CARSON CITY, Nev. — Following its transformation into an integrated marketing agency, the Nevada Commission on Tourism and research firm TNS Global have developed a new way to measure the return on investment and campaign effectiveness for a total advertising and public relations campaign, dramatically changing the way that destination marketing organizations (DMOs) will value their efforts moving forward.
“Until now Nevada, and nearly all DMOs in the country, have used a standard advertising effectiveness study that looks only at the impact of paid advertising on potential visitation,” Claudia Vecchio, director of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, said. “But we know that a potential visitor also sees magazine articles, social media posts, and websites and that the collective impact of all plays a vital role in their travel decisions. We knew there had to be a way to evaluate all points of contact with our messaging to get a more holistic view of the success of our efforts. TNS Global met our challenge and developed a cross-media evaluation technique unlike any other.”
TNS is the largest custom marketing research firm in the world and works with numerous Fortune 500 clients that face the same quandary that NCOT faced in measuring its marketing success: How do PR, social media, and advertising work together to drive business, and how can this synergy be proven?
“The Nevada Commission on Tourism is a leader in restructuring the methodology around measuring this new marketing and research landscape,” TNS Vice President John Packer said. “TNS had to employ a more holistic design to campaign effectiveness in order to account for paid, owned, and earned media.”
Paid media is the traditional advertising that a company buys, for example, in print publications and on television. Owned media is the company’s own digital assets, such as its website and social media sites. Earned media comprises unpaid exposure that a company receives through magazine and news articles, television coverage or conversations that NCOT drives, but that occur on non-owned social channels.
NCOT routinely performs ad effectiveness studies after its advertising campaigns to determine the ROI of the campaign. Until now TNS was only able to measure paid advertising through surveys. The cutting edge element added to the study allows TNS to now place “tags” on all NCOT digital media whether paid, owned or earned. The tags allow TNS to more accurately align NCOT’s exposure and non-exposure to digital media and run effectiveness diagnostics accordingly.
“We know that this is a mix of science and art, and therefore subject to tweaks and changes as the right model is determined, but this is the ‘wild west’ of research technology, and we’re thrilled to be at the forefront of it,” Vecchio said. “We welcome innovative thinking from our internal team and the partners we work with, and because of this, we can proudly say that we are the only DMO in the United States to be trying this sort of holistic reporting of an integrated ROI including paid, owned, and earned media.”
“I can honestly say that as our methodology improves, no DMO will want to go back to the old way of measuring their marketing,” Packer said. “Integrated marketing agencies need integrated results, and adding paid media to owned and earned exposure builds a synergy that the old models do not achieve.”
The new method of reporting was first applied to NCOT’s fall/winter campaign from 2013 and early 2014. The results have shown a dramatic increase in the effectiveness of the campaign and a boost in the resulting ROI. The numbers indicate that the agency’s owned and earned media worked efficiently in concert with its paid media to generate more visitation to the state. The first advertising effectiveness study will serve as a base for future comparative purposes. Another report will be conducted on the agency’s spring/summer 2014 campaign to further refine the method and provide a full year of results.
For more information on the Nevada Commission on Tourism, please visit www.TravelNevada.com.
The Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT) is part of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs. NCOT promotes and markets Nevada as a tourism destination for domestic and international leisure and business travelers through its marketing and advertising programs and by coordinating partnerships between public and private entities. NCOT also administers grant programs for local entities to market travel and tourism offerings and publishes Nevada Magazine.