Rewards are in short supply for struggling shops - Kevin Buckle

Forever Edinburgh offered residents a £10 voucher on any of the Scotch Whiskey Experience Tours in MarchForever Edinburgh offered residents a £10 voucher on any of the Scotch Whiskey Experience Tours in March
Forever Edinburgh offered residents a £10 voucher on any of the Scotch Whiskey Experience Tours in March
My heart sank when I saw that the “incredibly successful” #ForeverEdinburgh campaign had been awarded a further £90K from VisitScotland’s Destination and Sector Marketing Fund. It sank because it meant I had to spend more time pointing out the obvious that its success has at best been very limited.

“The Story Never Ends” campaign never really got started but I was more interested in the Resident Rewards Edinburgh campaign which aims to help residents “rediscover all the city has to offer by benefitting from a high-value reward or discount with a new business every month”.

Immediately that is a worry in that it is limiting itself to one business per month given how much the city has to offer. The first offer for December was from a restaurant offering incentives from £30 off the bill for six people dining to a free glass of wine. I’m not sure that saving a fiver per head is a high-value reward.

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I couldn’t find the January offer so I used the recommended hashtag of #EHRewards which was to be used by people extolling the virtues of their savings. There were seven findings with the hashtag used by Forever Edinburgh, Edinburgh Council and The List who it turned out were the only people to mention the January offer – “Edinburgh Bus Tours are giving residents 50% off the GRAND24 ticket to enjoy the hop-on and hop-off experience in their own city.”

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Do people want shops, or one big food court? - Kevin Buckle

I didn’t know of a single shop approached to get involved so I was interested to see what February’s offer would entail.

I was more than a little surprised that it was a tour again. This time Edinburgh residents could get 50 per cent off Mercat Tours’ Edinburgh Outlander Experience or Treasures Of The Old Town tour.

Surprise was overtaken by confusion as the Outlander tour appears to be a two day-tour only available in the summer visiting places like Blackness Castle and Doune Castle.

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So to March and surely something a little different would be on offer. Well actually no. Residents were offered a £10 voucher on any of the Scotch Whiskey Experience Tours.

Council leader Adam McVey of course sees things differently: “This latest funding boost from VisitScotland is hugely welcome and, alongside £50,000 from the council, will be used to encourage even more residents and visitors to enjoy our beautiful Capital and rediscover all it has to offer this summer.“

It has to be remembered that the numbers involved in social media are always huge because page views and reach are quoted. Percentage increases are used because without a base figure they mean nothing.

The bottom line is how many people take up an offer not how many see it and nowhere are any figures given to show success.

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I particularly liked the one billion readers reached for a video promoting dog-friendly Edinburgh. A competition with Ian Rankin reached almost 250 million people but there is no mention of the number of entrants despite the fact anything involving Ian will be popular.

It would be interesting to know where all this money goes and which businesses have been engaged with as there is little clue from what has been on offer so far.

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