This past semester, Whitman graduate students taking a core marketing class had a very unique and rewarding opportunity. Side Hill Farmers, a local butcher and grocery shop providing food grown only within about a 20-mile radius of Syracuse, came to us for help. They wanted to learn how to use marketing tools like research, social media, and traditional media in order to hit their business goals.
“If I could just get the food in their mouths,” we were told, “I know I’d have a customer for life.”
So off we went with our respective teams, diving into sales numbers and existing marketing efforts in order to find unique and impactful ways to help this Syracuse hidden gem become hidden no longer. Some teams looked into Side Hill Farmers’ existing customer base and tried to develop ways to track customer activity more efficiently and connect with customers more effectively. Some teams investigated the use of social media, AdWords, and website strategy in order to spread the word and attract more customers. The rest of the teams researched traditional media like radio, print, couponing, and cross promotions in order to find a method that would produce good returns and spread the right message to the right target market.
Every team had a unique set of recommendations. It was a long process and a lot of work, but it was worth every second. We all found ourselves fulfilled as we created PowerPoint presentations and typed up detailed reports of our findings. To be able to work with a company that does amazing things for the local economy, environment, and community was an honor and a privilege. Having a hand in furthering their vision and helping them reach their goals has been an experience that we will carry with us forever.
This is one of the most exciting and rewarding parts of being a Whitman student. The connections with entrepreneurs and businesses in the Syracuse community are invaluable to our growth as people and as professionals. Personally, I could not be more grateful to Side Hill Farmers for including us in their journey.
And seriously though, people…you have to go try their bacon. It’s fantastic!