Kalmar, with popular tourist destination Öland and the annual Kalmar Ironman event, has a high number of visitors each year. Stefan Johnson, head of tourism at Destination Kalmar, uses Telia’s Crowd Insights solution to gain useful insights into how marketing campaigns affect visitors' movement patterns.
When marketing a destination, it can be tricky to know if the targeted marketing efforts are really working. As head of tourism at Destination Kalmar, Stefan Johnson is well aware of this.
“For those of us who work with marketing our city, it is important to know if our campaigns are effective – if they are enticing people to visit us. But it has been difficult to know where visitors come from. The only statistics we have had is Tillväxtverket’s (Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth) numbers for commercial overnight stays and that is very thin information.”
Stefan Johnson wanted more detailed information about where visitors come from and how they move about within Kalmar. So in the beginning of 2020, he started using Telia Crowd Insights and it really opened his eyes. The service uses anonymous and aggregated data from Telia Company’s mobile network to show movements in different parts of the city. The information can be filtered in many different ways and generate in-depth insights that can help make smarter decisions regarding everything from city planning to how to direct marketing communications.
Follow up marketing campaigns
Stefan Johnson says that he got intrigued with the service when he heard about the possibility to cluster movement patterns based on where one has traveled.
“As a tourism communicator, I can direct marketing communications to a specific place and then see how it effects the number of visitors from that particular place. This enables us to see if the flow of tourists from there actually increases afterwards,” Stefan Johnson explains.
In short, Destination Kalmar uses Telia Crowd Insights to fine-tune campaigns and see what effect they have.
“We use Google Ads Manager when we drive digital campaigns and then we can see if there is increased traffic to our website and Facebook page, suggesting that interest has boosted when you read about our destinations. But with Crowd Insights, we can take this analysis one step further; now we can see if visitors from these places increase. That is, we can verify if more people travel here in connection with a specific campaign.”
Used several times a week
An important function of Crowd Insights is the possibility to verify what previously could only be estimated.
“For example, say retailers believe they’re experiencing an increase in people from Stockholm, but they were previously just guessing. Now we can determine if there is an actual increase in movement patterns in the area AND if there was an increase from Stockholm during that period. In other words, we can use the tool to establish that we have an influx of visitors that is both increasing and decreasing.”
Stefan Johnson uses the Crowd Insights tool regularly, often several times a week.
“Now during the autumn, for example, when we go into the low season, I can see indications that we still have many weekend visitors. And with the movement patterns I can find out where they are coming from.”
How the locals travel
Stefan Johnson stresses that there are several smart ways of using Telia Crowd Insights.
“It is also an important tool for decisions regarding how the city center should be developed. For example, with the tool, we can see that the majority of people travelling through Kalmar's city center come from the municipality itself, and not from other places in Sweden. Consequently, Kalmar residents who visit the city center become an incredibly important target group that we must not miss.”
Knowing exactly how the inhabitants of Kalmar moved about in the municipality became particularly interesting to watch last summer, when the coronavirus pandemic affected travel behaviors.
“We saw a clear ‘stay-cation’ effect. Many of the large residential areas in Kalmar showed a much deeper shade of red compared with the same period last summer, which indicated that many were choosing to stay at home,” says Stefan Johnson.
“A lot has been invested here in local places for children and young people, we have built several large multipurpose locations with playgrounds and skateboard parks etc. With Telia Crowd Insights, we saw that the utilization rate of these places was much higher this summer than the same period last year,” he adds, as a way of showing how this type of information can be especially useful for city planners.
In future, it is hoped that Destination Kalmar also will be able to use the tool for event analysis. Ironman Kalmar, for example, which usually takes place over three consecutive days in August but was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.
“We could go in and cluster the number of visitors on those exact same days and compare them with 2019. This year the number has completely sunk since we did not hold the event and lost a large flow of visitors. Hence, we could see what an important impact the event really has for the hospitality industry.”
Another effect of the pandemic, that Stefan Johnson has observed thanks to the tool, was a change in the day visits to Kalmar. “There were significantly fewer day visitors from Borgholm on Öland, just over 25 percent less. Basically, the tourists made fewer day trips and stayed in one place longer.”
Looking at international overnight stays
Stefan Johnson from Destination Kalmar is very pleased with Crowd Insights and the information he receives.
“Having a tool that can confirm movement patterns based on where we have our potentially important target group areas has really made it easier for me. We get confirmation that we are in the right areas working with our marketing efforts.”
In future, Stefan hopes that he will be able to more specifically measure visitor flows of international guests
“For example, now we can see what portion of guests come from Germany and how long they stay – and if they are day visitors or overnight tourists. But I would like to be able to see exactly where they come from in Germany, so that we can direct our market communication more precisely abroad as well.”
Telia Crowd Insights is a subscription-based service that offers both historical and ongoing data on movement patterns and population volumes in cities. The insights can act as a strategic tool for planning, development and assessment regarding urban planning, events and tourism.
Learn more about Crowd Insighs for cities