In a recent Board Meeting, we were asked “why does the CVB (Convention and Visitors Bureau) spend so much on advertising?” We had to remind folks that the primary purpose of the CVB is to engage in promotion of “trade shows, conventions and tourism.” Digging deeper, state legislation that created the ability for communities to collect hotel motel tax outlines that promotion/marketing is the single objective or use for the funds. Interesting.
Contacting several CVBs in the state (Georgia), we posed the question and got identical responses on use. Our peers were even more surprised that the question was even being asked by Board Members in the first place.
Here is my favorite response: “Why do political candidates campaign (advertise)? Because it works. And more often than not, the best funded campaign wins. Candidates who don’t campaign, don’t win. [Advertising and marketing are] the core of our [CVB] mission in life. Marketing = product, price, place, and promotion. Promotion – (defined) the act of furthering the growth or development of something; especially : the furtherance of the acceptance and sale of merchandise through advertising, publicity, or discounting.” There you go…
And oddly enough when you look at our Mission and Vision statements the word “promotion” is mentioned twice.
So what happened? Our Ad Agency, Naartjie MultiMedia came in and pulled out the charts and graphs and went through the process and talked all the talk about measurements and cost per impression and added value and so forth. At the end of the discussion, everyone agreed that everything was working and seemed to have a better understanding of the “why.” One Board Member commented that our organization evaluated and re-evaluated and measured itself to a fault. I’ll take that.
One a side note: we have to compliment our Agency, because not only to they get what we do and help us get the biggest return on investment possible, but they take the time to help us measure so when questions are asked, the answer is ready. And compliments to the Board as well. Not for asking the question in as much searching for answers and better understanding of what we do and why. This makes them better advocates. And we (every organization) needs more cheerleaders.
Those of us in the in the CVB or destination marketing business always look for partnerships. It’s the only way to get things done — leveraging resources, making a bigger splash in an otherwise bigger pond of folks clamoring for the visitor’s attention.
We are fortunate to have a great partnership with our advertising agency, Naartjie Multimedia. We recently challenged them to create a grassroots campaign to help define the role of the CVB, the importance of tourism for the community, to build advocacy… AND to do it all on a shoestring budget. The results have been amazing. We tip our hats to the creative team at Naartjie and their success in helping us remain successful.
More from our digital experts at Naartjie Multimedia. And they found this from Mashable.com. Just when you thought you’d figured out traditional media vs. the new digital…
Social media connectivity and the digitization of news have not squashed American fervor for local news, a Pew study says. Nearly three quarters of adults are consistently plugged into local news — so much so that 32% of survey participants say the loss of local outlets would majorly impact their lives.
A recently published Pew Internet & American Life Project report finds most Americans continue to follow local news. The reliance on local news is consistent in all age groups, though stronger among those who are 40+, and among female consumers. The younger population, 18 to 39 years old, use the greatest number of local news sources — an average of 4.38 weekly. Older local news followers say they use about two to three different sources a week.
About 80% of adults older than 40 get their news from television broadcasts. Nearly half of the adults surveyed say they regularly use “word of mouth,” the radio and regional newspaper. Besides reading and chatting about their communities, people also stay in-the-know using mobile phones and tablets.
Younger local news enthusiasts, surprisingly also use “word of mouth” to find out about area news and highlights. The connected generation more likely uses Internet news sources including search engines, local newspaper websites, T.V. station websites and social networks.
Individuals who care about local news are characterized as being very connected in their communities. Many have strong roots in their locales; about 32% of the local news consumers surveyed have lived in their community for more than 20 years.
Local news consumers are fans of news in general. About 63%, six in 10 local news consumers, also follow international news consistently, while 78% say they consume national news consistently. One-third of local news enthusiasts say they get everything that need from regional media.
The Pew report suggests local news is not going anywhere yet. Enthusiasts are generationally diverse, using many news sources to learn about their local communities. Americans are turning to local outlets both online and print — though less and less — for news that would affect them including breaking news, politics, crime, business, schools and education.
So as you rethink your print vs digital strategy, don’t move to fast for fear of leaving someone behind.
Our social media experts at Naartjie Multi Media sent this article for us to review. As Columbus’ official destination marketing organization, we’re always looking for ways to be better today than we were yesterday — always (just ask the Staff). And with social media growing by leaps and bounds and new sites (Pinterest) popping up that demand serious analysis for incorporating into the strategy, more information is needed to make those critical decisions.
The origination of the article is Local Search Source. Here’s a brief capsule of what they’re saying:
Local Business owners CAN and SHOULD understand the truth about their online visibility. They need to be visible, they need to be found, and need to generate new sales/increase clients; so let’s cut to the chase…
Focus on the most critical, controllable factors with the online piece of the puzzle, you’ll be off to a good start.
- Invest in a well-built website – this is your foundation for everything going forward! You’ll be rewarded on multiple levels, especially if you stay away from those free, template websites. Rule of thumb: “you get what you pay for”, but that doesn’t mean you need to spend thousands of dollars. As a marketing tool, is your website doing it’s job? Is it optimized for mobile (check here if you’re not sure)? Learn more here, and take a look at Search Engine Land’s 8-point checklist for local websites.
- And by “well-built” (above), it’s the site’s optimization. For example, if Google doesn’t know who you are, what you do, and where your located, your site is nothing more than “an expensive secret”. Make sure your site is search engine friendly!
- Take control of your online business information – this is critical information (like your name, number, URL, hour of operation, and address) that’s distributed across the web and shared across various properties – so if it’s inaccurate or incomplete in one place, it’s probably inaccurate or incomplete in many other places. Yes, Google Places is an important first step, but due to continued technological advances and user fragmentation they’re literally hundreds of other directories, databases, search engines and app’s to consider. Time consuming – yes. But necessary. Start by checking your listing and profile information here.
- “Get social”. For two reasons; you’ll be found in more places, and your be rewarded with some positive organic rank/optimization. Focus on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and G+ to start.
- Reputation management – Rep. Mgt tools (and even something as easy as Google Alerts) allow you to monitor your online ratings, reviews and citations. How will you address those unfair or negative reviews if you don’t know about them?
- Search Engine Marketing - simply put, pay-per-click advertising plugs the holes that SEO cannot fill. You want to be found regardless of how prospects are searching, right? A properly designed campaign uses hundreds of keywords and keyword combinations, as well as multiple ad groups and sophisticated analytic analysis and call/lead tracking to drive a strong return-on-investment. And don’t forget about the strong relationship between paid search and organic visibility.
- Internet Yellow Pages – always a basic component of local online visibility. And the bonus; IYP users typically convert (buy) at much higher levels than those finding you on Search Engines or Social Media.
There you have it. The basic foundation to begin building a comprehensive on-line and social strategy for positive marketing results. And if this is still foreign, I’d suggest contacting our techies at Naartjie