Discovering Nuances to Drive Ticket Purchasing

Client :Zoo Knoxville

Zoo Knoxville needed help raising awareness for the latest events, habitats, animals and news to encourage more ticket sales. They asked us to help determine the perceptions of potential visitors of all audience segments within targeted areas, to discover the best messaging, marketing channels, and touch points to engage with them.


The general public has positive attitudes towards the Zoo, but the main cause of declining visits per family was children naturally aging out. We founds that opportunities for hands-on interactions, for the kids with animals, motivates visits. Additionally, 80% of passholders, and 62% of non passholders would like a mobile app.


To collect the most accurate and robust information about our existing and potential audiences, we employed a hybrid methodology gathering data from different channels and collecting continuous feedback. This research is collected through surveys tracking audience sentiment and perceptions as well as through loyalty ratings and Mosaic profile data. The insights, gathered from focus groups, online and onsite research, clarified the causes of the audience perceptions ranging from joys to sorrows to emotional rewards for visiting. 

We use this understanding of their experience, considerations to visit, and likelihood to return to guide our ongoing creative advertising and platform use. To ensure we’re using the most effective advertising to reach our market across all channels, we test new copy, concepts, digital offerings and website UX among key audiences. Their responses help us maintain a positive digital and in-person user experience.

Annual passholders continue to exceed expectations
Ongoing loyalty tracking
Touch points each year
Consistently high NPS™ Score
Zoo Knoxville
which reptile are you social media game

“At our core, we believe great strategy is defined by knowing your audience as intimately as possible. We push ourselves to leave no stone unturned in order to understand the psychological nuances associated with customer engagement.”

Chris Wise
Chris Wise
Executive Director, Designsensory Intelligence
The Wild Life campaign website

The people who made it happen.
  • Chris Wise
    VP, Insights and Strategy
  • Kate Ambos
    VP, Client Services
  • Ryan Lee
    Sr. Manager, Strategy & Account Planning
  • Caroline Duggan
    Program Manager