After more than a year of strategic thinking, planning and building, Seafoam has finally launched a brand new project that we’re excited to set out into the wild.
Earlier this month, we stormed the walls of the Maplewood-Richmond Heights High School to launch the Seafoam Marketing Challenge!
What is the Seafoam Marketing Challenge and why is it important to not only our community, but the local digital marketing industry? Here’s everything you need to know…
What is the Seafoam Marketing Challenge?
The Seafoam Marketing Challenge is a program designed to give local high school students real-world marketing experience by intertwining their learning curriculum with the marketing needs of an area non-profit.
This semester’s client is the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) St. Louis, an organization that aims to eliminate the stigma around mental illness and show those who are diagnosed that there is a positive way forward.
Not only will students be taught how to gather research data on NAMI St. Louis, use this information to map out real marketing strategies, and mold their strategies into tangible materials, but the winner of the competing teams will actually have the opportunity to launch their marketing strategy for NAMI St. Louis as an intern alongside Seafoam’s team this summer.
The Marketing Challenge Triad
At Seafoam, we have a mathematical equation that guides everything we do (maybe you’ve heard of it?): 1+1=3. It’s the idea that our team strives to maximize the capabilities of our everything we do. Why should the Seafoam Marketing Challenge be any different?
The thing that probably excites our team most about the Seafoam Marketing Challenge, other than the fact that we’ve never heard of any other agency launching a program such as this one – local, national or otherwise – is that this program has the power to impact so many different groups of people.
Strengthening MRH’s Marketing Program
Prior to partnering with Seafoam, MRH already had a full-functioning marketing program led by Pam Withers. When we proposed taking her marketing course to the next level by adding our input to the mix, we were more than thrilled to have her full support.
Not only does Pam ensure our program is implemented each and every week, she has also been integral in refining the ideas that Seafoam brought to the table.
With the help of Pam, as well as MRH’s Coordinator of Educational Exploration, John Capuano, and English/Journalism Teacher, Otto Schultejans, the Seafoam Marketing Challenge was able to grow into a program worth launching.
Expanding NAMI St. Louis’s Digital Reach
As with every client Seafoam partners with, NAMI St. Louis’ success is at the forefront of the Seafoam Marketing Challenge. Just like in a real agency, NAMI St. Louis’ marketing strategy has been given over to the students. It will be up to them to conduct brand research, build creative assets and present their final materials to Seafoam and NAMI STL’s teams. After a winning project is chosen, students from that team will join Seafoam this summer where they will execute the strategy they built and measure the results it produces for NAMI St. Louis.
Cultivating St. Louis’ Next Generation of Marketing Talent
The final piece of the Seafoam Marketing Challenge triad revolves around the way this program helps cultivate the next generation of marketing leaders in the St. Louis area.
One of our goals of this program is to provide students with real-world marketing experience — a benefit that most college students don’t even have by the time they receive their degrees. Students’ abilities to communicate, collaborate and create will be tested throughout this entire semester.
In the end, we hope students will be able to use this experience to excel in their higher education studies and launch their careers in the marketing world.
Furthermore, we want the Seafoam Marketing Challenge to serve as a way to get students excited about our industry — show them why now is the best time to consider career in digital marketing. We hope to help them leverage their creativity and strategic skills so that they can make something that they can be proud of and that produces measurable results for a real brand.
Where does the Marketing Challenge go from here?
At the time this article was published, the Seafoam Marketing Challenge has only been active for two and half a weeks of its maiden voyage. There is still a large portion of the school semester left, so it’s hard to say what the future holds.
We fully expect for research to be conducted, mistakes to be made, lessons to be learn, and more. When launching a program that connects so many different groups of people and tests their limits of creativity and strategic thinking to make something truly unique, we don’t expect things to be perfect on the first round.
That’s why Seafoam’s team will be touching base with MRH’s students throughout the Marketing Challenge to ensure everything stays on track and that NAMI St. Louis receives a strategy thorough enough that it could have come straight from our agency.
Finally, if we’re lucky, we may just be invited back to MRH in the fall semester for a sequel to the Seafoam Marketing Challenge. But that’s a story for another time…