Research. Strategize. Create. Execute… and learn from errors made along the way.
Rolling up your sleeves to put marketing ideas into practice for real-world clients is the purpose behind the American Marketing Association’s (AMA) Roaring Concepts, the College of Business’ student-run marketing agency.
Managed by students who are members of the AMA’s FIU Collegiate Chapter (AMA@FIU), the agency offers branding and image-building, creative and market research as well as in-college promotions and social media and local media campaigns.
AMA student members describe Roaring Concepts as the bridge between classroom learning and the real world.
“We get hands-on experience and when we make mistakes, we learn from them and try to correct them in the future,” said Ashley Treichel, co-director of Roaring Concepts. “It’s rewarding to bring new ideas to clients.”
In-class lessons are put into practice.
The agency is open to any FIU student, regardless of academic major, that is a member of the AMA’s on-campus chapter. Marketing professor Tim Dugan Birrittella works is the AMA@FIU’s faculty advisor. Revenue from Roaring Concepts’ client accounts funds students’ participation in the annual intercollegiate conference.
The combined success of Roaring Concepts and of AMA@FIU has generated increased national exposure.
At this year’s AMA International Collegiate Competition, held March 19-21 in New Orleans, the FIU chapter moved into the No. 2 spot in the organization’s ranking of its 350 collegiate chapters in U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.
The FIU team captured 1st place overall for its “Be the Match” integrated marketing campaign for the Bone Marrow Foundation, which included research, social media, on-campus initiatives, and fundraising. Additionally, the team came in at No. 1 for the best social media and best video components and at No. 2 for the best “Be the Match” event.
“What makes us successful is that we work together, talk about the process, discuss the lessons, and teach others,” said Camila Lomanto, co-director of Roaring Concepts. “And when the client likes the campaign, it means we did a good job.”
Wins and work attract top-name brands.
Roaring Concepts started the 2015 spring semester with seven clients on its roster, including fast-casual restaurant chain PDQ; StudySoup; and Community Networker. Until now, it has earned $6,000.
Students are already in overdrive.
The AMA@FIU’s Roaring Concepts team will aid the Marlins’ social media outreach for April 28, when they face off against the New York Mets. As part of the campaign, designed to boost the Marlins’ community engagement and drive in-stadium attendance, the agency is managing on-campus activations such as ticket sales.
Looking to make its brand a household name locally, PDQ tapped Roaring Concepts to develop an on-campus campaign, social media initiatives, and promotional events. Already in place are family nights for FIU fraternities and sororities at PDQ, which opened its first Miami location barely three miles away from the university’s Modesto Maidique Campus last November. On those nights, PDQ donates a percent of its sales to the organization’s benefit cause.
Academic notes marketplace StudySoup has continued to work with Roaring Concepts following a successful promotion in 2014. Last semester, FIU students donning Santa Claus hats distributed Ramen soup cups while informing others about StudySoup. The number of FIU subscribers at StudySoup has grown from 20 to 50 since Roaring Concepts took them on as clients.
Hands-on work can lead to career success.
“It’s incredible how much Roaring Concepts has grown since it was launched and we still have room to grow,” said Treichel, who graduates in May and is now applying for jobs. “And we’ve learned firsthand how to conduct research, develop a marketing strategy, create promotional events, and analyze results.”
Roaring Concepts’ team is now working on “Reboot Tech Social,” a one-day event designed to help small businesses connect with millennial consumers and serve as a networking marketplace for students to meet potential employers. A partnership with Community Network, it will be held September 27 at FIU’s Modesto Maidique Campus. “Reboot Tech Social” will allow business owners to hear directly from millennials how social media, search engine optimization and other technology-intensive features can benefit their businesses. Event sponsors include Constant Contact, Ford, and Google Partners.
The expertise gained by students active in Roaring Concepts and the AMA@FIU chapter runs the gamut from research and strategic development to applying results-based analysis to drive clients’ success. Not only can students add hands-on experience to their resumes, but they develop skills that will set them apart in a career search.
“Many times implementing what we learn in class is difficult; we have professors who can help if we’re not sure or don’t know how to do something,” Lomanto said. “Roaring Concepts is preparing us to face a competitive industry.”