Situation

Like all DMOs, Rochester CVB sought to increase visits and build awareness of its destination. Together with Simpleview Search Engine Marketing and Creative, the DMO designed a multi-channel online campaign to promote 2014 visits to Rochester, Minnesota.

Solution

Development of the marketing campaign began with research by our partner, Destination Analysts, to better understand Rochester's awareness profile. A survey of 400+ higher-income regional travelers (within 500 miles - the DMO's target drive market) plus 300+ consumers on the DMO's leisure traveler email list surfaced a number of key findings. Based on these findings, the "Love, Rochester" campaign was developed.

  • The "Love, Rochester" concept was A/B tested against a more traditional theme across Google's display ad network and was proven most lucrative.
  • Emails for the promotion were presented as if the city had written them to a known friend, signed "Love, Rochester," and display ads carried lines like "Can't wait to see you guys."
  • The media buy was divided across 5 channels for a mix of PPC ads and display ads over multiple networks as well as ads on TripAdvisor and Facebook.
  • Click-thru traffic was sent to a themed landing page with partner hotel listings backed by the JackRabbit engine
  • "Feel the Love" care packages were distributed in Rochester by those who submitted email addresses.
  • Wherever possible, consumers in key regional drive markets and desired demographic profiles were targeted.
Results

The "Love, Rochester" campaign showcases a great example of what Simpleview and DMOs can achieve when collaborating on a campaign. Before its launch, main areas of metrics were established to measure results.

  • Overall traffic exceeded its goal by 15%, with 45,982 click-throughs to the landing page vs. projected 40,125.
  • Conversions were defined as clicks to book, check prices or see partner content plus email captures: 934 conversions, for an overall rate of 2.03%. Exceeded goal by 28%, with 934 vs. projected 668.
  • 12M impressions and 4,800 clicks were projected for Facebook engagements; although purchase yielded only 8.7M impressions, the clicks more than doubled for a total of 9,726.
  • An email blast to the DMO's existing consumer database of over 3K+ resulted in 1K+ opens and 161 click-throughs for open and click rates of 35% and 15%, respectively, exceeding industry averages.

The combined elements of objective data, A/B testing, diverse media buys and promotion contributed to clear metrics and outstanding reach for the Rochester CVB.

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