The participants of EADA’s International Master in Tourism & Hospitality Management recently took part in the annual Marketing Challenge, creating a marketing plan for a real company. Previous companies have included the Hofmann Restaurant & Culinary School, Almanac Hotels and Familia Torres wines and brandies. This initiative is a unique opportunity to put into practice all of the skills they have learned in the marketing courses during the first and second trimesters.
“The Marketing Challenge is an excellent opportunity for the participants to apply all learnt content into a real business,” says Programme Director – Ulrike Jung. “They show that they can put themselves in the shoes of an entrepreneur, taking strategic decisions to develop an implementation plan and achieve the set objectives.”
Marketing professor Iris Brouwer highlighted the benefits of EADA’s learning by doing methodology, citing the Marketing Challenge as the ideal way to learn about the industry from the inside out.
During this year’s Marketing Challenge, participants acted as consultants for the Tavolamica restaurant, which forms part of Catering Arcasa S.L. Tavolamica is a self-service restaurant that opened in Barcelona in November 2019 and belongs to a select group of 40 restaurants that make up the Italy-based Camst Group. Tavolamica offers daily Mediterranean cuisine lunch specials for a reasonable price to professionals near Plaza Europa (Hospitalet).
This year’s challenge was presented to students at the beginning of February by B&I Director – Robert-Jan Lensink and Commercial & Marketing Director – Manel Macià. Lensink and Macià’s request was clear: create a marketing plan to increase Tavolamica’s sales, taking into account all of the potential challenges and opportunities of the current business environment.
Students worked in groups to tacking the issue, with diverse input from the different nationalities and backgrounds represented in each group. For 7 weeks, they designed a comprehensive marketing plan, analysing the current business context and developing ideas in accordance with the vision of the brand. The experience working as marketing consultants was eye-opening for participants, and included interviewing customers and acting as “mystery shoppers” to analyse the restaurant’s layout, the flow of customers and the environment.
The Marketing Challenge closed on March 9, when students presented their final marketing plans to a jury made up of Robert-Jan Lensink; Manel Màcia; Roberto Limentani – CEO of Camst Internacional; and Artur Arqués i Girbau – Country Manager of Catering Arcasa S.L. Participants demonstrated the fruits of their hard work, from internal and sectorial analysis to the application of methodologies such as:
- 7 Ps of the marketing mix
- Communications plan
- Financial analysis
- Key success factors
- SWOT analysis
- PESTLE analysis
- Porter’s Five Forces
- Segmentation and targeting
- Value proposition
Robert-Jan was particularly impressed with the creativity and feasibility of the ideas that participants brought to the table.
It was difficult to highlight one group in particular this year as all groups worked hard and the jury had a tough time selecting one winner. After evaluating the presentations of the three groups, the jury announced its decision: “We congratulate the winning team, made up of: Eléa Sibold, Anna Seidl, Itzel Díaz, Raquel Canas, Victoire Chacon.”