Cuicui Jin is flying high at Qantas

10/07/2015
Melbourne Business School MBA student Cuicui Jin loves flying and global travel. So when she beat candidates from the AGSM and Macquarie business schools to win a Qantas internship, she was over the moon.
 
“I was so excited because I've always dreamed of working for an airline company,” she says. “Airline companies help make young people's dreams come true, help them discover the world.”

Cuicui beat three other final-round interviewees for the chance to help the flying kangaroo create what could become nearly as important as its aircraft and customers – a dashboard that helps the whole organisation quickly see the effectiveness of Qantas marketing activity.

 

No time to read


“The problem I was able to solve was that Qantas had 30 to 40 marketing-related reports coming into the business every month – a huge amount of information, so much that no one had time to read it all.”
In just eight weeks, Cuicui consulted with stakeholders, including senior executives, collected the data and managed the technical challenges to produce the dashboard, which her boss, Qantas Brand Strategy Manager Jonathan Thompson, says is “fantastic”.

“Thanks to Cuicui, we have a more effective communication tool to demonstrate the commercial contribution of marketing to the airline. It means our executives are able to have a far more holistic view, and it gives us a really simple tool to showcase our performance across the broader organisation.”

 

Marketing funnel


Cuicui says that marketing is seen as a cost by many businesses because it can be difficult to show its commercial contribution. To clarify its value to Qantas, she categorised metrics and inputs from over 15 internal and external stakeholders, including advertising, public relations, media, social media, digital and customer insights, into a marketing funnel.

“We defined everything we do into awareness, preference, conversion and advocacy,” she says. “So activities relate to awareness of Qantas, how people prefer our brand, how they convert their purchase or switch to buying from us, and how they advocate or recommend Qantas to their friends and family.”

 

Vehicle for change


She says the dashboard is also an important vehicle for change because building it required teams across the organisation to collaborate and, once built, it exposed them to scrutiny.

“While it was a small marketing piece, the dashboard was about change. It was about asking more questions and saying to people, 'Hey, you can do better.' That was something we didn't have before in Qantas.”
The dashboard is also helping change the culture at Qantas, providing regular access to a range of competitor information.

“The dashboard is very powerful in showing that, while Qantas is an iconic Australian brand, we need to consider ourselves as a leader across the world in every market we fly to,” Cuicui says.

For manager Jonathan, the legacy of Cuicui’s work will be ongoing.

“This work will be embedded into the reporting and operating rhythm of how we communicate back to the organisation. It will make a huge difference.”

 

Preparing for take-off


For Cuicui, her corporate career is set to take off. With a background in marketing and PR in China and study in France, she came to the Melbourne Business School for a new international experience and to get a higher-level view of how companies operate.

As graduation approaches, she is busy with a second internship with Melbourne-based start-up Culture Amp, which helps some of the world’s most innovative brands engage with their staff.

“They're serving all these amazing clients, such as Airbnb, Uber, Pandora, Square and Adobe. The attractive point to me is, if all these great companies are using Culture Amp to provide their people and culture survey platform, they must be doing something different.”

Here at Melbourne Business School, we are expecting big things from Cuicui and feeling confident that her global outlook and ability to focus, engage and deliver will attract plenty of top corporate suitors. So stay tuned for more.

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