2016 International Grand Prize for graphic design

30 Sep 2016 | by Sean Sharkey

Read all about our international award winning campaign for Roomex, the hotel booking platform for businesses.


Ok so awards aren't everything, but when you get handed the "International Grand Prize for Graphic Design" from Hubspot Founder, Brian Halligan, at the 2016 Hubspot Impact Awards in Boston, it kind of feels like a big deal to us. The award was for our work this year with Roomex - with whom we share the kudos.

Roomex make hotel bookings for businesses easy with their award winning online booking platform. As office managers tend to make the bulk of these bookings, we honed in on them for our inbound campaign for this year.

We started on the phone, interviewing a few bullseye personas and dug deep through online research to really empathise with their daily struggles and generate insights. The resulting persona document and campaign outline doubled as a briefing doc for our writers. We found our audience were typically female and in their 30s, They are relentless planners and organisers in work and in their own social circles. Staying informed and being able to offer recommendations and advice to their colleagues helps them to feel valued and core members of staff.


We discovered that travel is often one of their passions, and exotic destinations often pique their interest, whether it be for a weekend city break they’re planning for themselves or friends or a foreign city they are scouting for their colleagues. It's a topic they actively seek out. Many lifestyle magazines and even business focused magazines and sites cater for this type of content as a result with many having regular columns dedicated to city guides.

Campaign theme

Roomex takes care of all their corporate hotel booking needs....and with our inbound campaign we would also help out with helpful business travel guides to corporate events and cities around the world. While there is a multitude of tourist city guides out there already and countless other online reviews - there was however an opportunity to stand out and be different by focusing on the business traveller. 

It was a daunting task to even attempt to source city blog writers native to every city in the world we featured, but that was the goal we set ourselves. Besides, where's the fun if it's easy? So city by city we tracked down quality writers with insider and intimate knowledge of their surrounds and briefed each one to write a personalised guide to their city with business travellers as their audience.

Iconic typographical designs

Graphic design was always going to play a big part, so we needed a striking visual identity for this series of blogs and downloadable offers. Inspired by the iconic landmarks, we designed a distinctive typographic style for every city we reviewed. Drawn in Illustrator, our designer dudes, Ian and Dane, got to show off the benefits of growing up on a diet of 'Art Attack' on repeat.


The City Guide series

The end result was two downloadable offers, the Ultimate European City Guide for Business Travellers and the US equivalent. 




Content Worth Downloading

The best part of this content is that this campaign bucked the trend of content losing value over time. We staggered the release of blogs to one a week - giving us time to source the next writer for the next location - and as we published each new city guide blog, it got added to the appropriate eBook, making it more and more valuable over time. We also used the refeshed content as desirable assets to stay top of mind to new contacts to nurture them through the funnel.

To help spread the word, we recently partnered with Practicaly Perfect PA, the largest independent blog for PAs and Office Managers in the UK, where we posted the city guides as advertorial and guest blog content. With access their highly targeted database, we reached out to them with Direct Mails, and ran competitions offering city breaks to whatever city was being reviewed that week.

We promoted these assets across social channels to make a splash and mixed it up with other direct response social assets we designed which focused on the benefits of Roomex as the hotel booking engine of choice for businesses.



We'll be updating this article with the next in the animation series, targeting Office Manager, shortly. The full campaign is current and ongoing and the results have been hugely encouraging from the onset. 

And we're pretty chuffed that it picked up a prestigious award along the way too!

“Being able to research and make a decision on which kind of material to create a marketing campaign isn’t a straight-forward task, but Squaredot did a brilliant job while doing it for Roomex. The beautiful design pieces are the result of proper research and understanding of the target audience. The focus on creating ‘content worth downloading’ was 100% another reason for the success of their choices. Excellent color choice, design styles and beautiful handcraft with the illustrations!“  Patrick Shea, Director of Partnerships at HubSpot, Inc. 


As promised, here's the latest video we produced for this campaign, highlighting Roomex as the solution to all Office Manager's hotel booking 'facepalm' moments. Hope you like (and please share if you do!) -

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