A Mark Warner campaign that used customer content demonstrated what can be achieved with a relatively simple idea the agency behind the marketing concept said.
Dean Harvey, digital development director for Designate, told the BrightOnTravel conference last week that open and honest engagement with the public is key.
Designate came up with the #myweek concept for the campaign that encouraged customer to post their experiences online.
Harvey said there was nothing new about this sort of approach to personalising the way a firm talks to customers, although an arrogance in the digital world suggests it is.
“It’s just something we’re trying to figure out how we deal with in a modern world and at scale.
“The problem Mark Warner had was how do they win new customers. It was quite difficult to get across the idea of what it’s like to be on a Mark Warner holiday.
“We needed to do it in a personal way, not just pushing out messages. Mark Warner wanted to communicate in an open and honest way, wanted open dialogue in public and to give the brand a voice. They also wanted longevity, and impact on brand awareness.”
Harvey said it was important to interact on a human to human basis and staff at the tour operator both in the UK and in resorts were encouraged to take part in the conversation.
“Content is key and using existing customers to produce content. Holidays are very personal experience.
“Activities like those Mark Warner provide offer opportunities for unique and memorable experiences and people like to boast, brag and share.
“People get a sense of kudos when a brand recognises them for posting online. That’s the key to this.”
Harvey said it was important to incentivise customers to post content but that did not make the Mark Warner campaign inauthentic. Mark Warner gave away a free holiday each month from June.
“Yes you have to incentivise it. It’s not a case of build it they will come. What we’ve had is an astonishing amount of interactions with customers.”
BrightOnTravel was organised by Brighton-based digital agency CWTdigital as part of the month-long Digital Festival in the town.