Increasing ticket sales for Bristol Zoo Gardens

Bristol Zoological Society is a conservation and education charity, which operates two of the South West’s premier outdoor attractions – Bristol Zoo Gardens, and the Zoo’s sister site, the Wild Place Project.

Each attraction offers visitors two distinct experiences: The Zoo focuses heavily on education and conversation while offering a great day out, while the Wild Place provides families an adventure full of outdoor play and learning.

As major family attractions, the Easter school holidays are a key period for both sites to secure ticket sales and boost visitor footfall.

The Brief

  • Increase visitor footfall to Bristol Zoo Gardens and the Wild Place Project
  • Communicate the differences of the two attractions, through distinct audience and creative targeting
  • Provide real-time analysis of media performance and ticket sales

Approach

  • Established improved transaction tracking within Google Analytics and implemented attribution measurement for digital media
  • Targeted diverse audiences across Social and Programmatic media channels using first/third party data and demographic criteria
  • Continually A/B tested varied creative formats
  • Implemented a new cross-attraction ticketing strategy using remarketing technology

Results

  • 21.4% increase in ticketing transactions for Bristol Zoo Gardens
  • 110.9% increase in ticketing transactions for the Wild Place Project

During the planning phase, RH and Bristol Zoological Society undertook a detailed review of visitor audience profiles. As both attractions’ secure visitors from within Bristol, as well as further afield, consideration needed to be given to how advertising could be delivered efficiently and with minimal duplication between BZG and WPP.

Prior to launch, RH implemented updates to the Analytics configuration of both websites to facilitate improved transaction tracking. This would be essential to optimise the campaign through the busy Easter period, as well as providing a true like-for-like benchmark to compare the impact of our campaign vs. 2018.

We constructed several distinct audience personas for each attraction – built from first and third-party data that we could plug directly into digital marketing channels. We also identified a strong opportunity to cross-sell tickets between attractions, and implemented an automated process were people who booked tickets for one location would be offered tickets for the other post-visit. This gave us more opportunities to be agile with our ad optimisation – taking into account audience-specific factors such as weekday vs. weekend visitors, distance travelled, and weather – across the campaign period.

Bristol Zoological Society supplied a wide range of different creative styles, which gave us the opportunity to run advertising across multiple formats and locations. Both BZG and WPP campaigns benefitted from coverage across Facebook, Instagram, Display placements, and YouTube, as well as a tactical Remarketing strategy.

RH’s dashboard system provided Bristol Zoological Society a real-time overview of how the campaigns for both sites were performing. We were able to demonstrate the most receptive audiences, effective creative options, and chart an increase in ticketing sales and revenue over the Eater period.

Results from the campaign were overwhelmingly positive and Bristol Zoological Society reported a huge spike in visitor footfall over Easter.

The Campaign ensured web traffic for both attractions was up considerably compared to the previous year. Improved conversion tracking was able to identify considerable uplifts of ticket sales for both sites.

Bristol Zoo Gardens saw a 21.4% increase in ticket transactions, while the Wild Place yielded a huge benefit from the campaign, seeing ticketing transactions increase by over 110%.*

*comparing Easter holiday booking period 2019 vs. 2018.

PPA Recognised Agency