by: Pablo Arauz Pena
Six JSOM students have the opportunity to compete in the annual marketing competition held by AT&T with six other schools across the country. The grand prize includes presenting work to the company for a team $3,000 scholarship.
Marketing students Amy Dollin, Evan Allen, Cody Main, Josh McKinley, Premvetty Ponkumaran and Ganapath Remu Velu make up this semester’s competition team. Alexander Edsel is the faculty member guiding the team, Edsel said of his team : “We are at a numeric disadvantage compared to other competing schools that have teams of 12 on up to 40+ students, however we have a solid team with 4 of the team members having taken my digital class so they are heavily leveraging digital, I would love to share more but I have to keep it confidential until after it launches.
Throughout the semester long competition, these students will develop, implement and assess the results of a marketing campaign to promote the AT&T brand amongst the college population.
By utilizing a $3,000 budget, the team will implement the campaign at UT Dallas , targeting the average college student. All creative must be approved by AT&T.
Team member Ganapath Remu Velu said “We went through the ideas stage and recently presented our campaign for approval” he said.
Using data collected in surveys, focus groups and a social media listening platform, the team is planning a campaign with a goal of raising the brand’s awareness among graduate and undergraduate college students. Once the plan is implemented, the team will measure the campaign’s effectiveness.
“The next stage is collecting data back, what happened, what is the new thing. It’s kind of like a pattern or a mirror, you collect data, you plan, you execute, plan again, collect data and then you report,” said Velu.
Team member Josh McKinley said the competition is a great challenge to help expand the company’s brand and a good opportunity to see the value of working for a company in the real world of marketing.
“I definitely think we have some unique ideas that we’re going to be trying out,” he said. “I feel like we have some things going for us that I don’t think have been tried yet.”
The group is planning to have a couple of events on campus, including a music event around Halloween week.
“I’m really excited to be involved with it, it’s definitely a lot of fun. It’s a lot of work but that at the same time – we’re learning a lot,” said McKinley.
Alex Brug¸ Solutions Architect from AT&T told Edsel “I thought your class did a fantastic job last night with their presentation. Obviously, you have some very talented students in your class this year”. The competition coordinator also added in the past 2 years of running this competition we have never seen a team leverage technology like yours.
The other schools participating in the competition are Texas A&M, The University of Arkansas, University of Illinois in Urbana, University of Missouri and The University of Nebraska.
After assessing each team’s campaign, executives at AT&T will choose two schools to present at its corporate headquarters and the winning team will receive the $3,000 scholarship prize.
Velu said he hopes to at least defeat A&M in the competition.
“Being a UT system school, we want to beat them so we’ll need everybody’s support and participation in order to establish our competency in the education realm as a university,” said Velu.