The campaign is geared to bring tourists to the region during the critical fall foliage period, and highlights lodging packages and events in the region, including the Vermont Life Wine and Harvest Festival. That event is also a collaboration between the chamber and VDTM, which owns and publishes Vermont Life magazine.
The marketing campaign will help drive business to the area, according to the chamber’s executive director. “It is important for several reasons” said Adam Grinold. “It’s important for the valley because we will have $25,000 being spent to encourage visits to the valley. In a year when every business is struggling, one of the first cuts is marketing. So, the state is stepping in with these funds and promoting a landing page with strong Mount Snow valley presence.”
The program was put together by Steve Cook, deputy commissioner of VDTM. He said the collaborative marketing campaign is important to stretch marketing dollars in a tight economy, and to help get the valley back on its feet after the double whammy of Tropical Storm Irene and a winter season with little snow.
“Irene hit hard,” said Cook. “Businesses in the valley really felt the impact. We felt they need a boost for this coming fall foliage season.”
Grinold echoed Cook’s sentiment about lending a hand. “For many businesses, this is the acknowledgement that they were impacted by the flood. For a business in Dover, that lost 90% of its September income, that had no physical damage, they will finally be acknowledged as deserving of help. While only $25,000 in marketing, it is at least an acknowledgement from the state that they were affected.”
This is not the first time the state and the local chamber have partnered. There’s the Vermont Life Wine and Harvest Festival, which is returning for the fifth time. Last year’s event had to be canceled, thanks to Irene, but this time out it’s one of the featured events.
“We’re really excited that the event is going on this year,” said Cook. He added that the joint marketing is nothing new. “We’ve done other programs in the past as well. We have had support from the towns and Mount Snow. Typically, we have had a campaign every year for the area. This year we want to push events as much as we can. Events bring in people from outside Vermont.”
“Part of it will be pushing discounted midweek packages,” added Grinold. The marketing campaign is completely digital and will be focused on the Boston and eastern Massachusetts areas.
“We saw an opportunity for some market growth,” said Cook. “We though we’d try some other geographic locations and keep some good tabs on it. Digital advertising lets us track it very closely.”
Ads on news and media sites redirect web surfers who click on them to a landing page on the state website. On that page are links to the chamber website, lodging packages, and events around the area. The page and the digital ads were created by staff at VDTM, with input from the chamber.
According to Grinold, the chamber has received some matching funds from local businesses. “We have received just over $1,000 matches. We really want every business to participate and in doing so acknowledging the importance of working together to help ourselves. This marketing initiative is critical now and going forward.”
The chamber has also doubled its own marketing budget for the coming year, and has an eye on creating a marketing fund for area businesses to take advantage of last minute, discounted advertising placements.
For Cook and the state agency, it’s all about extending the marketing reach of Vermont. “To be able to leverage dollars is so critical,” he said. “Vermont is a small state but carries a strong brand identity. We certainly see the value in that. Adam, the chamber, the towns, and Mount Snow have all been fantastic to work with. It’s a fantastic collaboration, and really important to us.”
Anyone wishing to contribute to the marketing initiative should contact Grinold at (802) 464-3388. The page can be found at www.vermontvacation.com/mtsnow.