Lydia Frank and Lisa Friedrich. Vic
Through an interactive lecture with numerous activities by Alberto Matellán, chief economist at MAPFRE, the students were introduced to the economic environment and its significance in an international marketing lecture of the UVic on the 2nd of December.
Already at the beginning, students were promised that this lecture would change their idea of working in an insurance company, and finally it came true. MAPFRE is one of the largest insurance companies in Europe and internationally. However, what most people do not know is that MAPFRE also has several innovation centres in the car, health and investment sectors. In addition to the distribution of insurances, which is of course one of MAPFRE’s main tasks, the investment of capital is also important.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and inflation are very important indicators when considering the economic environment and deciding to invest or not. The previous factors as well as money, employment, investments, and interest rate are parts of the economic environment. Nevertheless, you should not only rely on these figures, you should also consider your own perception of the current economic situation. This was demonstrated by a practical task which assessed the economic development of the USA and the EU.
In an approach to predicting future developments, it is no longer enough to look at the situation in each country. For example, the inflation rate in Germany is strongly linked to the Chinese rate. The reason is, that Germany is part of the EU and therefore there are few trade barriers. In the USA it is different, the inflation rate barely depends on other countries because it is not a so open trade area.
The gained knowledge is applicable to concepts that are important for international marketing. There is the marketing mix, which consists of place, price, product and promotion. When selecting the sales location, it is interesting to look at the inflation rate. If the inflation rate is too high, the money will be devalued. If the inflation rate is for a long time too low a deflation will occur. The inflation rate is important for determining the price. But if wages rise at the same level as prices and people can afford the usual products, they will continue to buy them. Furthermore, marketing includes the analysis of the market to determine which marketing measures can be successful. The behaviour of various stakeholders in the market is also influenced by the economic environment. For example, a weak conjuncture has an impact on customers’ purchasing power.
Moreover, the marketing approach “think globally, act locally” can also be combined with the findings of the lecture. When making strategic marketing decisions in a country, the entire economic environment must be considered in order to draw conclusions about local activities and developments.
This lecture did not only change our idea of the work of MAPFRE. It also showed us how important a holistic view of the economic environment is.