Shelbyville Daily Union

January 22, 2010

Greater Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce Strategic Marketing Plan


January 1, 2010 - December 31, 2010

Authored by:

2010 Executive Board and

2010 Board of Directors



MESSSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT



Each year, the Greater Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce will gain insight and input from the Board of Directors of the Greater Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce, the Shelby County Office of Tourism, Chamber of Commerce members, Shelbyville City Council, Shelby County Board, and the Shelby County Economic Commission to develop the Program of Work and Marketing/Communication Plan for the following year.

Effective in 2010, the Greater Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce will use this designed programming to better promote Shelbyville as a year-round destination by reaching potential visitors with messages about dining, lodging, spas, shopping, and a community with an interesting history and the most beautiful scenery in the Midwest.

The Greater Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce Marketing Plan aims to:

Outline the intended programs of commerce operations and the role of tourism

Delineate the ways & means by which tourism and commerce shall be promoted

Identify and articulate cooperative or shared-cost program opportunities to leverage advertising and promotional items

We have designed our programs to be aggressive, expansive yet precisely targeted and designed to support Shelbyville hotels, motels, inns, restaurants, activities and attractions. In doing so, we understand that the land is our livelihood as well as a gift, and embrace ecological responsibility.

Please let us know what you think of our plan or if you have questions or suggestions. We are always searching for new and innovative ways to promote one of Illinois most beautiful resources, Lake Shelbyville.



Tad A. Mayhall

President



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY



The Greater Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) is charged with promoting Shelbyville and the surrounding communities as tourist destinations and encourages our residents to stay home and shop our local businesses. The ultimate goal of the Chamber is to increase the retail and other business spending through visitor and local consumer spending. Because the Chamber is a public/private partnership, local businesses pay a membership fee to maintain membership. The Chamber is charged with properly representing the membership through publicity, interaction with city and county government entities, and tourism officials, to better enhance the businesses environment and activity in Shelbyville. All programs and plans listed in this Marketing Plan must be performed and executed with the full support and cooperation from the Office of Tourism. The bottom and top lines for all of our businesses requires a focus on capturing and maximizing the money spent by visitors to Lake Shelbyville.

Acknowledging that all categories of consumer overnight visits are important, both leisure and business, every effort has been made to leverage existing resources over the broad travel industry, while marketing sense dictates that we prioritize efforts for maximum impact. Various marketing tactics such as qualitative market research, economic research, advertising, promotions, direct marketing, public relations, collateral, development and distribution of fulfillment and special events are used with each program area to reach the plan's major objectives.



MISSION STATEMENT



The mission of the Chamber is to provide positive leadership with the highest standard of integrity. The Chamber will encourage a strong local economy through business growth and retention to enhance quality of life through an informed membership and community. In partnership with the membership and the community, the Chamber will work and influence public policy to promote welfare of our membership and community.



TOURISM/COMMERCE PROGRAM GOALS



1. To increase the awareness of Shelbyville's destination brand

2. To increase Shelbyville destination travel spending

3. To increase the number of Shelbyville overnights and longer leisure trips with emphasis on mid-week and off-peak travel

4. To increase visitor inquiries over the previous year



The Chamber achieves its goals through internet marketing, weekly electronic mail newsletters, ribbon cutting ceremonies, working with local print, television, internet, and radio media outlets for promotional needs, public relations, marketing programs and development/sponsorship of festivals and events.

The Chamber can measure success by Sales Tax Collections, Internet statistics, and membership levels.



CURRENT SITUATION



GREATER SHELBYVILLE TARGET MARKETS



The Greater Shelbyville primary GEOGRAPHIC target market is travel decision makers in Illinois, Northern Missouri, and Indiana.



RATIONALE: The Greater Shelbyville area is easy to reach by car. We assume for now that Northern Missouri and Indiana residents are less familiar with the Greater Shelbyville area than Illinois residents. The Greater Shelbyville area needs to stay top-of-mind to remind this target audience of the many things to do in the Greater Shelbyville area and in the summer, targeting Lake Shelbyville's beauty and activities. Potential visitors need to be told of the many reasons for more frequent and longer overnight visits. Particular attention will be paid to encouraging visitation during our slower fall and winter seasons, as well as during mid-week. Chicago and St. Louis are perfect target markets as the diverse demographics provide opportunities for many of the retired and affluent residents who are available to travel mid-week.



GREATER SHELBYVILLE MARKET STRENGTHS



The main attraction to the Greater Shelbyville area is the natural, scenic beauty of the area on and around Lake Shelbyville. Our strongest distinction among other destinations is our ability to host visitors and activities on and around the lake. Fishing tournaments, golf, boat races, hunting, camping, and boating provide us a strategic advantage over many other travel destinations. Surveys should be considered to poll visitors on the reasons for their visit as well as seek out suggestions where we can improve Shelbyville to become the top-of-mind destination of travelers.



GREATER SHELBYVILLE MARKET WEAKNESSES

Lack of community consensus concerning tourism and tourists

Insufficient financial resources to compete for visitor dollars in comparison to other destination marketing budgets.

Business operating hours not always conducive to visitor needs

Lack of communication between business community, governmental agencies, Chamber Board, and tourism officials.



GREATER SHELBYVILLE MARKET OPPORTUNTIES

Increasing use of the Internet

Marketing through the travel industry distribution system

Develop a strategic plan including a community consensus regarding the future of Shelbyville's visitor market

Consider reinvesting some hotel occupancy tax into a strategic plan designed to increase our market share of visitor spending at local merchant stores

Develop marketing partnerships locally and regionally to enhance our marketing resources, thereby creating greater impact to attract visitors

Conduct workshops for local businesses providing training on how to maximize profitability in a visitor spending economy

Work closely with the Army Corps of Engineers to help promote the assets and services that the lake has to offer

Work to promote local retail and restaurant business to local consumers and consumers in the surrounding area



MARKETING OBJECTIVES



The Chamber aims to increase visitor and local resident spending by branding the Greater Shelbyville area and assisting to create memorable, educational and positive experiences in the area by:



Motivating vacationers to travel to and within the Greater Shelbyville area for overnight stays of 2+ days.

Encouraging residents to check out offerings from local retailers and restaurants before traveling to other towns for goods and services.

Motivate domestic tour operators to include the Greater Shelbyville area as an overnight program

Motivate pre/post special event and holiday travelers to include the Greater Shelbyville area as part of their travel experience. Special events include: Memorial Day weekend, Fourth of July holiday activities, Labor Day weekend, Scarecrow Daze, Shelbyville Festival of Lights, ect.

In support of these objectives, the plan is divided into four areas:

Advertising

Public Relations

Collateral/Fulfillment

Research



MARKETING STRATEGY: ADVERTISING PLAN



The Greater Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce advertising plan has been designed to enforce the awareness campaign for the Greater Shelbyville area. It will focus on continued positioning of the Greater Shelbyville area in our primary and secondary markets.



OBJECTIVES:

To generate awareness of the Greater Shelbyville area destination brand position

To educate retailers on the benefits of diversifying products and services

To increase the number of Greater Shelbyville area leisure overnight stays

To concentrate efforts towards increasing visits midweek and during the off-peak (November - February)

To increase traffic to the Greater Shelbyville area from those visiting Lake Shelbyville



STRATEGIES:

To entice the target market to visit by luring them with the many things to do in Shelbyville

To offer reasons for multiple overnight visits

To feature various visitor venues and activities within the area

To develop a marketing budget in cooperation with the Office of Tourism, City of Shelbyville, and Shelby County Board of Directors



TACTICS:

To create and implement a Greater Shelbyville area awareness campaign in cooperation with the Office of Tourism, City of Shelbyville, and Shelby County Board of Directors

To develop and implement media plan (see media strategy section)

To develop and establish the procedures and mechanics for cooperative marketing in various promotional efforts

To secure co-op marketing funds to support/supplement the Chamber budget





ADVERTISING STRATEGY



The strategy for our primary market is to continue to take advantage of the Chamber and Tourism websites as well as the solid relationship with local radio and television stations as well as local print and internet media outlets. All ads shall be updated to create a consistent message.





Television

WAND-TV Channel 17 - NBC (Springfield)

WCIA Channel 3 - CBS (Champaign)

FOX 55 - Fox (Springfield/Decatur)

WICS Channel 20 - ABC (Springfield)



Print

Newspaper: Shelbyville Daily Union, Mattoon Journal Gazette, Decatur Herald & Review, Effingham Daily News



Tourism Publications: Shelby County Tourism Guide



Regional Publications, covering primary/secondary markets:

Chicago, St. Louis, Indianapolis publications



Electronic Media

Throughout the year, constant updates on activities and programs will be made to the Chamber website. The Chamber will promote the website as often as possible to draw more attention. In addition, we will be partnering with the Office of Tourism to build the Shelbyville destination brand. Focus on collection of electronic mail addresses from visitors and those who have an interest in updates on events in the Greater Shelbyville area.



Special Projects/Co-op Partnerships

Additional resources should be considered, in the future and when available, to be dedicated to the valuable opportunities available to the Greater Shelbyville area through partnering and co-op efforts, extending advertising dollars. The Chamber shall consider co-operative programs with the Shelby County Office of Tourism for targeted publications/media. Examples include ads in specialty magazines, newspapers, corporate sponsorship programs, and ads to accompany ad-value editorial generated. This may also include special events and festivals.



MARKETING STRATEGY: PUBLIC RELATIONS PLAN



The Chamber Public Relations Plan has been designed to ensure ongoing positive coverage of Shelbyville as a visitor destination and our businesses to valuable assets to consumers. In support of these purposes, the plan is divided into the following program areas:

Media Relations

Community Relations



GOALS

Generate 25 media inquiries

Generate 4 contacts per year with members

Coordinate familiarization discussions for local journalists

Produce 6 media news releases

Conduct 12 media interviews

Distribute relocation packets

Participate in 12 community presentations

Produce 6 community media press releases

Produce and distribute 6 editions of the a consumer newsletter to the visitor center

Help produce and distribute 26 editions of the Chamber membership newsletter to members

Produce and distribute the annual report



Media Relations



The following strategies are intended to provide the best public relations outreach for the various geographic markets and target audiences within our budget. They are listed and grouped by emphasis on markets of priority. In all cases, we have taken into account gaining maximum impact for the Chamber budget.



Target: Regional Media



RATIONALE: The regional media agencies are familiar with the Greater Shelbyville area. The Greater Shelbyville area is convenient and easy to cover, but the coverage has been superficial and routine. The Greater Shelbyville area needs to be positioned in a new, fresh and expanded way.



Target: Illinois and Neighboring State Media Market



RATIONALE: The undiscovered, the new and the fresh always have tremendous appeal and the Greater Shelbyville area can offer media professionals these hooks. It is important for the Chamber to use public relations to extend its reach beyond what the advertising budget can achieve. To maximize every dollar, the Chamber will work cooperative public relations with an emphasis on the Illinois State and neighboring states markets. The website, local news websites, press releases, and Office of Tourism Guides can aide in this effort.



OBJECTIVES

Achieve a greater “share of the voice” for the Greater Shelbyville area in the Illinois travel media coverage

Increase coverage in Chicago, Indianapolis, and St. Louis as a travel destination

Implement public relations programs designed to support the overall mission and goals of the Chamber and to support the Chamber Marketing Plan.

Strengthen, support and complement the overall Chamber Strategic Marketing Plan by obtaining public relations coverage with key media too expensive to buy as part of the advertising budget

Work with other neighboring Chambers of Commerce to build awareness of the Central Illinois area

Motivate Illinois residents to travel to the Greater Shelbyville area

Encourage residents outside Illinois to travel to the Greater Shelbyville area



STRATEGIES

Develop contacts with local, regional, and target market print and electronic media

Work with the Office of Tourism to organize and escort tourism directors and tour company owners in and around the Greater Shelbyville area

Feature various visitor venues and activities in the Greater Shelbyville area through press releases and media alerts.

Provide press releases, media alerts, and interview opportunities relating to Greater Shelbyville area marketing promotions to local, regional, and out of state media.

Continue building and maintaining strong relationships with local and regional journalists.

Writers will be invited to experience the Greater Shelbyville areas special events and festivals.



TACTICS

Create and update media resource database

Identify, network, and participate with the Illinois State Tourism Office and PR professionals within the state.

Work with the Office of Tourism and the Army Corps of Engineers to develop individual press trips that highlight the demographics of specific media targets

Develop and distribute press kits and specialty media mailings

Work with local Chambers of Commerce and the Office of Tourism on familiarization tours



Community Relations



Target: Greater Shelbyville Area/Shelby County Residents and Chamber Members



RATIONALE: The Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce, Shelby County tourism industry and the Shelby County Office of Tourism need to understand and support each other in order to ensure that the Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce is developing and executing strategies that best promote Shelbyville and Shelby County as a visitor destination. It is important to increase awareness among Shelbyville and Shelby County residents of the importance of the visitor industry to the Greater Shelbyville areas economic vitality and highlight the role the Chamber plays in bringing travel business to Shelbyville and Shelby County.



OBJECTIVES

Increase awareness of the Chamber's efforts and programs

Position the Office of Tourism as the official destination marketing organization

Increase and maintain Chamber and Office of Tourism staff product knowledge to enhance and strengthen marketing efforts

Keep visitor industry businesses and organizations informed of the opportunities and efforts made by the Chamber to accomplish marketing goals



STRATEGIES/TACTICS

Develop and distribute press releases on the Chamber to local and regional media and associations a minimum of six times per year

Produce a What's New press release to be emailed to a database of tourism partners

Consider working with city and county officials to create a Tourism Economic Impact Study, Visitor Profile Study and ongoing tourism research



Media Relations

Publicity Development



The strategy for publicity development is to target key travel writers and provide them with the information and materials necessary to generate features on the Greater Shelbyville area as a visitor destination including:



Fulfilling all media inquiries about the Greater Shelbyville area and the surrounding area

Tracking and evaluating the results of media relations and publicity development

Providing thorough, efficient and timely responses to inquiries by travel and trade media

Maintaining a database of all media contacts

Clipping articles and maintaining files of articles generated through the Chamber public relations efforts

Conduct Journalist Familiarization (FAM) Tours in cooperation with the Office of Tourism



Community Relations



Communications

This is a primary tool for publicity in the local market. Monthly articles should be written in for our local print and internet media outlets. Weekly email blasts are to be sent to each member. We will also make contact with each member on a quarterly basis, face-to-face, to check on their well-being and to take suggestions on improvements.



MARKETING STRATEGY: COLLATERAL/FULFILLMENT PLAN



The Chamber Collateral/Fulfillment Plan, in cooperation with the Office of Tourism, will provide comprehensive information to the potential visitor about the Greater Shelbyville area and Shelby County. Editorial content and detailed information on services and attractions creates resource tools (collateral) promoting the Greater Shelbyville area as a visitor destination. Fulfillment involves getting and processing visitor inquiries, then tracking that information for statistical analysis. In support of these purposes, the plan has the following program areas:



Collateral:

Tourism Guide

Web Site



Shelby County Tourism Guide



The Shelby County Tourism Guide, has been created with the specific purpose of reaching the potential visitor in the planning process. The guide is published by the Office of Tourism in the fall of each year.



RATIONALE: The guide is a primary tool used to show the potential visitor the possibilities available in the Greater Shelbyville area and Shelby County and to assist in their trip planning. Traditional sales pieces of this nature increase overall consumer spending in the destination. All marketing programs (advertising, public relations and travel trade) direct visitors to the Chamber and Office of Tourism phone numbers and websites, where they can request a visitor's guide to be mailed to them or view the guide online using turn-page technology.



GOALS

Produce and distribute 25,000 guides to potential visitors in 12 months

Increase private sector support and advertisements

Develop research analysis to consumers who requested information

Collect email addresses from those who inquire and create a database to allow for marketing opportunities and event notifications.



OBJECTIVES

Develop a comprehensive and useful tool for the potential visitor

Distribute the majority of the 25,000 guides to potential visitors in the planning process



STRATEGIES

Educate the Greater Shelbyville area visitor industry on the concept and purpose of the visitor's guide in an effort to encourage more listings, and thereby produce a more comprehensive planning tool

Provide the potential visitor with possibilities for activities, attractions, lodging and travel essentials

Continual email survey to those consumers requesting a guide



TACTICS

Develop and implement a fulfillment/distribution program

Continue relationship with the Shelby County Office of Tourism to enhance partnership



Web Site Maintenance & Development



As web sites become more prevalent as marketing tools and research tools for consumers, continued emphasis will be placed on content, promotional tie-ins and internet marketing.



RATIONALE

This year's efforts will primarily focus on maintaining and refreshing the web site. A minimum of two sections will be enhanced. The focus will be to increase the number of visitors to the website to make the site the first thought when consumers and visitors want to learn more about Shelbyville. A longer-range goal is to increase the website traffic and create advertisement revenue from local businesses.



GOALS

Develop downloadable photo gallery online

Increase traffic by 50%

Enhance opportunities for businesses to increase visibility



OBJECTIVES

Continue to be competitive in the Internet market

Continue to be a comprehensive web site for visitors planning trips to Shelbyville

Layout future phases of development for continued enhancement of the site



STRATEGIES/TACTICS

Build long-term traffic

Encourage visitor industry partnerships and create strong retail and other business information resulting in a more resourceful planning tool

Enhance site with additional sections and add more information to current sections

Provide more web advertising opportunities



TACTICS

Continue relationship with Shelbyville High School business classes

Optimize Shelbyvillechamberofcommerce.com for Search engines (make it more search engine friendly)

Complete search engine registrations and submissions on a regular basis

Maintain and update content, links, calendar and images on monthly basis

Capture consumer data for research tracking and future promotions

Continue to send monthly reports to businesses listed to track and determine success of web site



MARKETING STRATEGY: RESEARCH/EDUCATION PLAN



Ongoing visitor market assessments are critical for identifying efficient, productive program strategies for the Chambers efforts, and to ensure that marketing resources are used to maximize their return. These assessment must be worked on in cooperation with the City of Shelbyville, Shelby County Board of Directors, Army Corps of Engineers, and the Shelby County Office of Tourism.



GOALS

Conduct consumer surveys via email fulfillment lists

Conduct domestic product inventory

Continue to obtain marketing research



OBJECTIVES

Be knowledgeable of national, state and regional travel trends

Identify future opportunities for expanding the Shelbyville visitor base

Become aware of travel industry and programming changes and enhancements that include Shelbyville Chamber and the Office of Tourism



STRATEGIES/TACTICS

Prepare reports for internal and external use

Perform surveys and asset study to determine better use of resources

Conduct monthly email survey to consumers who requested information