providing instant gratification about Malta at the swipe of a fingertip
The Malta Tourism Authority aimed at embracing user-centricity and smartening up their act through a digitized local guide for tourists in form of an app. They streamlined their processes using enhanced digitized platforms offering intelligent, instantaneous, responsive solutions to tourists’ requests. Thus, the VisitMalta+ mobile app was born – a free downloadable destination app, available from Android and iOS, letting tourists instantly access information on what to see and do, and how to navigate around Malta. This is where Keen’s creative team, market researchers and digital marketeers came in. We were commissioned to create a marketing and publicity campaign, generating a buzz and broader awareness around the app, using both offline and online channels.
publicising the VisitMalta+ app to tourists
Our challenge for the marketing of this campaign involved us publicising the VisitMalta+ app to tourists who’d booked a holiday to Malta and Gozo or who were just about to – but who hadn’t touched down in the country as yet. This is essential, because quite often, by the time tourists arrive into a new country, they have already mapped out their itinerary. So, our digital teams initiated strategies to connect with tourists in just the ‘right’ moment of their travel phase.
Half way through this communications campaign, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and impacted the tourism industry substantially. Following a thorough evaluation and shift in strategy, the involved stakeholders agreed to adjust the target market and exploit the potential of the domestic tourism.
Together we adjusted the predefined goals to match the new objectives and strategy with measurable KPI’s focused on app downloads.
Defining markets and goals
Our market research team conducted extensive market research into the target audience, while also scrutinizing popular destination apps. This research helped us determine Malta’s main tourist markets, as well as the most popular reasons tourists chose to holiday in Malta, ultimately splitting the marketing campaign on 7 main concepts: Culture, Beaches, Diving, Gastronomy, City Break, Walking and Cycling.
Besides the main concepts, our team felt the need to come up with something innovative and unique to our culture – hence, the ‘Kavallier’ was born. This ‘Kavallier’, or as internationally known as one of the Knights of St John was used on campaign videos on YouTube.
An international brand awareness campaign
Our rationale was to incorporate the main concepts into our visual marketing and advertising campaigns, whilst also using customer insights to better target the digital ads. Our offline and online campaign sets were put into action, creating visual ads that reference our key themes and mobile app in the visual imagery.
Our digital targeting strategy utilised platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Google, connecting with tourists and visitors interested in Malta and its treasures. The offline marketing campaign focused on valuable exposure at core locations across Malta, such as the Malta International Airport, buses operating on key routes, bus shelters, billboards, hop on hop off tourist buses, cinemas, and more – targeting venues that would guarantee tourist interaction and footfall.
Despite the fact, that the initially defined campaign goals had to be revised considering the enormous effects of the pandemic, our team is proud to state that we exceeded expectations and managed to surpass the original number of targeted downloads.