Maumee DECA Students Lend Marketing Talent To Local Business Owner

As part of their Buying and Merchandising Operations Research project through the MHS DECA program, students Taylor Snyder (left) and Sidney Hazard (right) assisted The House Market owner Carolyn Haney (second from left) and Kathy Akerman with marketing strategies to bolster revenue. The students competed at the Ohio Career Development Conference DECA competition in early March, where they placed first in the state. They also competed at the International Career Development Conference. MIRROR PHOTO BY NANCY GAGNET

BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — For The House Market owner Carolyn Haney, elevating her business on social media is not exactly her forte, so she enlisted the help of some enthusiastic high school students to lend a hand.

MHS seniors Sidney Hazard and Taylor Snyder took on the work as part of their Buying and Merchan-dising Operations Research project through the MHS DECA program. 

“Our idea was to increase customer loyalty and spending during the pandemic – how to implement that for the business,” said Sidney.

The House Market features an eclectic mix of vintage finds and one-of-a-kind home accessories. In order to create a marketing plan for the business, the students completed primary and secondary research to gather background information on customer demographics and other pertinent aspects of the business.

After compiling the information, Taylor and Sidney came up with a list of four objectives to help bolster revenue, including increasing brand awareness, improving customer interactions, creating relationships and increasing revenue through social media posts. They also included a timeline for implementation of the plan and a budget for it.

“We conducted focus groups, so the objectives that we set are very accomplishable based on what those people told us,” said Taylor. 

The plan includes initiatives that Haney can easily implement, such as listing the items available for purchase on Facebook, offering appointment-only shopping, implementing a loyalty and coupon program and providing curbside pickup. 

Haney plans to fully implement the suggestions.

“I’m not a techy person, so they made it easy for me so I could focus on other things with the business that I like to do,” Haney said. “They did a fantastic job.”

The students presented their project at the Ohio Career Development Conference DECA competition in early March, where they placed first in the state. They also competed at the International Career Development Conference. 

Taylor will also continue to work for Haney throughout the summer to get the programs up and running.

Following graduation, Taylor plans to attend The Ohio State University to pursue a degree in marketing, and Sidney plans to attend Ohio University to pursue a nursing degree.

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