December 23, 2019
UW marketing students who presented ideas to Dubois DRIVE representative Lois Wingerson, center, are, from left: Burke Bettis, Taylor Ramsaur, Rose Johnson, Elle Heiden, Jackson Wood, Kyle Alexander, Regan McDougal and Dawson Edwards. (UW Photo)
Two student teams in the University of Wyoming’s College of Business MKT 4450 course recently pitched their marketing ideas and recommendations to Dubois DRIVE (Dubois Regional Initiative for a Vital Economy), a new economic development nonprofit in the town in northwest Wyoming.
The objective is to help the small mountain town attract young, remote workers to its majestic outdoor environment and its world-class broadband service.
During the semester-long process, students in MKT 4450, “Advanced Marketing Management,” learn many of the skills crucial to pitching top marketing solutions that address a client’s desires: collaboration, critical thinking, problem-solving and creativity. The class is the marketing capstone offered through the Department of Management and Marketing.
Working in teams, students acted as outside marketing consultants: meeting and developing a relationship to better understand their client’s needs; developing branding based on that information; presenting a pitch of their marketing ideas; and writing a formal consultancy report for the client.
Two teams of students presented their marketing pitches Dec. 12 to Lois Wingerson, one of the founding members of Dubois DRIVE, in hope that their proposals would be selected and implemented in the remote worker program.
Ever since the closure of sawmills in the 1980s, Dubois’ population has remained around 1,000, with tourism as its primary industry. Although people continue to migrate to Dubois, many are retirees. DRIVE hopes to generate modest growth for the community, not far from Jackson, by inspiring some younger remote workers to join the people who already telecommute from the area.
The advanced marketing management course is the final marketing course that marketing students take before they graduate. The goal of the course is to allow integration of material that was more isolated into silos in prior courses and to provide students with an authentic learning experience.
“I think it is critical that students have the ability to compile all of the skills and knowledge they have gained in all their prior marketing courses together to see how they all play out with an actual client,” says Elizabeth Minton, associate professor of marketing. “Students are always challenged, but they step up to the challenge and learn a lot about how working with a real client introduces so many challenges that textbooks do not prepare them for.”
Students developed ideas for a wide range of marketing areas and timeframes for the remote workers project, including:
— Creation of a logo to use for promotions.
— Coordination of social media campaigns across multiple platforms.
— Creation of promotional items highlighting Dubois with the new logo in its existing website to draw visitors to the site.
— Table events at career fairs and other venues across Wyoming and in neighboring states such as Idaho, Montana and Colorado.
— Starting promotional events through social media.
— Partnering with other local businesses and the town to offer incentives for workers.
— Facilitating relationships with remote worker organizations.
— Creation of a collaborative space or office area in town for remote workers to use.
— Creation and maintenance of relationships with remote work companies, possibly creating long-term business agreements.
“Not only the students’ proposals, but also their enthusiasm for the project have been very encouraging and exciting to Dubois DRIVE,” Wingerson says. “Because our project specifically aims to attract people in their own age group, it has been extremely valuable to have the expert guidance of these university students. They presented many ideas that would not have occurred to us.”
DRIVE intends to fund a paid internship to allow one of the team members or another qualified student to carry out some of these proposals.
“It is our intention that the Dubois Telecommuter Project will become a long-term enterprise for our town,” Wingerson adds. “These students have gotten it off to a very promising start.”
For more information about collaborating with the MKT 4450 course, call Minton at (307) 766-3616 or email [email protected].
Students who presented to Dubois DRIVE, listed by hometowns, were:
Bertha, Minn. — Rose Johnson.
Cheyenne — Kyle Alexander, Dawson Edwards and Jackson Wood.
Edwards, Colo. — Burke Bettis.
Longmont, Colo. — Elle Heiden and Taylor Ramsaur.
Virginia Beach, Va. — Regan McDougal.