The Taronga Conservation Societies goal is to create tomorrow’s conservationsists today. This includes a road map using digital channels to enrich and extend peoples Zoo visit at and beyond the physical confines of the zoo, encouraging people to take their visit home with them.
Research identified that visitors have a tendancy to rush sections of the zoo with dwell time at exhibitions often minimal. Upon entry, visitors receive a paper map with session times to guide their experience.
Taronga’s brief was to develop a mobile version of the paper guide. The goal of the app being to engage visitors with the Taronga conservation message, enrich their zoo experience and encourage them to take their zoo visit home with them. KPI’s were focused on the quality of the experience provided by the solution as well as reach.
Expectations were that the app be downloaded 10,000 times in the first 3 months, taken as a measurement of expected audience interaction. The mobile version was also required to achieve PR and present Taronga’s use of innovative technology to engage their audience. Importantly, the solution should be successful in providing users with a rich and engaging experience that existed beyond the physical boundaries of the zoo.
Our approach commenced with a Requirements Gathering phase, first investigating the audiencethrough Google analytics, market research, location testing of GPS and mobile reception as well as exploratory client workshops and focus groups.
We identified that parents and children often share mobile experiences, and that children take an ownership of educational messages through 2 way interactions such as UGC. Research also highlighted that children naturally turn their zoo visit into a game through discovery, collection, self expression and reward.
From these insights, we developed the Taronga Zoo Monkey Mayhem iPhone application. The app includes the character Marley we developed for the game. Marley explains that the Zoo Manual has been damaged by monkeys. Users help rebuild the Manual by finding animals on the map, taking photos with the camera and unlocking video, audio, “Secret Keeper Notes” and access to Zoo Keeper EDM’s. Users can also find unlock codes on the Taronga site, continuing the exploration post visit.
Nomad worked with Apple to secure important editorial content. This resulted in a key feature in the iTunes store top section, a feature in the “Featured” section of the app store and top rankings in relevant categories.
Nomad also worked with Taronga in a “Mummy Bloggers” PR campaign to reach grass roots influencers for the core family audience. This included a PR day at the Zoo for 20 bloggers, supplying them with iPhones and pre loaded app for a Zoo tour.
The project has been an enormous success, achieving far beyond Taronga’s expectations. The original KPI’s were met and exceeded. Download expectations for the first 3 months of 10,000 were reached in the first 4 days eventually reaching 47,500 in the first month.
Success for the goal of enriching users zoo experience and engaging beyond the zoo can be measured in the value of interactions during and post zoo visits.
Analytics show that 80% of interactions occur outside of Zoo hours. Users are interacting with the app on a moderate level at the zoo and a deeper level after their visit, unlocking animal pages using photos captured during the day and exploring unlocked content like video, sound files and secret keeper notes.
The average user visits the app 7 times with 13 page views per session and an average 12 minutes per visit. This equates to over an 1hr and a half interaction per user.
While downloads have slowed to around 1200 per month, the app still receives on average 8000 uniques with 13 page views each. This shows the amount of return visits from earlier users. The app also receives 150 email opt ins each month.
Follow up focus groups provided a very positive response to the Marley character development being androgynous for a broad audience, with children able to relate to his aspirational value. The overall design of the app achieves a playful experience that drives return visits.
No 1 in the app store, over 100,000 downloads, 7 visits per user, 12 minutes per visit average, 13 page views per visit, 72% return to app.
The Taronga app successfully created a new channel of communication with 90% of interactions occurring after of zoo hours and the average user visiting the app 14 times with over 1 ½ hrs of interaction.
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