Center Parcs has handled large and complicated projects before. Indeed, we were their partner agency during the planning and opening of Woburn Forest, their most recent UK village. But in 2019, Center Parcs will undertake its largest challenge yet: opening a new village in a completely new territory—Longford Forest, Ireland.
As their agency for all things online, our challenge is to handle all digital aspects of the expansion. First, we had to create a strategy to effectively utilize the natural interest that would be generated around this story, as well as to introduce the Irish general public to the Center Parcs brand.
Center Parcs’ Irish announcement immediately generated news stories in 2017. It was clear that time was of the essence, so we devised a short-term response that would not only satisfy an immediate need but also inform long-term success.
As opposed to an easy fix—a story, post, or infographic on the main Center Parcs site—we decided to build an Irish domain. This would create an instant differentiation from the established UK brand, and allow us to more effectively achieve our goals in storytelling, branding, and data capture.
After collecting the specifics and requirements from the client, we began our deep research into the Irish market. We learned about the digital habits of our target audience, as well as the national “short break” landscape.
We capitalized on the buzz generated by the announcement by building a temporary website—a fast, cost-efficient exercise that could be managed alongside other preparations as we started to plan for a permanent solution.
We kept our aims for the site simple: increase traffic from Ireland, generate awareness, answer questions, and build the brand story. Crucially, we also developed the site to enable efficient data capture, allowing Center Parcs to provide timely updates and offers to interested parties.
Our nimble response to Center Parcs’ challenge met short-term needs, and—just as importantly—it is informing our continued approach to their upcoming Irish adventure.