16 Jul 08
VisitScotland Guardian Itinerary Builder
Communicating in a way that caters to the audiences thirst for new experiences
“Southern Travel Junkies” are affluent professionals across all ages. Their holidays are an important part of their lifestyle, in fact you could say they help to define them as people. They like to take a main holiday plus several short breaks a year, mainly abroad. Whilst some have children, this is not obviously reflected in their attitude towards travel. They are adventurous, and like to go to new and different destinations, including fashionable places and vibrant cities. No doubt they tick places off a list. They tend to hop on a plane, and living in the South they have a wide choice of destinations on their doorstep. They will be influenced by good deals – and probably react quite spontaneously to offers. They use the internet actively to plan and research their trips. If they do take a break in the UK, it is likely to be to a city, to enjoy some shopping and good food and drink. They have little relationship with Scotland, and like the rest of the UK, think it is not particularly good value for money compared with destinations abroad.
Campaign Objectives – The Challenge
• We needed to change the perceptions of this “cold” audience who would be unlikely to consider Scotland as a holiday destination.
• We needed the audience to believe that Scottish city breaks can provide a fashionable, vibrant and unique experience that is very easy to get to.
• We needed to generate short breaks to Scotland’s cities
• We needed to generate customer data for later eCRM use.
Ultimately, we needed to raise awareness of Scottish cities to this target audience.
Southern Travel Junkies are competitive travellers who want to feel a sense of discovery, they use their short breaks as a social currency. The fact that they think Scotland lacks social cachet due to it “not being different enough” is identified as a major barrier.
The solution was to communicate Scottish cities in a way that; caters to the audiences thirst for new experiences, when they are seeking inspiration, via media brands they trust, throughout their media week.
A personalised video guide was developed, hosted and promoted via the Guardian.co.uk site (http://www.guardian-visitscotland.co.uk/). The purpose, to deliver a personal, rich and engaging video production based on the answers given to a short list of questions pertinent to Southern Travel Junkies holiday habits.
The series of questions were based on the audience’s preferences for; Eating & drinking, shopping, museums & galleries and city experiences. The answers selected by the user dictated which series of the 24 specially commissioned video clips were delivered in their bespoke video guide to both Edinburgh & Glasgow.
This personalised approach aimed to raise the awareness of what there is to see and do on a short break to Edinburgh & Glasgow, also giving the user the opportunity to send their bespoke visual experience on to a friend.
All visitors to the site were given the opportunity to enter a competition to win a 5* break to Edinburgh or Glasgow.
The same themes used for the video guide questions formulated the traffic driving strategy which included over 10m impressions and 5 email inclusions i.e. Food & Drink creative was used to drive users from Food & Drink content on the Guardian site via display formats, editorial text links and email activity.
Two press inclusions were also negotiated as value-add to this online booking. These were placed in the travel supplement of the Saturday Guardian during the campaign in order to help drive users to the microsite.
The campaign attracted 9,518 unique users with an average dwell time of 3 mins 35 secs. In addition the site also generated 5,310 competition entries. (Verified by Guardian and Atlas combined tracking)
As part of the package a Dynamic Logic study was also included in order to measure the campaigns impact on brand metrics and user perceptions of Scottish cities. 621 online questionnaires were completed providing the following insight:
• Over 1/3 of visitors said Scotland would be their 1st choice for their next UK city break
• Consideration to visit Glasgow and Edinburgh (cities featured in the microsite) was far higher than any other UK city after seeing the activity
• 50% of visitors claimed the microsite had influenced their intention to VisitScotland within the next 12 months
• 80% of microsite visitors said the were likely to go to the visitscotland.com/citybreaks site for more information in the future
Based on media and minimal creative costs the campaign returned an estimated ROI of 60:1. This figure is calculated using VisitScotland methodology based on a visitor’s value once they arrive in Scotland. This methodology discounts visitors who are likely to have chosen to come to Scotland regardless of promotional activity and identifies ROI based on those who make a decision to visit based on the promotional activity involved, thus providing a more accurate indication of the extent to which the activity influenced visitors – particularly important in this case due to the high socio-demographic status and “cold” nature of this target segment.
Negotiation on the campaign resulted in an immediate saving of 58% versus initially proposed costs. VisitScotland were also able to recoup budget against the media spend by selling the available ad inventory around the Guardian microsite to GNER and Quality Meat Scotland, adding further value to the overall package.
See the VisitScotland Guardian microsite here