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Northwest Missouri State University


News Release

Northwest Assistant Professor of Marketing Dr. Deb Toomey advises a new team of students formed as part of Knacktive's recent announcement of its 2015 class and client. Toomey and four other faculty members representing a variety of academic departments mentor students in the class who are tasked with creating a marketing campaign for a real-world client. (Photo by Darren Whitley/University Relations)

Northwest Assistant Professor of Marketing Dr. Deb Toomey advises a new team of students formed as part of Knacktive's recent announcement of its 2015 class and client. Toomey and four other faculty members representing a variety of academic departments mentor students in the class who are tasked with creating a marketing campaign for a real-world client. (Photo by Darren Whitley/University Relations)

Dec. 11, 2014

Knacktive announces partnership with DecisionFx for 2015

Thirty-two Northwest Missouri State University students are set to begin working with their client after being introduced Nov. 21 as the University’s fifth Knacktive class.

This spring, Knacktive will partner with DecisionFx of Kansas City, Mo., to develop a marketing plan for the company. DecisionFx is a subsidiary of Engage Mobile Solutions, an award-winning mobile app and mobile software development company with a focus on mobile strategy and software deployment.

DecisionFx is a comprehensive data collection, aggregation and reporting platform that allows businesses to collect data on mobile devices from anywhere in the world and report and analyze that data in real-time. The product allows companies in industries such as construction, hospitality and healthcare to efficiently collect and analyze field data.

“We are thrilled to be working with Knacktive in the development of marketing and distribution strategies for DecisionFx,” said Matthew Barksdale, co-founder of DecisionFx. “It is a rare opportunity to get 32 bright, motivated and passionate students and their professors to work on your company for a few months. We are excited to work with the teams to develop innovative approaches to our markets.”

Piloted at Northwest during the spring 2011 trimester, Knacktive is a selective educational experience for advanced undergraduate students that incorporates, through actual client interaction, the creative demands and intensive teamwork environment of a technology-oriented, professional marketing communications agency. The course provides students with an invaluable opportunity, unique to other universities, to build their portfolios with real-world experience while learning to work with others in a fast-paced team setting.

Students selected for Knacktive annually work with a professional client to create practical solutions for their marketplace challenge and earn three hours of academic credit by successfully completing the course. The course culminates with Knacktive teams giving a formal, professional pitch to the client.

While the course incorporates principles, strategies and tactics of design, marketing and public relations, it is a melting pot of majors from the departments and schools of Communication and Mass Media, English and Modern Languages, Fine and Performing Arts, Business, and Computer Science and Information Systems.

Knacktive members are divided into four teams with each consisting of a project manager, public relations director, media manager, strategic planner, art director, graphic designer, copywriter and interactive/digital director. Students earn three hours of academic credit by successfully completing the course.

“Hopefully at the end of the trimester, each of these students will have a dynamic portfolio piece, and probably an internship, if not a real job,” said Steven Chappell, a Knacktive faculty member and instructor in the Department of Communication and Mass Media. “The end result of this class is a lot more valuable than just a grade and classroom experience.”

The inaugural Knacktive class in 2011 was charged with designing a comprehensive marketing campaign for Cincinnati-based LasikPlus Vision. The client ultimately chose one team’s approach of marketing its vision correction procedure to individuals in protective services, and the “Eyes Save Lives” campaign was spun off nationally within three months. Key elements of other two teams’ proposals were implemented in campaigns targeting the college market, among others.

Subsequent Knacktive classes have tackled rebranding projects and marketing campaigns for clients such as Science City at Kansas City’s Union Station, Tri State Ford auto dealership in Maryville and Northwest’s Horace Mann Laboratory School.

During the same time, alumni of the program have gone on to obtain jobs at some of the region’s top advertising and marketing agencies, including Bozell, VML and Plattform Advertising.

Business owners interested in learning more about working with Knacktive should contact the Northwest Foundation at 660.562.1248. To learn more about Knacktive, visit www.knacktive.com.

Companies interested in learning more about DecisionFx are invited to visit DecisionFx.com or email Matthew Barksdale at mbarksdale@DecisionFx.com.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468