From learning in the classroom to working with clients

by Jess Nickels ('21)

Members of team Elevate present their IMC plan to The Studio Hair Salon and Day Spa.

SUMMARY: Students in Canessa Collins MKTG 384 class take what they’ve learned in the classroom and apply it to a local business.

Students in Canessa Collins’ Integrated Marketing Communications course took their learning outside of the classroom to work with The Studio Hair Salon and Day Spa when creating their  IMC plans. 

The American Marketing Association defines IMC as “a planning process designed to assure that all brand contacts received by a customer or prospect for a product, service, or organization are relevant to that person and consistent over time.”  

Collins, a lecturer in the Department of Marketing, taught three sections of IMC this fall and each section was broken into four student teams. Each team was tasked with creating a full- scale IMC plan for a local client, and resulting plans ranged from 80-140 pages. 

Cailyn Matthews, a member of the team Covision and a senior Marketing major said, “The project was so hands-on and extensive throughout the semester that by doing our own outside-the-classroom research, and participating in the activities inside the classroom, it reinforced what we were learning in our lectures.” 

The Studio Hair Salon and Day Spa, a Harrisonburg-based business, acted as the course client. Judi Crawford, the salon’s owner and Chelsea Meadows, the salon manager, were on campus December 7, listening to student teams pitch their plans. 

Reflecting on students’ months of work, Crawford said, “We have gained so much by being a part of this project. We support their new ideas, and it’s been an overall breath of fresh air.”

Plans consisted of consumer breakdowns, social media tactics, budgets and even a team-produced commercial for The Studio. 

Member of team Elevate, Tim McNeil, a junior double-majoring in Marketing and Business Management said, “I think the biggest takeaway from this project was learning how to work in a team for a project that had a lot of meaning to the client and required a lot of creativity. It’s important to learn your teammates’ skills so you can come together and be effective.”

The project provided the opportunity to learn key concepts of marketing a business in a non-traditional classroom setting. By working with an established business, students were able to practice uncovering client needs, developing an integrated marketing approach and pitching their ideas.

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Published: Thursday, December 15, 2022

Last Updated: Thursday, December 15, 2022

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