It’s about that time of year when it’s starting to heat up, and many of us get a craving for cold, creamy, delicious ice cream. Students from Minnesota School of Business-Blaine were lucky to work with local ice cream shop, Grandpa’s Homemade Premium Ice Cream,on some marketing ideas. The project gave students a taste of the evolution of marketing in the digital world.
Gary Taft, Ceira Shappell, Mike Manderschied and William Schumacher are students in the Internet Advertising class taught by Richard Grossman, program chair of MSB/Globe University’s new internet marketing program. They took the opportunity to work with the local small business on ideas to improve search engine optimization (SEO), increase website traffic and generate new customers.
Kathy Simmons, owner of Grandpa’s Ice Cream, approached the students with her goal to increase the shop’s ranking level in a Google search. She wanted to ensure that when someone in Coon Rapids or surrounding areas searches online for an ice cream shop, that her business will be toward the top of the search engine results.
The students created CMGB Consulting Group and prepared a proposal that integrated several objectives to optimize the efficiency of the Grandpa’s Ice Cream website.
After working on the project throughout the quarter, the group presented Simmons with a two-phase plan that highlighted website modifications, use of photos, marketing tactics, social media, and contests.
“I found the students’ input to be extremely helpful,” said Simmons. “They reinforced the value of some of the ideas that I’ve had in the past, and I plan to implement some of their ideas immediately.”
According to student Gary Taft, throughout the process they learned to rely on each other to bring their ideas together to form one document. “We were able to feed off of each other at times, as we each bring something different to the table,” he said. “Through working together, we came up with what I felt was a good document to present to Grandpa’s Ice Cream.”
Shappell says she learned a lot about the importance of key words and phrases and the role those factors play in search engine optimization.
“Working on this project was fun and inspiring, with a purpose to build stronger awareness for a small business with the implementation of social media,” said Schumacher. He emphasized the importance of staying on top of the changes in digital marketing and the importance of utilizing technology for marketing.
“Knowing about the use of social media and the strategies in making a website more searchable may give me an upper hand in my future career,” concluded Manderschied, “especially if I own my own business.”