Smart Comm Expands Regal's Customer Base
The Smart Comm team with Mr. Sal Campisi Sr. (far left) and Mr. Sal Campisi Jr. (far right). Team members include (from left to right): Brian deMontfort, Caitlin Raynor, Nick Rolando, Rowland Ordonez, Molly Gummin, Erica Swanson, Terri Crawford, and Leo Razo.
There's a reason Florida Southern is ranked #1 in the nation for Engaged Learning by the National Association of Experiential Education. Students at FSC don't just take courses; they put textbook theories into practice through hands-on learning opportunities with some of the top corporations in the region and nation.
Nine students in Dr. David Grossman's Marketing Management course worked during the Fall 2010 semester on a marketing project assigned to them by Regal Chevrolet of Lakeland. The company had just purchased a new dealership, one mile from campus, and wanted to raise awareness within the Florida Southern community.
Working with a $2,000 budget provided by Regal, the students re-branded their group as Smart Comm (an abbreviation for Southern Marketing Team Communications) and went to work. They developed their campaign theme of "Making Connections," to build upon their client's desire to connect with the campus community. Each element of the campaign was designed to raise awareness of the dealership location and the new ownership by Regal Chevrolet.
"We identified six 'Connecting Events' on the campus to promote our client," said Caitlin Raynor '11, project manager. "These included athletic events, activities during family weekend, and one 'Connect with Sunshine' event where we offered free coffee and donuts to students."
The students set goals for each aspect to their campaign, focusing on adding value to their budget, developing a customer base for Regal, and increasing awareness of the new dealership through pre- and post-event market research. The results were most impressive. The team raised nearly $13,000 in gifts and in-kind services to expand their reach to the campus community. They persuaded 65 percent of all the sponsors they approached to join in their project. They expanded Regal's customer base by more than 500 names, and significantly raised awareness of Regal and its new location as determined by survey responses.
The culminating event was a "Casino Royale Night," which was held at the dealership, with more than 150 students attending.
The team presented the final results of their campaign to Regal owners Sal Campisi, Sr. and Sal Campisi, Jr., plus many members of the campus community, in early December. Their presentation included a power point with a short video of the campaign, campaign marketing collateral, and detailed summaries for all.
Mr. Campisi, Sr., noting that he had taken an advertising class at Florida Southern years ago, said, "We have such a warm spot in our hearts for Florida Southern. It's amazing how much the College has grown, and it is truly a premier asset for Lakeland. The Florida Southern reputation is tops, and that's why we wanted to work with these students reputation is our focus as well."