How Gulliver’s Theme Park Resorts boosted customer engagement

A castle at Gullivers theme park.
How Gulliver’s Theme Park Resorts boosted customer engagement
Duncan is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years experience in journalism. Having launched his tech journalism career as editor of Arabian Computer News in Dubai, he has since edited an array of tech and digital marketing publications, including Computer Business Review, TechWeekEurope, Figaro Digital, Digit and Marketing Gazette.

Designed for young families who have children that are aged between 2-13-years-old, Gulliver’s Theme Park Resorts provide memorable family days out as well as a range of themed accommodation options for short breaks and sleepovers.

Already established in Warrington, Milton Keynes and Matlock Bath, the fun-fuelled organisation recently expanded and opened resort number four in the popular area of Rother Valley, South Yorkshire.

The problem:

With a 183,000-plus customer database to communicate its latest, exciting news to – about the recent addition alongside ongoing engagement dialogue – its existing email service only enabled the brand to talk to consumers in a static way. Additionally, the brand wanted to achieve more for those on-the-move, however, the current provision of comms and relevant content were not available in as mobile-friendly as it would’ve liked. Therefore, the team risked alienating 66-70% of subscribers who accessed Gulliver’s information via their preferred devices.

Plus, Gulliver’s needed intuitive technology to refine and improve the quality of the data it currently held too – with multichannel marketing at the heart.

To create hyper-personalised email campaigns – which celebrated key milestones such as children’s birthdays – Gulliver’s also had to make better use of the insights it was collecting. However, the current system it has integrated didn’t provide the critical data needed to build ultra-tailored comms and connect on a more granular level with families.

Additionally, the team identified the requirement to track customers’ orders so that it could integrate this information into our booking system and understand their of-the-moment interests and online behaviours.

That’s when the expansion and requirement for savvier tools led to Gulliver’s exploring alternative options to create a better digital experience for families – and began exploring the market.

The solution:

Following a colleague’s recommendation of Force24’s GDPR-compliant marketing automation platform, the organisation explored how the martech tool could help to build seasonal, relevant comms campaigns for customers.

The company soon discovered that Force24’s features – in particular the email journey builder and integration capabilities – answered all its vital requirements. Following up from an initial email exchange, the team spoke directly with Force24, both in person and over the phone (pre-Covid-19) and was impressed by the brand’s welcoming attitude and on-hand, personal support.

Force24 account managers, Graham Davidson and Stephanie Smith, took Gulliver’s through a simple, engaging demo of the platform and offered their expertise to help colleagues to further understand its savvy capabilities throughout.

Challenges involved with implementation:

The subsequent set up initially felt like a daunting task – as the organisation had a lot of data to transfer across – but onboarding proved to be simple. The team was ready to start building its bespoke customer comms in only four days.

Another plus-point was how Gulliver’s had to work on ways to target individuals who were on its existing mailing list because they had visited in previous years, but required an encouraging nurture sequence and communication to reignite their thoughts about coming back. The Force24 platform was subsequently able to help Gulliver’s to create tailored email nurture sequences and successfully re-engage recipients further.

The result:

Force24 has delivered a platform that better holds and integrates subscribers’ information so Gulliver’s can drive individualised campaigns that convert. The email journey creation really stands out for the brand too and is easy to implement – plus the results are incredibly mobile-friendly.

The brand has started to produce some more automated campaigns – such as park bookings – and being able to use decision-tree marketing has improved the quality and efficiency of the overall customer comms. This exercise has also led the Gulliver’s team to:

· Design, build and deliver email sequences in 15 minutes – rather than three hours

· Dissect in-depth reporting from relevant campaigns and track subscriber usage across its four main websites

· Map out future tailored messaging and ensure the audience continued to receive comms based on what they viewed

· Increase engagement and achieve better conversion rates

Speaking about the partnership, Chris Peake, lead graphic designer at Gulliver’s Theme Park Resorts, said: “Force24 is a highly intuitive, flexible and agile platform that’s easy to use. We have seen great engagement with our campaigns since first plugging it into our existing CRM.

“The plan is to increase our use of the available features and work towards creating a much more efficient stream of personalised and effective email campaigns, which are bespoke to individual families and proactively respond to their real-time behaviours online.”

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