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Student undertakes research into the use of digital marketing in agritourism

Posted 22 February

"...as we move more online and the COVID-19 pandemic affects the way businesses can communicate with customers, I want to assess what agritourism businesses are currently doing and whether they prioritise digital marketing"

Young woman in a woolly had and tweed jacket in field with sunset in the distance

In today's climate, digital marketing is ever-evolving, and companies are embracing technology more and more to help promote themselves and develop their business.

Ellie Wait, 22, from north Norfolk, is in the final year of the BSc (Hons) Food Manufacture with Marketing programme at the University and is carrying out a research project entitled ‘An investigation into the viability of a digital marketing strategy for UK farm businesses diversified into agritourism’. She will be using a survey and semi-structured interviews to complete the work.

Ellie explained the motive behind her research: “I have chosen this topic because as we move more online and the COVID-19 pandemic affects the way businesses can communicate with customers, I want to assess what agritourism businesses are currently doing and whether they prioritise digital marketing.

“During the current times and the move towards a digital world, I want to explore whether UK farmers who have diversified into agritourism are using digital marketing, how are they and what sort of barriers they face”.

Ellie is from a small rural seaside village and said that going to university was a big step for her as not many people go into higher education in her hometown.

Ellie added: “I aspired to go to Harper Adams University from a young age as I was always aware of its reputation from talking to individuals within the farming community.

“The placement opportunity also stood out giving the University and my chosen course an extra edge compared to others, as I appreciated the value of acquiring practical industry knowledge”.

Ellie has a strong passion for agriculture and food and said that the marketing modules of the course at the University helped form her decision.

“I chose the course because of the marketing element and the straightforward agri-food focus, supporting my future career aspirations. My passion is to provide the growing nation with education about where their food comes from, through effective marketing strategies within agricultural and food-based businesses,” she added.

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