Jefferson County Tourism Alliance.
The Jefferson County Tourism Caucus was a meeting of stakeholder organizations with an interest in Tourism in and around Madison, Indiana in early 2021. Attendees represented a wide range of tourism-related organizations with an interest in accelerating growth in tourism, collaborating more effectively and creating a brand message that could be shared across all of the organizations. These organizations included but were not limited to:
Historic Madison Incorporated
Madison Area Arts Alliance
Jefferson County Board of Tourism
Madison Music Movement
Madison Main Street Project
Madison Area Chamber of Commerce
Jefferson County Historical Society
The City of Madison
The Town of Hanover
The Caucus meeting provided The Marketing Department both an opportunity to better understand the current state of tourism stakeholders’ organizations, objectives and collaborative initiatives, and to present best practice processes involved in the development and implementation of digital marketing efforts. With this understanding and with the interest expressed by stakeholders in developing more effective and measurable marketing efforts, The Marketing Department and Creative Insight Community Development were asked to work together guiding a community development and brand/marketing journey benefiting Madison's tourism organizations through a series of meetings over a six month period.
Formation of Tourism Stakeholder's Committee
Marketing representatives from each of the organizations in attendance at the March 19th Caucus were invited to form a committee for the purpose of further developing the Jefferson County tourism brand, identifying brand objectives and KPIs to measure success, and creating personas and effective messaging to be used for marketing purposes in the future.
The diverse committee would also be brought together in a safe space to learn to trust, collaborate, and share resources with each other in order to build on each others' successes, and to work together to achieve initiatives with positive outcomes for all. In building this alliance of organizations, a strategic vision for the tourism groups would be created, focusing on the “why” of the group, and a plan for how these independent groups can work together effectively. These were highly synergistic activities guided between The Marketing Department and Creative Insights and accomplished using the same stakeholder groups, during the same meetings.
This newly formed committee came to be known as:
Jefferson County Tourism Alliance
With so many diverse organizations involved it was important to provide a collaborative online workspace providing resources and exercises including meeting minutes, agendas, worksheets for meeting exercises, process deliverables, a news space for members to share information and resources, and a committee contact directory.
The site is used beyond our six month engagement as a means of sharing ideas and assets ensuring the continuation of collaborative efforts and the success of tourism throughout Jefferson County.
RIGHT TOOLS For The Job
Understand The Brand
The Alliance needed to come together finding consensus about the Madison/Jefferson County brand. The best way to achieve this agreement was to take them back to brand basics through exercises identifying the elements that make a brand including:
Brand values, beliefs and purpose
Points of parity and of differentiation
Armed with agreement about how to describe Madison in each of these aspects of the brand, we could then begin to explore appropriate overall messaging in the form of a tagline that could be shared by all of the organizations.
Objectives & KPIs
Determining success of failure of branding and marketing efforts is important for any organization. For the Jefferson County Tourism Alliance, establishing just what it is they hope to accomplish together, their objectives, and the data to use to measure each of their objectives or Key Performance Indicators was crucial. Each group has access to their own data individually, and overall data provided by third parties. We had to work together to determine what was important and how these things could be measured effectively.
An important factor in determining brand messaging is understanding the audiences most likely to engage with your brand. This is accomplished by creating personas representing categories of people most likely to act on your call to action.
Our alliance forming journey resulted in the creation of an engaged and motivated group of diverse organizations excited about working together toward collaborative success. This result of our efforts may be the most important deliverable of all, the complete list of deliverables available to all group members on the JCTA website include:
The completed JCTA Brand Process Document
Brand Objectives and KPIs
"Why" Exercise - Each Organization's Core Motivation
Alliance Strengths and Weaknesses Matrix
Alliance Rolling Item Action List (RAIL)
Final Presentation to Jefferson County Tourism Board and to the Public
Good times are calling!
The Jefferson County Tourism Alliance has continued to grow and thrive adding new organizations to the mix. Tourism in Madison has grown at a rate of nearly 50% in the first half of 2022
cooperating in tourism alliance
in tourism in the first half of 2022
Good times are calling
messaging rolling out across Alliance organizations
continually updated tracking progress
identifying key audiences and demos for marketing