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.
This year, the judges decided to divide the entries into two: one for larger operators, and one for small and medium enterprises.
Award for Small and Medium Enterprises
Winner, Gold Award, Look What You Get! - Johnsons Coach & Bus Travel
Johnsons is a long established family run business, and this year filmed a promotional video to promote its private hire called 'Look What You Get'. The video showed a customer discovering the different elements of what is involved in a successful coach hire, including friendly staff, clean and well maintained coaches, professional drivers and having a large fleet of coaches to choose from.
The judges praised this clever use of video to get key messages across to customers and potential customers. In particular, the emphasis on the teamwork needed to provide coach services was particularly praiseworthy.
Winner, Silver Award, 2014/15 Marketing Campaign - AW Eastons Coaches
AW Eastons Coaches set three business aims for the 2014/15: 1. To increase awareness and take up of UK and Continental Coach Holidays and day trips from customers across Norfolk and North Suffolk 2. To gain new customers from key location pickup points that might otherwise have not of heard of Eastons. 3. To improve brand recognition across Norfolk The company used internal marketing tools such as brochures and its website, as well as utilising its media contacts to successfully acheive these aims.
The judges liked the establishment of a clear set of objectives for the campaign, and the fact that the results had been monitored against those objectives: a copybook approach.
Winner, Bronze Award, Small Business Brand Awareness - Anthony's Travel
Established in 1985, Anthony's Travel is a family run coach operator based in Runcorn, Cheshire. Despite being a small business, the company prides itself in being proactive with advertising campaigns, promotion and brand awareness. The judges thought that this approach to the marketing of a small company in a local community was an excellent way of building a brand and ensuring that the company punched above its weight in the local media.
Award for Large Companies
Winner, Gold Award, The 'Moments' Campaign - National Express
National Express wanted to inspire people to travel with National Express, so shot a TV commercial to capture the positive emotion of travelling with the company and the affordability it offers. Marketing body for commercial TV in the UK,Thinkbox, called the advertisement "TV genius"and industry magazine Campaign made it Pick of the Week. Most importantly passenger numbers and revenue rose by an average of 5% year on year.
Critically acclaimed, the TV advert featuring David Soul at the heart of this campaign was witty, clever and enjoyable, the judges felt: it lay at the heart of a fully integrated, cross-media campaign that delivered its immediate objectives and contributed to brand building and reinforcement: the judges praised both the thinking that had got into the campaign and its subsequent execution. A worthy Gold Award winner.
Winner, Silver Award, Digitally driven marketing strategy - Shearings Holidays
Shearings Holidays has enjoyed another strong trading year which it puts down to evolving its customer-led marketing strategy to meet existing passenger needs, whilst acquiring new consumers by capitalising on product innovation and effective utilisation of a changing marketing mix. Shearings is becoming a digitally driven business, changing the perception of coach holidays from analogue to digital.
This was a very strong contender, and the judges praised the company's ambition to take maximum advantage of modern communications techniques in an increasingly digital world.
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 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 was acceptable.