BC Business Student Challenge

Interested in a real life marketing challenge? Figure your social media skills are pretty hot? Then get a group of your fellow business students together and form a team to compete in the I love you, send money challenge to: DELIVER THE MOST SUCCESSFUL INDIE BOOK DISTRIBUTION CAMPAIGN...

Kiwi author’s marketing challenge - Press release

WELLINGTON 14 February 2018

The challenge received by BC business school marketing students today is simple: “deliver the most successful indie book distribution campaign – like ever.” It came from NZ-based author, Jordan Alexander, who is offering the best campaign $15,000 in cash and business coaching.

Alexander wrote, I love you, send money, at Caffé Divano, Coquitlam. Her true story gives intimate details of her online dating experience, and how the well-educated and successful business woman became another romance scam statistic.

I love you, send money has great reviews, but I need a solution to the challenge every indie author faces - distributing books without a publisher!” says the Canadian ex-pat.

Dr Alexander is a strategy consultant and coach to business CEOs, government leaders and charities. She tells coaching clients, what you don't know is as important as what you do. She’s knows she needs help from digital natives.

“Marketing students are way more tech-saavy then me. I’m confident they’ll find creative social media solutions I’d not dream of.”

Alexander will provide: 100 paperback copies of I love you, send money (RRP 24.95), access to eBook and audio formats, and a small marketing budget to four teams. They’ll have four weeks to plan, and six weeks to deliver their campaign. In the end, they’ll be judged on profit, market reach and creativity. Winners share $1000 cash, 40 hours of business coaching ($14000), and can ‘pitch’ a new business idea to Alexander for angel funding.

Why not just hire a marketing firm?

Alexander smiles, “Too easy, and a lot less fun.” She wants to give business students an opportunity to work on a practical solution to a real-life problem with guidance from instructors. “…plus, competition always gets creative juices flowing.”

Challenge accepted? She’s hoping teams are signed up by 1 March to complete the challenge in the school year before summer.

The FINE PRINT (Draft to be agreed prior to challenge start)

The Objective:

The objective of the challenge is to deliver “the most successful indie book distribution campaign” – this will be judged based on: profitability, market reach and creativity

Profitability – the balance sheet (outlining all expenses, income) – any future purchases will be counted as sales if monies are received by the campaign’s close (eg, printed books to be sent after campaign close is ok, but receipt of income ‘ends’ at campaign close.

Market Reach – includes demographics of buyers/engagement and geographic spread (as reported by teams).

Creativity – measured by the really cool stuff done during the campaign 🙂

The Rules:

  1. Team:

The number of teams competing in the challenge is limited to four.

Teams will be asked to submit a maximum 250-word overview on why their team should be in the competition. If more than four teams express an interest in the challenge by 28 February, the overview will be used to reduce team numbers to four.

Each “team” will be comprised of no more than 6 students, each of whom are registered at the same BC learning institution.

Teams will be notified of their acceptance to the challenge asap, but no later than 15 March 2018.

  1. Timing:

The full ‘challenge’ will run for 12 weeks as follows:

Part 1: Familiarisation/Getting to Know Client/Teams:

Week one is for familiarisation – each ‘team’ will be introduced to the author and have 3x one hour ‘getting to know you’ skype sessions. They will be provided with access to any marketing material used to date and hardcopy materials (paperbacks) plus each will receive an eBook or audio book to familiarise with content/product. These are ‘closed’ sessions and remain private to each team and client.

Any questions ‘asked and answered’ by teams outside of the skype sessions, during the first week, will be distributed to other teams (full disclosure).

Part 2: Campaign Planning:

Each team will have 4 weeks to ‘plan’ their campaign.

Teams will have access to the client for up to 4 hours during this time (for discussions, recording promotions etc).

Each team will disclose their ‘campaign’ to the client (in-confidence) prior to the launch (more as a sense check/reality test than to quell any creative ideas).

Part 3: Launch Campaign:

The campaign will run for 6 weeks immediately following the planning phase. It is expected that during the campaign delivery, contact with the client will be limited (unless agreed to before launch).

Part 4: Close Out/Wrap Up/Reporting:

Week twelve is the wrap up – time for each team to finalise their campaign report (including balance sheet) and prepare their ‘lessons learned’ overview (in any format they wish). The ‘end’ of the campaign is the last day of the 12 week period.

Winners will be notified within 72 hours of the competition close.

  1. Investment:

Each team will be provided the same ‘ingredients’:

  • 100 paperbook copies of I love you, send money (RRP 29.95)
  • Access to eBooks (quantity unlimited)
  • 50 audio books
  • Marketing budget of $500 per team

DO’s and Don’ts

Students can obtain input from and/or be supervised by a professor/instructor/educator however, the professor/instructor/educator does not form part of the student ‘team.’

Students MUST be transparent about any and all other ‘investments’ they put into the campaign (eg recorded as income/expenses on balance sheet)

The Prize:

The winning team will receive:

  • $1,000 CAD cash
  • $14,000 of business coaching (~40 hours offered via Pangaea Consulting Limited) to be used within 6 months following the challenge – allocated as agreed by the team (can include/or be for the educational institution the students are attending if agreed)
  • Opportunity to ‘pitch’ a new business idea within 6 months of the close of the campaign, for which the team may ‘sell’ their concept to Dr Alexander to progress angel funding - location tbc.