2 June 2021

Lena Reuther, MSc Marketing and Business Analysis, shares her experiences from the Data & Marketing Association (DMA) Creative Data Lab competition she recently took part in.
Group of students looking at laptops

In April, students from the Business School and School of Mathematics participated in the 2021 online two day DMA Talent Creative Data Lab. The challenge for the 30 students, who later were allocated into five groups, was to respond to a real-world client brief.

The Scottish distiller Whyte & Mackay was looking for ideas on how to make its distillery on the Scottish Hebridean Isle of Jura carbon-neutral, and effectively communicate those changes to stakeholders. The students’ response was guided by a dataset containing used energy sources and consumption of the distillery in previous years.

The Event Structure

The first day started with a short introduction by the DMA Talent team, the client's brief, and inspiring input from Carolyn Bondi, Co-Founder of The Thread Team, about how data can be a powerful tool to create successful marketing campaigns. Afterward, the students were allocated into their teams. A mix of students from different academic disciplines then spent the rest of the day working on their proposals.

On the second day, all five teams presented their proposal. Each team had 15 minutes to pitch their idea and to convince the panel, which consisted of Whyte & Mackay representatives, The Thread Team, and some university lectures, that their proposal was the most suitable.

The Proposal

For the proposal, the teams had to do in-depth research into different sustainable energy sources to better understand which possibilities would work, along with the pros and cons. The teams also used the available dataset to estimate how much energy is needed and if energy sources could be combined to become carbon neutral.

To tackle the communication issue, the teams had to understand who the stakeholders were to create a successful marketing communication strategy.

The Winners

All proposals were innovative, well-researched, and pitched professionally. The winner of the April 2021 DMA Talent Creative Data Lab was team five’s proposal — Jura’s Era of Sustainability.

Their outside-the-box approach using a mix of geothermal, wave turbine, and hydrogenated vegetable oils (HVO) energy was a completely different idea compared to the other proposals presented.

The winning team was rewarded with a voucher from the DMA Talent team and a Jura Distillery branded jacket from Whyte & Mackay.

A Valuable Learning Experience

It was a great opportunity for the students to apply theoretical knowledge gained at the University of Edinburgh to a real-life challenge, and to help the distiller tackle sustainability issues. Further, it was interesting how the different backgrounds complemented each other to achieve a common goal.

Overall, it was a very positive experience, and all participants highly recommend taking part in the next DMA Talent Creative Data Lab at the University of Edinburgh.

Lena Reuther

Lena Reuther is a student on the MSc Marketing and Business Analysis programme