Projects ~ Fall 2012
Projects ~ Spring 2012
Abbott is a global, diversified healthcare company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals, nutritional products for children and adults, and medical products including devices, diagnostic tests and instruments. Abbott Nutrition International offers some of the world's most trusted brands in pediatric, therapeutic and performance nutrition. The company employs nearly 90,000 people and markets its products worldwide.
Abbott Nutrition International tasked an ELC project team to deliver a proposal that would detail progressive, compelling and differentiating ways to drive market share growth, improve knowledge of the customer and the customer experience, and differentiate Abbott Nutrition products by leveraging digital marketing and social media programs/tactics.
The ELC project team developed a comprehensive recommendation that accounted for the unique needs of key brands (such as Similac, Ensure, Pedialyte, Glucerna), including the optimization of product launches within a brand, and the unique cultural considerations, as well as market conditions/constraints of Abbott Nutrition's critical international markets, known as "BRIC - MTV" (Brazil, Russia, India, China, Mexico, Turkey, and Vietnam). As part of the proposal and recommendation, the project team considered the competition, consumer, financial, healthcare economic/professional, clinical, and societal perspectives, along with new/emerging media and technology channels to achieve near-term wins and to achieve sustainable long-term momentum and value.
Lakeshore Interactive was developing a mobile strategy for one of its clients, CouponCabin, that maintains the site's position as the definitive, online source for coupons. CouponCabin helps consumers save money when shopping online or at bricks-and-mortar retailers by providing online coupon codes (i.e., free shipping and other promo codes used directly on retailer websites), grocery coupons, printable coupons, product deals, and more. CouponCabin experienced tremendous success working directly with name-brand retailers to bring coupons online and drive hundreds of millions of dollars in transactions to its partners. Consumers know CouponCabin for its quality content, offerings from a large network of retailers, and ease of use. However, the site lacked a mobile presence. Mobile commerce in the United States was projected to reach $6B in 2011 and $30B by 2015, making this space extremely attractive for CouponCabin.
Lakeshore Interactive requested a preliminary business and product development plan that recommended a strategy for CouponCabin's mobile launch. The ELC team developed a plan that incorporated market research and investigated consumer behavior and expectations while shopping with mobile devices using iOS apps for the iPhone and iPad, Android apps, SMS, and mobile websites. The team also explored how the content and functionality currently available at CouponCabin.com could be leveraged to delight consumers while supporting business goals.
Follett Corporation is a privately owned retailer, wholesaler, and distributor of educational products and services with annual sales over 2.7 billion dollars. For over 135 years, their mission is to help improve people's lives by supporting a lifetime of learning and education. They touch the lives of millions of students ranging from adults taking classes on college campuses and in cyberspace to grade school children surfing the Internet in their school library.
Follett engaged an ELC team to look for ideas, suggestions, and recommendations on how to attract and build an online community of teachers through the use of social media tools and techniques to expand their value proposition in the K-12 Classroom. The team developed a vision, strategy, roadmap, a business case to implement the recommendations and a prototype of the proposed solution.
Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA)
Aspiring to be the world's leading teaching and learning laboratory for imagination and inquiry, the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) strives to develop innovation and entrepreneurial talent and capacity. This includes creating conditions to stimulate, support and conduct innovative pilots/prototypes that have the potential to transform STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education. Started with seed funding from the Abbott Fund, Tellabs Foundation and the State of Illinois, CoolHub.IMSA connects learners of all ages and gives them tools to explore their "What if?" questions, take creative risks, develop ideas and innovate together outside traditional organizational structures. Through physical and virtual meeting spaces, CoolHub.IMSA provides opportunities and resources that accelerate research, rapid prototyping and program development.
IMSA tasked an ELC team to produce a short series of five-minute vignettes that would tell the story of several CoolHub Projects and would include interviews or statements with project owners, project participants and other relevant people associated with the project. The videos that were developed will be used for fundraising and marketing efforts as way to showcase this exciting real world learning environment. To learn more about CoolHub.IMSA visit http://coolhub.imsa.edu/cool-hub. The team was comprised of film majors (filming/editing) from NIU's Communications Department and business majors (project management/budgeting) from the College of Business.
McDonald's IT Enterprise / Training, Learning & Development
McDonald's recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of Hamburger University (HU), where various educational programs and degrees, including a degree in Hamburgerology, are offered to its crew and staff. McDonald's has been investing in learning technologies to help modernize the learning experience by offering blended learning curricula, including e-learning, virtual classrooms, self-studies, online tests as well as traditional classroom training. McDonald's was on a journey to better define their learning technology platform to include an LMS, LCMS, virtual class and assessment tools. While they had most of these technologies in place across 7 HUs around the world, they requested that an ELC team define a platform that would allow them to standardize learning technologies and establish a global recommendations and best practices.
Northern Illinois University's Information Technology Services (ITS)
NIU ITS engaged a team of ELC students to develop creative ideas and solutions to help make NIU a more "green" campus as it related to computer labs and printing. The project team created fresh ideas and recommendations for NIU's ITS department to help implement and spread the message to faculty and students regarding alternative methods to reduce the printing at all NIU computer labs across campus. This effort assisted with NIU's Vision 2020 Strategic Plan on ways to be more sustainable with resources. The project resulted in a detailed strategic marketing plan with further recommendations for a possible future ELC project to help the university become more "green".
Richardson RFPD, Inc.
Richardson RFPD, Inc., an Arrow Electronics Company, is a global leader in the RF and wireless communications, power conversion and renewable energy markets. Relationships with the industry's top component suppliers enable Richardson RFPD to meet the total engineering needs of each customer. Whether it's designing components or engineering complete solutions, Richardson RFPD's worldwide design centers and technical sales team provide support for all aspects of customers' go-to-market strategy, from prototype to production. Local sales engineers work side-by-side with customers to design circuits, select cost-effective components, plan reliable and timely supply, create reference designs, test prototypes and assemblies, and manufacture the highest quality solutions.
Richardson RFPD views new production introductions (NPI) program as a key differentiating element to drive and expand their business, both from sales and profitability perspectives. As a company with a highly technical sales team specializing in the RF, Microwave and Wireless markets, the company is positioned to offer a best-in-class NPI program to their suppliers and customers. To further expand and enhance this program, Richardson RFPD views web-based activities and tools (e.g. website, online advertising, social media, etc.) as an area for improvement. The objectives of the ELC team were to review competitor activities, perform benchmarking and recommend website improvements, online activities and social media programs that would most effectively support NPI to help gain market share.
Savant Capital Management
Savant Capital Management, a nationally recognized wealth management firm founded 25 years ago and residing in Rockford, Illinois has continued to expand into other regional markets in the Midwest. The company desired to better understand the current community demographics where their home and satellite offices reside as well as other potential expansion opportunities. Savant asked an NIU ELC team to identify target Midwest markets within 3-400 miles of Rockford, Illinois with a large percentage of high net worth individuals ages 55 or older who were either nearing or in retirement. The team identified office expansion locations, possible acquisition candidates, competitor analysis and provided additional analysis of the economics of local markets. They also gave recommendations of ways to identify and reach those high net worth individuals nearing or in retirement and in their current markets as well as the recommended expansion locations.
Experiential Learning Center
Contact the ELC @