Ohio Development Services Agency Issues Media Buying RFP  for TourismOhio


The RFP seeks media planning, negotiating and buying services for TourismOhio’s core and cooperative advertising campaigns.


There is an opportunity for you to make a real difference for Ohio tourism industries and the state’s economy by helping us create awareness for the Ohio. Find It Here. brand. Research shows that when visitors come to Ohio for the first time, they leave impressed and wanting to come back for more of the places, spaces, and people that create lasting memories. Visitors are surprised by what Ohio has to offer – the cascading waterfalls of the Hocking Hills that will leave you breathless, the world-class foodie scene, popular Short North bars and galleries in Columbus that rival the biggest cities in the country, the top- rated boutique hotel in the nation in Cincinnati that wraps you in artistic luxury, the local micro-breweries and wineries that bring friends together – the list goes on and on.

We often hear “wow, I didn’t know they had this in Ohio!” It’s time to take the “surprise” out of Ohio. What can you bring to the table to take Ohio tourism to the next level? Let us know how you can help us create awareness for Ohio and drive visitors to Ohio through an efficient regional paid media campaign. Thanks for your time and dedication for the good of Ohio.

About TourismOhio:

TourismOhio tells the story of distinctive and unforgettable Ohio experiences. We provide support to Ohio tourism destinations as they share their stories through public relations, marketing, advertising, and social media channels. Tourism is a key economic driver for Ohio, and our team works to promote the state as a premiere travel destination, focusing on the people, places and spaces that make Ohio great. TourismOhio strives to inform and inspire each person within our borders and beyond to discover all Ohio has to offer.


Ohio is a destination of choice, enriching lives through authentic travel experiences.


Aggressively position the state of Ohio as a relevant travel destination and support Ohio’s tourism industry to drive economic prosperity throughout the state.

TourismOhio Objectives:

  • Increase our market share among our competitive set (Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana)
  • Continue to deliver a positive return on our advertising investment
  • Increase the economic impact of tourism on the Ohio economy

Economic Impact:

Tourism is a major economic driver for the state and is a $43 billion industry. Ohio has seen a steady increase in visitor spending since 2009. In 2016, Ohio welcomed 212 million visitors, most of which are within a day’s drive (300-500 miles). More than 40 million visitors stay overnight in Ohio, spending 3 times as much as a day visitor. Daytrip visitors spend an estimated $111 per person, while overnight visitors spend an estimated $360 per person.

The tourism industries also support about 427,000 Ohio jobs (full time, part time, and seasonal).

Scope of Work:

Seeking a collaborative partner with a willingness to think strategically and innovatively to turn heads, create awareness and inspire travel to Ohio.

  • Contractor will have expertise to uncover insights to create and target relevant audience segments, reach consumers at the right time, the right media and relevant messaging.
  • Will have the experience and tools to identify how target audience segments are consuming media, and which media are appropriate.
  • Must have a solid understanding of all advertising channels deemed efficient and effective which may include, but is not limited to, television, cable, paid search, digital, paid social, streaming and terrestrial radio, print, experiential, etc.
  • Responsible for evaluating all paid advertising opportunities on behalf of TourismOhio, providing analysis of media value and recommended action.
  • Contractor will demonstrate how it will facilitate and optimize digital campaigns to gain media efficiency and performance ownership.
  • Contractor will be experienced with tagging and tracking against the digital buy to provide timely optimization and analytics.
  • Search campaigns will be managed by in-agency AdWords certified paid search media buyers and an in-house analytics team that is Google Analytics Certified.
  • Contractor will optimize campaigns daily, report metrics such as click through rate, cost per click, engagement, impressions, and other KPI’s that quantify campaign effectiveness on a weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis that demonstrate ROI.
  • Contractor will demonstrate how it will facilitate and track the broadcast media buy and provide tracking of performance including reach, frequency, impression, etc.
  • Contractor will be expected to provide analysis and performance of campaigns such as comparison of past performance, industry benchmarks, etc., and have experience with data reporting platforms to provide timely campaign results to TourismOhio.
  • Applying innovative thinking, cost effective targeting and the right mix of media, the campaign needs to reach more of the target audience, in more places, more often to increase brand awareness and drive visits and visitor spending.

Additionally, Contractor will develop, present, negotiate and buy annual cooperative advertising program to benefit tourism industry partners. TourismOhio provides about $1.2 million in matching funds to Ohio tourism industry partners that participate in the State’s Cooperative Advertising Program.

  • Contractor is responsible for identifying and evaluating advertising opportunities offered in the co-op program, negotiating and placing media on behalf of co-op participants.
  • Contractor will continually build upon success of co-op program with new thinking, innovative offerings and partnership possibilities that are relevant and accessible to participants with budgets of all sizes.
  • Accountable to organize and execute webinars and in-person forums to promote the co-op, to broaden awareness and understanding of advertising opportunities and grow tourism industry participation.
  • Must have a solid understanding of all advertising channels to identify relevant media for our industry partners, develop media schedules, negotiate and place media on behalf of industry partners. Channels may include, but are not limited to, paid search, digital, streaming radio, paid social, eBlasts, print, photography, video, experiential, etc.
  • Contractor will build, host and maintain co-op online portal and database through which partners select their advertising. Co-op program will be managed within your agency, providing partners with a single point of contact for their co-op advertising selections, media buy and billing.
  • Will be expected to manage approximately 75–125 individual industry partner co-op media plans with a collective media placement of about $1.2 million.
  • Contractor will be highly service oriented to handle frequent partner contact and have significant project management capabilities to facilitate timely follow-up, follow-through and accurate flighting of media on behalf of participants. Must demonstrate commitment to partners, investing time to understand their business and objectives to accurately advise selection of advertising for individualized media plans.
  • As mentioned above, the same requirements for optimizing paid search campaigns daily and experience with tagging, tracking and optimizing digital campaigns applies to the management of the co-op program. Contractor will provide monthly, individualized partner paid search and digital analytics reports using data reporting platform, conduct webinars with industry partners several times per year to review partner campaign performance.
  • Will provide monthly overall analytics for all co-op advertising offerings.

Due Date:

April 18th, 2018



Travel PR firms include Zeno Group and Ruder Finn.

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