Co-op Advertising to Promote the MRV

As I connect with local business owners I have noticed a growing desire to develop ways to work collectively to encourage greater visitation to the Mad River Valley. Your Chamber of Commerce has been listening and we have come up with an idea.

There is no shortage of advertising opportunities to choose from. We see our role at the chamber as an organizer and facilitator. That we have more power working together than apart. We also believe that a well thought out, consistent plan with clear goals is worth investing time and resource into. Think of this as a “buyers club” for MRV advertising and a way to leverage our marketing investments.

We are already working together in the social media realm. We have offered our members an Instagram Basics Workshop which was so popular it spawned a follow-up Instagram Forum featuring some of the MRV’s social media power users. The Chamber is also encouraging social media engagement among the business community and to utilize common hashtags across social media platforms such as; #madrivervalley, #shopmrv, eatmrv, #skimrv, #mrvtrails, etc…

We implore our community to “Buy Local” but it is vital that we also “Buy Local” when we purchase advertising. There are key local advertising vehicles that we should support on a number of levels. Many of them are targeted directly at key regional markets upon which the MRV depends. They include The Valley Reporter, WDEV-Radio Vermont, Seven Days, as well as seasonal opportunities like the MRV Resort Guide, the Mad River Valley Discovery Map, Vermont Ski & Ride, VT Sport Today, and Sugarbush Magazine among others. Not to mention digital options like VTDigger, VT Department of Tourism, the VT Chamber.

Many of these advertising vehicles lend themselves to a cooperative approach. Your chamber would like to use our collective power to organize an effort to offer members the chance to work together to develop a coordinated, cooperative advertising campaign under the Mad River Valley banner.

The idea is to plan in a way that participants can clearly define their goals and budget in the most effective and time efficient way possible. If we are going to embark on this effort, it is incumbent upon us to do proper planning so that there are clear expectations in regard to target markets and strategy. For marketing programs to be effective they need to be a sustained effort over time.

The first step is to determine the interest level. Potential participants will be asked to consider the various vehicles offered and then commit to a pre-planned program. By doing so we can avoid doing haphazard, poorly timed, one-off, shotgun efforts that have limited value.

Below you will find a few suggested campaigns and a rough conceptual plan that we as a business community can use as a basis for discussion. I have reached out to the various outlets to get potential proposals that we can discuss. Hopefully the included pricing and schedules will enable businesses to view it all in a concrete way and have the ability to properly budget.  There are clearly more vehicle ideas  than we could possibly fund in the short-term but it will be a good way to start the conversation, gauge the interest among the business community and to get a sense of which vehicles resonate most.

If you have an interest in participating in this initiative please let us know so we can fill you in on the next steps.

The Basics for a Potential MRV Co-op Advertising Buyers Club

Hyper-Local Campaign
Aimed at the local and visitor market that is already here.

Valley Reporter: See Proposal
A series of full page co-op ads of various size opportunities scheduled periodically (bi-weekly or monthly) throughout the year. Focusing on a Buy Local Theme.

WDEV
A regularly scheduled flight of ads scheduled periodically (bi-weekly or monthly) throughout the year. Focusing on a Buy Local theme rotating a focus on businesses who participate.

 

Mad River Valley Discovery Maps
These local maps are highly visible in the MRV , Waterbury, Stowe and throughout VT.

Mad River Resort Guide
Our goal is to support and promote the businesses in the areas we serve by providing visitors with accessible, enjoyable information about things to do, places to go, where to eat & where to stay while visiting some of the most beautiful locations in the world.

 

Day Tripper Campaign
Aimed at the local and visitor market focusing on Chittenden and Addison Counties along with  Central VT.

Rutland Herald – Times Argus
A series of prominent co-op ads of various size opportunities scheduled periodically (bi-weekly or monthly) throughout the year. Focusing on excursions to the MRV

Seven Days
A series of prominent co-op ads of various size opportunities scheduled periodically (bi-weekly or monthly) throughout the year. Focusing on excursions to the MRV.

Vermont Sports Today  and VT Ski & Ride
A series of full page co-op ads of various size opportunities scheduled periodically (monthly or seasonally) throughout the year. Focusing on excursions to the MRV

 

The Point Radio 
A periodic flight of advertising on a radio network with outstanding reach in our key local markets.

VPR
Potential long-term underwriting campaign.  VPR has a statewide on-air and digital platform  with over 200,000 listeners with outstanding demographics.  Clearly a vehicle to consider due to the demographics and geographical reach.

Other Potential Cooperative Opportunities

Vermont Attractions Association Map
The VAA is a statewide member trade association that supports and strengthens individual attraction businesses, leveraging this collective voice to influence and enhance the Vermont tourism industry. They produce the State of VT Maps available in brochure racks and welcome centers around the state.

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