Shedding Light on the Art Coast of Michigan

When Josh Albrecht left his post as VP Marketing of the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau to lead the Saugatuck/Douglas Convention & Visitors Bureau in Michigan in 2018, he brought GrahamSpencer along with him. We had worked closely together on many successful campaigns and initiatives during his tenure in Rockford. We liked each others’ style and had created a solid partnership.

During his first year leading the Saugatuck DMO, Albrecht engaged GrahamSpencer to design and build the community’s first digital campaign. GrahamSpencer also researched, planned and purchased the media. The digital and paid social advertising buys were targeted in Saugatuck’s traditions market of the Chicago metro area, but we also conducted test buys in smaller markets: Cincinnati, Cleveland and Indianapolis.

All markets performed exceptionally well in CTR, and online visits to Saugatuck.com skyrocketed. At the campaign’s peak, visits were 138% higher than 2017 and the overall campaign average reflected a 100% site traffic increase year/over.

Good digital campaign management means you pay attention to what the target market is responding to, learn from it and make adjustments accordingly. We noticed the words “serene, tranquil and magical” produced the most clicks in the digital campaign.

That information, combined with limited qualitative research and the fact that the client positions the community as the “art coast” of Michigan, led us to the creative assumptions that resulted in the romantic, prose-driven video viewable below. The video was written, filmed and produced in-house.