by Alisa Sommer (MBA/JD '14) (with Fran Benjamin ('14))
The Wake Forest Marketing Summit, a marketing case competition which took place in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, at the end of February, is going to be one of my most cherished MBA memories. The Anderson team was the strongest group of people I’ve ever had the chance to work with – which is probably why we came home with a first-place win and a $75,000 huge novelty check!
Our Anderson team consisted of five people, with diverse backgrounds and skill sets. From a former operations manager in agribusiness to an event marketing manager at a film studio, we each brought a unique skill set to the table. One of Anderson’s strengths is our diversity of backgrounds and interests, and each of the team members helped us achieve our big win.
The case required us to create a go-to-market strategy for a new product at Reynolds American, from identifying the target consumer through developing the social media strategy, all within a $10M budget. As you can see, our diverse backgrounds helped us tackle this problem from many angles. Of course, our Anderson classes in Market Entry, Finance, Channel Strategy and beyond were constant reference points as we built a marketing plan from an idea to a 20-slide powerpoint deck with more than 30 appendix slides in 36 hours. Phew! Sleep is for the weak.
The final day, we had each slept about 10 hours over the course of four days, but with the adrenaline pumping and strong data to back up our recommendations we delivered a strong presentation. Reynolds executives commented on our polished presentation and in-depth recommendations, but I think one of the things the team was most proud of was that the executives noted we seemed to “really like each other” and our camaraderie seemed to have made the team a success. I couldn’t agree more – not only did we win the $75,000 prize and recognition, but we walked away better friends and colleagues for life. Go Anderson!