DelGrosso Foods executive brings real-life case study to Smeal marketing class

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Michael DelGrosso, vice president of global sales and marketing at DelGrosso Foods, provided several Penn State Smeal College of Business Marketing 422 Advertising and Promotions Management classes with a unique view of a new product launch last month.

Marketing 422 — with sections taught by Jennifer Coupland, clinical associate professor of marketing, and the Paiste Fellow in Teaching and Learning, and assistant professor of marketing Karen Winterich — is designed to introduce students to integrated marketing communications with a focus on advertising and promotions issues.

“Giving students the opportunity to hear from accomplished marketing professionals provides them with a clearer picture of the profession."

-- Karen Winterich, assistant professor of marketing, Smeal College of Business

After talking to students about the history of his family’s company, DelGrosso began to describe the challenges and opportunities he and the company faced in developing a new premium pasta sauce product. An in-depth look at market segments was important, because the premium sauce would target a whole new demographic.

He also talked about experiential marketing as a way to get the product in front of more potential customers. Through cooking demonstrations at grocery stores, attending wine and food festivals, and forging key partnerships, DelGrosso was able to increase brand recognition of the DelGrosso premium line.

“I think Michael DelGrosso’s presentation was particularly interesting to the students because he talked about the whole process of a product launch, from conceptualizing the product to targeting a demographic, and then building awareness and growing sales.”

-- Jennifer Coupland, clinical associate professor of marketing, Paiste Fellow in Teaching, Smeal College of Business

“Your brand is meaningless until people have heard of it,” he said. “It takes a lot of impressions to imprint your brand on the consumer’s mind.”

Coupland and Winterich have incorporated several speakers into their class syllabus as a way to give students an opportunity to learn from and ask questions of industry marketing professionals.

“Giving students the opportunity to hear from accomplished marketing professionals provides them with a clearer picture of the profession, and it also gives them the opportunity to ask questions and better understand how integrated marketing communications decisions are made,” said Winterich.

Coupland added, “I think Michael DelGrosso’s presentation was particularly interesting to the students because he talked about the whole process of a product launch, from conceptualizing the product to targeting a demographic, and then building awareness and growing sales.”

About undergraduate education at Penn State Smeal College of Business
The Smeal College of Business offers undergraduate majors and minors that span the business spectrum, preparing students for a business world that is complex, global and diverse. Smeal undergraduate students have access to dozens of student organizations and involvement opportunities, study abroad partnerships around the world, and personalized career planning and academic advising services to help them thrive at Smeal and in their careers. Learn more at www.smeal.psu.edu/uge.

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Last Updated April 17, 2014