Marketing students explore buyer behavior for Sprint

Flanking Dr. Mary Beth Pinto, center, are Marc Nachman and Anna Whitmore of Sprint, who traveled to Erie to meet with students at the Sprint project kickoff in January.

Flanking Dr. Mary Beth Pinto, center, are Marc Nachman and Anna Whitmore of Sprint, who traveled to Erie to meet with students at the Sprint project kickoff in January.

Credit: Penn State Behrend

This semester, students in Dr. Mary Beth Pinto’s MKTG 344 Buyer Behavior class had the opportunity to work on a collaborative research project for Sprint, a leading wireless communications company.

The semester-long endeavor was spearheaded by Pinto, professor of marketing, and one of her a former students, Marc Nachman, now a regional president for Sprint.

Students used market analysis, focus groups, and personal interviews to learn the perceptions, attitudes, and cell-phone provider preferences among Sprint’s target demographic in the Erie area. Students also assessed Sprint promotions and offered recommendations for “guerrilla” marketing plans to boost Sprint’s profile and users in the region.

The top six teams presented their work to Sprint executives in April.

“This was real market research for an actual client,” Pinto said. “It was an unbelievable opportunity for these students to put some of the things they’ve been learning into practice.”