Friday, March 10
Pat Patterson - After a crazy night of surfing, wet t-shirt contests, and consuming copious amounts of alcohol, I awoke from my dream to yet another day of our brief marketing “school”. I was not too reluctant to get out of bed because the day was going to be a relatively short one. We were to have one more guest speaker and then an overall wrap-up of the course.
The day began with a debriefing from the South Bend visit to the College Football Hall of Fame. Although the exhibit was not able to attract many visitors, I was impressed by the marketing strategy and effort on the part of the director of marketing, Katie Berrettini. Also, I am going to exercise my own marketing ability by suggesting a visit the College Football Hall of Fame. It is actually very fascinating, and there is a small portion devoted to the rivalry between Wabash and DePauw. Therefore, everyone needs to go. That is all.
After our debriefing we listened to a speech on branding from Tom Vriesman, Vice President of Rowland Associates. The company promoted the sales of Herman the customers Miller furniture. In order to differentiate themselves from other furniture companies, they relied on customer intimacy to sell their products. 40% of the interior of the stores consisted of a lounge area and a café where the sales associates were able to get to know their customers in order to have a better idea of the furniture they believed suited the customers best. I found this approach to be unique and quite effective.
At the end of the course the last concept that we learned about was sales and, the importance of looking at each buyer individually to target and meet their needs. To go along with this concept, Ken Turchi took the time to teach us how to “sell” ourselves. We learned how to prepare and present ourselves for interviews that we may have in the future. I am glad that Ken was able to take the time to do so since that information will prove to be very beneficial in the years to come.
Before we left the conference room for good, we filled out a course evaluation. I gave the course a failing grade because one restaurant we ate in failed to provide me with a root beer float. Of course I am just messing around. I really enjoyed the brief marketing “school” and I think that it is great that Wabash has these kinds of opportunities in a liberal arts college. Instead of absorbing sun rays, I absorbed a lot of beneficial information on a topic that I am particularly interested in. On one of the first days of classes Ken told us that when we apply for internships or jobs we need to ask ourselves what it is that we can do. I wrote it several times in my notebook “what can I do?” The answer for now is that I can do a lot more now that I had taken the time to be a part of the marketing trip.