- New Marketing Committee Has Three out of Five Members with DMO Connection: At its recent board meeting, the DMO signature of Brand USA was more and more apparent—something that ought not come as a surprise: it should be noted that the Travel Promotion Act that established Brand USA called for two of BUSA’s eleven board members to represent state tourism offices and one to have CVB expertise. At its meeting, Board Chairman Arne M. Sorenson, president and CEO of Marriott International, Inc., announced the makeup of BUSA’s standing committees. On the marketing committee, which elicits the most interest from U.S. travel suppliers and DMOs who are Brand USA partners, three out of the five members on the committee have a DMO background: Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California; John Edman, director of Explore Minnesota Tourism; and George Fertitta, formerly the president and CEO of New York City & Company, and now CEO of Bloomberg Associates, a global consultancy founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Chairing the committee is Barbara Richardson, chief of staff of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro). The remaining member is Randy Garfield, who retired last year from his post executive vice president of worldwide sales & travel operations for Disney Destinations after serving more than 20 years with the Walt Disney Company. As well, Christopher Thompson, headed Visit Florida prior to becoming president and CEO of Brand USA.
Also, Tom Garzilli, senior vice president reported that, in a just-completed partner feedback study of nearly 70 partners, the largest segment comprised DMOs. The smaller partners, including DMOs, rely on Brand USA, explained Garzilli, for the bulk of their international marketing and see great value in it. Most, he added, indicate that they will continue to contribute to Brand USA and—a sure sign of smaller DMO involvement—are looking to BUSA for help in the results of their international marketing efforts and measuring ROI.
- FY 2014 ROI Study Near Completion: Results of its second major Return on Investment (ROI) study will be released next month. The results are expected to be in line with the original, projected impact of Brand USA prior to enactment of the Travel Promotion Act, which was signed into law on March 4, 2010: i.e., a marketing ROI of 20:1 within five years of full deployment.
This should help to quell some of the skepticism that greeted BUSA’s first ROI study, completed and released in February 2014. In that study, Oxford Economics, in coordination with its Tourism Economics subsidiary company, conducted an analysis of Brand USA’s marketing in its 2013 fiscal year (October 1, 2012-September 30, 2013), basing it on an econometric model of how the eight markets in which Brand USA was fully active would have performed without its investments in marketing compared with actual performance. The markets included Canada, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil and Australia. Following is what the report revealed.
|Net Revenue Generated||$3,401,951,199|
|Total Marketing Expenses||$72,740,306|
|Total Budget, Including Start-up costs & Overhead||$99,022.80|
|Estimated Marketing ROI||47:01:00|
|Total Budget ROI||34:01:00|
Source: Oxford Economics, The Return on Investment of Brand USA Marketing: 2013 Fiscal Year Analysis
- New to Brand USA: It was announced that several individuals have new positions on the organization’s staff, including Cassady Bailey as director of partner services, and Mark Lapidus as digital and social media director. Bailey, who joined BUSA in October 2012, was promoted from her post as manager, partner services. She takes over the position previously held by Patricia S. McNally, who left the agency last December. Prior to his appointment, Lapidus served for nearly seven years as vice president of Comcast SportsNet, Mid Atlantic (NBC Universal).