FREE: 2017 Guide to Travel Digital Marketing.
The insights you need to create a winning travel digital strategy in 2017 and beyond...learn more
Darwin of one of the UK's largest holiday park companies with 20 beautiful parks across the UK.
Front-End ManagerFollow @CraigClicky
Digital Project ManagerFollow @ClickyMark
CEO & FounderFollow @OliYeates
Digital Design ManagerFollow @RhianClicky
Senior Front-End DeveloperFollow @RichClicky
Managing DirectorFollow @SamClicky
Darwin Escapes offers holiday home ownership and holiday breaks across their 16 handpicked, unique and stunning locations throughout the UK. Following significant investment in achieving the businesses ambitions and vision of creating some of the best holiday parks in the UK, the client required a new website and marketing activity that truly reflected the brand, raised perception and more effectively positioned the company in their market online.
The ultimate aim was to merge all of the fourteen existing individual park websites that existed at the time into one integrated brand presence under the Darwin Escapes umbrella, whilst retaining, and indeed showcasing, the personality and individuality of each park. This needed to be achieved whilst delivering a website that focused heavily on usability, visitor experience, marketability and accessibility. The website needed to add value for both the client and also the wide-ranging audience demographic groups the parks attract. The goal was to deliver an industry-leading, innovative site across both aesthetics and functionality to ensure results were maximised throughout a number of key metrics whilst acting as the key sales tool to attract and convert prospective customers.
Post launch, Darwin needed an innovative and well structured digital marketing strategy with the aim of increasing their overall brand awareness using a plethora of online platforms.
The project provided a range of exciting challenges for us to address, predominantly across the site architecture, the inclusion of such a wealth and variety of content and the incorporation of the individual, unique park sub-brands.
We took the time to conduct in-depth research and analysis across a range of mediums and sources, including historic website data, search marketing audits, audience, industry, competitor and market research to ensure our approach resulted in the best possible outcomes against the numerous aims of the project. Our design, development and marketing teams dedicated time to gain a true understanding of the individual business requirements and we created a full planning document that included a comprehensive list of the required improvements that were needed across the website. This considered all aspects from both a design and technological perspective, to ensure these were incorporated into the website specification and that core KPIs were reached post-launch.
Our design team then worked closely with the client and their new branding to reinvigorate their online presence to develop a creative approach that would evoke the new proposition whilst setting Darwin Escapes apart from any competitors online. Meticulous UX, navigational and layout planning was undertaken to ensure the website was visually impressive without losing the focus on strong calls to action and user journey.
Our aim was to consistently deliver a personalised, relevant and intuitive experience – making sure we delivered the right message, to the right user, on the appropriate device at the right time.
With this in mind, a structural and content strategy was planned to ensure we considered user search trends and online audience behaviours. We developed category pages for holiday types, locations, park features, seasons and accommodation types. This ensured that from an initial search online, users were filtered through immediately to the most relevant content. Here they have the ability to refine their search, find further information or resources quickly, or enquire.
We developed the website in WordPress, which is naturally editable and enables complete flexibility and adaptability to reflect the future requirements of the business and their forecast growth and expansion in coming years.The site also supports a wide range of other business functions to assist in the day-to-day running of the company which has streamlined many operations and made this much more efficient for the marketing, sales and HR teams.
The website is completely ‘thumb-friendly’ and provides a much greater experience for users.
Optimisation for users on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets was essential. As such, the entire website was built to be fully responsive, with a ‘liquid layout’ that would reformat the design and features displayed based upon the screen size of the device, only serving the most appropriate content. The website is completely ‘thumb-friendly’ and provides a much greater experience for users.
The website also included a plethora of more advanced and bespoke functionality, customised directly in line with requirements and the end goals, ensuring the website was at the forefront of digital technologies and capabilities.
The full site is expansive, but overall, even at this early stage, the client is seeing huge benefits for their business – particularly in relation to bottom line results. The main goal of the website had to be ROI and this is already proving positive through the results achieved to date.
Not only did we deliver an industry leading and aesthetically impressive website but also a truly effective and efficient marketing tool for the client. The business has benefitted significantly from what was a unique and results driven project.
Until April 2015 Darwin Escapes didn’t exist and all marketing undertaken was at park level and through traditional channels such as maildrops and radio. As we developed the website it became clear to ourselves and Darwin Escapes that online marketing was the way forward. There was no point in an amazing website without the relevant audiences to see it.
At first, a lower level of initial promotional activity was planned in order to generate a level of intrigue and excitement around the launch of the website, allowing us to begin to communicate with prospective sales and holidays customers, generating awareness and a buzz whilst introducing the Darwin Escapes brand to the market. This was led by social activity and conversational platforms, predominantly across key social media websites and content marketing means, encompassing key messaging that would appropriately address each target market with an accurate tone, language and approach. We also featured a countdown element in the approach throughout pre-launch.
Data capture was a large part of the pre-launch, and when gaining some initial interest and traction with the desired market, we were also building a marketing database, capturing email addresses via mediums such as a new ‘splash page’, Twitter cards advertising and social media competitions.
After building interest and excitement about the website we aimed for mass reach whilst ensuring we only targeted the most relevant audiences. The launch strategy marked the beginning of the ongoing campaigns, where we trialled numerous platforms to gauge and evaluate results. Following this, whereas the previous two stages focused on achieving mass exposure, reach and brand awareness, the ongoing strategy concentrated on refinement, optimisation and ultimately achieving a positive ROI.
Our aim was to deliver multi-channel campaigns, which reached the right user, at the right time, on the right device, with the right message and content. Targeting, context and relevance was key to our approach.
Darwin Escapes attracts a range of varying audience demographic groups for each of their individual parks and the wider brand. Our aim was to deliver multi-channel campaigns, which reached the right user, at the right time, on the right device, with the right message and content. Targeting, context and relevance was key to our approach.
We undertook in-depth analysis and research of relevant audiences as part of a discovery stage to ensure we focused on a more intelligently planned and data-driven approach. We meticulously analysed the market, industry trends, platforms and mediums and audiences to deliver a fully integrated strategy for the brand. We built upon the research we undertook for the design and build of the site in order to identify gaps and opportunities in the industry and market online for Darwin Escapes. Whilst establishing our core goals, we were also devising, planning and building the advertising campaigns that were created to reflect the market-leading, unique and innovative brand offering, using the latest in intelligent digital advertising platforms to reach specific demographics.
Historically, word of mouth and referrals served as the core source of enquiries. However, with our research, website planning and accompanying full digital marketing and promotional strategy, the business chose to focus their efforts online. This relied on a strong trust in our ability to take a new approach and a ‘game changing’ website to market. Their entire brand approach has been modernised to focus on a ‘digital first’ strategy.
Darwin Escapes took a large risk after investing heavily, literally tens of millions of pounds, to support their vision of creating some of the best holiday parks in the UK.
They then entrusted Clicky Media with their entire brand, reputation and ultimately the subsequent results through the delivery of a website and coinciding strategy. Furthermore, the business and its 300+ employees were reliant on this being a complete success.
Overall the client is seeing huge benefits for their business. The main goal of the digital strategy had to be ROI, which is proving positive through results achieved. Year on year, the website has increased 188.3% in Organic Traffic website conversions and sales have increased by 6.3%.
Also, Darwin Escapes can now support Hoseasons with rental bookings, generating an extra 5,369 brochure requests and over 1,000 bookings in the last six months.
Along with the 6.3% increase in sales, there has also been a 17.7% increase in sales leads, with a -1.32% decrease in budget due to the website’s performance. As to increasing their brand awareness, compared with 439 UK based travel web properties, they have seen a 20.85% increase in pages viewed per session, and 11.13% more time is spent on site, along with a -21.61% lower average bounce rate.
We’ve been working with Darwin for nearly two years now, and they continue to work with us on both their website and marketing activities. The client has a retainer with our ProSupport team, allowing the Darwin Escapes website to be continually updated and optimised. This works well, as our marketing team can work closely with the ProSupport team when building new advertising campaigns that require new landing pages to be added etc.
Since their successful website launch, we’ve worked on several exciting larger scale advertising campaigns with Darwin as well as their on-going marketing activities, such as the recent Darwin Ducks competition that ran across Facebook and Twitter that received 31,553 individual duck names submitted. We also ran the pets only holiday park prank they played on followers for April Fools this year, which resulted in a 36% increase in website traffic when compared with the previous week.
We were lucky enough to win ‘Best Website’ at the Prolific North Awards this year as well for the Darwin Escapes website. This was a great achievement and both ourselves and the Darwin team were thrilled to have months of hard work recognised by industry experts.
Web & Marketing