MA Office of Travel & Tourism Issues Marketing RFP 

2022-05-12 by EPR Staff

Address: 136 Blackstone Street, 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02109

The MA Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT) is seeking proposals from experienced Massachusetts marketing agencies in public relations, marketing strategy, social media, graphic design, and advertising support services for a marketing campaign to promote Massachusetts to tourists and travelers.

The campaign will include innovative promotional strategies and/or programs to stimulate and incentivize spending and provide support to the Massachusetts tourism businesses disrupted by the COVID19 pandemic and increase activity to VisitMA.com and all social media sites. It will highlight the recreational, scenic, historic, cultural, and culinary tourist attractions, amenities, and advantages of the state at large. It will consist of television, radio, billboards, print, and digital materials including paid social media. The agency will solicit feedback from the 16 Regional Tourism Councils (RTCs), the Massachusetts Marketing Partnership (MMP), stakeholders in arts and culture, agriculture, history, outdoor recreation, and others identified by MOTT to create cohesive messaging and create opportunities to amplify the campaign. The campaign will enhance the state’s image, promote the state as a year-round destination, and encourage expenditures by visitors to the state.

The campaign will be implemented through creative development, social media, and advertising across all channels. It may include brand strategy, research, design, account planning, communications strategy and messaging, content development, advertising, marketing, social media management, website additions, video creation, digital, TV, radio, and print. It will use consumer research to analyze target audiences for demographics and analysis of media consumption.

Campaign tactics may include: television, radio, programmatic display, social digital placements on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/YouTube; digital bulletin/billboard opportunities; gas station, out-of-home and connected TV options. Campaign must utilize up-to-date analytics to monitor, adjust, and re-target digital ads in order to have the highest impact possible. Campaign must measure impact by tracking ad analytics, measuring web traffic, social media traffic, and evaluating overall campaign awareness. Agency must work closely with state and industry stakeholder groups to measure impact of dollars being spent at hotels, restaurants, and tourism attractions. Must measure the % increased visitation to Commonwealth; % increased tax revenue; % increased VisitMA website traffic; % increased VisitMA social engagement and total # of impressions with marketing campaign. Campaign results and analytics must be available through a monthly dashboard.

This campaign may also include the promotion of large-scale tourism events, workforce development, opportunities in agritourism, projects in destination management, and projects associated with MOTT grant programs. The content will be designed for use by MOTT, the RTCs, the MMP, and other collaborative partnerships.

Indicate Engagement Performance and Business Specifications:

MOTT is seeking a Massachusetts marketing agency with experience in developing campaigns that highlight assets of the Commonwealth. The agency will develop and manage measurably effective marketing campaigns promoting the Commonwealth, including media planning, buying, optimization, creative services, production of marketing materials, and managing subcontractors as needed. This may include press releases, photos, videos, events, testimonials, blogs or other collateral development. The agency will be charged with engaging stakeholders, building cohesive statewide messaging, and implementing MOTT’s two-year strategic marketing campaign which includes media buys.

Once contract is awarded, the vendor will be responsible for incorporating feedback from stakeholders and implementation of MOTT”s strategic marketing plan. The vendor will be charged with implementing the media buying strategy, creative services, social media management, and all other aspects of the campaign. The vendor will also be responsible for reporting on campaign effectiveness and measurement of incremental growth in volume of visitors to Massachusetts. Vendor must include cooperative opportunities for Regional Tourism Councils to participate with statewide efforts. MOTT will have final oversight on all aspects of the campaign.

Performance will be measured against the following criteria: Quality & Competency; Compensation Structure; Delivery of Services; Buyer Satisfaction/Customer Commitment.

Deliverables to include but are not limited to: 

• Digital marketing strategy: 

o Provide recommendations for marketing activity

o Implement MOTT’s strategic marketing plan with messaging recommendations specific to target market profiles

o Implement public relations and communications plan driving coverage in all media

o Propose four co-op opportunities per fiscal year for Regional Tourism Councils participation

• Website strategy: 

o Increase traffic by 10% monthly growth rate in traffic to VisitMA.com

o Identify and create content (long form, informational, guides, or blogs) monthly to increase site traffic

o Monitor search engine optimization, internal linking, title tags and meta descriptions

o Monitor page speed and bounce rates, adjust and provide recommendations

o Monthly reporting of website analytics associated with the campaign

• Social media strategy: 

o Implementation of MOTT’s social media strategic content plan

o Scheduling calendar provided weekly

o Daily social media posting, content management, and engagement of VisitMA social sites designed to increase followers and engagement

o Increase followers to at least 100,000 on Instagram, 400,000 on Facebook, 140,000 on Twitter

o Manage YouTube channel, video reels, and other growing video channels and determine ways to grow engagement

• Media planning: 

o All media planning, buying, and monitoring as well as optimization throughout campaign, including RTC co-op efforts

o Placement of digital, television, radio, print, and out-of-home advertising

o Development and implementation of evaluation and reporting methodologies

o Detailed activation program plan and execution support

o Implementation of campaign elements, including calendaring, promotional efforts, marketing channels, signage/advertising, and awareness-building activities

• Production and creative services: 

o Creative development and production, including but not limited to graphic design, copy writing and editing, photography, and video production

o Development of at least four 30 second television commercials, four 15 second commercials for use in out-of-state messaging

o Logo review, potential redesign, and graphic identity development with tag lines

o Development of toolkit and assets for use by stakeholders

o Secure subcontracted services as needed

o Review proofs and monitor delivery of creative assets

o MOTT will retain ownership over creative, logos, photography, videos, written stories/testimonials, and any content related to the contract

• Stakeholder engagement: 

o Event calendaring of activities for inclusion on VisitMA

o Development of campaign toolkit and assets for use by Regional Tourism Councils and other stakeholders

o Four learning opportunities around marketing topics and best practices. These will include best practices around social media management, purchasing media opportunities, reporting campaign effectiveness, and destination management practices 

• Financial analysis and reporting: 

o Development of media and production budget based on MOTT guidance

o Control mechanisms with implementation milestones and contingency plans

o Monthly billing must include detailed reporting on expenses

o Full report of campaign effectiveness and return on investment at conclusion of campaign

• Potential campaign design layouts: 

o PowerPoint templates 

o Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) – posts, covers

o Pull-up banner design 

o Ad and flier templates-various sizes

o Upon approval of the design layouts, MOTT will receive final files and retain ownership for all stated print and digital collateral in standard file formats

Evaluation Criteria

Responses must provide detailed information on expertise and core competencies of the vendor. Vendor must have a physical office located in Massachusetts. Preference may be given to minority- and women-owned businesses in addition to labor surplus area firms.

Responses should provide details about procedures/checkpoints employed to ensure cost effectiveness in areas such as: Media Buying, Creative Planning and Development, Advertising Production, and Consumer Research.

Core competencies should include the following detailed information for each applicable category of the response:

• Information on company resources available in-house

• Information on the strategic and/or account planning process

• Explanation of the vendor’s process for:

o Developing a media plan for a client, including how it establishes goals, spending, allocations, buying parameters and defines target audiences

o Production and creative development

• Explanation of how the vendor will ensure that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts receives the maximum value for its media dollar

DEADLINE FOR RESPONSES

Deadline: May 20, 2022 at 5:00 pm EDT

Questions must be in written form and may be emailed to Keiko.m.orrall@mass.govC