Competition: So, You Think You Can Market?


We all think that we are capable of coming up with a ground-breaking idea. We all think that we could, if given the chance, deliver a brilliant social media campaign that creates buzz, drives sales and makes our clients deliriously happy.

But do your clients bite?

Do your ideas fall on deaf ears?

This competition could be the opportunity you have been waiting for!

So, you think you can market?

The Bargain Queen is a leading fashion blog that has a unique challenge — they have their female readership all stitched up, but how are they going to reach a MALE audience in time for Christmas?

The brief

Get men interested in buying fashion gifts for their other half this Xmas. They hate department stores. They wouldn’t be caught dead in a boutique. They would rather wrestle a crocodile than accompany their lady on a shopping-trip. But somehow, they have to find her something she’ll like. Something she won’t sigh and send back. Something classy. Something that’s good value, but isn’t cheap. Something, in short, that will guarantee some peace and goodwill to all on Christmas morn.

You have a low budget. Around $500.

But you have access to some top notch design and technical resources on The Bargain Queen team to compensate. They can handle online/technical deployment of your astonishing viral marvel, and they can design any necessary creative dinkuses you may require.

All you need to add is "the spark" that will bring the campaign to life!


We need your response to the brief by October 31, 2007. Email it to me at bqcomp [at]

Who is the judge?

This is where it gets interesting. Not only do you have to come up with a knockout idea, your ideas will publicly go head-to-head with the best in the business. We will randomly draw your name from a hat and allow the marketing community to VOTE for their favourites.

This will happen across a number of times in round-robin style. Only the entry with the most votes will pass through to the next round. We will continue until there are only TWO entries left. And then final voting will commence!

What’s in it for you?

First up, this is the chance to showcase your style. With some of the best marketing minds looking on, it is a great chance to demonstrate your worth. You will also get a bucketload of profile and buzz from the blogosphere.

Finally, since The Bargain Queen is a site that’s going places, you get the very bankable cred of being able to say "I knew her before she was famous — in fact, I made her famous"!

And, just ‘cos it’s Christmas, the winner is up for a funky new iPod Touch.

So, what do you do next?

Check out to get the look and feel of the site. That should tell you everything you need to know about who we’re trying to reach and what we have to offer them. Sketch out your idea in no more than the equivalent of one page. Remember this is a competition, so your entry will be up for public consumption. Feel free to put any questions you might have in the comments below.

And get your idea to us no later than October 31. 2007!

Voting starts November 1!

17 thoughts on “Competition: So, You Think You Can Market?

  1. Gavin Heaton thinks you can market. Can you?

    Aussie blogger and Age of Conversation co-editor Gavin Heaton is trying something new. This morning, he announced a competition to find your best social media marketing idea. Dubbed So You Think You Can Market, the premise is simple — visit Gavin’s bl…

  2. Should you limit size of each submission so that they are easier to compare in the knockout section?
    Is the idea more/equally or less important than the detail?

  3. IN: Online social marketing contests
    OUT: In-house marketing departments
    The (trendy) strategy: “We’ll have a contest. The contest itself will generate buzz. Buzz begets buzz. And the winning idea probably won’t suck, so this is a win all the way around.”
    This sounds a lot like paying someone else to do your homework for you. Minus the “paying someone” part.

  4. John … this is the tricky bit. The fact is, no one and everyone will be judging. The challenge will be to get your idea across and garner enough support to receive the maximum number of votes. How you do this is entirely up to you.
    Jeffry … unless you work in a truly innovative and open environment, the opportunities to “own” and drive a social marketing strategy are fairly few and far between. There is a lot of blog bravado out there (and yes, I am part of that) … but are you willing to actually TRY to implement one of your ideas? Have you had the opportunity to do so? This is your chance. Or … you can sit back and watch. It is completely opt-in … up to you.

  5. Does this have to be a strategy leveraging social media?
    I really need to understand that. See, $500 is tricky…and I really don’t want clients to think that “I only need a few hundred!” and I’m not sure that I would recommend social media with those funds.
    I might.
    But I might not.
    So please do tell what my options are or are not.
    Thank you, Gav, for doing this and for letting me play!

  6. mo’ questions please:
    I looked at this site very quickly…
    1) does it offer gift wrapping service for x-mas? And does that gift wrap say “bargain” on it (you know, like Macy’s does with their logos). I ask becuz girls don’t want their boys to be bargain-hunting so much for once-a-year holiday. But boys like to save money ;-).
    2) Does this site have a guide whereas the guy can say “my woman likes little black dresses” and then the guide emails them 3 ideas?
    3) must ask why a male demo and not targeting more females? Is it becuz they already have a good sized female audience? Or just becuz it bodes well for males? Just curious cuz I’m a curious marketer ;-).
    4) Does the site have competitive shipping fees for all over the world? Or do some countries pay more than others due to where the goods are based?
    Thanks so much!
    (P.S. the site is quite fetching)

  7. CK … and more answers …
    1) The Bargain Queen only points the way to where bargains can be had. It is not a shop, so there is no additional Bargain Queen branding involved. The gift wrapping will come down to the offer available in-store — either in Sydney, Tokyo, Florida or New York (unless it is available online).
    2) Not at present, but this could be a suggested execution. Remember, The Bargain Queen team have some great technical and design skills — so if you have suggestions for the site experience, please do include them. In fact, they’re offering a manual version of this this week as a test.
    3) There is already a very strong female demographic, yes. And the strongest and most consistent audience is amongst US-based women — hence the shift in focus away from Australian-based bargains.
    4) Most of The Bargain Queen’s readers and customers are based in the USA, which has astonishingly good domestic delivery service and rates. But for buyers outside the USA, BQ’s expert bargain hunters find items that you can buy online and pay for shipping from the USA – and still pay less than the retail price in your local department store!

  8. So, you think you can market? Ha!

    Want to prove you have what it takes to bring a viral campaign to market? Here’s your chance. Gavin has launched a contest online together with The Bargain Queen. The budget is tight but they have significant resources to bring to bear. And you could g…

  9. Gavin,
    This is very innovative and I commend you for that. But I decided long ago that my firm will not enter contests, run by professional organization or otherwise. Still, I will be an interested spectator.

  10. Since the women are already visiting the site, create a Wish List button that allows them to drop items into a virtual basket. Allow the men to search their significant others’ Wish List and choose from what’s been laid out.
    Men are great at buying, as long as we know what to get. It’s much tougher (especially online) to pick out fashion products that we think someone might like.
    (This idea is by no means innovative. It’s pretty much ripped off entirely from Amazon. But there’s no reason Bargain Queen can’t implement a similar system…)
    BTW Gavin, I like the concept here 🙂

  11. I’m just confused by the premise. Is it to get men visiting The Bargain Queen site? I’d say it’s targeting the wrong demographic and should stick with building a female fan base.

  12. Hi David,
    We already have a strong female readership.
    The point of the campaign, is to encourage men to stop by the site 2-3 times a year when they’re looking for gifts for the lady in their life.
    This already happens a bit already, so we decided that we’d better make them feel welcome 😉
    All the best,

  13. PS: Jeffry: We do run marketing initiatives in house too; we’re just looking for a great new idea to add to the mix.
    That’s why we’re offering a spanky new iPod Touch to “pay” one fabulous marketer to think up a small-budget viral or guerrilla campaign for us.
    Plus we’re risking $500 of our own money to try a marketing idea that’s new and interesting, i.e. not safe and proven yet.
    If the winner wants to work with us to implement their idea, they get a case study to convince their clients to try something similar. If not, we have very capable staff who can turn their idea into a great campaign.
    So yes, we’ve done our (marketing) homework; this is just our “extra credit” assignment! 😉

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