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Digital marketing clinic pairs small businesses, UW Oshkosh interns

OSHKOSH – The Wisconsin Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network hopes to help up to 150 small businesses rebound through no-cost, tailored digital marketing services.

The new statewide Digital Marketing Clinic expands upon an already successful model at UW Oshkosh, which pairs interns with businesses under the direction of Kathy Fredrickson, adjunct professor in the College of Business and award-winning marketing strategist.

During the spring and fall 2020 semesters, 98 Digital Marketing SOS Project students identified needs for 52 businesses and delivered solutions to meet their goals.

“Small businesses struggle to find the time to plan and implement their digital marketing efforts,” Fredrickson said. “This is unsettling, and many feel they are behind. Our interns help them get ahead and develop a competitive advantage in challenging times.”

“An effective website, social media approach and email marketing are all critical to finding and growing customers, aka the bottom line, which is critical not just in the age of touchless delivery but beyond as consumer habits continue to shift,” said Dan Brosman, associate director of the SBDC at UW Oshkosh, who is running the clinic with Fredrickson.

Services over a 10-15 hour engagement include a mix of the following:

  • Strategic recommendations
  • Keyword research and landing page optimization
  • Website audit and design/development
  • Social media audit, schedule development and implementation
  • Content creation

Chris Burns, who owns Wisco Wheeler, an Appleton-based party bus and limo service, received graphic design and social media assistance last year from the effort.

“It felt like I hired a freelancer to do research and creative strategy,” Burns said. “A small business, especially one that doesn’t have a ton of experience in marketing, can gain a lot.”

The Wisconsin SBDC Network offers no-cost, confidential consulting and business education to new and existing businesses. In 2020, the SBDC served 4,371 clients, resulting in $106 million in capital investment, 260 new businesses and 19,731 jobs supported, accordingly to preliminary results.

“The Digital Marketing Clinic is a perfect example of pairing talented, aspiring university students with business owners who make an economic impact in their communities,” said Bon Wikenheiser, Wisconsin SBDC state director. “The clinic brings UW expertise to local businesses and builds meaningful real-world experience for the students. All benefit from working together.”

To learn more and fill out an application for the clinic, go to wwwtest.wwwtest.wisconsinsbdc.org/digitalmarketing.

The SBDC offers additional programs and services to help serve this critical need:

About the Wisconsin SBDC

The Wisconsin Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is a nationally accredited statewide network supporting entrepreneurs and business owners through no-cost, confidential consulting and business education. Regional SBDC experts facilitate improvement and growth for small and emerging mid-size companies and help launch successful new enterprises. The Wisconsin SBDC is hosted by the University of Wisconsin System Administration under the Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship. It is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. wwwtest.wwwtest.wisconsinsbdc.org  

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