Using a skunkworks approach to promote Ireland as a sun holiday destination
In Ireland, it rains a lot! According to Wikipedia, the average number of "wet days" (days with more than 1mm of rain) ranges from about 151 days a year along the east and southeast coasts, to about 225 days a year in parts of the west.  July is the hottest month in Ireland with an average temperature of 16°C and the coldest is January at 5°C with the most daily sunshine hours at 6.3 in May. Surprisingly, the wettest month is August – at the peak of the summer months - with an average of 80mm of rain.  As such, summer weather in Ireland can typically look like this: 


You are working in the marketing department of a low-cost airline in Europe.  Your manager has approached you because they have noticed that there has been a drop in sales of flights to Ireland and the UK, particularly during peak holiday season.  As the majority of the airline’s fleet is based in Ireland and the UK, they would like you to lead the development of an innovative marketing campaign that aims to promote Ireland as a sun holiday destination.  With this marketing strategy, the manager aims to attract sales to these destinations.  They are developing this marketing strategy for Ireland first, as a pilot strategy; and if it is successful then the marketing campaign will be adopted for the UK as well, so the marketing campaign should be measurable and scalable to other destinations.

You are required to establish a skunkworks team in your company to come up with a public relations campaign that markets Ireland as a ‘sun holiday destination’.  In developing this marketing campaign, your skunkworks team can use any marketing technique or any facts about Ireland that are available to them; but the campaign must centre on the message that “Ireland is Europe’s newest sun holiday destination”.  After one month working with your skunkworks team, you will be expected to present your completed marketing campaign and a scalability plan for the strategy to the head of the marketing department.
1. What is a skunkworks?
So what is a Skunkworks?  The Skunkworks model was introduced by Lockheed Martin in 1940s, resized/uploaded---tiny---images---leirasokba/800/800/fipl-innovation-process-1.jpg
as a proven way to develop innovation within large organisations and companies; but it is best known for its use by technology start-ups in Silicon Valley.  To read more about the origin of the Skunkworks model, follow this link: https://www.lockheedmartin.com/en-us/who-we-are/business-areas/aeronautics/skunkworks/skunk-works-origin-story.html

By definition, a Skunkworks team is ‘a small and loosely structured group of people who research and develop a project for the sake of innovation.’ (definition available at: https://www.revolvy.com/page/Skunkworks-project). This is the type of team that you will be leading to develop an innovative marketing strategy in this task.  To learn more about how Skunkworks have been used in business to develop innovation, you can read the following article:

Skunkworks help to develop ‘intrapreneurship’ competences in employees of larger companies.  The term ‘intrapreneurship’ refers to an employee’s ability to act like an entrepreneur but within a larger organisation.  What we mean by this is that employees would develop their abilities to identify opportunities for growth or advancement, to develop innovations, to take risks, etc.  Using the Skunkworks model, these types of intrapreneurial competences can be developed in Skunkworks team members, which can lead to real innovation being harnessed within larger companies and organisations.  To read more about how to develop intrapreneurship competences, follow this link: https://training.intraprise-project.eu/en/module-4/unit-2-intrapreneurial-stories-and-case-studies/137-the-skunkworks-project-case
and inspiring examples of how intrapreneurship has been developed in the past, can be viewed at this link: https://www.vocoli.com/blog/may-2014/10-inspiring-examples-of-successful-intrapreneurship/

As was seen in Silicon Valley, innovation in the private sector is achieved in many ways but in most cases there is a strong teamwork element.  By developing a skunkworks team to produce this marketing campaign, you will be pooling all of the assets and resources from different departments of this company to foster innovative and creative thinking, and the exchange of expertise and experience between employees from different teams, who normally would not get the opportunity to work

2. What do you need, to establish a Skunkworks?
Now that you understand what a Skunkworks is, it is important, as the leader of the Skunkworks team, that you understand what you need in order to establish this team. You can find guidelines for setting up your Skunkworks at this link: http://corwin-connect.com/2016/05/school-needs-skunkworks-group/

When meeting your Skunkworks team for the first time, there are a plethora of guides and resources online that can help you to set the rules and boundaries of your Skunkworks’ activities which you, as leader of the team, will need to establish. To read more about these rules for developing your Skunkworks, these links will be useful:
· http://blog.projectconnections.com/project_practitioners/2018/01/create-your-skunk-works.html
· https://www.inc.com/yoram-solomon/the-most-important-skunk-works-rules-for-your-success.html

For an overview of the original rules of Skunkworks, as outlined by its founder, Lockhead Martin, follow this link and plan how you will adopt these 14 rules in your own team: https://searchcio.techtarget.com/definition/skunkworks.

The whole point behind working in a Skunkworks is that this model gives you and your colleagues from different departments the opportunity to come together to collaborate and to generate truly innovative ideas and proposals that can be integrated into your company.  Skunkworks team members therefore should have varied but advanced skill sets, and the environment that the team works in should be open, trusting and conducive to innovation.

When bringing your Skunkworks team together, there are a few factors to consider that will positively impact the work of your team if managed correctly.  These include:
·  The motivation of your team members – Skunkworks teams may be faced with difficulties and opposition to the changes that they are trying to bring about.  When we consider the aim of your Skunkworks is to market Ireland as a sun holiday destination, it is easy to imagine that this strategy will be met with some opposition! Therefore, it is important that all members of your team are motivated to support this cause – at the beginning of your activities, discuss this motivation with your team members.
·  Ensure your team has autonomy - Your Skunkworks team must be separated from the low-cost airline marketing department so as to ensure that true freedom and innovation can be fostered. 
·  Regular reporting – As the management of your department have approached you to develop this Skunkworks team, this guarantees that you have the support of high-level management, which is imperative for a successful Skunkworks.  Build short regular reporting structures into your Skunkworks activities so that you can keep management informed of your development through the Skunkworks activities, without jeopardising the environment you are working in.

Now that you understand the factors to consider in developing your Skunkworks team, work with your team to develop a model for how you will work together.  Then you can progress to developing your marketing campaign.

3. Creating a Mind-map in your Skunkworks team
The first step in developing your marketing campaign should be to agree what the core ‘marketing message’ will be for selling Ireland as a sun holiday destination to holiday-makers in Europe.  Working in your Skunkworks team, a good method for generating this ‘marketing message’ is to create a Mind-Map.
For guidance on how to create a Mind-Map, there is some advice available at these links:
· https://www.cleverism.com/techniques-idea-generation-mind-maps/
· https://medium.com/bread-crumbs/how-to-use-mind-mapping-for-idea-generation-4b5513d032ca
· https://imindmap.com/blog/how-to-generate-fresh-ideas-mind-mapping-a-new-perspective/

The process of using mind-maps for innovation involves a process of idea generation, followed by a period of ‘incubation’.  When developing an innovative idea, this is the most suitable use of a mind-map technique.  To learn more about how to use this method in your Skunkworks, read the following guide: https://imindmap.com/articles/mind-mapping-for-innovation/

4. Using Skunkworks to develop an innovative marketing campaign
Now that you have set the ground rules for working in your Skunkworks team, you can start to collaborate resized/uploaded---tiny---images---leirasokba/800/800/fipl-innovation-process-4.jpg
and come up with ideas for your new marketing campaign.  Your first task is to brainstorm and think of what message you can use in your marketing campaign, to convince holiday-makers to come to Ireland for their ‘sun holiday’.

To develop your campaign, you need to start by thinking of techniques you can use to market Ireland as a sun holiday destination.  For this, you and your team will need to consider all of the components of a marketing campaign and begin profiling aspects like your target audience and customer profile, your budget, your timeline, your chosen social media platforms and marketing channels, etc.  Read more about how to develop a marketing campaign at these links:
· https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/en-ie/blog/2017-08-14-how-to-create-your-first-marketing-campaign
· https://blogs.constantcontact.com/create-a-campaign/
· https://masterful-marketing.com/how-to-launch-a-successful-marketing-campaign/
· https://www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/299487

When developing an innovative marketing campaign, it is also a good idea to integrate novel and pioneering marketing techniques. While social media is a must in a marketing campaign, there are other modern techniques such as guerrilla marketing and  influencer marketing that can help to get your message out.  These links can be useful to help you to develop your campaign strategy:
· https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/3-modern-marketing-strategies-your-competitors-arent_us_5991f7dbe4b0caa1687a627d
· https://neilpatel.com/blog/marketing-techniques-that-cost-time-not-money/
· http://www.creativeguerrillamarketing.com/guerrilla-marketing/50-guerrilla-marketing-tactics-you-should-be-using/
· https://www.referralcandy.com/blog/guerrilla-marketing-tactics/
· https://pestleanalysis.com/modern-marketing-strategies/
· https://www.shopify.com/blog/116564869-5-low-cost-guerrilla-marketing-tactics-to-grow-your-business-offline

Working in a Skunkworks to come up with innovative marketing strategies should be a fun exercise, so keep it light-hearted, and aim to develop a marketing campaign that will put a smile on peoples’ faces!

5. Measuring the impact of your marketing campaign
resized/uploaded---tiny---images---leirasokba/800/800/fipl-innovaton-process-5.jpg Now that you and your team have been able to provide a structure to your marketing campaign, your next step is to build in mechanisms to measure the performance and impact of your marketing campaign.  Depending on the marketing techniques and channels you are using in your campaign, there are a variety of different tools and resources you can use to help to measure how your marketing campaign is performing.  Read more about these tools at these links:
·  https://www.cleverism.com/how-to-measure-effectiveness-of-marketing-campaigns/
·  https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2017/09/29/10-metrics-worth-watching-when-judging-the-effectiveness-of-your-next-marketing-campaign/#c71c3e67edc6
·  https://knowhownonprofit.org/campaigns/campaigning-and-influencing/developing-your-campaign-strategy/evaluating-the-impact-of-your-campaign
·  https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/influencer-marketing-campaigns-5-ways-to-measure/

To support how you will present this marketing campaign to your managers, it is important that you include these metrics into your marketing campaign.  For specific metrics related to the goal of your marketing campaign, consider using the following:
·  Number of click-throughs from social media campaigns
·  Number of searches for flights to Ireland
·  Number of flights booked to Ireland
·  Increase in number of flights booked to Ireland during peak holiday seasons

6. Determining scalability
When your team has developed a plan for your marketing campaign and determined how the campaign success of the campaign will be measured, the final step in developing your marketing campaign is to build-in marketing techniques and platforms that can be scaled and transferred to other markets.  To finalise your marketing campaign, you and your Skunkworks team can use the following links to understand how to develop scalable marketing campaigns:
· https://blog.marketo.com/2017/03/how-to-scale-your-marketing-strategy-without-sacrificing-engagement.html
·  https://www.stitchlabs.com/resource/guides/developing-scalable-marketing-strategies/

7: Presenting your marketing campaign
Now that you have developed your marketing campaign, the next step for your Skunkworks team is to present your marketing campaign to your managers.  To facilitate your presentation to your managers, your Skunkworks team should work together to develop a PowerPoint Presentation or a set of Google Slides to present:
·  The core message of your marketing campaign
·  Your target audience
·  Your chosen marketing and social media channels
·  Your budget for the campaign
·   The timeline for the campaign
·   How the success of your marketing campaign will be measured
·   The intended outcome of your marketing campaign
Evaluation and Learning Outcomes
After the completion of this webquest, learners will be able to:

 Knowledge Skills Attitude
· Fundamental knowledge of the definition of skunkworks
· Fundamental knowledge of the definition of intrapreneurship
· Fundamental knowledge about how to set up and manage a skunkworks team
· Fundamental knowledge on how to develop a marketing campaign
· Factual knowledge on how to measure the success of a marketing campaign
· Factual knowledge of how to scale a marketing campaign
· Basic knowledge of how to prepare a group presentation
· Conduct research in online environments to complete a set task
· Use creative thinking skills to develop a project with peers
· Practice innovative thinking through team work
· Show leadership in a group activity
· Use management skills to complete the project
· Use critical thinking skills to evaluate ideas
· Use presentation skills to present your marketing campaign
· Work collaboratively with peers
· Be open to use innovative thinking to develop creative projects with peers



A Skunkworks is a unique approach which aims to increase innovation and innovative thinking in existing companies and organisations.  In this model, smaller teams of qualified individuals are brought together to brainstorm solutions to problems, to develop new products or, in the case with this WebQuest, to develop an innovative marketing campaign for an aspect of the company that is under-performing. Skunkworks projects are successful in increasing innovation in companies because they develop an environment where individuals aren’t afraid of being wrong, or of developing an idea that is unworkable – because even bad ideas might lead to a bright spark that brings about true collaboration and innovation. Also, because Skunkworks are outside of the normal working tasks and environments for employees, they encourage these individuals to feel free to share their creativity with their peers and to engage in open collaboration. With a topic such as ‘marketing Ireland as a sun holiday destination’, the Skunkworks approach is an appropriate model to use to encourage teams to engage in real innovative thinking.