At the beginning of the fall semester, my team and I (Lily Benedetto ’25) embarked on an exciting journey by participating in a global digital marketing competition as an integral part of Professor Thomas Funk’s Digital Marketing class.
Our mission: Create an immersive digital marketing plan for SoleSearch, a groundbreaking startup with a patented geo-tracking anti-kidnapping device that fits snugly into a child’s shoe. This ingenious product aims to give parents peace of mind while giving children the freedom they deserve. With a substantial budget of $500,000, our plan was judged on five critical categories: Primary and Secondary Research, Owned Strategy, Paid Strategy, Media, and Evaluation Methods.
As a newly formed group, we recognized the need to leverage our skills and interests to forge a harmonious plan. Georgia Warren ‘24, for example, is a Filmmaking major whose keen eye ensured clean and aesthetic deliverables and she played a key role in editing our presentation. The formation phase took a few weeks, during which we familiarized ourselves with SoleSearch, unraveled the company’s values and goals, and identified potential areas of vulnerability. Understanding SoleSearch’s market position and developing an effective penetration strategy became our cornerstone.
Our initial focus was on differentiating between giants like Amazon and Google and navigating the complicated landscape of different social media ad placements. Once we found our comfort zone with the nuances of local ad placement, we created a detailed content distribution strategy, complete with a fully developed content calendar. With her extensive event planning experience Isabella Falco ‘24, a fourth-year Business Major with a Minor in Public Relations, added a distinctive perspective to our long-term goal planning.
Communication and collaboration were key among our group members. We embraced flexibility, allowing individuals to lead on tasks aligned with their strengths and interests. Rahmah Alchaderchi ‘25, in the Degree Design Lab, kept us on track with timely reminders and encouragement. Roles remained fluid, encouraging movement in individual responsibilities—a dynamic approach that we believe fueled our success.
With my background in human resources management, I balanced responsibility and morale, contributing to the synergy of our group. The combination of completing delegated tasks, deepening our understanding of SoleSearch and its market placement, and fostering internal group trust culminated in our commendable 18th-place finish out of a record 271 entries, in the top 7%.
As the pioneering Champlain group in this competition, we are extremely proud of our performance and how we represented our college on the global stage. Our expedition demonstrated the power of collaboration, resilience, and how Champlain’s Upside Down Curriculum and hands-on learning model prepare us for careers in our desired fields.