Eye on ECCS: Marketing 101

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NOTE: Each week throughout the school year, we will visit a school across Eastern Carver County Schools. Some weeks the plan may be to stop in multiple classrooms by grade, or by subject. Other weeks it may highlight a certain specialist group. The purpose is to give families and our community a glimpse into the every-day learning environment happening in our buildings. A chance to spotlight the incredible work our teachers and staff do on a daily basis for our students, and to showcase the incredible work our students produce as well. So, keep your Eye on ECCS!


Wherever you look – on your phone, in your car driving, on the TV, on the uniforms of some of your favorite professional sports teams – you will find products. 

Businesses are always looking for new ways to market their products to best reach consumers. Marketing teams need to identify who their potential customers are, what their likes and wants are, what budget they may have for a product, and ultimately, how to get the product to the consumer.

Dr. Tara Campbell taught three sections of Marketing I, or Sales and Marketing, during the first semester to 87 students at Chanhassen High School. The class is only available to sophomores, juniors and seniors. It is a prerequisite to participating in the school extracurricular, DECA, which prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe. 

“In this class we cover branding and the 4Ps of marketing – product, price, place, promotion. This is the foundation of all marketing concepts,” Campbell said.

Students working on a product management unit were given five choices for the application project, which demonstrates what they learned. They included creating a product classifications game, a product poster, a video showing a product’s life cycle, an online infographic describing the phases of product development, or designing a new juice box package.

“I always give students a choice on what that application project will be so that they can choose how they demonstrate their mastery of the material to me,” Campbell said.

Students just finished a unit where they created a branding extension strategy where they took an existing brand and designed an entire theme park around that brand complete with rides, attractions, eateries, merchandise lines, etc. Students earlier this school year designed a new toy.

Students have the option to explore marketing more in-depth with Marketing II (Research). Students learn how to conduct primary and secondary marketing research and apply their marketing research knowledge by partnering with a local business, conducting research and presenting their proposal to the business owner. 

In Marketing III (Product Management), students will learn and apply project management skills by organizing and conducting a school and/or community event in one of the following areas: Business Solutions, Career Development, Financial Literacy, Sales, Community Awareness, or Community Giving. They may also work with a local business mentor to create a realistic proposal for a business startup in their future.

Among a large draw for the marketing class is the opportunity to participate on the Chanhassen DECA team.

“My marketing students are invited to join DECA, which is a competitive student organization that competes globally related to business and marketing content. This year, I will have 130 members, a school record for DECA membership,” Campbell said. “Our students will take a standardized marketing test and compete in two events – an impromptu business problem solving scenario called a ‘role play,’ and a prepared event in which they write a 10-20 page paper and prepare a presentation to justify marketing/business strategy decisions.” 

Historically, Chanhassen High School has been very competitive at the district and state level with numerous top winners at both levels every year. The top five in each event at state go on to compete at the International Career Development Conference. Chanhassen had a fourth-place winner in 2021, a third-place winner in 2017, a second-place winner in 2022, and first-place winners in 2018 and 2019 in their categories at the ICDC. 

“This is huge because essentially it means they were the best in the world in that event that year,” Campbell said. Last year, there were 22,000 students representing 21 different countries at the ICDC.

Of the 98 DECA members at Chanhassen last year, 45 students advanced to state with 18 placing in the top-12 in their event, six placing in the top-8, three students had the highest test scores, and two students advancing to ICDC. 

Competitions this season begin in January at the district level among seven surrounding high schools followed by the state tournament in March in Minneapolis and the international competition for a select few in April in Anaheim, California.

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