September 21, 2012
Cool Content: Lauren Hogan is personalising Cornwall
About two and a half year ago, when she joined Visit Cornwall, she started talking about blended marketing - to some scepticism. But they agreed objectives: get visitors, get them to come back, and to spend more while they're in Cornwall. They decided that the websites should be a brilliant planning and research tool, giving them information they can't get anywhere else. they'd leave price and availability to others.
Cornwall is so vast in terms of its offer, that there are parts of it appeal to pretty much all elements of the potential tourism market. Which is, basically, a nightmare for marketeers. Oh, and people research their visits around six months ahead. So, it needs to look current in January - but also be relevant to people planning for June. Their website planning was beginning to look worryingly vague...
She used to work for the Eden Project. That site launched Real Cool Futures that allowed children to dig down into personally applicable case studies to help plan their careers. Could she take that idea and apply it to the Visit Cornwall website? That would be one way of making it a must-visit portal, and one that could cater to that wide range of visitors - and do that by recognising their needs really early in the visit. Nameless pitched and won the contract. They "guerrilla researched" the project, which meant a lot of time, posit notes and painstaking detail...
On the website, filters allow you to chose the party - and their ages. You can filter for dog-friendly and access issues. You can choose which section of Cornwall you're going to, and when you're going. That opens up another level of filtering around activities.
It's been live since March. They've had a difficult year - constant rain in the UK hasn't helped Cornwall. But they're working on developing the site for next year.
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