Paul Brown and SBI Students Collaborate with Local Developer on Marketing Plan
A group of NDSU students played an important role in the highly successful opening of a new privately owned housing complex near campus. The “T Lofts,” a 102-unit complex owned by Roers Development, is located adjacent to the southwest corner of T Lot at NDSU.
The company wanted to really know its target market, so it turned to the Small Business Institute in the NDSU College of Business. The institute selected six students who might fill that role.
“Roers wanted the student perspective for the marketing of the project. They were trying to connect with students as quickly and effectively as possible,” explained Paul Brown, senior lecturer and institute director. “Because Roers was doing a project right next to campus and the students could participate, it seemed like a perfect connection.”
That is exactly what it proved to be.
According to Larry Nygard, vice president for Roers Development, the students addressed more than 50 issues the company wanted to explore related to the NDSU student market and competitive housing options. The students helped with a host of topics, such as design considerations, amenities, pricing and advertising. They discussed everything from marketing slogans to the best venues for advertising.
“We talked with them about what they liked, disliked and would be willing to pay themselves,” Nygard said. “Almost all of our marketing plan passed through that group – they helped us prioritize when and where to spend our marketing budget. We really learned a lot from the students, and it really changed where we directed our marketing.”
Erin Bailey, a senior majoring in accounting, was one of the students who worked on the project. “It was exciting to be a part of something important like the T Lofts. We gained insight into the world of marketing, and we saw how companies go about researching and handling such affairs,” she said. “I felt like our group really contributed, and it was really cool to see some of the things we came up with printed in the advertisements for the T Lofts.” Other students who took part were Allyson Stone, Adam Braaten, Christy Eickhoff, Lance Fulton and David Laugtug.
“We couldn’t have asked for anything more from them,” Nygard said of the students’ efforts. “We were really pleased.”
The group’s hard work paid off. When the T Lofts complex opened for fall semester, it had a 100 percent occupancy rate.