Paradise representatives outline Eureka Springs marketing strategy
By Scott Loftis
Representatives from Paradise Advertising & Marketing presented an overview of the company’s Eureka Springs marketing campaign on Wednesday, Feb. 26, to the city’s Advertising and Promotion Commission.
Other city officials including Mayor Butch Berry also attended the public presentation inside the Auditorium, along with representatives from several tourism-related businesses.
Paradise, based in St. Petersburg, Fla., was hired as the CAPC’s advertising agency in late 2019. The company has been conducting market research to determine the most effective way to “brand” Eureka Springs as a destination for visitors.
“This is a very unique destination,” said Rudy Webb, Paradise’s senior vice president for client development. “I can say that I’m impressed with the destination and the number of tourism assets that Eureka Springs offers. There is so much opportunity that we’re excited about to help you collectively get … us headed in a new direction.”
Webb said Paradise offers a fresh perspective on Eureka Springs.
“The destination is sort of going through an evolution right now, a transformation,” he said. “And we can help shed some light from a new perspective, somebody that hasn’t been here, that hasn’t been involved with the history. We can take a fresh look at how we move forward and help get everybody moving in the same direction.”
Webb said Paradise’s role is to increase awareness of Eureka Springs among its target demographic.
“This is your tourism product,” he said. “You actually bring it to life. It’s our job to help position it in the marketplace and tell that story to as many of the right people as we can.
Paradise identified six target markets for Eureka Springs: Dallas/Fort Worth, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, St. Louis and Little Rock. The target demographic for Eureka Springs, according to Paradise, is adults aged 25 to 64 with annual household income of $75,000 or more. Specialty targets within that group are millennials (adults 25 to 40), seniors and weddings.
The target markets were chosen based on data from TripAdvisor, Expedia, Google Analytics and visitation data from Eureka Springs.
“These are the ones that have the most potential for longer stays, repeat visitation and more spent while they’re in a market,” said Cyndy Murrieta, Paradise’s associate media director.
Primary competitors to Eureka Springs, according to Paradise, are Hot Springs, Bentonville/Rogers, Fayetteville, Little Rock, Branson and Memphis.
Paradise recommended two “campaign dates” to drive visitors to Eureka Springs — a Spring/Summer campaign from Feb. 24 to June 28, to impact March through August, and a Fall campaign from Sept. 14 to Nov. 8 to impact October through mid-December.
Paradise recommends creating a “takeover” in two key markets, targeting Kansas City for the spring campaign and Oklahoma City for the fall campaign. The “takeovers” would include a combination of advertising on television, digital billboards and radio.
“Targeting is always extremely important with a destination,” Murrieta said. “We have to zero in on making sure that we’re targeting the right type of target markets but also in the right feeder markets at the right time, targeting the right people at the right time of the year. We want to promote visitation during key right time periods, across the key target markets.”
The “conquest” concept will be important for Eureka Springs as well, Murrieta said.
“Eureka Springs is not extremely well-known across the country, and even across all of our feeder markets,” she said. “So we want to make sure that when people are considering other destinations that might be in your competitive set, that we show them Eureka Springs and that we ‘conquest’ them, we give them an opportunity to change their mind and to take them away from what they might have been considering and now consider Eureka Springs.”
Paradise also plans to market Eureka Springs as a venue for “destination weddings,” with online advertising through the wedding planning websites TheKnot.com and WeddingWire.com. Murrieta said the wedding market can help introduce newcomers to Eureka Springs who can become regular visitors.
“We know that destination weddings are an opportunity to get people into the destination, have them have their loved ones here with them and have people fall in love with the destination — in many cases it’s the first time they might have been here — and come back again and again,” she said. “It gets a nice amount of people at one time but more importantly it gets those people introduced to the destination and have them hopefully fall in love with it and come back again and again. It’s a way to introduce them to the market. This would be destination weddings and honeymoons, really.”
Paradise also unveiled a new logo for Eureka Springs. Kristen Murphy, Paradise’s vice president for client services, noted that the previous logo was very detailed and often difficult to see when it was sized down for various digital platforms.
Two versions of the new logo were displayed, both in black and white.
“We’re still in the process of identifying the exact colors that we want to use to represent the identity in the long term,” Murphy said.
Earlier, Murphy said Paradise is just getting started in terms of its overall efforts for Eureka Springs.
“We’ve spent a good amount of time evaluating your current brand, meeting with many stakeholders and coming to some recommendations,” she said. “But there’s still a long road ahead. We still have lots to do for your brand.”