Arizona’s latest marketing campaign successfully generated more interest in tourists from two major cities, officials said.
After state budget cuts, officials collected data from 30 cities across the country to determine where ads would be successful. This helped the department avoid the high costs of national ad campaigns by distributing its newest ads in select cities.
The results determined the campaign would focus on Los Angeles and Chicago as its “primary target cities.” It was presented in these areas using traditional media outlets, such as local newspapers and radio.
Arizona tourism marketing campaigns have not appeared nationally since 2010.
The advertising strategy was based on the state’s brand by using images of some of the most recognizable attractions, said Kiva Couchon, Arizona Office of Tourism public information officer and communications manager. Print advertisements included one of the state’s natural attractions and a word that would to encourage travelers to explore the state, such as “timeless” or “intriguing.”
“We are fortunate in that our state is incredibly diverse with such a selection of tourist destinations to offer,” Couchon said.
Still, officials said the campaign was a success. While the ads aired the tourism office received more phone calls and saw more traffic on its consumer website,www.arizonaguide.com.
According to a study from the Moses Anshell advertising agency, calls coming from Chicago increased by 70 percent and calls from Los Angeles increased by 83 percent. The total number of people visiting the online guide went up by about six percent. The firm said the campaign was a “huge success.”
Couchon said research like this is crucial to tourism campaigns. These studies measured the success of advertising techniques. Officials use this data to create more effective ads.
“Campaigns continually need to be adjusted or revamped to ensure they are effectively reaching consumers,” she said. “If consumers do not like campaigns or simply do not respond to campaigns, adjustments need to be made to your messaging or your marketing efforts will be lost among the competitors.”
“The goal is to do another national campaign when the budget allows for it,” Couchon said.
Sidney Levy, marketing professor at the University of Arizona, said the state should expand its marketing strategies. He said that building a marketing plan around natural landmarks, such as the Grand Canyon, could discourage tourists from visiting more than once.
“It’s too narrow an idea,” he said. “That implies maybe at one time in your life you might go visit the Grand Canyon…and that’s that. We want ideas that encourage a more well-rounded perception of the varied assets that Arizona has.”