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Marketing & Management students impress Lonely Planet to win £1,000 in marketing competition

From left: Winners Ella Baker and Hollie Sanglier, Lonely Planet's Marketing & Communications Executive Emily Greene, and Teaching Fellow in Marketing James Sutton

Teams of students from the School of Business, Management and Economics (BMEc) took part in a competition, designed to test their marketing skills, for the chance to win £1,000.

Now in its third year, the annual BMEc Student Marketing Competition ran this Spring Term in collaboration with world-famous travel publisher Lonely Planet.

Seven teams of three marketing students per team were given just three weeks to crack a digital marketing brief to help Lonely Planet solve a real business challenge focused on increasing downloads of its “Guides” app.

Not only were the teams asked to research audiences and competitors and to complete user testing, but they were then tasked with recommending a full marcomms strategy to drive app downloads and to make recommendations for future improvements to the app itself – a great way to test the skills and theory they have been learning on their Marketing & Management courses at BMEc.

Pitch guidance was provided during the three weeks, including the chance to ask Lonely Planet questions, a pitching skills workshop, and individual “Pitch Doctor” sessions to guide early ideas and thinking.

All student teams then made their pitch presentations on 9 March in front of Lonely Planet’s Head of Marketing, Kat Nelson, and Marketing & Communications Executive, Emily Greene.

After a hard-fought day of pitching, Teaching Fellow James Sutton reviewed all the student pitches with Kat and Emily, and it was decided that third-year Marketing & Management students Ella Baker, Hollie Sanglier and Cheyenne Johnson had won the competition and a generous first prize of £1,000!

Lonely Planet guides were also given to second-placed team Robert Bramley, Jasmine Thomas and Angelos Bitsaktsis, and to third-placed team Lauren Ball, Liza-Marie Williams and Louise Crauet.

The winning team won with their #JustLookUp campaign, which was felt not only to be a likely driver of app downloads but also to strongly reflect the ‘Explore Every Day’ ethos of the Lonely Planet brand.

Ella, Hollie and Cheyenne had used research to good effect, had good audience insights around emotion and tangibility which drove their idea, and made some very relevant suggestions for partnerships with brands such as Polaroid.

With some very confident presenting skills added to a very professional Prezi slide deck, it quickly became an easy decision that they were the competition winners.

Cheyenne from the winning team had this to say about the competition:

“The competition was a challenging but fun way for us to put what we've learnt from our marketing degree into real-life practice.”

Kat Nelson from Lonely Planet was quick to praise the student teams and the competition:

“We loved being part of this competition - we found the energy and enthusiasm of all the students who presented incredibly motivating and were really impressed with the quality of some of the research and ideas put forward.

"It was particularly gratifying for us to see concepts being presented which aren't that far away from some of our current plans, and I think that is testament to the impressive research the participating students carried out and their creativity - and there were definitely some new ideas in there for us to consider as well.

"Our decision on the winning team was unanimous and they should feel very proud of their work on this project, which I hope will prove useful to them in the future.”

Posted on behalf of: School of Business, Management and Economics
Last updated: Tuesday, 17 April 2018