As the agency of record for The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, MMGY Global was tasked with developing a fully integrated marketing campaign that would generate awareness of the Florida destination, increase overall visitation (including U.S. out-of-state, in-state and international) and increase bed tax revenue to 3.5% year over year.
After a period of research and discovery that included identifying target audiences (adults 35–54; HHI average of $106,200) and niche markets (bridal, fishing and outdoors), all of MMGY Global’s channels, including account service, creative, PR, social, content, eCRM and experiential marketing teams, worked with the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau to develop annual goals that would form the basis for an annual media plan and align integrated channel marketing strategies.
MMGY Global started with the development of a brand marketing campaign, which included the launch of the new brand for The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel. The new campaign was born of a new brand platform that entices consumers to “Find Your Island” and promises them that from the moment they arrive on The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, they will feel connected to the people and unspoiled nature around them.
In addition to the television and radio spots, MMGY Global created and coordinated the “Find Your Island” print campaign inclusive of newspaper placements in Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis and New York. The newspaper campaign increased visitations by market for the winter season and increased bed tax revenue.
Under the brand’s media plan, innovative digital media units – which reinforced and further expanded the brand image introduced up to that point via traditional media sources – were deployed to encourage user engagement and interaction. Most recently, MMGY Global created and deployed rich media units for fishing and shelling and launched a Lonely Planet video flash campaign.
In addition to enhancing the destination’s brand marketing campaign via media efforts, MMGY Global also launched a new responsive microsite to house content about the Island Hopper Songwriter Festival. Summer promotions landing pages were also designed and launched to further drive awareness and engagement.
As a result of the PR team's ongoing media relations efforts targeting national, in-state and key feeder markets, the destination has been featured in various top publications, such as The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, am New York, Forbes, CNN Money, The Huffington Post, ABC News, Yahoo! Travel, Budget Travel, SmarterTravel Media and Refinery29, among others.
MMGY PR has also provided support for various destination initiatives, such as the inaugural Island Hopper Songwriter Fest in September 2014. As a result of executing a targeted media relations campaign touting the destination and its first-ever singer-songwriter festival, MMGY PR secured coverage of The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel in USA TODAY, Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, South Florida Sun Sentinel and Orlando Sentinel, among others.
In addition to managing social media accounts for The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, MMGY Global's social team launched the “Snow for Sand” social campaign. The “Snow for Sand” campaign was designed to promote the American Sand Sculpting Championship while inspiring current and potential travelers and enthusiasts of The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel to book spring vacations to the destination, escaping their current cold environments. Fans were encouraged to upload their snow sculptures to “trade snow for sand” in a Facebook sweepstakes.
The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel email marketing campaigns include monthly e-newsletter distributions and ad hoc promotions sent to more than 400,000 subscribers who directly opt in via offline and online sources, such as FortMyers-Sanibel.com. Also, ongoing triggered messaging is integrated with the website to provide additional confirmation messaging. The emails continue to outperform travel industry email metric standards on a quarterly basis.
As a result of the integrated campaign, The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel has increased its bed tax FYTD through May by 14.1%. Additionally, website traffic has increased 28% FYTD. The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel boasts a 19% eCRM open rate with a click-through rate of 5%. Overall, the creative campaign continues to generate positive awareness of the Florida destination, increasing overall visitation.