The intent and purpose of this Request for Proposal (RFP) is to establish a contract through competitive negotiation for an integrated marketing campaign for the Montgomery County Regional Tourism Program. The desired active run period for this campaign is April 2020-March 2021. This campaign plan will be built and delivered in a holistic and cohesive manner so that visitors of Montgomery County find consistent and relevant content with which to interact regardless of the medium on which the interaction occurs and that each are connected especially in the digital space (social media, blog, website, etc.).
The Montgomery County, Blacksburg, Christiansburg Virginia Regional Tourism office is seeking an agency to create, develop, and implement an integrated marketing campaign to run from April 2020-March 2021. Montgomery County is one of four counties and one city that make up Virginia’s New River Valley. It lies between the Alleghany and Blue Ridge Mountains in southwest Virginia. The Weldon Cooper Center estimated the population of Montgomery County in 2018 at 99,433 which includes two incorporated towns, Blacksburg and Christiansburg. Perhaps best known for Virginia Tech, Montgomery County has a mix of beautiful rural landscapes, outdoor recreation, and leisure activities, arts and culture attractions, and a small-town feel with big town amenities. The proximity of Interstate 81 and Highway 460 increases the desirability of this mid-Atlantic mountain destination because of accessibility, for most of the nation’s population, within a day’s drive. The Montgomery County Regional Tourism Office was created in 2011 and serves the county along with the towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg. An Executive Director was hired in 2012 and the first strategic tourism plan was approved in May 2013. Work is currently underway for the delivery of an updated strategic tourism plan for FY 21-23. The program continues to build upon the “Go to town!” brand which was launched in 2015. The marketing plan includes traditional marketing elements such as: print, radio, broadcast, earned media, direct marketing through trade and consumer shows and sales missions. In the past several years, more focus has been placed on digital and online media including a website, social media channels, and digital advertising. This will be the first truly integrated marketing campaign in the history of the program. The program has collected three years (2016-2018) of consumer data (demographic and behavioral) from an annual visitor profile study conducted each year. Other accessible research is related to the economic impact of visitation to the area as commissioned by the Virginia Tourism Corporation, and the impact of Virginia Tech Football as conducted by the Virginia Tech Office of Economic Development.
Scope of Work:
The County needs the services of a contractor that can provide the following:
1. Concept and design an integrated marketing campaign that will run for one year (four seasons) to promote the tourist destination to the optimum target audience(s) using traditional and modern marketing elements. This campaign must be detailed in a written plan and shall consider all places where a consumer would interact with the brand including visitor guides, website, social media, in-market visits and execute a cohesive program unifying all elements. Specific messages, materials, resources, and actions must be organized for maximum positive impact. The successful Proposer will create a unified plan and develop an annual flowchart of activity by month for each target market and shall report on a number of impressions generated for each market.
2. Design and create promotional tools used to distribute the message of the integrated campaign. These tools include:
a. A newly created website with integration capabilities for a blog, social media channels, CRM, events calendar, business directory, virtual visitor center (Brochures) and industry log-in,
‐ Created on a platform that is easily updated and managed with a user-friendly content management system without compromising the look and feel of the site.
‐ Include the ability to capture user data
‐ Incorporate Search Engine Optimization best practices
‐ Setting up Analytics for website, social media and any digital communications for reporting.
‐ Delivery of monthly and quarterly reports for the purposes of determining the performance of the campaign, determine any needed adjustments, comparison of one period over another; by month and season. ‐ Deliver a plan for maintenance and hosting of site for one-year and include transition for use thereafter.
‐ Perform all related tasks as necessary to implement
Provide Price Estimate of Website Fees
1. First Year Fees including design, hosting, technical support, training, and CMS
2. Ongoing Fees (After Year 1)
a. Website Hosting.
b. Maintenance and Support in including required version upgrades to address security and functionality.
b. Creation of a destination app to be deployed on smartphone Android and IOS systems. The content to align with the website and other campaign messaging. Promotion of this app to be incorporated into the integrated campaign. The app content will be derived from existing brand graphics, existing and produced photographs, audio and video, and integration of available mapping tool (Google maps or similar – this should be specified), and tourism social media channels. It should include the option to link partner organizations and to be able to add future content. Separate cost estimated should be given for the creation of the app in both iOS and Android platforms. Subject to budget, it may be decided to proceed with the development of the app in one platform only, as a pilot.
c. Produce a refreshed design for the comprehensive Visitor Guide to match the integrated marketing campaign message.
d. Deliver a media plan and supporting articles for campaign use in targeted media and tourism-owned spaces such as a blog, social media.
November 22, 2019, 3:00 p.m.
Montgomery County Purchasing Department
755 Roanoke Street, Suite 2C
Christiansburg, VA 24073-3179
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