Driving traveller preference for an RTO through clever, cost-effective digital activity.
Destination Coromandel is the RTO for one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand, but often find themselves working with more limited resources than the big destinations like Rotorua and Queenstown. Because of this, it is important for them to get amazing reach in the most cost-effective channel – digital.
Looking after the Thames and Hauraki districts means that Destination Coromandel has a lot of towns to cover, and a lot of operators to keep happy. They built off the success of their key off-season campaign in 2018 “The Coromandel – Good for your Soul” by refreshing and refining this messaging. Supported by Maverick Digital, this campaign was intended to highlight the rest & relaxation opportunities available to those who venture into the region during the winter.
“Having a strong digital platform allows us to compete with bigger destinations that are better resourced,” – Destination Coromandel’s Marketing Manager Megan Nunn.
“We’re very grateful to RTNZ for the recognition. Our digital channels, particularly thecoromandel.com are a result of years of hard work from the team and we’re delighted with the win.”Regional Tourism New Zealand Award for Online Performance.
Platform – Google Ads
When trying to reach the widest possible Audience for a digital campaign, Google Ads is the obvious choice. Google Search has a 96% market share in NZ, and their display network covers millions of websites and apps used daily by New Zealanders. There is no other platform that even comes close to if in sheer volume of users.
With this in mind, we needed to use a two-prong approach to helping Destination Coromandel drive preference in their Good For Your Soul winter campaign. Google Display to target specific audience segments receptive to the ‘wellness’ theme of the campaign, and Google Search to find holiday-planners from high-travel drive zones.
One of the many strengths of the Google Display Network is the ability to drill down into audience segments based on interests and active shopping intent. Ads are no longer placed on the side of the road, or in a local rag, just hoping to find a receptive and engaged audience. This specific targeting was a perfect match for the Good For Your Soul campaign which focused on the relaxing and enjoyable aspects of The Coromandel – luxury spa treatments, great dining and wine, and healthy living.
We were able to serve display ads nearly 1 Million times to very specific audiences, with incredibly low cost-per-click.
Google owns the largest video sharing platform in the world in YouTube. Serving over 90 countries, and used by 80% of 10-49 year-olds, YouTube is an incredibly far-reaching and cost-effective way of sharing video advertising. Like the Display Network, the Google Video Network allows for specific and detailed targeting of viewers by interest and shopping intent. The ability to serve ads based on video and channel content is also incredibly powerful.
Even with very specific targeting, we were able to serve the fantastic Good For Your Soul video ads over half a million times over the course of the 2019 campaign – incredible bang-for-buck.
Part of driving preference is targeting an audience who just don’t quite know what they want. In the case of Good For Your Soul, it was those who knew they wanted to go on local holidays or road-trips, without quite knowing where.
By using this approach, we were able to get our Good For Your Soul messaging in front of 20,000 holiday-planners, ensuring that the Coromandel was a top contender for anyone in the Coromandel drive zone who was researching a winter escape! Clever and compelling creative ensured that click-through rates were well above industry standard throughout the campaign.
Currently in market, the shoulder season Hauraki Rail Trail campaign is seeing significant traction. Constant improvements and refinements in targeting through the Google Ads platform means that Maverick Digital has been able to reduce costs and improve engagement year-on-year each time we run this campaign. The strength of digital advertising is the opportunity for even a smaller RTO to get in front of thousands of potential customers.