Four undergraduate marketing students from the Frank G. Zarb School of Business, along with their faculty advisor, Dr. Songpol Kulviwat, Associate Professor of Marketing and International Business, took second place in the 2015-2016 Marketing EDGE Collegiate ECHO Challenge by Facebook. Elaina Levenson, Jordan Richmond, Julia Rondeau and Dolly Schuttinger, who named their team the “Social Media Mavens,” created a winning Power Point presentation, video commercial and integrated marketing plan, which earned them a $1,000 cash prize. The award also carries a $2,500 grant designated for scholarship awards to deserving students in Hofstra’s marketing department.
The students were asked to create an integrated marketing campaign for their client, Facebook, that increases awareness and consideration of custom audiences among its target audience, B2C (business to consumer) marketing decision makers. Facebook’s custom audience feature enables users to create an audience by using data in their own customer database, such as email addresses and/or phone numbers. They then upload that contact list, and Facebook delivers an ad to those people, if their email and phone number information matches their Facebook account. The students had a $5 million budget for their campaign.
The Hofstra team proposed an online program for business owners and marketing professionals to educate them about custom audiences, complete with direct support from a Facebook team and a certificate upon completion that can be shared on their personal LinkedIn pages. The team plotted out an advertising campaign that included print business journals, online ads, and in-person seminars.
“Clearly, your students worked hard on their marketing plans for Facebook, and in addition to other credentials they may have, they now have a project experience worthy of mention at a job interview, with practical application of theory learned in the classroom for an actual client,” said Jeff Nesler, Senior Program and Web Manager, Marketing EDGE, which is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to educate, develop, grow and employ college students in the field of marketing.
There were more than 225 entries in this year’s worldwide competition, which were judged by 58 seasoned professionals across the marketing industry at companies such as Domino’s Pizza, Ernst & Young, Fidelity Investments, The Fossil Group, GlaxoSmithKline, Guthy | Renker, Thomson Reuters, and Worldvision International. From among 30 semifinalists, Facebook’s judges made the final determinations for 1st Place Gold, 2nd Place Silver, 3rd Place Bronze, and Honorable Mentions.