Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Restaurant.com project in full swing at NIU

This semester in Marketing 470 we are doing something quite unique. The students are learning campaign management 'on the job' by acting as affiliates and driving traffic to the Restaurant.com (the company that sponsors my professorship) website. The students have picked two media channels, such as email, adwords, twitter, social media and blogs and have planned their campaigns and are now implementing. They will track the progress of their campaigns through landing pages and promotion codes that can be linked to their groups and get an idea of what it is like to run a campaign first hand.

This week I shared some of my project management tips with the class. Follow through, follow through, follow through is the main thing that my father always taught me and this principle really applies to project management. The students need to get information from personnel at R.com and are learning to follow up to make sure they meet their project goals. I emphasized that they need to complete the project in three weeks and although I put some 'slack time' in the schedule, another project management concept, they need to make sure they begin this week and then can measure the results of week one and make changes for week two, etc.

I also emphasized the importance of proofreading and checking the facts of every campaign. We had a guest speaker earlier in the semester that told us some 'war stories' about when things are not correct in marketing campaigns and the problems created by mistakes and how costly these mistakes can be. I encouraged each group to check their landing pages and make sure they look correct. Looks like the teams are up and running to a good start. Any other advice for our grads?
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