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Shifting the brand to B2C and introducing insight-led marketing: DSA regional airport

Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) had been promoting the airlines that operated from their tarmac. Now they wanted to build up their own brand, shifting the emphasis from B2B to B2C.

Our brand strategists stepped in to uncover what this shift meant and to set a new direction for marketing the business. They:

  • reviewed the latest sector evidence on regional airports and attitudes to tourism
  • spoke to local residents in the airport’s catchment area
  • reviewed competitor and airline brands to determine a way for DSA to cut through the marketing noise
  • reviewed their findings with the DSA team to create new brand values.

Together we established a new communications proposition that would resonate with customers. We helped the DSA brand move on from promoting airlines to connecting with customers.

Brand activation

We built on the communications proposition, expressing the new brand through image guidelines, a new colour palette, tone of voice development and new strapline for the airport: Easy, friendly, relaxed.

These elements were then applied to all the airport communications and signage. An internal brand roll-out ensured that staff were engaged and enthused and could confidently ‘live and breathe’ the brand in their customer interactions.

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Using data visualisation to inform campaigns

Having established a new brand, DSA wanted to run a TV and online advertising campaign aimed at potential DSA holidaymakers.

Disciplines

Brand Strategy/ Design/ Film/ TV Advertising/ Data

However, previous DSA marketing campaigns had directed customers to airlines’ channels to book flights. Due to GDPR, DSA could not access these airlines’ sales, marketing and customer data, so they couldn’t be sure where their advertising spend was having the most impact.

We audited the sales and campaign data that was available, blending these with Big Data sources such as ONS data. We created an interactive visualisation of the data on a cloud-based Tableau dashboard.

The dashboard:

  • enabled DSA to better understand their customers’ purchasing habits
  • visualised the geographic locations of new and returning customers
  • informed the team on how best to maximise media spend and reduce wastage
  • identified new customer opportunities
  • gave the marketing team opportunities to tailor their messaging
  • enabled DSA to understand the possible impact of world events on sales, then adjust and maximise marketing opportunities
  • produced clear evidence of ROI on marketing activities for the Board.

CREATING A TV AD

Using the new brand work and the insights gathered from the data visualisation, we created a TV ad. This was based on the concept of ‘holiday heroes’, showcasing the variety of holiday options available with flights from DSA. We shot the ad in Ibiza to showcase city breaks, beach holidays and poolside retreats.

The ad ran on Sky Adsmart, supported by digital marketing activity. We tailored the campaign digital messaging to specific audiences, using the dashboard to support audience targeting.

Impressions and engagement were measured against display and PPC ads. Conversions were measured against the number of clicks on a range of content options on the DSA landing page.

We smashed the ad impressions target by 460% and the website engagement target by 290%.

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?

We continue to work with DSA on a variety of marketing campaigns. The airport has been voted the Best UK Airport by Which? three years in a row and the airport has added new routes and destinations. Investment is continually being put into terminals, infrastructure and accessibility to provide the best experience for customers and staff.