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2011-2013 STRATEGIC-MARKETING PLAN FINAL

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2011-2013 STRATEGIC-MARKETING PLAN FINAL Powered By Docstoc
					     Washington County
     Visitors Association
                   2011-2013
STRATEGIC MARKETING PLAN
              WASHINGTON COUNTY VISITORS ASSOCIATION
                    STRATEGIC MARKETING PLAN
                                  2011-2013
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Overview of the WCVA & Washington County Tourism …………………………………………. 2
Destination Strengths and Weaknesses ……………..… 3
Tourism 2015 Plan ……………………………………………... 4
Key Markets and Audiences …………………………….……5                              1
Marketing Overview ……………………………………………………………………………..…………. 6
Advertising …………………………………………………….…... 7
Public Relations ……………………………………………….…. 8
Website/Online ……………………………………………..…..…8
Collateral ……………………………………………………………..9
2011 – 2013 Marketing Plan …………………………………………………………………….……. 10
Leisure Travelers ………………………………..…….…....… 11
General Interest Market .…………………………….…...... 12
Niche Markets …………………………………………….…..… 15
       Wine Enthusiasts (15)
       Nature Enthusiasts/Birders (16)
       Outdoor Recreationalists (17)
       Golfers (18)
       International Travelers (19)
Group Events and Travel Planners …………………...… 20
       Corporate & Meetings Marketing (20)
       Group Tour Marketing (21)
       Sports and Event Marketing (22)
       Weddings Marketing (23)
Local Awareness ……………………………………………..… 24
       Marketing the WCVA (25)
       Stakeholder Development Marketing (26)
Research Studies …………………………………………….… 27
Timelines …………..…………………………………………….… 28
Summary …………..…………………………………….………… 29
APPENDIX ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 30
OVERVIEW
About the Washington County Visitors Association
The Washington County Visitors Association (WCVA) is a
not-for-profit, 501(c)(6) destination marketing
organization (DMO), funded solely by a percentage of
transient lodging taxes collected by lodging
establishments in Washington County, Oregon.
The organization, which was established in 1983, is
charged with marketing and promoting Washington
County, Oregon, as a travel destination to a diverse                                                         2
range of audiences. The WCVA promotes the
destination in a variety of ways, with the continuous
goal of increasing visitation (especially overnight visits)
to Washington County. From sales and marketing to
community awareness and stakeholder support, each                The WCVA’s office and Visitor Information
function supports the overall mission and vision of the              Center are located in Beaverton
organization.

Mission & Vision
The WCVA’s Vision:
The Washington County Visitors Association positions Washington County, Oregon, as a pre-eminent
destination for travel, tourism and events.
The WCVA’s Mission:
The Washington County Visitors Association exists to encourage visitors to stay, spend and play in
Washington County, Oregon, by selling, marketing and promoting the county’s diverse collection of
tourism related assets.

Tourism Outlook
Overall, the travel industry –in leisure and corporate travel sectors-- throughout the state has been
negatively affected by economic factors; however, 2010 saw a modest increase and travel economists
predict that this downturn has peaked (in 2009) and from 2010 on, the tourism industry will experience
slight gains. Luckily, the Pacific Coast states—Washington, California and Oregon—are leading the
upswing in tourism, and have bounced back much quicker than other destinations.
Although the worst is over, as some have predicted, the forthcoming years will still prove to be
challenging, as more destinations vie for a smaller market share of travelers. The WCVA will remain
competitive, and its marketing plan represents the scope of work the WCVA will conduct in an effort to
continue to grow Washington County’s tourism efforts, in light of unpredictable travel behaviors and an
ever-changing industry.

Tourism Trends & Performance
In 2009, the WCVA commissioned a study from Dean Runyan Associates, a Portland-based economic
and marketing research firm, to compile a report summarizing visitor economic impact to Washington
County, Oregon, throughout 2009. As expected, the report indicated that Washington County
experienced a decline in the tourism spend, which was a direct result of the economic crisis in the U.S.
           2009 Washington County Travel Impacts
           Total visitor spending in 2007: $445 million
           Total tax revenues paid by visitors: $20 million
           Total industry-related employment: 4,700
           Total industry-related employment earnings: $114 million
DESTINATION STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
To be effective in the marketplace, the WCVA must acknowledge Washington County’s strengths,
weaknesses, opportunities and threats, when compared to similar destinations. This list remains virtually
unchanged from previous ―SWOT‖ analyses, as described in the 2007-2010 Strategic Marketing Plan.
Strengths
     Proximity to Portland/Portland International Airport
     Location in/proximity to the Willamette Valley
     Access to public transportation
     Quality and growth of local wineries
     Quality and quantity of sporting venues
     Quality golf courses and events gaining international prestige                                               3
     Rich agricultural experiences and product
     Access to urban, farms, forests and nature-based attractions
     Variety of recreational and water recreation activities
     Abundance and continued growth of bike trails and paths               Abundance of nature is one of
                                                                          Washington County’s strengths
     Abundant wildlife and bird watching opportunities
     Oregon’s largest concentration of nature preserves and wetlands
     Several universities and colleges
     Lower room taxes (compared to Portland)
     Increase in the number of new culinary products in the county (e.g. breweries, wineries, ethnic restaurants)


                                         Weaknesses
                                           No major or anchor attractions
                                           No major anchor city within the destination
                                           Suburban destinations
                                           Seasonality of leisure visitors
                                           Unclear/too common destination name
                                           Lack of hotel resorts, especially golf or wine country resorts
                                           Limited number of RV Parks
                                           Lack of nightlife options
   Several new wine tasting rooms,         Too few boutique hotel properties or bed-and-breakfasts)
including Alloro (pictured), opened in     Lack of Four- or Five-Star or full-service lodging properties
   Washington County since 2007,
                                           Limited number of committable rooms for group travelers
  creating new opportunities for the
             destination.                  Limited number of conference/meeting facilities and meetings space
                                           Limited number of quality, unique, fine dining establishments
                                           Traffic congestion in densely populated areas
                                           Wineries too spread out throughout county
                                           Perception of lack of variety of boutique shopping experiences

Opportunities
     Continued regional marketing focus (within the Regional Cooperative Marketing Program, RCMP)
     Cooperative marketing with other cities, counties and businesses
     Continued development of emerging markets (e.g. weddings, multi-generational travelers)
     Grow existing markets: wine, golf, nature, agritourism and sports travel
     Align Washington County’s wine product with Yamhill County to gain recognition
     Provide incentive to visitors to Portland to make day-trips to Washington County
     Develop marketing to take advantage of rural and agricultural tourism trends
Threats
   Dominance of Yamhill County (stronger, more identifiable wine product)
   Introduction of new product in Yamhill County (i.e. The Allison Inn)
   Limitations for new wineries to open tasting rooms in Washington County
   Weak economy (affecting both leisure and business travel)
   Dominance of Portland for high-end lodging and dining experiences
   Visitor preference to be close to downtown Portland
   Continued attrition of conference centers
   Intense competition from larger, established and well-recognized businesses in neighboring
   destinations
A tourism development plan, also known as the ―Tourism 2015 Plan,‖ developed in 2005, identified
many of these strengths and weaknesses. This plan served as a roadmap for the WCVA’s marketing                 4
efforts in order to play upon the destination’s strengths.

THE TOURISM 2015 PLAN
The Tourism 2015 Plan1 determined that several niche leisure markets
were emerging, and in 2007 the WCVA revised its marketing efforts to
attract these markets, which are:
         Sporting groups
         Wine enthusiasts
         Golfers
         Nature-lovers and birders
In the five years since the conception of the Tourism 2015 Plan, several
new attractions have opened, including nearly a dozen new wineries,
several new restaurants, a national urban wildlife refuge, state park,
additional agritourism product (including the Vineyard & Valley Scenic           The opening of the Tree to
Tour Route) and an extreme aerial ropes course.                                     Tree Adventure Park
                                                                                  (pictured) in 2009 was a
                                                                                boon for Washington County
The Greater Portland Visitor Experience
According to the Tourism 2015 Plan (p. 23), Washington County’s highest priority should be to link the
destination with Portland, as it the largest draw for the region and the most popular destination in the
state for domestic and international visitors.
Portland’s leading attractors include its iconic (and well attended) events and festivals, museums and
zoo, parks and gardens, high-caliber performing arts and concerts, and nationally recognized farmers’
market, breweries and restaurants.
Washington County, however, fills the void as having the closest wineries to Portland, plus iconic golf
courses, unique museums, developed agritourism and new nature-based attractions, which complement
Portland’s draw for visitors who want a complete Oregon experience.

                                         Economic Factors: How Does the Tourism 2015 Plan Stand
                                         Today?
                                         When the Tourism 2015 Plan was initiated, the economic woes
                                         that greatly affected the tourism industry were unforeseen. Visitor
                                         spending, employment and local tax revenues were all affected in
                                         the downturn, which significantly set back the goals of the plan,
                                         which outlined increases in spending and tourism-related
                                         employment.
 Washington County offers a variety of
   shopping experiences, such as            1―Washington County Tourism Development Plan,‖ © Total
    Bridgeport Village (pictured).
                                                      Destination Management (April 2005)
WASHINGTON COUNTY’S CURRENT VISITOR MARKETS AND KEY AUDIENCES
A Quick Snapshot of Washington County’s Visitors
Visitor research still being developed to paint a comprehensive statistical portrait of Washington
County’s visitors. Based on insights from industry partners, as well as the 2008 intercept study, the
most significant market segments of visitors to Washington County are:
       Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR)
       Business travelers
       Local residents (greater Portland area)
       Residents of the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area

Research also found that 63 percent of visitors to Washington County are day visitors, and 36 percent
are overnight visitors. Of those, 57 percent stayed in a hotel/motel, with 23 percent staying in the home   5
of family or friend. Among respondents who stayed in a hotel/motel, 23 percent stayed in Portland.


Washington County’s Key Audiences
Through research and development, specifically, the Tourism 2015 Plan, the WCVA has identified the
following groups to be its primary audiences for its marketing and communications messages:


    Consumer Leisure Travelers                                                  Community Partners
    Wine enthusiasts                                                                  WCVA stakeholders
    Golf enthusiasts                      Travel Planners
                                     Sports travel/event planners       Local tourism-related businesses
    Nature enthusiasts                                                  Regional DMOs & tourism offices
    Outdoor activity enthusiasts       Business travel planners
                                      Group tour travel planners                 Chambers of commerce
    Shopping enthusiasts                                                      Local government agencies




CONSUMER MARKETING
The lion’s share of the WCVA’s marketing efforts is aimed toward the consumer traveler, while a portion
supports the organization’s direct sales efforts: tour groups, meeting planners, wedding and event
planners and sports event planners. Messages for these various audiences range from general
destination messages to more targeted messages to niche audiences, such as cyclists and birders. In an
effort to reach all audiences, an integrated approach is necessary to ensure that the appropriate
messages reach the desired audiences.
OVERVIEW OF THE WCVA’S MARKETING FUNCTIONS
INTEGRATED MARKETING: GETTING MESSAGES TO THE RIGHT AUDIENCE
The WCVA has built the foundation for its marketing messages, including creating a magazine-style
visitor guide, developing an online presence via its website and social media sites, launching new
advertisements to reach new audiences, and increasing its media outreach efforts. As the WCVA
continues to move forward, these tools will be incorporated into a fully integrated marketing program for
the leisure consumer audience that is engaging, measurable and has a strong call-to-action.

Washington County’s visibility as a tourism destination in local, regional, national and international
markets will continue through integrated and targeted marketing efforts, utilizing print and online
advertising, public and media relations and social media.
                                                                                                                            6
Targeted collateral materials and the WCVA’s website will be directed toward key audiences: business,
group and leisure travelers, and sports, meeting and event planners. In order to keep current with
changes in traveler behavior and trends, and to enhance marketing efforts and materials, the WCVA will
conduct various research studies over the course of the next two-and-a-half years.

ENGAGING AUDIENCES: RESEARCH AND EVALUATION
Current research is crucial for strategic marketing planning, as traveler behaviors and tastes, and
economic factors affecting travel are constantly evolving. Since 2008, the WCVA has invested in several
research studies, including a visitor profile study, website conversion study (in progress), as well as an
agritourism barrier study (in progress). The results of these studies continue to help the WCVA in
identifying its core audiences, which allows the organization to plan its marketing programs.

                   WASHINGTON COUNTY: THE BRAND (POSITIONING)
                   Since 2008, the WCVA has used Citrus, Inc., as its creative agency, which was
                   responsible for the current business identity (e.g. logo, font treatments), look of
                   advertisements, and positioning (―Portland’s Cool Next-Door Neighbor‖).

Washington County’s Positioning Statement:
Washington County, Oregon, is a must-visit destination, located just minutes from downtown Portland,
where you can experience a wide variety of engaging activities and access the great things the Pacific
Northwest has to offer.

Key Elements of the Brand
The key elements of the brand reflect the destination’s overall
positioning, as well as Washington County’s key attributes:
        World-class wineries offering intimate wine tasting
        experiences
        Nationally recognized championship golf courses offering
        stimulating challenges in a beautiful country setting
        Outdoor heaven for natural adventures, bird watching,               Washington County’s tourism brand focuses
        kayaking, cycling, fishing and scenic drives                        on its key attributes: wine, nature and golf.

Brand Voice and Tone
Current marketing tools position Washington County as friendly, approachable, inviting and intelligent,
while portraying the destination as the source for all of the good things in life: golf, wine, shopping and
outdoor recreation.

 To convey the destination’s brand positioning, the tagline “Come Play Your Way” will be reintroduced in
                         2011 for both consumer and industry trade audiences.
ADVERTISING (PAID MEDIA): A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS
Print and online advertising are major components of the WCVA’s marketing efforts, and allow for a
greater emphasis on specific audiences: consumers, local businesses, wine enthusiasts, outdoor
recreationalists, sports event planners, group tour planners and golfers.

Print Ads (2008-2010)
In early 2008, the WCVA started working with Citrus, Inc., in Bend, Oregon, to redesign the brand design
for the destination, and to create a new advertising campaign using these new brand attributes. As a
result, the new look included bright colors, bold typefaces, use of stock images (or icons), and wordy
copy.


                                                                                                            7




Print Ads (FY 2010-11+)
The look of the creative design created by Citrus helped increase the visibility of Washington County in
the cluttered tourism ad landscape. In fiscal year 2010, and extending beyond, the WCVA started
experimenting with its overall design look, while keeping true to the brand. In an effort to show off
Washington County’s and its tourism-related assets, images of the destination and its attractions replace
the use of icons, in an effort to tell the destination’s story through images rather than words.




Print & Online Advertising
Each year, during the fiscal-year planning cycle, an ad schedule will be determined, in which all print
publications, online sites and messages will be established. Starting in 2011, the WCVA will unveil
seasonal advertising campaigns, which will tout the difference experiences in each season; collectively,
the campaign will paint a picture of the diversity of the destination.
PUBLIC RELATIONS (EARNED MEDIA): TELLING THE STORY
Public relations (PR) is an integral piece of WCVA’s marketing strategy, and allows the Washington
County story to be told in various different ways directly to a variety of media outlets. PR efforts will
complement the annual advertising schedule and will extend the reach of seasonal key messages in
both print and online publications.
Through PR, the WCVA –independently and in cooperation with tourism partners Travel Oregon, Travel
Portland and the Regional Cooperative Marketing Program (RCMP)– will be able to reach larger
audiences (and potential travelers) via publications that are not included in the ad schedule or are too
cost prohibitive to include in the schedule. In addition to bundling advertising and public relations
efforts, PR also provides more flexibility with its messaging, allowing the WCVA to respond to short-term
and immediate media needs and requests.
Methods used to sell the story of Washington County                                                                8
include:
        Distribution of press releases
        Creation and updating of a press kit
        Story idea pitches to writers and editors
        One-on-meetings with writers and editors
        Media blitzes (PR missions in other markets)
        Media familiarization tours/individual media visits
        Attendance at trade shows

Each year, during the fiscal-year planning cycle, a                   Events, such as the Oregon Lavender
comprehensive public relations plan, which includes local,           Festival (pictured), are just a part of the
regional, national and international media outlets, is                  overall Washington County story.
developed to address the various audiences, key messages
and targeted publications.

WEBSITE & ONLINE COMMUNICATIONS: MULTIPLE MESSAGES, MANY
AUDIENCES
                                WCVA’s online efforts directly reach consumers, as well as stakeholders
                                and travel partners. The online component of the WCVA’s marketing plan
                                is comprised of four parts: social media, website, blog and consumer
                                electronic newsletter (or e-newsletter). Given the nature of online
                                marketing, the immediacy, interactivity and expediency of the medium,
                                this piece of the marketing puzzle is geared toward more short-term
                                goals, and it grants the WCVA greater flexibility to adapt its marketing
                                messages as often (or as little) as needed.


    Social Media: Online tools such as Facebook, Twitter and Flickr, for example, will continue to be
    used to complement the WCVA’s marketing efforts with more targeted messages. Use of these
    platforms will also be used for promotions, contests and offers, and will provide a more one-on-one
    experience with travelers.

    Website: Useful and relevant content will be populated onto the WCVA website and will correspond
    with seasonal marketing efforts and targeted messages targeted to general leisure and niche-market
    travelers. The use of video to communicate with audiences will be used with more frequency.

    Blog: The WCVA’s blog, ―What’s the Word,‖ is an excellent resource for long- and short-form content
    centered on a single stakeholder, theme or idea. The blog format will allow for more photo essays
    and videos to further the destination. Blog content also will be repurposed on social media sites and
    the WCVA e-newsletter, further integrating the messages with all communication mediums.
    Consumer Newsletter: The WCVA’s consumer newsletter is a bimonthly newsletter written for
    travelers. In 2011, this newsletter will be redesigned, giving it a new look and feel, and to mirror the
    WCVA’s consumer marketing materials and ads. Also in 2011, an internal audit of editorial content
    and best practices will be conducted to provide consumers with the best content possible.

Unlike advertising, and to an extent, public relations, long-range planning for the website, social media
and other online efforts is not a useful tactic because of the interactive nature of the medium. Instead,
website/social media/online planning will take place more often throughout the year and in cycles, and
content will be managed through an editorial calendar, which will serve as a map of content ideas.


PUBLICATIONS AND COLLATERAL PIECES: PRINT IS STILL KING
Although the buzz is all about online and social media marketing, print collateral remains to be a vital       9
tool for destination marketers. From general consumers to travel professionals, high-quality print
collateral material is more important than ever. Studies suggest that 55 percent of travelers request
visitor guides, and of those, nearly 100 percent of them bring the guides along during their trips.
Presently, the WCVA produces for consumers an annual visitor guide. Additionally, itineraries, one-sheets
and other materials are used by the sales team to market the destination and to bring in additional
visitors.




       To see how all of these elements work together in an integrated work plan, see APPENDIX
OVERVIEW OF THE STRATEGIC MARKETING PLAN
GOAL
The overall goal of the WCVA’s marketing efforts is to increase the number of visitors to Washington
County, with an emphasis on overnight stays in the county. While the sales function of the organization
concentrates on providing a means to increase overnight stays (i.e. bringing events, meetings and group
tours to Washington County), the marketing function helps create awareness of and increase interest in
the destination.
OBJECTIVES
The WCVA’s three-year strategic marketing plan is driven by the following three core objectives:
      Increase consumer awareness of Washington County as a tourism destination and/or its key
      attractors: wineries, nature, golf and shopping                                                        10
      Build positive awareness by promoting Washington County’s wine, nature and sport offerings
      Increase the number of visitors to Washington County by creating an integrated marketing
      campaign positioning Washington County as a desirable destination
TACTICS/STRATEGIES
The following core tactics and strategies will be implemented in marketing to each audience segment:
        Drive year-round visitation by expanding marketing seasonal messages to targeted and
        segmented audiences
       Reach new and existing audiences via continued use of traditional media, and use emerging
       media to reach new audiences
       Position Washington County as a key tourism destination in the Pacific Northwest to leisure
       consumers in general interest and niche interest publications
       Position Washington County as a potential destination site in industry and trade publications (i.e.
       sports marketing, meeting planners, group travel, etc.)
       Showcase upcoming events

SEGMENTED WORK PLANS
To successfully reach the desired audiences and to meet the goals of the organization while
implementing the key strategies, as listed above, the marketing plan will be segmented into work plans
based on niche audiences (e.g. general leisure consumers, wine enthusiasts, nature enthusiasts, tour
groups, etc). This shift in perspective will allow the WCVA to better manage the overall marketing
function and reporting and evaluation.

MANAGING THE MARKETING WORK PLAN
The WCVA’s strategic marketing plan is a working plan. To manage the WCVA’s marketing efforts to
ensure engagement, flexibility and a return on investment , work plans will be developed quarterly (more
often, if necessary). The following include ways that the WCVA’s marketing efforts will be managed:
   Comprehensive paid media plan: Fiscal-year calendar of all print and online advertising buys, with
   deadlines, costs and applicable information
   Comprehensive media outreach plan: Quarterly calendar of planned public relations media outreach,
   with content ideas, editorial calendars, and necessary tools needed to address long- and short-lead
   media deadlines and information requests
   Comprehensive editorial calendar: Quarterly/monthly/weekly calendars of story topics and content
   ideas for online and social media outreach; calendar will include content for the WCVA blog,
   Facebook, Twitter and consumer and industry newsletters
PART ONE: LEISURE TRAVEL CONSUMERS
                  Leisure Travel Consumer Marketing Goal and Objective:
           Increase awareness of Washington County as a leisure travel destination by
         integrating all marketing functions and creating targeted marketing campaigns
                         with strong calls-to-action and measurement tools


Adapting the Destination’s Key Messages to a Consumer Audience
Leisure travel consumer segment comprises the largest audience for our marketing efforts. Due to the
nature of tourism, it is necessary to segment messages to appeal to the diverse interests of travelers
and to respond to ever-changing trends in tourism. As a result, the WCVA will take a new approach to its      11
marketing strategy by creating separate marketing work plans for each leisure and consumer audience
segments.
Audience Segmentation:
In order to reach the desired audiences, it is necessary to divide the audience into market segments
based on interests (vs. demographics). Within these individual segments, further consideration will be
given to demographical information, such as location (region vs. national), gender, age and
socioeconomic status, which varies based on interests.
   General Leisure Travelers: An all-encompassing group of potential visitors; messages are general
   enough to attract visitors with a variety of interests, rather than focusing on a niche segment of
   traveler
   Nature Enthusiasts/Birders: Travelers who are interested in natural settings, enjoy garden tours and
   wildflower walks, seek out birding and bird-related activities, and are interested in nature
   photography
   Outdoor Recreationalists: Travelers who enjoy outdoor recreation, including hiking, biking and other
   outdoor activity-specific experiences
   Golfers: Travelers who plan trips around golf experiences to those who may play golf while on
   vacation or while traveling on business
   Wine Enthusiasts: Travelers who are interested in wine vacations, are curious about wine
   tasting/visiting wineries, or those who are inclined to visit a winery while on vacation or traveling on
   business
   International Travelers: Travelers from outside the United States who are interested in learning
   about American culture, shopping and other activities


                        Tactics & Desired Measurable Outcomes:
           Increase traffic to WCVA website by creating unique URLs for each campaign and
           developing targeted content online
           Increase requests for visitor information (visitor guides, e-newsletters) by including
           applicable messages in advertisements and marketing materials
           Increase social media followers and engagement by including ―follow us‖ messages in ads
           and marketing materials, as well as through social media advertising
           Increase the length of time spent on the WCVA by creating new, engaging, relevant content
           Increase the number of subscribers to the WCVA’s consumer electronic newsletter

Once the above tactics are implemented, measuring outcomes, or the return on investment (ROI), will be
easier and more accurate. Unique URLs will allow the WCVA to measure the effectiveness of each
campaign. This will result in better reporting and will allow the WCVA to adjust its messages accordingly.
AUDIENCE SEGMENT: GENERAL INTEREST LEISURE TRAVELERS
Messages for general leisure travelers will consist of general destination statements emphasizing its
many attributes and attractions, and seasonal nature of Washington County as a leisure tourism
destination. Messages for this audience are all-encompassing and will change seasonally, capturing the
spirit of the destination year-round with season-specific messages, instead of using the same message
throughout the year.

                GENERAL LEISURE TRAVELERS POSITIONING STATEMENT:
          Washington County, Oregon, is a year-round destination offering different
                          experiences as the seasons change.

                                                                                                                  12
SEASONAL MESSAGING
The ―one-size-fits-all‖ marketing strategy doesn’t work in today’s
marketplace, and Washington County is not a ―one-size-fits-all‖
destination. The seasonality of many of the destination’s attractions
makes it necessary to revise how Washington County currently is
marketed to consumers.
In an effort to reach these consumers, a fully integrated marketing
campaign will be launched seasonally to build awareness of Washington
County as a leisure destination, capture the audience’s attention, and
ultimately persuade travelers to include Washington County in their travel
plans. Each campaign will have a strong call to action, encouraging
travelers to contact the WCVA for more information, or to book their
vacations.

Key Messages
   Spring: During the spring months (March-May), Washington County’s springs to life. Washington
   County would benefit from positioning itself as a Spring Break alternative, a springtime getaway for
   couples and families looking for a relaxing, less crowded retreat. Key messages: Spring Break,
   Mother’s Day, wine tasting, family travel, outdoor recreation, nature, golf

   Summer: Summer (June-August) is ―high season‖ for tourism to Washington County, and it is during
   this time that the majority of the destination’s attractions are open to the public, and dozens of
   events take place. To take advantage of the wealth of things to do and see during these months, the
   WCVA will continue to position Washington County as a summertime family getaway. Key messages:
   Family travel, agricultural activities, events, road trips, Vineyard & Valley Scenic Tour Route, wine
   tasting, outdoor recreation, Independence Day, summer vacation, back-to-school shopping

   Fall: In the fall (September-November), visitation to Washington County starts to slow, although fall
   offers a variety of experiences. Washington County would benefit from positioning itself a great fall
   destination for scenic drives with opportunities to view fall foliage, to enjoy the mild weather, and for
   a ―girlfriend getaway,‖ ―mancation,‖ or couples retreat. Key messages: Romantic getaways, wine
   tasting, agricultural activities, events, road trips, fall colors/foliage, outdoor recreation, nature, golf,
   harvest season, pumpkin patches

   Winter: There are several challenges that hinder travel to Washington County during the winter
   months (December-February). Inclement weather, especially along the Vineyard & Valley Scenic Tour
   Route, isn’t appealing to travelers, who may opt to travel to ski/snow destinations or to warmer
   climates. In addition, several wineries close during the winter months, as does one of the area’s key
   attractions (Tree to Tree Adventure Park). Key messages: Romantic getaways, shopping, holiday
   events, tree farms, New Year’s resolutions, Valentine’s Day, wine tasting
                           ADVERTISING AND PUBLIC RELATIONS
                           Targeted Publications
                           External media (publications, online sites, external blogs, etc.) will be
                           targeted for dissemination of key messages via paid media (advertising) and
                           earned media (public relations). Selected external media reaches local,
                           regional and national audiences, and range from national publications and
                           in-flight magazines to regional interest titles to in-market/local newspapers.
                           The WCVA has selected the following ―most wanted‖ list of target media
                           (additional publications and online outlets will be added during the annual
                           planning cycle):
     Sunset Magazine                    AAA Via Magazine                    Seattle Met
     Portland Monthly                   1859 Magazine                       Southern Oregon Magazine        13
     Central Oregon Magazine            AAA Western Journey                 Budget Travel
     Sherman’s Travel                   Travel + Leisure                    Conde Nast Traveler
     National Geographic Traveler       Los Angeles Times                   Seattle Times
     The Oregonian                      Idaho Statesman                     Vancouver Courier
     USA Today                          Good Housekeeping                   Ladies Home Journal
     Country Living                     RV Journal                          Alaska Airlines Magazine
     Horizon Airlines Magazine          Southwest Airlines Magazine         AARP Magazine
     Tacoma News Tribune                Eugene Herald                       The Spokesman Review
ONLINE MARKETING
The WCVA has vested much time and effort into its online profile. Although there has been some growth
in the organization’s social media efforts and impact, growth of the website has been flat. The following
is an overview of changes to be made in the WCVA’s online presence in 2011, and continuing on in
future years.
Website & Blog
In 2011, the WCVA will conduct improvements to its website to enhance usability. Starting in 2011, the
overall content on the website will improve, including:
        Use of video on the home page and other pages as needed
        Inclusion of booking engine
        Addition of seasonally produced content positioning Washington County as a year-round destination
        Better organization of existing content
        Addition of more pictures
        Creation or updates of pages tailored to niche audiences (e.g. wine enthusiasts, birders)
Social Media
The WCVA’s social media strategy in 2011 and beyond will include entering the
next level of online engagement. In addition to promoting social media vehicles via
the website and print advertising and collateral, the WCVA will improve its
presence on existing social media platforms, while continuing to pursue additional
platforms.
Because the social media landscape is ever-changing, it is difficult to predict what
the WCVA’s online presence will be in three years. However, in the short term, the
following are a snapshot of some initiatives slated for 2011:
        Facebook: Addition of pages focusing on top attractors to Washington County (e.g. wine, nature,
        sports, golf) and creation of new applications (i.e. sharable postcards)
        FourSquare: Implementation of the WCVA FourSquare profile; potential giveaways (i.e. ―check-in‖
        at the WCVA visitor information center a receive a free gift)
        Twitter: Background on main Twitter page to change seasonally to position Washington County
        as a year-round destination
In addition to the social media platforms listed, the WCVA will continue to have a presence on YouTube
and Google Places, and will look into a branded LinkedIn profile and research new platforms and
opportunities as they arise.
Consumer E-Newsletters
In an effort to provide consumers with relevant information, several changes will be made to the
consumer e-newsletter in 2011. These changes include:
        Implementation of a new bimonthly distribution schedule: January, March, May, July, September
        and November
        Redesign of the newsletter template, to make it more visually pleasing for consumers and easier
        to update for staff
        Inclusion of seasonal messages, integrating the seasonality of the destination and further
        positioning it as a year-round destination

                          MARKETING COLLATERAL                                                              14
                          The WCVA-produced Washington County Visitor Guide remains the signature
                          marketing collateral piece. Additional marketing materials may be produced,
                          such as a wine brochure (see pg. 15). The following is an overview of existing
                          collateral pieces that will be used through 2013, and updated as necessary:
                              Washington County Visitor Guide (produced annually)
                              Washington County tear-off map (produced annually, as necessary)
                              Washington County fold-out map (produced as needed)
                              Washington County recreation map (new, currently in production; to be
                              produced as needed)
                              Washington County bike map (new, in production; to be produced as
                              needed)


AUDIENCE SEGMENTATION: NICHE MARKETS
The Tourism 2015 Plan identified the key tourism attractors for Washington County. As a result, the
following niche market segments have been identified as: Wine enthusiasts, nature enthusiasts and
birders, outdoor recreationalists, golfers and international travelers.
Niche marketing provides an opportunity for the WCVA to get its key messages directly to those with
specific interests, especially those who may not be familiar with the destination and/or its attractions.
The following section offers a brief outlook of how the WCVA will market to these niche travelers.
WINE ENTHUSIASTS
The WCVA has an edge, however, in its marketing strategy, as competitor destinations that have wine
product may not have the budgets to actively target and engage this segment of travelers. Through
targeted messages, ad buys and public relations efforts, coupled with complementary messages via
―internal‖ media (WCVA’s website, blog, newsletters, etc.), the WCVA will be able to reach these
consumers directly and in their own language.


                        WINE ENTHUSIASTS POSITIONING STATEMENT:
               Washington County is the gateway to Oregon’s wine country, and
                features award-winning wineries providing visitors with friendly,
               authentic and intimate wine tasting experiences unlike any other.
                                                                                                                    15

ADVERTISING & MEDIA OUTREACH
As with reaching the general travel market, the WCVA will reach wine enthusiasts through print and
online media. In addition to advertising buys, the WCVA will employ public relations/media outreach
efforts to reach a broader audience.

           Media outreach tactics include, but are not limited to: story idea pitches, distribution of press
           releases, invitations to media familiarization trips, invitations to events

Samples of Key Messages
   Sustainable (green) wineries                            Second-generation wine makers
   Food and wine pairings                                  Unusual wine varietals
   Wine/winery events                                      Crush/harvest
   Entrepreneurial spirit of vintners/wine makers          Wine Trail Weekend
   Pioneering wineries/wine makers                         Thanksgiving/Memorial Day weekend

Targeted Publications
The WCVA has selected the following ―most wanted‖ list of target media to reach the wine enthusiast
market (additional publications and online outlets may be added during the annual planning cycle):
   Sunset Magazine                     AAA Via Magazine (No. Calif.)          Imbibe
   Portland Monthly                    MIX Magazine                           Los Angeles Times
   San Francisco Chronicle             Seattle Met                            USA Today

ONLINE MARKETING
Key messages targeted to wine enthusiasts will be included in social media
messages, in the consumer newsletter, and in seasonal and feature content
on the WCVA website. All online content (blog, website, social media, etc.)
will be updated periodically with wine-themed content and images, links to
articles and blog posts, with an emphasis on wine-related events and
activities.

MARKETING COLLATERAL
In 2011, the WCVA will develop a wine brochure, positioning the destination
as wine country, and including facts about each winery in the area.


                                                                                    The number of wineries in
                                                                                  Washington County grew from
                                                                                approx. 16 in 2007 to 27 in 2009.
                                                                                   (Pictured: Ponzi Vineyards)
                                        NATURE ENTHUSIASTS/BIRDERS
                                        Washington County benefits from its natural outdoor beauty and
                                        various wildlife habitats. As statewide efforts continue to market
                                        Oregon as a destination known for its scenic outdoors, Washington
                                        County has the opportunity to use the positioning to increase
                                        awareness (and visitation) among nature enthusiasts and birders.

                                                       NATURE ENTHUSIASTS/BIRDERS
                                                          POSITIONING STATEMENT:
                                                   Surrounded by forests, farms and natural
                                                    settings, Washington County is among
  Washington County is home to
hundreds of species of indigenous                   Oregon’s premier destinations for bird                   16
 and migratory birds, such as the                 watching, wildflower and nature walks, and
 Common Yellowthroat (pictured).                                  scenic tours.


ADVERTISING & MEDIA OUTREACH
Price prohibits a targeted advertising buy in many publications targeted toward this affluent group of
travelers, and reliance on public relations efforts is essential when reaching out to this group. Media
outreach to writers, photographers and bloggers who specialize in the nature/birding ―beat‖ will include:
        Story idea pitches
        Pitches and invitations to natures photographers
        Press releases about significant nature/birding-related development, events and attractions
        Media familiarization tour for birding writers/authors (FY 2012-13)

Samples of Key Messages
   New nature facilities and attractions                            Local gardens, nature/wildflower walks
   Birding and ornithological opportunities/sightings               Wildlife habitats
   Conservation and educational efforts (e.g. refuge,
   state parks, nature parks, etc.)

Targeted Publications
The WCVA has selected the following ―most wanted‖ list of target media to reach the nature enthusiast
market (additional publications and blogs will be added as necessary):
   Audubon Magazine                 National Geographic

ONLINE MARKETING
Key messages targeted to nature enthusiasts and birders will be included in social media messages, in
the consumer newsletter, and in seasonal and feature content on the WCVA website.
       Website and blog content will be updated regularly and seasonally, focusing on seasonal
       activities, new attractions and bird sightings
       The ―bird‖ pages of the website will be completed and pages will go ―live‖
       More emphasis on the Willamette Birding Trail will be included in marketing efforts
       Social media content will complement the information on the website and on the blog
       Nature and birding blogger(s) will be recruited to provide content for the WCVA blog
       The consumer newsletter will feature at least two articles annually about nature/birding

      A separate media and marketing outreach plan specifically targeting birders will be developed
      during the 2011-12 fiscal year, and will detail publications, freelance writers, blogs/bloggers and
      other media opportunities for the WCVA to create awareness among this niche audience.
                                                OUTDOOR RECREATIONALISTS
                                                Among travelers Oregon is known for its outdoor recreation,
                                                and it is essential that Washington County increases its
                                                visibility among this niche market segment. Activities relevant
                                                to travelers who fall in the ―outdoor recreationalists‖ market
                                                segment include cycling/biking, hiking, fishing,
                                                kayaking/canoeing, horseback riding, camping, and other
                                                outdoor recreational pursuits. Disc golf and the aerial ropes
                                                course, Tree to Tree Adventure Park, also are included in this
                                                segment.
 The Tualatin River provides a multitude of
  outdoor recreation activities and events.
                                                                                                                            17
                  OUTDOOR RECREATIONALISTS POSITIONING STATEMENT:
      Washington County is a premier destination for outdoor recreation and pursuits, and
        offers a variety of activities for adventurers of all skills, interests and abilities.

Further segmentation of this audience is necessary, given that two important markets are emerging in
outdoor recreation:
   Cyclists: Cycling/biking continues to be a thriving market for the Greater Portland region, it is
   necessary for the WCVA to reach out to this market segment, aided in part by increased product
   (such as the newly developed bike map) targeted to cyclists. A targeted marketing plan for the
   cycling audience will be developed during FY2011-12.
   Equestrians: The Wilsonville Chamber of Commerce is continuing to develop ―Oregon Horse
   Country,‖ which includes some of the region’s most prestigious horse facilities and dressage venues
   located in Washington County. The WCVA will benefit from reaching out to this affluent niche market
   segment. A targeted media/marketing outreach plan for the equestrian market will be developed FY
   2012-13.
ADVERTISING & MEDIA OUTREACH
The WCVA faces several barriers, including advertising costs, to getting its key messages out to desired
audiences. Getting noticed among this niche audience has been challenging, as Washington County
faces steep competition from established and more rugged outdoor adventure sites and attractions
throughout the state (e.g. skiing at Mt. Hood, wind surfing in the Gorge, mountain biking and climbing in
the Cascades, etc.). To overcome this obstacle, the WCVA’s advertising and media outreach will be
limited to regional publications2.
Samples of key messages:
     New recreational attractions        Washington County recreation map          Disc golf
     Tree to Tree Adventure Park         Equestrian attractions/events             Camping
Targeted Publications
The following is the ―most wanted‖ list of target media to reach outdoor recreationalists (additional
publications and online sites may be added during annual planning):
   Backpacker                           AAA Via (Oregon/Idaho)                    Outdoor
   Field & Stream                       Canoe & Kayak
ONLINE MARKETING
Key messages targeted to outdoor enthusiasts will be included in social media messages, in the
consumer newsletter, and in seasonal and feature content on the WCVA website.
   Website/blog content targeting outdoor recreationalists will be updated regularly and seasonally
   Social media content will complement the information on the website and on the blog
   Video content will be produced and used in social media, website and blog marketing
   The consumer newsletter will feature at least three articles annually about outdoor recreation
   Greater emphasis will be put on fishing, kayaking and disc golf
    2Disc   golf is an exception; messages will be targeted toward amateur and professional disc golfers and associations
GOLFERS
Golf was identified in the Tourism 2015 Plan as one of the top tourism attractors for Washington County.
With top-tier courses, such as Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club and The Reserve Vineyard and Golf Club, and
rural, community courses, Washington County is poised to become an affordable and accessible golf
destination, compared to other more pricey options in the state.


                              GOLF POSITIONING STATEMENT:
      Washington County is a preeminent golf destination in the Pacific Northwest,
     providing golfers of all skills and abilities opportunities to play on several of the
                               state’s most esteemed courses.

ADVERTISING & MEDIA OUTREACH                                                                                  18
Several barriers exist in regard to the golf tourism
market, including: lack of a golf resort, increased
regional competition and the overall decrease in demand
for golf tourism (although, with a strengthening economy,
golf tourism may pick up). In addition, several golf-
related publications have ceased publication in recent
years, and the cost to advertise in golf magazines
remains to be budget-prohibitive. PR outreach will be
key for the golf market; however, because of the factors
listed above, this could prove to be challenging, as well.
The audience for golf-related messages, while focused on leisure visitors, may also benefit the WCVA’s
sports sales and marketing efforts (see page 22).
Samples of key messages:
   Championship/top courses (overall travel piece)           Best courses for women golfers
   Premier events (i.e. Safeway Classic)                     Wine + golf pairings
   Rural/countryside courses                                 ―Mancations‖ (emphasizing golf and breweries)
   Affordability/lack of pretentiousness

Targeted Publications
The following is the ―most wanted‖ list of target media to reach golfers (publications and online sites
may be added during annual planning):
    Golf World               Golf Digest              Golfer              Oregon Golf            Golf
ONLINE MARKETING
Key messages targeted to golfers will continue to be included in social media messages, in the
consumer newsletter, and in seasonal and feature content on the WCVA website.
       Website and blog content will be updated seasonally, providing ideas of what to do while in
       Washington County
       Social media content will complement the information on the website and on the blog
       The consumer newsletter will feature one to two articles about golf, with an increased emphasis
       on lesser known courses
MARKETING COLLATERAL
The WCVA’s best bet to reach golfers is through marketing collateral. Golf-specific collateral needs to be
developed in 2011 to take advantage of the various golf shows in the region, as well as for high-profile
events, such as the annual Safeway Classic golf tournament. Collateral may also be used by the sales
team for sports sales and marketing.
        Golf one-sheet, with an overview (or stats) for each public or semi-private golf club in Washington
        County
INTERNATIONAL TRAVELERS
In recent years, the WCVA has partnered with Travel Oregon, which
aggressively markets to the international market, to reach the
Canadian group travel market. As plans move forward to expand the
WCVA’s sales efforts outside of North America, it has become a
necessity to include international travelers into the WCVA’s overall
marketing plan.
                                                                           Comparatively low costs, lack of sales
   INTERNATIONAL TRAVELERS POSITIONING STATEMENT:                           tax and exceptional shopping make
       Washington County, Oregon, is a diverse, welcoming                     Washington County a desirable
  destination, offering the best value, exquisite shopping, award-         destination for international travelers.
          winning wineries, exceptional dining and more.
                                                                                                                      19
The WCVA will continue to work with Travel Oregon’s international sales and marketing teams to gain
more exposure for Washington County in this market and to increase the number of international visitors
to the destination.
Current data provided by Travel Oregon, shows that approximately 1,401,100 international visitors
arrived in Oregon in the first 10 months of 2010 (of the top 13 countries, in terms of arrivals).
Based on this data, the top five* countries of origin of international travelers to Oregon are:
   1. Canada, 1,145,200 visitors
                                                     Emerging markets include: Korea, Taiwan and China, which
   2. Japan, 48,700 visitors                            brought a collective total of 50,500 visitors to Oregon.
   3. United Kingdom, 35,400 visitors
   4. Germany, 31,500 visitors                              *Rankings are based on 2009 year-end data, as
   5. Australia/New Zealand, 32,800 visitors                   complete 2010 data is not yet available.
The Inbound/International Traveler
For the purpose of this marketing plan, international visitors primarily fit into one of the following groups:
        Free and Independent Travelers (also known as foreign independent travelers) (or FIT): This
        segment is comprised of travelers who travel solo or in small groups (such as a family units), and
        make ―independent‖ decisions of where to visit, stay, eat, etc. FITs may also follow pre-arranged
        fly-drive itineraries, but have the flexibility to change their sightseeing plans as they see fit.
        Group/packaged travelers: This segment is comprised of travelers who are a part of a larger
        group and often follow a pre-arranged travel itinerary. (This segment also is addressed in the
        ―Group Tour/Travel Trade‖ section of Part Two: Group Events & Travel Planners.)
International business travelers are an important component of travel to the U.S.; however, Washington
County will focus on leisure travelers.
Key Attractors
Travel behaviors of international travelers vary from the travelers’ country of origin/residence; however,
travelers share several common interests and behaviors while visiting the United States. Shopping is a
top activity of many inbound travelers, and Oregon’s lack of sales tax for goods and services, combined
with the exceptional shopping opportunities in Washington County, make the destination attractive to
international visitors. In addition, the natural beauty of the area, easy access to wineries and unique
events appeal to the ―Americana‖ aspect of the destination.
ADVERTISING & MEDIA OUTREACH
Currently, the WCVA works in partnership with Travel Oregon with its international media outreach, which
will continue over the next three years. As the WCVA has a greater presence in the international
marketplace via sales missions and efforts, an advertising/media plan focusing on international
consumer and trade publications will be put into place, as necessary. Further research is necessary at
this time.
MARKETING COLLATERAL/WEBSITE
As the WCVA evaluates and grows its international market, it may become necessary to create marketing
collateral pieces for specific and targeted markets. Existing publications, such as the visitor guide, the
WCVA website and other materials may have to be translated and messages tailored to each culture in
an effort to reach the diverse international market.
PART TWO: GROUP EVENTS & TRAVEL PLANNERS
OVERVIEW
The group events and travel planners market segment includes group tour planners, meeting planners,
special event planners and sporting event organizers. The WCVA’s sales team actively markets to these
segments. For the purpose of this plan, only the tools and tactics to support the sales team’s efforts will
be highlighted.
                 Group Events & Travel Planners Marketing Goal and Objective:
         Increase the number of group events –group tours/packaged travel, sporting events,
             and meetings and corporate events-- by positioning Washington County as an
          affordable, desirable and accommodating destination, by positioning the WCVA as a
           resource for group travel and event planners, and by incorporating strong calls-to-                    20
                                      action in marketing materials

CORPORATE & MEETINGS MARKETING
Several factors limit how the WCVA attracts and markets to larger
meetings and corporate and incentive markets. However,
Washington County offers plenty of non-traditional meeting spaces
for small meetings, including wineries, outdoor/nature venues, golf
courses and other venues that can accommodate smaller business
groups. As a result, in 2010 started to market Washington County
as a small meetings destination, while emphasizing its affordability
(when compared to Portland), its accessibility, and the variety of       Public transportation, such as the MAX
experiences it can offer to delegates.                                     light rail (pictured) makes the area
                                                                            appealing for business meetings.
ADVERTISING & MEDIA OUTREACH
The advertising schedule and PR plan will focus on a small number of publications that cater to meeting
planners in western U.S. Print ads and public relations story idea pitches will continue to highlight the
affordability and accessibility of Washington County as it pertains to this specialized audience.
Samples of Key Messages
  Washington County offers a diverse array of affordable and exceptional venues for small meetings
   Washington County provides authentic team-building and group experiences, ranging from
   customized wine tastings to outdoor adventures
Targeted Publications
The WCVA has selected the following ―most wanted‖ list of target media to reach the meetings market
(additional publications may be added during ad planning):
   Smart Meetings         Small Market Meeting         Meetings West       Northwest Meetings + Events
Additional publications being considered for possible marketing outreach include: M&C (Meetings and
Conventions) and Corporate Meetings & Incentives magazines.
MARKETING COLLATERAL
The small meetings market still is considered to be an emerging market for Washington County;
therefore, the WCVA marketing collateral must be revised to focus on this specific market. In 2011, the
WCVA will:
    Update its current one-sheet capitalizing on the benefits of holding a small meeting or corporate
    event in Washington County
    Revise completely the meeting facilities guide (possibly creating a comprehensive meeting, group
    tour, wedding and sports facilities guide)

WEBSITE
In 2011, the meetings section of the WCVA’s website will be updated with content, including building out
more pages, as necessary, and adding electronic versions of the print marketing collateral pieces.
                                         GROUP TOUR/TRAVEL TRADE MARKETING
                                         The group tour/packaged travel market is important to
                                         Washington County’s tourism industry, The WCVA has a
                                         dedicated sales staff member who is charged with growing this
                                         market, and employs sales efforts to reach out to tour planners
                                         to bring packaged travel tours to Washington County for both
                                         day trips and overnight stays. Efforts include sales missions,
                                         trade shows and being involved in associations that cater to this
                                         market, and these efforts are supported with advertising, public
                                         relations and marketing collateral pieces.

THE AUDIENCE
―Group tour‖ is an all encompassing term to describe a planned-itinerary packaged tour, which can be           21
made up of leisure visitors, student performance groups, senior visitors, FIT or other specialized tours.
Tours may consist of a single theme, such as wine tours, nature tours, garden tours or other niche
interest, and Washington County may be the primary destination, or possibly a quick stop on the way to
the Coast or to Portland.

ADVERTISING & MEDIA OUTREACH
In 2010, the WCVA added new publications to its advertising schedule in order to capture more of a
market share from the group tour/packaged travel market. Public relations efforts complement the
advertising schedule and allow for greater reach into this growing market via:
    Creating and pitching specialized itineraries tailored to group tours and FIT market
Samples of Key Messages
  Washington County is an ideal destination for a ―hub and spoke tour‖
Targeted Publications
The WCVA has selected the following ―most wanted‖ list of target media to reach the group tour market
(additional publications may be added during ad planning):
    Courier Magazine                    Leisure Group Tour                  Western Group Tour
    Group Travel Leader                   Student Group Tour

MARKETING COLLATERAL
Printed and electronic marketing collateral is essential for group tour travel planners, and it is necessary
to continue to produce high-quality materials to complement the WCVA’s sales efforts. As a result, the
lion’s share of printed collateral is customized to group tour planners and operators.
To complement these specialized markets sales efforts, the following collateral materials will be
produced annually:
    ―What’s New‖ one-sheet (print and electronic versions) – to be updated as necessary
    Specialized tour itineraries, each focusing on major tour themes, such as:
       O Agritourism            O Wine tourism              O Vineyard & Valley Scenic Tour Route
       O Shopping               O Portland to Coast

    Logo promotional items for use at tradeshows, sales missions and other operator familiarization
    tours
    Logo promotional items for welcome gifts (budget permitting)

WEBSITE
In 2011, the group tour section of the WCVA’s website will be updated with content, including building
out more pages, as necessary, and adding electronic versions of the print marketing collateral pieces.
SPORTS/SPORTS EVENT MARKETING
The Tourism 2015 Plan identified amateur sports as one of
Washington County’s primary sales markets. The quality
and diversity of the types of venues in the area make it
possible to attract a variety of sports events to Washington
County. A strong marketing campaign directed to sports
event organizers will complement the WCVA’s dedicated
sales efforts to maintain existing sports events, while
attracting new events to Washington County.                        Washington County boasts several popular sports
                                                                    facilities, such as Hillsboro Stadium (pictured),
                                                                      which attract a number of diverse events.
ADVERTISING & MEDIA OUTREACH
In 2010, the WCVA entered the advertising arena with paid ads in several industry publications, which                   22
coincided with the sales team’s trade show attendance. Sports-specific ads touting Washington County
as an accessible, sports-friendly destination with high-quality sports facilities were run in issues of
SportsEvents and Sports Destination Management magazines, and additional ads are planned for 2011.
Moving forward, a complementary advertising and PR plan targeting these and additional sports-industry
publications will be planned, and will take into consideration the sales team’s overall goals and trade
show attendance schedules.
Samples of Key Messages
  Washington County is an affordable, accessible and team-friendly destination, with a diverse array of
  high-quality facilities to meet nearly any type of event, such as award-winning sports fields and
  facilities and rugged outdoor venues with natural forests, lakes and rivers.
Target Audiences
The sports events community is comprised of several different organizations, publications and
audiences. Based on the strengths of Washington County’s sports venues, particular attention will be
paid to organizations that support the following sports and events:
    Soccer                 Softball               Equestrian/dressage              Basketball
    Triathlons             Disc golf              Golf
  *Existing venues, such as Sunset Speedway, and new facilities, such as the White Sands Indoor Beach facility
Targeted Publications
The WCVA has selected the following ―most wanted‖ list of target media to reach the sports event market
(additional publications may be added during ad planning):
        SportsEvents Magazine
        Sports Destination Management
        Winning Sports Event Destinations
MARKETING COLLATERAL
As the sports and event market continues to flourish, it will be necessary to revise existing materials,
while creating new print materials focusing on specific sports-market segments (i.e. disc golf), and
giveaway items.
    Create new sports-specific one-sheets (e.g. softball, disc golf, soccer, etc.)
    Revise completely the sports facilities guide (possibly creating a comprehensive meeting, group tour,
    wedding and sports facilities guide)
    Logo promotional items for tradeshows, events, site tours and participant registration bags
    Create new branded welcome letter templates, with editable content and itineraries
    Create new branded bid submission templates, with editable content
WEBSITE
In 2011, the sports event planner section of the WCVA’s website will be updated with more content,
including building out more pages, as necessary, and adding electronic versions of the print marketing
collateral pieces and sports-related video assets.
WEDDINGS MARKETING
Unlike the corporate/meetings, group tour/packaged travel, and sports/sporting events markets, the
audience for Washington County’s weddings marketing includes both industry trade and consumers.
The WCVA’s entry into the lucrative weddings market will comprise of messaging tailored to each of
these two markets.

AUDIENCES
   Wedding Planners: Outreach to local wedding planners will be a two-pronged approach. The first
   position consists mainly of creating awareness of the Washington County as a weddings destination,
   and to tout the multitude of venues, caterers, lodging properties and other weddings-related
   businesses. The second position will be to market the WCVA’s services to wedding planners as a
   resource to help with securing room blocks, venues and catering requests via service leads.
                                                                                                          23
   Brides-to-Be: Outreach to brides-to-be (or messages directed to the consumer) takes a similar two-
   pronged approach. Primary messages will emphasize the affordability, accessibility, diversity and
   beauty of Washington County as an ideal wedding destination. Secondary messages will market the
   WCVA’s services as a resource to help brides with planning their dream wedding by distributing
   service leads to secure room blocks, venues and catering.

ADVERTISING & MEDIA OUTREACH
In 2010, a weddings ad, created for brides-to-be, was designed, and will be debuted in the spring 2011
issue of Oregon Bride magazine. This launch into the weddings market is part of a slow roll-out, which
will include over the next couple of years additional print and online advertising buys in consumer and
trade publications, as well as a comprehensive PR plan.

MARKETING COLLATERAL
During fiscal year 2011-2012, as the emerging weddings
market is grown, a weddings one-sheet tailored to wedding
planners will be created. Additional collateral materials will
be considered, depending on various factors, including trade
show attendance.

WEBSITE
Prior to the 2011 launch of the WCVA’s new weddings ad, the
weddings section of the website, which is a work in progress,
will be revised and updated with weddings-related
information for both consumers and planners. Additionally, if
possible, content will be moved from the ―Meeting, Travel &
Sports Planners‖ section and will be given its own tab, so it
can easily be located by visitors to the site.
                                              PART THREE: LOCAL
                                              AWARENESS
                                              While the majority of the WCVA’s marketing outreach for leisure,
                                              business and group travel audiences focuses on residents
                                              outside the Greater Portland region, local marketing is extremely
                                              important for the WCVA as well. Marketing efforts to the local
 The WCVA hosts events regularly that help    audience ranges from creating awareness about the WCVA and
 stakeholders and industry partners foster
   relationships, as well as to build local   its services and the impact of tourism to our community, to
  awareness about Washington County’s         building buzz among locals about the many attractions and
             tourism industry.                activities available in Washington County.
                                                                                                                  24
CREATING AWARENESS ABOUT THE WCVA
Although the Washington County Visitors Association has been an important force in marketing the
destination for several decades, the organization is still relatively unknown. A marketing campaign
specifically about the organization and its services is crucial for stakeholder recruitment and
engagement, as well as group travel planners (which was outlined in Part Two).
Audiences
Messages intended to increase awareness of the organization are tailored to specific industry-related
audiences, including:
        Current and future stakeholders
        Local industry-related businesses (in Washington County and the Greater Portland region)
        Chambers of commerce (local)
        Local government agencies and elected officials
        State, regional and local destination marketing organizations/tourism associations
        Visitor information centers (statewide)

EDUCATING LOCALS ABOUT THE IMPACT OF TOURISM ON THE COMMUNITY
Many locals do not understand the benefit tourism brings to Washington County. As a destination
marketing organization, it is the WCVA’s role to serve as an advocate for the tourism industry, and to
educate about the many benefits tourism has on our own community.
Audiences
Educational messages have a wider audience than the awareness campaign efforts. In addition to the
aforementioned audiences, the following would benefit from educational awareness messages:
       Local media
       Washington County residents

BUILDING BUZZ AMONG LOCALS ABOUT THE MANY ATTRACTIONS AND ACTIVITIES
AVAILABLE IN WASHINGTON COUNTY
Previous research has shown that the ―friends and family‖ market makes up the majority of visitors to
Washington County. For years, locals who host visiting friends and family members may not consider
Washington County for a day trip (or even overnight stay), as there may not be much awareness about
the attractions and experiences available. Additionally, much of the local media (including online)
focuses on Portland and its attractions and experiences, and for the most part, ignoring Washington
County, leaving the WCVA to fill that void.
Audiences
Building buzz about the attractions and activities in Washington County is an important component of
the WCVA’s marketing efforts. It is increasingly important to build buzz locally, and the audience consists
of all of the aforementioned audiences with the addition of:
          Residents in the Greater Portland/Portland Metro region (within 50-mile radius)
          Media within a 50-mile radius of Portland
MARKETING THE WCVA
The WCVA’s primary mission is to increase the
number of visitors to Washington County. This goal
is not possible without the support of our tourism
partners: stakeholders, chambers of commerce,
destination marketing operators and other
industry-related organizations and businesses.
Reaching out to these local audiences is crucial in
tourism development, and it is necessary to create
local awareness of the role the WCVA plays in
building relationships and tourism product.

ADVERTISING & MEDIA OUTREACH                                                                                 25
Only a small portion of the WCVA’s advertising budget is spent on in-market advertising, and it is limited
to ads placed in chamber of commerce directories. The relationships between the local chambers and
the WCVA are important, and ads focus on messages about the economic benefits of tourism, as well as
how the WCVA is an additional resource for the business community.
The WCVA remains in close contact with local reporters, and the organization has become a resource for
reporters who want to provide tourism related angles to their articles. As advocates for Washington
County’s tourism industry, the WCVA has become subject matter experts on issues affecting the tourism
industry, such as the benefits of tourism, new attractions and tourism development. PR efforts include
story idea pitches, press release distribution and invitations to media events.

WEBSITE & E-NEWSLETTERS
The WCVA communicates with its industry-related audiences via two primary vehicles: industry website
and industry e-newsletter. Invitations, opportunities, WCVA-related announcements and other
newsworthy messages are often disseminated via mass e-mail blasts. In the next year, the WCVA will
concentrate on ways to improve how information is distributed and to increase the relevance of
messages included on the industry site and in e-newsletters.
Industry Website, yourwaytoplay.com
The industry site contains various pieces of information, including research statistics, benefits of the
stakeholder program, and the WCVA press room. Although, a widget for the WCVA’s Twitter feed has
been added, content has remained static in previous years, with the addition of few new articles.
In 2011, a minor overhaul of the site will be implemented, with new features to be added:
        Industry blog: Primary source of industry-related news, information, opportunities, and other
        announcements
        Statistical reports: Semiannual progress reports of the WCVA’s sales and marketing efforts
        Links to published articles: Article links to published stories that were made possible by the
        WCVA’s public relations and media outreach efforts
        Advertising gallery: A photo gallery of the WCVA’s advertising efforts
Industry E-Newsletters
Bimonthly industry newsletters will be distributed to stakeholders and industry partners. To increase
readership, there will be some changes implemented in 2011 that will improve the design and
functionality of the newsletter. Content also will be revised and new guidelines to be written and
implemented to make the information more relevant and valuable to partners. Changes include:
        New template to be designed
        Increased use of video
        Greater emphasis on how tourism benefits the community and the economy
        Reintroduction of tools, tips and ideas for stakeholders
        Easier access to statistical reports
STAKEHOLDER DEVELOPMENT MARKETING
In September 2007, the WCVA transitioned from the member-based model to a stakeholder model.
Today, the organization has more than 483 stakeholders, which are comprised of tourism-related
businesses throughout the county.
One of the WCVA’s goals is to strengthen the stakeholder program, which includes recruiting new
stakeholders and increasing engagement and involvement of existing stakeholders. In order to
accomplish these goals, a marketing program will be put into place starting in 2011.

                         Stakeholder Development and Marketing Goal:
         Expand the WCVA’s stakeholder program and its effectiveness, increase the number
         of new stakeholders, improve the level of engagement with existing stakeholders and
               increase attendance at industry/stakeholder events by improving current
                                                                                                                       26
          communication vehicles and creating new ways to communicate with stakeholders

Currently, the primary communication pieces to stakeholders are the industry e-newsletter and industry
site. Occasionally, targeted e-mails with promotional opportunities, invitations and other news are sent;
however, the open rate of these electronic communications remains relatively low (approx. 21 percent).
To increase the impact of the WCVA’s messages, improve the level of engagement and to create a sense
of community among our stakeholders, a mix of print and electronic communication vehicles will be
developed.

                                                 SOCIAL MEDIA
                                                 As explained on the previous page, the WCVA will make
                                                 improvements to the existing industry website and industry
                                                 newsletters, making these important tools more accessible
                                                 and user-friendly for our partners.
                                                 Industry Blog
                                                 To increase the quality and quantity of relevant information
                                                 disseminated to our partners, an industry blog will be
                                                 launched in 2011. Separate from the consumer blog, which is
    The Westside Spotlight program, which        written for visitors and potential visitors, the industry blog will
      launched in 2009, is an important          be used to communicate directly to stakeholders and our
 networking tool for stakeholders and industry
                   partners.
                                                 tourism partners.

Adding this crucial tool will enable the WCVA to communicate more frequently with stakeholders and
partners, while allowing them to comment on posts, thus opening up conversations among stakeholders.
In addition, the ability to post articles more frequently allows for the inclusion of more in-depth and
strategic content in the industry e-newsletter.
The blog will be used to disseminate:
        WCVA news and announcements
        Promotional opportunities
        Tourism-related news
        Tips, tools and resources
        Other relevant topics that are beneficial to stakeholders and tourism partners

Facebook Marketing
In 2010, the WCVA created a Stakeholder Group Page on Facebook to create a sense of community and
allow stakeholders to communicate directly with each other. In early 2011, a plan will be created,
addressing the purpose, developing content and devising a way to promote the page to stakeholders and
encourage participation.
MARKETING COLLATERAL
Stakeholder recruitment is an integral function of the WCVA. Currently, no updated printed materials
exist, as the majority of the recruitment has taken place online. In early 2011, a Stakeholder Kit will be
developed, and will include3:
         One-sheet explaining the benefits of partnership
         New stakeholder sign-up form
         One-sheet explaining the Westside Spotlight program
         Staff directory listing everyone’s roles and responsibilities
         Current visitor guide
         Welcome letter from the WCVA president and CEO
         Copy of the Strategic Marketing Plan

Additional WCVA-branded and designed collateral includes a (both print and online) for stakeholders to
                                                                                                             27
update their contact and business listings information for the WCVA website and visitor guide.

3   Some materials also will be used for other stakeholder and industry events.


RESEARCH STUDIES
As a destination marketing organization, it is essential that the WCVA conduct research to study visitor
behaviors, wants and needs, as well as to evaluate the success of its marketing programs. In previous
years, the WCVA embarked on various research studies, including a limited-audience intercept study and
a tourism spending study. Current research, which is near completion, includes an agritourism barrier
study (a white paper is in development) and a website conversion study (findings to be announced in
early 2011).

Research studies are funded through the WCVA’s annual Strategic Investment Fund, which is an annual
investment fund for tourism development programs and projects, and to establish and implement
destination research studies, including a visitor profile study, to measure and evaluate tourism in
Washington County.

In 2011, and continuing each fiscal year, the WCVA will conduct research studies, which will paint a
better picture of visitors to Washington County, which will, in turn, help the WCVA develop marketing
strategies in an effort to grow tourism visitation and spending.

           Visitor Profile Study: Comprehensive survey of visitors to Washington County, compilation of
           visitors wants and needs, motivators to travel, and activities/attractions visited
           Washington County Brand Study: A comprehensive look into the effectiveness of Washington
           County’s brand and marketing, measured by focus groups
           Competitive Analysis Study: Analytical and statistical comparison of similar destinations,
           uncovering Washington County’s strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities, when
           compared to other destinations

Additional research studies may also include:
        Communications audit – to gauge the effectiveness of the WCVA’s communications and
        marketing messages
          Follow-up website conversion study – to gauge the effectiveness of the WCVA’s website
TIMELINE
The following is a timeline of the action items, as listed throughout the Marketing Plan.

FY2010-11
Update and Enhance Current Marketing Efforts
    Reintroduce the ―Come Play Your Way‖ tag line and incorporate it into all marketing materials
    Incorporate seasonal and niche-market destination messages into new and existing (updated)
    advertising and marketing collateral
    Improve usability of the WCVA website by incorporating new elements and pages (a complete
    overhaul of the website may be completed in FY 2011-12)
    Enhance social media efforts by including recognized social media icons on all ads and marketing   28
    materials
    Rebuild e-newsletter templates
    Build the video library and create new video for use on website and social media platforms

New Projects
    Produce a Stakeholder Development Kit
    Create an industry blog
    Produce a wine brochure
    Produce a golf one-sheet
    Create branded welcome letters for sports, group and meetings markets
    Complete visitor profile study

FY 2011-12
Update and Enhance Current Marketing Efforts
    Revise and rebrand the meetings one-sheet for meeting planners
    Update existing one-sheets (created in 2008-2009) for both consumer and group markets
    Publish 2012 Visitor Guide

New Projects
    Produce a weddings brochure (to serve both the consumer and wedding planner market)
    Produce a comprehensive Travel Planners/Facilities Guide to serve the group and travel planning
    market segments (group tour, weddings, meetings, events and sports events)
    Produce logo promotional items
    Produce sports-specific one-sheets tailored to key sports markets
    Develop a cycling/biking marketing plan
    Develop a birding marketing plan
    Complete a Washington County/WCVA brand study
    Complete a competitive analysis study

FY 2012-13
Update and Enhance Current Marketing Efforts
    Publish Visitor Guide
    Update existing one-sheets (created in 2008-2009) for both consumer and group markets

New Projects
    Develop an equestrian marketing and media outreach plan
SUMMARY
OVERALL MARKETING GOAL
    Increase annually the number of visitors to Washington County, with an emphasis on overnight
    stays in the county

OVERALL MARKETING OBJECTIVE
    Increase consumer awareness of Washington County as a tourism destination and/or its key
    attractors: wineries, nature, golf and shopping
    Build positive awareness by promoting Washington County’s wine, nature, shopping and sports           29
    offerings
    Increase the number of visitors to Washington County by creating an integrated marketing
    campaign positioning Washington County as a desirable destination for leisure, business and
    group travel, as well as for weddings and events

TACTICS/STRATEGIES
    Drive year-round visitation by expanding marketing seasonal messages to targeted and
    segmented audiences
    Reach new and existing audiences via continued use of traditional media, and use emerging
    media to reach new audiences
    Position Washington County as a key tourism destination in the Pacific Northwest to leisure
    consumers in general interest and niche interest publications
    Position Washington County as a potential destination site in industry and trade publications (i.e.
    sports marketing, meeting planners, group travel, etc.)
    Showcase upcoming events

DESIRED OUTCOMES (MEASUREABLES)
    Increased traffic to WCVA website and length of time spend on the site
    Increased requests for visitor information (i.e. visitor guides) resulting from ad placements
    Increased engagement on social media platforms (i.e. increase in followers)
    Increased number of subscribers to the WCVA’s consumer electronic newsletter
    Increased readership of the WCVA’s blog
    Increased number of articles about or including Washington County (direct result of PR efforts)
    Increased number of articles written about tourism’s impact on the local community
    Increased number of request for leads and bookings of group tours, meeting and events
    Increased number of stakeholders

EVALUATION
    Success and achievement of the desired outcomes listed above will be measured semi-annually
    by year-to-year comparisons, based on already established criteria
Integrated Marketing Work Plan                                                                                                        Appendix A

        Advertising               Public/Media Relations               Website/Blog                   Social Media                   e-Newsletter
                                    Pitch story ideas to
 Create annually (by fiscal                                                                        Increase the level of
                                 publications/websites on           Enrich website with                                         Continue to produce a
  year) a comprehensive                                                                              engagement with
                                the advertising calendar to     frequently changing content                                    bimonthly newsletter for
advertising plan targeted to                                                                   consumers by responding to
                                     provide additional           to enforce seasonal key                                       consumers, reinforcing
  all of the WCVA’s target                                                                     comments and ―retweeting‖
                                  complementary editorial                messages                                              seasonal key messages
           markets                                                                                and ―sharing‖ content
                                   content (added value)
                                Respond to local, regional,     Change imagery throughout      Provide detailed information   Create an editorial calendar
Produce seasonal ads that
                                 national and international        website to reflect the       to reinforce other seasonal     biannually to ensure that
   enforce seasonal key
                                 media leads with relevant      seasons (i.e. wintery images        key messages in the       content is well thought out,
        messages
                                        story ideas                in the winter months)                marketplace            researched and presented
 Place ads in relevant and                                        Update blog consistently                                         Create variety in the
 appropriate publications—      Reach out to travel bloggers         (based on editorial        Create a weekly editorial     newsletters by incorporating
 print and online—reaching       with relevant and original      calendar) to keep it fresh     calendar to capitalize on     video and photography (i.e.
 out to key audiences and         content and story ideas         and for favorable search           tourism trends              slideshows) that better
        demographics                                             engine optimization (SEO)                                      show off the destination
                                  Work with Travel Oregon
                                                                                                    Use social media to
                                and Travel Portland in their
                                                                Research new technologies        reinforce the position of     Increase the relevancy of
   Include strong calls to       targeted media outreach
                                                                  and competitor sites to        Washington County as a          content in the industry
action on each ad, including     (via the RCMP), including
                                                                 continually enrich website       tourism destination by         newsletter, making it a
 providing special URLs to           hosting media and
                                                                 with new pages, tolls and                 sharing                  valuable tool for
   track success of each        participating in media visits
                                                                   compelling visual and           news/magazine/blog          stakeholders and industry
         campaign               and familiarization tours for
                                                                      written content                articles about the                 partners
                                   inclusion in regionally
                                                                                                         destination
                                       themed articles
Include social media tools in
                                                                  Incorporate the WCVA’s       Use social media to engage     Increase the use of video in
     each ad to increase        Invite and host individual
                                                                  social media and video          consumers to create         both consumer and industry
      engagement with           media familiarization tours
                                                                  efforts into the website        promotion or contest                newsletters
         consumers

				
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