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Culinary Study Results Cover

Many countries have signature dishes that symbolize their food culture. Sushi usually comes to mind for Japan, while pasta is at the heart of Italian cuisine. For better or worse, the United States is most commonly known internationally for burgers and fast food.

Clearly American kitchens have a lot more to offer, but how familiar are travelers with these options and what do they expect when they travel here? Brand USA conducted a study in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, South Korea and the United Kingdom to understand how travelers around the world view food in the United States.

The Challenge of Measuring Reach

Brand USA has consistently deployed post-wave consumer survey studies to measure advertising effectiveness since its first campaign in 2012. Over time, however, an increasing percentage of Brand USA marketing efforts are falling outside of concentrated brand campaigns, often in the form of smaller promotions or cooperative marketing. To effectively measure a wider breadth of advertising effectiveness in a cost-efficient way, Brand USA will begin to supplement its large post-campaign studies with consistent monthly consumer awareness surveys in primary target markets.

Getting a Better Sense of Engagement photo

Many destination marketers anchored their efforts in content marketing and storytelling well before they became trendy marketing terms. The challenge with this type of marketing, however, is that it can be difficult to get a true sense of how well stories are performing. Fortunately, there are low cost measurement tools that can provide a more detailed understanding of website user behavior and enable marketers to optimize and improve their efforts.

Social Media

Social media networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, have transformed how people share and consume information. Traditional word-of-mouth and social media may share a common foundation in personal relationships, but social media has allowed users to broaden their networks and make more powerful and impactful statements through images and videos. These changes in behavior and technology have impacted travel decisions in a myriad of ways.

Dollar currency

As the dollar gains value against other international currencies, U.S. exports consequently face setbacks. Discretionary consumer exports, like international travel, are often not sensitive to minor changes (+/-5 percent). Unfortunately for tourism in 2015, the increases in U.S. dollar valuation against many target market currencies have far exceeded what can be characterized as minor, and the industry should expect lower than normal demand from key international markets as a result.

Optimizing Digital Campaign Breadth and Depth

One of the core tasks for marketers is to balance the breadth and depth of media campaigns. For certain types of messages, such as the launch of a new flight to a city, reaching a wide audience is a priority. For more complex objectives, such as brand positioning, it can be more effective to narrow the audience with more frequent ads to ensure viewers are retaining the message. Correctly matching a campaign’s intended goal to the right digital media buying strategy can produce real performance gains.

If budgets were limitless, companies could aim at maximizing both reach and frequency, but in reality, most marketers require a give and take between the two parameters. The first step is first understanding the overall objective of the campaign – awareness or engagement.

a hand making the finishing touches on Africa on a map of the world drawn on a black chalkboard with white chalk

Join us on Sunday May 31, 2015 at IPW for Brand USA Education Sessions in rooms S330 A and B. Sessions on Asia and the International Markets Overview will run concurrently at 10:00 a.m. and will be repeated at 11:10 a.m. We hope you are able to join us!

Age-Driven Differences

Brand USA often focuses on country-level intelligence, but age and generational differences also play a significant role in shaping consumer behavior. When it comes to international travel preferences, there are differences in what younger (20-34 year olds) and older (35-65) travelers seek.

This article examines how intent to visit and recommend the U.S. varies by age across target markets (Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia and the UK).

Brand USA Fiscal Year 2014

Brand USA recently released its second annual ROI study, conducted by Oxford Economics.  The study once again demonstrated Brand USA’s success in driving incremental impact to the U.S. economy.  Since its creation, Brand USA’s marketing efforts have attracted over 2 million incremental visitors who spent $6.5 billion directly with an overall impact of nearly $15 billion. This additional visitor spending has generated nearly $2 billion in federal, state and local tax receipts and supported an average of 50,000 incremental jobs per year.

Discover america road trip planner home

Content marketing and storytelling has become expected of marketers across the tourism industry. While articles promoting trip ideas and destinations remain an important marketing foundation, they have become so common that it is becoming more difficult to differentiate through static content pieces alone. Adding an interactive framework around digital content may be an expensive technical investment, but Brand USA has been able to leverage interactive website features to substantially increase user traffic and engagement.

The challenges

Although the United States is one of the most desired places to visit worldwide, competition is strong. While destination marketing often aims to highlight what makes a place appealing, it is helpful to understand what challenges and barriers are influencing travelers to go elsewhere. Brand USA therefore tracks intentions to travel to the U.S. on a regular basis and for those who do not intend to visit, what drives that lack of intent.

Delay in International U.S. Arrivals

The U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) recently released acommunication regarding a delay in the delivery of international arrivals data due to technical challenges. Fortunately, the current delays are a temporary consequence of federal investments to enhance data accuracy and timeliness.

NTTO international arrivals figures are derived from I-94 data collected by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. One contributing factor to the delay is a backlog of I-94 paper processing from a small number of ports that have not converted to electronic processing. A data platform conversion, currently underway at the Department of Homeland Security, presents an additional challenge for the data program.