Unlock Year-Round Engagement: Eugene, Cascades & Coast Elevates Tourism With An Always-On Advantage

Learn the secrets to engaging your ideal visitors all year-round.

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March 6, 2024

Travel Lane County is the official destination marketing organization for the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region, encompassing 11 communities located in the beautiful state of Oregon. From majestic hiking views and epic waterfalls to the thriving local art and culture scene—adventure is found in every corner and every season. To attract visitors year-round, Travel Lane County champions an always-on approach in their digital marketing strategy.  

We sat down with Stephen Hoshaw, senior director of tourism at Travel Lane County, who is at the helm of general marketing, research, and the overall industry pulse of the visitor economy in Lane County. He shares the key benefits of running always-on marketing for Eugene, Cascades & Coast. 

What role does always-on play in your full marketing plan? 

When we restarted running our campaigns in the initial years of the pandemic, we restarted our budget and marketing structure with an always-on approach. We first prioritized that in social, SEM, and then an additional bucket including programmatic display, video, and native to focus on our true upper- funnel. Now, we are working with Sojern to refine that mix of video, display, and native to get a robust funnel as we not only target folks on top-of-funnel but dive deeper and retarget with a little bit of that budget to drive visitors to book. So we’re designing a strategy with a mix of upper and lower funnel tactics, following travelers through the path to purchase.  

What key benefits have you seen from always-on marketing?

Having an always-on component in the marketing funnel provides us something that we can continually build on so we're not cold start, cold stop. This gives us a solid base of impressions year-round so that we have a foundation as we assess whether or not we’re getting market penetration or measuring awareness built in the key markets. Running ads throughout the year allows us to get creative assets in front of our target markets constantly. It lays the groundwork for our team to leverage, test, and learn from different creatives.

What is a recent example of a successful always-on campaign?

We work closely with Sojern to pull insights on markets that can rise to the top for us in terms of marketing. We ran a campaign last spring with Sojern, targeting the San Francisco market. By uniting that with Zartico’s market insight on folks coming into the destination, we could drive strategy through a data-first approach. 

Through testing and research, we found that the San Francisco market had a higher average spend in our destination compared to other markets, and they were constantly placed in our top six markets. Having an always-on approach not only allows us to reach them with a level of awareness throughout the year, but it also helps us to add to the always-on effort with more direct outreach of video and display. The layering of strategy lets us leverage data we’ve already built up and amplify when it makes sense. 

We noticed that last year, San Francisco placed around seventh for visitors who visited Travel Lane County's website and then stepped foot in the destination. With our digital efforts this year, they rose into our top fourth designated market area. 

Gone are the days of seasonal flights. DMOs are increasingly adopting always-on marketing so their destination is top-of-mind for visitors year-round. Learn more about our success with Eugene, Cascades & Coast, or check out our eBook, The Destination Marketer’s Guide to Always-On Marketing.

Image Credit: Melanie Ryan Griffin / EugeneCascadesCoast.org

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