A team of marketing students from Northumbria University, Newcastle, has been crowned winners of this year’s UK Data and Marketing Association (DMA) Talent Marketing Challenge.

The six Digital Marketing Masters students from Northumbria’s Newcastle Business School, were up against 60 other teams from universities and colleges across the UK. Known as team Cubed, they were provided with a brief from youth travel agency StudentUniverse and their client Tourism Northern Territory (NT) to develop a marketing campaign raising awareness of Australia’s Northern Territory and increase bookings from 18-30-year-olds.

After a rigorous judging process, four teams were shortlisted to pitch their campaigns virtually via Zoom to comply with COVID-19 restrictions. According to the panel all teams came up with “brilliant campaign ideas and delivered slick, professional pitches”. After discussing each campaign at length the judges named Northumbria’s Daria Ansari Saeid, Laura Alice Garcia, Laura Charlton, Laura Cunningham, Olivia Anderson and Rod Forbes from team Cubed, as winners.

In addition to being presented with the top prize for their outstanding response to the brief, each team member received £300’s worth of StudentUniverse travel vouchers. They also have the opportunity to work with StudentUniverse and Tourism NT on a month-long campaign. Team members from the other three finalist teams, including Digi-Gen, also from Northumbria, received a £30 Amazon voucher.

Dr David Hart, Associate Professor at Northumbria University, said: “Northumbria has a proud history of success in the DMA Talent Student Competition, with more wins than any other university. This year were delighted that five of the 10 entries shortlisted by the DMA judging panel were from Northumbria, and two of our teams made it to the final pitch.

“We have been so impressed with how our students at both undergraduate and postgraduate have tackled this exciting brief, producing industry standard proposals covering everything from creative strategies to analytics. Our Digital Marketing provision continues to enjoy great success, and this is another marker that our MSc Digital Marketing course really does prep students for the graduate marketplace.”

Sam Willan, General Manager of International Markets at StudentUniverse, commented: “I was incredibly impressed by the winners’ understanding of the customer journey and their multi-layered marketing strategy to effectively engage 18-30-year-olds. Our final decision was based on which campaign we believed was not only strategic and innovative, but who demonstrated an understanding of the motivators and pain points of our target market.”

Lucy Pares, Marketing Executive at Tourism NT added, “The winning team conveyed an in-depth awareness into what makes Australia’s Northern Territory such a desirable destination for young, aspirational travellers. Their extensive research and intricately detailed three-phased plan to encourage young travellers to visit the Northern Territory was very impressive.”

Kate Burnett, MD of DMA Talent said: “During such a difficult time for students across the UK, DMA Talent are delighted to recognise and reward the hard work, strategic insight and creativity of these talented young professionals. Initiatives like our Marketing Challenge provide students with invaluable marketing experience and that all-important connection to the workplace, enabling them to harness key skills such as creativity, analytical thinking and problem-solving.”

The Data & Marketing Association (DMA) comprises the DMA, Institute of Data & Marketing (IDM) and DMA Talent. It seeks to guide and inspire industry leaders; to advance careers; and to nurture the next generation of aspiring marketers.