Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association
BACVA Launches Comprehensive Campaign to Reach New Markets
Major Initiative Incorporates Multifaceted Marketing Approach
(Baltimore, MD) - The Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association (BACVA) has launched a new advertising campaign designed to generate more overnight leisure visits to Baltimore. A new series of ads is running in cities identified as having an untapped market of potential visitors. Primary target markets include southern New England to Ohio and Virginia to the Carolinas.
Historically, BACVA has focused its advertising on regional cities within a close drive or the day-trip market, but with travel slowing nationwide and more destinations cutting back on advertising spending, BACVA is casting a wider net in a strategic effort to extend its market reach. The integrated marketing and public relations campaign is running in cities where research by Ruf Strategic Solutions shows its residents to have the propensity to travel to Baltimore. These are potential visitors who, for the most part, know very little about Baltimore.
"With many cities cutting back on advertising, now is the perfect time for us to get the attention of people who have never been here and, ultimately, entice them to visit by educating them on everything there is to do in Baltimore," says Tom Noonan, BACVA president & CEO. "It's a bold move and one that will no doubt pay off in the long run with a new pool of visitors."
The new market advertising initially runs through July and includes print, Web and online components. The ads focus on Baltimore's arts and culture, history, and family fun. The theme of the ads, "Expect the Unexpected," tested very well with focus groups in Columbus, Ohio. Respondents, many of whom knew little about Baltimore, said the ads and messages would lead them to visit. The ads are reinforced with testimonial videos by our museum and attraction partners that are included in banner advertising and in contextually based online key word searches. Print ads will run in magazines that include Better Homes and Gardens, Family Circle, Ladies Home Journal, Cooking Light, Food & Wine, and several AAA publications. This is the first time BACVA has integrated a multi-tiered communication platform in its advertising.
In addition to the campaign in the new markets, BACVA has expanded its group tour program. For the first time in years, BACVA has developed a comprehensive group tour marketing campaign to support sales efforts that also include outreach at industry tradeshows. The ads are running throughout the year and target three tour segments - general group travel, student groups and multicultural tours. They are in publications including the American Bus Association's Destinations, the National Tour Association's Courier, the African American Conference's Outbound, and the Student Youth Tour Association's Student Travel. The ads complement the new leisure overnight marketing campaign and include an enhanced group tour section with more content on the Web site www.baltimore.org.
The Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association (BACVA) - the official sales and marketing organization for Baltimore that generates economic benefits for stakeholders through the attraction of convention, group and leisure visitors. For more information, please visit www.baltimore.org.
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