Hospitality Minnesota was awarded a 2022 Tourism Marketing Grant in the amount of $10,000, which required an organizational match. We were able to leverage that to secure an additional match from Forum Communications.
Generally, our marketing efforts focus on membership sales and engagement and not on consumers. The EMT grant allowed us the chance to appeal to hospitality customers in support our member restaurants, hotels, resorts and campgrounds.
Building on last year’s campaign, which put attention on ALL Minnesota hospitality businesses, we placed a new member seal at the heart of our messaging to encourage consumers to look for member businesses when making their choices. We believe that membership in Hospitality Minnesota signifies a commitment to the highest levels of guest experience and to the health and vitality of the hospitality and tourism industry overall, and we wanted to share that commitment with consumers. In addition to the seal, we built a map to our web site that displays our member businesses across Minnesota.
In meeting the requirements laid out in the grant guidelines, we worked with an expert digital strategist, Nadine Gregerson of Gregerson Consulting, to build a campaign that leveraged the turning of the year to craft messaging we hope would compel readers to connect with our member businesses throughout the coming year.
The target audience was adults looking for last minute gifts or engaged in travel planning for the coming year. The campaign ran from December 15-31, 2022 and garnered more than 600,000 digital impressions! Hospitality Minnesota ads showed up on sites ranging from local television stations to national news outlets and from local papers to international magazine sites.