A world of wonders awaits

Digital Marketing

If ever a cruise line was well-positioned to rebound from COVID-19, it would be Scenic Luxury Tours and Cruises, the global river and ocean cruising line based in Australia. 

By the very nature of their design, Scenic’s vessels are right-sized for safe-distancing while navigating the waterways of Europe, South-Asia and the eastern Mediterranean. Even it’s first entry into ocean cruising, the Eclipse — the world’s first ‘discovery’ yacht launched in 2019 — is size-appropriate to ameliorate safety concerns. 

Scenic’s reputation for excellence has grown with its fleet in the decades leading up to the pandemic.  The company conceived and launched by Glen Moroney, aligned itself with its owner’s reputation for bold entrepreneurship and his passion for the highest quality in tour curation,  accommodation and cuisine.  

Now in its 37th year, the company boasts a fleet which exceeds more than two dozen vessels, all exquisite, each unique, and collectively ready to return to pre-COVID levels of marketing and sales results.

The Challenge

The timing of the company’s original 2009 entry into the Canadian marketplace had been less than fortuitous. Globally the river cruise market was an increasingly saturated market and as is often the case with sector-leading companies, its competitors had adopted a ‘me too’ approach to marketing. 

Scenic had leaned heavily into traditional media such as offline publications and radio and television campaigns for its Canadian launch, just as it had done to great success in other geographic markets. Over the succeeding decade it embraced the digital space relying on its internal resources supplemented by independent contractors.

The result was year-over-year growth in the business but like all cruise lines in 2018, downward trends began to appear. The challenges faced by its marketers were universal to virtually every company practicing online marketing: digital marketing innovation had the potential outstrip the ability of its internal software and practitioners to adapt. Recognizing this possibility, Scenic turned to Wallop for strategic guidance on how it could side-step the challenges of platform obsolescence and more importantly, do so while delivering improved results. 

As with any outside digital marketing supplier,  the company expected dramatic improvements in SEO rankings and paid advertising metrics for river cruising. Even more crucial was the need to secure new branded and non-branded terms for the Eclipse, the jewel in Scenic’s crown which cost a quarter billion US dollars to build and was to herald its entry into the global ocean cruising world. Unlike its established ‘river’ online marketing programs, its  ‘ocean’ campaigns were to be built from the ground up, addressing new audiences for which the company had no pre-existing data.