Destination Marketing: Opening Doors with Data
If this were the 1800s, a town official might tell a potential visitor that Galena, Illinois, was just 3 hours west of Chicago as the crow files, 2 hours south of Madison, and bustling with miners. Today, a PR pro specializing in tourism has a bit more to work with. The perfectly restored 1800s-era Main Street is the best in the Midwest, and the travel industry is noticing. Accolades include a listing on TripAdvisor’s 2011 “Charming Small Towns” feature, Forbes Traveler 2008’s top 20 prettiest towns, and a spot on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 2004 Dozen Distinctive Destinations list.
As a marketing and PR pro, it’s vital to know your unique value proposition and how to get the most out of them. It’s part of your responsibility to not only identify and promote stand-out assets, but to assess how to increase those advantages. Rose Noble, Marketing and PR executive at Visit Galena since August 2015, is doing just that. She explains, “Galena is a booming tourist destination that lures visitors with a ski resort, a golf resort, the home of Ulysses S. Grant, a Main Street frozen in the 1800s with more than 100 mom ’n’ pop shops, impressive views of the Mighty Mississippi River and so much more.”
Along with its picturesque main street, Galena has some standout events. Civil War re-enactments and a popular annual County Fair that attracts thousands of attendees from surrounding cities, swelling the population of Galena to four times its size. But still, Rose suspected when she came on board that she was missing online conversations. She explains, “We are constantly looking for ways to improve message delivery and how we craft marketing campaigns. Researching new tools and keeping up-to-date with how travelers are receiving our message is what lead us to a data-driven approach.”
Rose found that tracking campaigns help make them more successful. “Even though I like to think all of our campaigns are da bomb diggity, data don’t lie. I comb through campaigns to find what worked and what didn’t work. From that point, it is easy to expand on the things that are working and fix or lose the things that aren’t.”
If Rose were to give advice to another PR or marketing pro, it would be, know your audience and find out what their interests are: “That, we believe, is key. People, particularly modern travelers, are judicious in their decision-making and research. They know what they like and what they don’t. We’re able to take this information and create relevant content that our audience responds to positively.”
To hear more on how PR and marketing data can open doors in the travel and tourism industry, join us for Rose Noble’s webinar on Tuesday, July 12 at 11am PT.