State Tourism Office seeks a branding/marketing agency

Steve’s breakdown: The main contact is Chelsea.Gilbertson@state.co.us. Most of the RFP is below but you can also access all documents at this link.

DENVER, CO: The Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) seeks a branding/marketing agency to apply a research-based approach to identifying regions that can serve as effective platforms for marketing collaborations among tourism partners within each respective region. This project also includes working with the CTO, vendor partners and tourism industry stakeholders to develop brand identities for each region in a way that both expresses and generates consumer awareness of the travel experiences within each region. The branding/marketing agency should ensure that its proposal take into consideration the findings and direction of the new Colorado Tourism Roadmap, adopted March 15, 2017, as a strategic plan for building the Colorado tourism industry’s competitive advantage. Additionally, the proposal should be cognizant of travel patterns and behaviors within Colorado, the state’s geography/topography, tourism product groupings and the seasonality of each region’s tourism product offerings.

Existing regional boundaries, established across the state decades ago, were organized geographically and for many years have not been effective in driving collaboration or consumer awareness. Additionally, the naming of these regions is not inspirational, rather describing points on a compass, such as Northwest or Southeast, which do little to increase a traveler’s understanding of what they may find in those parts of the state. (See regional map).

The CTO, based on input from the tourism industry, has concluded that these geographically labeled regions are doing little either to provide tourism partners with opportunities to market collaboratively or to provide potential visitors with usable information regarding a region’s tourism assets. To promote all corners of the state to potential visitors more effectively, the CTO seeks to create new regional designations based on the assets that most likely would inspire consumers to come for a visit.

The primary goals of this initiative are:
1/ To define new tourism regions allowing Colorado to better promote distinctive travel experiences across the state.

2/To provide the Colorado tourism industry with new insights and tools to stimulate industry-driven marketing partnerships and collaborations, potentially with CTO support.

3/ To shape regions in ways that are useful for the travel industry and make it easier for travelers to connect with desired experiences.

Here are some examples of how other states have created regional brands.

http://www.visitcalifornia.com/search?query=regions https://www.iloveny.com/places-to-go/ https://www.traveltexas.com/cities-regions http://www.travelwyoming.com/itineraries http://www.visitmississippi.org/regions http://www.kentuckytourism.com/explore/regions.aspx https://visitpa.com/pennsylvania-region-and-city-map

This effort will be complementary to, but independent of the CTO’s successful “Come to Life” statewide marketing campaign, which was launched in 2012. To secure fresh perspectives on consumer perceptions and desire for travel opportunities within Colorado, agencies currently under contract with CTO are not being considered for this project.

Additional resources available to bidders include:

  • –  Longwoods International Visitor Profile studies
  • –  Dean Runyan Economic Impact studies
  • –  Colorado Tourism Strategic Roadmap

    The above resources can be found at http://industry.colorado.com/regional-branding-rfp The successful bidder for this project is expected to perform, at a minimum, the

    following:

    1/ Under the direction and with the full participation of the CTO, engage with and secure input from a CTO-appointed advisory committee on research components and recommendations until the project is complete.

    2/ Survey the Colorado tourism industry to:
    — Identify existing multi-partner/regional marketing collaborations and existing regional branding within the state – regardless of whether they conform to current geographic regions – to gain insights into what is making these collaborations work and how they could be improved or held up as a model for other Colorado destinations.
    — Gain insight into marketing collaborations that include private sector partners and their dynamics.
    — Gain perspectives on what industry partners regard as regional superlatives that could serve as the basis or an anchor for marketing collaborations or a regional identity.

    3/ Perform and/or review consumer research to gain insights into how consumers travel Colorado, including how travelers move between various Colorado destinations and the impact of seasonality on their travel patterns and behavior. This research should encompass and identify the experiences, attractions and landmarks that draw consumers to visit and return to various parts of the state. See above for list of research is available from the CTO.

    4/ Based on research findings, develop a plan for how CTO can effectively designate and use regional boundaries for marketing collaborations.

    5/ Based on CTO and input to proposed regional boundaries, develop brand identities for each region that can provide a foundation for collaborative marketing. CTO may seek input on proposed regional boundaries through public listening sessions or other means.

6/ Revise and finalize the regional brand identities based on ongoing input from the CTO and the advisory group and a maximum of two rounds of revisions. CTO may seek input on proposed regional identities through public listening sessions or other means.

Responses to this RFP must include the following sections, numbered and in the sequence below:

1/ Company history of the bidder, including current clients, key personnel and types of services offered

2/ Presentation of the bidder’s marketing and branding experience, including any tourism-related experience, which is desirable but not required

3/ Presentation of the bidder’s business and consumer research experience

4/ Present a detailed to plan to create a research-based approach to designating regions and regional brand identities for marketing use by the CTO and Colorado tourism industry.

5/ Provide a detailed budget to perform this work and develop new tourism regional brands for Colorado.

Proposal budget: $200,000, to include independent research, agency fees, and other activities to fulfill bid requirements.

Contract term October 15, 2017, to March 31, 2018

Proposal Process

Proposers have the opportunity to submit questions regarding the RFP. These questions are to be emailed to Chelsea Gilbertson at Chelsea.Gilbertson@state.co.us by August 11, 2017. Answers to all potential bidders questions will be posted online within the State of Colorado procurement website here by August 18, 2017. All questions will be asked and answered through this process.

Longwoods International is conducting the search for the CTO. Interested agencies should contact George Zimmermann at Longwoods

International at gzimmermann@longwoods-intl.com, to receive a copy of this RFP.

Other questions should be submitted via the question and answer process detailed in

the RFP below.

Proposals are due by email via digital file to Chelsea Gilbertson at Chelsea.Gilbertson@state.co.us by 5:00 pm Mountain Time on September 15, 2017.

Finalist proposers will be invited to the Colorado Tourism Office’s office in Denver for oral presentations to the CTO Regional Branding committee the week of September 25, 2017.

The winning bidder will be announced on October 2, 2017.

The contact for all questions throughout the process is Chelsea Gilbertson at Chelsea.Gilbertson@state.co.us. Do not contact Colorado Tourism Office staff or contractors regarding this RFP.

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