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Online searches towards Ecuador during the brand launch spiked up by 35% worldwide

Marketers are buzzing around on how to measure the effectiveness of a banner displayed on a street, stadium, or even in a classroom. The ones who sell you the display place will tell you with ease – we know how many people entered the room or how many people passed the commercial on the street – that’s how many saw your commercial. But is it really a qualitative KPI?

Online searches – the new indicator

There are different indicators through which it is possible to measure new policies, marketing, or promotional efforts, like ROI, media reach, social media interactions, website traffic, etc. But proactive interest, the “act of searching” for information about a particular place – country, region or city, is the one left behind or not yet discovered.

It is vital to measure the searches because nowadays, the primary way of searching for information is by way of a “search engine”. The “act of searching” can be triggered by any number of things including something one may have read in a newspaper, heard in a conversation or out of simple curiosity. “Searches” represent the true level of interest in a country, and therefore demonstrate a country’s genuine appeal. If measured, “searches” can also highlight the interests one may have with regard to any specific country.

“We can now measure the effectiveness of analysing the behaviour of the potential market “before” and “after” the policy implementation event. We can see advertising or marketing efforts online and offline by measuring the volume of searches for a specific destination on a monthly basis over a two or four year period."

— Gonzalo Vilar, Partner of D2 - Analytics

1. An illustrative example of impact. SOURCE D2 - Digital Demand

Measuring the success of the campaign

In 2014 our proprietary software D2 – Digital Demand was used by Koenig&Partners, Communication and Creative Agency in Ecuador and Ecuadorian Ministry of Tourism to assess the results of a specific campaign – the travel brand launch of “All you need is Ecuador”.

All you need is Ecuador

On the 11th June 2014, The Ministry of Tourism launched an international brand campaign which went viral in 12 cities around the world and 7 cities in Ecuador alone.

They placed 6m tall letters in major touristic sights of each city. These letters, put together, make up the phrase “ALL YOU NEED IS ECUADOR”, the slogan of a tourism campaign that highlights the unmatched supply of tourism attractions this South American country has to offer. Each letter had a different design representing a product, artistic expression, activity or attraction of the country. The Ministry of Tourism selected these designs, taking into consideration each city’s target audience. Each letter had a quick response (QR) code, a web address and a hashtag (#) inviting the audience to interact with this campaign and find out what the letters mean.

 

Ecuador campaign launch: countries and locations.
Campaign launch: countries and locations. SOURCE The Ministry of Tourism of Ecuador

 

Measurement of the impact

Koenig&Partners used D2 – Digital Demand to measure the impact of the international reach of the brand launch in order to assess the impact of the campaign.

The impact was measured by the online searches performed by global citizens towards Ecuador, using differential analysis between the data of 2014 and 2015.

The findings

In 2014, when the campaign was launched, we saw that the brand launch caused an increase in searches by 35% worldwide in June.

D2 – Digital Demand allows geolocating of the searches by country, region or city. In the Ecuador case, we saw that the impact per market differs. For example, we saw that interest decreased in Peru by 6.2%, at the same time it increased in France by 70.7%. In general, other countries were more eager to find out extra information about Ecuador than neighbouring countries or inland cities.

Differential analysis of searches revealed that tourism brandtags (selected keywords that appear as the most searched online for countries, regions and cities in one of the chosen dimensions (tourism, talent, investment, exports, national prominence)) that were positively impacted were Touristic information, Gastronomy, Beaches and History. These were the areas people were the most interested to search about Ecuador. This could be because at each site where letters were placed different types of information about Ecuador was promoted.

In this case, we see that there was no visible positive impact in overall Ecuador touristic appeal in the medium and long-run. Nevertheless, there still could be a positive effect on tourist arrivals in that year or next. In order to measure the success of this campaign, we need to clearly understand the KPI’s introduced before the launch. We saw the short-term impact on the appeal of Ecuador as a travel destination in June when there is a spike in searches, but as we see the rest of the year compared to the next year, no spikes are evident.

Take away

Differential analysis of searches is the new way of measuring the impact of marketing activities. In this case, specific campaigns to understand their effectiveness in terms of lasting and volume of interactions.

Strategically, when thinking of new marketing campaigns, it is always important to assess their actual return – it doesn’t matter how many people see something, it is real action that matters.

What are your main challenges assessing the marketing campaign results?

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