The UMass Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research (CMR) held its bi-annual Client Dinner at the SouthCoast Business Center in Fairhaven, MA. The purpose of the dinner was to deliver semester-long research projects to clients. Student teams worked with New Bedford Credit Union, Burgo Basketball Association, Dartmouth Mall, CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP., UMass Dartmouth Graduate Studies and Admissions, IMTRA Corporation, UMass Dartmouth Marketing Office and the Venus de Milo.
Each student team sat at a private table with their client and shared the findings of these customized studies. Clients expressed their surprise and satisfaction.
Eric Braitmayer, President and CEO or IMTRA said he appreciated “the effort his student team made to learn the language and nuances of his business.” He told the students he was “very happy with the final product and their engagement with the company”.
Christopher Jacobsen, expressed his gratitude to the students and to the Center for Marketing Research for being “so passionate and involved with the study”. He praised the opportunity for collaboration with the students and called the program “invaluable” for businesses.
In total, 8 projects were conducted using a range of different methods. Some of the students worked in the field doing intercepts while others conducted telephone surveys. The class as a whole worked over 1000 hours during the fall semester to collect thousands of surveys.
Each research study presented to the clients is valued at $15,000 to $20,000. Through the CMR research program, all clients were able to get this work at deeply discounted prices.
Dr. Nora Ganim Barnes, Director of the program, explains, “There is nothing more valuable for these students than having a real world business experience”.
Steve Byron, Chair of the CMR Advisory Board and General Manager of the Dartmouth Mall, talked to the clients and students and told them how important he felt the work of the Center for Marketing Research is to the student experience at Umass Dartmouth. As a past client of the program, he also spoke about the high quality of the work provided.
Steve Burgo for Burgo Basketball Association said, “I believe in the region and I believe in our young people. I am very proud of my research team and all the work they did on this project to help us. It is invaluable for us.”
His feelings were reiterated by New Bedford Credit Union’s CEO/President, David Borges, who promised to return as a client in the future and offered to donate a scholarship to the Center’s program at the upcoming Celebrity/Scholarship Dinner featuring NE Patriots Willie McGinest. (see www.umassd.edu/cmr for details).
Several members of the CMR Advisory Board were also in attendance, including Paul Burke (HadleyInsurit), Kevin Harris (Titleist), Joyce Brennan (SouthCoast Hospitals), Helene Sousa (Colonial Beverage), Steve Byron and Beth Zager (Dartmouth Mall). Charlton College of Business Dean, Angappa Gunasakaran expressed his appreciation for the contributions of the Center and its students to his efforts to increase internships and employment opportunities for UMass business students.
After a buffet dinner, the students had an opportunity to tell their clients about the many challenges they faced during the course of the projects. They were also quite vocal about their ideas to help the client succeed. Virtually all clients commented on the knowledge and enthusiasm of their student research team.
The program repeats in the upcoming spring semester. Any business interested in becoming a client can call Dr. Barnes directly at 508-999-8756.
Alan Abdulah, General Manager of the Venus de Milo in Swansea MA, addresses the students and clients at the bi-annual Client Dinner for the Center for Marketing Research.