The Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization (DMO) for New York's capital city. With over 30 years of experience attracting successful meetings, conventions and events, Albany County CVB pushes resource management and "big idea" marketing to new heights. When the DMO recognized a gap in their visitor's mobile experience, the CVB turned to Destination Travel Network (DTN) to establish a new source of revenue to reinvest into the bureau.
Although they were first introduced during the initial web build, it was hearing other DMO successes at Simpleview Summit that made the benefits of the DTN platform attractive to Albany County CVB. It was not through a hard sales pitch, but rather a series of approachable conversations, that the DMO became comfortable with the platform. After Summit, it was "an easy choice," Director of Marketing, Schuyler Bull recalls.
Albany County CVB had two goals for the incorporation of DTN: the monetization of their website for reinvestment, and increased exposure for their partners. Equally as important, the DMO sought to preserve the quality of its website and maintain a high level of subtlety and elegance with ad placement. After working together and learning best practices from DTN, Albany County began with a sample set of ad placements, and upon reaping immediate value, explored other options for placement over time. The result was, as Bull refers to it, "A mobile website for free."
Albany County CVB continues to benefit dramatically from its continued partnership with DTN. While remaining true to its destination and refraining from ad placement on the homepage, the CVB exceeded its goals for DTN. They were not only able to allocate their revenue to completely fund a mobile site, but their partners love the heightened exposure and continue to reinvest in the site themselves.
Throughout June 2013 to June 2014, Albany.org had over 2,800,000 advertising impressions and over 30,000 clicks to advertiser websites and information. This yielded a 1.1% combined click-through rate (CTR), almost 11 times greater than the national average of 0.1% for online banner advertising.
"The DTN team took the time to learn about our destination and build relationships with our partners," Bull noted, "They aren't just selling advertising, but rather are an extension of our marketing efforts in promoting our partners and improving our website experience for visitors."
Albany County CVB is just one example of how DTN can successfully work with DMOs to supplement advertising strategies, such as visitor guides, with no investment and huge rewards.
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