Thursday, March 21, 2013

Time well spent at Ensemble

... Hello Again! :)

Who would have thought that a seven week externship would go by so quickly? I was more than lucky enough to have the placement extended and to have the opportunity to do some awesome things independently that helped out everyone. I hear all these horror stories and comments of others having to do these internships or placements as part of their post-secondary program about them having to do basically "b****-work for free". Which is why I am so thankful to be given responsibilities of conducting my own marketing research project, while helping out in many other ways with the rest of the marketing team and their own projects.

Here are some of the highlights:

Creating libraries/databases.
Simple data entry that I had past experience with. The first one was conducting an online destination wedding contest. The contest: YOU COULD WIN YOUR WEDDING CONTEST was an online promotion for entrants a chance to win a destination wedding in Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba. Given all the entries from the webmaster, I had to organize all the data into a spreadsheet with all the information given (around 400 entries in the 10 weeks).

Another project related to this was to create a library database for the Ensemble Vacations Magazine. This is Ensemble's national, consumer travel and lifestyle magazine published by Ensemble Travel® Group for its member agencies designed to inspire the readers' passion for travel. With 16 issues in the past 4 years (4 issues a year), it featured many articles featuring destinations. My goal was to create a library of all the topics, destinations that were covered with keywords and a quick synopsis for each article. The result? Quick retrieval of data for staff of what topics or destinations have already been published and being able to access the articles efficiently. A total of 165 entries.

Content writing for DestinationVows
This was one of my favourites, mainly because I got to do what I enjoy doing, albeit with some researching required and image searching. Armed with a couple of Caribbean destinations: St Lucia and Turks and Caicos Islands, along with some prominent resorts to feature, I set out to write about what makes the destination ideal for the perfect destination wedding, including wedding and honeymoon packages. Started off with my own little blog to develop the content here, then sending it to Ensemble's web developer to place on their website for St Lucia and Turks and Caicos Islands here. Having never been to any of these destinations, I had to research about them, but after working on it, it really makes me want to visit them personally in the future.

Surveying Ensemble agency members
This project was to help Ensemble learn more about their agency members and to better reach their members with more focused marketing programs. I created a survey with the use of Google Form, allowing me to easily enter and track responses and was used mainly by myself. I called up each agency to speak with the manager/owner of each one representing Ensemble's marketing team to learn more about their agency and how their agency is currently marketing their services to the public, the GDS systems they used, and their past/current participation in the Ensemble marketing programs: Ensemble Vacations Magazine, DestinationVows, Bon Vivant, Luxe & Direct Mail campaigns.

Analyzing the primary data from survey and presentations
The next part of this project was to take the data I gathered from conducting the survey and develop a presentation for the marketing team and the co-president of Ensemble Travel. It found resounding results based on the level of participation by the agencies, their lack of use for GDS systems, and their own marketing initiatives. Given the resounding results, I was given another project in conjunction with this. I was then to take the data and results of the survey especially their participation of the various marketing programs with Ensemble, and breakdown the data based on the agencies' annual revenue to find any relationship between the two factors. Another presentation of the findings and breakdown of participation levels based on agency revenues was developed by myself.