Durango High School students with an interest in business are more than getting their feet wet through a marketing class taught by David Dillman.
Marketing in Action is open to all grade levels. Students, through an agreement with a local business, research its business plan, draw conclusions from their findings and make suggestions about how the business can meet challenges.
The students make a written report about their findings for the business owner and give a live presentation to classmates and the owner.
Owners are encouraged to attend the presentation to engage in a give-and-take with the presenter and classmates.
The marketing studies, which focused on 18 Durango-area businesses and one in Albuquerque, wrap up this week.
Alyssa Wineholt, a senior, analyzed the operations and challenges of The Yellow Carrot, a bakery and catering service, which, among other items, offers a huge variety of cupcakes, snacks and drinks.
Yellow Carrot owner Sari Brown missed the classroom critique presented by Alyssa, whose pale-yellow dress was more than a coincidence.
Because Brown wasn’t in attendance, Alyssa’s approach to the study and her recommendations are given here only in generalities.
Alyssa gathered 20 tasters, 10 of each gender – ranging from teens to seniors, to sample Yellow Carrot products and rate overall service.
The same people did the drill twice – once unannounced and once when owner Brown was alerted to the visit.
Alyssa’s analysis led to recommendations about location (the 3100 block of Main Avenue), the tug-of-war between catering and on-site retail sales, the number of products offered, prices and employee performance.
In a presentation preceding Alyssa’s, Laurie Sigillito, owner of Inside Durango TV, and members of her production team chatted with presenters Austin Kelly and Steven Sigillito (who is Laurie’s son) about their recommendations for broadening offerings that appeal to women and increasing viewership among millennials, people ages 18 to 32.
Offered for the first time this year, Marketing in Action will become a fall semester staple, Dillman said.
The class is part of the DECA program at the high school. DECA stands for Delta Epsilon Chi and Distributive Education Clubs of America.
The goal of DECA is to prepare high school and college students for leadership in business, finance and entrepreneurial work.
Some Marketing in Action students will compete in the next DECA state contest Feb. 21-24 in Colorado Springs.
At the Western Slope DECA competition in Glenwood Springs in December, Dillman’s students won the award for advanced proficiency.