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Ramblers Worldwide Holidays case study

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How Rambler's Worldwide Holidays utilised trusted media to engage and inspire customers via a year-long partnership across all reader touchpoints, including print, online, tablet and live events.

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Ramblers Worldwide Holidays case study

  1. 1. RAMBLERS WORLDWIDE HOLIDAYS AND THE TELEGRAPH EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Walking holiday specialist Ramblers Worldwide Holidays consistently invested in newspapers to generate customer leads and website traffic, but increased competition and challenging market conditions had produced disappointing results, with press occupying 40% of the budget, yet generating only 9% leads. Identifying The Telegraph as one performing title, December 19 approached the newsbrand to create a year-long partnership across all reader touchpoints, including print, online, tablet and live events. In addition to delivering +361% leads with only +28% increase in budget, RWH recorded its highest ever day of web traffic and hosted one of The Telegraph’s most successful live events. BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES Ramblers Worldwide Holidays (RWH) the small-group walking holiday specialist, came to December 19 (D19) following a disappointing run of media results. National press had always seen heavy investment to drive customer leads but FY14 results identified that although 40% spend was in national press, it was yielding just 9% of leads. Growing competitor spend had also left them struggling to stand out. D19’s priority was to optimise the media mix, revaluating national press to address the issue of dwindling response, and stimulate leads and new website users across all RWH brands. The secondary objective was to consider opportunities for differentiation. INSIGHT Before considering national press’s future, D19 undertook a detailed evaluation of RWH’s market and competitor landscape, also revising the target audience. Analysis uncovered a declining market, in interest and participation of walking. Even those ‘interested’ were difficult to convert to a walking holiday, as more holidaymakers favoured relaxation to being physically challenged. With growing competition, activity was subject to increased clutter both in seasonality and media channel. National press was widely used by competitors and although some budget was being reallocated, diversification seemed slow and cautious. Established for 70 years, RWH had strong heritage, with expert leaders on every tour. It was this expertise that enhanced travel with RWH, proving a key driver for bookings.
  2. 2. This experience and authenticity appealed to our consumer target audience. Although the role for walking varied between RWH brands, consumers were united by a desire to extend their passion for walking into a holiday. These ‘Walking Partisans’ represented 3.3m individuals (Source: TGI). They were confident, educated and cultured. They sought authentic travel experiences, suggesting that leveraging RWH’s expert status, could yield positive results. This insight informed our media strategy “Everyone’s an expert” which utilised trusted media to engage and inspire customers through reinforcing RWH expert positioning. Newspapers were key to reaching Walking Partisans, and supported our desire to build trust and reinforce expertise. D19 had seen newspapers be effective in other response campaigns, but with the role for digital growing in travel research and booking, we had to seek efficiencies beyond-the-page. CY14 results showed The Telegraph had performed well at driving leads. Almost always read by ‘Walking Partisans’ (Source: TGI Index 187) it had strong travel credentials and quickly established itself as a ‘newsbrand’, also seeing positive print growth in a declining market. Having enjoyed a favourable relationship with RWH editorially, we were keen to maximise this, accessing readers on other platforms which had no prior RWH interaction. PLAN The Telegraph partnership underpinned a year-long multi-media strategy. Our collaboration devised a package which prioritised new users and new leads, supporting RWH expert status and improving efficiency by allocating inventory across the range of RWH brands. Activity included: Print  Travel classified 5x4s and larger display advertising in Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph. Enabled a presence in the ‘go-to’ section for travel planning, supplemented with main paper display to support brand awareness and brochure release. Digital  Digital channels employed to drive traffic, new users and leads to RWH website, included: o Impressions across Telegraph.co.uk utilising ‘Krux targeting’ to identify those within the interest area, supplemented by a ‘look-a-like’ audience to ‘Walking Partisans’ o Bespoke microsite including native content (image gallery, articles, event invitation) guaranteed to deliver 5,000 impressions o 27 x iPad edition placements in ‘Top travel offers’ o 2x Solus emails to 40,000 Telegraph readers within the interest area Events  We elevated RWH’s expertise by utilising The Telegraph’s 100-seat in-house theatre for a reader event. Originally intending to invite an expert RWH leader, when celebrity Julia Bradbury was confirmed as RWH brand ambassador for the year, we leveraged this opportunity. The event was
  3. 3. a discussion and Q&A to inspire walking adventures with the audience distributed ‘goody bags’ including catalogues and a list of “Julia Loves” tours. RESULTS Activating a partnership with The Telegraph newsbrand enabled us to provide more efficient leads – increasing Telegraph leads by 361% with just a 28% increase in spend. The Telegraph was the top traffic source to RWH after digital marketing responsible for delivering an overall +1192% in traffic to RWH website YOY and +1340% in new users. Activating untapped channels meant 83.89% clicks delivered across the year from The Telegraph were new users. Adagio saw similar success by utilising inventory secured. Partnership status gifted us a free trial of The Telegraph’s First Available Impression (FAI). The first banner seen by visitors from Google, FAI contributed to the highest day of RWH website traffic that year driving over a third of traffic on 19th November through 1338 sessions, 1311 of which were new users. Live in August, the microsite resulted in +84% traffic and 2605 new users in its first week (3rd -9th August) with the competition, Julia Bradbury event and a worldwide walking destinations features all converting well. Finally, guest places for our event were filled within a week of registration opening, and a full house on the night led to one of the most successful Telegraph events ever hosted. RWH ended FY15 with a more efficient national press plan. The Telegraph now accounted for 80% of all national press leads with only 40% share of the national press budget, versus FY14 which was 45% of leads using 55% of the budget. Alongside driving new leads and new users, activity highlighted that reinvigoration can be as effective as reinvention. Success was not only reliant on extracting further value from The Telegraph, but diversifying communication proved a shrewd tactic to grow awareness and interest amongst like-minded digital readers. CLIENT VIEW “Evolving our relationship with national press to include a bespoke partnership with a newsbrand, had a significant impact on our website traffic and new users. The multi-channel strategy proposed by D19 unlocked new opportunities to maximise our brand ambassador and increase those exposed to our brand and products” Lynn Scrivener, Head of Marketing, Ramblers Worldwide Holidays

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