1000 Islands Accommodation Partners (TIAP)
2013 Marketing Plan, Tourism Campaign, Advertising Buys, Social Media, Organizational Rebrand
Near the end of 2012 and into the beginning of 2013, we initiated discussions with the 1000 Islands Accommodation Partners (TIAP) about contributing in a much larger capacity by establishing and implementing their summer season marketing plan.
The overall objective of the partners is to collectively market Gananoque and the 1000 Islands region by promoting its attractions, entertainment, accommodations and special events to potential visitors. With a group comprising of 11 business owners and operators of various accommodators and major attractions in the area, we felt there was more we could do to help raise the profile of the region. We had worked with the group in a graphic design, web and creative capacity since early 2010, but we felt we could do more. Our proposition was to essentially become their marketing team and help to better identify their visitor traffic, profile of the region and to establish a powerful and compelling reason for outside visitors to take a look at 1000 Islands Gananoque. The area currently has a significant reliance on tourism as a major economic driver, therefore, our task would be to come up with a compelling campaign that raises the tourism profile of the region.
Prior to the beginning of February, we received the green light to move forward with establishing a marketing plan and developing a renewed campaign for 2013. Our objectives we’re clear from the beginning. They included:
- Better identify our target audience and most likely demographic to visit the region.
- Be bold, be different and help put the 1000 Islands Gananoque region on the map.
- Initiate smart decisions pertaining to ad buys to ensure the publications/media align with the demographic and target audience most likely to visit the area.
- Continually measure campaign success through online analytics and metrics and make adjustments accordingly.
We quickly got to work in conducting some exhaustive research including surveys, tourism statistical analysis, conducting additional marketing briefs and more. With the support of TIAP, we established and developed a detailed marketing plan and go-to-market strategy. Some of the main findings include:
- Our primary audience visiting the 1000 Islands Gananoque are classified as “Adventurers”, aged 45-64, an even male to female split, an above average income and enjoy their time soaking up culture and keeping fit. They also enjoy long weekend getaways to areas within driving distance.
- 73-75% of travellers used the Internet to plan their trip, thus solidifying our recommendations to move to a more robust online advertising model.
- Our primary markets to geo-target included Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and northern New York state (in that order).
- The interests and activities by this audience (in order of importance) include food/wine, boat cruises, live theatre and historical sites/museums. Our target audience was most likely to travel as a couple.
Our plan became immediately evident and our research supported our recommendations. Therefore, with the support of our client and the TIAP board, we initiated a renewed campaign, which included:
- A major online contest for one lucky winner to “Win their Own Private Island for a Week”, plus a host of other support prize pack items.
- An organizational rebrand including logo/wordmark, new website, print creative and updated social media profile.
- Conducting a detailed advertising buy campaign and social media strategy/campaign in an effort to ensure we were speaking to the right audiences in the right markets. This included major online national ad buys (promoting the contest and regional profile) and local event ad buys supporting the summer events lineup.
- Detailed analytics and web traffic analysis to identify our segments and to analyze web traffic sources.
- The campaign will continue for 3 years with a new contest winner selected near the end of each calendar year.
- Help to implement media events/media relations.
The overall support for this campaign was overwhelming. We concluded the “Win an Island for a Week” contest at the end of October and we’re fortunate to receive over 13,300 entries. Furthermore, we increased overall web traffic from just over 20,000 unique visitors in 2012 to in excess of 75,000 visitors in 2013. Our social media efforts began with nearly non-existent activity to a large fan base and ongoing engagement. We knew there were many Torontonians for example that were completely unaware of the 1000 Islands and what it has to offer. By teasing them about the contest (through media web/print advertising), we are able to bring them to the TIAP website where we can convert them into new fans of the region. Numerous major advertising mediums such as theweathernetwork.com and The Globe & Mail witnessed some of the best online web ad campaign results from our campaign then what they have seen from any other advertiser in a long time. We’re honoured to also announce that the government’s Ontario Tourism Marketing Partner Corporation (OTMPC) has chosen our campaign as a finalist for the Tourism Summit Marketing Awards and we’ve had interest from some other major players in the tourism industry to run a similar campaign on their behalf.
The campaign has continued into 2014 and we’re on track to receive nearly 100,000 unique visitors to the website this year in addition to nearly 20,000 contest entries. We invite you to visit the TIAP website at www.1000islandstourism.com.
Roof & Building Service Intl. (formerly Ricardo Roofing Ltd.)
2012-2013 Organizational Rebrand, Brand Audit
In late October 2012, we were approached by Ricardo Roofing Ltd. to help them with the creative and strategy behind their organizational rebrand. Ricardo Roofing Ltd. has been a long-standing and reputable commercial roofing company specializing in flat roofing systems and building envelope solutions.
They had a great reputation and we’re not afraid to take on complicated and significant projects. With more then 50 years in the business, they’re highly experienced in their field and had plans for strong and progressive growth under the newly rebranded name of “Roof & Building Service International”. They began the process with a previous agency, however, felt they weren’t seeing the progress that they had hoped would happen. Therefore, they made immediate contact with us.
Through a series of a few meetings, facility tour and a detailed brand audit, we were able to not only uncover the deliverables and needs for their new organizational rebrand, but we gained a strong essence as to who they are and what they represent. We presented a detailed plan including major items such as a new logo, company website, stationery, e-signature, marketing collateral, business form updates, signage, health and safety guide cover and more. They were supportive to move forward with nearly all of the recommendations we proposed and so began the process of developing a new brand.
Our timing was extremely tight as our original aim was to start 2013 with the new brand in hand and collateral to support. We worked extremely hard in researching and developing the new company logo and brand standards. We then proceeded to develop a preliminary website (with a full website to commence following the launch) and all other supporting collateral. Through the collaboration and support our client, we both agreed to defer the launch of the new company until the beginning of February to ensure a more seamless a consistent presentation of the new brand.
We managed to accomplish a lot in a very short amount of time. The results have been well received. The new brand is positioned to fully support the new strategic direction and future growth of the company. We invite you to visit the Roof & Building Service website at www.rbs-na.com. We continue to build new creative materials for Roof & Building Service and have also assisted in some projects for a sister company called Skyline Group.