The winning team is seen here with President Scott Scarborough, center, at a reception for College of Business Administration students. From left are juniors Ashley Ritter and Baylee Diedrich, both public relations majors, and Waverly Wituski, a sophomore, and Micah Flores, a senior, both integrated marketing communications majors.
Don Draper made it look easy. The “pitch,” that is. As seen in AMC’s hit show “Mad Men,” a pitch means getting in front of a potential client and convincing them on your ideas to sell their product.
So how do you prepare and pitch a marketing strategy for a retailer as big as Amazon.com to real-life ad men (and women)? Just ask the winning team from the Department of Marketing in The University of Akron's College of Business Administration. The group of students “won the room” with their digital marketing plan for Amazon’s Echo in the 5th Annual Rosetta Digital Marketing Competition on Nov. 20.
The competition is an annual marketing strategy contest for college students organized by the Cleveland offices of Rosetta Agency and Razorfish Global. Working together in teams of three to four, students from several Ohio universities were required to develop a digital marketing campaign for a national consumer product and submit written strategy briefs for evaluation. This year's product was the Amazon Echo, a wireless speaker and voice command device from Amazon.com.
From those teams, seven finalists were chosen to give a 20-minute presentation of their campaign at Rosetta Cleveland in front a panel of judges representing Rosetta and Razorfish. Five of the seven finalist teams were made up of UA marketing students, and the winning team was from UA.
Even though two of the students are not marketing majors, they found their communications coursework fit well in the directive. Identifying the different Echo target audiences, says Ashley Ritter, a public relations major, was a natural fit. Learning the media and marketing side of things “was the scariest, but also one of the most beneficial opportunities” of the competition.
“This is a tremendous honor and a very rewarding experience for all of our students in the program competing because of the experiential learning involved,” says Professor Terry Daugherty, chair of the Department of Marketing. “I believe this achievement is really a testament for the quality of the marketing program, the cumulative contribution of exceptional faculty and the outstanding resources in the College of Business Administration, such as the Taylor Institute, that provides marketing students with the necessary tools for success.”
The competition involved multiple stages and took place across four weeks. During this time, students were able to gain real-world experience by participating in webinars with industry experts covering cutting-edge digital marketing topics – search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, online display advertising, and analytics. With only a short time to prepare, students had to create an integrated digital marketing strategy for the Amazon Echo.
The winners each received an Amazon Echo and a LinkedIn recommendation from Rosetta, and they were honored by UA President Scott Scarborough at a presidential reception for the CBA.
Media contact: Lisa Craig, 330-972-7429 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Walking in to make their pitch at the Rosetta Digital Marketing Competition are UA students, from left front, Lauren Collins and Morgan Foster, and left to right in back, Shelby Hodge and Shana Hlas.