State of Texas, Office of the Governor has issued an RFP for a tourism marketing agency. They seek a single, Full-Service Agency to provide services to strengthen branding strategies and opportunities, produce innovative advertising ideas, design campaigns, and develop and implement competitive planning and purchasing of print, radio, television, digital and other media. The advertising and marketing efforts shall be directed primarily to consumers and the travel trade industry in both the domestic and select international markets.
The major vehicle used to market Texas tourism is the advertising campaign “Texas. It’s Like a Whole Other Country.®” Since it was first launched, the award-winning and nationally-recognized campaign has helped Texas have the third highest share of domestic travel days among U.S. states and has contributed greatly to the growth and expansion of the Texas travel industry. By contrasting the popular western images of Texas with aspects of the state that are not as widely-known, such as the great diversity of travel activities and experiences available in the state, this advertising creates positive consumer perceptions about Texas and raises consumer awareness of the state as a premier tourist destination. Domestically, the OOG uses the slogan, “Texas. It’s Like A Whole Other Country®” with the Texas “patch” logo. In Mexico, the OOG uses the Spanish slogan, “Texas. De Todo un Poco. Y Mas.®,” which loosely translates to “Texas. A Little of Everything. And More.” The Texas “patch” is used in conjunction with this slogan in the Mexico market. In all other international markets, the Texas “patch” is currently the only branding mechanism used.
Scope of Work:
General Description of Tourism Advertising Objectives
The Successful Respondent will be required to develop and implement an annual Strategic Marketing Plan that is consistent with Texas Tourism’s objectives.
These objectives include:
- Work to use the most innovative and cost-effective advertising and marketing programs to raise awareness of Texas as a premier travel destination;
- Develop innovative advertising creative with powerful images and “call to action” messages, together with an effective media strategy in both domestic and international markets as directed by OOG.
- Measurably increase the advertising return-on-investment, consumer inquiries (“Inquiries”), consumer advertising recall, advertising influenced travel to the state, and advertising influenced spending in the state;
- Measurably increase non-Texan vacation travel and overnight stays in hotels, motels and other types of paid accommodations that levy the state hotel occupancy tax;
- Achieve a competitive advertising Cost Per Inquiry (CPI) as determined by OOG;
- Use advertising and marketing strategies, messages, images and media outlets that enhance the image of the State of Texas as a tourist destination, generate consumer response, and are at all times commensurate with the dignity of the State of Texas;
- Effectively plan and execute an integrated media plan including, but not limited to, television, digital, social and print media; and
- Conduct innovative cooperative advertising and marketing programs that extend the Texas Tourism message while generating participation by Texas Partners.
The Contractor shall direct all advertising and marketing efforts to Texas Tourism’s Primary Target Markets in order of importance, which include the United States, Mexico, Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia and South America. The Contractor shall also be responsible for advertising and marketing efforts targeted to other markets that may be identified by OOG’s travel research throughout the term of the Contract.
Advertising and Marketing Capabilities and Services
The Contractor shall develop, implement, and maintain a comprehensive, annual Strategic Marketing Plan, which shall include, at a minimum, a complete schedule of all proposed advertising, media, marketing activities, Promotions, other detailed data, and recommendations for target audiences and target markets to promote Texas tourism consistent with the requirements of this RFP and any Contract awarded as a result of this RFP. The Strategic Marketing Plan shall include a detailed budget for all proposed projects, activities, and services to be performed, as well as recommendations of specific goals and measurements that demonstrate the success of the Strategic Marketing Plan in meeting the goals and objectives outlined in the Statement of Work – Services Requirements. The Plan must be based on travel research findings, including the most current travel research performed by Texas Tourism. The Plan shall detail the Contractor’s programs and activities for promoting Texas as a premier travel destination.
At a minimum, the Respondent’s proposed Strategic Marketing Plan shall include:
- A detailed explanation for all domestic and international advertising, marketing and promotional activities to be undertaken;
- Proposed budget allocation;
- An explanation of how the plan supports OOG’s goals and objectives for the year, including all performance measures and targets as are established by OOG management and/or the Legislative Budget Board;
- An estimate of the consumer awareness levels the plan will achieve and an explanation of how the plan will reach the stated awareness levels;
- Plans for Cooperative Marketing Program activities; and
- Integration of the TravelTexas.com and travel.texas.gov web sites.
The Contractor shall be responsible for providing all creative development and production of advertising, marketing and promotional concepts, including but not limited to, advertisements for all forms of media, websites, presentations, photographs, filming, editing, equipment rentals, display materials, collateral material and brochures as required to execute Strategic Marketing Plan.
- The Contractor shall solicit, secure, place and monitor paid and non-paid media time and/or space in various domestic and international media, including, but not limited to, television, print, digital, radio, and Out-of-Home;
- The Contractor shall secure media placements and rates most advantageous to OOG. The Contractor will only be reimbursed for the actual expenses associated with securing the media placements and shall not charge any administrative fee, overhead cost, commission, or mark- up for media placements secured on behalf of the OOG;
- The Contractor shall provide the OOG with an estimate of the overall reach and frequency of the media plan and the anticipated consumer awareness levels that can be achieved; and
- The Contractor shall be responsible for obtaining all required OOG approvals in writing and in advance of any advertising purchases or media placement. The Contractor will not be compensated or reimbursed for any media purchases or placements made on behalf of OOG that have not been pre-approved in writing by OOG.
The Contractor shall provide full production services, including creating and producing advertising, presentation materials, collateral materials, publications, promotional items, specialty advertising items, exhibits, brochures, banners, and PSAs. Production services shall include, but are not limited to, copy and layouts, type composition, finished artwork, photographs, engagement and compensation of talent, endorsements, testimonials, talent, story boards, scripts, music rights, filming, recording, video dubbing, editing, video production, equipment rentals, scenery, properties, costumes, display materials, sales promotion, merchandising materials, copy writing, graphics, and design.
Development and Support of TravelTexas.com Website
The Contractor shall provide ongoing support and development for all aspects of the responsive design website TravelTexas.com and related micro-sites. This includes, but is not limited to, graphic design services, content updates, development, search engine optimization, programming, software, testing, maintenance, hosting, backups, beta test site, mirror site, email marketing program, database management and project management.
Development and Support of Travel.Texas.gov Website
The Contractor shall provide ongoing development and maintenance for the Travel.Texas.gov web site, including, but not limited to graphic design services, content updates, technology, software, testing, programming, maintenance, hosting, backups, database management, project management, phone and e-mail support, and troubleshooting. The website must be fully-functional and operational and available on-line 24 hours-per-day, seven days-per-week, 365 days-per-year. The website is hosted externally by the OOG’s current advertising contractor through a subcontract but requires constant oversight and account/project management by Contractor.
The Contractor shall work in coordination with the OOG to develop and implement social media content and programs. The Contractor shall provide ongoing creative development and management for various Texas Tourism social media sites, including but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.
Cooperative Advertising/Marketing Programs
The Contractor shall develop, implement, and manage Cooperative Marketing Programs by and between the OOG and its Texas Partners. The Contractor’s programs shall offer effective and attractive cooperative opportunities that enhance and extend awareness and exposure of the Texas vacation message while providing cost-savings for all Texas Partners by allowing them to leverage the advertising and promotional activities of Texas Tourism.
The Contractor shall provide a crisis management plan and ongoing crisis management in relation to the services provided under this Contract. Services shall include, but are not limited to, the identification and monitoring of domestic and international crisis situations that may impact the tourism industry, the implementation of the Strategic Marketing Plan, or the effectiveness, cost-efficiency, or desirability of ongoing advertising and marketing efforts. The crisis management plan shall facilitate the ability of the OOG to promptly cancel or modify existing advertising and marketing promotions in response to a domestic or international crisis situation. The Contractor shall coordinate such efforts with the OOG and other OOG-contracted firms as necessary (e.g., public relations, tourism research).
Proposal due on May 26, 2017 to:
Office of the Governor
Financial Services Division
Attention: Liz Reid
P.O. Box 12878 Austin, TX 78711-2878