I had no idea what to expect from my first marketing competition. I signed up anyway, thinking that this could lead to a new line on my resume, or maybe the opportunity to rub shoulders with other professionals in the marketing field. While both those things did happen, I can honestly say I am a better marketer because this is experience, and that alone is worth it.
After a great presentation from Cohen Summers, a representative from GoPro and a Huntsman School alumnus, I met the members of my group. There was a slight rush of panic when we realized how daunting the task was. What is the problem they need solved? What do I need to do?
Our first meeting was dedicated to identifying the exact problem that we needed to solve. It seemed that even after years of marketing classes, I was at a loss as to where to start. Personally, this was my biggest hurdle. If I were to give anyone advice, it would be to start at what you know. After that we then assessed the brand, created a SWOT analysis and pushed forward.
Winners left to right: Ben Vera, Bryan Groll, Jason Porter, Sierra Hoffer, Cohen Summers.
After we grasped a broad understanding of what was asked of us, it was off to work. Our group dedicated anywhere from 3 to 5 hours every day for the entire week to the project. If you are thinking of participating in a marketing case competition, understand this from the beginning: you have a hefty task in front of you, but enjoy the journey.
Our group really dived into brand personality. Anyone can project numbers to increase sales, but what we wanted to accomplish needed to be specific to GoPro. We created a great plan that embodied preparation, execution, and sustainability. This wasn't enough; we wanted to be better, different, and special. This is where understanding the brand really came into play. Our "secret" wasn't that we were smarter or had more time to dedicate, it was that we embodied GoPro's mantra, "We aren't a camera company, we are a content company". How do you implement this in the case of GoPro? You create content. Our group’s solution to GoPro's case was to create GoPro experts and have them teach others. What better way to demonstrate this then to film us (using a GoPro) teaching others how to use a GoPro?
A marketing case competition is not easy, but it will be worth it. Even without winning, I would have felt just as accomplished. You dedicate a lot of time, there is a lot of uncertainty, but it is a lot of fun. I met some outstanding marketers, and it was a great honor to work with Cohen. I am truly grateful for this experience and that I "took charge of my education." All those years of marketing classes go to waste if you are unable to practice them. I would recommend participating in a case competition to any business student, and I personally will forever seek out opportunities to challenge myself. I am extremely grateful to my team and GoPro, without whom I would not have had this experience. I am also very appreciative of the executive council of HMA and Dr. Bone for giving us students this opportunity.