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SAU marketing class gains insights from alumnus

Alumnus Jack McClelland presents real world experiences to a marketing class at St. Andrews University.

Laurinburg, NC - It is a longstanding tradition at St. Andrews University to provide students with hands-on learning opportunities. While business students are required to have an internship, the hand-on approach of the curriculum starts long before they are placed in a workplace environment.

Current students in the Principles of Marketing Management course are being required to create four pieces of a marketing plan during the semester.

“I want the students to truly understand the importance of a marketing plan in the real world,” said Doug Glass, assistant professor of marketing. “To help bring it home, I brought in Jack McClelland to speak to the class.”

McClelland, a 2011 St. Andrews graduate, currently serves as a marketing consultant in Southern Pines. He shared with the students several of the strategies being used to retain current clients while also reaching out to new ones, starting with the research.

“We took a look at our demographics to determine our current market,” McClelland shared. “Then we looked for areas for potential growth before setting strategies to reach specific targets.”

McClelland continued by emphasizing the need for a specific marketing action plan to be implemented by a company.

“The most important part of my job is the tracking to determine what worked and what didn’t,” McClelland said. “But I can’t track it effectively if there isn’t a plan in place that has been shared with my team. If I’m in the middle of it and the team doesn’t know the plan, it will make things less efficient and ultimately less effective.”

Glass added,” Once you have a plan, you have to carry it out. All of the pieces have to fit together.”

To further bring the point across to the students, Glass pointed out that they will have to develop a personal marketing plan in order to find jobs after graduation.

“In order to get a job you have to have a marketing plan to market yourself,” Glass said. “You have to know your target audience to get the job you want.”

Both Glass and McClelland fielded questions from the students in the classroom regarding the details of the marketing papers and the process that they will go through.

“Business majors will have to develop a complete marketing plan in a later course,” Glass said. “I just need them to realize that it is something that will apply to them in their future as well as something they need to pass the class. Being able to bring in a recent alumnus reinforces that while also giving them another networking source.”

McClelland and current student Devonté Dinkins are already working together on a freelance project while other students have reached out to have future conversations with McClelland.

“I’m happy to help the students with insights about the business world from someone working in marketing,” McClelland said. “I know how valuable the information they are receiving in the classroom is and how much I use it in my job. I also remember that it sometimes takes someone outside of the academic world to clarify that.”

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