Single Publication – 4 or more pages | Travel Manitoba
Purpose of Project
Travel Manitoba replaced its annual print publication, previously called a Manitoba Vacation Planner, with a new publication that was aligned with the organization’s goal of being the premier destination content publisher in the province and across Canada: the Travel Manitoba Inspiration Guide. The publication’s purpose is twofold: a revenue generator through ad sales and destination marketing tactic.
Effectiveness / Meeting Objectives
The new Travel Manitoba Inspiration Guide was an immediate success with advertising partners buying in, literally and figuratively, to the new concept. More ad units were sold than the previous year’s iteration of the publication (98 as compared to 78 in 2016). And the variety and diversity of partnership options saw the Inspiration Guide increase total revenues by over 17% (up from $111,732 to $132,900).
Unsolicited feedback on social media was very positive, with comments like, “Travel Manitoba is stepping up their game” and “Not only is it beautifully presented, but it summarized so much of what Manitoba has to offer and I found my Manitoban pride growing with every page”.
Focus group testing in Minneapolis, a market in which Travel Manitoba is active but did not distribute the Inspiration Guide, indicated that participants were highly impressed with the quality and content of the Inspiration Guide. Participants further expressed that the publication would be an effective marketing tool to promote the range of Manitoba’s tourism experiences and attractions.
Challenges & Changes Made
With research showing that consumers are increasingly ad-adverse, the strategy for this publication was to enhance the readers’ experience through content. Travel Manitoba offered its advertising partners a new approach, by replacing traditional ads with editorial and image features. These paid opportunities were seamlessly integrated into the rest of the publication, while still allowing the advertiser to tell and, more importantly, to show readers what is different about their attraction/destination/experience through engaging content that resonates.
The guides were distributed to target markets in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Northwestern Ontario through a targeted direct mail list established under the following criteria: household income of $60,000 and up; age 30 and up; and a family structure with children at home. Additional copies were distributed through the Sunday newspapers in our key U.S. markets of Grand Forks and Fargo, North Dakota.
The guides were printed on FSC certified paper and channels for additional distribution are actively sought out to ensure the entirety of the inventory is accounted for.