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Internet, Marketing, Travel & Tourism

What’s the point of a campaign website?

By William Bakker | 10.17.07 | 2 Comments

I don’t get it. Why do so many destinations build specific websites for specific campaigns? Are they seriously thinking that consumers are only interested in the content specific to the campaigns theme? Let me give an example. Queensland has a campaign called Outback Holidays. It has a campaign website with a unique URL; adventureoutback.com.au. It has a lot of content about the Outback. This Dinosaur Trails information is really cool, for example.
Queensland also has it’s regular consumer website, queenslandholidays.com.au. It’s a great website with a lot of great information. But is doesn’t have the nice Dinosaur page I found on the campaign site. But it DOES lists all kinds of tourism operators including Lark Quarry Dinosaur Trackways, also very cool. This information didn’t make it on the campaign website though.
There is a link buried somewhere on the campaign website to the main website, but good luck finding it. I’m picking on Queensland because I happen to know their website well, but it happens everywhere and I-don’t-get-it. My assumption is that there is some co-op marketing deal where partners who buy in are featured exclusively on the campaign site. There’s probably also an agency involved who produces content exclusively for the campaign site.
Imagine Amazon building a campaign website to promote the new Harry Potter book without any references to its main website or other products. And you can only buy the book on the campaign site, and the campaign site is completely disconnected from the main Amazon website. It would never happen because it doesn’t make any sense.
I’m sure there are a lot of things we can do better on our website (and I’d love to hear it), but when it comes to campaigns, I think we’ve figured it out. Campaigns motivate a consumer to start learning about or planning a trip to British Columbia. There might be a campaign landing page to follow through on a specific call to action, but after that, we put the consumer at the best place of the website to start planning their trip. And what do we see? Somebody that responded to a golf message could be looking at our ski pages next, or at a spa operator, or whatever else is relevant and of interest to that consumer. Just because the consumer responded to a golf message, doesn’t mean she’s not interested in anything else. Limiting information based what motivated the consumer to visit is a missed opportunity.

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