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Lessons from Destination Cape Breton & US Presidential Race

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Canadian tourism has had a big bump recently in light of the presidential race in the United States. As the election continues and Canada is proposed again and again as an alternative to living in a country with Donald Trump as president, the number of American tourists to Canada is increasing.

The "Trump Bump," as the influx of tourism has been dubbed, began with a small Nova Scotian island: Cape Breton. Home to just shy of 150,000 people, the island offered "refuge" to Americans through their website "Cape Breton if Trump Wins." The website boasts the island's affordable housing and temperate climate as a safe haven for Americans. The site even offers information about the tax system and immigration to Canada. What started off as satirical has now gone viral and has brought much attention and a huge tourism boost to Cape Breton with a 30% increase in hotel bookings on the island.

The free publicity Cape Breton Island has received through all the media coverage, Cape Breton-made purses being gifted to Michelle Obama and her daughters, and shout-outs at the White House state dinner have generated high levels of web traffic to the website for the island's tourism association, Destination Cape Breton. The website has received over 1.5 million hits – a 4000% increase! Generating this much traffic through traditional means, like AdWords, would have cost the small island close to $3,000,000. But, with a little quick thinking, they were able to leverage the popularity of a new, controversial issue.

If you're looking to improve marketing and communication with your own audience, there are a few lessons you can learn from Cape Breton's Trump Bump.

Offer alternatives

There is an audience of people unhappy with their current situation, whether that's a product, service, or presidential nominee. However, they don't realize there's an alternative, therefore they don't seek it out. Make your alternative known and advertise what makes you the right choice. In the case of Cape Breton, they are the alternative to Donald Trump and they offer familiar social security programs and housing options for Americans realizing they want to make the switch.

Destination Cape Breton was able to offer information that was specifically targeted to a specific audience. The information they present isn't relevant to Americans that are not seeking an alternative to Donald Trump, thus it is not engaging for them. But, they are also not the target audience. When offering an alternative, you need to provide information specific to the audience that is seeking the alternative. In this case, generic Cape Breton tourism information about not have had the effect that information about an alternative to Donald Trump as American president did, for example.

You want to be able to reach your audience on a personal level based on their interests and preferences by offering specific, tailored information. If you are able to offer an alternative that is customized to each individual lead, you will generate more interest than using general marketing messages and increase engagement with your audience.

Be creative

"Cape Breton if Trump Wins" was a creative solution to a problem Destination Cape Breton identified. Creative solutions are effective and show a fun side to your organization. Also, these solutions tend to not be thought of by other organization, which sets you apart from the competition. Think of other Canadian tourist destinations. Although they may be benefiting some from the Trump Bump, they're not on the same level as Cape Breton because Cape Breton had the initial, creative idea to advertise itself as the alternative to Trump.

Creativity in your marketing can be expressed as a unique marketing idea or as a new marketing strategy or communication method. Being able to speak directly to your leads and clients is another creative communication method that sets you apart from the competition because they are not speaking to clients one-on-one.

Whether it's a solution to a specific problem or a new way of communicating, creativity pays off in brand recognition and awareness.

Communicate with large audiences

The "Trump Bump" is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that came about, not only because the idea was clever and timely, but also because Destination Cape Breton was able to communicate with a large audience.

In the age of technology, you can take advantage of day-to-day opportunities by being present on as many channels as you can. Capitalize on the power of social media by having profiles on the most popular sites or capitalize on two-way communication with your contacts through SMS. There are so many opportunities available for you to connect with a larger audience by leveraging the right tools and communication channels.

To start communicating with new leads in a personalized way while still reaching a larger audience, leverage the power of marketing automation. With the right platform, you can communicate with individuals through a wide selection of channels while customizing content to suit each individual's interests.

Sign up for a free 14-day trial of marketing automation and see how you can offer your alternative in a creative manner that is able to reach large audiences easily, automatically, and personally.

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Keywords:

social media

sms

destination cape breton

marketing automation

email marketing

tourism industry

us presidential race

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