New Zealanders have been pivotal to Wellington’s transformation from a place said to be best seen by leaving on the ferry, to the ‘coolest little capital in the world’. Domestic visitation is the rock of our $2600 per minute tourism industry, with commercial guest nights increasing 62% to over 1.3 million per year over the past decade.
Saying thanks to our biggest visitor market
How better to spoil someone than by doing it in person!
The gifting began outside Mercure Auckland, with a projection inviting Aucklanders to text in to see if they’d been spoiled by Wellington. Gifts on offer ranged from return flights from Auckland to Wellington with our good friends Air New Zealand, to tickets for two to the Hertz Sevens.
But that was only the beginning. Later that night, 100 unsuspecting customers at Wellingtonian Al Brown’s Depot restaurant and Grey Lynn’s Gypsy Tea Room were then spoiled with free return flights to Wellington with Air New Zealand.
Here’s how people reacted:
We did it all again the next morning at Mojo Carlton Gore Road, and this time Breakfast TV decided they wanted to be part of the fun with a live cross.
A taste of Wellington
All Aucklanders were then invited to see if they’ve been spoiled online at WellingtonNZ.com with one of the finer things in life. Our gift bag included:
- 250 return AKL-WLG flights with Air New Zealand
- 10 x Wellington holiday packages for two
- 550 bags of Mojo coffee
- 500 blocks of Whittaker’s chocolate
- 5 x $100 Air New Zealand Holidays gift cards
- A series of double passes to the sold out Brancott Estate WOW® Awards Show, next year’s Hertz Sevens and the exclusive to Wellington season of the 60th anniversary tour of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap.
So, what were the results?
- Over 28,000 visits to the campaign landing page on WellingtonNZ.com from almost 24,000 unique visitors
- During September Auckland was the biggest geographic source of traffic to WellingtonNZ.com, and Auckland traffic increased 74% August v September 2012
- Over 16,000 views of the campaign video on YouTube
- 1,486 new Facebook likes and 1,825 new e-newsletter subscribers
- Facebook reach of almost 500,000 courtesy of 6,042 engaged users. There were 313 shares, 617 likes and 145 comments. The post below is now Absolutely Positively Wellington’s all time most popular post!
- A few media mentions including a live cross on Breakfast TV of Aucklanders being spoiled at Mojo Carlton Gore Road, and StopPress.co.nz
- And of course a whole lot of happy Aucklanders who were spoiled by the good people of Wellington
It’s a simple rule but one that’s easy to forget, and one that if you’re honest with yourself as a marketer you will continue to learn many times during your career. In tourism we’re all marketers whether it’s in our job title or not. So I thought I’d share a few marketing campaign golden rules with you. To give them a bit of context I’ll use our ‘’Stay 3 nights, but only pay for 2’’ campaign that we’ve now run three times for Wellington with our hotel partners.
5 Golden Rules
Rule 1 – The right objective
Set specific objectives for your short term and long term plans, because if you don’t, you won’t know if you’ve been successful or not.
Rule 2 – The right target market
This is the most important part of your campaign – ‘’Don’t sell to everybody; sell to somebody!’’
Rule 3 – The right offer
Always ask yourself ‘’What’s the benefit my customer will gain for buying or using my product or service?’’
Rule 4 – The right communication
Use the AIDA principle – your message must gain the customer’s Attention from the start. Involve her and arouse her Interest (I’m referring to females here as we know they make the majority of short break holiday decisions!). Develop that interest into a strong Desire for purchase/use and get the desired Action.
Rule 5 – The right review
You never fully know how successful you are going to be. The only way is to test, and test continually. Make sure you analyse your activities against your objectives and take the time to ensure you learn from all your experiences, good or bad.
Putting it into practice – part 1
So let’s take a look at the first ‘’Stay 3 nights, but only pay for 2’’ campaign we ran with our hotel partners last winter. The campaign was a major success and resulted in WellingtonNZ.com booking revenue increasing 60% on the same period year on year and surpassing $80,000 revenue for a single month for the first time ever.
Rule 1 – The right objective: Our objective was to increase hotel partner occupancy during the challenging winter period, and gain 100+ bookings on WellingtonNZ.com (the campaign also included partner hotel websites). We beat this target by more than 50%.
Rule 2 – The right target market: Our target audience was clearly defined as couples aged 25-55 wanting a short break weekend to get away from the winter blues.
Rule 3 – The right offer: Stay 3 nights, but only pay for 2; as long as one of the nights is a Saturday night. This offer hit the mark with our target audience and also enabled our hotel partners to improve weekend occupancy during Wellington’s traditionally challenging winter period.
Rule 4 – The right communication: We communicated our campaign message via updating the ending of our motivational brand television commercial for Wellington with a call to action for ‘’Stay 3 nights, but only pay for 2’’ and ran digital advertising alongside this through our own Positively Wellington Tourism channels as well as paid for channels.
Rule 5 – The right review: We undertook a full review of the campaign results and promo activities at the end of the campaign and came to the conclusion that we should try the offer out during Wellington’s other traditionally challenging time of low hotel occupancy – mid-December to late January.
Can we make the offer work during summer? – part 2
We made a couple of tweaks to the campaign. We created a stand alone 15 second television commercial and removed the necessity for one of the nights to be a Saturday.
We launched the campaign with high hopes straight after Labour Weekend (as our research had shown that this is when New Zealanders start to make their Christmas holiday plans).
So how did we go? Well we’ve achieved a small positive increase year on year for the summer period, however the booking results were 50% down on our winter campaign. Why was this? It was very much case of right idea but the wrong offer for the time of year. At a time when Kiwis traditionally go to the beach and the bach the offer needed to be a stronger motivator relevant to the time of year.
Let’s roll out ‘’3 for 2’’ again for winter 2012 – part 3
As the offer and campaign mechanics worked so well last winter we rolled it out again for this winter. The result was a 15% increase in bookings and a 25% increase in revenue on WellingtonNZ.com on last year’s fantastic winter result. It proved that it was the right offer, at the right time.
So do we have a plan for this coming summer? Yes we do. In keeping with our analysis it won’t be a ‘’Stay 3, pay for 2’’ offer …watch this space!
By Jamie Crump
We know that New Zealanders love to come to Wellington for the cracking nightlife, restaurants, bars, cafés and shopping, but it’s the events and experiences that often tip them over the edge to book and decide to come now.
So we asked ourselves ‘how can we put Wellington events and experiences in front of New Zealanders on a weekly basis in a fun way?’ Our good friends at TouchCast came up with the idea of a weekly Dutch auction website called Wellington Wednesday. But before we go any further you may well be wondering ‘what’s a Dutch auction? Well here’s the low down…
Gotta Love Those Dutch
A Dutch auction is also known as a reverse or descending price auction. The auction begins with a high asking price which is lowered until a participant is willing to accept the price. You’ve got to be on your toes, because if you wait too long for an item to reduce in price someone will grab it before you do, or it will hit its reserve.
So how did it get its name? Well it’s named for its use in the Dutch Tulip Craze. A period in the Dutch Golden Age of the 1600s during which contract prices for tulip bulbs reached extraordinarily high levels and then suddenly collapsed.
You’re now probably wondering as I did, does the more common ascending price auction have a nickname? Well would you believe it, it does – it’s called an English auction. So if you want to impress your friends start calling Trade Me an English auction site!
It’s all about the experience
WellingtonWednesday.com is the place to get fantastic deals on all the good stuff that makes Wellington the ‘coolest little capital in the world’ – at a price that drops by the minute.
It’s not just your average daily deal website like GrabOne where a large volume of one product is offered at a static low price – it’s an experience site where you decide the price. The Dutch auction approach provides the potential to give huge value to consumers if they have the nerve to hold back against other would-be buyers.
We see Wellington Wednesday as a marketing tool to showcase the ‘best of Wellington’. We’re not about shifting lots of product and making money from the site. The idea is to work with local businesses and event promoters like you guys to create awareness of all the choice events and experiences Wellington has to offer by providing a limited number of tickets to those experiences each week.
We’re also using the site to give people access to select Wellington ‘money-can’t-buy’ experiences, like the Hurricanes one we had up for grabs last week – where you got tickets to the Hurricanes vs Blues match, a 1st XV Lounge Pass, a behind the scenes pre-match tour of Westpac Stadium and the opportunity to stand in the players tunnel as they run out onto the field.
Here’s a parting thought for you. With group buying websites launching on daily basis, how about TimaruTuesday.com or TaurangaThursday.com? Nah, doesn’t sound quite the same does it…
Next time I’ll update you on how Wellington Wednesday is going and what we’ve learnt. In the meantime, tell us your ideas on what ‘money can’t buy’ experiences you could offer.