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IU Northwest to create social media plans for small businesses, nonprofits

Nov. 9, 2016

Small businesses and nonprofit organizations throughout the state will soon be able to implement a cost-effective social media strategy using a plan created by IU Northwest professor of marketing Subir Bandyopadhyay. 

Subir Bandyopadhya

IU Northwest Professor of Marketing Subir Bandyopadhya | PHOTO COURTESY OF IU NORTHWEST

The model, to be developed over the next seven months, will be based on research of printed and online publications, focus groups, surveys and individual interviews. The project is enabled by the Indiana Campus Compact, a partnership of Indiana's public, private and community college higher education institutions, which awarded Bandyopadhyay a grant to conduct the research and create a plan.

 According to Bandyopadhyay, small businesses and nonprofits are under increasing pressure to reduce costs to survive in today's marketplace.

"Cutting operating costs is an option but is limited in scope because excessive cuts may jeopardize the quality and extent of products and services," Bandyopadhyay said. "An effective alternative is to develop a strong digital and social media marketing strategy to effectively communicate the message."

Helping Indiana thrive

In the interest of helping the state economy grow, Bandyopadhyay and the Indiana Campus Compact will provide a step-by-step template that is easy to implement and maintain. It will be provided free of charge to qualifying small business, nonprofits and community agencies as a public service, as well as published for use in academic publications and research conferences.

Anna Rominger, interim vice chancellor for academic affairs, said the research has tremendous value and complements IU Northwest's Shared Vision, which links academic excellence to service learning and community engagement.

"Dr. Bandyopadhyay has extensive experience in integrating successful client-based student projects with service-learning work," Rominger said. "His current project will entail substantial research to uncover the challenges faced by and small businesses and nonprofits. It will also enhance the ability of students to become more informed and intelligent consumers."

Bandyopadhyay, who teaches digital marketing at IU Northwest, will collaborate with several nonprofit organizations in Northwest Indiana, including the Small Business Development Council and the Indian American Cultural Center. He will also involve students in the project.

Subir Bandyopadhyay's plans to aid small businesses in Indiana align with priorities outlined in the university’s Bicentennial Strategic Plan, including building a prosperous and innovative Indiana.

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