ST. PETERSBURG — After previewing its capabilities earlier this year via an arrangement with the Tampa Bay Rays, USF St. Petersburg’s Kate Tiedemann College of Business officially opened its Consumer Insight and Sales Lab.
Located in Lynn Pippenger Hall, the facility will provide students the opportunity to learn from and participate in professional consumer focus groups that are a staple of marketing and political research.
According to a press release, the lab has already brought on some local clients and begun its own research project — an effort to build a marketing database that tracks the consumer spending preferences and habits of millennials.
“We don’t have many of these facilities in the Tampa Bay area, so CISL will be a valuable resource for the community,” Tiedemann College of Business Dean Sridhar Sundaram states in the release. “And from an academic standpoint, this will be a wonderful opportunity to show our students how market research works in practice.”
CISL previewed its professional services for the Tampa Bay Rays, who wanted to pick the brains of season-ticket holders about the in-game fan experience. According to the release, CISL coordinator Elliott Wiser moderated a panel of fans while faculty member and sales program coordinator Edward Hoeppner observed from behind the one-way glass with the Rays management team, offering analysis and input along the way.
“They received feedback on what they’re doing well and areas where they can improve,” Wiser states in the release, adding that team officials left the session with a clear idea of improvements they wanted to make in the coming season. “Now they want to come back and do more work with us. We also have at least half a dozen other community partners in various stages of signing up.”