Hays Travel, the UK’s largest independent travel agent, aimed to become the leading player for foreign exchange travel money on the high street.
Hays’ forex travel money offer comprised: the convenience of its UK branch network coverage, click and collect online or in branch, competitive exchange rates, 0% commission and a currency buyback guarantee.
Hays Travel forex marketing had historically deployed traditional above-the-line media channels with 100% focus on bottom of the funnel tactical marketing, targeting in-market customers during the peak summer holiday period.
For the new strategy, Hays Travel worked with Different Narrative. Instead of focusing solely on bottom of the funnel marketing, Hays Travel invested 60% on brand-building at the top of the funnel to support its long-term forex growth ambition and 40% investment to support short-term tactical activity at the bottom of the funnel.
Campaign creative communicated Hays’ three core pillars to consumers in an engaging and relevant way: convenience and great rates, delivered by the travel experts. This positioning made Hays distinctive from all competitors, who focused on generic product availability.
Digital channel innovation included: introducing paid search activation across Google Ads and Bing Ads to drive clicks and impression share, Google display to drive awareness. Paid social across Facebook/ Insta display drove clicks and impressions. YouTube ads, Spotify ads, DAX smart speaker ads, online press ads and sponsored articles, all made their debut for Hays to reach new customers and retain existing customers with amplified reach.
Geo-digital targeting weighted activity across the branch network, based on forecast performance. Optimisation in-campaign was used to protect and grow business, town-by-town, city-by-city. Use of innovative ‘Marketing Engine’ dashboard reporting was used to track and report joined-up correlation and attribution across all marketing activity inputs, outputs and outcomes. The adoption of digital channel marketing activity was complemented by continued investment nationally above the line across radio advertising and Out Of Home ads and in-branch POS
Despite being out-spent in advertising investment by the category brand leader, Hays Travel recorded 18% share of voice, taking it from nowhere to third position in the category, with only a quarter of the spend. Similarly – The gap in share of organic search volumes with the category leader was narrowed, representing a significant swing in brand consideration and consumer intent towards Hays Travel.
Fuelled by the new approach, Hays Travel forex website traffic increased by 7.5 times year on year, like-for-like, with the upturn directly correlating to campaign marketing activity periods.
Hays Travel forex travel money Average Transaction Value increased, as Hays secured larger transactions during the campaign than before.
The campaign catapulted Hays Travel from zero to challenger-brand status in the foreign exchange travel money category, increasing market share and establishing a playbook for their future business investment planning.