Students helped Finavia expand its knowledge on marketing in Russia

Two students collected, analysed and summarised the special features of marketing practices in Russia.
Helsinki Airport and the traffic control tower at night. Photo: Finavia Image bank
Helsinki Airport and the traffic control tower at night. Photo: Finavia Image bank

A student business project was tailored for Aalto University School of Business partner company Finavia. The project was carried out in 2019–2020 from October to January by students Alexander Matyushkin from the Department of Finance and Elena Kukkonen from the Department of Marketing. The project focused on the country-specific characteristics of Finavia's marketing in Russia.

‘We wanted to find out what marketing is like in Russia – what the competitive environment is like for our brand and what kind of local, cultural and legislative factors we need to take into account when planning and steering marketing. The students understood our needs very quickly and managed the entire project in a professional manner. We can definitely take advantage of and apply the results of the project in practice,’ says Anna Tuomi, who is responsible for marketing at Finavia.

Finavia has the most extensive development programme underway in the history of Helsinki Airport, which will make it possible to serve 30 million passengers annually. The Helsinki Airport sees a large number of Russian passengers with steadily growing numbers. Finavia markets the services of the Helsinki Airport especially in the St. Petersburg region, and the company wanted to improve its knowledge of Russia's marketing prospects. The main objective of the students' business project was to meet this need and provide Finavia with a better idea of how to carry out marketing in Russia.

The students made a comprehensive analysis of the Russian marketing environment and focused on four main themes: marketing trends, influencer marketing, overall picture of best practices, and marketing legislation. In addition to making background reports, the students interviewed carefully vetted marketing managers in the Russian market.

Valuable real-life work experience for students 

‘Alexander and Elena succeeded well in the main task of the project, which was to collect, analyse and summarise the special features of marketing practices in Russia. The versatile professional competence of the team members enabled a multidisciplinary perspective in the project,’ says the academic advisor of the project, Doctoral Candidate Olga Lavrusheva from the Department of Marketing at the School of Business.

Elena explains that she was impressed how she and Alexander were expected to have in-depth, multidisciplinary competence.

‘I'm sure I learned the most because I had the opportunity to work with someone studying a different major and got to know his way of thinking, which is different from mine. It helped challenge the kind of established state that easily prevails in each field of research, and it gave us a good starting point for reflection. I also learned more about marketing channels and consumers in Russia,’ she explains.

For Alexander, this project was his first experience of working for a Finnish company. 

‘I learned a lot about media channels, trends and influencers, and I also got to develop my cooperation and presentation skills. It is particularly important for an international student like me to gain experience by working with Finnish companies. I firmly believe that this project is a great addition to my CV,’ says Alexander.

‘All in all, it was really inspiring to work with this project, and we received very positive feedback from Finavia,’ the students say. 

Finavia Oy is a Finnish airport company that provides smooth connections to the world through its nationwide network of airports. In addition to the Helsinki Airport, the network includes 20 airports across Finland. Helsinki Airport is a leading North European airport with direct connections to 160 destinations around the world. It is also one of the most important layovers between Asia and Europe.

Projektin akateeminen ohjaaja Olga Lavrusheva (vas.), opiskelija Elena Kukkonen, Finavian Anna Tuomi ja Maija Ilvonen sekä opiskelija Alexander Matyushkin
Academic Advisor of the project Olga Lavrusheva (left), student Elena Kukkonen, Anna Tuomi and Maija Ilvonen, both from Finavia, and student Alexander Matyushkin
Opiskelijoita Kauppakorkeakoululla. Kuva: Aalto-yliopisto / Unto Rautio

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