March Destination Marketing Snapshot

March threw a curveball at the MRBTA marketing plan and there’s no doubt other members are still picking themselves up and trying to pivot in a new direction. In terms of marketing the region in the current global climate – our advice to visitors is to pause now, play later. Please jump on the hashtag #pausenowplaylater when sharing your inspirational content.

I think there will be reinvigorated energy from consumers to travel again when it is safe to do so. Inspirational content is still effective to maintain, as audiences will be yearning for a bit of escapism. Our region’s open spaces, natural elements, and local produce are all assets to feature in the coming weeks. Perhaps right now there is also more room for sharing content with compassion and humility. There is a unified sense that we are in this together and stories from the heart might just show audiences what the essence of the Margaret River region is – a culture of generous, tenacious and resilient people.

Thank you for all those who attended the branding workshops in March. We persevered with the workshops during the dynamic week of government announcements and practised social distancing appropriately. The work that you helped us achieve in those workshops will help the formation of the brand evolution which will come to fruition once the recovery stage of the pandemic is reached.

If you are seeking marketing advice while you weather the storm, please reach out and we can make time to chat. sophie.mathewson@margaretriver.com

Without going too far into detail this month, a quick review below of new content, paused content, and ongoing work.

New or Continued Marketing

New Homepage

As travel safety guidelines took precedence for visitors, we adjusted our homepage accordingly advising travellers to stay at home. A landing page listing essential services open throughout the region was created in response to the queries coming in to the Central Reservations Team and to our Margaret River social media channels.

If you would like to add your business to the Essentials page, please contact Membership Manager Jasmin Rouw: jasmin.rouw@margaretriver.com

The new homepage also links visitors to updated travel safety guidelines. Please feel free to add this link to your own websites if useful.

Consumer EDM

A consumer EDM responding to travel restrictions was sent out to 30,876 recipients.

Autumn Magazine

The autumn magazine arrived at Visitor’s Centres in early March. Magazines are still available for pick up from the back door if you contact us. But given that magazines are less attractive to members while businesses are closed, please take the opportunity to promote the magazine online during this time. Feel free to link your audience to the online version here. 

 6 New Blogs Published 

  1. Doing it Differently
  2. Back to Basics
  3. The Ultimate Food Lover’s Giveaway (campaign paused)
  4. Your Guide: 48 hours in Cowaramup & Gracetown
  5. 17 Alternative Adventures in Your Margaret River Region
  6. Through the Lens: Vintage

Arrivals Hall at Busselton-Margaret River Airport

The airport Arrivals Hall artwork is now complete and ready for when Jetstar flights recommence. The entrance hall, Welcome to Country, walls near the baggage collection, and MRBTA visitor servicing desk area feature inspirational content from across the region. Jetstar were very excited about the designs and were happy to share the ‘good news story’ with their team at this time.

Wotif

Paused Campaigns

Jetstar flights Melbourne – Busselton Margaret River

Campaign paused due to flight restrictions. Produce that was donated for the inaugural flight Goodie Bags has been returned to members, with some opting to donate to our local hospitals and hospices. Marketing Coordinator, Caron Reynolds, will deliver goodies to Capecare and Busselton Hospice this week for health care workers and patients.

Expedia 

The Expedia campaign encouraging Singaporean travellers to book a holiday to the region in winter is currently paused.

Autumn Food Lover’s Giveaway 

Snake & Herring and Yarri partnership campaign is currently paused and will resume when the timing is more appropriate. The campaign had pleasing results within the first four days that it ran and gathered 1,205 entries. There was also high engagement on the Instagram post with 91 comments, also positive sentiment from followers. We look forward to continuing the campaign when future travel is a little more certain.

What’s On EDM Blaster

Paused until social gatherings and events restrictions are lifted.

Events

With autumn and winter events postponed or rescheduled, our support has been paused here. For event partnerships seeking financial assistance, please check out the Lotterywest grants supporting community organisations who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of cancelled events from COVID-19.

What We’ll be Working on Now

We are in the process of working on a new consumer website. To retain our position as an industry leader and the number one destination authority, margaretriver.com requires a significant upgrade to improve performance and user experience. With a mobile-first approach to design, the new site will focus on:

  • Simplified site architecture
  • Contemporary design
  • Pre-determined templates for content types (articles, itineraries, landing pages)

The project will provide the opportunity to remain competitive in the digital space and improve brand reputation.

Other work underway in the coming month will include:

  • Continued work growing our new asset library HIVO
  • Brand evolution work with agency Forward Scout
  • Communication to our audience maintaining a voice for the region so that we are top of mind when travel restrictions are lifted. Through regular EDMs, social media, and blog content, we will continue to provide relevant and inspirational content.