About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4562-4567
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-617-2484-0
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 17-19 November, 2014
Location: Seville, Spain

LEARNING BY DOING THROUGH ELABORATION OF CHALLENGING MARKETING PLANS

J. Nouwen, V. Van Hoorick

Leuven University College (BELGIUM)
The transfer of knowledge to small and medium enterprises (SME’s) in the Leuven region is an important objective of the mission statement of Leuven University College (LUC). As SME’s in Belgium often lack sufficient resources and knowledge to develop marketing activities, there are ample opportunities for industry-university cooperation in this domain. In order to facilitate this cooperation, LUC elaborated 6 SME-routes. Each route addresses a marketing-related problem and leads to one of the following outputs: a marketing communication activity, a marketing plan, an innovation plan, an internship-project, a market research or an event.

This abstract focuses on the SME-route concerned with the elaboration of a marketing plan. The rationale of that route is a university-industry cooperation where companies offer a real-life business problem that students solve by problem-based learning. The outcome is an elaborated marketing plan the company can implement. Recruitment of genuine business cases, cooperation between students, companies and lecturers and the final evaluation are the basic topics in the project.

The first step of the project is the recruitment of companies facing a need for a marketing plan and willing to invest in the cooperation with students and lecturers. Mailings, fairs, website communication and word-of-mouth are the tools applied to recruit companies. Best practices are the most convincing element for persuading new partners.

The project is embedded in the curriculum of the Bachelor in Business Management, major Marketing. This is a 3 year undergraduate program (180 ECTS) corresponding to EQF level 6. It was run as a pilot during academic year 2013-2014. After the recruitment of 6 SMEs in the Leuven region, a group of 164 students gets the opportunity to elaborate a marketing plan. For organizational purposes, students are divided in groups of 4 to 5 students and allocated to one of the participating companies. Consequently, for each company, 5 different groups of students elaborated a marketing plan, each group approaching the company problem from a different angle. As the project is planned at the start of the final semester of their undergraduate study, the students apply the competences (knowledge, skills and attitudes) they acquired during their formation as future marketers.

During the project, students are intensively coached by experienced lecturers and are in contact with the companies on a regular basis. This way of working results in a win-win-win situation. Students are motivated because they are working in an optimal situation on a challenging business case. Lecturers are coaching extremely motivated students and are challenged by the objective to deliver realistic and viable marketing plans. The client company, finally, benefits from the fresh ideas and elaborated marketing plans of 5 student groups.

The evaluation of the project (qualitative in nature since it concerned a pilot) was based on the experiences and satisfaction of the main partners: the companies, the students and the lecturers. Challenging business cases generate high involvement, extra effort and satisfaction for students and guiding lecturers. This optimal situation results in valuable marketing plans for the participating companies.
@InProceedings{NOUWEN2014LEA,
author = {Nouwen, J. and Van Hoorick, V.},
title = {LEARNING BY DOING THROUGH ELABORATION OF CHALLENGING MARKETING PLANS},
series = {7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2014 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-2484-0},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {17-19 November, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {4562-4567}}
TY - CONF
AU - J. Nouwen AU - V. Van Hoorick
TI - LEARNING BY DOING THROUGH ELABORATION OF CHALLENGING MARKETING PLANS
SN - 978-84-617-2484-0/2340-1095
PY - 2014
Y1 - 17-19 November, 2014
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2014 Proceedings
SP - 4562
EP - 4567
ER -
J. Nouwen, V. Van Hoorick (2014) LEARNING BY DOING THROUGH ELABORATION OF CHALLENGING MARKETING PLANS, ICERI2014 Proceedings, pp. 4562-4567.
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