Co-located with Technology for Marketing

18 - 19 September 2024
ExCeL London

18 - 19 September 2024
ExCeL London

Content Hub

26 Jun 2024

How Big Bus Tours and Oban International Embraced Search Tech To Bounce Back Bigger and Better

How Big Bus Tours and Oban International Embraced Search Tech To Bounce Back Bigger and Better

Louise Aldridge, Head of Digital Marketing at Big Bus Tours, and Jules Bodoulé Sosso, Head of Paid Media at Oban International, share valuable insights into how Big Bus Tours revamped its digital marketing approach in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Listen to the Full Session: 


Key Insights:

Pre-Pandemic Success: Before the pandemic, Big Bus Tours (BBT) was excelling, winning numerous awards and setting benchmarks in the sightseeing industry. Their marketing strategies were highly effective, and the business was thriving.

Impact of COVID-19: The onset of COVID-19 in 2020 brought a sudden halt to BBT's operations, with revenue dropping to zero for four months. This unprecedented situation forced the company to rethink its approach and adapt to the new normal.

Technical Innovations: During the pandemic, BBT used the downtime to overhaul its operations and digital acquisition strategies, making them more agile. Louise Aldridge highlighted how the company partnered with Oban International to relaunch their pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. This partnership focused on their key metric of payaway, which measures digital costs as a percentage of revenue. By integrating automated bidding strategies with manual optimisation, they struck a balance that enhanced performance.

Leveraging Local Expertise: Oban's in-market experts provided crucial insights into evolving traveller intent and concerns, shaping the ad copy and bidding strategies to better address local nuances. This localised approach proved essential in resonating with potential customers.

The revamped strategy yielded significant results:

  • Click-through rates increased substantially.
  • Traffic saw notable growth.
  • Revenue surged compared to pre-pandemic levels.
  • Cost per acquisition decreased, highlighting the efficiency of the new approach.

Key Takeaways:

  • Anticipate Audience Changes: Being proactive about shifts in audience behaviour is critical.
  • Avoid Over-reliance on Automation: While automated bidding can be effective, it should be complemented with manual oversight.
  • Importance of Localisation: Tailoring marketing efforts to local markets and leveraging in-market expertise can greatly enhance campaign effectiveness.

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