Edinburgh Leisure


Edinburgh Leisure is the biggest sport and leisure club in town! With 15 sports centres, 140 pitches, 5 bowling greens, 6 golf courses and the world’s largest climbing arena, Edinburgh Leisure is dedicated to getting more people active in Edinburgh than any other fitness or health provider.

However, there were some big challenges on the horizon for Edinburgh Leisure.

v 100,000 impressions We reached over 100,000 people online – over a quarter of Edinburgh’s population – and generated a 2.7% CTR, that’s 90 times higher than the industry average for Facebook!

The challenge

Firstly, as a not-for-profit organisation that runs all of these facilities on behalf of City of Edinburgh Council, the biggest challenge over the next 2 years is funding.

Therefore Edinburgh Leisure need to start generating revenue now to ensure they can keep the volume and level of services currently available to the Edinburgh public as high as possible. As well as this, Edinburgh Leisure’s vision is to inspire Edinburgh to be a more active and healthy city, with an ultimate goal of making Edinburgh the most physically active city in Europe by 2020. No small challenge!

What makes that goal even more difficult is the fierce competition that Edinburgh Leisure faces – not just from the plethora of other gyms out there, but from other more sedate leisure activities too! Edinburgh Leisure has to convince the people of Edinburgh to get off the couch, stop binge-watching on Netflix and avoid that café in Bruntsfield or Stockbridge and take part in some active, healthy exercise for at least 30 minutes a week – which over a quarter of adults in Edinburgh (26%) don’t even manage to fit in!

The objectives were clear – the first and most important step is getting more people through the doors!
From Glenogle to Gracemount, Meggetland to Meadowbank, Craiglockhart to the Commie Pool, we need to get more visitors coming in and getting active. 

However, once is not enough! Once we’ve got people active we need to keep them coming back for more.Therefore, Edinburgh Leisure’s September Membership campaign was going to be crucial in driving not only visitors but increasing memberships and beginning long-term relationships with the citizens of Edinburgh.

For this campaign, clear goals were set to generate 500 x 7 Day passes & 1,600 memberships during the September membership campaign.

The insight

Working together, Carat and Edinburgh Leisure took the existing membership data and used it to identify key insights into what was already driving people to join.

After mapping the data, it became clear that the majority of memberships were in extremely close proximity to each individual Edinburgh Leisure venue. As always it’s all about Location, Location, Location! Therefore to drive further members, we needed to make each individual Edinburgh Leisure venue as visible as possible to the people living in close proximity.

We then split our potential consumers into key target audiences based on an extensive and comprehensive audience segmentation commissioned by Edinburgh Leisure that defined 9 key segments for us to target. This would allow us to refine our targeting and ensure our message was directed to those audiences who would be most likely to respond to our September membership campaign.

With this combined insight of where and who our audiences are, we then looked at the media habits of
Edinburgh Leisure’s key target audiences to ensure we selected the most effective media channels.

Our target audiences were heavy users of Radio, Internet & Mobile Internet, and Outdoor especially. From these insights our strategy became clear. We needed to implement a hyperlocal campaign around each individual Edinburgh Leisure venue in order to make them highly visible to potential members whilst they were out and about in that area – whether in their car on the radio, online on their phones as they glide past on the bus, or using posters to signpost to those walking in the areas close to the venues that your nearest Edinburgh Leisure site is just around the corner! All of this would aim to direct our audience to their nearest Edinburgh Leisure venue and highlight how easy it is for them to get active.

THE solution

Broadcasting the message
Radio was going to be key to ensuring our campaign maximised the coverage and frequency of our messaging. With our hyper-local focus, our radio was delivered specifically and heavily across Edinburgh stations Forth 1 and Capital East – driving large scale awareness of Edinburgh Leisure across the city.

Using posters as signposts – right up to the sales counter!
In order to drive local Edinburghers into Edinburgh Leisure venues – we implemented a close-proximity Out-of-Home campaign. Informing people about the September membership offer within walking distance of an Edinburgh Leisure site. However, bought media sites were only the first step. In order to truly take the consumer on every step of the journey, we also ensured the Edinburgh Leisure sites – their own media platforms – were merchandised with campaign materials at the point of sale. This allowed us to guide a potential member to the point-of-sale in a real-world environment leveraging both bought and owned media – integrating Edinburgh Leisure’s own assets into the campaign.

Making it Social
To complement the above-the-line activity, we took our hyper-local strategy and implemented it online. We know our audience are heavy users of mobile internet – so we delved further into this to ensure we put our message literally in the palm of our consumer’s hands. By examining what our audiences do online, we found that Facebook gave us the opportunity to potentially hit our key audiences in close proximity to our venues on a massive scale.

v 100,000 impressions We reached over 100,000 people online – over a quarter of Edinburgh’s population – and generated a 2.7% CTR, that’s 90 times higher than the industry average for Facebook!
w 2,546 New Members Most importantly though, the campaign generated a fantastic over delivery compared to the initial membership objectives. 2,546 new members’ vs target of 1,612 (+58%) – the best new membership performance of any Edinburgh Leisure marketing campaign!
A 465 referrals 465 referrals from members. 18% of total sales and 3.2% of members (highest ever!)
E 415,440 number of visitors 415,440 number of visitors through the campaign – an uplift of 3% YoY and 2.8% vs September the previous year

“Whilst we are the largest physical activity and sports provider in Edinburgh, we are a ‘David’ in comparison to the ‘Goliaths’ in our market place such as Pure Gym, David Lloyd, Virgin Active and Bannatynes. This has led to some big challenges which Edinburgh Leisure needs to try and overcome. In partnering with Carat, we’ve been able to develop a great strategic approach based on customer & audience insight that has allowed us to be smart with our targeting & media and implement our most successful campaign ever! The results have been amazing – our September campaign has lead to great gains and we’re pleased to say that retention is beating last year too – highlighting that there will be a long-term impact from this campaign. This success can really help drive further improvement in 2016 and shows that Edinburgh Leisure can definitely achieve the ambitious goals we’ve set for ourselves and make Edinburgh the most active city in Europe by 2020! ”

Jo Nola Head of Marketing & Sales, Edinburgh Leisure
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