Imagine a loud, deep male voice with a ridiculously heavy-Scandinavian (Austrian to be precise) accent saying “You’ve been marked for allocation”…sounds familiar doesn’t it.
Guess that’s pretty much how most marketing majors are feeling like right now (think Linda Hamilton in Terminator I) with the surfeit of simulation games that are part of the different courses. Marketing Metrics is the killer with 3 such games to its credit. Started innocently enough with a solo exercise called ‘Pricing Simulation’. The objective, decide the price for your product in a market with 2 other competitors who were supposedly folks in the same class. We weren’t told who was in what industry (to avoid chances of collusion I guess) and with 5 mins per decision, it was hectic stuff. As a result of each pricing decision, your market share and profitability fluctuated. At the end of the session, ppl were asked to summarize what happened and most everyone complained about that a$$hole in their industry that kept lowering prices giving them no option but to get into a price-war. Having listened to 4-5 such rants, the prof finally came clean and said that were not in fact competing against each other but only against the program. Whats more, the competitors in the program only mirrored what you did. So, I quote “if there was an idiot in the industry lowering prices, that was YOU!” J at the end of it, the prof said how we tend to get consumed by wanting to ‘beat’ the competition and forgetting about making profits. Insightful.
There are 2 other games in progress; called Allocator and RATE. Allocator is a team project; I, Ramkey and Anant formed one and are managing ‘Draft’ brand of beer against 4 others. Similar to Markstrat except that there are no production decisions to be made and no ‘Ideal’ points on the perceptual map. The first decision is due by tomorrow noon, so more later on how we do. Considering I have class from 8.30 to 5 tomorrow, better quit blogging and get back to work J