By Jenny Bryers
The Marshall Democrat-News
Marshall, Mo. (May 30, 2003) — Hoping to draw in customers, in the case of local business owners, or high grades, for University of Missouri-Columbia marketing students, the two groups have brainstormed advertising ideas all week. The marketing class of four, including Mizzou undergraduate and graduate students, set up a mini advertising agency in Marshall for their weeklong course under professor Craig Ligibel. Ligibel said students in the one-credit intersession class immerse themselves in a small-town setting and work with clients who own small businesses. “It’s a grounding in reality,” he said.
The students learn how to advertise for large businesses in class, Ligibel said, but the work is all theoretical. He said during his class, students learn that for a small business owner the decision to advertise may mean the owner can’t afford a vacation that year. “It’s a whole lot more personal,” Ligibel said. “By the end of it, they are pretty realistic.” But students learn more than just advertising and teamwork skills: they learn what it’s like to live in a small town. “Most of them have never been in a small town,” Ligibel said, giving an example of one student who had never been in a city smaller than Columbia. He said the students go to a small Missouri town and are not allowed to leave during the entire week.
The MU students listened to a presentation by Mayor Connie Latimer after arriving in town Monday and before meeting with their clients, who included Jerry’s Men’s Wear, Square Corner, Silverthorn’s, Viking Athletic Goods and 20/20 Optical. That afternoon, the students polled Marshall residents about their shopping habits and what they would like to see in the way of local businesses. Several people commented that they would like to see a women’s clothing store, a women’s shoe store and more restaurants. Students spent the rest of the week developing marketing strategies and creating advertising materials. They gave formal presentations to their clients and invited guests at noon Friday at Generations.
Updated: April 28, 2020