The first year Marketing students at Leeds Business School are completing a module on the use of data and information to inform marketing decisions. To support the students with real-life data, and to give them an insight into how marketing really works at one of our region’s most popular tourist attractions, Stuart Jarman, General Manager, and Simon Alnaimi, Marketing Executive, have been sharing the secrets of the York Dungeon’s success.
Dr Brian Jones, Senior Lecturer in Marketing at Leeds Beckett University, explained: “The module and the assessment are theoretically-informed and academically-underpinned but also have application and relevance to practice. This is a great opportunity for students to learn about marketing in a real-world environment and the information that businesses need to make informed decisions and to plan ahead. This is a perfect example of learning coming alive away from the traditional classroom environment, and of business and education working together to help deliver the skills, knowledge and competencies needed by future graduates.”
During the talks, the students were treated to an insight into the brand values and personality of the York Dungeon and how they use their data, from sources such as online bookings and surveys, to inform their marketing decisions. Social media was highlighted a very useful way for them to share their values and engage customers.
Following the talks by Stuart and Simon, the group of around 80 students will be heading to the York Dungeon on Wednesday 1 November to see their lessons come to life as they experience a tour of the Dungeon followed by a debrief from Operations Manager, Laura Pocock, and Performance Manager, John Andrews.
Sophie Maurice-Payne, a first-year student on the BA (Hons) Marketing and Advertising course, said: “It’s been a thrilling experience and I’ve been intrigued to hear about aspects of history that I wasn’t aware of. The York Dungeon is both fascinating and has a funny side and it’s great that it is targeted towards my age range. The talks have been really helpful for our course – I’ve learnt about some new techniques such as surveying people on the way out, which I feel like I’d like to use in the future - and I’m really looking forward to the trip now.”
Stuart Jarman said: “The students at Leeds Beckett University are the potential future marketing leaders, hopefully within the ever-growing tourism sector, and it is important to invest in their knowledge and understanding of the industry by allowing them to have access to popular attractions like the York Dungeon. Having been a visitor attraction in the heart of York for over 31 years, and part of the largest entertainment company in Europe, we hope that this partnership with the University is one that will see a great return for the students within their learning and career aspirations.”
Simon Alnaimi, who talked the students through his marketing and public relations campaign for the Dungeon’s new Dick Turpin show, said: “It’s been great to put my job into context for students who are just being introduced to marketing. It is important to have what you are learning, and want to practice as a career, brought to life with real-world examples. It would have been great to have had this myself before I started my career. It is also nice to reflect on how much things have changed since I began working in the marketing sector and how much I have to pass on to others.”
Following the visit, the students will begin work on their assessment, which will see them use actual marketing data and information from York Dungeon.
Dr Jones added: "The York Dungeon team have helped give our students valuable business insights and have given real-world context to learning. Stuart and Simon provided inspirational as well as entertaining marketing insights that served to reinforce and underpin students' academic learning. They have worked brilliantly with our marketing students to deliver a value added curriculum and the students’ learning has been richly rewarded."
Images courtesy of the York Dungeon