A lesson in marketing: College students promote Susquehanna Brewing Co.’s fall beers

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JENKINS TWP. — It was a battle of the beers.

Students who took a King’s College summer online marketing class recently prepared a plan to promote two popular fall beers for a local brewing company.

The group of seven students broke into two teams to promote Pumpkin Ale and Oktoberfest for Susquehanna Brewing Co.

Members of “Team Pumpkin” showed a seasonal glass they designed for Pumpkin Ale, which was part of an integrated marketing campaign.

“We used different ads and made videos for events and made visuals of what a billboard or an advertisement would look like,” said King’s College student Alyssa Christian, 19, a marketing major. “There were a lot of different aspects that went into the campaign so it was neat to see how we could make them all fit together and how we could appeal to our target market.”

Mairead Tuttle, 21, a student at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts who took the King’s College online class, said they also came up with ideas for events to promote Pumpkin Ale such as a pumpkin carving contest and a baking showcase that would use the beer in recipes.

The students completed the online course through virtual lectures, blog posts, individual assignments, online exams and team assignments. They also toured the brewery and interacted with employees to understand the products and processes.

“We learned how marketers actually go through the








process of marketing for a company,” said King’s College student Cassi Holbrook, 19. “I never realized what went into everything. You look at products that companies have or events that they hold and you don’t realize what goes into all the behind-the-scenes work so it was really interesting to go through that process ourselves.”

The students’ plan included identifying a target market, market research, competitor analysis, budgeting, forecasting and a live presentation to key stakeholders at Susquehanna Brewing Co., said J.C. Blewitt, Ph.D., instructor of the class.

“One of the groups came here to present live, which was cool, and the other group made their own video to display,” Blewitt said. “We appreciate SBC having us. Certainly, the students got a lot out of it. They can put it on their resumes. They worked with a real company.”

Blewitt said it is much better to work with a local company to prepare a marketing plan, adding, “Application is everything.”

“You don’t forget a big project like this where you design things for a real company and their product line,” he said.

Mallory Nobile Strubeck, marketing and community relations coordinator for Susquehanna Brewing Co., said the students had creative ideas they may use going forward.

“I was really impressed with their complete vision, doing events and promotions,” said Fred Maier, vice president of Susquehanna Brewing Co. “It wasn’t just billboards. Everything was spread out. It was a mix of traditional and non-traditional advertising.”

Maier said his favorite thing the students thought of was the pumpkin carving contest they would promote on social media prior to the event. They also had it timed to the season, he said.

“People don’t want to see pumpkin before Labor Day. It’s Pennsylvania and summer is short so enjoy it while it is here,” Maier said. “So, they didn’t want to start teasing it until September. They showed a little self-control. That’s pretty good for a bunch of kids in a marketing class.”

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