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Career Story: Marketing Director For A Health Insurance Company

Marketing Director For A Health Insurance Company

Job Title: Director Of Market Strategy

Type of Company: We provide health coverage to businesses and individuals.

Education: BS, Engineering from a university in South America •• MBA, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Previous Experience: Assistant Brand Manager for global consumer goods company Consultant for a global management consulting firm Managing Consultant for a boutique business modeling firm Director of Market Strategy for a Health Insurance company

Job Tasks: My primary responsibility is to develop long-term business scenarios to help my company anticipate what our industry will look like 5 to 10 years down the road. To do this, I use a variety of tools, many of them based on computer modeling. But it requires me as well to have a thorough understanding of how our business works and especially of the market forces that influence our prosperity. I also have to carefully monitor macro trends in the industry.

Let's say, for example, that we've been exploring the impact of changing our prices over time. If we lower our prices too much, we get a lot of customers very quickly, but we're unable to keep the business afloat because our costs would be too high. At the other extreme, if we price our products too high, our customers will choose the competitors' products instead, and over time this could put us out of business. So we use computer models (basically programs that help us see where our sales are likely to be in the future), to test what the best pricing policies would be to make sure we have a healthy business that can serve as many customers as possible.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Best parts: 1. I get to influence the future of the company. 2. I get to work with numbers. 3. I get to work on cutting-edge technology.

The worst parts are all the meetings, the often repetitive nature of the work and the skepticism we encounter when we come up with our predictions.

Job Tips:
1. Make sure you take courses on statistics. Statistics (along with probability theory) is one of the most important and least understood sciences.

2. Make sure you have some ability to program. Even if we don't use programming on a day-to-day basis, it is useful to know how programmers think.

3. Make sure you learn about marketing, and concepts such as "the 4 P's" (Product, Price, Place, Promotion) because these are key to understanding how markets work and why people buy products.

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