Caroline Anders and Sarah Janowski, both senior marketing students, claimed the second place silver prize in the Fall 2013 Collegiate Maxi Case Competition.
The competition, hosted by the Direct Marketing Association of Washington's Educational Foundation, is open to college students attending schools throughout the mid-Atlantic region.
The Fall 2013 semester's sponsor was Boloco, a Boston-based restaurant chain that serves what they call "Globally Inspired Burritos."
The company recently opened two new restaurants in the D.C. metropolitan area, and competing students were charged with developing an integrated marketing campaign for the D.C. market.
Anders and Janowski were required to submit an email promotions campaign, direct mail piece, promotional messaging and coupons for the brand, with the goal of expanding the company's customer base and increasing return visits. Their proposal included a combination of sports tie-ins, modifications to the chain's mobile app, and campaigns based on foot traffic patterns related to the D.C. Metro lines. They also included a detailed calendar timeline of the rollout of proposed marketing tactics.
"We had to create our own visuals, a coupon and we had to work on budgeting. I have taken some finance, but I have never used it in this context," Janowski said, explaining that the competition took her classroom knowledge a step further. "We were really excited to find out we placed."
Boloco was particularly impressed with the students' idea of updating the existing mobile app to include a virtual mobile prize wheel that could win customers free or discounted food and beverage items. Their sports-themed suggestions were also well-received.
"We suggested tying in a promotion with March Madness, with rewards for perfect brackets, the Final Four, the Elite Eight and Sweet Sixteen to encourage recurring visits," Janowski said. "We also thought about tying in with the World Cup to go along with the idea of the 'globally inspired burrito.'"
Dr. Andy Wood, Chair of the Department of Marketing, served as a mentor to the students, and was notified of their second place finish in late January.
"The Department of Marketing and I are extremely proud of Sarah and Caroline's accomplishment," Wood said. "Over two and a half years ago, the department committed itself to helping students gain as many experiential learning opportunities as possible. We commit the resources and time to these events because we believe that allowing students to apply their academic learning to real world situations not only enhances their learning but makes them outstanding candidates for future employers."