by Geoff Larcom, Published August 11, 2011
Student teams from Eastern Michigan recently won first and second place in a prestigious direct marketing contest against other college teams from around the world.
The students, from Eastern Michigan's master's degree program in Integrated Marketing Communications, won the top two awards for graduate students in the annual Collegiate ECHO Direct/Interactive Marketing Challenge for the second year in a row. Eastern's IMC students now have three first-place and three second-place awards in the last four years.
This year, the marketing challenges centered on a non-profit organization named "charity: water," an international nonprofit that provides clean drinking water to communities worldwide that are deprived of access.
Each team, working with a theoretical budget of $10,000, was challenged to increase brand awareness and engagement with the college student demographic. Teams were encouraged to use direct and interactive media channels, especially in the social media and digital arenas. The challenge was open to undergraduate and graduate students worldwide.
"Our showing highlights the talents of our students at EMU, along with the quality of work they produced," said Marketing Professor Matthew Sauber, who coached the first place team.
"The DMEF Collegiate ECHO Challenge is a rigorous competition," said marketing professor David Marold, who coached the second place team. "EMU's IMC students have repeatedly demonstrated they have what it takes to win in this real world marketing challenge. It is a pleasure to work with students of this caliber."
Said David Mielke, dean of the College of Business: "This is another remarkable accomplishment of our students. Their success demonstrates the quality of our faculty and our IMC program."
The first place team that won the Gold Award included Allison Tobin, from Midland; Erin Johnston, from Farmington Hills; and Craig Heiter and Heather Hengesbach, from Ann Arbor. The Silver Award winners were Eric Kurtsel (Los Angeles), Carla Ayers (Adrian) and Timothy Marshall (Cleveland).
The Direct Marketing Education Foundation, the educational arm of the Direct Marketing Association, offers the contest annually. The DMA is a leading global trade association of businesses and nonprofit marketers that is headquartered in New York City.
The Collegiate ECHO award is regarded as one of the top honors for marketing students around the world, with the winners to be recognized at the Direct Marketing Association's annual conference in Boston in October. The contest receives over 100 entries each year.
For more information about the International ECHO Awards, visit www.echoawards.org.