A team from Bournemouth University have won a competition that challenges university students to work on a real-life marketing brief and then pitch it back to the brand.
The winners of this year’s IDM Student Marketing Competition was announced at a gala reception in London’s Belgraves Hotel.
The Digithink team included Jeevan Shahi, Jacqui Forgham, Ellie Barker, Maddie Osborne, Rachel Poole and Sophie Knowles, all students from Bournemouth University, and were presented with the Gold Award for their outstanding response to the 2016 competition brief.
Team Digithink was up against over 100 other competition entries, all putting forward their own marketing plan to Virgin Money Giving. They were tasked with putting together a 3 year plan to grow the brand’s market share to nearly double over that period. They clinched victory after a live pitch against other finalists in front of the senior team from Virgin Money Giving and leading marketing professionals.
Jo Barnett, Exec Director at Virgin Money Giving, this year’s sponsor, comments: “We were hugely impressed by the standard of all the entries and the live pitches too. The final shortlisted presentations had a fantastic range of creative and strategic ideas, but ultimately team Digithink took first prize for their campaign. It was the team’s unique response to the brief that sparked the most debate between the judges. Ultimately, the decision to respond to a consumer engagement brief with essentially a B2B strategy was a bold and risky choice, but one that paid off in the end.”
Kate Burnett, MD of DMA-IDM Employability, said: “Judging the competition seems to get harder every year, as the quality of the entries continues to get better and better. This year we were particularly impressed with the wealth of creativity on show, as well as the level of research and planning the team’s had clearly put into their strategies underpinning these ideas too.”
This year’s winners also received a £1,500 team cash prize, work experience with the Virgin Money Giving marketing team and an invitation to an exclusive dinner with senior executives from Virgin Money Giving.
Burnett continues: “Our mission at DMA-IDM Employability is to inspire young people to join the marketing industry and create clear pathways for them to do so. The Student Marketing Competition gives us a sneak peek at the next generation of marketing talent and judging by this year’s entries the future of our sector is in safe hands.”
The IDM Student Marketing Competition is now in its 20th year and is part of the DMA and IDM’s joint Employability team. This initiative works with Higher Education organisations to give university students the chance to work on a challenging and real-life marketing brief, provided by the sponsoring client. The process offers students priceless, practical experience and, for the finalists, the opportunity to meet leading marketers and to win the top prize. The brief is also used by lecturers across the country as a valuable teaching aid on marketing and business courses.