MARKETING RFP ISSUED BY CITY OF DULUTH

As leaders and representatives entrusted with strengthening Duluth’s future, we’re seeking marketing partners to help bring our new vision for Duluth to life. Duluth, Minnesota, is a popular travel destination attracting visitors from all parts of the world. The City of Duluth (City) is excited to share our unique culture, attractions, and adventures with tourists and is seeking responses from organizations with proven expertise in tourism marketing.

As a city, we have an endless amount of compelling stories to share. We are looking for partners that can help us transform our stories into sophisticated marketing strategies, inspiring target audiences to choose Duluth as the location for their next travel experience. The City is seeking a partner or partners who will bring innovative marketing strategies and storytelling capabilities to the table. We want to elevate the brand of Duluth and position the city as a welcoming and safe destination with a rich history and abundance of attractions to explore.

Background:

The City of Duluth invests public funds into tourism promotion and marketing, as required by enabling legislation for the collection and distribution of tourism taxes. Specifically, the City is required to invest a mandated portion of collections but has chosen to invest well beyond that to broaden impact and build a more robust tourism economy. We see this investment level as being “flexible” based upon the shared goals of stakeholders and the City.

Scope of Work:

In your response document, please outline your experience and share relevant examples of your work in each of the following marketing disciplines:

1. Comprehensive Marketing Planning Develop comprehensive annual marketing, advertising, and communications plans complete with recommended key performance indicators and other metrics that track the engagement of target audiences and accurately measures the return on the City’s financial investment in all marketing-related activities.

2. Target Audience Mapping Develop expanded target audience profiles including demographics, psychographics, personas, and media habits. Recommend new target audiences for the City to consider.

3. Creative Campaign Development Develop modern and alluring creative campaign assets to increase target audience engagement across traditional, digital, and social media channels.

4. Website Development Assist with design, development, and maintenance of a tourism website for the City. Implement strategic SEO throughout website content to strengthen Duluth’s online presence.

5. Video and Photography Assist with the development of visually compelling video and photo assets featuring Duluth’s diversity in population, neighborhoods, and attractions. Assets created will be used on the City’s tourism website and across all tourism marketing campaign channels and platforms. 

6. Earned Media Develop, manage, and update a comprehensive list of targeted media outlets. Connect frequently with media targets to pitch captivating stories to secure earned media opportunities.

7. Social Media Develop a comprehensive social media calendar and plan for organic and paid social 4 media posts. Assist with social media content development, posting, community management, campaign metrics, and reporting.

8. Art, Culture, and Historic Features Create a comprehensive plan to capture and market the unique art, culture, and historic features of Duluth.

9. Events and Convention Center Develop a comprehensive marketing strategy to increase the visibility of events and City event venues.

10. Data, Analytics, and Reporting Assist with capturing data from multiple sources, including advertising platforms, public relations efforts, social media, events, and other resources. Identify key data points, monitor success in real-time, and prepare performance reports monthly or as requested. 

KEY AREAS OF FOCUS 

1. Maintain and expand Duluth’s place in Minnesota and the region’s tourism industry: Duluth is a premier travel destination in Minnesota. Our goal is to remain the preferred travel location of current visitors and gain measurable market share by attracting new audiences. 

2. Blend social and natural assets: Duluth is both a place for people to come together in the city and get out and experience nature. Marketing events, activities, and businesses alongside Duluth’s incredible natural assets will tell a complete story of what Duluth offers. 

3. Better represent diversity: BIPOC representation is essential in Duluth’s marketing efforts. The city has a rich cultural history that should be fully told and celebrated. Work with local native nations and business owners of color to ensure accurate representation. 

4. Share compelling stories – Duluth has a plethora of incredible stories to share. It is imperative we expand our content asset library to include copy, images, and videos featuring all neighborhoods and niche areas of interest.

5. Showcase free or low-cost entertainment and experiences: Duluth shouldn’t be perceived as an expensive destination. Free and low-cost opportunities should be promoted alongside more traditional experiences.

6. Beyond ‘heads in beds’ – It will be important to establish KPIs that measure quality of experiences of any duration – including day trips – not just quantity of visitors or revenue generated. Memories created can translate to future repeat visits. 

Due Date:

FRIDAY, JUNE 4, 2021

Address:

CITY OF DULUTH PURCHASING DIVISION PURCHASING@DULUTHMN.GOV

Hunter PR and Magrino PR are agencies worth considering.

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