By: Courtney Driscoll-

In recent years, students enrolled in the Media Strategy course have had the opportunity to participate in a marketing competition held by Cleveland marketing agency, Rosetta. This competition helps students in the areas of teamwork and critical thinking, both of which are traits that appeal to employers.

The Rosetta Digital Marketing Competition (4th annual) seeks the best and brightest students from the surrounding region to gain real-world experience working with industry experts to develop cutting-edge digital marketing campaigns. Student teams take on real-world challenges and are asked to solve complex strategic problems for a leading brand, with this year’s competition focused on the Apple Watch.

Each team is tasked with analyzing consumer data to define target audiences, establish objectives, develop digital channel strategies for reaching consumers, and planning the campaign within budget. Competition finalists are then invited to Rosetta’s Cleveland office to “pitch” their strategy to a panel of judges, essentially how real-world marketing professionals would present to a client.

(Students researching for their projects. Pictured are from left to right are: Delaina DiVencenzo, Kirsten Soos, Angela Harnichar, Jordan McKnight, Mike Laskowski)

Last fall, 39 teams from universities in Ohio and Pennsylvania participated in the competition, all developing campaigns for Google Glass. Rosetta selected a number of those teams to present, including three finalist teams from The University of Akron. As a result of the final presentations, all three teams from the University of Akron placed in the top three. The winning team included Brittany Parker, Crystal Duncan, Heidi Sweeney, and Jordan Pana.

Media Strategy professor Terry Daugherty explained that this year all the teams in his class had been hard at work and were ready to compete. After on-campus presentations on November 12th to several marketing professionals and faculty members, three teams were selected to present at the Rosetta office on November 14th.

In total Rosetta invited 5 teams to their office, where they heard each presentation. This included the three teams from The University of Akron, one from The University of Dayton and one from Grove City College.

The Akron finalist were:

Kirsten Soos
Angela Harnichar
Kaylee Buskey
Devan Kimberley

Hannah Smeller
Jordan McKnight
Mike Laskowski
Darius Washington

Courtney Ou
Jayme Yeaton
Annie Saxon
Jordan Bailey

(The three finalist teams at the Rosetta office in Cleveland. Pictured from left to right – Hannah Smeller, Mike Laskowski, Jordan McKnight, Courtney Ou, Jayme Yeaton, Angela Harnichar, Kirsten Soos, Darius Washington)

Although none of our teams were selected as the overall winner, The Taylor Institute is extremely proud of all the hard work and dedication that these teams showed throughout the competition. Go Zips!