Rockies By Rail – Digital Content Research Campaign
2018 Finalist

Rockies By Rail – Digital Content Research Campaign

Star Metro Media

Toronto, Canada

Category Data and Research

Overview of this campaign

The goal of this program was to create dynamic, inspiring and measurable content to engage with Rocky Mountaineer’s key demographic of 50+ travel intenders.

The Strategy:

Audience Engagement: A custom content section called “Rockies by Rail” was created on housing Rocky Mountaineer custom articles and videos that ranged in topics from discovering diverse wildlife, behind-the-scenes in the train’s kitchen, to how the Rockies are good for the soul.  Content was shared cross-device on Star Metro Media-owned and operated assets and social media, targeted to Rocky Mountaineer’s key demographic.

Measurability: Pre and post custom surveys were deployed to our audiences to mine their insights on their intent to travel and brand awareness in addition to content A/B testing to ensure that the right content was resonating with Rocky Mountaineer’s key demographic.

How did we deploy this research?

Pre-campaign launch, the brand awareness portion of the questionnaire was deployed to two different samples. One pre-survey was deployed through standard, cross-platform ad units on inviting readers to take part in a digital questionnaire.  The second pre-survey leveraged the Toronto Star (RAM) reader panel.

During the campaign, a third survey (post) was deployed to determine the effectiveness of the content, as well as to compare brand awareness to the previous two survey results. The post-survey was deployed using standard ad units and links within content found only on the pages of the Rockies by Rail section on

Results for this campaign

The campaign over delivered at 198% on audience engagement benchmarks. Pre and post research findings from over 3,600 total respondents, demonstrated that the content created was engaging to the key demographic and persuaded respondents towards considering Rocky Mountaineer for a future vacation.   More specifically, the research showed significant increases in brand awareness, intent and consideration for travel with Rocky Mountaineer:

  • 79% Post Brand awareness versus the 70% Pre campaign
  • 89% Post Likely to recommend versus 78% Pre campaign
  • 17% Post Likely to book package versus 5% Pre campaign
  • Content Drove Action: After reading the article, 37% of respondents reported that they were likely to consider a Rocky Mountaineer vacation.

In addition to the pre and post survey, content A/B testing on owned and operated properties and social media helped to identify what content resonated with the key demographic by examining content themes, formats and how they were deployed.  All research and insights have helped to shape the 2018 campaign content and media strategy.


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