Graduate Blog / Graduate Life

Babson x Cisco Brewers Marketing Challenge

Not every Monday is the same at Babson. Some are challenging. Most are exciting. Monday April 9th was the more exciting kind; Cisco Brewers from Nantucket, Massachusetts, came to campus for a marketing challenge organized by the Babson Marketing Club.

These challenges gives students an opportunity to experience life as a brand manager. The club invites companies looking for a solution to a real problem and allow the participants to craft a marketing plan for the company. Cisco Brewers’ challenge revolved around data. How could they collect data from the brewery visitors, and how could that data be used in a marketing strategy? The winning team would take home VIP tickets to the brewery.

So there we were in Park Manor, sipping on freshly brewed IPAs while trying to understand the product and what makes Cisco Brewers unique. One of the company’s founders and the Marketing Director took us through the history of the company and the unique experience it provides to its customers who visit Nantucket.

The timer for the first of four 10-minute phases started and we started scrambling, trying to write as much as we could on our little white board. “Turn the board around, we don’t want others to see what we are doing!” a team member shouted as we dreamed of spending Patriot’s Day weekend in Nantucket. By the second phase, the creative juices were really flowing in the room and you could see the energy: people were on their feet, sharing ideas and drawing flow charts on their whiteboards. We just about finished using the last corner of space on our whiteboard when the clock ran down. We were so excited with our marketing plan that we volunteered to present first. Here are the ingredients to the plan we pitched:

Ingredient 1: The Objective (The Why)

Marketing is all about answering the ‘Why?’ before the ‘How?’ and ‘What?’ Our answer to ‘why Cisco Breweries?’ was because to us, Cisco sounded like not just an experience. It was a culture. A place where you would want to take your friends and families and create memories only to keep coming back for more.

Ingredient 2: The Method (The How)

Because visitors have to take a ferry to reach nantucket, our idea was to introduce a Cisco loyalty card called Pirate’s Stash. We suggested having visitors sign up for the card as they book their trip online, or on the ferry. Hint: Take customer demographic data as they fill the form to apply for the card. Once they have a card to use when making purchases at the brewery, we can track what the customers are spending the most money on and identify who these customers are.

Ingredient 3: The Result (The What)

The real question is what are you going to do with all the data you are collecting? Since the customers will be using their Pirate’s Stash to purchase items at Cisco Brewers, we can identify buying patterns. This will help Cisco Brewers to recognize where the high spending consumers are coming from, which consumer segment needs to be exposed to more marketing etc.

At the end of all the wonderful creative presentations, the team from Cisco Brewers, walked up to our table and asked us, “which weekend would you like to come visit Nantucket?”. I can’t wait to go there with my fellow classmates and experience the Cisco Brewers culture.