Marketing class impresses board

Megan Simon

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Presentation for Marketing Class

Students of the Marketing 444 class had the chance to present their marketing plan to the Board of the Louisiana Children’s Discovery Center. The marketing plan included improvements for the center’s presence in addition to other analyses geared to benefit the center.
The Lion’s Roar / Megan Simon

Dr. Wesley Pollitte’s Marketing 444 class had the chance to put all they have learned to the test. The students presented their marketing plan to the board members of the local Louisiana Children’s Discovery Center.

According to the Louisiana Children’s Discovery Center, the center “is more than just a conventional Children’s Museum. It is a premier center that offers over 30 different engaging interactive hands-on exhibits and programs, making it an excellent educational resource for the entire community.”

Their mission is to provide an exceptional environment, where play and learning inspire children to embrace their world.

“The project was to develop a marketing plan for the Louisiana Discovery Center,” said Pollitte. “This kind of fit with the ‘Real World Ready’ mantra of the university. This is right in that vein to have them working with professional tools and as part of that project. That is why they did what is known as a strategic marketing plan, doing all the marketing segmentation all the way to the details of the marketing plan and costing it out in the end.”

The class worked for two months on the plan, starting October 5, 2015. The development of the project involved a linear flow process where the class was separated in groups and were required to complete their part of the project and pass it on to the next group. The groups had to rely on each other for the work they needed in order to do their own analyses.

“We prepared for our presentation by conducting research as well as presenting it in front of class beforehand in order to explain the material,” said one of the presenting students Nicole McMorris. “We wanted to make sure we had plenty of practice because you know how it is when you walk into a room filled with people and you begin to doubt yourself.” 

The students constructed multiple analyses to present in front of the Board of the Louisiana Children’s Discovery Center. These included environmental, market segmentation, market attractiveness, SWOT, objective/marketing plan and financial analysis.

Environmental analysis looks at everything around the company, for instance, the industry, the market and how the organization fits in it.

The market segmentation analysis involved developing a projection for the next five years to see the market for children under six, six to 12 and 13 to 14.

Market attractiveness decided which companies were considered targets, also known as competitive companies to the business in a specified radius.

The SWOT analysis defined the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. For example, one of the strengths for the center mentioned was how it was near many restaurants in Downtown Hammond, giving parents the opportunity to get something to eat while their children had fun.

Objective/marketing plan was the detail part of the project, involving propositions on what to do to improve the company. One of the ideas the students had was for the center to increase brand awareness in order to draw more people in. 

Lastly, the financial analysis was conducted in order to predict how much the plan cost and how much money the company would make. 

“The tools that we used are tools that are directly out of industry,” said Pollitte. “It fits if they were to go and make a marketing plan for a company. These are the kind of tools they would see. The tools are marketing segmentation, a competitive position and marketing attractiveness, analysis, as well as brand positioning and doing a SWOT analysis and competitive analysis.”

The marketing place was geared to improve the Children’s Discovery Center’s success, and the board members for the center were present to hear what the students came up with.

“It was very innovating and out-of-the-box thinking,” said President of the Board of the Louisiana Children’s Discovery Center Donna Miller. “It gives us a lot to be used; it’s very useful information.”

The Interim Dean for the College of Business Antoinette Phillips was also present at the presentation and was just as impressed as the board members.

“I thought the presentation was really strong,” said Phillips. “I really admired the way they did it. I think Dr. Pollitte appropriately guided them to segment their presentation as the report was segmented and have some groups working on it.”

One of the main advantages of the project were the students being able to experience the real world of marketing.

“The real cool thing about doing this experiential project,” said Pollitte. “They got so engaged with it, and they are learning the real details. They see what they are producing.”

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