Catawba College Business Students Check NC Museum Of Dolls, Toys & Miniatures – Salisbury Post
During the fall semester, the NC Museum of Dolls, Toys & Miniatures collaborated with three different classes at the Ralph W. Ketner School of Business at Catawba College – Introduction to Entrepreneurship, Marketing Research, and Course Marketing Management. MBA, courses taught by Dr Jeremiah Nelson and Dr Jennifer Yurchisin.
“The students had so many great ideas,” said Beth Nance, executive director of the museum, following the business plan presentations at the end of the semester in Nelson’s introduction to entrepreneurship.
Located in Spencer, the museum offers visitors exhibits ranging from antique dolls and toys to contemporary childhood favorites. After visiting the museum at the start of the semester, the students noticed that the museum really has something for everyone, not just keen collectors or little kids. There is clearly a lot of untapped potential to expand audiences to increase visitor traffic.
Groups of students highlighted combinations of operational tactics, partnership ideas, and marketing strategies that they believed would positively impact the visitor experience or generate new interest in visitors. One team suggested “pop-up” exhibits in stores, community centers and even other museums to raise awareness at no cost to potentially a very specific audience. Several groups highlighted the opportunities of social media advertising as it is very economical and can be highly targeted depending on demographics. Additionally, the potential for free engagement with different groups using hashtags would help raise awareness among niche enthusiasts. One student pointed out that many Tiktok posts with #thumbnails have over a million views.
The entrepreneurship students were really excited about the project. McKenzie Webster, a junior specializing in biology, found developing the business plan an exciting challenge. She explained that “trying to find a way for the museum to improve without losing its character was the top priority of my group”. Marko Sudar, a first year computer science student, agreed. He observed, “It was a really exciting trip and my group was really happy to be a part of it. Finding what is special about the museum and exploring the ways it can stand out among museums and other entertainment options challenged us to apply what we have learned in the classroom.
“I think working with a real client and having the opportunity to develop a business plan for a real company has been a unique and overall amazing experience,” said Harmony Speer, second year student at Catawba College majoring in business administration and sociology. “We took what we learned in the classroom and applied it to a real-life situation at the time. This experience was one of a kind and a great learning experience that went well with the topics covered in class.
In Yurchisin’s Marketing Management course, students identified target markets and performed a SWOT analysis of the museum, developing a list of suggested promotional materials and activities. In their undergraduate marketing research course, a group of students completed a demographic and psychographic profile of museum visitors.
Dr Eric Hake, Dean of the Ketner School of Business, said: “Each semester, professors at the Ralph W. Ketner School of Business collaborate with local businesses to coordinate classroom research to meet the needs of our students. and our community. Project-based learning is an important complement to individualized company internships, both of which integrate classroom theory with practical applications.
To explore ways you can work with business students and faculty at Catawba College, contact Dr. Eric Hake at [email protected]