Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Promoting Paintball: Marketing students advertise local course

Lindsey Treffry | The Argonaut

As part of the University of Idaho Business 420 class — Promotional Strategy — four students have created a strategic marketing plan to promote and market Mule Shoe Paintball Park, a 10-acre course near Orofino.
“We’re trying to raise awareness and get the business above ground,” said Hayden Anderl, senior marketing major.
Anderl is one of the students working on the Mule Shoe project under the eye of professor Michael Ahlstrom. Mule Shoe was used as a project for the class in a previous semester and Anderl said Ahlstrom had asked for volunteers to take on the challenge.
“It sounded fun,” said Adriana Serna, marketing major. “It was something that was possible.”
Other Mule Shoe group members include Kari Eggert and Collette Kirby.
As part of the final third of the class, Ahlstrom assigned 10 projects to 10 separate groups. He required them to make a strategic marketing plan, analyze businesses and use promotional tools.
“Fundamentally, what we’re looking at is how the word gets out,” Ahlstrom said. “(The purpose of) promotion is to educate, inform, build awareness and persuade.”
Ahlstrom said he gives his students six promotional tools to use and choose from when approaching the business. These tools are broadcasting, public relations, personal selling, sales promotion, interactive or online and direct marketing.
Anderl and his group chose print advertising and online marketing to market Mule Shoe. The group re-made the business’ Facebook page and built a website, free of charge, through a newly made Gmail account. Anderl and Serna said they learned how to create a strategic marketing plan while featuring Mule Shoe.
“It’s easy in your head to say ‘I’m going to make flyers or a Facebook,’ but this (plan) is what you’d give to a major company.”
Anderl said marketing challenges included the distance of the park — Mule Shoe is an hour and a half away. But he said the location was also an asset because snow rarely settles in the park and the location overlooks a valley.
Ahlstrom said the project gets students “out in front of the firing squad” and pushes them to market by creating and sustaining demand both profitably and honorably.
Other projects include marketing plans for businesses like Columbia paint, Hyperspud Sports and Barber Pole Putters.
“If we do a good job at this, we should get to the point where (Mule Shoe) is 
always getting new people,” Anderl said. 

As seen in Nov. 29 issue of The Argonaut.

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