Visit Sunshine Coast Drives Personalised Tourism Experiences With Adobe Marketo Engage

Noosa on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland from an aerial perspecive

As Christmas approaches and Australians start planning their next escape, Visit Sunshine Coast has revamped its digital experience with Adobe Marketo Engage.

The move comes in a bid to inspire visitors to the Sunshine Coast and to help drive bookings for local hotels, tour operators, and businesses.

As the regional tourism organisation, Visit Sunshine Coast (VSC) is responsible for leading the management and development of tourism on the Sunshine Coast. VSC works collectively with its members, consisting of resorts, hotels, tour providers and travel operators, to help excite and drive visitors to the region.

When COVID-19 upended the world of travel, VSC saw the crisis as an opportunity to rethink its existing operating model and innovate its technology stack to attract, engage and deliver personalised experiences for their customers.

At the time, VSC faced major roadblocks including duplicate and disparate data, a disconnected martech stack, and a fragmented omni-channel approach.

This had led to a disconnected digital experience across its different business units and a lack of understanding of how people were interacting with its advertising, digital assets and communications, the tourism authority explained.

Queensland closing its state borders amid rising COVID-19 cases had also accelerated the urgency for VSC to identify and understand who the audience is, where they are and what they’re interested in.

The ability to precisely segment and personalise experiences for different audiences across different channels could enable VSC to target the ‘road-to-market’, including couples, retirees or young families travelling from Brisbane for a weekend trip or for the school holiday break.

Visit Sunshine Coast and Adobe

In June, VSC tasked Adobe with spearheading its digital experience project for its enhanced multi-marketing channel marketing experience and strong integration capabilities across email, addressable media, social and web channels.

VSC integrated its customer records with Adobe’s end-to-end customer engagement solution, Adobe Marketo Engage—part of the Adobe Experience Cloud Suite— to enable three core proponents: planning end-to-end omni-channel campaigns; engaging with the right people, with the right message, at the right time; and measuring return on investment (ROI) and business outcomes.

“The standout offering of Adobe Marketo Engage was the web personalisation module,” VSC said in a statement.

“This enables an organisation to customise and scale the digital experience on a website through overlays such as banners or pop-ups to target people on a personalised and anonymised basis, without any support of IT.

“With a small organisation, it was important that marketing could take on the solution themselves to innovate, drive change and results, without a reliance on technical or IT resources.”

Bringing a little sunshine to campaigns

With Adobe Marketo Engage, VSC has evolved from sending batched, non-segmented emails to its database to personalised communications targeting multiple products to multiple personas in an automated and efficient way.

From the first few campaigns run in October, VSC said it had already seen ROI around channel funnel acquisition and segmentation.

VSC has reported a 20 per cent increase in open rates, delivering above the industry average, as well as an increase in engagement with its recent campaigns.

“The ability to segment audiences in a granular way, based on demographics, interests and place of origin through to how they interact with advertising and digital channels, will help VSC drive tangible benefits for its members and support the region’s tourism industry as it moves towards recovery,” the tourism authority said in a statement.

By deeply understanding the customer and the next best actions for them—identifying romantic hotels to couples, targeting families with children-friendly tours, or activities and promoting conferences to travelling workers—VSC can bring a truly unique and defined experience, it said.

Adobe ANZ managing director Suzanne Steele said: “The success and outcome of this project is testament to the digital mindset of Visit Sunshine Coast.

“At a time when COVID-19 brought the entire travel industry to a standstill, Visit Sunshine Coast drove the project forward to adopt better ways to engage customers, upskill their people and future-proof their martech stack.

“Now as the borders reopen, they’ve got the offerings in place to deliver engaging, personalised experiences for all Australians at a critical time for the tourism region.”

Featured image: Noosa Heads, Sunshine Coast (source: iStock/DarrenTierney)

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Adobe Marketo Engage Suzanne Steele visit sunshine coast

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