Innovative Marketing Producing Results

Group Chief Executive's Weekly Message

"investing in marketing to get more people using our services"
18th May 2015

As we to work to be as efficient as possible and reduce costs, it is of course crucial that we continue to invest in marketing to persuade more and more people to use our bus and rail services. A very good example of this investment paying off is the yLink card and I am pleased to say the work done by the marketing team to launch and grow this product – the 'yLink: Access all Areas campaign' - has been recognised at national level.

The yLink card was introduced in 2012, to replace the student travel card, following research and trial with external partners including the Northern Ireland Youth Forum as well as the Translink Youth Forum. It is available to all young people aged 16-23, not just those in full time education, with discounted travel available to over 25,000 cardholders. This has encouraged trial of our services amongst an audience traditionally more inclined to buy and use private motor cars and helped to secure customer loyalty to public transport.

At the recent UK Chartered Institute of Marketing Awards; the marketing team picked up the top award for INNOVATION (large company) for the work launching and growing the yLink smartcard product. This is a real accolade for the team and Translink –– other winners on the night included well-known names such as PwC / Diageo / Holland & Barratt / British Legion Poppy Appeal / Legal & General / First Great Western / Post Office / British Cycling & Sky TV / Avon.

A key part of the yLink campaign was to find new ways to speak to the (young) target audience, such as partnerships with retail and leisure brands, using the craze for 'selfies' to secure reach and engagement on social media and creating a series of 'money can't buy' experiences for cardholders.

Some of the campaign's key successes include direct revenue of £200k generated through initial card purchases and over £8 million from discounted yLink fares. In addition, yLink cardholders have made over 3.5 million journeys on the Translink bus and train network in the past two years.

Well done to all in the team for this innovative and clearly very effective campaign; the recognition is well deserved.

David Strahan

Group Chief Executive