Pacific Surfliner Seeking Marketing Agency

Pacific Surfliner is seeking a marketing agency for brand development. On behalf of the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor Agency (LOSSAN), the Orange County Transportation Authority (Authority) invites proposals from qualified consultants to provide a) brand development and outreach services and b) integrated advertising and direct response marketing for the Pacific Surfliner.

LOSSAN BRAND DEVELOPMENT AND OUTREACH SERVICES

 

INTRODUCTION

This Scope of Work describes Firm’s essential roles, responsibilities, functions, activities, and deliverables necessary for the successful implementation of the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor Agency’s (LOSSAN Agency) brand development and outreach programs for the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner.

The LOSSAN Agency wishes to contract with a full-service branding and marketing firm (Firm) to develop the Pacific Surfliner corporate identity and provide creative services for digital storytelling, branding programs, and other marketing and communications assets as needed for the purpose of:

  • Launching new Pacific Surfliner website with updated look and feel and branded messaging and content
  • Developing collateral and digital assets that create a memorable brand experience and advance business objectives to increase awareness, revenue, and ridership
  • Plan and implement short and long-term integrated advertising and outreach campaigns to increase market share and strengthen customer relationships
  • Expanding destination-based marketing efforts through content that captures the engaging experiences, unique rider perspectives, and memorable events surrounding the Pacific Surfliner service

Through this contract, Firm shall provide expertise in specific service categories and supplement the LOSSAN Agency’s in-house marketing and communications staff, as well as work with external consultants contracted for specific marketing specialties including web, videography, and direct response marketing.

BACKGROUND

The 351-mile LOSSAN Rail Corridor travels through a six-county coastal region in southern California and is the second busiest intercity passenger rail corridor in the United States. The LOSSAN Agency manages the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner service, which has an annual ridership of more than 2.9 million. There are currently 24 daily Pacific Surfliner trains between the cities of Los Angeles and San Diego, with 10 trains extending to the cities of Santa Barbara/Goleta and four to San Luis Obispo. The Pacific Surfliner serves 31 stations between San Diego and San Luis Obispo. The LOSSAN Agency will promote the Pacific Surfliner as a viable transportation option for travelers to destinations along the LOSSAN rail corridor and beyond. In addition to rail service, dedicated Amtrak Thruway bus connections supplement the train by providing transportation to and from San Luis Obispo for rail passengers making connections to Pacific Surfliner trains in Santa Barbara. Thruway Buses also provide connections between Northern and Southern California, as well as between Orange County and Palm Springs/Coachella Valley.

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

Firm shall have a thorough knowledge of and experience producing in areas including:

  • Brand development and execution
  • Brand marketing plan development
  • Creative services
  • Copy writing and message development
  • Market research
  • Digital storytelling
  • Online and traditional media buying
  • Print and digital creative development, design/copywriting, and production
  • Public relations and media outreach
  • Public outreach and event planning
  • Production, printing, and fulfillment

SERVICES REQUIRED

Firms shall provide turnkey marketing programs and be able to act as a prime contractor in each of the following areas:

  • Integrated Marketing Campaign Development

Work in collaboration with the LOSSAN Agency’s internal marketing and communications team to develop a comprehensive and overarching plan including comprehensive media buying and direct marketing strategies to serve as a blueprint for the contractual period of time.

Campaign plans will include:

  • market research
  • campaign strategy
  • target audience analysis
  • campaign messaging and creative development
  • media planning and buying
  • implementation of marketing tactics
  • monitoring and reporting to demonstrate ROI
  • Digital Advertising

Work with the LOSSAN Agency’s internal marketing and communications team to identify target markets and develop strategic media buys to acquire qualified and cost effective traffic. Develop digital media plans to reach existing and new markets. Campaign implementation and optimization including creative services and campaign monitoring and optimization. Provide regular reports and perform data analysis for refining campaigns and discovering insights to maximize return on investment (ROI).

Must be pro-active in identifying new, cost-effective channels and approaches to digital buys. Firm must be a Google Certified partner. In addition to the budget for this contract, the LOSSAN Agency may have additional funds reserved for direct media buys

Firm shall provide digital media planning and buying services including:

  • Digital search and display, online video
  • Mobile, tablet advertising, in-app advertising
  • Interactive and streaming video/audio advertising
  • Programmatic marketing platforms
  • Facebook, Twitter, email, video advertising
  • Behavioral, contextual, and semantic targeting
  • Dynamic creative
  • Audience profiling
  • Website rankings and demographic analysis
  • Audience and geo-targeting
  • Search engine marketing
  • Audience retargeting
  • Integration of traditional advertising
  • Digital campaign reporting and campaign optimization management
  • Creative multivariate testing
  • Landing page structure development
  • Strategic media partnerships and sponsored content
  • Traditional Media Planning

Work with the LOSSAN Agency’s internal marketing and communications team to identify target markets and develop comprehensive media plans that target specific audience segments and drive measurable marketing outcomes. Provide support for campaign development including creative and production services for print, broadcast, outdoor and digital campaigns. Conduct campaign analysis to demonstrate ROI. In addition to the budget for this contract, the LOSSAN Agency has reserved funds for direct media buy.

Provide media planning and buying services including:

  • TV
  • Radio
  • Print
  • Outdoor media
  • Direct Marketing Campaign Development and Management

Develop campaigns that communicate directly to customers through a variety of media including direct mail, email, digital advertising, database marketing, fliers, and targeted broadcast, print, and digital advertisements, as well as outdoor advertising. Utilize customer data to identify actionable segments to develop marketing messages that directly address the target audience. Design effective calls to action to drive tangible outcomes (email acquisition, engagement with content, trial usage, promotional redemption). Monitor and optimize campaigns by measuring and maximizing response rates while minimizing advertising expenses. Provide updates and reports that demonstrate ROI.

In addition utilizing destination marketing strategies, campaigns will be designed to target specific markets and increase ridership and revenue. Marketing efforts will also explore fare and ticketing promotions and special event partnerships.

Additional efforts will be focused on increasing utilization of Amtrak marketing programs including Guest Rewards and Every Day Discounts

Each campaign should include the following components to drive traffic, boost brand awareness, and increase ridership/sales:

  • Campaign goals development and effectiveness tracking
  • Identifying target audiences and providing insight to customer behavior
  • Developing key campaign messaging and potential offers for campaign success
  • Developing strategy for reaching and engaging target audiences
  • Developing mixed media campaign consisting of traditional and online media
  • Email, Social Media, and Mobile Marketing Strategy

Research, develop, and propose new and innovative digital marketing strategies and tactics through email, social media, and/or mobile to help retain current Pacific Surfliner customers and acquire new customers. Create email workflows and personalize content to successfully engage and activate different types of database contacts. Provide systematic solutions to implement, manage, and optimize social media platforms, as well as analytics to maximize conversations and conversions.

To assist in web design and execution as necessary, Firm should have proficiency with web, mobile, and responsive design, development, testing, and deployment. Firm should have experience with content management systems, email and mobile marketing platforms, marketing/business automation, and blog and social media integration.

  • Analytics Monitoring and Reporting

In addition to campaign monitoring and reporting, Firm shall collaborate with in-house marketing and communications team to develop analytics reporting and dashboard solutions to demonstrate ROI, provide audience insight, and help inform future efforts. Must work to clarify and align on marketing objectives while providing assistance in building data infrastructure and help aggregate the right combination of datasets to provide actionable insight. Firm shall provide suggestions for enhancements to optimize ongoing campaigns, refine messaging, boost online engagement and search engine visibility, and meet other performance metrics.

Provide analytics services including:

  • Key performance indicator (KPI) development and measurement planning
  • Cross channel reporting and insight creation
  • Marketing platform selection and solutions integration
  • User segmentation strategies
  • Cross channel attribution
  • Content Marketing

Develop strategy, tools, and content that will help target customers and demonstrate an understanding of their problems and motivations (provide tips, best practices, unique content that is not available anywhere else that will be of interest to Pacific Surfliner customers). Create, implement, and optimize blog, video, newsletter, website, and social media strategy to boost search engine optimization (SEO), branding, and referring traffic. Understand audience and marketing channels to strategically repurpose content in a variety of ways. Develop editorial calendar to help tell the unique stories of riders and leverage user-generated content to increase brand advocacy and drive sales.

  • Marketing Automation and Audience Segmentation

Understand customer relationship management principles and advise on best ways to segment audiences and deliver dynamic, personalized content. Help develop systems and tools to connect multiple touch points and marketing channels (including social media, email marketing, and content marketing) to nurture prospects for the long-term, focusing on goals beyond direct sales. Execute surveys as needed to gain customer insights, market intelligence, and customer feedback.

  • Creative Services

Create strategic design solutions and messages that meet campaign objectives and resonate with target audiences. Develop creative briefs and general concepts based on campaign objectives and present rough layouts and rationale for evaluation. Develop creative assets for implementation across Pacific Surfliner channels including digital, print, broadcast, social, PR, paid media, and customer communications. Be able to respond quickly to execute creative development through design, copywriting, and production in a timely manner to meet the project deadlines.

Lead creative strategy development and work cross functionally to deliver the best user experiences across a broad range of channels and mediums. Must understand trends affecting relevant industries, mediums, and audiences. Must have experience designing for responsive frameworks and understand techniques for fluid design across multiple screen resolutions.

Be able to respond quickly to execute creative development through design, copywriting, and production in a timely manner to meet the project deadlines. Produce video content to include treatments, script development, casting, filming (using professional equipment and post production), editing, sound mixing, musical scoring, and titling, as well as delivery of working files and full-resolution final cuts. Provide original videography and photography services to support approved campaign plans to showcase Pacific Surfliner’s products and services for use on a variety of marketing channels. Photography support should include selection and management of paid models, the ability to provide studio shots on seamless, interior building and/or train shots including people, and location shots showcasing various trains. Trains will either be static or moving.

To assist in web and mobile design and execution as necessary, Firm should have proficiency with web, mobile, and responsive design, development, testing, and deployment. Firm should have experience with the content management systems, email marketing platforms, marketing/business automation, and blog and social media integration.

  • Strategic Partnerships

Provide support to build promotional partnerships with local services in top destinations that provide marketing value and boost branding in key marketing. Conduct research and plan and execute outreach activities/events to identity potential partners including universities, convention and visitors bureaus, restaurants, hotels, and entertainment venues. Help develop pitch packages and tailored promotions, as well as success measures including referrals, SEO, direct marketing, and digital amplification opportunities.

  • Production, Printing, and Fulfillment

Coordinate production and oversee design changes and improvements throughout the design process. Provide production estimates for printing as needed and integrate technical specifications into design concept.

Various types of printing projects will require production, distribution, fulfillment/mailing and/or data processing services, and installation and/or removal during the course of this contract term, based on the approved marketing plan developed. Prior to release of all projects for print, a formal estimate will be received and approved by the LOSSAN Agency Marketing and Communications Officer.

Firm or firm’s subcontractor should have the following minimum requirements:

  • Mail house and fulfillment services including direct mail printing, mailing lists, data processing, bulk mail preparation, and variable data and match mail printing
  • Offset and digital printing
  • Ability to fold or laminate pieces, as well as print on various paper types including vinyl
  • Custom promotional merchandise printing and production

Proposal due by May 15, 2017 to:

Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor
550 South Main Street
P.O. Box 14184 Orange, CA 92863-1584
(714) 560-6282

 

California PR firms include Burson-Marsteller, APCO Worldwide and Ketchum PR.

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