Mostly Marketing by Theresa B. Clarke

Sharing my love of marketing. Helping marketing students, marketing practitioners, & marketing professors connect with one another. Passionate about nurturing new marketing talent. Enjoys sharing novel ideas about a wide variety of topics…but mostly marketing.

JMU Marketing Students Participate in 2nd Annual CoB MLK Jr. Day of Service to Help Local Non-Profit

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day the JMU College of Business (CoB) participated in its second MLK Day of Service inclusive of many CoB students, organizations, and faculty members. Students in my MKTG 477 class celebrated their MLK Jr. Day by making a difference for a local non-profit, the Explore More Discovery Museum (EMDM).  This service project was a continuation of the students’ task from the GOMC Class of 2016 when they generated creative and effective marketing ideas for birthday parties held at the museum. This year’s students focused on ideas for increasing party and membership sign-ups as well as branding the museum. EMDM’s birthday events are designed to alleviate parent’s stress while providing a stimulating experience for the children. The MKTG 477 class excelled in a fast paced environment with new group structures. I asked three of my students to write a guest blog post about their experience. Here is what Michelle Mullins, Amanda Zwerin, and Brendan Reece had to say…


The 2017 Google Online Marketing Challenge (GOMC) class was introduced to the MLK Jr. Day of Service during our first class in December. After group discussions during our first meeting, we decided that our skills would be best put to use by continuing the efforts of the GOMC 2016 class, especially since Dr. Clarke encouraged us to use our strengths to give back to the community.

“MLK worked tirelessly to make my life better so I love giving back in his memory” Raquel Sheriff, Blue Team

Dr. Clarke coaches Lauren Jones, Allie Hammond, Jordan Kimball, and Annalise Capalbo on the Green Team while they work to solidify their marketing proposal.

Last year’s students developed new ideas to promote birthday parties held at the museum. They successfully supplied The Explore More Discovery Museum (EMDM) in Downtown Harrisonburg with marketing plan ideas to increase birthday parties sales. The 2017 GOMC students were excited to pick up where the talented students before them had left off and brainstorm more ideas to help spread awareness of EMDM’s birthday events and increase memberships.

Students were given an opportunity to branch out from their GOMC groups and conceptualize innovative ideas with new teammates, each of which had a different team color assigned to them.

“It was really great getting to know and work with other students in the class that I otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to interact with.” –Riley Jamison, Red Team.

David Bruce, Emily Vaeth, Riley Jamison, and Caroline Galiwango of the Red Team bonding and brainstorming for EMDM.

Dr. Clarke’s students are given one of four roles for her course:  Team Captains, Account Managers, Strategists, and Analysts.  Today, she had the “Strategists” step up to lead the teams for the day. All other class members were randomly divided into cross-functional groups to work together on our class goal: converting birthday party participants into members at EMDM, as well as further branding the museum. The 2017 GOMC students made it their mission to discover ways to make EMDM birthday parties more attractive to parents and children and spread the word about the great opportunities EMDM has to offer.  This project required each team to utilize their creative talents under strict time constraints.

“Thinking of ideas that are easy to implement and realistic to achieve was challenging but rewarding.” Devin Hogue, Yellow Team  

George Shtern, Devon Hogue, and Madeline Divita from the Yellow Team talking about new marketing ideas for the EMDM.

The Explore More Discovery Museum has basic party options and additional themes that can be added depending on the child’s interests. Other add-ons include Explore More souvenir cups, ice cream cups and more! The participating students wanted to emphasize that the hard-working staff at EMDM makes birthday parties easy and enjoyable for both parents and children. Continuing branding for the museum is important for museum foot traffic and potential membership opportunities for visitors.

“I really liked being able to utilize the marketing skills that we’ve learned in our classes to help out a local non-profit organization.” –David Bruce, Red Team

As a result of the GOMC MLK Day of Service, several great ideas emerged related to new party themes, coupons/discounts for parents, and small scientific projects to complete at home. Expanding informational materials throughout the facility can be helpful for showing parents and children what other opportunities EMDM offers. Our birthday party enhancement and branding recommendations are low cost and exciting for participants. One common idea that all students supported was a loyalty program to incentivize families returning after attending a birthday party.

“It was cool to see like-minded marketing students come together with similar ideas and build off each other.” Nicole Carothers, Yellow Team

Participating in service directly related to our skills created a unique experience for the GOMC students. Marketing is not only our area of study but has also become a way for us to give back to the local community. Collaborating with our classmates allowed us to develop great ideas for the EMDM. Students were able to collectively dedicate 50 hours with a clear purpose and goal in mind. It was an exciting and unique service experience that all students had fun participating in. We look forward to seeing this project continue with future GOMC classes!

The JMU Google Online Marketing Challenge Class of 2017 in Showker lobby–post brainstorming and pre-pizza–at the 2nd Annual College of Business Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service!  #jmucob  #mlkday2017  #jmucobmlk  #jmumarketing  #jmugomc17

Fall 2016 “Best IMC Plan in Class” Awards

Best IMC Plan” awards are a tradition in my Integrated Marketing Communications class (MKTG 384) at JMU.  At the end of the semester, students vote for the “Best IMC Plan” after viewing all presentations in their section.  Based on the student votes, our fall 2016 runners-up and winners are presented below, along with excerpted quotes from some of the students who voted for the the top teams.

 

The Runners-up:

Tie for the Runner-up Team in the 11:00 Section:  CLUB 384 and ENTHUSIASTIC PESTO PEOPLE!

Congratulations to Christian Durrett, Allison Gill, Alyssa Greene, Brad Videon (Team Captain), and Nick Yore from Club 384.  Congratulations to Julie Craft, Kassie Gesuelli, Sonam Gurbaxani, Michelle Mullins (Team Captain), Christi Staufer, and Adam Tamny from Enthusiastic Pesto People.

The Runner-up Team in the 12:30 Section:  HARRY POTTER!

Congratulations to Josh Bolson, Like Brower, Kendall Reulein, Sebastian Salinas, and Julia Shaffer (Team Captain) from Harry Potter.

 

The Winners:

The Winning Team in the 11:00 Section:  DYNAMITE DUKES!

Congratulations to Rob Farrell (Team Leader), Margot Leibl, Kayla Rasmussen, Lindsay Davis, Allie Bunner, and Hayden Towler.

 

“They had really good visual content, and everything seemed to flow and connect well.”

“This group had every touchpoint well thought out, explained, and researched extensively.  Their marketing was completed and executed well, better than any other group.”

“Really good visuals and creativity in label/logo, and promotional pieces.”

“The stick figures were a great idea that carried all the way through.  Visual summary was very appealing and easy to follow.  Loved the ideas and felt like it was the most put together plan.”

“I just really liked the simplicity.  I feel like it really resonates with the valley.  As a valley local, it is cool to see how you worked to understand what will work and did research on local events.”

“I think that, more than anything, a good visual summary is key in a situation like this.  They definitely started strong with that.”

“Their entire presentation was extremely thorough.  I love the use of the stick figures throghout.  I liked that the colors and their design was different than all the others, which mostly used green.  The name and logo are neutral but intriguing.  I really enjoyed their presentation.”

“They had a very interesting slogan that brought a sense of bettering lives.  Great hourglass packaging to create a more differentiated product.”

“I love their use of stick figures as well as their justification that it represents.  Their slides had just the right amount of text to be informative, but not information overload.  Their use of media was effective and visually appealing, and also consistent across all platforms.  Also, I loved their package design!  It was unique and consistent with their overall image of the Shenandoah Valley.”

“The visuals and message were very clear.  The logo and package were very appealing.  Loved the entire project.”

“This group did a good job of creating a very cohesive and integrated plan.  They incorporated the skyline mountains in most, if not all, of their communications and matched well with their product name.  The package and logo were very well done.”

“I think that this group was great from their slogan to the ideas and visuals.  I think they had a lot of great ideas about the execution and the product post-launch.”

“Their major selling idea was much different than all the other groups.  We were told by our client that the main goal for this product was to better the lives of others and this campaign encompasses that.  The design of the package was classy and different from competitors.”

The Winning Team in the 12:30 Section:  INCREDIBLY INDECISIVE!

Congratulations to Ian Wood, Kendall Lutts, Ryan Peter (Team Captain), Gabrielle Paolone, and Colin O’Brien

“I think this group had the best creative and unique product name, and the best slogan and package design. I think they came up with the best plan based on the strength of their creative ideas.”

“Loved the small creative aspects they used.  Creative ideas were the best and were well thought-out.”

“They used consistent imagery throughout their campaign.  Their cooking class idea was unique and an interesting way to build awareness and trial.  Also their target market personas were very detailed and specific.”

“Overall selling idea was great.  I liked their brand name especially and how they incorporated it within most selling ideas.  Their promotional ideas looked great also.”

“The name, logo, and slogan really stood out to me.  They had a clear and concise IMC plan that seemed like it could be successful.  I liked the idea of cooking classes, especially with their target market.  Overall I thought this plan was the most professional and most likely to succeed.”

“I thought their presentation was well thought out.  It was visually appealing and strategies were descriptive and realistic.”

“They visually displayed a realistic look on all of their touchpoints and promotional materials.  They integrated all of their ideas together very well.”

“I really enjoyed watching their presentation.  I think they had some great ideas about choosing a name with a meaning and having a slogan that matches the name.  They had great advertising ideas and their presentation was organized and put together well.”

“Wonderful radio ad!  Great integration throughout plan.”

“I believe they were extremely consistent, everything seemed visually appealing.  Their social media really pulls the reader in and makes them want to learn more.  I also thought the way they claimed the product provided ‘hope’ was well done.”

“I believe that they did a great job of communicating their objectives and coming up with great ways to accomplish them.”

“Overall, a highly professional, cohesive, clear, and strategic plan.  I was highly impressed with this group’s creativity and differentiation from all of the other teams in the class.  They took risks and it paid off.”

I truly enjoyed working with ALL of my talented MKTG 384 students this semester as they created social-entrepreneurship focused IMC plans for a local non-profit.  I am confident that our client will benefit from their efforts and terrific ideas about the marketing of pesto.  Thank you to all of my IMC students for a wonderful fall 2016 semester at JMU.




Marketing in the 2016 Presidential Election

I have been pondering various marketing dimensions of the recent Presidential campaign.  A July 2016 Advertising Age predicted that the better candidate doesn’t win, the better marketer does.  Some great learning opportunities can be found via leaders from the academic and practitioner community in “Marketing Experts Dissect the Outcome of the Presidential Race“, published on November 9 from the American Marketing Association.  A November 13 article by Forbes, “Don’t Trust Marketing ‘Lessons’ from the 2016 Presidential Election” implies that we will be studying the marketing lessons from this election for some time. In a November 21 Wall Street Journal article entitled “Trump’s Win Has Ad Agencies Rethink How They Collect Data, Recruit Staff“, advertisers are questioning if they are in touch with their non-cosmopolitan audiences.

I attended a presentation by Madeline Twomey, Director at Bully Pulpit Interactive, on “Political Advertising in the 2016 Election” at the DMAW/EF Professor’s Institute.  There were a number of takeaways from her presentation.  Social media is not longer optional in political marketing campaigns…Donald Trump proved that.  Strategy still matters.  You will never have enough content.  Tailor creative to targets, but don’t over segment.  In terms of measurement, engagement does not equal persuasion.  Millennials need “digital-first” content.

There are many interesting marketing issues to examine within both campaigns as we inquire about the marketing successes and failures from both candidates. I hope you enjoy these thought-provoking articles as a means of better understanding marketing.  I am curious to see what our Presidential candidates do in 2020.

 

 

 

 

JMU Dukes win Gold at Fall 2016 DMAW/EF Collegiate MAXI

Lynn Radocha (Team Captain), Nicole Carothers, Briana Cifelli, and Bryce Pangman won first place in the Fall 2016 Direct Marketing Association of Washington’s Educational Foundation (DMAW/EF) Collegiate MAXI competition.  I had the pleasure of working with this JMU team during the fall 2016 semester as they prepared for this five-state regional case competition about direct/interactive marketing.  Read more about how JMU won top honors at the 2016 DMAW/EF MAXI.

Lynn Radocha (Team Captain), Bryce Pangman, Briana Cifelli, and Nicole Carothers at the DMAW/EF Fall 2016 Collegiate MAXI.

Lynn Radocha (Team Captain), Bryce Pangman, Briana Cifelli, and Nicole Carothers at the DMAW/EF Fall 2016 Collegiate MAXI.

The Non-linear Path of Consumer Search

Every Monday I read Google’s Weekly Thought Starter from Think with Google.  In this week’s series, Google illustrates the cross-device click-stream data of seven participants from a study conducted Luth Research, U.S.. The analysis of digital activity from study participants yielded seven key insights about the very complex nature of consumer search.

  1. Location and convenience
  2. Count on an informed consumer
  3. Expect that search will lead to discovery
  4. Think about complementary categories
  5. Prepare for the unexpected
  6. Don’t underestimate the power of reviews
  7. Remember the world is mobile first.

Check out Seven Ways to Win Customers on Their Path to Purchase for the study’s takeaways and examples of online customer journeys.  Not surprisingly, the path to purchase is not often a linear process.

2016 DMAW/EF Mentor for a Day Program

  • Are you an exceptional student who might benefit from a mentor?
  • Are you looking for an opportunity to visit several greater Washington area organizations?
  • Would you like to build your network of professional contacts?
  • Do you want to gain a better understanding of the direct and interactive marketing industry?
  • Have you competed in a DMAW/EF Collegiate MAXI competition?

If you said yes to some or all of these questions, then you might benefit from the 2016 Direct Marketing Association of Washington Educational Foundation’s Mentor-for-a-Day Program.  This program joins talented students with prospective employers for a day at the sponsoring firm’s facilities.  Check out the 2016 DMAW/EF Mentor for a Day details and application forms.

Complimentary DMAW/EF One-on-One Lunch ’n Learn

The DMAW/EF is offering one lucky student a terrific opportunity to learn more about direct marketing.

During a complimentary one-on-one Lunch ‘n Learn, the winning student will have a chance to sit down and pick the brains of a renowned direct marketer, Brian Brilliant, founder of Brilliant Communications, an award-winning direct response agency.

Brian will buy the winning student lunch and share what it takes to provide customized direct marketing solutions. To enter the drawing, please mail you name and preferred contact information to me before October 16. The winner will be selected by the DMAW/EF among entrants in a blind drawing and the announcement will be made on Monday, October 24.

*Restrictions: Lunch must occur at a mutually agreeable time at a location within the DC Metro area, expires: 7/15/17

Mariam Bekele Reflects on the 2016 Diversity & Inclusion Mini-Conference at Advertising Week New York

Mariam Bekele, JMU COB Marketing Major attends the 2016 Diversity & Inclusion Conference

Mariam Bekele, JMU COB Marketing Major

Mariam Bekele was a student in my MKTG 384 class (Integrated Marketing Communications) and a member of the JMU College of Business winning team that captured the 3rd Place Bronze Award in the 2015-16 Marketing EDGE Collegiate ECHO Competition.

Mariam recently attended the 2016 Diversity & Inclusion Mini-Conference at Advertising Week New York.  In this interview-based guest post, she shares  reflections about her experience.

 

What is the Diversity & Inclusion Mini-Conference and why did you decide to attend?

    The Diversity & Inclusion Conference is a one day conference presented by the American Advertising Federation in partnership with ADCOLOR. The conference, held during Advertising Week in NY, discusses solutions to the diversity and inclusion issues that still plague the advertising and media industry.  I first heard about the conference from Dr. Theresa Clarke. She was the professor for my Integrated Marketing Communications (MKTG 384) course last semester at JMU. It was actually in her class that I realized my passion for advertising. I visited her office to thank her for a great semester and for helping me realize my passion.  During our conversations, she suggested I attend the Diversity & Inclusion Conference at Advertising Week, NY  and then connected me to the College of Business’ (CoB) Office of Experiential Learning at JMU to learn about financial support for the trip.  Thankfully, Ms. Molly Brown, CoB Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs, offered financial aid through her office so I could attend the conference.

    I decided to attend because, as a soon-to-be marketing graduate I couldn’t have imagined a better opportunity. As a woman who comes from a multicultural background, I had a lot to take away from this conference. This was a wonderful opportunity for me to connect with individuals who have similar experiences and also learn from people who have succeeded in the industry despite the many obstacles they have faced.

What did you do at the conference, who did you meet, and what was your biggest takeaway?

The conference started out with a presentation by Norma and Hector Orcí. This husband and wife duo co-founded Orcí Advertising Agency and have been champions in understanding the Latino consumer demographic and helping companies in the US cater to their needs. I learned that firms can no longer afford to lag behind when it comes to the inclusion of minorities, especially since the US is on its way to becoming a “minority-majority” nation.  

Their talk was followed by a panel moderated by Renneta McCann, Chief Talent Officer at Leo Burnett. The panel focused on the experiences of different multiculturals at the workplace. Oftentimes, multicultural employees face micro-aggressions and stereotyping in the business world, especially since minorities only make up about 20% of business employees. That number drops down to 14% when it comes to minority business owners. Due to our small numbers, often times multicultural employees feel invisible in the workforce as a result of people’s unconscious biases. This panel discussed a variety of solutions to the issues faced in the workplace. I felt quite emotional during this part of the conference.  I identified with a lot of their experiences and it was nice to hear I was not alone. One of the biggest problems faced by multiculturals in the workplace is microaggressions from their peers. For the most part we ignore comments like “can I touch your hair” or “ do all black people love watermelon” but sometimes it can be more serious. ‘Idea hijacking’ is something that happens quite often. You are at a meeting, you suggest an idea and for the most part it gets ignored; a few minutes later another colleague will make the same point you did at the meeting but this time, everyone is listening and agrees that it is a great idea. Now this is enough to upset someone at the table, but of course you can’t say anything because if you do then you are perpetuating the stereotype of the “angry black woman” or the “aggressive black man”. A classic catch 22, it’s difficult to professionally react in such a situation. Nigel Adams Chief Talent Officer at Razorfish has an interesting solution to this problem, he calls it being ‘professionally obnoxious’. For example, when someone hijacks your idea at a meeting just be ‘professionally obnoxious’ and say “That’s a great idea, I think I’ve heard that somewhere….oh yeah, I just said the same thing five minutes ago”. Use your humor, be professional, but still get your point across.

Next, we had lunch and all the attendees got a chance to chat about our experiences. I met some great individuals that have been very successful in their fields, and who were kind enough to share their experiences and advice with me.

Following lunch, there was a panel that focused on the intersectionality issues women of color face in the workplace. This was probably my favorite part about the conference. The panel was led by Angela T. Rye, one of the realist and influential political strategists on-air. The panel also consisted of several other talented women who have shined despite the obstacles they have faced in the workplace. The panel didn’t resemble much of a panel, filled with humorous advice it was more like a conversation over lunch with my girlfriends. I could relate a lot to their experiences. It’s already challenging being a woman in such a male-dominated work environment, but being a woman of color comes with certain unique challenges that are different than those other women face.

One of the themes I heard at the conference, and personally experienced, was the feeling that they were treated as invisible and not heard in the workplace.  When feeling like you are treated as invisible, a lot of the panelists suggested speaking up in the workplace and reasserting your ideas and contributions. My plan is to always be prepared in the meeting room, and back up my business solutions with sound research. This is why these women have excelled and found their voice, in an environment that constantly tries to silence and ignore them. They have turned around and used their greatest weakness as their greatest strength.

The biggest thing I took away from this conference is to stay true to myself and stand by what I believe.  One belief that is really important to me is that if you are in a position where you are fortunate, you are obligated to help those who are not. And this conference made me realize that, no matter where I go in life and what I do, I need to always use my success to help others. I was really inspired by the solidarity among these women. I gained so much knowledge and insight from them. Some of them were kind enough to reach out to me personally and offer me advice and tips. In the future I hope to do more to support diversity and inclusion in our communities. For example, something I’m currently working on is  Fostering Abyssinia, which is a student-led organization that fundraises for the Kibebe Tsehay Orphanage in Ethiopia. As President of Fostering Abyssinia, I make sure that all of our fundraising efforts educate the JMU community about the diverse and rich culture of Ethiopia and Africa as a whole.

Do you have any tips for JMU students who want to attend the Diversity & Inclusion Mini Conference?

We are lucky enough to be a part of such a great institution that is always encouraging students to excel to their fullest potential. We are lucky enough to have amazing educators who are passionate about developing talent. Use it to your advantage and take on opportunities that will help you grow. The College of Business is very proactive when it comes to increasing diversity and inclusion. I also suggest you talk to Ms.Molly Brown in the CoB Office of Experiential learning at JMU as she may be able to share information about funding opportunities to help you attend the conference.

I also encourage everyone, regardless of their background, to attend this conference. Whether you are black, white, hispanic, asian, native American, I guarantee that this will be an eye opening experience for you, especially if you are considering a career in Marketing Communications/Advertising. Not only do you gain a lot of insight and knowledge but there are many individuals who are willing to share their experiences and help you in starting your career.  It’s also a great networking opportunity. In just one day, I gained so much knowledge that you don’t typically get in a traditional class. I connected with at least eight professionals who were interested in fostering new talent. A few of them requested I send them my resume and others wanted to keep in touch and give me personal career advice. I also met a few people that I will remain friends with throughout my career.

Last but not least, I want to express my extreme gratitude to the conference organizers, as well as Dean Mary Gowan, Associate Dean Molly Brown, and Administrative Assistant, Chris Shiflet for making this trip a possibility for me.

Photo Credit: Mariam Bekele

Photo Credit: Mariam Bekele

“The Invisible Ones: Women of Color” Panel from the 2016 Diversity & Inclusion Mini-Conference at Advertising Week New York

Left to right: Moderator Angela T. Rye Principal and CEO at Impact Strategies; panelists Shannon Washington of INVNT, Nita Song President at IW Group, Lucinda Martinez Senior Vice President, Multicultural Marketing at HBO, Ericka M. Pittman VP Chairman’s Office of Combs Enterprises, and organizer Tiffany R. Warner Founder and President at ADCOLOR.

Gilbert “Gilly” Bosomtwe Leads UDS Team to GOMC Semi-Finalist Designation

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Gilbert “Gilly” Bosomtwe in February when he contacted me with a few questions about the world’s largest online marketing competition, the Google Challenge (GOMC).

Gilbert Bosomtwa

Gilbert Bosomtwa, 2016 GOMC Team Leader

Gilly was serving in the role of Team Captain for his own GOMC team while also managing two other teams at the University for Development Studies in Ghana, Africa.  He also worked as a former Google Student Ambassador from 2013-2014 at his college.

Over time, our mentoring relationship turned into a virtual friendship as we communicated via email about the GOMC.  Gilly always had great questions and fortunately I was able to answer most of them!

Over 2,100 teams participated in the 2016 GOMC.  In the end, Gilly and his amazing team were designated as a Semi-finalist, ranking as the #2 team in Ghana and #13 in the Middle East & Africa Region!  I wish to extend congratulations to Gilbert K. Bosomtwe, Silas Kotoku, Priscilla Sasu, and Mohammad Ali Katu for their stellar performance.  The team competed in the 2016 Google Online Marketing Challenge (GOMC) under the direction of Francis Dittoh who serves in the role as ICT lecturer and university webmaster.

I thoroughly enjoyed working with Gilly and wish I could have done more in a mentoring role that spanned two continents.

Francis Dittoh, Gilbert K. Bosomtwe, Priscilla Sasu, Silas Kotoku and Muhammad Ali Katu

From left to right: Francis Dittoh, Gilbert K. Bosomtwe, Priscilla Sasu, Silas Kotoku and Muhammad Ali Katu

 

 

Jordan Kimball’s Experience at the 2016 Marketing EDGE Collegiate Summit

Jordan Kimball from JMU at the 2016Marketing EDGE Collegiate Summit - Digital

Jordan Kimball was a student in my MKTG 384 course (Integrated Marketing Communications) at JMU during the spring 2016 semester.  After learning that Jordan was one of 40 students selected nationwide to participate in the Marketing EDGE Collegiate Summit, I wanted to hear all about her experience.  Jordan kindly shared her perspectives for an interview-based guest post on my blog.  Continue reading to learn more about the summit from a student participant’s perspective.

How did you hear about the Marketing EDGE Collegiate Summit – Digital?

I was first introduced to Marketing EDGE as a student in Dr. Clarke’s course in spring 2016. Our class participated in the Marketing EDGE Collegiate ECHO Challenge, which I really enjoyed being a part of. During that semester, I was browsing the JMU Recruit-a-Duke website and saw a link for the Marketing EDGE Collegiate Summit. I looked into it and thought “Wow this would be an awesome opportunity”, but did not apply to the summit right then and there. Shortly after, Dr. Clarke sent out an email to her students about the summit, which reiterated to me that it really was something I should consider, and I decided to apply.

Why did you decide to apply?

I decided to apply for various reasons. First, I have always been passionate about marketing and after taking Dr. Clarke’s class, I knew digital marketing was an area I definitely wanted to further pursue. The idea of learning about the industry from experts I wouldn’t usually have the opportunity to interact with sounded like a once in a lifetime experience.

Secondly, the location was ideal. I grew up in Central New Jersey, about 45 minutes outside of NYC, so I’ve had my fair share of visits. However, the city is limitless and I definitely have not seen it all. I was excited to discover that the summit would be held in the Financial District, meaning I would spend time in offices on Wall Street and in the World Trade Center (AKA the ultimate corporate dream). New York City is filled with endless opportunities when it comes to employment, especially in this area. I was very intrigued at the thought of experiencing what business life is actually like.

Lastly, just like any other JMU business student, I would really like a job. At the time I applied to the summit, I had already accepted an internship position with a company in Midtown Manhattan. Although this was a great opportunity, I was nervous that it was not related to marketing enough, and therefore wouldn’t help me transition into the field I aspire to work in as smoothly as I hoped. I felt that the summit was another chance to gain exposure to the digital aspect of the industry and that attending this conference and learning as much as I could would only help me in the future.

If I’ve learned anything from being a business student searching for internship and career positions, it’s the importance of NETWORKING. Attending a conference with undergraduates from all over the country and connecting with some of the most successful professionals in the field was the number one reason I knew I needed to do everything I could to be accepted.

What did you do at the summit, who did you meet, and what was your biggest takeaway? 

The summit was essentially a marketing “boot camp” because of everything attendees were able to take away from the experience in such a short time. Here is a synopsis of what exactly went on during my time in NYC broken down by each day:

Night 1- Sunday, June 5th: I arrived at the Holiday Inn in the Financial District of Manhattan in the afternoon and met my roommate who was an undergraduate from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. Then, all of the attendees went to a kick off dinner at South West NY (courtesy of Marketing EDGE, lucky us!) followed by a double-decker bus tour of the entire city. It was a great opportunity to be able to get to know all of the students and our advisors.

Day 2- Monday, June 6th: Opening session took place in an awesome office on Wall Street and we had our first day of presentations given by five marketing professionals: Professor Leora Kornfeld of York University Schulich School of Business presented “How It’s Made: The Connection Between Chocolate and Data”.  “What’s So Great About Email Marketing” was presented by Laura Derr (Marketing Operations Manager) and Kimberly Oscarson (Associate Director of List Marketing) both from Hearst Magazine. “Social and Customer Marketing in a Mobile World” was presented by Megan Maguire (VP, Digital Customer Experience and Marketing Consumer Services) at American Express.  Yvonne Heyne (CEO of Next X) presented “Personalized Engagement: the Uncompromising Value of 1:1 Mobile Relationships”.  Finally, “The Search Marketing Landscape and its People” was delivered by Michael McVeigh who is the VP of Advisory Services Practices at PMX Digital.  The presenters were all very interesting, but the most memorable for me was Megan Maguire. She discussed how relevant mobile marketing is today and how it impacts the consumer in such a social world. She told us about how important partnerships are and mentioned some of the many partnership relationships American Express has, including its current one with Coachella.

Day 3- Tuesday, June 7th: We continued with presentations this day, but also took part in more hands-on workshops as well. My favorite workshop was led by Tim Carr, the Chief Lifter at LIFT Agency in California, (Chief Lifter is LIFT’s creative title for CEO). Mr. Carr taught us a list of important rules used to create successful campaigns. Then we broke up into small teams and were asked to improve two real campaigns from competing companies based on the rules we learned.

The biggest take away I had from Day 3’s presentations was the importance of Programmatic, which is the automation of digital media buying in real time. This presentation was given by Laura Rodriguez, the Senior Manager of Global Planning and Operations at the New Marketing Institute, which is a branch of Media Math. What made this presentation so special was that I learned it is possible to become certified in Programmatic, which is very beneficial for the next generation of marketers who will be looking for jobs in the near future.

That evening, we attended a reception with the Marketing EDGE Board of Trustees. This took place in the Media Math office located in the World Trade Center, which overlooked a beautiful portion of the city, including the Statue of Liberty and the Freedom Tour.  There were finger foods and drinks served and we were free to mingle with a wide variety of professionals. It was a great experience to network with a diverse group of successful marketers one-on-one. One interaction that stood out to me was with Jeff Nesler who is the Senior Program and Web Manager for Marketing EDGE. He told me that JMU students often do very well with Marketing EDGE competitions and that our College of Business has earned top awards in recent years. It felt great to hear that my university has such a positive reputation.

Day 4- Wednesday, June 8th- This was our final day of presentations and activities. I was lucky enough to meet a great recruiter, Ms. Meredith Trotta, who is currently a Principal at Polished Student Recruitment Consulting, and held past positions recruiting for Time Inc., the University of Connecticut, and the Penn State MBA Program. She put us through extensive workshops on how to be successful during interviews and networking events. Another really important portion was resume roulette, where we were able to sit with HR specialists one-on-one to review our resumes and receive helpful feedback. I learned a lot through these feedback sessions, but one piece of advice that stuck out to me especially was to always have a “you in a few” prepared. This is essentially an “elevator pitch” and entails telling someone about yourself in a concise manner that will help you stand out and be remembered.

During this session, we also sat in on panel discussions. The first was “Global Privacy in 2016: Strictly Compliance or Marketing Opportunity?” The speakers discussed how the privacy sector has changed over the years and how much more relevant mobile technology is becoming. This was interesting, because we learned about privacy laws and the differences between ours and other countries. For example, European websites need more consent before taking personal information from viewers than the U.S. does, and that information is taken through cookies.

The next panel discussion was “College-to-Career Panel: True Tales of Real Survivors”, which was very beneficial, because it consisted of real professionals telling their story of how they got to where they are today in the business world. It was relieving to hear that even though some people struggled finding the career they loved at first, it worked out for them in the end. After interacting with them, I felt motivated to work hard towards my career goals and to not get easily discouraged.

Lastly, I was thrilled  to be a part of the summit for the first ever EDGE Awards. This was a huge event held at Gustavino’s and was pretty much a giant party and perfect opportunity to network. There was great food, an open bar, a live band, and an endless amount of professionals to talk to. Most importantly, there was an awards ceremony for different businesses and professionals that have done a great deal to support Marketing EDGE’s mission.

Although there were so many presentations, activities and events throughout the day, we were also given a good amount of free time to explore the city and have fun with the new friends we met throughout the conference.

Do you have any tips for JMU students who want to apply to the Marketing EDGE Summit?

My number one piece of advice for students considering applying for the summit is… DO IT! If you think this field is something you are interested in,you should definitely  go for it. It is an awesome opportunity for upcoming seniors, but I encourage underclassmen to give it a shot as well. If not successful the first go around, don’t be discouraged! My roommate did not get accepted her junior year and applied again and said she was really happy she didn’t give up.  If I have one regret, it is that I did not know about the summit sooner.  I feel that being introduced to such a wide variety of companies before senior year could have helped broaden my search for internships. Overall, it was an amazing experience to learn so much about marketing and to go beyond your comfort zone. Being in a new place and meeting new people is always nerve wracking, but I promise it was more than worth it. I made friends from all over the country that I plan to stay in touch with, and gained professional contacts that are willing to help with future endeavors in any way they can.

Thank you once again to Jordan Kimball for providing such a detailed accounting of the 2016 summit experience.

Based on what she shared, I definitely will encourage more of my JMU students to apply for this exciting professional opportunity.

Learn more information about Marketing EDGE, marketing career opportunities, and the Marketing EDGE Collegiate Summit.

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