Businesses can tap student creativity

Audacious programme manager Rachel Butler (left), University of Otago marketing department senior lecturer Mathew Parackal and marketing student Zoe MacDonald-Mair. Photo: Shawn McAvinue
Audacious programme manager Rachel Butler (left), University of Otago marketing department senior lecturer Mathew Parackal and marketing student Zoe MacDonald-Mair. Photo: Shawn McAvinue

A call is being made for more Dunedin businesses to take part in a University of Otago marketing project and tap into the creativity and innovation of students.

University of Otago marketing department senior lecturer Mathew Parackal, of Dunedin, said digital marketing students had been working with Otago businesses, such as Electric Kiwi, Audacious and FilmQuest, to address a range of real-life marketing problems.

Any business — large or small — could be involved with the project.

Many postgraduate marketing students were seeking companies to work with, Dr Parackal said.

‘‘We can take on any business and turn them into projects.’’

Marketing student Zoe MacDonald-Mair said she was part of a team of students who designed a digital marketing campaign for Audacious, to inform new students on the work it does.

Audacious is a programme to encourage entrepreneurship in students, such as pursuing a business idea or learning entrepreneurship skills.

The team raised brand awareness of Audacious by using social media and holding events on campus.

At an event, the team asked students to spin a large vertical wheel twice.

The wheel had a range of words on it. After the second spin, the team asked the student to use the two random words to create a business idea.

One student was designing an app to combat fomo — fear of missing out — a compulsive concern that one might miss an opportunity of attending an event for an experience.

The app could calculate if it was better to attend an experience or stay home and deal with the fomo.

As Audacious was targeting students andits team were all students, it was an easier audience to connect with, Miss MacDonald­Mair said.

Audacious programme manager Rachel Butler, of Dunedin, said Audacious joined the project because they wanted to work with students.

‘‘I thought, why am I doing the marketing of Audacious when we have all these marketing students, who are creative and innovative?’’

Her favourite business idea from the wheel was an alarm clock which sounded a dollar amount — the amount the user had yet to pay on their student loan.

The figure would be used as motivation to get a student out of bed to attend a lecture.

‘‘I thought that was great.’’

‘‘One of the biggest untapped resources in Dunedin is our student population — we get 20,000 fresh minds in every year for our business community to use.’’

Any business wanting to be part of the project can email mathew.parackal@otago.ac.nz.

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