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Ad campaign brings $6.9 million to Montana, wins prestigious award

Montana Office of Tourism estimates its $25, 000 campaign brought $6.9 million into the state - a return of $276 for every $1 spent

News from the Montana 

Office of Tourism 

HELENA – The Montana Office of Tourism has won an award for an ad campaign it ran this winter credited with bringing $6.9 million to the state from a $25,000 investment. 

MTOT won a Travel Weekly Silver Magellan Award for the Travel Destinations category. Travel Weekly is the industry’s leading news source, and it receives Magellan Award entries from top organizations and professionals around the world.

“The Montana Office of Tourism is using innovative and resourceful strategies to drive visitation and strengthen the state’s economy,” Montana Department of Commerce Director Meg O’Leary said. “This award is a great achievement and another reminder of Montana’s position as a travel industry leader with a high standard of excellence.” 

Using location-based technology, the campaign delivered ads with breathtaking photos of winter in Montana to mobile devices. The ads were precisely targeted to winter recreationists identified by their current or past location, such as ski areas and shops. For example, a skier in Wisconsin who breaks for lunch would see the ads inviting them to Montana’s superior ski conditions. 

More importantly, MTOT could use the technology to measure success by tracking the number of people who received the ads and then actually traveled to Montana. Using this number and existing data about average ski trip expenses, MTOT estimates its $25,000 campaign brought $6.9 million into the state — a return of $276 for every $1 spent. 

MTOT is the first destination marketing organization to do this kind of mobile targeting. The campaign was prepared in conjunction with several of MTOT’s marketing partners, including PlaceIQ, Spark SMG and Bozeman-based MercuryCSC.

The Montana Office of Tourism’s mission is to strengthen Montana’s economy through the promotion of the state as a vacation destination and film location. In 2013, Montana hosted 11 million visitors who added more than $3.6 billion to the state’s economy.

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