Coach Marketing Award
The winner of this award will demonstrate the creative use of a range of marketing tools to grow their business and increase consumer awareness.
Any methods in the marketing toolbox can be used: branding, business-to-business, direct mail, media advertising, the internet, PR or a combination of all these techniques.
The important thing is that they will have delivered measurable results. At the heart of this success will be well-researched travel markets and clear monitoring criteria to judge results and fine-tune campaigns as necessary.
Winner, Gold Award: Johnsons Coach & Bus Travel
Bard On Board
Henley-in-Arden based Johnson's Coach Travel looked to its most famous former nearby residents for its Bard On Board campaign. Promoting the company's ties with Stratford-upon-Avon, one of the main activities was to encourage customers to upload pictures of themselves wearing Shakespeare masks to social media. Although begun last year, the campaign with continue throughout 2016, the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death.
The judges were very impressed with what was a simple idea turned into brilliance. They noted that that it had a good two year shelf life and has already produced very good results for the marketing spend. The campaign is outstanding and just shows what an innovative coach operator can achieve.
Winner, Silver Award: The Kings Ferry
The Kings Ferry Commuter Campaign
Commuter services into London are a mainstay of The Kings Ferry and the introduction of a new service from Maidstone gave the opportunity to launch a campaign to encourage modal shift from car and train across all its coach services. A mixture of press and outdoor poster advertising was combined with doorstep leafleting, social media and e-mail was used to promote its innovative campaign directly comparing the three travel modes and their cost. Staff handed out leaflets outside railway stations supported by billboard advertising offering a three day free trial of the service and the opportunity to hand in rail tickets for coach travel.
The judges were very impressed with this modal shift campaign within established road and rail commuting areas which has been highly successful in attracting new customers. The innovative three day free trial, and two weeks free on the new Maidstone service has reaped rewards requiring a second Maidstone service and passenger numbers 20% above predicted.
Winner, Bronze Award: Shearings Holidays
Last year saw one of Shearings Holidays' most successful marketing campaigns. A consistent brand image was promoted through a mixture of traditional and new media channels which aimed to show that coach holidays are changing in line with consumer expectations to appeal to a wider range of customers. Purchasing patterns, questionnaires from existing customers and customer profiling were just some of the techniques used to identify new audiences, products and routes to market.
The judges were impressed with the amount of research that Shearings had undertaken which attracted new customers to new and existing tours, whilst maintaining a high level of repeat business. They also noted that for a large company, it still managed to be customer lead and create strong customer relationships.
Finalist: Anthony's Travel
Think globally act locally
Runcorn based Anthony's Travel is a family business with limited resources to spend on marketing, but that hasn't stopped the company taking the best of what much larger businesses use and applying the techniques to its local market through its Think Globally, Act Locally campaign. The company make good use of social media as well as organising competitions for local school, a car sticker promotion, getting involved in supporting local charities and giving out branded clothing to local celebrities, all of which has attracted much free publicity n the local media.
Finalist: Belle Vue Manchester
Belle Vue Brokerage & Conference Event Transport Management
Belle Vue's efforts to get some of the lucrative conference transport business in Manchester was so successful that it set up a brokerage operation for conference and event transport, utilising other company's vehicles and drivers after quality approving them. The company has begun launching 14 websites promoting different aspects of the many services the company can offer alongside social media and offline promotions.
Finalist: Bury Market
Bury Market is a thrice weekly general market with over 370 stalls in Bury town centre. The market has been promoting itself to coach operators since 2002 through a range of channels including DVDs, leaflets, maps and stickers, and more recently online and through social media. The 1,000th and 1,500th coach to visit the market each year is marked annually and operators of other markets around the country have visited aiming to replicate Bury Market's success.
Who could be nominated?
This category was open to coach operators or other organisations participating in the securing, marketing or promotion of coach services.
… and by whom?
As well as coach operators and suppliers of services to coach operators, we welcomed nominations by customers, local authorities and tourist attractions. Where nominations were made by third parties, the nominee was contacted and asked for additional information. Self-nomination was acceptable.
Criteria and Entry Requirements
The judges' decisions were based on the quality of the information supplied. This was required to:
- Describe the initiative, how it was planned and what targets were set for it.
- State how the initiative was executed, showing the methods used and why
- Give some indication that demand was stimulated and customer access to the product improved
- Supply statistical evidence showing the results of the campaign in terms of patronage, revenue or other appropriate indicators
- State whether the results are likely to be sustainable
- Describe any future plans for further development.
- Supply appropriate examples of the campaign materials that delivered the reported results.