Five-Year Contract to Build Awareness and Encourage Travelers to Select Maryland as Their Destination Choice
(July 2022) – The Maryland Department of Commerce’s Office of Tourism & Film has retained Marriner Marketing Communications, a leading insights-driven branding and activation agency, as its Agency of Record. After soliciting proposals from prospective vendors from across the country, the Office of Tourism & Film elected to build upon the tremendous success it achieved with Marriner during the past five years, with approval from the Maryland Board of Public Works.
“Marriner has been an exceptional partner for the Office of Tourism. After achieving early wins together, the Marriner team was invaluable in helping us navigate an unprecedented time in the travel and tourism industry,” said Liz Fitzsimmons, managing director of the Office of Tourism & Film. “Continuing our partnership with Marriner is unquestionably in the best interest of Maryland’s tourism industry.”
As the state’s official travel marketing agency, the Office of Tourism will collaborate with Marriner to build upon the communications strategy, which will create awareness and visitation to the state’s attractions, accommodations and services. This will include highlighting Maryland’s coveted waterways, scenic byways, and access to the Chesapeake Bay, and showcasing Maryland’s unique culinary experiences. In addition, the strategy will build upon Maryland’s position as the Most Powerful Underground Railroad Storytelling Destination in the World. Additionally, Marriner has committed to work with multiple MBE and VSBE subcontractor partners throughout the term of the contract, including REJ & Associates, Maryland Marketing Source, Britt’s Industries Inc., and Aliceanna Collective.
Over the course of the previous five-year contract, Marriner Marketing and the Maryland Office of Tourism & Film achieved significant results. The launch of the “Open” campaign in 2019 generated 123,000 incremental visitors from 53,500 incremental trips and $45.4 million in direct spending from incremental visitors, resulting in $6.2 million in tax revenue. Overall, the campaign’s ROI was an impressive 31:1. During the pandemic, Marriner and the Office of Tourism & Film shifted strategy and adapted messaging to account for the new traveler mindset, resulting in an expectation exceeding $6 million in incremental hotel revenue in 2020 and more than $9 million in incremental hotel revenue in 2021.
Marriner Partner and Executive Vice President of Brand Integration David Melnick said, “We are so proud of all that we have accomplished with the Office of Tourism during the past five years. However, we know that we still have some unfinished business. As the travel and tourism industry emerges from the dark shadow of the global pandemic, competition for the traveler’s attention and business will be fierce. Through our proven Clarity process, captivating creative solutions and advanced precision targeting techniques, we are eager to motivate visitors with a wide range of interests and appetites to explore all that Maryland has to offer.”
The agency’s five-year contract runs through June 2027. The contract includes strategic planning; campaign and creative development; media planning, placement and optimization; and campaign performance with the goal of increasing overnight stays and return visits.
About Maryland Department of Commerce Office of Tourism & Film
The Maryland Office of Tourism & Film is an agency within the Maryland Department of Commerce. Visitors to the state spent $11.6 billion on travel-related expenses in 2020. The Maryland tourism industry also generated $1.7 billion in state and local taxes, essentially saving each Maryland household $775 in annual taxes, and directly supported Marylanders with 104,328 jobs. For more information, go to www.visitmaryland.org or connect with us on our social media channels | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube
As a branding and activation agency, Marriner Marketing Communications has been a leader in providing integrated solutions for the food, beverage and hospitality industries for more than 30 years. Clients count on Marriner for effective, clarity-driven communications to champion the voice of the consumer and provide a competitive advantage. Marriner’s clients include such notable brands as Butterball, Campbell’s, “JIFFY” Mix, Maryland Office of Tourism, Nestlé, Perdue Farms, Post and Puratos. For more information, visit www.marriner.com.