|Sector||Travel & Tourism|
The Client: Tourism British Columbia
As a marketing-oriented organization, Tourism British Columbia’s mandate is to promote the growth and development of its $9.8 billion tourism industry through innovative programs and industry development initiatives. The company operates offices in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia, with satellite branches around the world. Its consumer website, HelloBC.com, is the official travel planning site for British Columbia, providing detailed visitor information for over 130 communities as well as 3,000 approved accommodations.
Tourism BC needed a way to maximize its ad campaigns’ conversion rates – that is, the number of people who fill out an information request form online. As an initial test, Tourism BC, with the help of conversion rate optimization agency WiderFunnel Marketing Inc. relied on Google Website Optimizer to parlay the effectiveness of a $1.5 million television ad campaign aimed at the Los Angeles and San Francisco markets to attract more visitors to British Columbia.
In previous years, the organization would have employed a traditional advertising approach by executing a pre-planned campaign and compiling the results afterward. Instead, Tourism BC recognized that new technologies would deliver TV-to-web performance data immediately, and with this instantaneous learning it could adjust tactics on-the-fly to maximize results.
The campaign’s call to action urged viewers to visit HelloBC.com and request additional information. Visitors who clicked on the site could download or request a destination guide as well as enter a contest to win an Apple iMac computer. Meanwhile, to maximize form completion conversion, Tourism BC tested different versions of the campaign landing page by using Google Website Optimizer to measure the effectiveness of the various iterations.
“The Google Website Optimizer allowed us to precisely gauge and improve our campaign success,” says Joel Tkach, Tourism BC’s marketing manager, consumer programs, North America. “We now have the ability to test and adjust our landing page creative in real-time to maximize response generated from our television spots.”
According to Tkach, the free Google Website Optimizer tool enabled Tourism BC to quickly learn how to maximize its site performance. Google supplied detailed reports that showed responses to variations of online text and visuals that echoed the themes in the TV commercials. Further analytics revealed which combinations of words and pictures facilitated the greatest response among Tourism BC’s target audiences.
The Google Website Optimizer provided Tourism BC with the winning combination to drive traffic to its web site and ultimately, increase travel to the province. By designing the landing page to showcase the talent in the commercial along with added emphasis to the iMac prize, the firm realized a 52 percent form completion conversion rate – nearly a 7 percent increase over a similar campaign of a year ago. The math is impressive: of 100 customers who request information from Tourism BC, 30 percent of them will ultimately visit British Columbia, spending, on average, $2,200 per visitor party, per trip.
“Google Website Optimizer is an amazing tool,” says Tkach. “With Google Website Optimizer, we receive statistically valid data in a timely fashion that shows us how to migrate our targeted consumer from passive interest to active planning, and then on to BC.”
Working with WiderFunnel allows us to precisely gauge and improve our campaign success. We now have the ability to test and adjust elements of our website in real-time to maximize response generated from our consumer campaigns.
We’re thrilled they introduced us to online conversion optimization. Not only have we seen incredible results, we also modified our marketing processes to keep up with the learning.
Marketing Manager, Consumer Programs, North America
Tourism British Columbia
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