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A Consumer Segmentation/ Message Testing Case Study
The Brand Challenge
A travel booking company wanted to test experiential marketing as a channel to increase sign-up to their frequent user rewards program and generate subsequent bookings.
Past marketing focused heavily on digital. A move off-line and into experiential marketing was a big investment for the Brand, but the Brand team knew that the best way to reach their target consumer, the frequent business traveler, was to go through a multi-channel approach.
The Brand marketing team developed an experiential campaign with a simple footprint and appealing targeted message that research proved would resonate with the consumer. Over 360 event days were booked at three, very different, venue types: beyond security at airport hubs, high traffic office parks, and business conferences. A team of well-trained activation staff-initiated activation in all three venues to engage consumers, communicate the unique benefits of the Brand’s rewards program, and garner sign-up from the frequent business traveler.
The Measurement Strategy
The PortMA team was hired to design and manage the data collection, analysis, and reporting for the program.
PortMA’s experience in the industry and related consumer segmentation work highlighted that not all consumers were equal. The team knew that for this activation to generate a positive return-on-investment (ROI) meant that the activations needed to reach A) travelers who booked their own travel, B) used an online booking service to do so, C) took 10 or more trips per year, and D) averaged more than one night per trip.
It would be a waste of time and money if they weren’t reaching decision makers who booked extended stays and often. The measurement strategy had to take this into account.
Data collection addressed this with a brief (less than 5 question) consumer surveys collected at two points:
A brief consumer profiling survey was used onsite to engage those who participated in the footprint activation garnering over 2,750 interviews.
This survey was supplemented with a few questions presented to those who signed up for the rewards program onsite and resulted in an additional 21,700 responses across the 360+ event days.
PortMA worked with the agency, technology vendors, and in-market staff (i.e., field team) directly to design, implement, and lead the management of both survey data collection efforts.
PortMA’s onsite profiling research revealed that while interaction to sign-up conversion averaged 26% overall, only three-fourths (77%) of those engaged made their own travel booking decisions. The other fourth (23%) worked for a company that required they use a specific travel service for bookings.
Sign-ups were strongest at office park activations at 39% but only one third (34%) of office park participants reported booking 10 or more trips per year and averaged only 9.4 nights per year. While the airport activations were by far the most expensive, 58% of those engaged reported more than 10 trips and an average of 17.8 nights per year.
Overall the program was a strong success for the Brand at a calculated 600.2% ROI. However, taking into account the variation in consumer type, the airport activations were generating an ROI over 1,000% while the office park activations were losing money with an ROI at 74%.
These insights led to a re-focusing of the activation strategy to do more of what was working well and less of what was not.