Tomorrow morning when you’re at the bathroom sink squeezing toothpaste onto your toothbrush, consider this: A team of people you don’t know somehow persuaded you to buy the tube in your hand. The way they did it is an example of classic business-to-consumer marketing. How Procter & Gamble persuaded, say, Wal-Mart to carry the toothpaste that you would buy is an example of business-to-business marketing. Both objectives were achieved with one of the fundamental “four P’s” of marketing: product, place, price, or promotion. Every Smeal Marketing course explores one of these aspects and how it relates to the others.
Another “P” could probably be added: people. Marketing is very people-oriented. Focusing on, satisfying, pleasing, and developing a partnership with the customer are all essential components to a marketing career.
Smeal Marketing students connect with people in a variety of different settings, especially when they leave the classroom behind to collect their own marketing data. This means going to a museum and surveying patrons about why they’re visiting the museum; quizzing customers on preferences for particular waste-management companies; questions Industrial Engineering majors about their choice of fields; and a variety of other real-world projects.
By analyzing their findings—data analysis is a critical component of effective marketing—students learn how to develop marketing plans, including product planning, promotions, and brand communication. It’s how companies develop a relationship with customers or other businesses, and it’s how Smeal students learn to be good marketers and eventually achieve success in fields such as marketing, management, sales management, advertising, marketing research, retailing, and consumer affairs.