Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development’s FY17 Media, Target and Messaging Overview

Target Audience

Primary: Geotraveler

The Geotraveler is concerned with preserving a destination’s geographic character—the entire combination of natural and human attributes that make one place distinct from another. They are interested in both the cultural and environmental concerns regarding travel as well as the local impact tourism has upon the communities and their individual economies and lifestyles.

Demographically and psychographically, they are:

  • 35-55
  • Good mix male/female
  • Most likely married
  • 1/3 have children under 18 living in HH
  • College educated and beyond
  • $65/75K-$150K annual HH income (may be higher)
  • Internet savvy; use Internet for travel-related activities
  • Take 3+ leisure trips a year
  • Skews to western U.S.
  • Are environmentally aware
  • Have a strong preference for cultural and social aspects of travel
  • Are socially conscious
  • Spend a disproportionate amount of their income on travel compared to other travelers

Secondary: Snow Experience Seeker

While this audience shares many attributes with the Geotraveler, they have many additional traits that need to be considered specific to winter travel.

  • Skiing is the anchor when choosing a winter vacation destination
  • Wildlife watching and other nature-made winter experiences are mandatory to round out the vacation
  • Skewed toward males
  • Age: 25-54, more than 52% are 35-54
  • Education: bachelor's degree or higher
  • HHI: $60k - $75k, almost 3/4 have HHI of $75k or more
  • Heavy print, OOH and Internet consumers

Messaging Overview

The Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development promotes awareness of Montana as a place to visit. By leveraging Montana’s spectacular, unspoiled scenery (Brand Pillars), including Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks in advertising, Montana’s messaging fosters inspiration and intrigue.

Regions and towns can provide this engaged and interested audience with more information on where to go and what to do while in Montana. Businesses and resorts further support the regions’ and towns’ message by advertising something actionable, such as a sale or deal (this will depend on each advertiser’s goals).

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Match Opportunities = Matching Funds

Match Opportunities provide a way for joint venture partners to advertise in front of larger audiences than they normally would be able to afford by taking advantage of the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development’s dollar-for-dollar subsidization of part of the advertising cost.

In order to take advantage of Match Opportunities, partner creative must be built within a Montana-branded template.

Joint Venture partners can work directly with the Hoffman York/Shortgrass team for creative production at no cost on Match Opportunities. Your contact for Match Opportunities is:

Media placements with Match Opportunities include: Expedia, Sojern,, Interfuse, Millenial, National Geographic Traveler, and TripAdvisor. Although TripAdvisor is not listed as a match on the Opportunities Calendar, the Montana office of Tourism and Business Development is subsidizing the cost of the program by $75,000 for FY17, making it more affordable for partners.

The Following Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development
Match Opportunities Are Available

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Measuring Your Ad Performance

Measuring the Effectiveness of Digital Ads

The most common form of measurement for digital advertising is to track Click-through rates (CTR).*

Consider setting measurement goals based on industry average CTRs for online ad results. Additionally, consider setting CTR goals that go above industry averages or that better support your individual advertising goals.

For example:

  • Goal 1:

    Achieve industry average CTR (for all advertising categories) for Rich Media creative (industry average CTR = 0.09%)
  • Goal 2:

    Achieve travel & tourism industry average CTR for Rich Media creative (T&T industry average CTR = 0.16%)
  • Stretch Goal 1:

    Achieve CTRs 10% above industry average for Rich Media creative (CTR = 0.10%)
  • Stretch Goal 2:

    Achieve CTRs 10% above travel & tourism industry average for Rich Media creative (CTR = 0.17%)

*CTR - The amount of times your ad is clicked vs. the amount of impressions you’ve purchased. For instance, if you purchase 100,000 impressions and your ad is clicked on 125 times, you have a CTR of 0.12%. This is above all industry averages listed above.

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FAQ Checklist

Q: How do I decide what media placements are the best for my business or organization?

A: Use the following steps as a guide:

  • Identify and decide what your advertising goals are (increasing awareness of your location as a vacation destination, increasing intent to travel to your location, increasing sales, creating leads, etc.).
  • Think about where in the U.S. your target is most likely to come from and use this as an aid in choosing market(s). Knowing whether they drive or fly will help to decide whether National, Key Market and/or Regional opportunities are best.
  • Set advertising objectives that support your business goals. If you have not set advertising objectives in the past, you can use the results of your participation in the FY17 joint venture program to set a baseline for future goals.
  • Decide what sort of budget you'd like to allocate to meeting these goals and objectives, and choose placements that are a good match.

Q: How do I decide what my advertising message should be?

A: Use the following steps as a guide:

  • Evaluate your target audience's key attributes, further defining who they are beyond the overview of the Geotraveler.
  • Circle back to your business goals and decide if there is a call to action that can be added to your message that will further support you goals. For example, "Click to reserve," "Keep exploring," "Start planning your experience."
  • Review the messaging tiers (inspiration, orientation, facilitation) in the How does joint venture advertising work? section of the homepage and decide where your business/goals fit.

Q: How is digital advertising different from print advertising?

A: Digital and Print advertising differ in several important ways:

  • Digital opportunities tend to be more "actionable." The consumer can click immediately and learn more about why they'd want to choose your business or location. This helps take the consumer further down the travel planning funnel while their interest is piqued.
  • Print opportunities can also be actionable but will most likely serve primarily as a way to increase awareness about your location or business first. This is a good place to inspire the consumer to want to know more about you. Tell them why they'd want to visit Montana and how to start planning their trip.

Q: Why are the CPMs so high if the cost has been negotiated down?

A: All of the online and print placements are specifically targeted to the Geotraveler and/or the Snow Experience Seeker with premium placements negotiated in advance. The more targeted the ads are in the online space (demographically, geographically, etc.), the higher the cost. Every opportunity includes some form of targeting; levels of targeting vary based on media partner. In addition to targeting, premium ad placements have been negotiated. For online advertising, this means ads will be visible when a webpage loads ("above the fold") whenever possible. For print advertising, ads will be placed within premium content and in most instances, within the first half of the publication.

Q: What is a CTR and how do I know if my online ads are performing well?

A: Please see the Measuring Performance section of the Resources page.

Q: Is there a snapshot of all deadlines somewhere?

A: Currently, most of partners provide opportunities for both Winter and Warm season campaigns across the full-year. Deadline for creative assets is 10 weeks before individual campaign launch. Expedia specifically has a reservation and creative asset deadline of August 1, 2016 for Winter and January 1, 2016 for Warm Season.

Q: Who should I send my advertising materials to, once I confirm my ad buy?

A: Please review the "Creative" section in the individual detail pages of the media description. In some cases, your creative assets will be supplied directly to the sales rep. In other cases, your ad materials will be sent to the HY/Shortgrass team.

Q: How does the invoicing for Match Opportunities work?

A: It is the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development's goal to make advertising affordable so that Joint Venture partners can afford to participate in larger media buys. For the majority of the Match Opportunities, the media vendor will only bill the Joint Venture partner the amount due for their portion of the Match; the remaining cost of the buy will be billed directly to MOTBD. Should you receive a media invoice for the full amount of the Match (Joint Venture cost + MOTBD cost), please contact the HY/Shortgrass team.

Q: Where can I find more information about Montana’s Tourism Industry?

A: The Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development serves the people of Montana with programs designed to develop and promote Montana as an attractive destination for visitors from around the world. Our goal is to work with our statewide partners to create a tourism industry that provides positive benefits for Montana's economy, its communities, and its people. For more information, research, program descriptions and highlights, visit our industry website at

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