Kilts Quantitative Case Competition
Winner - Team Booth Tank
Jessie Cobb, Ahsan Kirmani, Sara Mangiapane, Jason Schwab, Joanna Wung
The inaugural Kilts Quantitative Case Competition brought together a diverse group of Full-Time MBA students, marketing faculty, and executives from Kraft Food Groups (including CMO Deanie Elsner, ’92) for an entire week of kick-off events that culminated in a case competition on November 16, 2013. Over the course of three weeks, the Kilts Center received nearly 20 entries for the case competition, while only 10 teams of four to five students were selected to participate in the event. Teams were required to demonstrate their diversity of experiences, expansive skill sets, and fondness for Kraft products. The winning team's video is available online. Many applicants were first-year students whose concentrations spanned marketing management and operations to entrepreneurship. “I wanted to participate in the competition to get more experience in noninvestment roles," described first-year student Jason Schwab, a member of the winning team Booth Tank, along with first-years Jessie Cobb, Ahsan Kirmani, Sara Mangiapane, and Joanna Wung. "Most of my classes and groups are about investment management, but marketing is a part of that, you got to be able to sell yourself.”
The judges' panel was led by Deanie Elsner, '92, CMO of Kraft Food Groups; Greg Guidotti, senior director of marketing, Ready-to-Drink Beverages at Kraft Food Groups; Triona Schmelter, Kraft’s vice president of marketing for meals; Jean-Pierre Dubé, Sigmund E. Edelstone Professor of Marketing at Chicago Booth; and Art Middlebrooks, executive director of the Kilts Center for Marketing at Booth. The grand prize included a cash award for each team member, first-year internship interview priority, and a team dinner with Elsner. The interview with Kraft served as the biggest incentive for Booth Tank’s Sara Mangiapane, although she noted that “the dinner would probably be the most memorable thing down the road.” The panel commended Booth Tank for their SWOT framework and concentration on consumer focus, while Elsner also memorably issued a warning about their use of names like “Old Fashioned Al” and “Granola Grace” for target segments, advising the team to come up with a name that truly represents the segment rather than relying on stereotypes. Although only five weeks into their first year at Chicago Booth, the members of Booth Tank, and many other student participants as well, surprised the judges with their innovation strategies and business acumen. Dubé commended all of the teams for their hard work: “It did not go unnoticed that many of you have not even completed a full quarter at Booth yet,” he explained.
During the award ceremony, Mangiapane said she felt unsure her team would take first place at the competition, describing how “we felt strong because of the nonverbal cues during our presentation, but one of the honorable mentions had a three-year plan, and we didn’t, so then I thought no, we weren’t going to win.” But win they did, while two other teams tied for first-runner up. Team K2M, composed of first-year students Healy Adams, Aubrey Donnellan, Emily Theis, and second-year students Rushan Guan and Sophia Stone, received praise from the judges for their prototype and presentation. The other first-runner up team, Strategy Krafters, made up of first-years Gianne Gabrielle Cristobal, Lee Stuart Ettleman, Jefferson Calvert Kohler, Jacqueline Suzanne Singh, and second-year Marina Lidow, created a three-year plan for Planters Peanut Butter, weaving an impressive amount of data throughout their presentation.
The inaugural case competition, which the Kilts Center hopes to continue in future years, allowed students to gain experience using Nielsen and other marketing data, the former of which serves as the cornerstone for the Kilts Marketing Data Center. Schwab, of Booth Tank, believed the available data affected his team’s recommendations: “We used it to justify reasons for picking consumer segments, and to pick who to target,” he explained. Fellow teammate Wung saw a parallel between this type of data and her own life experience, “Data is limited too in the real world. When I worked for a small company, we only had internal data and market trend data, so you have to make decisions based on that. So only having limited [data] resources [in the competition] was a good thing for us,” she said.
The variety of ways teams approached the data and formed recommendations illustrates the importance of broad skill sets in a field like marketing. However, the final results also highlighted the importance of personal experiences. Although four of the five members of Booth Tank are currently enrolled in professor Anita Rao’s marketing strategy course, the team boasts members from backgrounds of brand management, consulting, financial engineering, and one former Air Operations Officer of the US Army. This eclectic mix, mirrored in the composition of other participating teams as well, served to make every presentation and recommendation to Kraft unique and emblematic of what the Kilts Case Competition sought to accomplish: provide a wide range of students with the opportunity to expand their business skill set and gain an introduction to quantitative marketing by tackling a major Kraft challenge.
First Runner-Up - Team Strategy Krafters
Gianne Gabrielle Cristobal, Lee Stuart Ettleman, Marina Dina Lidow, Jefferson Calvert Kohler, Jacqueline Suzanne Singh
First Runner-Up - Team K2M
Healy Adams, Aubrey Donnellan, Rushan Guan, Sophia Stone, Emily Theis
After a review of numerous applications, the following teams were selected by the Kilts Center and Kraft to participate in Kilts Quantitative Case Competition:
Capri Sun Chasers
Gianne Gabrielle Cristobal
Lee Stuart Ettleman
Marina Dina Lidow
Jefferson Calvert Kohler
Jacqueline Suzanne Singh
The Cheez Whizards
Kraft Marketing All Stars
Friday, November 8: Team Selections Announced
Wednesday, November 13: Competition Kickoff, Harper 104, 6 - 7:30 p.m.
Friday, November 15: Lunch Q&A, Harper C09, 11:45 a.m. - 1 p.m.
- Judges will be available to field team questions.
- Presentation order will be announced at the conclusion of lunch.
Saturday, November 16: Kilts Quantitative Case Competition, Gleacher, Noon - 6 p.m.
Team presentations are due by 10:30 a.m.
All teams are required to attend introduction session at noon and the evening reception.
Each team will have 15 minutes: 10 minutes to present and five minutes to answer judges’ questions.
Questions? Contact Katie Claussen Bell, associate director, Kilts Center for Marketing.