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
It's Time To Enjoy.... With Shearings Holidays!
Shearings Holidays is the UK's leading specialist and escorted tour operator for the over 50s. Its marketing strategy in 2016 aimed for Shearings to be acknowledged as the leading specialist provider of holidays and short breaks for the over 55s amongst its customers. This was part of a wider strategy using customer segmentation to build brand positioning amongst competitors and develop stronger brand awareness of the company's coach holidays. The main campaign - 'It's Time to...Enjoy' - aimed to change perceptions and promote coach travel as a relaxed, hassle free way to travel in a busy modern world with everything taken care of. A mixture of online and offline promotion was used as well as the rear of the company's vehicles.
The judges commented that the entry showed positive outcomes from what was a detailed segmented marketing plan properly executed.
Winner, Silver Award
Express City Connect - Stagecoach East Scotland
Express City Connect is a network of services running across Fife and into Edinburgh, Livingston, Perth, Dundee, Aberdeen and Glasgow operated by Stagecoach. High specification air conditioned coaches with reclining leather seats, power points and wifi are deployed across the network. The varied target market requires marketing to recognise and reach the range of customers who can benefit from the routes, create awareness of the range of luxury services available, help to align the product provision to customer aspirations, achieve modal shift and ultimately improve customer experience. Tailored individual campaigns are carried out when specific developments take place such as route extensions, vehicle investment and ongoing branding messages are also communicated throughout the year to raise awareness levels and create modal shift.
The judges noted the continued development of this successful product and the well researched local marketing schemes which produced considerable customer engagement and passenger growth.
Winner, Bronze Award
Galloway and AKA Working in Partnership - Galloway Coach Travel and AKA
Group bookings can make up a significant percentage of overall West End theatre sales and many shows rely on these bookings for their mid-week and matinee performances. After extensive research with group travel organisers and coach operators, AKA set out to build relationships with top coach operators to create partnerships helping the operator to promote their West End show clients. The aims were to increase the awareness of West End Shows outside of London, implement innovative opportunities to promote to the coach operator's audiences, and all to increase sales and trips into the West End. Galloway Coach Travel is the first operator that AKA has worked with, initially concentrating on two shows to test activity and monitor results easily. Although only measured until the end of January, passenger numbers from Suffolk to West End shows are up 37% on the same month the previous year.
The judges thought this was a good example of partnership working to drive new business.
Who could be nominated?
This category was open to coach operators, tourist attractions 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 welcome nominations by customers, local authorities and tourist attractions. Where nominations are made by third parties, the nominee will be contacted and asked for additional information. Self-nomination is acceptable.
Criteria and Entry Requirements
The award was 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.