OTT extends PC Agency’s reach, introducing Kenya Tourist Board to independent agents and home workers
The PC Agency, the UK & Ireland marketing representatives for Kenya Tourism Board (KTB), wanted to connect with a wide range of agents for their October mega FAM trip which will showcase the country’s offer.
The Agency particularly wanted to reach out directly to independent travel agents and home workers who were members of the OTT community but were unlikely to be on their existing database. They were also keen to promote the destination to agencies that didn’t currently sell the destination but might be interested in selling Kenya in the future.
An email promoting the trip was sent to nearly 50,000 contacts on the OTT database and resulted in a unique open rate of nearly 17 percent and a total open rate of 26 percent. The unique open rate was nearly double the benchmark of between 7-9 percent for unique opens as reported by CampaignMonitor’s Email Marketing Benchmarks Report. The average total open rate exceeded the norm of 20.2 percent within the travel sector.
The message was amplified on social media by the OTT team with an engagement rate of 10 percent on Facebook (against an average engagement rate of 0.13 percent) and 6 percent on LinkedIn (against an average of 0.35 percent). As a result, PC Agency received more applicants than the number of places available on the trip.
Justine Kaeser, Trade Marketing Executive at The PC Agency, explained the goals of the project and how OTT helped introduce Kenya’s offer to hard-to-reach agents.
What was the overall goal of the project?
“Our overall goal as the in-market representative is really to make sure that Kenya is a top-of-mind destination for travel agents in the UK and Ireland. And from there, we want to increase arrival numbers and encourage people to book a holiday to Kenya.”
Have you used OTT before to reach target agents?
- No, before signing a 12-month contract last summer on behalf of KTB, we had never worked before with OTT.
Tell us more about your FAM trip project...
“We are organizing what we call a ‘Mega FAM Trip’ to Kenya. The idea is to find people from the trade tourism industry to come to Kenya in October from different countries to discover the country and also get the chance to all connect during a networking event in Nairobi. We also want to create a bit of buzz and use the story for media coverage - to really spread the word that Kenya is open and ready to welcome tourists again!
How did you get people from OTT and the wider community to sign up for the trip?
The newsletter was a great help in getting people aware, we used it like a signpost to introduce them to it, alongside a newsletter from our side that targeted our, smaller database. We definitely received more applicants than spots!”
“Currently, we're in the process of going through the applicants and selecting those who we think would fit best for this project. The reason we wanted to work with OTT was to reach a wider database and target people such as homeworkers, or smaller travel agents that might not be part of our database. It was a good way for us to make sure that even those independent travel agents were able to sign up. OTT is a great way to reach product managers, sales agents, and home workers.”
Did you have a particular target for the type of agent or travel professional that you wanted to reach?
“We were keen on targeting independent travel agents, who would benefit from the first experience in Kenya, rather than perhaps an African product manager who may have already been in Kenya multiple times.”
Did you get any help from the OTT account managers to achieve this?
“We had a very quick turnaround and they were very helpful with the inquiry and making sure to send it out and share it on social media channels.”
“We had a 12-month contract to send a bi-monthly newsletter so of course before that, they talked to us about the landing page, how we can build a profile how we can set up training. The team has been very helpful.”
Do you have any recommendations for other destinations wanting to use OTT for a similar promotion?
“I think the learning on the side is that if you really want to connect directly with agents, to link your newsletter to some sort of competition, promotion, or incentive. It does push people to open your email and I think that's something we'll try to keep in mind for the future.
“The OTT database helps you target people who sell to the whole world, not just Kenya, but we're also keen on getting in touch with people who don't sell Kenya yet. We can encourage them to add this to their portfolio and to let them know that Kenya is open and that things are moving. It's a great country to start with if you want to sell Africa and you’ve never sold it before.”