GARY │ Indiana University Northwest students in the School of Business and Economics’ senior-level Consumer Behavior class executed an integrated marketing plan that raised the level of awareness in its target market of 18 to 24-year-olds to vehicles offered by Mike Anderson Chevrolet.
The Merrillville car dealership was the client for the student-created marketing agency, Redhawk Marketing Company, which it provided a $3,000 budget to in order to implement its plan.
IU Northwest Marketing Professor Subir Bandyopadhyay said class projects usually involve local businesses but it’s rare to work with a national brand like Chevy.
“And hardly you get a chance where the client pays you to make a promotion for them,” he said.
In a presentation Thursday the student marketers summarized their campaign in which they created an on-campus event featuring and bringing awareness to the all-new Chevy Spark, Cruze, Camaro, as well as Chevrolet’s college discount purchase program.
The event, “Coast to Coast with Chevy,” reached out to nearly 500 participants, a number that exceeded students’ expectations.
Red Hawk Marketing conducted pre- and post-event surveys for its target demographic and found awareness in the Mike Anderson Chevrolet brand jumped 10 percent following the campaign. Surveys also showed more than 80 percent of event participants were interested in making an automobile purchase over the next year.
Mike Anderson Chevrolet General Manager Al Kuchar said the students did “a wonderful job” as far as creating interest.
“This was a new event for Chevrolet dealers,” he said. “It’s mostly done by Chevrolet. They did a great job of getting students to look at cars.”
Kuchar said the students received a real-life learning experience and leveraged their acquaintances and budget to make things work.
“That’s what the value of a real agency is,” he said. “There’s more to it than just the ideas.”
Nearly $2,500 of the budget provided Red Hawk Marketing went toward advertising and promotion including the creation of a Facebook page and using the IU Northwest website.
“We strategically placed our advertisements in places our target market would look,” student Eden Strange said.
Funds were also used for food and entertainment for the event.
“It was our fiduciary responsibility to take care of these funds as if they were our own,” said Mark Burress, Red Hawk Marketing Company coordinator.
Adrian Pavlovic, coordinator of the strategy and implementation group part of the campaign, said it was a great learning experience.
“I think most of us were pretty scared at the beginning but also excited,” he said.
“We were able to provide principals we were taught in class in real-world situations,” Strange said. “Often you don’t get that chance until after you graduate.”