When I signed up for the marketing strategy competition in New Orleans, I had no idea what to expect. Sure, I’ve created marketing plans and competed in mini, timed brainstorming sessions in the past, but up to this point, nothing could compare.
On the morning of March 18th, I, along with Alexis Verone, my co-president of SJFC AMA walked into a conference room [along with over 100 teams from around the world] at The Sheraton New Orleans, filled with sets of piercing eyes, unassuming and apprehensive, and the clock began to tick.
As the clock struck 9:40 that Friday morning, each team grabbed a sheet of paper outlining the strategic assignment, the client, and their current situation. We shuffled our way into the hall, nestled ourselves somewhat comfortably within a hallway nook and began racking our brains – after all, we’d be presenting our ideas in less than 20 minutes.
The client was eBay and their goal was to create a campaign targeting millennials. We skimmed the brief, took from it what we could, and decided to play up on two key points: men are just as likely as women to make purchases on eBay and that eBay is an international company.
Our idea: target millennial men with a campaign we dubbed “Fight to the Finish,” where they would compete against one another for sporting packages. To draw them in, our strategy included a calculated partnership with ESPN, a sponsorship for the Olympic games in Rio, and digital advertisements, including banner and Hulu ads.
Although we didn’t advance, we learned how important it is to think on your feet and come up with out of the box, creative ideas on the spot – after all, isn’t that what the marketing industry is all about?
Stay creative, stay current, and always try to look at things from different perspectives. Everyone can come up with the obvious, clichéd answer, but what’ll set you apart, regardless of the industry, is your ability to generate valuable content and ideas at the snap of a finger. Always keep looking ahead and always be ready for the unexpected – you’ll make it far in life, I promise.
Here are some tips to make sure the next time you have to think on your feet, you’re ready for the challenge.