In business it sometimes makes sense to partner with others. Joining together as a group brings benefits to you and your business, beyond what you could accomplish on your own.
When it comes to international marketing, your chamber partners with Charleston and Myrtle Beach to stretch our collective marketing dollars as far as possible. While it might seem counterintuitive to partner with your destination competitors, it makes great sense when you understand the marketplace.
International visitors are a growing segment of travelers and a market we’re actively cultivating through partnerships. You may have read in the media recently about the partnership promotion we just completed with the famed Harrods department store in London to build awareness of our destination. Hilton Head Island images were emblazoned on Harrods’ famous double-decker buses, inside the department store on video screens and in editorial coverage in the upscale Harrods magazine. With over 42,000 people entering the doors of Harrods each day, it’s an opportunity any destination would love to have. Did we accomplish our mission to continue to build awareness of Hilton Head Island through this promotion? The results speak for themselves. Traffic to our website increased a whopping 36 percent as a result of the UK promotion.
Last week we partnered once again on our annual sales mission with SCPRT’s state tourism office in London and worked to garner exposure for South Carolina tourism to an audience of millions around the country. At an event where we hosted over 70 top UK tour operators, NBC Today Show anchor Al Roker broadcast three live segments during the Queen’s Jubilee celebration. Advertising on the Today show far exceeds our marketing budgets which is why we work to garner this type of PR exposure for our destination.
Thirty seconds of air time on the Today Show runs around $180,000. With over two minutes of coverage during the live broadcast, we received an incredible return on investment and didn’t spend a single dollar in advertising with the Today Show to do it. That’s the power of public relations at work. Click here to view one of the Today Show segments.
Next time you see a Canadian license plate or hear a British or German accent from one of our Lowcountry visitors, realize that they’re not here by accident. In many cases, they’re here because they were looking to explore the American south and had heard about South Carolina and Hilton Head Island through our partnership marketing efforts. Influencing travelers to enjoy our destination and open their wallets to support our local economy is what we’re about.