MARCH 2021

+ Free entry
+ Open to all U.S. colleges and universities
+ Get Direct Effect® Certified
+ Cash prizes for top college clubs
+ Connect with world-class marketers

Sponsored by

Welcome from HP

How It Works

  1. Register for the competition
  2. Receive your referral code (Feb 1)
  3. Recruit college students to complete the Direct Effect® Fundamentals of Integrated Direct Marketing course  (Through March 31)
  4. Score points as your recruits complete the course (Mar 1 – Mar 31)
  5. Beat the Buzzer with opportunities to score additional points
  6. Take home the title. Top college teams can win:
    • Part of a $6,000 total prize purse
    • Experience with executives of a Fortune 500 brand
    • ...and every participant who completes the course will be Direct Effect® Certified!

The Benefits

  1. Participating in Marketing Madness yields great benefits for both students on participating teams and the other students they recruit to complete the Direct Effect® certification.
  2. All students who complete the Direct Effect® Fundamentals of Integrated Direct Marketing course during Marketing Madness get:
  3. A Direct Effect® certification of completion.
  4. Integrated marketing knowledge that helps unlock the doors to the $1.4 trillion printing and mailing industry.
  5. Access to a pipeline of internship and job opportunities from organizations like the U.S. Postal Service, Direct Effect® industry partners, and our Fortune 500 sponsor (to be revealed mid-January 2021).
  6. Participating teams get everything above, plus:
  7. An opportunity to win part of our $6,000 prize purse for their club or department.
  8. A chance to network with global marketing leaders from our Fortune 500 sponsor (to be revealed mid-January 2021).

The Course

The Direct Effect® Fundamentals of Integrated Direct Marketing micro-credential course provides a basic understanding of the core elements of integrated direct marketing. It covers the topics of mail and omni-channel marketing, provides an example of a real-world marketing challenge and student-driven campaign planning and execution, and closes with a current look at pursuing careers in the marketing industry.

Completion time:
 »2 hours total

Chapter 1
The Neuroscience
of Touch

  • Why Mail Matters
  • Paper Choice Matters
  • The Neuroscience of Touch
  • Case Study: The Making of an M Print
  • End of Chapter Quiz

Chapter 2
Introduction to Integrated
Direct Marketing

  • The Marketing Landscape
  • Impact of Channel Integration
  • Examples of Integrated Marketing
  • Mail and Integrated Marketing: Slide deck
  • End of Chapter Quiz

Chapter 3
Case Study -
Cincinnati Bell

  • Live Client Challenge
  • Student Campaign Pitch
  • End of Chapter Quiz

Chapter 4
Creative Careers
with Nakita Pope

  • Creative Careers in the Time of Coronavirus

The Details

Marketing Madness is designed for two types of student teams.
College/University-affiliated marketing, business, and design clubs, and/or
Teams organized by an academic department (e.g., marketing, business, advertising, entrepreneurship, and design).  
Each team must have a faculty advisor.
Faculty advisors will serve as the main point of contact during the event, provide student teams with guidance,
and to receive the cash prize for top teams.

Schools may register multiple teams or a single team.
A team can be representative of a single club or department, or it can be representative of two or more clubs / departments combined. Regardless of team composition, the single faculty advisor assigned to the team will be designated as the point of contact for any prize money awarded.

Cash prizes will not be directly distributed to individual students.
Cash prizes will be distributed to the club or department to use in whatever manner they see fit.

The size of your team does not necessarily affect your chances of winning.
The aim of the competition is to get as many college students (and faculty!) as possible to complete the micro-credential course, including but not limited to members of your team and other students you are able to recruit. Opportunities to accrue additional points will also be offered.


The Challenge
Get as many college students as you can to complete the free Direct Effect® Micro Credential course.
Recruitment can begin as soon as February 1st, and the course will open for completion on March 1st.

Points structure


Module Points

For each individual course module completed by a college student the team recruits. (The course has four modules, for a maximum of 4 Module Points per enrollee.)


Completion Points

For each college student the team recruits who completes all three modules and receives the certificate of completion. (This yields a maximum of 7 points per enrollee: 4 Module Points
+ 3 Completion Points.)


Buzzer Beater Bonuses

Team members will have the opportunity to earn additional points for their teams by completing Buzzer Beater activities to be announced later in the competition.

Only .edu email addresses will be counted toward your team’s total, so be sure to let students you recruit know to use their school email address. Non-edu email addresses will be discounted.

Enrollees must use your team’s Referral Code (to be distributed beginning February 1) for their coursework to be counted toward your team’s total.  


  1. Referral code will be distributed to teams beginning on February 1, at which point teams may begin recruiting students to register for the course at . It’s up to you to make sure students from your school turn out for the game.
  2. Recruitment is not limited to your college or university, or to any specific academic discipline. Teams may recruit any and all college students to register for and complete the Direct Effect® Micro-Credential Course.
  3. When recruiting students to take the course, be sure to provide them with:
  4. The link to course enrollment:  
  5. Your team’s Referral Code
  6. Instructions to register for the course with their .edu email address
  7. The entire Direct Effect® Fundamentals of Integrated Direct Marketing course takes approximately 1.5 hours to complete, broken out over 3 modules that are a combination of video lessons and activities.
  8. Beat the Buzzer with opportunities to score additional points.
  9. On March 1, the Direct Effect® course will open, and registered students can begin completing modules to accrue points for their teams. We’ll send a reminder to all registrants, but be sure to grab your marketing clipboard and get your recruits in scoring position!

Game Clock


Register your college team for Marketing Madness


Teams receive Referral Code and are encouraged to begin recruiting college students to register for the free Direct Effect® Micro-Credential Course.

FEB 28

Marketing Madness team registration closes. Time to focus on registering more college students to participate and scoring points by completing the course!


The free Direct Effect® Micro-Credential Course becomes available for user completion.

MAR 1-31

Teams continue to recruit and encourage student completion of the free Direct Effect® Micro-Credential Course.

The Marketing Madness Leaderboard to be updated weekly, so teams can see where they stand as they progress.

MAR 31

Marketing Madness ends at 11:59pm EST. Modules / Certificates of Completions after this time will not be counted toward a team’s total.


Points will be tabulated and winners will be announced. Prizes will be distributed, and the winners' experience with our Fortune 500 partner will be scheduled.