Joanna Garza, a senior management major in the UTSA Carlos Alvarez College of Business, placed in the top 10 in the Mimic Pro Digital Marketing Competition.
Stepping into the role of a digital marketer, she competed against other business students to see who could earn the most revenue for a fictional apparel client. She participated in six challenges over the course of two weeks.
Garza credits the skills she learned in her digital marketing course with Wendy Gratereaux, MBA ’11, associate professor of practice in marketing, with helping her succeed in the competition.
“She posted about the challenge in our class Slack channel,” said Garza, who is co-secretary of the Professional Businesswomen Society. “We were using the Stukent simulation program in class, which is the same program used in the competition.”
Experimenting with techniques she learned in class, she created display and search ads, optimized keywords and learned how to allocate her budget to garner the most revenue for her client.
“I tried to enhance the appeal for their products through digital marketing,” she said. “We learned as part of our class that in addition to studying the demographics of customers you also need to study what their competitors are doing as well.”
Working and taking classes while she participated in the competition, Garza learned to refine her campaigns by reviewing the metrics regularly as the competition pace increased at the end.
“There is no set formula for anything in marketing,” she said. “Your campaigns have to change and adjust reflecting consumer responses.”
Looking to enhance her knowledge in this field, she is currently taking a social media marketing class with Gratereaux this semester. “Professor Gratereaux is one of the most interesting faculty members that I’ve had,” she said. “She has a very diverse and applied background, and she works to get the best technology for her students.
“This project lit a fire in me,” she said. “I’ve always been a creative person and digital marketing allows me to explore my creativity.”
As a top competitor, Garza received a scholarship for her efforts as well as an opportunity to interview with recruiters from HP, the sponsors of the competition.