A Google search on collaborative marketing shows 15,800,000 results. Top search results include scholarly articles on “A Collaborative Approach to Marketing” and “Collaborative Destination Marketing” and additional articles from Forbes.com and HuffingtonPost.com. Each article has a slightly different angle on the practice and importance of collaborative marketing. One thing remains constant throughout each, when companies come together with a common goal, what they achieve will be greater than the sum of its parts.
We manage several collaborative marketing programs, and have seen first-hand that it is effective. The following destination marketing programs are worth noting as proof that 1+1 is greater than 2:
- Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council PR Program is a collaboration of the 14 counties in the Finger Lakes Vacation region. The PR program started in 2010 as a way to increase marketing efforts for the Finger Lakes and draw more attention to the region as a whole. The 2014 Regional Public Relations program amassed a total of 2.8 billion impressions for the year and garnered 212 total travel articles in publications such as USA Today, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Results like these could not be accomplished alone!
- A Welcome Surprise is another large-scale collaborative marketing initiative that encourages and entices Canadian visitors to explore deeper into New York State. The program showcases a unique collection of attractions and experiences that are all comfortably within driving distance from the Canadian border. The program’s partners include accommodations, shopping destinations, family and four-season recreational activities, communities and tourist-friendly businesses. Many of the partners offer discounts for Canadian visitors. The 2014/2015 program included print inserts in the Toronto Star, 62 1-hour radio shows, billboards, social media, digital marketing, responsive website and public relations.
- Ski Finger Lakes is a collaboration between four Cortland County area ski resorts: Greek Peak Mountain Resort, Labrador Mountain, Song Mountain Resort, and Toggenburg Winter Sports Center. The program promotes the unique differences between each resort and their proximity to each other while encouraging people to visit this prime Finger Lakes ski country. Started in the 2013/2014 ski season, the program expanded in the 2014/2015 season to include outreach to residents of Pennsylvania to tap into the overnight traveler market.
- The Campaign for the Letchworth State Park Nature Center is a public/private partnership with plans to erect a $6.1 million Nature Center on Letchworth State Park grounds. The result of nearly 5 years of planning, the Letchworth Nature Center will be a 5,000-square-foot, year-round, sustainable facility that will offer educational and interpretive programming to the 750,000 visitors that Letchworth welcomes through its gates each year. The fundraising efforts are being spearheaded by the Letchworth Nature Center Campaign Committee, and include representatives of the Genesee Regional Parks Commission, the Open Space Institute’s Alliance for New York State Parks, and the Natural Heritage Trust. Private donations are being matched 2 to 1 by public funds. The campaign has raised $1.7 million dollars in private funds towards a $2 million goal, and will be matched by $4 million in state funds.
- The Haunted History Trail features haunted attractions from almost every region of New York State. Haunted dining, tours, and overnights are available on the trail, with many of the attractions tying back to New York’s local history. The collaborative marketing program includes a robust website, social media, a trail map, PR, digital ad campaign and a group tour sales program. The trail was established in 2013 and has grown to include 27 NYS Tourism Promotion Agencies representing 10 vacation regions across the State.