CSUF Marketing Consulting Projects Make a Difference

Scott Sorrell

Scott Sorrell, CSUF Entrepreneurship Professor

As many students know, the practical experience one gains during their time in college is the most valuable and is almost always crucial to employers. The CSUF Consulting program empowers students to work with companies and nonprofits in Orange County and Los Angeles County that requires hands on work, giving them practice and a deeper understanding than what a textbook can bring. And the clients get an amazing return on investment in the form of a comprehensive report and presentation focusing on strategically important matters for their organization. These projects focus on what is important to the clients whether that is social media, email marketing, customer retention, or public relations. The possibilities are endless.

One of the courses that features a CSUF Consulting project is Marketing 462: Marketing for Entrepreneurs. Professor Scott Sorrell is one of the professors who teaches this unique course.

CSUF Consulting Team Clear Vision with their professor Scott Sorrell (front left)

CSUF Consulting Team Clear Vision with Professor Scott Sorrell (front left)

Outside the classroom, Scott is the CEO of Sales Adrenaline. He is known as “Mr. Charge Higher Prices” and is a professional speaker and business growth acceleration consultant. He brings his considerable business expertise into the classroom to teach Marketing and Entrepreneurship students fundamentals and tactics that are applicable for small businesses to large, entrepreneurial corporations. Scott augments his course by inviting a variety of guest speakers to his class, all experts in a different area of marketing.

Every semester, the students in Scott’s class work with their clients to develop innovative marketing solutions.  Once assigned to a client, the student teams are assigned a mentor with a wealth of marketing and business experience to help the students more fully develop their recommendations for their client. Once all teams have been assigned a client, they commence their consulting process with an in-depth interview with the client to find out the client’s wants and needs, their weaknesses, what they want to change or improve, and what their goals are for their semester-long project.

Following the interview, the teams work and develop a scope of work that details what they are proposing to provide to their client by the end of the semester. With four to six members on a team and each member responsible for their own section of the project, there are several branches of marketing initiatives that these teams can research and develop. These marketing initiatives that the teams develop for their clients can range from developing a new website, to creating a public relations campaign for the company, to assisting with an entire marketing plan for the organization, and much more. Every project is unique and custom built for each client.

“The course is a lot of work,” Scott admits. However, each project is “a huge opportunity for learning. That’s why I tell my students, ‘Don’t focus on your grade, focus on excellence.’”

CSUF Consulting Team Gravity Ball with their Professor Scott Sorrell (far right)

CSUF Consulting Team Gravity Ball with Professor Scott Sorrell (far right)

At the end of the semester, after meeting with their clients multiple times and discussing with them the progress that they have made in developing a comprehensive marketing strategy report, each team delivers a comprehensive presentation to their client where they discuss their findings with them and how best to implement their recommendations.

Collectively, the students will spend hundreds of hours on each project in order to create an actionable plan that their clients can implement right away. “Many students will say it’s the hardest course they’ve ever taken,” Scott points out. However, the difficult workload and sacrifice required of the students that take Marketing 462 hasn’t seemed to deter students away from their positive outlook on the course: “I’ve had students tell me they’ve learned more in this class than their entire college education combined,” he adds.

One of the overlooked benefits for the clients who have a CSUF Consulting project done for them is that the teams can review their client’s current or potential marketing plans and determine whether or not the ROI justifies their continuation. “What those students come to understand and appreciate is that they just succeeded in saving the client probably tens of thousands of dollars pursuing a marketing avenue that would have been a dead end for them,” states Scott.

In addition to the course helping students gain experience, it also significantly helps the clients because they get amazing work at an amazing price. They pay a relatively small “donation-sized” fee to have a CSUF Consulting team develop innovative marketing solutions for their company. The work that these teams do helps clients develop ideas that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to with their current resources and because CSUF Consulting teams provide a fresh perspective that can unearth hidden opportunities.

The course also requires a lot of work from a professor standpoint. In addition to regular duties all professors have, such as giving quizzes, midterms, and other assignments, Scott manages and mentors all of his consulting teams. This consists of multiple critiques and reviews of each team’s letter of engagement, reading up on the periodic individual section reports, staying in communication with the teams and their clients, evaluating their final presentations and then reviewing their final reports (which can run upwards of 200 pages).

But despite the endless work, Scott doesn’t seem to regret taking on the position one bit, “Why do I do it? Love. I love these students. I love giving to them because they’re an amazing investment.”

Students interested in the Marketing 462 course or companies interested in applying to be a client for future consulting projects that take place during the fall and spring semesters every year can contact Client Project Specialist Charlesetta Medina at cymedina@fullerton.edu or visit the Center for Entrepreneurship office, located in room 3280 at Steven G. Mihaylo Hall on campus.

Written by Traci Muldoon


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For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/IncubatorFor more details on how CSUF

Consulting can help businesses thrive:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Consulting

Attend one of our events for entrepreneurs or sign up for a free mentoring session:
http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvents

Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship video series:
http://bit.ly/csufknowledge

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