Navigating Digital Challenges in a Growing Business | Katherine Outback Experience success story

First published on October 12, 2023
Last updated on October 16, 2023

In this article we’re thrilled to showcase the passion and determination of Annabel and Tom Curtain, owners of Katherine Outback Experience and beloved members of the Tourism Tribe Digital Academy who have, over the course of the last few months, made big digital strides in their business.

Four images - a map of tour locations, horses in a dusty yard, a man with two calves, a dog sitting on a table beside kids, and Annabel and Tom Curtain in the centre.

While many operators opt for downtime to rejuvenate during the off-peak season, this dynamic duo take a different route.  They embark on an ambitious odyssey, accompanied by horses, dogs, the crew and even their young family, they bring their unique show with its taste of outback life to over 59 regional towns across the country.  With such a busy life and schedule it is vitally important that their business leverages smart digital practices.

Annabel has participated in several of Tourism Tribe’s digital transformation programs over the years. Most recently, Annabel participated in Tourism Tribe’s Lead Generation Fast-Track Program.  With guidance through workshops and courses included in the program she developed a lead magnet (a genuinely valuable piece of digital content) titled “Family Fun in the Australian Outback” which is now live on her website, capturing new website leads while she sleeps, travels and lives her life so that later she can nurture and convert them into returning customers. Check out her well presented lead magnet here. Her journey didn’t stop there, as Annabel continued working through the fast-track program, she realised that email marketing was a fundamental area that needed to be enhanced within their marketing strategy.

 “The Lead Generation Fast-Track Program was a massive opportunity. As we have a huge database, I realised we weren’t engaging or leveraging it. That is where I found learning about email marketing and reaching out to Tourism Tribe for assistance would be beneficial,” says Annabel.

Her journey, however, didn’t stop there. As Annabel continued to work through the fast-track program, she realised that her business needed to further tap into the power of email marketing as a fundamental tool within their marketing strategy. Progressively enhancing her understanding of the strategy and tactics of email marketing automation, Annabel was still, like every small and growing tourism business, time-poor with limited resources. She therefore acquired the services of Fabienne, Tourism Tribe’s CIO, which laid the foundations for an incredible journey that continues today. Through this relationship, Tourism Tribe has been able to support Annabel and Katherine Outback Experience to:

  • leverage their lead magnet to capture and nurture even more website leads
  • improve their website usability for both customers and staff
  • set up Google Analytics 4 to understand where their leads and conversion are coming from, and use this intel to make data-driven marketing decisions
  • create targeted campaigns to segments of their database
  • create a Google Map of tour locations
  • set up automations that automatically manage, nurture and clean the data of their contacts
  • create forms to enable and simplify communication with their fans
a form with several questions
Katherine Outback Experience harnessing the power of forms with the help of Tourism Tribe

Because they are a unique tourism experience where visitors come to them for half of the year while the other half they are on the road touring, Annabel and Tom from Katherine Outback Experience strategically pinpointed the fact that external expertise and support would enhance their operations and maintain sustainable competitiveness.

Business leader and author, Les Brown said, “Ask for help not because you are weak, but because you want to remain strong.” As a small tourism business, it is okay to ask for help. In order to keep growing and pursuing passions and opportunities we must each make considered decisions about what can be kept internal in our businesses and what is worth outsourcing to increase efficiency and productivity.

To learn more about Annabel and Tom Curtain’s background and the incredible story of how the Katherine Outback Experience got started, listen to Central Station’s podcast Episode 1: Tom & Annabel Curtain – finding the love your life on the side of the road and Episode 176: Tom & Annabel Curtain – Turning the hard times into adventures.

P.S. If you are interested in getting a taste of the outback with Annabel and Tom Curtain’s show, the Katherine Outback Experience will be hitting the road this summer, from mid-October 2023 to mid-April 2024, touring through QLD, NSW, VIC and SA. You can find out more here.

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