assistant professor of marketing, 308.865.8621
Two Kearney organizations – the Kearney Community Theatre and the Kearney Trolley – have enlisted the services of marketing students at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
Students taking a marketing management class with Dr. Ada Leung, UNK assistant professor of marketing, have been working on marketing plans for the two non-profit organizations.
Dr. Leung, said, “The students help non-profit businesses, because many times the businesses cannot afford to hire a marketing firm.”
The students are required to produce a marketing plan for a client, using the marketing research conducted by a marketing research class to assist them in the development of their plans.
They must also include a SWOT Analysis that identifies the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that are present within the company. Students also established measurable marketing objectives and goals, and did strategic planning, which includes activities, a budget and a schedule for the marketing plan.
Steve Weeks, a junior of Omaha , said, “I really liked the experience, because we were able to apply classroom knowledge to a real situation to help a local business. It motivates me more to work with a real client instead of doing a classroom project.”
The Kearney Community Theatre, managed by Rick Marlatt, was presented with ideas for increasing the overall attendance, increasing attendance in the desired target market of 30 to 60-year-olds, increasing awareness of renting the space for conventions, and maximizing the effectiveness of television and radio advertising.
The marketing plan, developed by Kristi Andrews of South Sioux City ; Mike Sintek of Kearney; Jared Loyd of Oshkosh; and Adam Johnson, a graduating senior from Ainsworth, included pricing strategies; using current volunteers to raise awareness among churches, large groups and the chamber; and promotions for current patrons.
Jack Besse, local attorney and president of the Kearney Trolley Board, said, “This was a very pleasurable experience. The students acted professionally, as if this was their own business, not a class assignment. They paid great attention to detail and even caught some weak links within our business.”
The Kearney Trolley Board, headed by Besse, will receive a marketing plan targeted at increasing the number of charters, increasing the use of the trolleys for conventions, and creating more effective communications between employees.
The marketing plan developed for the Kearney Trolley Board included Nicole Dusenbery of Kearney; Mary Keller, a graduating senior of Ogallala; Ryan Rose, a graduating senior from St. Paul; Steve Weeks of Omaha; and Adam Yeager of Hastings. Suggestions for accomplishing their objectives included gaining the assistance of currently used convention centers in Kearney to promote the services of the Kearney Trolley; utilizing sub-committees for defining, clarifying and accomplishing projects and goals; and hiring a paid employee to continue to assist the board with marketing decisions.