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Stukent: Digital Marketing Simulation
Joe Dougherty, Joey Rowe, Delaney Owen, Ally Mclaughlin

The Simulation
Stukent is a digital marketing simulation for

Asus, Lenovo, and Blackberry. We wanted to

college students. It allows users to build a

display a wide range of the highest trend-

digital campaign around a website, an email

ing tablets based on our keyword research.

campaign, and a search engine campaign.

Later, we learned that this might have been

Within the simulation, there are four teams

a mistake. While the website spotlighted two

who compete in selling mobile tablets off of

of our most popular products, our campaigns

their websites. The website, search engine

were not as focused to start, which we will dis-

marketing, and email campaigns are not real,

cuss later on. We laid out our website in such

but the simulation provides weekly results on

a way that gave us the highest possible page

impressions and conversions for five weeks.

score. We played around with multiple web-

Through the process of managing a budget,

site layouts and finally reached a page score

researching keywords, creating campaigns,

of 90/100 which we thought was pretty good.

and optimizing your search engine rankings,

students learn how to plan, execute and maxi-

Throughout the simulation, we eliminated un-

mize the efficiency of a marketing campaign.

successful keywords and products from the

website and improved marketing emails. The

Our groups website was called Tabulous

simulation required us to launch an email mar-

and we initially sold high-tech mobile tablets

keting campaign and a search engine market-

from Apple, Samsung, Android, Windows, Sony,

ing campaign.


Above: Our website Tabulous earned a layout score of 90 out of 100. You can see all the different brands in our description, but the layout promotes the two most popular brands. This site was
the landing page for all of our marketing efforts.


Above: Stukent tracked the web traffic for Tabulous. It was interesting to see how high web
traffic did not always produce the most conversions. There are many important measures of success, but some of them can be unhelpful at times.
Its also interesting to note that although we had multiple email campaigns, none of our traffic at
all came from emails. All of our other sources of traffic steadily increased throughout the simulation with the except of paid traffic, which saw a spike consistent with our Round 2 success and
then a drop in later rounds which we will discuss further later.

ROund 1
Strategy: When designing the website, the
simulation gave a score out of 100 for our
layout. We designed our layout and went
back to the drawing board until we got the
best possible score (a 90). Our strategy was
to include all the best brands so our website
would appear anytime someone searched
for a major tablet. This strategy proved to
be largely ineffective.
We eventually learned that it is best to focus on a simple message (one product)
and have all of the keywords and emails

this was not the case. We could a bonus after

directed toward that message. Other teams

our first campaign because it did so well and

with one or two products showed far bet-

we hit a goal, but that was only for $300 which

ter results. We would change our strategy in

didnt do a whole lot for us. If we would have

the subsequent rounds, but this round was

had a better understanding for how the simu-

a great learning experience.

lation worked, we might have done things differently when it came to allocating our money.

Unfortunately, something that made it hard

This impacted us greatly in future rounds and

to alter course in the later rounds was the

our performance suffered because of it.

fact that we used our entire budget on our

first campaign. In the instructions and ob-

Another roadblock that we encountered was

jectives for round 1, it mentioned to make

the fact that we started our simulation late. Af-

sure to utilize all of your budget so we took

ter we had done all the work to set up our web-

that literally. We sunk all $5000 of our bud-

site and our campaigns, we forgot to hit run

get into our very first campaign which was

simulation so our results were a little skewed

really meant to just be the first in a series

for the next week. However, we were able to

of many campaigns that we planned to run

overcome this minor setback.

throughout the course of the simulation.

We were under the impression that budgets
replenished at the start of each round, but

ROund 2
Strategy: Focus our marketing efforts on few,

The simulation was very confusing to our

high-performance products, instead of trying to

group at first so although the first campaign

dominate the entire industry of mobile tablets.

is called Lenovo, it showcased multiple

brands. In fact, while Lenovo and Android

Adjustments: We eliminated keywords that did

did well, Sony and Asus soared above the

not have a strong return and stopped sending

rest at the end of that campaign. This is

emails with a low click-through rate. Basically,

when we decided that these might be the

we stopped advertising the brands that were

two brands that we should focus our efforts

not selling. Our digital marketing efforts became

on in a later round.

more successful as we eliminated wasteful

strategies and built on our successful keywords
and emails.
Our team selected the Lenovo ad group for the
first campaign, but we somehow selected keywords for multiple products and eventually put
other ad groups under the Lenovo campaign.

ROund 3
Strategy: Optimize our email marketing around results from click-through rates, specifically in A/B
tests. We also decided to build upon our best products, which were Lenovo tablets. We started
focusing on Android tablets because those tablets showed opportunities for impressions.
Adjustments: We analyzed the results from the A/B tests on our Android emails. We sent two
emails selling Android tablets, each with a different designs. The two emails showed no difference
in results. Android was clearly a quality product regardless of our messaging strategy. Sony and
Asus still had the most conversions in our campaign, but we got a little sidetracked with selling
Android tablets. We continued to eliminate unsuccessful keywords, and purchased more keywords
with high conversion rates.

Above: The A/B test was essentially useless to our campaign, but it was a great experience in
testing different messages. These types of tests are becoming more and more common among
digital marketers in the real world.

ROund 4
Strategy: Focus on creating a new campaign, while minimizing the amount of ad groups that were
not generating results.
Adjustments: We eliminated ad groups such as tablet android, tablet samsung, and tablet
windows that were not showing high conversion rates. We also dropped keywords such as iPad
tablet, best tablet PC, and tablet PC that had low click through rates and conversion rates.
Given that our first campaign promoted Lenovo tablets, this helped generate keywords that were
more specific to the Lenovo campaign. The new campaign we created marketed Sony and Asus
tablets because those keywords were showing the highest success in conversion rates.

ROund 5
Strategy: Explore opportunities to sell Sony and Asus tablets. We also decided to experiment with
Android tablets again to see if we could get conversions in another product.
Adjustments: We enabled more keywords for Sony and Asus tablets, while developing a new email
for these products. We also added best android tablets to our keywords to see if we could grow
in Android again. Our funds were limited, which not all of us realized, and the success did not
always play out.


Above: We enabled keywords for Lenovo, Sony, and Asus tablets, as well as best tablets categories. Looking back, we should have concentrated on one or two products and purchased more
specific, focused keywords.


Above: Essentially all of our conversions and revenue came from our Lenovo campaign. The
campaign held ad groups for other products like Sony and Asus, which allowed the campaign to
be successful.
Sony and Lenovo were the best individual products given the success of their keywords. Trying to
promote several brands and attract visitors through best Tablets was a good strategy at first,
but in the long run, it would have been better to be more focused. Our initial strategy was to have
a widespread campaign with many different tablets, but that especially didnt work out when we
ran out of funds after the first round.
Our team finished third in the simulation. Despite being confused in the first rounds and making mistakes with our money, we were able to make strong connections with our key words and
emails. Our project made $12,314. Sony and Asus would have been our best products, but when
we started their campaigns, we had already run out of money. When we discovered Sony was doing well, we wanted to focus our budget entirely on Sony tablets, but we didnt have enough money.
Android tablets also showed potential because of their success with keywords, but our Android
email did not provide conversions for some reason.


Above: The Lenovo campaign received all of our funds, while the Sony Asus campaign did not
receive any money. Despite limiting our abilities, the mistake of spending all our money at once
was a good learning experience. It forced us to focus on a select number of products, which is a
better real-life strategy, even if it didnt work in our final campaigns.

Challenges and Future

From the very beginning, the Stukent simula-

able, but we clearly did not have the funds to

tion was a process of trial and error for our

see their success play out.


We started the first round off with

a small hiccup in our simulation, as we did

Our lack of funds created a steady decline in

not start our campaign on time which put us

the last three rounds after seeing phenome-

behind. Our team put together a very nice

nal success right out of the gate. In fact, all

website and even built the campaigns at the

of our conversions came from our very first

start of the first round, but we forgot to run

Lenovo campaign. If we were to go back and

the campaigns until a week later. Fortunately,

do this again, we would have used our money

things worked out for us because once we

more wisely and focused on Lenovo across

ran our campaign in the first round, it gave us

multiple campaigns to see a wider range of

a lot of good feedback going into the second

success. Considering we had the second best

round. Geriatric Hurricanes changed up some

campaign overall, it wasnt a total loss, but it

keywords and ran some more ads and email

would have been more beneficial to us to have

campaigns which led to the highest boost we

more successful campaigns. Something that

saw all simulation.

might have been beneficial to our overall success would have been to make a bigger push

Unfortunately, the campaign spent all of our

in our email marketing efforts.

money in the first round to achieve that boost

so all we had to work with was a $300 bo-

Emails are a very cost effective way to ad-

nus. We spent that on some more keywords

vertise products and since we didnt have the

and were essentially broke for the rest of the

funds for larger scale campaigns and we didnt

simulation and were then limited to only minor

have any traffic to our website from the emails

adjustments that didnt cost any money.

we did create, it would have been interesting to

see how the results would have changed had

At first we thought Lenovo, Sony and Asus

our groups email marketing would have been

were our best products because they were in-

set at a larger scale from the very beginning.

cluded in our first campaign, which was called

Lenovo. Other products were just as valu-

This simulation taught us that digital marketing

Challenges and Future

is a process of refinement. We were continu-

made an email marketing campaign for An-

ously making our keywords more and more fo-

droid based on some leads that really did noth-

cused. The more specific, the better. The sim-

ing to generate revenue. Instead, we should

pler, the better. It was interesting to see how

have focused on our Lenovo tablets as those

it was often a process of elimination, but the

were trending very high across the board in all

campaigns improved over time.

of our campaigns.

The biggest thing that we took away from our

It would be fascinating to run through the sim-

analysis of our data is that while there are

ulation again, knowing what we know now. If

many numbers and statistics being thrown

we had to do it again, we would pay closer

around in the simulation, its important to look

attention to our conversions, and less atten-

at the conversions because ultimately, that is

tion to leads and impressions. Once again, it

the key measure of success. The more con-

would have been better to focus our campaign

versions you have, the more money you make,

on one or two products and try to dominate

and the better your ROAS are going to be. We

one product category, instead of marketing our

found that many times during the process, we

website around the best tablets.

found ourselves looking at so many things that

ultimately did nothing for us. For example, we