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DelGrosso Foods' Vice President of Global Sales, Marketing Brings Real-Life Case Study to Marketing Class

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.
April 16, 2014

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."

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.

“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.”

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