Wabash Blogs Marketing Immersion 2007


March 10, 2007

Putting it Together

Paul Spranger

Today, Friday, we brought everything we have learned together. Roland had us create a basic marketing strategy for a business from the ground up which required the use of all the knowledge we have accumulated this week. The amount we have all learned in one short week is staggering. In addition to case studies and lectures, the trips to firms where “real world” application takes place gave us an incredible insight into this fascinating and influential field.

After being given a type of company, each group created a presentation for the rest of the class laying out the details of our strategy for making each firm successful. We addressed the goals of our company and built our strategies as a roadmap to achieve them, implementing more than just the basics we had learned in class but also the concepts introduced to us on our trips to places like Just Marketing International. Following each presentation, each group was questioned by the rest of the class on their strategies and offered suggestions to make each company better. Friday was a great way to wrap up the week as everyone was given the opportunity to show what they had learned. While perhaps not as appetizing as the beaches of the Gulf Coast or the slopes of the Rocky Mountains, the Marketing Immersion Program was a great opportunity to learn about the impact of marketing on business, not to mention we got a few great meals and met several enthusiastic alumni.

March 09, 2007

The Final Day

Kyle McClammer

As Scott Smalstig '88 said during our visit to Joseph David Advertising, when giving a speech there are three things to remember: tell them what you're going to tell them, tell them, and tell them what you told them.  As we wrap up our week of marketing, advertising and sales, Roland Morin '91 finished with the last step of the speech giving process.  But instead of him telling us, we were in the hot seat telling him what we learned throughout the week. 

In addition to summarizing the marketing ideas and concepts learnred this week, Roland got our brains functioning by asking us what we would do if we were in Ms. Berrettini's shoes at the College Football Hall of Fame.  Even though it was the first activity on a Friday morning, we came up with some really good ideas for Roland to forward to Ms. Berrettini.  Whether or not she actually uses any of them is irrelevant - the point is that we were thinking as if we were the Chief Marketing Officers of an organization.  It seems "thinking criticically" has a major role in marketing, just as it does in any other career.

I'm really glad I was able to participate in this week's marketing immersion program.  Although not quite as fun as spending spring break in Florida on the beach, this program is something that will be beneficial to us down the road as we enter careers of our own.  Whether or not those careers are directly in marketing doesn't matter because we will almost certainly use many of the same concepts in other careers.  For the same reasons that science labs and math courses contribute to a liberal arts education, learning about marketing teaches you different ways of thinking and analyzing. 

Final Evaluation

Chris Hawes

Today we reviewed everything we had learned this week.  Starting from the beginning, Roland quizzed us on marketing terms and strategies and we responded as a class.  It’s amazing how much we have learned about this field in such a short week.  Just a few days ago most of us didn’t even know one another, and we definitely didn’t know anything about marketing.  Now, we were working together and proving we had obtained a basic knowledge of marketing.

After our review Roland split us into groups.  Each group was assigned a different company and asked to create a marketing strategy.  We were forced to work together and practice what we had been learning over the past few days.  Each group began, stating goals and objectives, finding a target market, analyzing the position of our products in their respective markets, searching for opportunities and risks, and finally creating an advertising campaign.  We created presentations from this data and then each group took turns showing what they had done.  In less than a week we had gone from knowing nothing of marketing to creating a respectable marketing strategy and presenting it to a group of our peers.  Next, we judged each others performance and voted for the best presentation.  Overall, it was a great recap that reinforced what we had been learning over the course of the week.

Even though we all had to sacrifice our spring breaks, I feel the Marketing Immersion Program was well worth it.  Not only did we all gain a fundamental knowledge of marketing but also met a lot of really cool Wallies, both alumni and current students.  If anyone out there is even slightly considering marketing as a career-path, you should definitely experience this program.

Picture: Ted Zimmer, Steve Stambaugh and Chris Hawes work on their final presentation.

March 08, 2007

A Very Busy Day

Chandler Troy

Today is the first day that a guest speaker has come to us.  Actually, we were fortunate enough to have a sales team from a subsidiary of Care Guide, including Jim Kerr ’92 and Matt Boston ’05.  They gave a presentation on sales, but more notable the difference in sales and marketing.  I think a lot of us really benefited from these points, because discussion of sales has been quite vague up to this point.  I really liked hearing about the marketing and sales of a product or service to another company and not necessarily directly to the consumer. See a photo album of Thursday activities here.

Later that morning, we packed into the vans once again and this time traveled up to the College Football Hall of Fame.  We first heard from the chairman of the board of economic development for Mishawaka.  A very successful individual, he illustrated one of his most profitable projects.  For years his idea to raffle off a house has been the most successful in all of Indiana. 

Crossing over the partial artificial grass field, we then made our way over to the hall of fame, where we explored the various exhibits.  There was one that quickly became the most popular among the group.  There were three miniature football fields installed where you could kick a field goal, setup a block, and throw a pass to an open receiver.  Of course most of the museum was not interactive.  A 3D impression of every individual who has been inducted into the hall of fame is on display as well as a case of top rivalries and their trophies, and what would that exhibit be without a miniature Monon Bell!

We then met with the director of marketing, Katie Berrettini.  She described to us the implemented marketing strategy as well as current advertisements in place, however what we were really interested in was how they were failing at marketing such a great facility.  We have all those questions and she had most of the answers.  I must recommend this place. 

Picture: Zuber Ahmed, Ben Esbaum, and Tahir Ahmed look at the Monon Bell display in the greatest rivalries section.

A Visit to the College Football Halll of Fame

Justin Raisor

 Today for our Marketing Immersion Program, we traveled to the College Football Hall of Fame, which is located in South Bend, Indiana.  One of the main reasons we were traveling the two hours north was to attain a closer look at a marketing scheme gone bad.  The College Football Hall of Fame is typically identified by these means.  We met with Katie Berrettini who was in charge of marketing the museum.

 After discussing various aspects of marketing along with the strategies that were working/not working for her, I began to understand some of the reasons why their marketing techniques as well as their means for running a successful non-profit organization were not working.  First, there is a lack of enthusiasm by the local citizens of South Bend.  Because the Hall of Fame is funded through tax dollars and hotel/motel tax, many people throughout the city are strong in their beliefs about not supporting the museum.  For some reason or another, they simply do not feel it is something worth giving tax dollars towards.  The museum, which was supposed to be a great tourist attraction for South Bend does not really function through these means.  Because of their location, in between gigantic business buildings, the Hall of Fame is very much out of place.  So, because of the lack of appeal in surroundings with only a convention center connection to the museum, the Hall of Fame lacks appeal.

Finally, since the local community lacks support, Katie Berrettini is forced into targeting a larger audience outside of Indiana.  And, because of the factors previously mentioned, this marketing strategy does not work either, as most people are not attracted towards staying in South Bend solely for tourist purposes.  The College Football Hall of Fame, although struggling to survive, has however showed some improvements through usage of large events.  Eventually, South Bend as a city as well as college football supporters will hopefully accept the museum and give more support. 

A Good Day

John Moore

Wednesday was a good day.  We began again in the classroom, and I think we’ve gotten more comfortable with each other because discussion was more lively than the past two days.  We began speaking about strategies for determining comparative advantage in a marketplace, and then spoke in greater depth about the greater opportunities brought on by the internet.  The most interesting part of the morning was when we split up in pairs and spoke hypothetically about an internet marketing strategy for various products.  Each group presented the positive benefits created by the internet which include more concentrated and continual contact with consumers, and possibilities for greater exposure and more sophisticated and organized ways to track customer spending patterns. 

The last two afternoons we’ve visited some really cool sites.  After lunch we took a drive up to Muncie to visit Joseph David Advertising and Scott Smalstig ’88.  Scott was really cool.  He was just ridiculously enthusiastic and excited to have us there.  He gave us some history of his company and the work he’s done for them.  We probably could have stayed there all night talking about what they’re working on currently.  Right before we left we looked at a positioning plan and evaluation for one of their new clients, Nickent.  Nickent is a growing golf club manufacturer, and the information Scott gave us outlined Nickent’s market share and questioned in detail what their prospects for the future are.  That was nice because we were getting access to the way an actual advertising agency operates and Scott allowed us to speculate on the details and methods he used to formulate their strategy. 

A Well-spent Break

Trent Hagerty

Today was a totally different than the past two days have been.  The first thing was the fact we were in not in the same place for “class” as we usually were.  The hotel actually booked another group to use the conference room at the hotel.  We had to find a place to go and Lu actually contacted an alumnus who owns his own business basically right across the street from the hotel.  We used the board room of a company called Adesa, which is owned by an alumnus.  In “class” we talked about internet marketing and how it is changing the way businesses are marketing now a days.  The past couple of classes we were discussing and learning about the conventional methods of marketing like TV, radio, magazines, and etc.  We have also been discussing how the marketing strategies are developed and how they are put to use.  With internet marketing this has all changed, for instance, instead of normal mass mailing that were done in the past now there are mass emailing.  The reason that companies have switched from the mass mailing to email is because it cheaper and has the same effectiveness as mailings.  Which was the basic point that I got from class is the fact that the internet has made the marketing world less costly for companies; however, the conventional methods are still predominately used because only 1/3 of households in America actually have access to the internet.

After class we traveled to Muncie where we visited an advertising company called “joseph david adverstising”, which is owned and ran by another Wabash alumnus named, Scott Smalstig.  He told us about himself and his business and how he ended up where he is today.  The first thing that I really noticed was the fact that at Wabash he was a English and Psychology double major, which really hit the point that Wabash education allows you to do anything besides just what you major in.  The second thing I noticed was the difference between this company and the sports marketing company we visited yesterday.  For both being in marketing I thought the two companies would be similar in a lot of aspects of the job, but surprisingly they are very different to the point where I wouldn’t call them at all related.  The main difference is that joseph david advertises goods and not sports.  Another difference is just how joseph david goes about marketing these goods, like golf clubs.  We discussed a case where this firm was in charge of advertising a new golf club produced by Nickent and how joseph david went about developing a strategy and executing the strategy.  This was a very interesting case to discuss.  I am glad I spent my spring break studying marketing instead of going to Flordia or just wasting time at home.  I have learned a lot and have actually developed an interest in marketing and have applied for an internship for the sports marketing agency we visited yesterday. 

Picture: Smalstig shares a joke with the group.

Muncie Bound

Tahir Ahmed

Since the hotel double booked the conference room that we’ve been using for the past few days, we spent the morning in the board room of Adesa Incorporated. The topic of discussion this morning was internet marketing and the different tactics companies can use on the internet to promote their products. We also talked about how companies differentiate their products from their competitors’. We did a case study on the Proctor & Gamble and discussed how their internet marketing strategy has helped the company promote its many brands. To better understand how to use the tools of the internet in marketing, we worked in groups of two to come up with an internet marketing strategy for randomly assigned products.

This afternoon we visited “joseph david advertising” in Muncie, IN. Scott Smalstig ’88, Vice Chairman of the company talked to us about how the company serves the needs of its clients. We were first quizzed on our knowledge of the “position statements” (slogans) of various marketing campaigns. He then told us about one of the company’s accounts, Nickent, and discussed what information an agent would need in order to be able to present the brand appropriately and develop an effective marketing strategy. Nickent is a relatively young company, which produces golf equipment. It specializes in producing hybrids and is known as the “King of Hybrids.” Apart from hybrids, this company also has developed irons with the longest range. Being a golf fan, I found all this very interesting. After the session, we were treated to wonderful dinner at Vera Mae’s Bistro in Muncie.

I have enjoyed the last few days, and have learned a lot not only about marketing, but also the importance of a Liberal Arts education. I am looking forward to what is in store for us for the rest of the week.

Picture: Smalstig talks about advertising.

March 06, 2007

An Eventful Day

Steve Stambaugh

Our trip to Just Marketing International (a motor sports marketing firm) reaffirmed my believe in the benefits of a liberal arts education over a traditional specified business education.  In traditional business educations the imperative is to know everything about one subject, whereas Wabash emphasizes being a well rounded student.  The CMO at Just Marketing International said, “In order to be successful in business you must be a jack of all trades.”  This is exactly what Wabash College teaches.  By giving students the ability learn for themselves Wabash students are more prepared than others to succeed in the business world by being able to hurdle any obstacle that my come up.  Thinking critically is crucial in the world of marketing and the business world in general.

 The class sessions have been an incredibly valuable experience, not just through marketing and business but through life in general.  We learned a key marketing concept, to think about the perception of the audience rather than your own perceptions.  In order to sell a product it is crucial to know what the public thinks about the product.  This will be helpful outside of the business world as well as this principle will give us insights into how others view us and put us in a position to better understand our flaws and set a course so we can address those flaws and better ourselves in the process. 

Picture: The group listens to Wes Zirkle '98 at Just Marketing International.

In Top Gear

Zuber Ahmed

 The day started off with a session in the classroom. It was different from yesterday; the group opened up and this made the session more enjoyable. We talked about market segmentation and target markets. These concepts built on yesterday’s discussion about the 4 P’s of marketing and the marketing mix. We were divided into groups and given products asked to determine the characteristics of our consumers and how we would target the different target markets. Determining the characteristics of the consumers helped us think about the consumer’s perspective on products. We ended the morning session with mini-case studies where we had to solve real problems firms faced with their products. It was interesting to see how similar some of our solutions were to the firm’s solution.

 In the afternoon we went on a field trip to Just Marketing International, a firm that specializes in marketing in motorsport. They cater to clients who are looking to advertise in racing. As I am a Formula 1 fan I was excited to learn about marketing in motorsport. After talking to the people at Just Marketing International, I was amazed at the amount of work that is actually required to get a decal put on a car. This experience opened a new aspect of marketing to us and is a sports fan’s dream job.

 Picture: The group stands by a Ferrari at Just Marketing International.

March 05, 2007

An Interesting First Day

Ted Zimmer

Today was the first day of the marketing immersion program. Walking into the conference room of the Hilton Garden in Carmel, we were greeted by several products, ranging from a Ketchup bottle to Crest toothpaste, stacked neatly together on the front table. Mr. Roland Morin then preceded to hand students their very own product, which we would relate to throughout the morning. 

Mr. Morin proceeded to explain the basic fundamentals of marketing, what is and how to perform a S.W.O.T. (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis on a company or product, and the “Four P’s” of marketing (Product, Place, Promotion, Price). The foundation of marketing seems to be research, and as Mr. Morin explained just how much companies are willing to spend to know their customers and design their product, I couldn’t help looking at my Ketchup bottle, and seeing how many hundreds of thousands of dollars was place in developing this single product that might have cost around $3 dollars to purchase.

After learning the basics, we then dived into a Harvard Business School case study of STARBUCKS and how they marketed their product to become the number one coffee provider in the world with billions in revenue, and millions in profits. After reading the case study, we then preceded on our first “field trip.” Twenty minutes after examining in-depth what makes Starbucks so popular, and what type of individual purchases Starbucks, we found ourselves inside what could be considered the “anti-Starbucks” coffee shop of Broad Ripple. The Monon coffee shop was a little mom/pop store, which was the complete opposite of the corporate image Starbucks conveys. With lower prices, and a relaxed atmosphere, which consisted of couches, and little jazz music playing lightly in the background, many of the customers seemed relaxed as they read, or typed busily away on their laptops. Mr. Morin was nice enough to purchase all of us a drink (of coffee of course!) so that we could compare the difference in taste between Monon, and the mighty Starbucks which most of us were accustomed too. 

The examination of the marketing strategy of a major corporation followed by a field trip to one of it’s smaller competitors to see firsthand how they “sell” themselves was helpful in connecting the bookwork to the real world.  It is not often were one morning you examine the issues in class, and then in the afternoon experience first hand the real world applications of what you have just learned.

Picture: The students in the 2007 Marketing Immersion Program.

Marketing Immersion Kicks Off

Ben Esbaum

Today we started our 5 day program, and although at times it did seem slow, it ended up being a pretty productive and useful introduction to marketing.  We started out the day with 2 sessions in the morning that served as a primer for the rest of the week.  We learned the basics of marketing and the 4 P’s of the marketing mix.  Our instructor Roland is pretty funny, although at times it seems like most of the group won’t open up to his humor, which is really their loss.  He is very well-versed and experienced in marketing and has a laundry list of product design and marketing accomplishments. 

For the afternoon we made a trip to Broad Ripple to visit Monon Coffee, one of the many small, independently-owned coffee shops trying to compete with Starbucks.  Our second morning session was devoted to the total employee marketing scheme of Starbucks, in which every employee is depended on to build up the company’s name and loyal customer base.  So the goal of the visit was to see how a small coffee shop attempted to compete in the coffee industry.  It was pretty interesting to see the differences in the way in which the company was managed and the customers were treated.  Monon Coffee offered a nice change of pace to the quick in and out and often times impersonal nature of Starbucks.  One of the most interesting aspects of Monon Coffee was the honor system they utilized for their regular coffee brews.  They trusted customers to pay for the coffee they dispensed on a side counter of the shop’s main service counter.  Although the products were very similar, the atmosphere of Monon Coffee seemed much different and a bit more inviting.

After the visit, we had a short break and then ended the day with a short session on American Express and their most recent attempt at product extension: their OPEN program.  The program is designed to help small businesses with little access to credit, called microenterprises, obtain the appropriate funds to grow their businesses.

Picture: Roland Morin listens to students' ideas.