Digital Communication Award
Digital communication is a vital tool in the battle to win business by helping to promote companies, brands and people.
Since the internet took off in the mid-1990s, it has become a major influence on our lives, and the amount of business done online has grown exponentially ever since. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have built on these developments and transformed the way we communicate.
Thus, the whole range of digital communication tools has become indispensable for the coach industry as well – enabling operators to:
- communicate internally and externally
- promote to customers and potential customers
- build brand awareness
This award will go to the nominee who, in the opinion of the judges, offers the best mix of online information and marketing tools to meet their business objectives, and can demonstrate that the application of these tools has driven the expansion and success of their business.
In addition to the written submission, nominees will be assessed for the design, features, content, functionality and customer-friendliness of their online presence.
Winner, Gold Award: Ellen Smith (Tours)
Recognising the increasing number of 'silver surfers', Ellen Smith has enabled all its tours to be booked online. It has re-designed its website to be more user-friendly and included a blog page onto which customer and drivers are encouraged to post. Cost savings made by customers booking online have been passed on with a discount of around £10 per person, helping to increase the proportion of online bookings from 13% to 19% last year, with a bigger increase targeted for this year. Much greater use of Facebook is being made with more staff now able to post, increasing engagement. The company has plans to do more with social media in the future.
The judges noted that digital communication is an area that coach operators need to embrace, and the ones that are doing so are showing good customer growth. Ellen Smith has created a very functional tour booking website allowing customers to make the right choices for the holidays they are booking. The website integrates well with social media and the company makes good use of Facebook.
Who could be nominated?
The Award is open to coach operators who are holders of a UK Operators’ Licence.
… and by whom?
We welcome nominations from operators themselves, from customers and from web design professionals. Self-nomination is acceptable.
Criteria and Entry Requirements
The award will be based on the quality of the information supplied. The information should describe:
- The contribution made to the business by the existence of digital communications
- How the nominee planned the introduction of digital technologies and techniques for information and marketing that support business objectives
- How the nominee applied the key technologies, tools and techniques of digital marketing to improve marketing effectiveness
- How online marketing tools were fitted into the company’s overall marketing and communications mix
- Any future plans for further development to improve the contribution of digital technologies to their organisation.
In addition, nominees should supply:
- Technical details of any website including:
- the URL of the web site nominated
- the software used in its operation and design
- by whom it was designed and by whom it is maintained
- Statistical evidence on the engagement achieved by the digital communications work, including but not limited to:
- website unique visits and page views
- the volume of business done via e-commerce
- the levels of engagement via social media sites (followers, page likes, etc)
- Any relevant supporting material.
In addition to the questions asked on the nomination form, finalists’ web sites will be visited and assessed by “Mystery Shoppers”, experts who will rate nominees’ internet and social media presences, rating features, content, functionality and customer-friendliness. This assessment will attract a significant number of marks.