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Press Release


Washington DECA
Contact: Nicole Cowan, Marketing & Event Coordinator
(206) 285-1195 
Marketing Counts
Contact: Paul Counts, Co-Founder & CMO
(206) 209-1324

Washington DECA High School Students Complete Digital Marketing Challenge Provided By Marketing Counts and Provide Free Marketing Consultations to Small Businesses Impacted By COVID-19

Click Here Watch Finalist Videos & Vote

Seattle, WA, June 18, 2020 — Over 140 Washington DECA high school students recently completed a five-week, distance-learning Digital Marketing Challenge developed by Marketing Counts, a Seattle-area marketing agency. Each week, students learned new digital marketing skills and were encouraged to take their learning and provide free marketing consultations to small businesses in their area. 

Now, Washington DECA and Marketing Counts are asking for the community to help select the overall winner of the challenge. Voting is live at We invite the public to view the finalists and vote for the team who created the best marketing plan. Voting will be available from June 16th to June 22nd and the winner will be announced on June 24th. The top 3 teams will receive a scholarship award.

“It’s hard to believe these are high school students. The marketing plans they have created are impressive, professionally delivered, and truly sets a standard for emerging business students in our state,” said Nicole Cowan, who is the Marketing & Event Coordinator at Washington DECA. “This real-world challenge for students showed value for both DECA members and dozens of small businesses throughout Washington.”

Marketing Counts’ Co-Founders, Shreya Banerjee, and Paul Counts taught the students their ‘FTE’ formula for digital marketing success. This includes a similar Foundation, Traffic, and Engagement process they use with their own clients. In the challenge, students learned to change title tags for SEO, make enhancements to a Google My Business page, improve Facebook, Instagram, and email marketing, along with social media marketing for engagement.

“I have many amazing memories from my time as a DECA member, and it was an easy decision for us to put together this challenge for the students,” said Banerjee. “There is no better way to learn digital marketing than through hands-on learning.”

Paul Counts, who started a business in junior-high in Prescott, Wash. loves being able to help students understand digital marketing concepts. “Digital marketing is such a critical skill for students to learn, and it will set them up for future success,” he said. “Knowing the basics will instantly make them a more valuable asset at any company they work with in the future. We are thankful to Washington DECA for giving these students and us this unique opportunity.”

Students not only attained digital marketing concepts, but they were able to gain more experience thanks to a generous donation from Online Sales Pro, a Tucson, Arizona-based software company. They donated licenses to their marketing automation software to each DECA student who took the challenge. This software allowed the students to create lead capture pages for the local businesses they were working with. The businesses were also able to keep the pages created for them.

Kitty Kellman, Online Sales Pro Co-founder, explained, “When we were approached about offering this to DECA students, it was an easy decision to say yes. It brought us great joy to see the pages these amazing students built on our platform.”

Lori Hairston, Executive Director of Washington DECA said, “Washington DECA’s vision is to develop leaders and entrepreneurs who make a social and global impact. The Marketing Challenge was a perfect real-life opportunity for DECA members to make an impact on businesses in their own communities.”

About Washington DECA

Since 1947, Washington DECA has been preparing innovative leaders and entrepreneurs. Their mission is to provide business and leadership opportunities to high school students to succeed in school, careers, and life.

Their vision is to prepare innovative leaders and entrepreneurs who make a positive social and global impact. Washington DECA currently serves 170 schools and over 12,000 students. You can learn more by visiting

About Marketing Counts

Marketing Counts is a full-service digital marketing agency delivering results for both larger corporate and small business clients. Their Co-Founders have been providing digital marketing services and training since 1999. They also provide digital marketing courses to the end consumer along with their services. You can find them online at

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