Melbourne Business School MBA student flying high at Qantas

When Melbourne Business School (MBS) MBA student Cuicui Jin beat out all other candidates to win a Qantas internship she was thrilled.

“I was so excited because I’ve always dreamed of working for an airline company,” she said. “Airline companies help make young people’s dreams come true, help them discover the world.”

Cuicui secured the chance to help Qantas create what could become nearly as important as its aircraft and customers – a dashboard that helps the whole organisation quickly see the effectiveness of its marketing.

“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.”

After spending just eight weeks consulting with stakeholders, Cuicui collected all the data and managed the technical challenges to produce the dashboard. Qantas Brand Strategy Manager Jonathan Thompson was impressed with what Cuicui had created calling the product “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,” Mr Thompson said.

Cuicui explained that justifying the costs of marketing can be very difficult as it’s hard to show its commercial contribution. To clarify its value to the company 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 said. “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.”

With a background in marketing and PR in China, she came to MBS for a new international experience and to get to a higher-level view of how companies operate.

Cuicui is currently completing a second internship with 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.”

Ben Ready
Ben Ready founded MBA News in 2014 and is the Managing Editor. He is a former business and finance journalist with Australian Associated Press (AAP) and Dow Jones Newswires in London. Ben completed his MBA in 2012 and was awarded the QUT GMAA Entrepreneurship Prize. He is also the founder and Managing Director of RGC Media & Mktng (