Spirit wear challenge becomes learning opportunity

For+her+marketing+class%2C+Grace+Zheng%2C+a+sophomore%2C+created+an+artistic+post+to+advertise+Carlmont+spirit+wear.+

Grace Zheng

For her marketing class, Grace Zheng, a sophomore, created an artistic post to advertise Carlmont spirit wear.

While no one is on campus, Carlmont’s marketing class continues to sell spirit wear through an online website

The class has created a marketing campaign, where students work to promote spirit wear items. 

John Rowe, the marketing teacher, said, “Spirit wear sales were very strong during sporting events, [especially] football games. So now that we don’t have students on campus and coming to the games, there’s not as much of a need for students to buy spirit wear.” 

The lack of spirit wear sales prompted him to start selling online until he realized that it would be a great marketing class project. 

“I thought to myself, ‘Okay how can I teach them Facebook and Instagram social media marketing?'” Rowe said. “Well, I want them to sell something. And so, a great thing to sell that we could do was the Carlmont spirit wear.”

His marketing class then created a social media marketing plan that consisted of awareness posts and a “Scot or Not?” challenge

Rowe divided the class into 11 different groups, who each produced their own posts and graphics. The rest of the class then voted on the ones they liked, and the winner is the one they used.

 For Rowe, one of the most important aspects of the project was student involvement. 

“Ideally, I wanted the students to do everything. They choose how the Facebook profile page is going to look and how the Instagram page is going to look, and then make the actual posts for Instagram and Facebook,” Rowe said. 

Grace Zheng, a sophomore, worked with her group to get creative with the post. 

“A lot of people photograph themselves with spirit wear, so I thought that because our post was mainly art-based, it was a little bit more unique than a lot of other ideas. [That means] that people would likely notice it a little bit more,” Zheng said.  

For Skylar Campbell, a senior, this is not her first marketing campaign. However, she still faced challenges along the way.

“I think the biggest challenge is knowing what your audience will react to. Different audiences respond to different things, and the size of your audience, even if it’s the same people, can affect how things are received,” Campbell said. “It affects what tone you go with: whether it’s a serious post or whether it’s something that’s meant to gain a little bit of laughter.” 

The class has created the project almost from scratch, creating new Instagram and Facebook accounts to promote their products. 

“If your account doesn’t have a lot of followers, posts oftentimes don’t get recognized because of the Instagram algorithm that chooses to push certain posts forward,” Zheng said.  

In addition to social media accounts, the students have also turned to preexisting promotional tools.

Campbell said, “We plan on using some of the Carlmont methods of communication like the newsletters, to get across our marketing efforts through channels that are already pre-established.” 

While marketing efforts did not start too strong, sales have been picking up recently, according to Rowe. Looking to the future, the Carlmont marketing class will continue to promote their spirit wear and hopefully increase their sales.

“We’ve done a good job getting people to like our page. We’re starting to get some traction with people noticing our Instagram account, so we’ve gotten a little bit of awareness there. I think people are becoming more aware that we are selling Carlmont spirit wear online,” Rowe said. 

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