What Business Did We Have?
As COVID-19 cleaved the travel and tourism industry, Sacramento was among the many large cities most vulnerable to the prohibition of meetings and events and strict stay-at-home ordinances in California.
Early on, California assigned a four-tiered, color-coded tracking system, which presently allows for the economy and civic life to operate under certain restrictions based on the color (or COVID threat level).
As public health orders aimed to safely restrict gatherings, the state’s capital city, like so many others, adjusted to the closing and limitations of hotels, event centers, restaurants and near-countless businesses and operations.
While the world seemed to be “going to hell in a handbasket” and cities became ghost town-esque, we as marketers grappled with a question in the beginning: What business do we have in actual marketing right now?
And, that question went far beyond the professional sense of the word. With restrictions like limited indoor occupancy, face mask and other personal protective equipment (PPE) mandates and six-plus feet of distance—not to mention the mental and emotional toll everyone had been facing—what business did we have? How could we help DMOs relay their destination’s value in this pandemic era?
It turns out, the answer to this was the essence of exactly why we’re in business: to help DMO/CVB teams throughout the country, and now, to be able to do so in the most chaotic period that our modern-day industry has seen.
Here’s Our Business: How We Helped Visit Sacramento
- During one of the most significant times in destination marketing, we launched a recovery campaign—a damn good one.
This was a robust campaign and one with razor-sharp intent. We focused on Sacramento’s renovated and expanded convention center opening, which would be revitalized, brand-spanking new and unaffected by COVID-19 elements.
Our team brought health and safety information together with a designed safety seal that Visit Sacramento implemented across businesses in the community, bridging the gap between the campaign and the local implementation.
We also researched, wrote and designed a comprehensive recovery guide from scratch as a key piece of content from Visit Sacramento. The guide includes answers to planners’ frequently asked questions, tips, tools and in-depth meeting solutions.
- We didn’t present the destination behind a rose-tinted lens.
Instead, we found the good. Our agency worked with Visit Sacramento to find and relay the competitive advantages within the destination. Using these specific and unique selling points throughout a recovery campaign launch, we showed how Sacramento was prepared and moving forward for post-pandemic group business.
- We went for colorful, retro-modern, bold and eye-catching designs.
In a time when parroted content and creative seemed to inundate the industry marketplace, our design team thought boldly and differently—creating campaign assets that took a fresh approach.
- We did some extensive, internal co-strategizing.
It takes a village…and our little enterprising agency village came together to develop tactical, targeted marketing materials for social posts, ads, a lead-capture page and more. These materials would drive awareness for the convention center reopening and destination overall, and encourage recovery guide downloads, website traffic and outreach to the Visit Sacramento team.
- We aimed for value and peace of mind.
Leveraging Sacramento’s unique selling points and destination attributes with our dynamic content, design and media strategy, we were able to provide valuable resources for Visit Sacramento—and, hopefully, peace of mind and confidence for meeting and event planners.
The 2021 Recovery Campaign
- The recovery guide has become an integral piece of content for Visit Sacramento, with 60+ downloads to date.
- The recovery campaign has helped strengthen relationships with Visit Sacramento and industry partners because local businesses and hoteliers were featured throughout.
- The campaign continues to create awareness for and interest in future meetings, conventions and business travel.
To learn more about how we’re helping destination marketing organizations, reach out to see how we can work with you.
“Kerrie was initiated into the Digital Edge family in 2016 and has loved every minute of working with her team ever since. With nearly a decade of industry experience, she oversees the content strategy and copywriting for the company and its clients.”