Real-World Experience on Display

Marketing and Advertising Club celebrates Small Business Day

Every day of the week, hundreds of students buzzing along Main Street, Durham, pass The Candy Bar’s storefront. Many, in fact, most, remain unaware that only a few feet away resides a treasure trove of savory candies and treats from around the world and locally churned ice cream in 12 delicious flavors.

Two people are all too aware of this fact: store owners Chris and Donna Guerrette. That’s why they engaged members of the Paul College Marketing and Advertising Club (MAC) to increase student foot traffic in their downtown shop.

“With the closing of KaleidoScoops last year, we were the only ice cream game in town,” said Chris. “But we hadn’t really gotten the word out.”

Open to all UNH students, MAC is a student-run organization that’s blossomed to include 50 members. In the fall, the club offers a guest lecture series comprising local marketing and advertising professionals. Come spring, members are invited to join student teams that partner with small, local businesses on a marketing project.

“Each team had to contact the business owner, sit down and discuss their marketing issues and then develop and present a well thought out plan to address these issues,” said Diane Devine, marketing lecturer and faculty adviser to the club.

Mac students displayed their projects in branded booths last spring at the second annual Small Business Day. Students worked with local entrepreneurs from Lexie’s Joint, Port City Pretzels, BRGR Bar, The Candy Bar, The Juicery, and The Spot.

Sophomore Pamela Merriman, a marketing and business analytics major from Saratoga Springs, N.Y., said after her team’s initial meeting with the owners of The Candy Bar, the team agreed on a plan.

“Students love ice cream and students overwhelmingly use social media,” Merriman said. “So, we developed some mini-campaigns using Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get the message out.”

Social media campaigns were the recurrent theme at SBD. Suzanne Foley, a UNH alum, has done a lot of things very well since founding Port City Pretzels barely a year ago. With 57 stores now carrying her product and 25 in the pipeline, she boasts a growing presence in nearly every New England state.

What she couldn’t boast was a presence on social media.

“We gave Suzanne an appraisal of her social media and then produced a step-by-step guide for her to use once the project ended,” said Will Clay, a marketing and management major from Keene, N.H.

“I'm a wholesaler and I need to be out there with my pretzels,” said Foley. The UNH students got me there.”

They also won a blue ribbon for their efforts.

MAC co-president Olivia Pettenati, a senior communication major from Saugus, Mass., likes the win-win that goes with such partnerships.

“Students gain real-world experience through the creation of marketing plans and businesses get increased traffic and more engagement from the UNH community,” Pettenati said.

So if you’re enjoying a burger, smoothie, ice cream cone, or gourmet pretzel at any participating partners, post it.