Wildlife centres and the study of consumer behaviour aren’t the most obvious of bedfellows, but a Birmingham Business School academic is just about to embark on an exciting research project with one of the UKs best known zoos.

Marketing Lecturer Dr Yvetta Simonyan will begin a new research collaboration this month with Twycross Zoo, a World Primate Centre and a key strategic partner of the University.

Dr Yvetta Simonyan

The aim of the partnership is to increase the efficiency of the zoo’s philanthropic campaigns and refine its overall marketing strategy. The collaboration will form a key part of Dr Simonyan’s research on people’s willingness to donate and will be funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Impact Accelerator Secondment Fund.

I’m excited to begin this partnership with Twycross Zoo. Working with a non-academic institution will enable me to collect data on site at the zoo rather than in artificial lab settings, using the zoo's members database to inform my research.
Dr Simonyan

Dr Simonyan’s research will help Twycross Zoo to improve their promotional marketing strategy and determine the optimal promotional tools to increase charitable donations, ticket revenues, and electronic word-of-mouth.

She will also be looking at methods to enhance the effectiveness of social media platforms and analyse consumers’ current perception of the zoo to develop new positioning.

Alongside the commercial and economic impact, the benefits of the collaboration will include improving the educational and cultural resources of the zoo through increased funding from philanthropy.

I hope that working with Twycross will yield some interesting new avenues and findings for my research while having a direct impact for the zoo and its future direction.
Dr Simonyan

Would your organization benefit from working alongside a Business School academic? If you would be interested in finding out more, please contact Andy Newnham, Business Engagement Partner for the College of Social Sciences on 07964911458 or a.newnham@bham.ac.uk.