Special Edition: Message from Mary

Good Afternoon!

Here’s to fall and all things that bring us closer together – apple picking, football, hayrides, festivals, and more. In fact, we just had a TourismOhio Advisory Board meeting at a popular Ohio fall destination - Young’s Jersey Dairy.  It was a treat to see this classic agritourism business bustling with fall activities that create lasting memories for families.  Thank you to our board member, Dan Young, for hosting us!

During the meeting, we were able to share some of the results from marketing and PR efforts so far this year. I am hoping you take a moment to review the successes – it was truly an industry-wide effort.

Changes to the 2016 Ohio Travel Guide

As we review 2015 and look ahead to next year, I would like to update you on the 2016 Ohio Travel Guide. 

Just as each of you in the Ohio tourism industry review your marketing tools and results periodically, we are constantly researching changes in how people make travel decisions. What inspires them? How do we get Ohio into the consideration set? What new technologies are travelers utilizing? Where do they research travel destinations/activities?

As we looked around the universe, we determined it is time to refocus the Ohio Travel Guide as a more engaging, inspirational tool in our marketing program. Following are the updates we will make to the Ohio Travel Guide to better inspire travelers. Click here to go to the Power Point.

2016 Co-Op Program Planning

Also in 2016, the co-op program will get a new look – becoming a year-round program to allow for consistent messaging. Our media-buying agency Marcus Thomas recently conducted interviews with TourismOhio co-op partners and non-partners to help design the 2016 program. The findings tell us that more digital offerings are needed as well as more out-of-state options and opportunities. TourismOhio is planning to commit $1.7 million to the 2016 co-op program. There will be a conference call on Tuesday, Oct. 20 from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. to introduce the program to partners. Mark your calendars and stay tuned for more details about upcoming townhall meetings. Click here for more information about how the program is being structured.

Summer Marketing Results

It was an active summer for Ohio tourism. On July 1, we launched the new DiscoverOhio.com – a fully responsive site designed to inspire visitors to look more closely at Ohio as a tourism destination. We are getting great feedback and look forward to continuing to tweak and enhance the site.

In terms of summer advertising and public relations, between May and August 2015, TourismOhio promoted the Ohio Travel Guide & app. The investment, including the co-op, totaled $2.7 million and included paid media such as Facebook promoted posts, Buzzfeed content, Pandora and Spotify radio ads, and numerous print publications. Click here to view the results.

Improved Image of Ohio

There’s also been a noticeable difference between the perception of Ohio in the minds of people exposed to our communications and those who did not see messaging. The research from Longwoods International was the result of 18,000 interviews spanning 10 different states, regions and cities. You can find more information regarding the impact of our 2014 advertising by Clicking Here.

Thank you for your collaboration and dedication to promoting the distinct tourism assets of Ohio. There are even more exciting opportunities ahead!

For the Good of Ohio,

Mary L. Cusick

Posted On: October 6, 2015