Hershey's Company is among the few businesses that have managed to stay on the market, even with the global crisis, which swept through thousands of companies in North America. But once a leader always a leader and Hershey kept its high position through the hard work of all the staff and associates. To be a part of this well oiled working machine takes not only practice and experience, but also a certain intuitionin finding the right road for the business. It all begins from the smallest "cell" of the company, such as a sales representative and goes to the middle levels of associate employees who may then be promoted todirectors of different sectors of the company.
1. Retail Sales Representative (RSR) - Entry -level
2. Associate Research Manager- Middle -level
3. Director, Consumer Engagement - Top -level
Retail Sales Representative
During the first months on the job, a sales representative will spend most of his/her time in training sessions, especially if they occupy the position of district manager. The training programs are not only a career forming procedure, but also a responsibility; therefore all such employees have the duty to participate at a very basic training.
In the second year of the new career, a sales representative will participate in other training programs that will help define the next potential career, in this case- customer marketing.
For a sales retailer to pursue this type of career, one aspect is more than obvious: as a retailer, he/she must always be very good at satisfying their clients who enter the store for a particular purchase. Sales are all about knowing your customer. For this, a sales representative looking forward to a career as a Director in customer service has to know 10 different things about a single customer at one look, and attribute those 10 things to 10 products from the company which he represents. In other words, the sales representative has to possess excellent communication skills, which can make him capable of arranging the features of a product into anappropriate advertising message in order to capture the attention of his potential client.
Associated Research Manager
The previous position as a Sales Representative, provided all the knowledge needed for a future Associated Research Manager to have a clear view of the market. He already recognizes the competitors, (although working in the largest chocolate production business in the North American territory, competition is not to be neglected), he knows the primary profiles of at least three customer categories (heavy-heavy users, heavy-users, medium-heavy users), and he can already anticipate market movements based upon interpreting the research results. One of the crucial responsibilities of any ARM, besides analyzing the market and directing a small number of employees, will be to develop new research tools.
Any market research contains two basic tools: direct market research and indirect market research. When speaking of indirect market research, the ARM job is to interpret data collected from stores (such as sales numbers), or observations. The most difficult part for an Associated Research manager is to design the direct marketing research. Direct marketing research involves a series of questions and/or focus-groups (during this procedure the observer will not interfere with the normal process of clients stating their opinion about the product), which are meant to reveal significant data about a product, or a potential developing product. If the questions are not asked correctly, and in the right sequence, the results can be misinterpreted, leading to the creation of a product that nobody wants, or developing an incorrect market strategy. In both cases, for a company such as Hershey's this mistake would be translated into billions of dollars. This position would require strong marketing and statistics knowledge; those with a Master's Degree would be strongly preferred.
Any one of the early experiences experienced with clients as a RSR and ARM will be crucial to obtain a director's position in client engagement. This particular top-level field takes care of the present clients, by advertising campaigns as reminders of Hershey's products, launching new products to keep the current clients satisfied, as well as attracting new customers. As a director, marketing and client satisfaction will not be the only concern to raise profits. Interpreting new marketing opportunities (a major mistake in one of the world largest companies took place last year due to such neglect: Google fired a 52 year old experienced director for not viewing the "Face-Book" opportunities on the internet marketing business, and transposing it to their company by creating a large Google socialization network) and presenting new products in fresh advertising campaigns must be a main concern for this position.
Among these attributes of a consumer engagement director, evaluating the staff and coordinating the research team, the marketing team and the advertising team are also service duties. Based upon these evaluations and on how the director is able to train and bind these teams into a perfect working system, a product is launched on the market, supervised and purchased by clients. A bad-working mechanism will produce a bad product marketing position. A bad brand name for an excellent product will lead to circumstances in which the product will be ignored by users, even if the quality is high and the price is affordable. This is why, from the RSR presenting the product, to the research team who developed it, all the way up to the director supervising the product's evolution, every member of the staff is essential to a profitable working process.