Location, location, location: iCrossing and Visit Wales on putting the country on the tourism map

The marketing sector can be a complicated place as new marketing tools and techniques are launched, almost on a weekly basis. Powered by The Drum Network, this regular column invites The Drum Network's members to demystify the marketing trade and offer expert insight and opinion on what is happening in the marketing industry today that can help your business tomorrow.

The Drum Network spoke to Sarah Myles, account manager for Visit Wales at London agency iCrossing, about working closely with the tourist board on putting the country on the global tourism map.

How has the relationship between iCrossing and Visit Wales developed over the past seven years?

Our relationship with Visit Wales has developed significantly over the last few years through our adoption of the latest digital innovation and by taking a data led approach to strategic development in order to unleash the potential of destination marketing. Over the past seven years, Visit Wales has gone from a single-market, SEO-only agency approach to a multi-market, multi-channel, digital, data-led marketing strategy for EMEA.

How have you worked together to maximise the offering of escapism?

We have developed a detailed view of our target audience and their interest and affinities, which has enabled us to have a clear understanding of creative concepts. iCrossing have also developed a close relationship with the Visit Wales brand, production and PR agencies to ensure a multi-channel approach. The Year of Adventure campaign launched in March 2016 and it involved Visit Wales sharing insights derived from online research and data at video shoots to influence the footage and video production for digital assets. iCrossing also worked closely with Visit Wales’s creative agency, Smorgasbord, to influence website content and align social activity with PR activities to maximise engagement.

How has iCrossing successfully used social and data to allow for a more personalised experience?

Our data-first approach ensures that we use as much of our first party data as possible to understand core motivations of our target audience for visiting Wales. We use the insights that this data gives us to better talk to our known audience, and to find our unknown audience.

Tell us about the results

We regularly beat the targets set for us through our digital activity and we consider ourselves as continuously leading digital transformation. Central to this success is continuous innovation and a creatively led approach.

Do you see VR becoming a big part of Visit Wales’ marketing campaigns in the future; how can tech entice more people to visit Wales?

We’re always looking for opportunities to innovate, so yes, we will be looking at how immersive experiences could work to further entice and engage our audience in what they can expect to see in Wales, therefore driving increased intent to visit.

What’s next for Visit Wales?

There are some thrilling campaigns in the pipeline with UEFA Champions League Finals being hosted in Cardiff this June and the Year of Legends theme for 2017. iCrossing will continue to develop audience insights and combine these with innovation and digital marketing excellence to unleash the potential of destination marketing for Visit Wales. We aim to truly inspire and engage with our target audiences, while keeping innovation central to what we do.

Some of iCrossing's other clients include Barclays, Uniqlo and UGG.

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