October 26, 2018

5 min read time

Written by:

Chris Higgins

Share on:

How Fusing Technology with Creativity can Deliver Wonderful Results

Gone are the days when advertising in a local tourism guide or placing a stack of leaflets in a hotel foyer would deliver footfall to your business. Today, technology has grabbed hold of the leisure, entertainment and attractions industries with great fervor and is refusing to let go. With customers spanning from ‘Generation X’ & ‘Millennials’ to ‘Gen Z’, never before have we seen such an all-encompassing embrace of technology. From the use of the internet to process purchases, to interaction with mobile and wearable tech, to the consumption of content, and even artificial intelligence – the world of marketing and sales has changed dramatically, and continues to evolve day by day.

The good news? Technological advancements are occurring across all disciplines, and none more-so than in the marketing space. This allows you to keep pace with the challenges these industries are facing, as well as the solutions!

With UK tourism set to be worth £257.4 billion by 2025, there is no doubt that the leisure, entertainment and attractions industries are in position to capitalise on this expansion – an undeniable opportunity, where investment in the future of your business now could really ensure the sustainability for the future. This growth is also forecast to create 630,000 new jobs, contributing to the expendable income of employees and customers alike which should, in turn, spur further growth. A recent study by PWC explained: “Across the attractions sector, there are clear signs that customers want more innovative, immersive and interactive experiences which provide value for money.”

Due to the rapid advance of technology and the subsequent driving of growth, operators are faced with a new series of questions which they must answer to continue their own evolution:

  • How can you capitalise on the growth of domestic and international tourism?
  • How do you drive brand loyalty, increase bookings, retailtainment and repeat visitors?
  • How can you compete with tech savvy customers who have high expectations?
  • How can you make sure you connect with customers at each touch point: pre/intra/post visit?
  • Should you be looking at wearable technology VR, AR or mobile apps?
  • How can you improve or enhance the user journey online and during their visit?
  • How can you get in front of consumers residing in the top countries that visit the UK to increase bookings?
  • With the increase in digitisation, how can you align with and go beyond your competition?

Embracing technology seems like the obvious solution to making the most of these opportunities. Simple, right? In essence, yes – however, in isolation, without strategy or creativity, this can be a misaligned assumption.

For example, it is true that 90% of adults under 35 are regularly using social media, suggesting that the visitor experience is of paramount importance. However, simply just being present on social media, having a page or profile and growing a following is only a basic element of utilising this information. The real challenge is to think outside-the-box with the aim of utilising these platforms to genuinely engage users and encourage positive experiences before, during and after customer visits. This could be as simple as promoting in-visit UGC (user-generated content) on-site with props and action CTAs, offering guests the chance to share a photo or video of their experience on social media, or even incentives and promotions to encourage consumers to share reviews about their visit.

Technology really does permeate throughout all aspects of a customer visit – before, during and afterwards, and it’s not just through Social Media that this takes effect. Whether it’s through well curated online booking processes, cashless on-site payment systems, queue-busting & queue-entertainment technology, or even utilising these tech advancements to deliver internal financial & marketing efficiencies, embracing technology across multiple aspects has an absolutely vital role to play in your future success.

We’ve been very fortunate to have worked with some forward-thinking companies across brand, tech and digital, implementing strategic solutions to improve communications & drive growth across various marketing channels. Wonderful Partners have included Dreamland Margate, STA Travel, TrekAmerica, Park Plaza Hotels and Resorts, Cereal Killer Cafe, Quandoo, Slush Puppie, The O2 Arena and Merlin Entertainments. This has given us huge insight into what makes these businesses work, as well as experience of the challenges they face on a daily basis to not only keep up with the evolution of their customers, but also their competition in the form of gaming, on-demand and other online entertainment options.

Wonderful has become an innovative marketing strategy partner for the industry, helping companies enhance the user journey online and offline whilst maximising every touch point. How we go about effecting lasting change within these businesses varies from client to client, depending on their requirements, but we often start by identifying and targeting individuals and audiences in the UK and abroad and from there supply a suite of physical & digital solutions to generate online & offline interactions.

Services delivered to our clients have included: website builds, mobile app development and NFC wearables; working with API integration with secure access only areas; booking system creation & integration; sales tracking end to end and cross platform; CRM; GDPR and analytics; road-mapping digital strategy; growing social and professional authority, and a wide mix of other deliverables to help improve all round communications and processes.

Fusing creativity with technology is an integral part of any solution for this industry – our technology solutions are designed to solve any problems your business might face, and provide you with the tools, data and platforms ideally suited to help your business grow. Some examples include:

  • Multi touch-point enhanced technology solutions
  • UX & UI System Architecture Design
  • System Prototyping
  • Website Development
  • Mobile Application Development
  • Business Systems Development
  • API Integration

If you would like to read some examples of this approach in practice, check out our case studies including our work for Dreamland MargateSTA Travel and Park Plaza Hotels.

We’re really excited about where this industry is progressing in the next five years and beyond, as well as the great, innovative outputs that progress will allow us to deliver next. On-site, offline technology is fusing more and more with the digital and online world, and this is a real opportunity to shape the future of this sector as it grows.

Are you prepared for the challenges facing the leisure, entertainment and attractions industry? Do you have strategic multi-channel marketing campaigns covered? Have you embraced technology to capitalise on the influence of Generation Z and beyond?

Feel free to give us a call on 01622 686228 or email hello@bewonderful.co.uk if you want to turn these challenges into genuine growth opportunities for your business.