KAFFEINE / Arts & Culture, Placemaking, Travel & Tourism

Using technology to grow custom beyond the destination

19 November 2020

UKinbound, the UK's leading trade body for UK attractions, asked Will Kallaway to provide a marketing perspective webinar on how attractions should consider investing in technology now.  

A summary of Will’s eight top takeaways for attractions are below. The webinar video and deck below provide additional info together with insight from Yiannis Maglaras, Managing Director, Ticknovate. 

Kallaway provides advice and solutions to the UK’s leading attractions and destinations. If we can help you, please contact Will on William.kallaway@Kallaway.com or call 07966 889 307.  

1. Technology is a channel not the solution. Avoid the temptation that tech is a silver bullet. Tech/digital channels are a conduit for your brand to be amplifed, enagage others and ulimately sell its product. It might be the only place on which the brand lives, but it’s still not the brand itself. (Unless you’re TikTok, in which case this article is not for you). 

2. Get your core brand proposition right first. The key point here is difference. As the world shrinks and competitors can market to anyone, anywhere, and engaging technology becomes widely adopted by attractions so the importance of true difference increases. Do the work to understand what makes YOU different and compelling to your target audience in way that sets you apart from the competition in a rich and unique way. This goes beyond the obvious, such as price, to set out the positive difference you want to make in the world as a brand. Then, think about how your tech can amplify that difference and bring it to life. The webinar provides x2 key questions from the Kallaway playbook you should consider.  

3. Reflect the zeitgeist. The experience economy is changing. Research from YouGov and Kantar shows that people are seeking brands that show positive, purposeful, leadership on social / community / environmental issues. They’re seeking to buy experiences that are not only fun, engaging and good value (as a given) but also: 

  • Memorable: The last ten months of uncertainty has seen people hunt out to find positive and enriching experiences. They’re eager to support brands that are authentic in the current climate, those who are serving their community – not just selling to it. The brands that are successful will be those who provide deeper experiences that provide customers with positive memories and personal enrichment during a difficult time for us all.  
  • Transformative: Experiences that are personalised and positively beneficial in the long term. These are experiences that have lasting and benefical impact beyond just the moment. This reflects the changing nature of how people want to live, work and grow. This requires brands to better know their audiences.
  • Sustainable: The pandemic has reminded people that life is more than material possessions and commercial gain. Brands need to demonstrate authentic leadership on social, community and environmental issues.  

4. Know your audience. Often brands know more about their consumer's spending habits and their wallets than they do about them as individuals. To best succeed in the current climate take time to understand your customers dreams, needs, fears, hopes and wants - not just their spending power. This will help you move away from sales and toward inspiring and supporting them as people during the difficult recession that is expected during 2021.  

5. Be bold, creative and broad. Messages around reassurance, safety and hygine are baked into what the public expects as a basic from all attractions. Now is the time reignite interest from existing customers and also consider how you can use technology and different revenue streams to broaden your reach and grow new customers. Consider how you can develop cost effective yet bold and creative ideas that reignite interest from your existing fan-base and reach new audiences. If you can explore how your brand could secure grant funding for new technology. 

6. Strategy wins wars. Tactics win battles. Don’t confuse the two. Optimising your website for mobile, getting your SEO right or taking PayPal payments etc, are sensible investments. But these examples, and others like them, are short term tactical gains and should be part of your regular digital maintenance to keep up with the Joneses. They are easily replicated and unlikely to generate significant positive change over time. For this you need a clear brand strategy that brings together all the points above to optimise your brand’s difference via your use of technology and social media. 

Points to consider: How can you use technology to:

  • Amplify your brand purpose and leadership? Our work with Royal Academy of Dance enabled it to demonstrate leadership at a time of national crisis winning praise from across the world. The webinar highlights how Hastings Contemporary has been able to reach new audience around the world and adjust its audience demographic by using ‘robot tours’.  This initiative helped the brand demonstrate leadership, provide social inclusion and opened up different revenue streams away from in person ticket sales. These income opporunties range from teaching for schools through to social prescribing from GPs. 
  • Build brand proposition and community not just sales. The webinar demonstrates that investment in brand proposition, growing and retaining a community of fans is more valuable in the long term over sales. Proposition is built through purposeful and positive action that supports your community – and doesn’t just sell to them. Our work with Japan House London illustrates how simple brand engagement opportunities such as face-mask workshops built its audience and helped it realise its purpose.  
  • Optimise and grow income away from ticket sales. Attractions are e-commerce businesses. Destination based brands should be exploring how they can sell online experiences / learning experiances / products as well as tickets. This means your tech and social presence need to be optimised for, not just the visitor booking / experience journey, but also your ecommerce / shopper journey. The webinar highlights the different points along the shopper and vistor journey to explore. For further inspiration check out how Virtual-Visits is enabling National Trust Scotland to bring to life Culloden battlefield to audiences around the world and open up new global income streams. Think about how your brand could create an entirely new experience that doesn't need a physical attraction but can be experianced in the customer's home, such as this new immersive experience from Unbound and Entourage
  • Augment and adjust your wider marketing. Covid has rapidly increased the importance of digital channels over print. Investment in any technology and social should be explored in the broader context of your existing marketing and how they can be mutually supporting. Our Eat Out To Help campaign for Hard Rock Cafe and through to Architecture for Dogs for Japan House London highlights the importance offline channels, digital media and social media working together in a supportive and integrated manner.  

7. Measure the right thing. If you value you what you’re doing measure it correctly to discover not just sales but brand value. It also means ensuring your team doesn’t just perform to the measurement – i.e. the campaign is skewed to meet the measurement rather than what it should it be doing. 

8. Act now. Research shows that positive and affirmative brand building marketing during a recession will grow your share of voice to the consumer and increase sales in the long-term. Don’t wait for the ‘right time’. Get going now.

What do you think? We would love to hear your comments and if we can help please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re always free for a chat and guidance during this difficult time.  Contact the team:  Hello@kallaway.com



Introduction from Joss Croft, CEO, UKinbound 

7m 30s - Will Kallaway 

29m until end – Yiannis Maglaras, Managing Director, Ticknovate