Business

Marketing students discover there are lessons in pie sales

December 10, 2014 by Cindy O'Dell
photo

photo Marketing student Louis Espinal and Maribel Cuevas show off one of the pies sold through the Mama’s Kitchen Pie in the Sky fundraiser.

Students in Dr. Tim Becker’s graduate level course on marketing management got to do some real life marketing last month and participate in a Pie in the Sky fundraiser that provides meals to homebound cancer and AIDS patients.

“This a perfect example of Brandman University students learning, knowing and doing, and in this case doing good for others. I encourage other faculty to incorporate more doing activities in their classes,” said Becker, who created the assignment as an option for students to choose over two regular assignments.

Brenda Jackson, Monica Tinajero and Louis Espinal worked with Mama’s Kitchen in San Diego, selling pies provided by local restaurants and caterers. Each $25 purchase gave the buyer a pie and provided eight meals for Mama’s Kitchen’s homebound clients.

Among some of the things students learned: target a larger audience, provide specific instructions, follow up with reminders, don’t underestimate the value of face-to-face selling and be prepared to help people who aren’t computer savvy.

“In marketing, just as it was in the case with the Pie in the Sky fundraiser, communication is key. You must continually communicate the benefits and value of your product to your clientele,” said Louis Espinal, who sold 11 pies and regrets not having started the project earlier in the month. He said the project helped clarify the difference between sales promotions and advertisement and plans to take what he learned a use it next year when he again participates in Pie in the Sky.

“This initiative gave me a better perspective into the benefits customers are seeking when they purchase,” said Espinal. Next year he’ll emphasize the great taste of pies made by famous bakers and the emotional value of helping provide meals to others.

“I wanted to help those less fortunate through my efforts. After serving in Haiti during the devastating earthquake, I have a better sense of what it is to be a humanitarian,” he said.

Jackson focused, in part, on the military or retired military people who have been helped by Mama’s Kitchen because she is also retired military. “The goal of Mama’s Kitchen is to help those in need and I am firm in that we are all here on earth to help all living creatures whatever way we can,” said Jackson.

Jackson sold 39 and TInajero sold 26 of the pumpkin, pecan, apple or Dutch apple pies.

YouTube video of a previous marketing classes’ connection to Mama’s Pies.

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