MARTA Holiday Customer Appreciation Events

Target Audience: A broad audience that included all Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) transit customers, current MARTA employees, and the community as a whole.

Strategy Objective:We had a multi-faceted strategy to express MARTA's appreciation for all our customers during this difficult time, by providing a holiday experience while keeping our customers safe. Our objective was to host events at 8 different rail stations and the Clayton County Transit Hub, use digital billboards inside and outside of our stations, and connect with customers wherever they may be via social media during the month of December. The events featured live dance and musical performances, carolers, a visit from Santa. Customers also had the opportunity to spin a prize wheel to win a complimentary 7-day Breeze card, receive pre-packaged MARTA goodies and stop by our photo booth for a personalized photo souvenir and visit Santa's throne to take a holiday photo.

Situation Challenge: For the past 10 years, MARTA has been providing a holiday experience for customers, our employees, and the community to show our appreciation. During the challenging time when COVID/Omicron variant infections were on the rise, it necessitated our marketing team to brainstorm ideas to be able to continue to execute this event while ensuring the safety of all attendees. This event provided a great opportunity for us to support ridership and sales.

Results Impact: We engaged in person, with thousands of people, at 8 different rail stations and the Clayton County Transit Hub. We saw 100+ customers attend the Dec 9 event and 250+ customers at the Dec 13, 2021 event. We gave away 150 complimentary 7-day Breeze cards. By giving customers branded promotional items we generated a positive buzz which helped to cement the relationships we work all year to build and created greater public awareness. We also gave out special kid packets which included a stuffed bear and coloring book. We were even given positive feedback from one dad, who said it was his son's first time riding the train and he was sure his son would be asking to do it again and again. Via social media, we connected and had our holiday wishes and photos shared by over 100 people.

Why Submit: MARTA's Holiday 2021 appreciation events showed a great example of a re-creatable special event that other transit organizations can put their own spin on. We are proud of MARTA's Marketing team's ability to come together to create cohesive design assets and strategies on multiple platforms. This contributed to a positive ridership experience for customers. By providing a fun, thoughtful event geared towards engaging with our customers and showing our appreciation, we had the added benefit of fostering that connection to create loyalty and trust, which we believe helps to support ridership and sales.