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May 22, 2014
By Rachel Sielaff, media relations assistant
Students in Northwest Missouri State University’s advanced advertising strategies course gained valuable experience this spring creating a collaborative advertising and marketing campaign for Citizens Bank & Trust.
Throughout the trimester, nine students, under the advisement of Jacquie Lamer, instructor of mass media, were tasked with developing a marketing strategy for lending into the agriculture markets. The students gathered research and data, designed advertising and marketing campaigns, and proposed an updated web presence.
The students pitched their ideas during a formal presentation April 16 to the bank’s president and CEO, marketing managers and loan officers at Citizens Bank & Trust’s corporate headquarters in Kansas City.
“The students did an outstanding job,” said Roger Arwood, chief executive officer for Citizens Bank & Trust. “As we consider our next marketing moves and overall bank strategies, their presentation gave us much to consider for our rural markets.”
Students collected more than 50 local farmers’ opinions about banking through surveys conducted at the Maryville Co-op and a Nodaway County AgriLeaders meeting. The students then used the data they gathered to identify the bank’s strengths and opportunities. Based on their research, the students recommended that the bank focus on building relationships and trust with farmers.
The creative team developed two different campaign approaches for the client to consider.
One advertising campaign was built around the concept “More Than Money,” which exemplified that farmers do what they do for more than a paycheck. Related print advertisements personalized the experience of farming with images of crop lines or herds of cattle and headlines like “Straight talk.”
The second campaign, titled “Time,” explained that knowledge, innovation and growth all take time. Print advertisements showcased images of crops growing or the technological advances within farming and headlines like “Growth takes time.”
Students designed and offered recommendations for updating and maintaining the bank’s web presence, social and traditional media, and promotional materials. The students also presented recommendations for event sponsorship.
“They had some really good ideas of which the bank may take into consideration in the upcoming year,” said Staci Baker, vice president of community lending for the bank.
For students, the course is an invaluable opportunity to work with a real client in a real-world setting. The hands-on experience Northwest students receive in the course also gives them an edge as they’re applying for jobs after graduation.
“The most beneficial part of the class was learning to work with a real team in defined roles,” said Cameron Ramaekers, a senior interactive digital media major, who was a part of the creative team. “It was like a real job. We really got to experience the whole advertising process — from primary and secondary research to concept development, then the creative process and finally pitching to the client.”
At the end of each course, students present their work to the client at the client's headquarters. In addition to advertising strategies, students must learn problem-solving strategies and develop a solid group dynamic to be successful.
Past clients of the advertising strategies course have included North Kansas City Hospital, Kansas City Power and Light, John Deere, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, UMB bank and Mozingo Lake Recreation Area.
For more information about the course and to view the students’ recommendations for Citizens Bank & Trust, visit http://advadv.blogspot.com/.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900
Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468