For six years, the Falls School of Business at Anderson University has offered a marketing course for juniors and seniors that incorporates real-world experience. Integrated Branding and Promotion II gives students experience working with clients. Deidra Colvin, assistant professor of marketing, guides the students through a busy semester full of opportunity.
“This class is always experimental, but it certainly is a rewarding path,” said Colvin. “I try to take everything a student has learned and apply it in a real-world setting.”
Usually the classes are divided into two competitive groups — called agencies — and provide services to two different clients. However, last year the two agencies worked together to make a complete marketing plan for Zeke’s Landing, a six-acre complex that includes a shopping center, dock facilities, water sports, and restaurants located in Orange Beach, Ala.
In this marketing plan, the two agencies worked together for the Blue Marlin Tournament, which is a competitive sport fishing tournament specifically showcasing blue marlins. This tournament is new to Zeke’s Landing.
“Since Zeke’s Landing is an entertainment destination showcasing water sports and sport fishing, I decided to have the agencies working for the same client, but with different goals,” said Colvin. “One agency, Ignition, is in charge of sponsorship, and the other, Impressions, is in charge of the details of those entering the tournament.”
The agencies are comprised of five individual roles: public relations manager, sales promotion, media manager, account manager, and creative manager.
The agencies proposed the event’s name, brand, logo, mission statement, letterhead, business cards, and color palette. The agencies create a plan and produce an entire concept for the client to use.
“The goal of this class is for the client to see, like, and actually use the marketing plan these agencies have made for them,” said Colvin.
Colvin also has another goal of a personal nature for her students. “When I was entering my first job, I simply was not prepared. I never want that for any of my students,” said Colvin. “I want confidence for them so they do not feel inadequate at their job. They are receiving that through this class.”
For the students who learned from this course, the opportunities were evident.
“I enjoyed the class, and it was different than any other classes I’ve taken,” said 2012 AU grad Trent Bruce. “We had a real client and came up with a legitimate marketing plan for them. There is so much more to do than just brainstorming ideas. We must have a solid rationale and reason behind everything. It is the real deal.”
Abby Armstrong, a senior marketing major, has a passion for marketing. She hopes to include the materials from the class in her portfolio to present to employers. “This class meant so much to me,” said Armstrong. “The way we learned by working with a real client and providing them with samples and our ideas was so helpful for entering into a career.”
— Kayla Meid is a junior from Indianapolis, Ind., majoring in communication arts and theatre arts. Meid is an associate with Fifth Street Communications™, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.