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Arizona Office of Tourism Tailors Marketing Program
for States Unique Regions

November 13, 2006

November 13, 2006
Contact: Jacki Mieler
(602) 364-3697

Arizona Office of Tourism Tailors Marketing Program
for State’s Unique Regions

Each visitor to Arizona is unique, as is each community in the state, and the Arizona Office of Tourism’s new $ 1 million regional marketing program strategically brings the two together to achieve the greatest return on investment for tourism organizations in each region.

For the first time ever, AOT has developed four specific regional messages in one comprehensive year-long media plan for each of the non-metro regions in the state. These plans are designed to complement AOT’s overall marketing plan, while at the same time giving a unique identity to each of the regions – Arizona’s West Coast, Southern Arizona, North Central Arizona and Northern Arizona.

AOT met with the key stakeholders in each of the regions to discuss their seasonality, marketing goals, target demographics and other key information that is critical to developing a marketing plan. In addition, AOT utilized data from a branding exercise that was conducted last year and regional research provided by D.K. Shifflet & Associates. The exercise concluded that Arizona is identified by four brand dimensions – Unexpectedly Exhilarating Signature Scenery, Rejuvenating Open-Air Lifestyle, Timeless Discoveries and Vibrant Variety. Each region has attributes that lie within different brand dimensions, so the marketing plans were developed to take advantage of the strengths of each region.

As an additional innovative element to this program, AOT has partnered with Arizona Highways to produce a fulfillment piece/visitors guide for each region. The 16-page “Inside Arizona” guides feature articles and dynamic photographs from Arizona Highways, focusing on the well-known and undiscovered wonders in each region. As part of the regional marketing program, AOT also partnered with Phoenix Magazine on its special “13 th Issue,” which is due out this November and focuses solely on in-state travel. The magazine will be divided into the same regions that AOT has developed this program around and will promote the Web sites for each region to obtain more information.

AOT developed a unique micro-site, each with a specific URL for each of the regions, which will be used in all advertising and marketing activities. Each site will have the same look and feel as AOT’s consumer site, www.arizonaguide.com, and will directly link to that site for statewide information.

“This new program takes regional marketing to the next level by taking the individual characteristics of each region and tailoring every element of the marketing plan to achieve the desired results,” said AOT Director Margie A. Emmermann. “AOT will continue working with the regions to monitor the success of each program and to ensure that our efforts are complementing the work each region already does.”

The vast majority of visitors to these four regions come from within Arizona and the surrounding states, so the media campaigns are focused on these areas. AOT is generating a multi-layered media plan based on each region’s seasonality to stimulate business in the shoulder season, which will result in a sustained message in the market and will continue to drive consumers to the micro-site throughout the year. The media plans all include traditional print advertising, radio in the Phoenix market and aggressive online promotions in Phoenix and Southern California.

For the past five years, AOT has conducted a regional and in-state marketing program in which $500,000 was allocated to the two regions that successfully completed a formal bid process. Although this program was successful, it was exclusive of the other two regions and it also required each qualifying region provide a fulfillment piece, maintain a Web site, and make a financial contribution to the fulfillment of their respective collateral pieces through AOT. Under the new program, there is no financial contribution required from the regions, although they will continue to have significant input into the marketing plan that is developed for each region.

The Regional Marketing Program is designed to complement AOT’s long haul marketing plan, in which Phoenix and Central Arizona are prominently featured.

Created as an executive agency in 1975, the Arizona Office of Tourism is charged with enhancing the state economy and the quality of life for all Arizonans by expanding travel activity and increasing related revenues through tourism promotion and development. AOT works to serve the Grand Canyon State’s travel industry and related businesses, the traveling public, and the taxpayers of Arizona.

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