Tour Operator Ramps Up Business with Digital Ads and Content Strategy

How this Case Study may be relevant to you: This project involved developing a strategic marketing plan, Google advertising campaigns for lead generation, brand cross-promotion and content development for customer engagement.

By advertising through the second half of 2021, before many of their competitors, and staying top-of-mind with their customer base through regular content, Old Sod Travel positioned itself to ride the wave of "revenge travel" into business recovery.


Situational Analysis

Old Sod Travel is a luxury tour operator creating custom trips to Ireland and the UK for its high end customers. They acquired another tour company in 2018, Scandinavian American, a tour company creating trips throughout Scandinavia. The new addition brought the opportunity for new business with the ability to expand into new markets, leverage pre-existing relationships into new customers and offer new experiences to past customers.

The Challenge

Old Sod Travel found us in early 2021, looking for a way to jumpstart sales post pandemic even though much of Europe was still closed to American travelers. They also wanted to make sure to leverage their new company and ensure it wasn't confusing for customers.



  • Generate short-term revenue in 2021
  • Increase lifetime value of customers
  • Build awareness with new audiences

Strategic Insight

In our research, we found that the affluent customer was restless to travel again.

We looked at the competition and saw that they had a uniquely personal travel planning experience for customers.

The two brands, while offering trips to different parts of the world, ended with 5-star experiences that customers rave about.

Old Sod Travel was in an optimal position to deliver memories that last a lifetime for travelers longing to get away again.

Strategic Approach

  • Cross-promote the two brands, expanding customers' opportunities to travel.
  • Relate Old Sod Travel's unique positioning into the customer journey.
  • Create connections to experiences by telling authentic stories.
  • Refresh the content strategy to create a solid online presence and inspire the audience.
  • Help potential clients understand the experience they would have on a trip.
  • Activate the existing customer database with new travel opportunities.
  • Deploy digital marketing strategies to reach consumers at the right time.


  • Implement strategic Google Advertising campaigns
  • Create and optimize landing pages for conversions
  • Engage customers with monthly email newsletters


First Year Results

  • 3 PPC campaigns, 1 display and 1 retargeting campaign
  • 4 landing pages created
  • 385 conversions (lead forms submitted) from ads
  • 2.87% conversion rate and 8.3% click through rate
  • 69% of 6-month website traffic came from paid search
  • 12 email newsletters sent with an avg. open rate of 28%

Second Year Results

  • Added PPC campaigns for Iceland & Norway
  • 2 landing pages created
  • 450 conversions from ads
  • 3.6% conversion rate and 8.4% click through rate
  • 37% of 9-month website traffic came from paid search
  • 16 email newsletters sent with an avg. open rate of 36%

Result Highlights

  • Recovered Google Analytics account access to implement cohesive tracking for ads.
  • Optimized lead intake form and coordinated a data feed to the sales CRM system.
  • Revamped audience targeting in 2021, which greatly improved lead quality.
  • Added new itineraries to the website to provide more travel inspiration.
  • In 2022, "revenge travel" began and the advertising and content strategy paid off with new requests and past clients coming back to reactivate their postponed trips.
  • Refreshed the full strategic plan after 12 months to expand marketing efforts.