Tourism NT inspires tourists to visit the Northern Territory with marketing powered by Adobe Experience Cloud.
Increase in leads to airline partners through data-driven marketing
Attract 3 million annual visitors to the Northern Territory by 2030, including 1.45 million holiday visitors
Use strategic marketing to showcase unique cultural experiences in the Northern Territory
Personalise web experiences to better retarget audiences with relevant tourism activities
Understand customer journeys across multiple touchpoints and partner sites
Increased leads to airline partners by 515% through data-driven marketing
Increased website visitors YOY by 94% with a 66% increase in time spent on site
Boosted awareness of the Northern Territory as a tourism destination during pandemic, reaching 45.7% of Australians
Generated $15.5M in bookings with a summer sale during the pandemic to offset loss of international travel
Exploring the Northern Territory
Every year, more travelers discover the Northern Territory in Australia as a unique holiday spot to experience natural wonders and unwind from their hectic modern lives. From the sparkling harbor city of Darwin to the iconic sandstone formation of Uluru/Ayers Rock, the Northern Territory is a highly diverse area ideal for visitors interested in outdoor activities, wildlife, and Aboriginal culture.
Tourism is one of the biggest industries in the Northern Territory, employing 12% of the Territory’s workforce. As part of the Northern Territory’s Tourism Industry Strategy 2030, the Northern Territory aims to boost the economy by increasing tourism, with a goal of attracting up to 3.03 million annual visitors by 2030.
Tourism NT’s role is to market the Northern Territory as a travel destination, inspiring more people to visit, stay longer, and spend more. The website northernterritory.com is the organisation’s primary marketing tool, serving as a central hub to inspire and inform travelers. Tourism NT does not provide direct booking services, instead directing travelers to partner airlines, booking sites, and travel agents.
“We have great partnerships in place, but we didn’t have transparency into the customer journey because we couldn’t see what visitors were doing on our partner sites,” says Adam Boucher, Marketing Solutions Director at Tourism NT. “Were campaigns driving bookings? How much were visitors spending? As part of our 2030 initiative to turbocharge tourism, we wanted a way to stitch together information from all of our customer touchpoints and deliver personalised experiences that inspire people to visit the Northern Territory.”
Tourism NT carefully researched tools that would provide marketers with greater insights and personalisation capabilities, and ultimately chose Adobe Experience Cloud. Adobe Analytics delivers in-depth, real-time data that tells marketers how website visitors are interacting with articles, travel deals, and upcoming regional events in the Northern Territory. Adobe Audience Manager serves as the data management platform (DMP) to pull together customer information from numerous touchpoints, including email, digital banner ads, free Wi-Fi hotspot registrations, and partner websites. All of this data feeds into Adobe Target for testing, optimisation, and personalisation so website visitors considering a trip to the Northern Territory get an experience tailored to their interests.
“Adobe Experience Cloud was the best choice for us,” says Boucher. “It brings together analytics, data, personalisation, and testing in a single platform with native integration, which helps us future-proof our technology.”
Marketing Solutions Director, Tourism NT
With Experience Cloud in place, Tourism NT brings together data to better understand complex customer journeys spanning multiple touchpoints and partners. Through data-sharing agreements with more than 20 strategic partners, including major airlines and online travel agents, Tourism NT gains visibility into how customers interact with partners, from understanding what activities they’re exploring to knowing when they book travel. This information feeds into Audience Manager alongside data from across all Tourism NT touchpoints to see the entire customer journey, from first contact, to booking experiences, to returning from the first of many Northern Territory holidays.
With all of this information in one location, Tourism NT now knows which content connects with customers. “Using a data-driven approach with Adobe Experience Cloud, we can optimise campaigns and drive more leads to partners,” says Boucher. “We saw a 515% increase in leads to airline partners and 148% increase in leads to Northern Territory tourism operators in two years after implementing Adobe Experience Cloud.”
Tourism NT leverages this data for testing and personalisation to improve website experiences. Adobe Audience Manager creates intelligent segments based on customers’ interests and stage of the marketing funnel. Tourism NT uses this data to personalise marketing and better connect with customers. If a visitor reads about the Northern Territory’s national parks, either on the Tourism NT website or on a partner’s website, Target will target the visitor with a product in the region.
In addition to delivering personalised experiences, Tourism NT uses Target to run A/B tests that optimise the overall website experience for all customers. Having data makes it much easier for marketers to decide which changes to make to the website. In one A/B test, Tourism NT tested whether to use “Inspiration” or “Travel ideas” as the text in the navigation bar. Marketers thought audiences might respond better to the more creative wording, but visitors preferred the simple and clear option, as “Travel ideas” delivered a 75% increase in clicks.
Tourism NT then took the test a step further, comparing “Travel ideas” and “Trip ideas”. During this test, “Trip ideas” was the clear winner, increasing clicks by 37%. But marketers made an even more important discovery: “Trip ideas” performed dramatically better in the United Kingdom, driving a 140% increase in clicks.
“Personalisation and optimisation efforts have helped us improve the overall website experience for northernterritory.com,” says Boucher. “These improved experiences have increased the number of visitors to the website by 94% year-over-year, with a 66% increase in time spent on the website. Critically, these website improvements have resulted in better results for our partners. We’ve increased digital banner leads to trade partners by 606% while also increasing leads to Northern Territory tourism operator websites by 117%.”
Executive Director, Tourism NT
While the Northern Territory had seen record-breaking tourism numbers in 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic caused lockdowns and travel restrictions that resulted in international and interstate visitor numbers to drop to near zero. Tourism NT needed to shift strategies dramatically to reboot the tourism economy in the Northern Territory.
“We have a small population of just 250,000, so we’re typically much more reliant on international and interstate travel than other destinations in Australia,” says Tony Quarmby, Executive Director of Tourism NT. “We had to think out of the box and encourage more local travelers to explore beyond their backyards.”
Tourism NT started with an awareness campaign aimed at encouraging locals to recognise areas and activities in the Northern Territory that remained open. As travel restrictions loosened in Australia, Tourism NT focused on a wider branding push.
The “Seek Different” campaign targeted Australians with information on the diverse travel opportunities in the Northern Territory. The campaign generated strong interest, with 46.7% of the Australian population aware of the advertising and more people considering the Northern Territory as a destination.
“For these awareness campaigns, we recognised that some areas in Australia were struggling with the pandemic and might see tourism campaigns as insensitive,” says Quarmby. “We used Adobe Experience Cloud to send messages to the right person at the right time in the right location.”
Tourism NT also encouraged greater interest in the Northern Territory through its voucher campaign and summer sale. The Territory Tourism Vouchers incentivised local travel by offering every local resident up to $200 to spend on a regional tourism organisation. The vouchers aimed to make it more affordable for locals to visit places and try things that they’ve never done before. People would often spend more than the $200 on their trips, generating over $26 million in sales over three rounds of vouchers.
The Northern Territory later became the first state or territory in Australia to incentivise interstate travel with the NT Summer Sale. Working closely with travel organisations such as Flight Centre, Helloworld, and Holidays of Australia, Tourism NT encouraged travellers from across Australia to choose the Northern Territory as their next holiday destination.
“The summer sale generated $15.5 million in bookings between October 2020 and March 2021, helping to offset the loss of international travel,” says Quarmby. “Adobe Experience Cloud played a role in all of our campaigns by helping us understand audiences and create strategies to counter reduced travel during the pandemic.”
Marketing Solutions Director, Tourism NT
Tourism NT is continuing to look at the future for how it can advance tourism and meet 2030 goals. The organisation is working with Adobe to hold more Analytics training sessions. This will enable more people to understand how to analyse customer journeys and improve marketing performance. With an upgrade to Target Premium, Tourism NT is also taking advantage of personalisation capabilities powered by Adobe Sensei to automatically choose the best content and offers for audiences.
“If we can take a small silver lining from the pandemic, it has taught us the importance of agility,” says Boucher. “We leveraged our learnings from Adobe Experience Cloud to find ways to adapt quickly and engage new audiences. As the tourism industry bounces back, we want to show more people the beauty and excitement of the Northern Territory.”