Venture's marketing criticised
Venture Southland management say they will examine how future "marketing dollars" are spent after a $44,000 marketing campaign in November produced few tangible results.
Chief executive Paul Casson said the organisation was preparing its budgets for the next financial year and would be looking carefully at opportunities in the future.
His comments were made after being asked about Venture's tourism manager spending $44,289.47 on an awareness campaign that resulted in Facebook "likes" and website traffic.
Mr Casson said information from the campaign's online survey was useful, but looking back it might not have been the best way to spend marketing dollars.
"Hindsight is a wonderful thing and if we knew what we did now, maybe we would have done things differently, but at the time it looked like the best investment for a project," he said.
Venture, the ratepayer-funded agency responsible for the Southland region's economic and community development initiatives, would look at consolidating its budget and would examine all projects to see if they had been effective and efficient, he said.
Venture Southland tourism sector manager Tareen Ellis justified spending more than $44,000 because it generated "likes" on a Facebook page and website traffic.
The month-long Best of Both Worlds domestic campaign, which aimed to sell Southland to Aucklanders and Cantabrians, was held in November.
Ms Ellis also said the campaign "was not as good as we would have liked . . . only one deal was taken up."
The campaign costs comprised of a $5000 prize, $19,377.47 for advertising and $19,912 to set up the campaign.
"We believe our objective was met. We had more than 4000 visitors to our micro website and we had an increase of 1500 likes on our Southlandnz Facebook page," she said.
She could not say for certain if all the "likes" had been generated from the campaign because it was hard to measure.
The Venture website usually got about 100 new likes a month, she said.
A competition in the website campaign attracted 2000 people which she said was a great achievement.
The campaign included an online survey asking people if they had been to Southland or planned to travel in the next year to the region.
About 678 people completed the survey, with 62 per cent saying yes they would come and 74 per cent said they had been.
Ms Ellis said visitors were more reliant on social media and wanted to engage with future travel destinations before visiting. Despite five months passing since the campaign, she could not say if the $40,000 campaign had been a success. Sometimes it took more than a year for the marketing effort to gain traction and attract more visitors, she said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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