Paignton Zoo

Purple empowers popular UK wildlife parks to improve their marketing and visitor engagement
Summary

Paignton Zoo, Newquay Zoo and Living Coasts are located across the South of England and are owned and operated by Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust. The tourist attractions, which welcome thousands of visitors every year, worked with Acronyms and Purple to roll out a brand-new guest WiFi solution, plus analytics, across all three sites. Acronyms initially implemented Purple and Meraki hardware at Paignton Zoo and then gradually activated the solution at its sister sites.

Prior to Purple

Each of the tourist attractions wanted to improve the overall visitor experience and the management team felt that offering fast, free public WiFi would help make the experience more enjoyable and interactive for guests as they would be able to post, share and upload pictures.

Being able to acquire data and insights about the individuals visiting each of their zoos was something of particular interest to the customer. The venues sought a WiFi platform that would allow them to interact with guests more effectively and equip them with all of the essential data needed to distribute promotional material.

A final requirement for the group was security. It was important that the public WiFi was separate to the private network as they didn’t want visitors accessing the internal network used by employees. With over 45,000 children visiting the sites for school trips annually it was also vital that younger guests couldn’t access inappropriate content during their visit.

Installation

Acronyms, a leading technology provider in the South West of England, installed the WiFi and analytics software and Meraki routers across each of the sites. Each site required a dedicated leased line in order to handle the number of visitors that would log in each day.

Before the solution went live, Acronyms also ensured a bespoke splash page was in place for each venue to maintain a strong and professional brand image when visitors are accessing the WiFi. The login process is simplistic and enables visitors to access the network either via their social media accounts or via a short form.

Commenting on the solution, Louise Smith, Marketing Manager for Paignton Zoo, said: “We found that Purple was very easy to work with and the installation was smooth and straightforward. Free reliable Wi-Fi has become a must have for our guests, we want them to be able to easily share the fact that they are having a great time at our Zoo’s and Purple’s robust system copes well with the high amount of guests we have on-site at any one time.”

Exploring new possibilities

Purple went live in Paignton Zoo in late 2016, followed shortly by Newquay Zoo and Living Coasts. The platform has collected almost 17,000 lines of active customer data and visitors at each site have been noticeably happier as they can easily get online and share pictures with the animals and ‘check-in’ on social media.

Paignton Zoo has proved to be the most popular site and the average user accesses the WiFi for almost an hour during their visit, with 40% of users aged 24 and under. Due to the fact that a significant proportion of these users fall into the 18 and under age category, it demonstrates the need for secure content filtering which has been made available from Purple and Acronyms.

Each visitor attraction is now able to capture the email addresses and demographics of everyone that logs into the WiFi. The demographic information includes their age, gender, interests, location, amount of time they spend at each venue and the frequency of their visits. By having access to this type of information the marketing team can develop communications and offers accordingly. With Purple, they can even set up automated emails that include coupons and rewards for customers who have visited the site over a certain number of times.

On each venues WiFi login page it clearly states that the email address used to sign in will be added to the zoo’s mailing list. All of the customer data collected by Purple is exported into their own CRM system and communications are regularly sent to those who have visited the family attractions.
Louise adds: “All customer data is presented to us in a really easy to use, visual platform allowing us to look at and plan for future marketing campaigns.”

Collaboration

Commenting on the customer relationship and deployment of Purple, Tom Moore, Sales and Marketing Manager at Acronyms, said: “We were thrilled to be able to deploy Purple to Paignton Zoo as it perfectly fit the requirements of the marketing department. Having a relationship with both the IT and Marketing department of Paignton Zoo was crucial to make sure this implementation was a success. Since the original network was installed we have been working closely to further improve coverage of the WiFi at each location.”