Bus Marketing Campaign 2009

Sponsored by 

The logo of CBS Outdoor, advertising specialists and sponsors of this award 

The winner of this award will be able to show that the project or campaign

  • won hearts and minds
  • created or developed strong brands
  • helped to change public perceptions and/or consumer behaviour.

Any methods in the marketing toolbox can be used: branding, business-to-business, direct mail, media advertising, the internet, PR or a combination of all these techniques.

The important thing is that the campaign will have delivered measurable results, building on strong research. In addition, clear monitoring will have enabled managers to judge results and fine-tune campaigns as necessary.

The judges were impressed by the nature and extent of the entries for this year’s competition, and strongly welcomed the continued commitment to marketing that they represented, even in the current climate.

The judges were also pleased to note a strong effort to attract car users and higher ABC1 socio-economic groups, a notoriously difficult market.
The number and range of entries gave the panel a hard task in picking the best from a very strong field indeed.

Winners: Go South Coast, Bluestar, for “Bluestar 1 – Star Quality”

Sales promotion was one of the high profile activities in the Star Quality campaignBluestar 1 connects Winchester and Southampton, and recently benefited from a £1 million-plus investment in new buses, which triggered an intensive marketing campaign. Delivering on a deliberately modest budget, thanks to high quality design and cheap and effective cross-promotion with local other retailers, partners and public organisations, plus a re-energised team of employees, Bluestar delivered - boasting growth rates of some 12% year-on-year

The judges greatly admired by this stylish campaign to relaunch the company’s Southampton-Winchester service, with limited resources. The project showed evidence of strong commitment to partnerships; had an ambitious target, which was achieved; and set out to attract socio-economic groups ABC1 to bus services. Effective use was made of a number of techniques in the marketing toolbox, including research into both customer aspirations and their delivery; product design; eye-catching events and PR activity, the internet, advertising material, and introductory offers. A very impressive project.

Runners Up: East Midlands Airport

The East Midlands Skylink Bus Network: Club Skylink, a CRM strategy

The Skylink brands - caught the eye of the judgesDedicated marketing, along with service enhancements, has increased patronage from 700,000 in 2006 to 1.3 million in 2008.  A programme of high profile marketing activities and campaigns has created a strong Skylink brand recognised within the East Midlands.  Club Skylink is the next step to achieving customer loyalty by managing the behaviour of passengers and ensuring that the Skylink brand remains front of mind.

The growing Skylink network provides fast and frequent bus services linking East Midlands airport with key local communities including Leicester, Nottingham and Derby. Targeted at both airport users and airport employees, the routes now carry over 1.3m passengers a year, an 87% increase in the last three years. Research showed the need for a customer relationship strategy, and this resulted in the launch of Club Skylink, as a tool to understand the needs of passengers, to promote the services more effectively and to create a community of users. The judges were very impressed by the scheme, and the broad spread of the target market, with subtle differences to appeal to airport employees, to business passengers and the leisure sector. Strong modal shift was achieved, with a good spread of socio-economic targets.

Highly Commended

Children using the park and ride serviceNorfolk's School Run Park and Ride, Norfolk County Council

This scheme demonstrates the best in collaborative working. Potential service users working with service providers to gain insight to create a new targeted initiative to deliver mode shift from cars to buses.  School Run Park & Ride isn't about tickets, routes and buses, it's about people, listening to their needs and shaping services to help them make smarter travel choices.

Travel route 60 style, Stagecoach South

Retro style from the 1960s - praised by the judges

Creating an impact with cascaded vehicles: that was the challenge with the improvements to route 60.  Without the benefit of shiny brand new buses, the branding really had to be eye-catching.  So, when the route number 60, a fairly trendy up-market city at the centre of the route and the retro look as popular as ever, the sixties idea was born.

Stagecoachgold, Stagecoach Group plc

Stagecoachgold is an elite new concept in bus travel.  The product, originally known as Goldline.

A bus in Stagecoachgold liveryThe product was initially developed to extend the bus product life cycle at grass route level plus attract the notoriously impenetrable AB Social Class segment, unrelenting in their pursuit of travel by private car. Services are currently running in three operating areas, Warwickshire, Perth and Aldershot.
The product is now undergoing a rebranding exercise, to become a recognised brand within the Stagecoach portfolio, with a view to national rollout: the next phase is planned for Cheltenham in September 2009.

Metro Connects: An integrated Marketing Campaign to deliver sustainable passenger growth, Translink

A poster promoting Metro in Belfast

Translink Metro has embraced a significant programme of change, which has successfully enhanced the future development and growth of public transport in Northern Ireland, attracting more passengers.Our creative and innovative approach to marketing Metro services has attracted thousands of new bus users resulting in passenger growth of over 30% in 4 years.

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 is acceptable.

Criteria and Entry Requirements

The award will be based on the quality of the submissions made, which were required to:

  • State whether their organisation has a formal marketing strategy or plan? 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.  

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