Marketing Tools and Resources for Small Business: Chamber partners with UW Foster School to create valuable information just for you

Since 2019, the Magnolia Chamber of Commerce has developed a partnership with the renowned Michael G. Foster School of Business at our state’s flagship research institution, the University of Washington. The Chamber has worked with four different teams made up of UW Foster School MBA candidates. The teams have collaborated, delivered analyses, and proposed solutions to address critical relevant business topics and challenges as proposed by the Chamber.

In the Spring of 2021, a UW Foster School MBA team conducted industry and market research to gain insights and propose actionable recommendations regarding the application of loyalty programs. They assessed whether loyalty programs are an effective way to stimulate traffic into local Magnolia businesses and generate long-term customers. The team was specifically charged with examining the viability of a chamber-wide loyalty program to encourage locals to patronize member businesses.

After a thorough review and seeking insights through questionnaires and interviews, the team recommends against the introduction of a consolidated Magnolia neighborhood loyalty program by the Chamber of Commerce, at least at this time.

However, the team recommends that the Chamber provide the resources and data driven research the team compiled regarding loyalty programs to small businesses while simultaneously pursuing other strategies to attract more foot traffic to the neighborhood. The team created a resource for small businesses that helps entrepreneurs understand the value of loyalty programs in customer retention, revenue growth, extending market reach, and building lasting relationships by offering customers rewards. The loyalty program primer provides you with an array of loyalty programs to consider for your business, how best to apply a loyalty program to your business, and a step-by-step guide in how to launch such a program with your customers. The primer guide is available to all businesses interested in learning more about loyalty programs and provides a suite of best practices. To receive your copy of step-by-step loyalty program guide, please contact Jason at or by phone at 206-618-1589.

The team also recommends that the Chamber develop a strong marketing strategy to promote local businesses. The team suggests the Chamber can clarify the Magnolia brand to attract our various target audiences while creating a compelling and strategic ‘shop local’ narrative that is communicated to various market segments. We are busy assessing the recommendations and building into our marketing and strategic communications efforts.

The Chamber reminds our members of the 2020 UW Foster School MBA team’s in-depth market analysis aimed at assisting Magnolia businesses learn more about the unique demographics and consumer profile of our neighborhood. The report presentation is replete with data and information about consumer habits and preferences of the Magnolia neighborhood. Such marketing data is helpful when building customer loyalty while improving outreach to your most immediate consumer base and increasing sales and clients. With consumer habits changing in a market still responding to the impacts of the global pandemic, the report helps you better understand consumer-based characteristics of the Magnolia neighborhood, which assists you in boosting sales, receipts, and revenue.