Friday, October 26, 2012

Students create search/social campaigns for real clients

This semester my students in Marketing 470 are creating search and social media campaigns to help one not-for-profit (the NIU Marketing Department) and two for profit firms, Allworld Machinery Supply (a top machine tool supply firm)  in Harvard, IL and Ideosity, Inc. (a boutique web developer) based in Elgin, IL drive traffic to their site through PPC and social media campaigns.

The students work with the firm as consultants to develop the paid search strategy and then are given a budget and three weeks to implement their campaign (five for social media) for the three clients.   Both Allworld and Ideosity have NIU grads in key marketing positions.  Tim Yapp is one of the key contacts on the project for Allworld and Kalli Bravos is heading up the project for Ideosity.  Each former student is applying what they learned about search, social media, other interactive principles and general marketing knowledge on the job.  Both Rich Dase, one of the Founders and President of Ideosity, Inc. and Dave Koepp, the President of Allworld Machinery, are also intimately involved in the process.

The company presented to the students in September and the students just presented their plans for approval on October 18.  All the plans represented that the students have a deep understanding of Interactive Marketing.  I was impressed by their knowledge of the interplay between web design and search engine optimization.  The students were also able to apply their knowledge of the keyword bidding process in Google Adwords and keep in mind the companies' strategy and overall marketing objectives.  Results will be measured using Google Analytics and other key marketing metrics.

Of course, these hands-on courses are not new to the Department of Marketing or to its students.  In our Interactive Marketing courses we have done similar projects and in every course give the students a real-life learning experience. By helping students to plan, implement and measure the results of search and social media marketing campaigns, NIU gives the students a real-life learning experience that they can take on the job market and show that NIU really is "Where the Classroom Meets the Business World."

Read more about the project in the Ideosity, Inc. press release and more about our program at our web site.

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