Visitor Bureau Works to Unite, Expand Marketing Efforts

The Door County Visitors Bureau (DCVB) has completed two phases of a county “visitor centers” project, part of a three-legged plan to create a visitor information network.

Phase one was to update computer hardware and make sure all visitor centers were connected via DSL or better connectivity. At this date all of the computers have been installed in the eight visitor centers around the county that are part of the Door County Tourism Zone. This will enable visitor center employees and volunteers to be better equipped to disperse information about all of Door County to visitors. In addition, the DCVB is systematically replacing the computer screens in the kiosks as the monitors are beginning to wear out.

The second phase of the plan was to bring about some type of customer service training. On May 13 the DCVB hosted two half-day seminars entitled “A Passion for Service” with Bill Drury. A total of 146 community members attended the fun, information-filled sessions. It is the hope of the DCVB that ongoing customer service training can be established in Door County.

The third phase currently being worked on is a signage program. A family look was created to unify the visitor information centers and make them all a part of the “visitor information network.” Each community is being looked at for size and space restrictions, but will have a uniform look for visitors seeking information.

Two Marketing Vehicles Showing Great Results

The DCVB has created two great partnerships with revenue from room tax dollars. One is with E-Brains, an electronic media marketing company, and another with Geiger & Associates, a public relations company specializing in travel writer relationships.

E-Brains has grown the database of organic users from just over 16,000 in August of 2007 to 120,000 at the end of June 2008. Web traffic continues to grow at From January through May of 2007 there were 610,999 visitors to the Web site, but in the same time period in 2008 there have been 1,021,759 visitors. E-Brains continues to maximize the search engine optimization for the Web site.

Geiger & Associates has arranged five press tours that have brought 92 journalists to Door County since July of 2007. As a result, 63 articles have been placed in print, radio or online media, reaching an audience of 7,449,264 readers, listeners or viewers. If the DCVB had to purchase these articles in the form of paid advertising, it would have cost $612,880. Geiger & Associates have been able to garner over $139,000 of in-kind contributions to support these press tours that the DCVB did not have to spend from marketing dollars.

DCVB members have said 27 – 38 percent of traffic on their web sites originates at

Print, radio, and TV campaigns emerging

The DCVB has put together a four pronged, multi media attack in Door County feeder markets this summer to vie for its share of the summer tourism dollar.

A newspaper insertion program has been established utilizing a 5.5” x 11” four color insert focusing on five key areas of Door County for the summer. A total of 100,000 each of the five inserts have been ordered and began insertion June 4. The areas highlighted are arts and culture, green spaces and parks, water and water sports, culinary, and shopping. The newspapers carrying the insert are the Chicago Tribune, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Every two weeks a combined 100,000 pieces are inserted into these papers based on zip codes, reaching the demographic user in these key markets. The visitor bureau is also running banner ads in conjunction with the Wisconsin Department of Tourism in these key markets.

The DCVB has put together a summer-long radio campaign in conjunction with Wisconsin Public Radio (WPR). The DCVB chose WPR because the demographics of listeners match the core customer demographics. These radio “sponsorships” focus on Door County as a destination for the listener this summer.

The television component is currently running in the Fox Valley on FOX Channel 11. The DCVB was able to present a co-op marketing opportunity to the membership for these commercials. A total of 112 thirty-second co-op ads were sold as part of this endeavor, which run during Good Day Wisconsin between 5:30 and 9:30 am. Each commercial consists of 20 seconds of Door County image advertising, 7 seconds of the sponsor’s message, and close with call today for your vacation planner. These ads began June 4 and will run once a day for 112 consecutive days. There will also be a shorter winter television campaign highlighting Door County’s wonderful winter activities.