Meek: Surrey Business School's Hand in The New Platform for Start-ups By Kirtana Mahendran, Satnam Sarna, Ankie Cheung and Frankie Langley

For the last two years, Surrey Business School has been giving their final year students the opportunity to directly collaborate with a company to help impact real change in their targeted marketing campaigns. A targeted marketing campaign is an approach to raise awareness of a product or service among a specific group of consumers who are a subset of the total audience.

The Retail Consultancy Project module, led by Sabine Benoit and a teaching team of Farhana Sajjadand and Liliane Abboud, aims to prepare students for real life interaction with a company as a client.

"The Retail Consultancy Project module [...] aims to prepare students for a real life interaction with a company as a client..."

Module leader Sabine explained:

“Translating theory and learnings from the entire study programme over the course of two years and applying it to a managerial problem is one of the big challenges for students. This module is guiding them through this process, it is therefore very different from other modules, as finding a way to create a solution for a client provided problem is part of the students' task.”

The students have been given the opportunity to work alongside key stakeholders of the company and propose targeted marketing campaigns to them ahead of their beta launch at the end of November. A beta launch is releasing the platform in its initial stages to gain an understanding of what works and what needs improvement. Each group of 3-4 students have had a different target audience to focus their campaigns on.

"The students have been given the opportunity to work alongside key stakeholders of the company..."

As part of this year's Retail Consultancy Project module, twenty students have been working alongside Meek Ventures. Ricky Laub-Turner, Meek’s Co-Founder, has been guiding and informing the students on Meek’s services and how we should best raise awareness of these to our specific target market.

Ricky commented:

"It's amazing to work in collaboration with SU Business School and their great students. It's a unique opportunity for MEEK not only to be able to get exciting, fresh ideas from talented students, but also to be able to implement them in our business. Giving SU students an opportunity to work with a current project in MEEK gives them the chance to see how a business operates and is a great talking point for their CVs."

About Meek:

Meek is an upcoming platform that aims to inspire entrepreneurs and startups, and create a helpful network of like-minded people: think of a mixture of LinkedIn and Indeed, but all in the same, one-stop shop, with no adverts or cost involved. The app and web platform are all currently accessible on desktop, IOS and Android, even whilst the platform is in its development stages. Meek’s mission is to inspire its students, entrepreneurs, mentors and investors to conceive, build, develop, launch and scale start-ups by empowering them to share their knowledge, experience,networks and ethics. This collaboration with Surrey Business School puts Meek right at the heart of their audience, with budding entrepreneurs, journalists and mentors all around.

How can students utilise Meek?

Meek essentially helps by supporting academic institutes and undergraduates to enhance their entrepreneurship culture. Students can use this platform to network, connect and learn from investors, entrepreneurs, and other students. The service allows the further connection of the generation of entrepreneurs within one platform direct to Meek’s ecosystem. We are living in an era whereby many people - especially the younger generation - are coming up with revolutionary business ideas and innovations. However, the main concern when it comes to developing business ideas for many start-ups is finding legitimate investors and experienced mentors. Therefore, students can utilise Meek and find these investors as the platform provides a verification process that runs thorough checks on these individuals. This system allows a sense of security for potential student entrepreneurs about finding a knowledgeable mentor or investor for their business. Many services that provide expertise for start-ups often have advertisements or charges to utilise the service provided, however, Meek offers an ad-free and free service for its users, which is very beneficial to students as they may not have access to funds. Furthermore, looking for undergraduate jobs, internships, or work experience can be seen as an intense and time-consuming act. Thus, Meek’s filter system can help students find exactly what they are interested in. This service provides them with a hassle-free experience as they can view these listings on one platform.

"Students can use this platform to network, connect and learn from investors, entrepreneurs, and other students..."

How have we contributed to Meek?

Within the past five weeks, students of Surrey Business School have been actively working on the project collaboration. Students were divided into groups of three or four and had pitched for their desired sub-group around which to base their campaign. The campaign is an opportunity for students to help Meek promote their firm to the chosen target group. These target groups included bloggers/journalists, mentors, student internship opportunities, student societies within our institution and student entrepreneurs. Initial work included target market research of their chosen group in order to delve into the lifestyle of their individuals and filter through the data in order to hone in on key aspects that would help find out their wants and needs. This has been done through a number of interviews, questionnaires and surveys as well as secondary data. The students are in the process of analysing their data and producing outstanding campaigns for Meek as part of their assessment.

What have we learned and how can we use this in the future?

For students taking this module, this is a very valuable chance to consult a real company and provide an actual marketing campaign. It allows them to understand the process of real life consultancy. It is not as easy as they thought, they have to constantly adjust and improve their work through the feedback from Meek and some ideas might get banned. This taught them that the communication between them and Meek is crucial as they need to understand the client’s needs and wants and it is not just about applying the theories they have learnt. This module gave us insight into real life consultancy and more importantly, how they should communicate with the client effectively to achieve the best result. Fundamentally, these are practical skills that prepare students taking this module to face difficulties they might have in the workplace.

‘The opportunity this module has given us is one that I never expected from my final year. I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of directly working with a company, whilst learning how to consult directly from a client source. I hope Meek enjoys our campaign presentation and hopefully our ideas will be implemented soon!’ - Francesca Langley, Marketing UG

‘At first, I thought it was just a typical module that delivers different retail consultancy theories but I was wrong. It provides insight into the retail consultancy industry and practical skills for final year students like me who are ready to go into work. Thank you so much that Meek provided this opportunity for us!' - Ankie Cheung, Marketing UG

If you would like to find out more about Meek, follow their instagram here, and download the app, available on both Android and iOS now!


Created with an image by PhotoMIX-Company - "digital marketing technology notebook"