in.

By Derya Yildirim 

Thank you for making time to tell us something about your interesting history with the MAA and your experience at Heineken of course.

How did you hear of the MAA?

I did my Bachelor’s in Maastricht, but I wanted to the Master’s of Marketing in Amsterdam. During college, there was a promotional chat about the MAA and I was thinking: ‘This seems really nice!’

And then?

I applied for the Activities Committee, which is responsible for the organization of the social events of the MAA such as the annual ski trip.  It was a great way to meet new people in Amsterdam.  After I finished my Master’s in Marketing, I wasn’t quite sure what to do. I decided to do a board year at the MAA. I was responsible for the external affairs, a great way to learn a lot of new things.  After my board year, I was part of the Lustrum Committee, and now I’m still a part of the Alumni Committee.

Has the MAA helped you finding your first job at Heineken?

Definitely! At a recruitment lunch from the MAA I talked to someone from Heineken. At first I wasn’t really interested in working at Heikenen, but my mind changed during the lunch. So I did a business course, which was quite intensive but I finished it successfully and I started as a trainee. The MAA is a really great way to develop yourself professionally but also socially.

What is a traineeship at Heineken like?

During a traineeship you have to complete 3 different assignments. My first assignment was at the trade-marketing department of Heineken. I worked on the speaker beer crate, maybe you still remember that innovation. For my second assignment I went to Surinam for 5 months and worked for Parbo beer.  I returned to the Netherlands for my last assignment at the marketing department and worked on a strategy to introduce Apple Bandit Cider. All in all, 3 interesting assignments!

What did you do after your traineeship?

During my traineeship I came to the conclusion that I really like marketing and it seemed appealing to me to manage one brand all by myself.  This brought me a lot freedom. I started working for Sourcy. Together with my colleagues we developed the ‘Vol Nederlands Karaketer’  TV commercial. Additionally, we introduce the new Sourcy products: water with all kind of fruit tastes.

You can check out the TV commercial Florence developed here:

This year, I’m responsible for Crystal Clear. This is a totally different brand, but also great to work for!  We’re focusing on the online market by making use of data-driven marketing strategies.  For instance, we focus on how we can reach person X with what kind of content.

What is it like to work at Heineken?

Of course, you learn a lot on a professional level. But is also really fun to work at Heineken! There a lot of social events like an annual ski trips and drinks.

Finally, do you have some tips for students looking for a first job?

It is really important to go to in house days and do for instance a business course. This gives the opportunity to get a realistic feeling of what it is like to work at a certain company.

Interested in becoming an active MAA member yourself and to join a committee? We’re hiring for the Amsterdam Marketing Event committee and the Branding committee! Application deadline is May 21st. Go to www.ma-amsterdam.nl/hiring for more information about this and other committees or to apply. Need more info? Contact Rick at secretary@ma-amsterdam.nl.

Written by Leonie Douma

12 different companies offered students the opportunity to meet with them during presentations, workshops, recruitment lunches, and network drinks. The Amsterdam Recruitment Event, organized for the first time, was a big success for participants and attending companies, as it gave all attendees  the chance to build their bridge to success.

 

The presentations offered great information about the company’s focus, industry, and product portfolio as well as USPs. Most importantly they emphasized on explaining in detail their current job opportunities, graduate programs, and internships which were valuable information for job seeking participants.

Danielle: “It was great to have the possibility to personally ask recruiters questions and get information about what they expect.”

 

Gabriel: “The presentations gave interesting information about the company and job opportunities.”

 

The recruitment lunches provided perfect opportunities to meet companies and recruiters in an informal setting and to personally and directly ask questions. You could not only ask questions yourself but also benefit from questions other asks, as the recruitment lunches were in groups.

 

 

Floris: “Great opportunity to interact with recruiters personally.”

 

 

 

The workshops revealed, besides more information about the companies, insights into the industries. Participants had the chance to experience real business cases and to see what working at the company would be like. This gave a good idea for the students, if they could imagine themselves working at that company or in that industry.

 

Wies: “The cases were a great chance to gain even better insights into the companies and relating industries.”

 

Tamar: “When I was at the ABN AMRO workshop it really shifted my perception of the banking industry, as I thought it would be pretty dry. But it was actually really fun.”


The
network drinks at the end of the event offered the chance to talk to recruiters personally and leave a lasting impression as well as receive more information about what they are looking for. We asked Vivian Mohr, Corporate Commercial Trainee at Friesland Campina (FMCG) and Anne Veerman and Ivan Brkic from ExpandOnline (Online Marketing Agency) what they are looking for  in future employees.

Vivian Mohr (Friesland Campina): “For our graduate program and entry level positions we are looking for different aspects, but the most important one is that the candidate has one unique, outstanding characteristic, that makes him or her rememberable.”

 

Anne Veerman and Ivan Brkic (ExpandOnline): “HAPPY & HUNGRY”

 

All in all, it can be said that this event achieved all of its goals, by offering insights into interesting and future oriented companies to students that are looking for an internship or a graduate position. A huge thank you to the Amsterdam Recruitment Committee for their organization and success of the event!

Make sure you don’t miss this event next year!

Written by Meike Behrens

The chat bot technology is rising and becoming a preferred customer interface. Chat bots are personal assistants designed to simulate conversation (text or voice-based) with human users over the Internet. They have been around for quite a while now, but the quality is becoming better and better through natural language processing and big data analytics. They can answer your question, help you to get things done and do suggestions. Chats bots are also great for interactive customer service because they are accessible 27/4.

Apple Siri

One of the most known examples is Apple Siri. Things you can ask Apple Siri are for instance: ‘how is the weather tomorrow?’, ‘can you wake me up at 7 AM tomorrow?’ but also ‘what is the best sushi place in town?’ Imagine you are an owner of a great restaurant; of course, you want Apple Siri to mention it.

Only Sending an Emoij to Receive Relevant Information

In the travel industry chat bots are already quite popular. Companies like KLM, Booking.com, Cheapflights and Skyscanner are using chat bots on a daily basis. One of the most progressive examples is Dutch airline KLM.

KLM uses the chat bot technology as a new kind of service towards their customers, and has built a code on KLM.com that makes it possible to show a personalised Messenger plugin. If you use the plugin then things like your boarding pass and flight status updates will be sent to you directly via Messenger. It has never been so easy to find your information, and be up to date!

But that is not it, KLM offers also offers services during your holiday.  Imagine that you look for a bike rental; you only have to send a bike emoij and your current location and KLM instantly replies with the best address. Check it out here!

Chat with Miss Piggy on Facebook Messenger!

Recently The Muppets promoted their show on ABC via a so-called celebrity chat bot promotion. It was possible to chat via Facebook Messenger with Miss Piggy and ask her anything! Miss Piggy is definitely a chat bot with character. The people behind The Muppets Show came up with 6 000 possible reactions in de style of Miss Piggy and it was a success: some chat session took over 30 minutes!  

There are many ways that consumers and companies are using chat bot; as this technology continues to develop it is creating new and innovative ways to simplify and improve efficiencies in our lives. The technology has proven advantageous for everyone from everyday iphones users, to promoters of television shows. Keeping an eye on technology, such as the chat bot, is critical if companies and consumers are going to keep up with our growing markets!

Written by Leonie Douma

We live in a world where everything you can think of, can be found on the Internet. It should come as no surprise this had led to a problem, also known as the rabbit hole problem. There is so much content available, that the consumer gets lost in it. That’s why companies had to come up with a solution which is known today as personalized marketing. By using cookies for example, companies can follow your browsing behaviour and use this to present you with personalized offerings and content. Personalized marketing is essential for companies to ensure that consumers will keep coming back.

The Filter Bubble

A consequence of personalization is something that’s called the ‘filter bubble’, introduced by Eli Pariser. The filter bubble is an invisible algorithm that selectively guesses what information someone would like to see based on the search history of the user. Common examples are Google’s search results and Facebook’s news feed. What happens is that users don’t get to see the information that disagrees with their viewpoint and thus isolating them in their ideological information bubbles. But what determines what you get to see? You can think of clicks, viewing friends, likes on Facebook, reading news stories and so on.

The Downside of Personalization

Personalization may be helpful for online shopping, but it could have negative implications for the discourse in society because it closes us off to new ideas, people with other backgrounds, and opinions but also other crucial information. We don’t challenge our beliefs anymore and become blind to other perspectives. It thus creates the impression that our narrow view of the world is all that there is. As Pariser said, “too much candy and not enough carrots”.

Hitting the Psychological Jackpot

However, the filter bubble can not only be explained by online algorithms, but also by a persistent psychological driver: the confirmation bias. This is the tendency to search, interpret and recall information in a way that confirms our pre-existing beliefs or assumptions, while giving less attention to alternative information. This effect is stronger for emotional issues and personal beliefs. It can be explained by wishful thinking and the limited human capacity to process information. The result is overconfidence in your own beliefs and poor decisions due to this bias. The filter bubble not only seems to be the problem, we ourselves contribute to it as well.

It is debated whether personalized filtering is actually happening and if it is, to what extent? But it is definitely something we shouldn’t put aside without giving it some thought. Be aware of the fact that what you see on Google might be something different than what someone else sees. If you are looking for a good movie to watch on Netflix, it is a good thing that they already know what you like, but there might be more to it. What do you think, is personalization beneficial or harmful?

The filter bubble is likely having an impact on important decisions in your personal life. Decisions such as the way in which you have informed yourself about the upcoming elections. A relevant question to ask yourself – is it possible that the filter bubble has affected your vote for the elections?

Written by Jasmijn van Veggel

Hello Jenny, thank you for taking the time to speak to our MAA-members,jda1 and helping us learn more about Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE). For the clueless people among us, could you tell what JDE is?

Of course! I’m happy to tell you about JDE. About a year and a half ago we started operating under the name Jacobs Douwe Egbers. This was a merger of Douwe Egbers Master Blenders and Mondelez International. We have beautiful brands in the coffee and tea industry that go way back, and we have ambitions to become the biggest global player in the coffee and tea market. Many of our brands you would probably know, as they are well-known brand in the Netherlands like Douwe Egbers, Pickwick, L’or, and Senseo. Speaking globally, we have many more brands that are not being sold in the Netherlands. In summary, we are one of the biggest companies in the coffee and tea industry worldwide!

Thanks for this introduction! What was the biggest change when you merged a year and a half ago?

We are now much more internationally oriented. Before, we were active in a couple of countries, whereas now we are one of the biggest international players. In more than 80 countries people are enjoying our multiple coffee and tea brands. Furthermore, we are number 1 or 2 in approximately 18 countries in Europe, South-America, and Australia.

And how are the different coffee brands positioned among each other?

Our vision is, “everyone deserves the coffee that he or she loves.” We focus on quality, diversity, and accessibility. So in our view, everyone should find the coffee that he or she is looking for in the supermarket, always, and everywhere. In the Netherlands we have different coffee drinkers, for example some people love filtered coffee, whereas others appreciate coffee pads. There are different kinds of people and we try to focus on all these different target groups. So if you like coffee, we always have something for your preference.

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Are your various brands competitors of each other?

Not really, our brands do not compete that much. Often people that drink coffee, enjoying drinking different coffee on different occasions. A very high quality cup of coffee made from fresh beans for a moment of luxury is very different than an ordinary day of drinking a cup of fast Senseo. It depends on the moment, and what people’s preferences are.

What does the coffee and tea industry look like?

This industry is developing fast. Nowadays, many small players are joining the game. Not only in supermarkets, but also coffee to go is gaining popularity. With all these new developments and a growing market it is very important for us to keep distinguishing ourselves. Therefore we keep our focus on quality but also on innovation.   

Okay, and how do you see the future of coffee and tea? Sometimes it looks like nobody is drinking regular coffee anymore with many new and exotic flavors, how do you see this development?

I understand that it sometimes looks like that is the case. Only these developments are regionally determined. In the West and in the bigger cities, coffee on the go and special flavors have gained popularity over the years. But in the North, the coffee trends are still quite traditional, with more filtered coffee for instance. These are trends we try to adapt to, so that we can serve every target group most effectively.

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What do you expect to be a challenge for JDE in developing markets?

With many smaller companies joining the coffee and tea industry it will be a challenge for us to keep distinguishing ourselves. We are one of the oldest and biggest companies in this industry, but the challenge is to ensure people keep finding us in the expanding supermarket shelf.

Could you tell us something more about the job opportunities at JDE?

Of course! With us you apply for a position, but also this year we have a new graduate program. You still apply for a position but there is also a position which you hold during your four year education course. In this program you experience different positions and you will receive experience in different aspects in the company. For this program we are looking for people who have finished their master’s, but what we have also found very important is that you can show a broad interest outside of your study. Such as committees, boards, internships, experience abroad, or volunteer work. If you are interested in our graduate program you can find all our applications online on: https://www.jacobsdouweegberts.com/nl/careers/your-international-career/netherlands/. Here you can apply for different positions and from there you can enter the graduate program.

We are also always looking for students for internships. This is a good and easy way to have a peek into the JDE-life. We do have many marketing-internships, but also for different interest I can advise you to take a look! Furthermore, we have a masterclass this year in May. We start promoting for this in the end of January, also a great opportunity to make a contact within JDE.

Is it easy to switch positions inside the company?

Yes, we are particularly looking for people that are not afraid to switch positions from time to time. People that like working in different disciplines, for example from marketing to sales or from retail to professional. We really try to stimulate this with our graduate program. This way someone can develop inside the company more broadly.

Are there also international possibilities?

Certainly, the international possibilities are growing fast. We encourage our employees to take the step to go abroad. This is something that is not compulsory but it is possible on your own initiative.

Thank you so much for this interview. It was very interesting to learn about JDE and the career opportunities within the company . Do you have any advice for future marketers?

Go and explore many companies. Orientate yourself and see where you feel at home. I also think a good internship can provide valuable insights. I strongly advise everyone to invest in something like that. That way you can find out what you truly want, where your powers are, and if an organization is a good fit!

Interview by: Suzanne Bohlander

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