Digital Marketing Students Promote Local Small Business
February 2, 2023
During the fall 2022 semester, students in our Digital Marketing class taught by Mrs. Roxanne Wilson were given the unique opportunity to work alongside local small business, Homemade Tampa. Owned by Florida College alumni, Liz and Garet Qualls, the business sells homemade cinnamon rolls in the Tampa Bay Area.
“Homemade was the ideal business to partner with due to its size, growth opportunities, and ability to scale over time. Being FC alumni, Garet and Liz have a vested interest in giving back to their alma mater and were very open to collaboration with the students when it came to marketing their business,” said Wilson.
The class was divided into three teams and tasked with creating a three-month digital marketing plan. Teams were given hands-on experience by learning how to plan and execute product photography, designing graphics for ads and social media posts, producing videos for social media and creating email campaigns. Students were also given the opportunity to ask questions and engage with the business owners throughout the entire process.
“I was impressed by how much effort and energy the kids put into the various projects assigned to them. They repeatedly stated that they enjoyed working on something that immediately impacted the real world,” said Qualls.
By the end of the semester, each team had completed a three-month digital marketing plan to present to the owners. Each team presented their concepts in a Shark-Tank style competition. After analyzing each plan, Liz and Garet chose one team they felt best-developed content that fit their brand voice and company culture.
“As a student in the program, this opportunity to gain hands-on work experience while also receiving guidance from our professor was great for my learning. I feel that, through this course, I grew in my understanding of digital marketing and preparedness to begin my marketing career,” said senior Paige Kercheville.
A partnership with small businesses like Homemade Tampa allow students to go beyond lectures in the classroom and gain active, hands-on experience in the real world.
“We intentionally engage students in experiential learning to help develop skills for their future workplace. Experiential learning can take students beyond the classroom walls and convert concepts into actual marketing experiences prepping them for their future career path. This was more than just a class assignment. The students were acting as employees for Homemade and witnessed real results from their efforts, including building digital brand awareness and increasing social media engagement,” said Wilson.
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