Case: Doerz and the Living Room of Experiences
How VisitOulu’s experience store was successfully launched
In June 2020 VisitOulu launched a service called “Elämysten olohuone”, roughly translated to the “Living Room of Experiences”. During the first few months there were hundreds of experiences sold through the platform – a spectacular result during a challenging time when international travelers were absent. The site is currently operating only in Finnish.
The first two months of the Living Room of Experiences:
- Over 50 different experiences
- Tens of thousands of site visits
- Hundreds of experiences sold
- 150 applications for experience testers
- New member organisations joined VisitOulu just to be a part of the Living Room of Experiences
Locals got excited over the Living Room of Experiences too
Good momentum has kept going through autumn and winter following the launch. The launch of the Living Room of Experiences speeded up experience sales and brought enthusiastic team spirit and positive comments from both locals and travelers.
Some comments that The Living Room of Experiences has received:
“The city looked like a whole new Oulu.”
“In my opinion VisitOulu succeeded to make experiences easier to find and to market Oulu and nearby areas as a destination.”
“A fantastic concept to collect all experiences under one site and to digitalize the travel industry along with other industries! Sometimes I find it hard to come up with things to do as a local from Oulu. This new mecca of experiences changes that! Go VisitOulu!” “I'm born and bred in Oulu but wow, this is a whole new Oulu!”
What was done right in Oulu?
1. Tight cooperation between VisitOulu and Doerz
At the beginning the customer's contact person was Päivi Penttilä, CEO of VisitOulu. With her own personal contribution Päivi ensured that the project progressed on schedule and at full steam. At a later stage Otso Karvinen, the digital marketing expert of the VisitOulu team, played a big role in implementing the practical work. VisitOulu's digital leap also aroused great interest and enthusiasm more widely. The Living Room of Experiences became a shared project of the entire Oulu region. The Living Room of Experiences was implemented as part of the VisitOulu experience platform project.
2. Investing in experience selection and providers
When launching a new location it’s important that the experiences are interesting to the public from the very beginning, The Oulu region invested heavily in this. Experience providers were actively invited to participate, the platform was presented in a webinar, and one-on-one guidance was also provided as needed.
3. Thoughtful productization and investing in descriptive texts of experiences
The more attractive and informative experiences are on display, the lower the threshold to booking is. Doerz’s customer happiness manager helped the experience providers to refine their product cards in the finished form.
4. Scheduling and clear deadlines
The launch of the Living Room of Experiences was combined with an extensive marketing campaign, so there was much more to consider in the project than the technical aspect of the platform. A clear deadline was set for the experiences to be placed on the platform. Those whose products were ready by a certain day were accepted to the platform for the launch. Thus the supply of the platform was abundant in the eyes of the public and ready right from the start.
5. Experience testers being a part of marketing
With a visible campaign, VisitOulu sought out experience testers to try out the products. A total of up to 150 applications were received and 20 of them were selected. Implementing such a campaign requires careful communication and sensitivity to feedback, but if as successful as in the Oulu region, the results can be very impressive! The campaign also gained a lot of regional media visibility.
6. The effective usage of social media
The combination of the power of social media with an inspiring and fun-themed campaign brought plenty of visibility and comments from both locals and visitors. The experiences from the Living Room of Experiences have been strongly visible even after the launch campaign.
7. Visible placement of the booking service on the organization's website
The customer must access the booking page through the shortest possible click path. VisitOulu placed the link to the Living Room of Experiences in an efficient and visible place immediately on the front page of the www.visitoulu.fi website. A clear customer path is the core of everything.
8. Productization and branding as the Living Room of Experiences
VisitOulu utilized Doerz's interfaces and made its experience platform personal and unique by branding it as the Living Room of Experiences. This made the Oulu region experience platform in line with the brand and perfectly adapted it to other communications and marketing. Doerz Local also adapts to special solutions!