While a more extensive discussion by, as well as a decision by, the full board of directors of Brand USA of its marketing program for Fiscal Year 2016 will come at next month’s board meeting on Sept. 18 in Washington, D.C., the board’s marketing committee† signed off at its recent meeting on the program, as committee members sought to put into place the steps that they hope will increase the number of international visitors by a little more than another million as it strives to reach an Obama Administration goal of 100 million international visitors by 2021.
(† Brand USA Marketing Committee: Barbara Richardson, chief of staff of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, chair; Caroline Beteta, president and CEO, Visit California; John Edman, director, Explore Minnesota; George Fertitta, CEO, Bloomberg Associates; and Randy Garfield, retired, formerly executive vice president of worldwide sales and travel operations for Disney Destinations and president of Walt Disney Travel Company.)
As illustrated in the following table, the marketing committee has opted to identify the top 14 markets (on the left) as targets for direct-to-consumer activities, while the 14 opportunity markets (on the right) will be a focus for trade-related activities. Most of the latter, explained David Whitaker, chief marketing officer, “have traditional distribution channels and active Visit USA Committees.” All totaled, the two groups comprise 39 country markets
|Established Markets||Opportunity Markets|
|Prioritization: Media mix may include broadcast, cinema, OOH, digital display, events, OTA media, paid search and paid social, sharing and ongoing trade emphasis||Market Prioritization: Trade Focus Visit USA programs, trade shows, road shows, missions, fam tours and/or training activities|
|United Kingdom||Benelux Countries|
|South Korea||Central America*|
|France||Gulf Coast Countries|
Note: In left column, the first five markets generate 65 percent of international traffic to USA; the first 10 markets= 77 percent; and all 14 generate 81 percent of international traffic to USA.
* Selected countries in each region
Turnover Time: Committee members will be busy this month and next either reviewing applications from, or interviewing, agencies and firms that responded to Brand USA RFPs for a new ad agency of record (NYC-headquartered global agency, JWT, is the current agency of record); a marketing services agency; a digital agency; and a firm that will help with Brand USA’s corporate website.
The marketing committee will be meeting again next month (Sept. 9), just prior to the Sept. 18 meeting of the full Brand USA board of directors. At that time, there will be a presentation that explains in depth the marketing programs for each of the top 14 markets. All of this takes place in time for the beginning of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1, 2015.