DESTINATION MARKETING & DEVELOPMENT

This component of the Initiative requires Explorers’ Edge to carry-out destination marketing and development activities (as described in greater detail below) during the period April 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012. The funding provided is intended to support destination and development activities as outlined below. While funding may be provided to other organizations to support a specific project, funding cannot be used to provide ongoing operational funding to organizations other than the Recipient.

Overview

The Funding provided is intended to build on and leverage existing tourism work and resources in the Region. Where possible Explorers’ Edge should explore opportunities such as:

  • Additional revenue streams
  • Operational funding from existing sources
  • Use of existing office space and equipment
  • Use of existing regional research and data, programs and services, media relations contacts, etc.
  • Partnerships

SALES AND MARKETING

Explorers’ Edge will develop a more strategic approach to tourism development through on line medians, which will include but not limited to the following:

  • Developing an integrated cross regional program that educates, builds lists and creates awareness of the new brand logo and its association with current regional assets
  • Developing a photo / image bank to fill media gaps and create awareness through still photo and video vignettes, as well as creating an understanding of the importance of still images in the marketplace while at the same time filling the gaps that currently exist (All images will follow the OTMPC Photography Brief).
  • Developing an On-Line Reservations system that can be used by consumers and tourism industry partners in the Region for bookings.
  • Creating and launching a unique and differentiating brand that will build equity and increased economic value in the brand
  • Researching the possibility of developing a green eco designation strategy to designate operators as green in order to increase awareness of the Region as a green destination
  • Developing and launching a strategy to use social media to create relationships with consumers by empowering tourism stakeholders to reach out and interact with niche groups of consumers

Consumer Marketing (RFP outline, $300,000)

Explorers’ Edge will develop and implement a strategy to centralize and link the consumer, customer and public to regional information, experiences and packages that correspond with tourism portfolios which both leverages and supports regional marketing efforts already in place.  More specifically the objectives may include but not be limited to:

  • Developing a Marketing and Promotion Committee
  • Supporting regional efforts to leverage current marketing initiatives in the Region
  • Building of lists to be used to communicate packages, experiences and stories with consumers
  • Creation of impressions
  • Creation of integrated cross regional marketing program to promote tourism
  • Launching a fall marketing campaign through partnerships, media releases and social media outlets
  • Aggressively promote eligible festivals/events and attractions as demand generators for day trip and overnight business

Fall/Winter Consumer Ad Campaign

Explorers’ Edge will develop and implement a fall and winter consumer ad campaign featuring festivals/events and attractions in the Region. The focus of the campaign will be on attracting day trip and overnight business from November to March. Explorers’ Edge will explore partnership opportunities where appropriate. In the development of the plan the Recipient will consider key activities such as:

  • Creating specific marketing programs against currently available products
  • Identification of target audiences within the Golden Horseshoe
  • Coordinate with Explorers Edge in the development of new travel product to reach new audiences

Implementation will include:

  • Creative development for all communications materials
  • Production of all communications materials
  • Media planning, buying and trafficking of advertising
  • Results analysis

Fall/Winter Marketing Report

Explorers’ Edge will develop and submit to the ministry for approval a detailed work plan and updated timelines document further defining tactics, deliverables and measures connected to the marketing campaign.

The work plan and timelines component associated with marketing must outline key elements including but not limited to:

  • Overall Campaign focus
  • Objectives
  • Media campaign
  • Messaging
  • Target markets (geographic)
  • Target markets (demographic)
  • Performance, tracking and measurement
  • Timelines

Product and Packaging (RFP outline, $150,00)

Explorers’ Edge will work with stakeholders to develop and implement a regional brand and communication strategy to raise awareness of the brand, assets and events, in order to encourage stakeholders to work together to create memorable packages.  This initiative will include conducting workshops, tracking statistics and launching of Property Digital Signage.

The objective of the digital signage strategy will be to engage and share content digitally in high traffic areas in the geographic borders of the Region.  As well the strategy will groups outside the Region to share regional content and generate revenue where possible.

Key Activities

  • Work with stakeholders to determine high impact digital signage locations
  • Develop and deliver workshops on the digital signage implementation and management
  • Develop an adverting strategy regionally and provincially
  • Develop a process to track results for a) dollars spent b) external advertising c) impressions d) how much content is being shared & shown
  • The digital signage program will involve multiple locations throughout the Region

The focus of the strategy is to increase brand awareness, increase content participation, increase impressions for brand outside the region.

Google Ad Word Marketing Training/Campaign (RFP outline, $60,000)

Explorers’ Edge will develop a more strategic approach to tourism development through on-line medians, which includes an integrated cross-regional program that educates, build lists and creates awareness of the new brand logo and its association with current regional assets.

The training will be designed to both provide stakeholders with the skills and tools necessary to include Google Ad Words in their campaigns and provide a practical application through support for the Explorers’ Edge Google AdWord Marketing Campaign.

The Google AdWord campaign will integrate a cross section of regional stakeholders while at the same time educating them on the benefits, intricacies and ease of use in integrating Google AdWords into their strategic plans.  Once the program in completed, an online (downloadable) presentation will be available to stakeholders. The presentation and guide will be made available to all RTOs.

Photo / Image Bank (RFP Outline, $70,000)

Explorers’ Edge will develop a photo/image bank intended to fill media gaps, create awareness and contribute to the content of their media infrastructure. All images will follow the OTMPC Photography Brief. Explorers’ Edge will also work towards creating an understanding of the importance of still images in the marketplace.

Explorers’ Edge will also create documentary-style video vignettes to engage potential visitors in the diverse experiences available in the Region. The vignettes will reflect the character of the region, people and adventure opportunities available. They will also inspire visitors to get outside and be naturally adventurous.

The images will be made available to stakeholders in the Region.

Online Reservation System (ongoing commitment, $18,000)

Explorers’ Edge will continue the pilot project for an online reservation service that can be used by consumers and tourism industry partners in the Region to book business. The Recipient will track the success of the pilot in areas such as the number of participants, number of sites linked to, number of booking and value of bookings.

Branding (carry over project, $70,000)

Explorers’ Edge will develop and launch a brand that identifies the uniqueness of the Region which includes building equity and increased economic value in the brand over time.

Social Media ( $125,000)

Explorers’ Edge will develop campaigns for the various hubs which may include prize packages and consumer engagement to ascertain what types of packages consumers are most interested in.

The Social Media program is broken down to specific line items that include Communication Coordinator, Campaings, Engagement and Training, Technical Support)

Web Site Development ($10,000)

Explorers’ Edge will develop, launch and maintain a consumer marketing and industry web site.

The key functions of the site will include but not be limited to:

  • A branded consumer portal
  • Positioning the website as the source of information related to the Regions activities
  • Current information on Boards, Activities, key projects etc.
  • Directory and events calendar, ideas/discussion form
  • Process to maintain and enhance the site as required
  • Ongoing industry communications – i.e.: email, website, other
  • Contact/Member management (registration, CRM), e-blast, online newsletter
  • Develop website to align with Brand and to meet changing member needs.

During the development stage the Recipient will:

  • Design, develop and maintain the site
  • Identify and develop content and functionality and ensure data integration, hosting and analytics capabilities
  • Establish analytics and tracking/ performance measurement
  • Test and refine
  • Set in place a process for regular testing, assessment, and refresh/updating

Research and Benchmarking (Budget $150,000)

Explorers’ Edge will collect the information necessary to make informed strategic decisions for marketing, industry development, meeting stakeholder’s needs, increasing tourism stays & expenditures while setting the foundation to track future growth. Activities will include but not be limited to the following:

  • Creation of a 2010-2011 benchmark for marketing campaigns undertaken and gain insight into the impacts of the associated marketing campaigns in the Region which will be summarized through the development of a report.
  • Support research required to gain a greater understanding of the consumer market.
  • Increase knowledge associated with the current state and future use of all recreation trail activity in the Region by developing a report that provides a trails inventory and identifies current use and future activity of recreation trails in the Region.
  • Review Region specific tourism research that has been undertaken. Determine the level of applicability and relevance and develop a report sumarizing the information. Make information available to regional stakeholders in a format that is accessible.
  • Providing a benchmark regarding visitor expenditure using theMeridianon line reservation system.
  • Develop a data base inventory of all tourism assets in the Region