Guest blogger Produced by

Martina Gardeva (Bulgaria)

My name is Martina Gardeva and I am a Bulgarian postgraduate student in MSc Tourism Management and Marketing. Writing University assignments can sometimes turns out to be extremely exciting and you get the chance to share all your creative ideas. This was the case with mysecond assignment in the eTourism unit, when we had to propose a plan for a digital marketing campaign for a new tourist attraction in England.

The Great West Way

 The Great West Way (GWW) – is a new and exciting multimillion pound project and involves a one-of-a-kind experience along a 125 miles route between London and Bristol. It came about with the concept of “England Concentrated” and it was introduced to showcase England’s rich history and diverse cultural heritage.  It was also developed to improve the economy and boost visits outside the London region. Among the most popular attractions are Stonehenge, Bath and Windsor Castle, as well as numerous scenic trails to walk and breath-taking landscapes to marvel at.

Marketing strategy

 Our main task was to develop and design a marketing strategy plan for the online promotion of this project, which will be launched some time in October 2018. However, simply writing a report is never sufficient for a marketing student (luckily for us!). Our professor at University had the ambitious and innovative idea to ask us to work with a web platform called Smaply, where we had to develop fictional “personas” and their hypothetical “journey maps”. Simply put, we had to invent a traveller, who we thought might like to visit the Great West Way and write about their personality, age, job, travel habits, etc. Then we had to think about how this person would organise a trip along this route and record the steps they would take in order to do this in as much detail as possible. We would then be able to match our marketing strategy with that “persona”.

Skills for your CV

 Even though it was one of the most time-consuming and hardest assignments I have ever written, I learnt so much from doing it and I gained so many new skills, which I have been able to put on my CV.  I also had to express my own vision for the project and show all my original ideas. I always like it when I actually have something practical to do rather than just writing a report, because it is more fun! It was my first time creating “personas” and “journey maps” and this is essential for a marketing career. In addition, we actually had the chance to meet some of the people involved in the real project and listened to several guest lecturers who came to share their thoughts and ideas.

Sometimes all it takes to make a unit fascinating, or even a whole semester, is just one good project. For me, the GWW was an incredibly exciting and interesting experience, which I will never forget!

Martina Gardeva, Bulgaria, MSc Tourism Management & Marketing, 2017/18