Tag: Marketing

Tourism co-operative’s ambitious plans for 2015

Port Appin

Hosting international events such as the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup in 2014 put Scotland firmly in the global spotlight as a top visitor destination. With such opportunity, many businesses are considering how to best take advantage of this new-found fame.

Carron Tobin, development manager of Argyll and the Isles Tourism Co-operative (ATIC), explains why being part of a consortium is helping many of Scotland’s west coast tourism businesses capitalise on the country’s time in the limelight.

Last year was an unprecedented one for Scotland, with sport, politics, the Homecoming gathering and historical anniversaries giving the country international attention like never before.

Not only did it cement our reputation as a land of spectacular scenery and a friendly welcome, it established Scotland as a vibrant and contemporary tourism destination that has the capacity to wow as much as it does charm.

This offers a tremendous opportunity for tourism businesses – and when it comes to having a competitive advantage, we believe being part of our co-operative consortium really helps us stand out from the crowd.

Coll beach

When we formed in 2012, businesses of varying sizes across the area pooled finances, contacts and industry knowledge to create an umbrella brand and marketing plan to set Argyll and the Isles apart from the rest of Scotland and the UK as an unmissable tourist destination.

By offering a range of attractive products that tour operators can sell to their customers, we have enjoyed real success, reaching more markets and potential customers than we would ever have managed individually.

This year though – more than ever – we can see the true value of being part of our co-operative as we prepare to launch our most ambitious bid yet to attract more tour operators to our area and our businesses.

For the first time, we will exhibit at three major international trade shows in a single year, supplementing our usual stand at VisitScotland’s EXPO in April, with trips to the Best of Britain & Ireland and Explore GB trade shows.

Argyll and the Isles Tourism Co-operative’s board. From left, Carron Tobin, David Currie, Calum Ross, Niall Macalister Hall, chairman Gavin Dick, Iain Jurgensen, Andrew Wilson, Brian Keating and Fiona McPhail.

Argyll and the Isles Tourism Co-operative’s board. From left, Carron Tobin, David Currie, Calum Ross, Niall Macalister Hall, chairman Gavin Dick, Iain Jurgensen, Andrew Wilson, Brian Keating and Fiona McPhail.

These events are vital to engage with tour operators across the world and have potential to attract thousands of new customers for our businesses, taking advantage of Scotland’s incredible 2014.

Quite simply, we couldn’t have done this as individual companies or local marketing groups. By working together, we have given our region a genuine competitive edge and delivered a significant boost to members’ trade – underlining just how effective being part of a consortium co-operative can be.

The Wee Agency hopes collaboration will bring big results

Eilidh Marshall headshotLast year, for a second consecutive year, CDS ran the Collaboration Prize – an opportunity for three businesses from across Scotland to each win £10,000 worth of cash and support to get their consortium business idea off the ground.

Working with Creative Scotland, CDS crowned Highland-based The Wee Agency with the creative sector prize. Eilidh Marshall from Muckle Media talks through the benefits of being part of a Scottish consortium.

It’s an exciting time to be part of The Wee Agency. Having just launched, we are delighted to have won the Co-operative Development Scotland Collaboration Prize.

According to Co-operative Development Scotland, there are 578 registered co-operative businesses in Scotland, and no doubt many more businesses collaborating behind the scenes. These businesses play a major role in driving economic growth with a combined turnover of £4bn and providing employment to 28,600 people.

Collaboration can have significant benefits – increased productivity, creativity and greater influence are just some. Working with different people outside your own agency can spark new ideas and give insight into the other specialities. All the while, individual businesses can retain their own brands; collaboration simply allows them to be part of something with greater impact.

Collaborating and combining skills makes things a lot simpler for clients too. There’s no need to brief different agencies or companies, no more juggling projects, reading through multiple proposals or duplication of tasks or costs. Clients are reassured that everything is taken care of by one company.

Compare it to say, building a house. Imagine one project manager presenting you with the options on how to achieve your ideal home – you don’t need to find an architect, builder, decorator, bathroom fitter, electrician or spend your time coordinating how they work together. You choose the end result you want and the team does the rest. 

And that’s how we work.

In an increasingly digital world, it’s important that companies have accessible and interesting websites that are marketed effectively – therefore increasing their chances of being seen by consumers. At The Wee Agency, we bring this together with 2bcreative providing the design, Alchemy+  bringing the IT and Muckle Media providing PR and marketing.

David Massey, managing director of Alchemy+, Nathalie Agnew MCIPR, director of Muckle Media and John Young, director of 2bcreative, represent the three firms that have formed The Wee Agency.

David Massey, managing director of Alchemy+, Nathalie Agnew MCIPR, director of Muckle Media and John Young, director of 2bcreative, represent the three firms that have formed The Wee Agency.

So how do projects with The Wee Agency work? 

  • After being briefed by the client on their needs and wants, we brainstorm to find the best creative idea that will sit at the centre of the campaign
  • We plan the project utilising the best channels to reach the audience
  • The design team then produce the creative material
  • Once approved, the web developers and IT team build the website
  • During this process, the PR and marketing team plan for the launch
  • The PR and marketing team reach out to media and run social media to drive people to engage

When working in the creative industries it’s important to be able to bounce ideas off each other which can then spark bigger and better solutions. The consortium approach enables us to do this efficiently.

Our multi-channel team condenses the workload for our clients and working together allows us to provide big results. Without the need to liaise between different agencies, our clients are able to concentrate on other aspects of their business. So whether it’s a start-up or an established organisation we’re working with, we can help make it a success.

Find out more about The Wee Agency at www.theweeagency.co.uk or follow us on Twitter to keep posted on the latest trends and news in the digital world @theweeagency