Quarry hosts IMC

Getting a glimpse of what integrated marketing communications (IMC) looks like in the ‘real’ world was the goal today as the IMC graduate class visited both Quarry Communications and Home Hardware Stores Ltd. in St. Jacobs.

The students were treated to snapshots of what the daily life of an agency can be like as they listened to a project manager, graphic designer, media planner, web developer, and marketing operations manager discuss their jobs, their priorities and the tools they use to meet cleint expectations at Quarry.  They heard how teams involving designers, copywriters, strategists, and project managers meet to collaborate on client work.  It was a view into the agency side of the business.  (and Steve and Kim were delighted to reconnect with IMC grad Michelle MacNaughton who works as a Project Lead at Quarry!)

At Home Hardware the class heard from the client side of the business.  Jessica Keupfer, Manager of Public Relations, told the students about the collaboration between marketing, sales, advertising and public relations at the Canadian retailer.  The company recently changed its tagline to “Home Hardware, Here’s How”, as a measure to more effectively reach a broader market – not just home owners, but anyone living in any kind of owned or rented accommodation that needs home improvement.  She also provided some insight into the process behind the scenes of a Globe and Mail recent “Report on Business” article about Home Hardware.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Quarry generously provided their lunch area for the class to enjoy some Pop’s Pizza

Alan Quarry, CEO, chatted with the group about “Heart Beats Hate”, a pro-diversity, anti-bigotry rally he initiated. It will be held at Maxwell’s Concerts & Events, 35 University Ave. E. in Waterloo on Tuesday, Sept. 19.  There will be speakers from the Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre along with music and food.  He  encouraged the class to attend.  He reminded them racism exists when we are silent.

Advertisements

IMC resources

A program that professes to prepare students for the work world gets the class out of the classroom when possible.  And when it isn’t, guest speakers can be an integral part of bringing the work world into the classroom.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Every year the IMC faculty appreciate the assistance of the Home Hardware Head Office when it takes the class on a tour of its central warehouse and includes a presentation by its public relations staff.  Understanding the business and all of its facets is an important lesson.  Home Hardware is also a uniquely organized business and the relationship between the head office and the store owners – who own the central warehouse – is a key factor in the PR office.

The class then stretched its creativity at the felt lab where they were exposed to emerging technology that will impact their work world. This was followed by a tour of Quarry, a marketing communications agency where the lab is located.   The class heard from a few employees who talked about their area of focus, connecting some of the dots for students who heard them talking about matters that have been raised in class.

Guest speakers bring their expertise into the classroom. Frank Mosely of T Stone Mailing is a mail expert and Ellyn Winters of Ignition Communications has worked with a variety of clients in the tech sector.  Each came into the classroom and provided invaluable insights into the marketing communications field.

 

An inside look at the retail sector

The first few months of IMC have flown by and the class has explored the concepts of IMC from a variety of perspectives. In fact, in two weeks the students are placed on teams and will prepare a plan for a real client.

Groceries!

Most recently, they got an inside look at two different kinds of retail. In the first instance, P1010819guest speaker Aaron Simmons of Sobey’s talked to the class about the business structure of product managers in the grocery sector and the mysteries of product placement on shelves in grocery stores.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This was preceded by a visit to a Sobey’s store on Ira Needles Boulevard where the class observed the buying behaviour of shoppers, the placement of products on shelves and where product was located throughout the store.

Hardware!

A behind-the-scenes look at the hardware sector was on the agenda next when the class took a tour of the head office warehouse owned by Home Hardware Stores Ltd. in St. Jacobs.  Tour guides Dennis Clifford, Andy Schmidt, Michelle Duench and MaryAnn Solomon explained how the products are purchased by the co-operative business and then distributed to over 1,000 stores across the country.

The tour was an opportunity to walk about a tourist destination, St. Jacobs, and to reflect on yet another kind of business interest that must consider marketing communications.

A highlight of the visit to this small community outside of Waterloo was a chance to  play with some of the newest in emerging technology at the felt lab, housed in Quarry Communications. Host Joy Smith  (a graduate of Conestoga’s public relations program) explained the technologies and the purpose of the lab, which the website states is “a digital sandbox for serious play–a creative space where students, academics and industry experts explore IDEA and related technologies in order to envision new uses and markets.”

Lots of new ideas for the marketing communications professionals of tomorrow.

With thanks to all of our tour hosts who made the visit educational and enjoyable.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.