Many destination marketing organizations (DMOs) share a common obstacle of battling misperceptions and stereotypes. VisitPittsburgh, the official DMO for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, used the timing of their rebrand as an opportunity to redesign their website and showcase the city's true colors. As Asaka Narumi, Web Marketing Director for VisitPittsburgh stated, "Steel is our heritage, and there is a lot built upon it, but there is also so much green space and nature for a metropolitan area! It's a big town passionate about its home."
Simpleview's Destination Immersion proved to be a great addition to VisitPittsburgh's website redesign. The Simpleview website build team visited Pittsburgh for a few days and discovered a completely different city than what they initially imagined. Whether they were touring Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, strolling a few of the 90+ neighborhoods (all with distinct flavors), or taking in the best view of the city from Mt. Washington, the team‘s perspective of Pittsburgh changed more with each and every stop.
Simpleview's creative team not only incorporated nuances of the city into the design, but they scratched the entire original creative that they had in mind prior to the trip. The Destination Immersion also brought a fresh perspective for VisitPittsburgh's staff. "It's easy to miss some of the subtle characteristics of the city you live in, and Simpleview helped us take a step back and appreciate it through a visitor's standpoint," explained Narumi.
The success of VisitPittsburgh.com can be measured in a variety of ways. For example, Simpleview's creative team successfully achieved the DMO's vision for the website by establishing a vibrant color scheme and incorporating subtle, but attentive details, such as yellow half-circles and visual references to bridges (did you know they have more than any other city?). Additionally, the "On Stage Now" widget dramatically increased performing arts sales, and the average user spends more than three minutes on the website.
Whether your DMO is battling stereotypes or you are simply considering a website redesign, Destination Immersions prove to be a key component in creating an authentic experience for your visitors. We like to think Narumi simply put it best, "Everyone should choose to do a Destination Immersion."
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