Driving value through paid media for a cultural storytelling icon.
When Tamaki Maori Village came to Maverick Digital to transform their distribution model via Digital in 2016, we turned their expectations upside down. A key part of our response was moving marketing investment away from print – where fewer and fewer travellers are looking for information – and into a dynamic, fast-moving online paid media strategy.
The bottom line is that the bulk of Tamaki’s audience is made up of international, longer-haul travellers who saw New Zealand as a bucket list trip. A Maori culture experience is seen as a quintessential part of any visit to NZ – but with more and more competitors in this space, we needed to leverage Tamaki’s reputation as the best on offer. Do New Zealand once, and experience the country’s best cultural storytellers while you’re here – don’t settle for second best.
By nurturing users through the funnel before they arrived in Rotorua, travellers would get to town already convinced which cultural experience they were going to do.
Online Travel Agencies: Friend or Foe?
There’s no doubt that online travel agencies are a key part of the online distribution puzzle. But for Tamaki, it became clear early on that they were competing for their own customers online via aggressive OTA paid media activity. After ensuring that the Tamaki site offered the best price for booking online, we ran the numbers to pinpoint an acceptable Cost Per Acquisition per booking. The cost to convert a direct sale should always be under 8% of its total value. We also regularly review what the OTA’s are doing in the Paid Media space with the Tamaki brand, and carefully counter this.
Online influencer activity (high funnel)
Social media influencers offer the opportunity to get in front of a large fan base, in a way that is authentic and non-advertorial. We work to identify influencers that make up Tamaki’s target audience – like Travel Mad Mum and her family – then collaborate with them to leverage a visit to the region, driving long-term preference for the Tamaki experience.
Data-driven display advertising (mid funnel)
Using data gathered from various online travel websites like Expedia, we placed dynamic display ads in front of people about to travel to New Zealand. The ads they saw match their travel preferences – families with children would see ads that highlighted why Tamaki is so great for families.
Facebook display advertising (mid funnel)
Tamaki’s target audience is served ads via their Facebook news feed when they are travelling in the upper North Island, about to arrive in Rotorua.
2017 Online sales growth + 40%
2018 Online sales growth + 13%
Google AdWords (mid to low funnel)
Google is traveller’s go-to platform for all travel research and search queries. When somebody searches a phrase related to the Tamaki (or wider Rotorua offering), we ensure Tamaki ranks high on the page.
Retargeting (low funnel)
On average, people take between 3-5 visits before making a travel purchase. Once people visit the Tamaki site, they are retargeted via Google display and Facebook ads, with personalised messaging based on their browsing journey to date.