Did you know that 55% of Michigan’s wine grapes are grown in the Traverse City region?
To celebrate that fact and to get wine drinkers out and about in Traverse City, Traverse City Tourism hosts Michigan Wine Month, an event that takes place in May each year. In the past, the cornerstone of this event was a paper passport that allowed drinkers to take a self guided tour to significant wine stops.
This year, the pass went digital using Bandwango technology in order to give people an option to do something safe and contactless. The passport, which featured deals and discounts at many area wineries and the added bonus of the prizes for passholders who checked into multiple locations, launched April 13, 2021.
“We did a similar pass for Traverse City Beer Week in the fall and it went very well the first few days,” Coryn Briggs, Director of Digital Marketing at Traverse City Tourism said. “Unfortunately, we had to end it abruptly because of COVID restrictions.”
The ultimate goal of the campaign was to drive visitation during shoulder season and to bring people through the doors of lodging properties and wineries alike.
It turns out the success of the passport was well worth the wait!
A key factor in driving these results was a marketing mix that consisted of: earned media, display ads across the MLive network, responsive display ads on Google, sponsored content articles on the MLive network, Edeals on the MLive network and Facebook and Instagram ads.
Traverse City Tourism worked alongside TwoSix Digital to conduct a promotional campaign for the program that began on April 19, 2021, and ended on May 28, 2021, on the Facebook and Instagram ad networks. The campaign featured the following tactics:
The passport was accessible to the public on the Uncorked Pass microsite, but it also invited every passholder to “check in” on the passport if they were staying in a hotel. By the end of the campaign, more than 350 people had done just that – showing the impact the event had on the hotels in the area and giving Traverse City Tourism another reason to consider the passport and the event a success.
Traverse City Tourism wanted the initiative to include all of their wineries, so special offers were encouraged, but not required, in order to be featured on the passport. At the end of the campaign, Briggs said the wineries were very pleased with the result.
The campaign wrapped on May 31, 2021 with the following overall results…
Though it’s no surprise that wineries considered the 5,000+ check-ins a positive result, it was surprising to the DMO just how many people redeemed their prizes and wanted to proudly show off their logoed t-shirt!
Traverse City Tourism is looking forward to next year’s Uncorked Passport in May 2022.
Keep your eye out for it and learn more about the area’s wine scene here!