Creative marketing wins hearts and minds. Successful brands live, and strong promotion changes public perceptions and consumer behaviour.
The winning campaign will demonstrate an outstanding quality that demonstrably fired the imagination of consumers – both users and non-users. For the winner in this category, marketing will already be at the core of their strategy. Any methods in the marketing toolbox can be used: branding, business-to-business, direct mail, media advertising, PR or a combination of all these techniques. The important thing is that they will have delivered measurable results. At the heart of this success will be well-researched travel markets and clear monitoring criteria to judge results and fine-tune campaigns as necessary.
Winners: Go North East
Red Kites: Winning new customers by bringing conservation and a service branding strategy together
The judges really liked Go North East’s idea of winning new customers by bringing conservation and the environment into a service branding strategy.
The Derwent Valley is one of the few areas of the UK where Red Kites have been reintroduced, and the branded Red Kite buses have become part of the community pride that has been engendered by the return of the birds.
The significant growth in passenger numbers and revenue generated has justified investment in new buses for the services. Red Kites is part of the successful general rebranding of Go North East routes, and the judges particularly liked the way this initiative had won the hearts and minds of people of all ages. They felt that the synergy between this conservation project and the route branding strategy had brought significant benefits to bus users as well as other partners in the scheme.
Joint Runners Up: FirstGroup plc
Rainbow Fares is a marketing device used on the Green Line coach route between London, Slough, Windsor and Bracknell. It gives airline-style yield management in order to spread demand as well as stimulate off-peak travel. Passengers are able to choose on the day of travel, so no pre-booking is needed.
This has led to large increase in passengers and revenue, and the average fare has come down. Every journey is colour coded in one of the seven rainbow colours, each representing different fares. It has transformed the financial performance of this route.
Although there has to be doubt about applying this concept widely, especially to local bus services, the judges were impressed that this was the first application of such a technique within the bus industry for turn- up-and-go passengers. It is simple to understand and tackles areas in respect of fares that the industry has not previously addressed.
Joint Runners Up: South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive
Carbon Quids Campaign
In this innovative marketing and PR campaign to promote the use of public transport, people were offered rewards in the form of carbon quids. These could be cashed in for prizes at carbon cash-ins in Sheffield, Doncaster, Rotherham and Barnsley.
The more people changed their travel behaviour, the more carbon quids they earned. Local businesses donated the prizes enthusiastically. Both in terms of support by businesses and people buying-in to getting the rewards, take-up far exceeded expectations, and it’s planned to use the promotion again in a loyalty/reward scheme format.
The judges were impressed by how different the initiative was and much of the material used to support it. There was no doubt that it successfully caught the moment in terms of environmental awareness and was pitched at exactly the right level.
Stagecoach-Goldline is a finesse level bus product developed to erode the notoriously impenetrable AB Social Class Group, to extend the product life cycle and to encourage existing users to travel more frequently by bus. The marketing communication and Stagecoach-Goldline brand were developed to visually communicate the luxury elements of the product with subliminal reference to the bus.
Through research, Stagecoach identified those colours which supported the Brand values i.e. Quality, luxury, honesty, integrity and applied those colours throughout the vehicle, website, staff uniform and all marketing materials.
Using integrated marketing channels (Direct Sales, tele-marketing, email, Direct Mail) the project team segmented the market and targeted those customers with a propensity to respond to the channel employed. Within that, the team targeted those with a propensity to switch bus. The analogy of the product is the 'BMW' of the bus. The subtle photography used throughout the marketing communication was positioned to support this analogy and successfully helped change the perception of those exposed to the product.
Transdev Lancashire United, Spot on Campaign
An integrated marketing campaign that applies to the entire Blackburn network and links bus livery with promotional advertising, timetables, website and customer service office. This has generated 7% plus passenger growth and resulted in the successful integration of Blackburn Borough Transport. The campaign provides visual evidence of changes to a route and confirms the arrival of high quality public transport.
Warrington Borough Transport Ltd, Making Warrington Move
From old fashioned municipal bus operator to modern Network Warrington, a carefully crafted repositioning of the Warrington Borough Transport business has produced 20% more customers in two years with strong modal shift from cars. A high quality ongoing marketing campaign has secured a series of marketing industry awards, and helped transform perceptions of the company among customers and employees.
Special Commendation: Transport for London, Considerate Travel
This campaign was created to encourage considerate travel and get Londoners to think about fellow passengers to make everyones journey and ultimately life in London, better, because our actions have a greater impact on others than we first imagine. The use of neutral characters represents everyone without singling anyone out and their t-shirts communicate specific pledges in a positive way.
Who could be nominated?
This category was open to operators, local authorities, partnerships or other organisations participating in the securing, marketing or promotion of registered local bus services.
… and by whom?
We welcomed nominations from customers, local authorities, user groups or bus operators. Self-nomination was also acceptable.
Criteria and Entry Requirements
The decision was based on the quality of the submissions made, which were required to:
- State whether their organisation has a formal marketing strategy or plan, and show the relationship of the campaign to this.
- Provide evidence of the market research (methodology and results) carried out prior to the campaign.
- Describe how the campaign was planned and how the targets were set for it.
- State how the campaign was executed, showing methods used and why, how demand was stimulated and customer access to the product improved, and how potential customers were identified and informed.
- Describe how the impact of the campaign was monitored and measured
- Describe any changes to the campaign made as a result of the monitoring
- Supply statistical evidence showing the results of the campaign in terms of patronage, revenue or other appropriate indicators, especially modal shift achieved.
- State whether the results are likely to be sustainable?
- Describe any future plans for further development.
- Include any relevant supporting material.
- Supply appropriate examples of the campaign materials that delivered the reported results