NSU students help with local businesses’ marketing efforts

Professor with integrated marketing class students

ABERDEEN, S.D. – From planning a bean bag tournament to finding fresh new ways to promote a local design company, Northern State University students are impacting marketing efforts for area businesses.

Students in Dr. Hannah Walters’ integrated marketing class are working on group projects this semester for the following businesses and organizations:

The projects allow the students to gain hands-on experience with local companies.

“It’s nice to apply what you’re learning in the classroom in a real-world setting,” said NSU senior Tyler Harris, from Rapid City.

Gaining Good Experience

Carter Paulson, a junior from Rochester, Minn., and Shianne Rosselli, a junior from Corona, Calif., are promoting the NSU Softball Team’s World’s Largest Tailgate, planned for this spring. They’re looking at ways to make more people aware of the event, including posters, social media and face-to-face promotion.

“It’s just good experience in general I think,” Paulson said, “especially being a marketing major.”

Jeniree Tirado, a senior from Puerto Rico, and John Kiepke, a junior from Blunt, are helping the NSU Business Club with brand awareness – showing the value of being a member and drawing attention to the club. They are considering campus fliers and possibly a feature in the Exponent, Northern’s student-run publication.

Increasing Brand Awareness

Noah Vreeman, a junior from Willmar, Minn.; Sonia Alaman, a junior from Spain; and Margaux Meskinia, an exchange student from France, are helping The Oil Room increase brand awareness. The Oil Room offers health and wellness products and events, including yoga and meditation.

The students visited with the owner to talk about her values and mission, and the fact that she wants to attract more students. They plan to help the Oil Room with Instagram, possibly create posters to put up in the Barnett Center, and also suggested a college night for students.

Abby Vogel, a senior from Aberdeen, Makenzie Murtha, a senior from Maple Grove, Minn., and Tess Williams, a senior from Langford, are aiming to increase consumer awareness, including traffic and sales for Stages of FUNdamentals. This business provides boxes of educational toys for all stages of child development, as well as lists of milestones your child should be reaching.

The students’ ideas include placing postcards at checkout lines, and also promoting the product for Easter baskets. Murtha said she is going through the interview process, and gaining this type of real-world experience is very helpful.

Planning an Event

Kue Moo, a junior from Buffalo, N.Y.; Jacob Wiedrich, a senior from Moorhead, Minn.; and Ty Dillabough, a junior from Canada are helping One-Legged Pheasant plan a bean bag toss tournament. The event will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, March 23. Cost is $10 per team, with 10 percent of proceeds going to the NSU Foundation. Teams may register at the One-Legged Pheasant, 723 S. Main St.

“We have to learn all the little things that make an event run, how to market it, how to promote it,” Wiedrich said. “There’s a lot of detail that goes into even something simple as a bean bag tournament to make it run.”

They are also helping the business develop its online and social media presence, including posting more content, starting an Instagram account and possibly helping them build a website.

Reaching a Wider Market

Harris; Elise Benner, a junior from Murietta, Calif.; and Ashley Rozell, a senior from Aberdeen are working with Finishing Touch Design Studio. It’s already an established business with great brand awareness, and the students are looking to expand their market and also offer a fresh perspective. Specifically, they’re promoting a new waterproof flooring, aiming to reach a wider variety of customers since the product is affordable.

Benner said getting to do this sort of project with a local business is a “confidence booster.”

“It kind of feels like if we do well it could go on a resume or they could be a reference for us one day,” she said.

It’s also an opportunity they might not have gotten at a bigger school, Harris said.

“The fact that we’re able with such a small class to divide in groups and go to this many different businesses and organizations is really nice,” he said. “It’s giving us hands-on experience that you don’t get if you go to a larger institution unless you have an internship.”

About Northern State University

Northern State University is a regional university that offers outstanding academics and exceptional extracurricular activities at an affordable price on a safe, welcoming campus. Northern State recently announced its Educational Impact Campaign, with a goal of raising $55 million for a new South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, new athletic and recreation fields, and an on-campus regional sports complex. Once the campaign is complete, NSU will be the recipient of more than $100 million in privately funded building projects and scholarships within a decade. To learn more, visit NSU Admissions.