Great West Way
It was a pleasure to work with the team at Digital Dialog. We had a very short lead time to get our campaign up and running and the team pulled out everything to make sure we made our live date. We had regular updates and reporting throughout the campaign and they delivered on all our campaign goals. I would highly recommend them to work with on International digital campaigns.
Visit Wiltshire is the tourism development organisation responsible for increasing worldwide visitor numbers to Wiltshire. One of the UK’s most vibrant and beautiful counties, the region is brimming with an extraordinary variety of tourism destinations, and unique experiences. With a £1m funding from the Discover England Fund, Visit Wiltshire was seeking an experienced tourism and travel specialist digital agency to help raise awareness of The Great West Way – one of the world’s premier touring routes covering 125 miles between London and Bristol. Over the next 10 years, the GWW aims to bring 1.5m visitors to the region.
The Great West Way is based on one of the first Great Roads commissioned by the Kings of England. Today, UK and overseas visitors can explore the route in depth with a range of themed itineraries and trails, suitable to travel by car, coach, rail, cycling, walking and waterways. The Great West Way offers a unique variety of sights such as UNESCO World Heritage places and AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) to quaint historic villages and the vibrant cultural cites of Bristol and Bath. A year-round destination, visitors can enjoy spas to luxury hotels, gardens to historic houses, tearooms to pubs and even bears in the wood. With 31 National Trust properties, 28 English Heritage properties, 20 Michelin-starred restaurants, 3 castles and one palace crossing over 6 counties, the GWW stands out as an exceptional route for all seasons.
Deriving inspiration from the work Digital Dialog implemented previously for Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, Visit Wiltshire approached us to promote the Great West Way. The campaign’s core objectives were to raise awareness of the new GWW route directly to key international markets of USA, Germany and The Netherlands – and locally, in the UK.
To achieve awareness in the key international markets (USA, Germany and The Netherlands, and UK) Digital Dialog devised a multi-channel approach that consisted of objectives ranging from getting people on the newly created website, building a social following, social engagement, promoting video content and generating leads for future marketing. Facebook, YouTube, Google, programmatic display and native ads were all leveraged to raise awareness and create engagement.
Unlike a single destination, the GWW offers a diverse range of attractions and places to explore, so targeting the right offerings to the right audience was key. With a range of unique offerings across history and culture, activities, nature, wellness and family orientated themes; we had to ensure we captured the most appealing aspect for each market in our messaging.
Not only that, but a key component of the overall campaign strategy was to convey the real essence of England. It meant changing perceptions and revealing the real England and the diverse range of authentic English experiences that can be enjoyed along the route. The use of images and videos that highlighted quintessentially English experiences and attractions were therefore central to the ad creation process.
Equally important was how the GWW was positioned in each market. For example, we positioned GWW as a compelling travel destination and the perfect staycation break for the domestic UK market while for the international markets of The Netherlands and Germany, the GWW was positioned to appeal to outdoor enthusiasts, cycling and adventure based activities and for those looking for short breaks.
For the US audience, history and culture were highlighted as key reasons to visit and the GWW was positioned as a must-do for anyone whilst on a wider tour of the London, UK and/or Europe. Due to the size and scale of the US market, we only targeted certain states and special types of visitor demographics that had a proven record of higher affinity towards travelling to the UK. This resulted in US audiences grouped into three tiers, based largely around the largest proportion of visitors per state.
The GWW campaign ran for a 6-week period. Social media engagement raised several hundreds of positive comments with many indicating a desire to travel to the Great West Way. Previous travellers to the UK also shared their memorable experiences and vowed to return. We also gained valuable insights into each market’s expectation from the region, helping Visit Wiltshire to analyse and use this knowledge to shape future offerings.
In numbers, the campaign exceeded several KPIs gaining:
Increased audience reach
Increased competition entries
Increased social engagement actions
while also hitting KPIs for Facebook followers, website visits and video views. Lead generation performance was robust with strong numbers of competition entries, newsletter subscribers and great opt-in rates.