January 1, 2010 - December 31, 2010
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
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.
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.
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
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:
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.
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
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
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
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.
WAND-TV Channel 17 - NBC (Springfield)
WCIA Channel 3 - CBS (Champaign)
FOX 55 - Fox (Springfield/Decatur)
WICS Channel 20 - ABC (Springfield)
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
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:
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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:
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
Develop downloadable photo gallery online
Increase traffic by 50%
Enhance opportunities for businesses to increase visibility
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
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
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.
Conduct consumer surveys via email fulfillment lists
Conduct domestic product inventory
Continue to obtain marketing research
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
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