Client-Connected Projects What are client-connected projects? Client-connected projects (CCPs) are authentic problems which students solve in collaboration with professionals from industry, not-for-profit, or community-based organizations. Projects should require at least 24 hours of work, with at least 4 hours engaged directly with the client. Read the story: Districts in the Kansas City metro found innovative ways to pilot Client-Connected Projects amidst a pandemic > Time Investment Summary Project Sponsor 4 hours Facilitator ~6 hours Students 24 hours SMEs ~2 hours Connecting Students to Employers Facebook Linkedin Twitter Employers play an essential role in providing students with authentic problem-solving experiences. Regardless of the type of business, the following areas are great places to identify services and projects that students can complete. Click on a title below to read the definition, deliverables, guiding questions, and options post-project completion. Audience (customer) Research Students use the client’s website, email analytics, and interviews to create an audience or customer profile. Deliverables Students generalize a demographic report of current website visitors, create an audience profile, and research the target audience to better understand how the client might be able to serve them. Guiding Questions How might we increase our connection to our audience with content and services that turn visitors or followers into leads? Lead Generation Students identify 25 companies/contacts that fall under client-defined audience or customer profile. Deliverables Students provide a report summarizing leads and opportunities for the client to action (including company profile, contact name, and contact email) for key decision-makers. Guiding Questions How might we increase revenue or grow our business presence in [specific area], and who should we connect with to do so? Options If successful, students could extend the project into making initial contact with leads. Market Research Students perform a market analysis for a specific opportunity or client. Deliverables Students determine and provide a report with details on existing best-practice benchmarks and competitors. They also identify key trends associated with the growth of the industry, as well as key drivers of success or failure. Guiding Questions How might we be more successful with [insert product] or [insert demographic], and how will we know when we are performing competitively? Prospect Research Students research and segment existing lead lists (~100 prospects) based on past interaction with the business, website, or other channels. Deliverables Students create a list that includes a name, company, role, and contact information. Guiding Questions How might we increase our customer or constituent base, and who should we connected with to do so? Survey & Analysis Students develop a survey and provide analysis of results. Deliverables Students provide a report summarizing leads and opportunities for the client to action, including company profile, contact name, and contact email. Guiding Questions How might we increase revenue or grow our business presence in [specific area], and who should we connect with to do so? Other Ideas Attract Audience Blog, keywords & SEO, social publishing Audience Research Social polls, surveys Convert Leads Online forms, calls to action, landing page Data Cleansing Students work with the client’s dataset and remove duplicates, update outdated records, and ensure there is consistent formatting. Students can also work to ensure data quality by verifying its integrity and making sure it is complete. Deliverables Students facilitate extraction, processing, and uploading into client data systems. Guiding Questions How might we ensure we have an accurate set of information to [connect with customers, manage processes, or report results]? Data Insights Students review and manipulate a dataset (sales, operations, financial, other) provided by the client. Deliverables After reviewing the data, students provide a summary of actionable insights that will benefit the client’s stated objectives. Guiding Questions How might we identify trends in [insert business area] that will help us increase revenue or grow our business? Physical Space Review or Design Students design a plan to make physical space more functional and appealing for customers or employees. Deliverables Students conduct interviews/focus groups or develop surveys to understand objectives for the space. Students produce a plan and budget for physical space enhancements using feedback. Guiding Questions How might we create an environment that allows our customers to better engage with our businesses or for our employees to be more productive? Options Students can begin by serving their classroom/building/district as a client. Talent Sourcing Using a position description, students identify 25 candidates they think would be good for the position. Deliverables The student provides a brief justification as to why they selected candidates, as well as potential questions to use in an interview based on resume and experience. Guiding Questions How might we find the best candidate for [insert position]? Other Ideas Data Analysis Human Resources/Customer Relations Data Cleansing, CRM Facilities Health & Safety, Environmental, Physical Space Case Studies Students create case studies for print & digital to be used for marketing purposes. Use the information provided to draft the customer’s problem, alternatives considered, why they choose us, and the impact of working with the client. Deliverables Students provide a final written case study that includes key art, customer quotes, and the impact. Guiding Questions How might we use customer impact to market our services? Content Creation Students research and draft a 1,200-1,600 word blog or edit a video on a specific topic provided by the client. The content should be consistent with the client’s brand. Deliverables Create an outline, draft version for approval, and final blog post or video story. Guiding Questions How might we establish our business as an expert in [insert industry/field/topic] through written publication or short video? Customer Feedback Students develop a plan to gather experience data from customers. They will identify potential feedback vehicles, seek responses, and identify and summarize key themes and opportunities for action. Deliverables Students begin by creating a strategy document for seeking feedback, then implement it. A final report will include customer responses and recommendations. Guiding Questions How might we use customer feedback to improve customer relations or business operations? Options If successful, students could extend the project and create a customer journey or customer profile. Graphic Design Design 3-4 pieces of marketing collateral for an event or campaign. Students will work with the client to identify information needed, medium for the finished pieces, and the audience. Deliverables Students provide draft artwork and incorporate client feedback into finished digital art. Guiding Questions How might we create brand awareness, engagement, or attendance via well-designed marketing collateral? Social Media Strategy Students create a social media strategy proposal. The posts should have a good mix of thought leadership and informational and promotional content. Deliverables Students develop a social media calendar that includes 2 posts per day for a single month with recommendations on implementation and measurement. Guiding Questions How might we leverage social media platforms to better engage with our customers or industry? Other Ideas Content Social polls, surveys Testimonials Blog, keywords & SEO, social publishing Outreach/advertising Online forms, calls to action, landing pages Additional Resources Facebook Linkedin Twitter Download the Client-Connected Projects Menu & Examples Download [PDF] > Client-Connected Projects Guide Download [PDF] > Process Planning Worksheet Download [PDF] > Testimonials Facebook Linkedin Twitter Project Summary Template Facebook Linkedin Twitter Ready to create your own client-connected project? Before beginning a project, the sponsor, facilitator, and/or students should come together to center around the items listed below: Project Title: A clear statement to reference the project. Student Team: Who is working on this project? Client: Who is responsible for evaluating the success of the project? Due Date: When do all project deliverables need to be completed? Project Description/Background: 3-5 sentences to summarize at a high level WHY the project is important and HOW work will be completed and presented. Project Goal: Should identify what is easily assessed for completion (i.e. production of a plan/presentation, a quantifiable body of work, etc.). Guiding Questions: 2-3 objectives for students to measure their outcomes against. Project Milestones and Deliverables: Tasks/building blocks required to complete the project and an estimated timeline to ensure work progresses toward required due date. Collaborators: Any required resources, subject matter experts, or vendors should be recognized.