March 15, 2018 Megan Erickson

Turning a Location into a Destination

As a full-service marketing agency, we have our hands in a lot of pies. Marketing as a whole may sound straightforward, but the marketing needs of, say, a small business are worlds away from that of a university, and marketing for a destination is another matter altogether. Even within the specific niche of destination marketing, no two locations are alike, and each place has unique strengths and pain-points that we take into account when developing a strategy.

We’ve had the pleasure of rising to the challenge for a number of destinations who needed something different. From the small town of Newcomb, to founding the Glens Falls Collaborative, we’ve created innovative and exciting strategies that fit the community they’re designed for.

Town of Newcomb

Newcomb, New York, in the heart of the Adirondacks — a geographic location that you can’t help but feel when passing through. The natural beauty is unparalleled, and with minimal cell service, there’s no excuse not to unplug and appreciate it. From the distinguished Great Camp Santanoni to the endless wilderness and waterways, what the town lacks in size it makes up for tenfold in appeal.

Newcomb’s goal? More lodging. While Newcomb is a perfect destination for nature lovers, it had previously been accessible only to campers. The town wanted to build up their infrastructure, and we knew we could help them. What they needed was to establish a brand, market their strengths, and create the traction needed to grow.

In 2013 Trampoline stepped in with a new look for the town and a campaign supported by focus groups, research, and rigorous internal critiques, designed to bring in visitors looking for a classic Adirondack experience. Hike Newcomb, Bike Newcomb, Kayak Newcomb, and Ski Newcomb all represented an invitation for an adventure or permanent lifestyle.

Our plan worked. Today the town has 30 more beds after several inns and lodges opened to accommodate hikers and outdoor lovers, drawn to the area by a coordinated marketing campaign. The Lake Harris Lodge is a new resturant under construction in town. Any location can become a destination!

St. Lawrence County

St. Lawrence County is the largest county geographically in the state of New York, and has the diversity of landscapes and activities to reflect that size. From the northwest Adirondacks and the St. Lawrence River, to the Crane School of Music and the Remington Art Museum, nature and culture thrive in this North Country region.

Why does a region with this much to offer need to invest in destination marketing services? The answer is simple — while St. Lawrence County is big, New York State is bigger, and information about the tourism potential of the region wasn’t spreading past county lines.

St. Lawrence County was, for the most part, undiscovered.

We made this problem into a promise, branding the county with the tagline, “Life Undiscovered.” One refreshed logo and style guide later, we took the campaign to social media.


Social media is an essential part of any destination marketing plan. You can have the best branding in the world, but if no one is seeing it, what’s the point? A recent study uncovered that customers spend an average of 20-40% more with brands who interact with them on social media, and with 3.03 billion active social media users across platforms, the potential for brand growth is staggering.

With smart marketing strategy you can make a small budget go a long way toward your goals. The key is identifying your target audience, customizing a content plan, and using your marketing dollars strategically.

How’d it turn out for St. Lawrence County? The 195.6% increase in Facebook fans and 946.3% increase in Instagram followers show a promising trend for tourism numbers in 2018.

Geneseo

Geneseo, a village in Western New York, is known for a few things — SUNY Geneseo, Letchworth State Park, and a beer by a similar name. While these things are all well and good, the SUNY Geneseo admissions team wanted to communicate that Geneseo as more than a college, it is a destination in and of itself.

Geneseo didn’t need a new brand, a social media pitch, or signage. What they needed was a tool that they could physically bring with them to college fairs and high schools to show students (and parents!) that life at Geneseo is more than walking to and from class.

And thus, the Geneseo Destination Magazine was born. An oversized, full-color magazine with pages covering everything from the shops on Main Street to the ins and outs of Rochester’s coolest neighborhoods, the Destination Magazine spoke to the culture of the region, giving students a taste of life as a Knight.

Glens Falls Collaborative

Created by a small group of retailers and resturants, the Glens Falls Merchant Collaborative was formed to market the downtown as a destination for shopping, dining, entertainment, and culture.

Creative campaigns designed to drive consumers to the city included specific profiles of entrepreneurs and the brands that could be found downtown.

A series of events that were consistently marketed brought visitors downtown during slow periods, and called further attention to the merchant outreach efforts.

Momentum continues to grow for the organization, as does its membership.

Go North

Go North is a brand, an invitation, and an itinerary launched in May 2017, designed for the international group travel market to take travelers through our part of the state via packaged day trips.

It was produced for The Wild Center in collaboration with the Adirondack Regional Tourism Council, Warren County Tourism, the Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau, and I Love NY. Our role in making Go North come alive was creating the graphics to accompany the different stops along the way.

Warren County Tourism

For this client, the numbers speak for themselves. Check out our blog post of the success of social media marketing for America’s Original Vacation.

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