Who is Madden?

Madden is on a mission to encourage people to discover new locations and experiences. We believe getting people out of their homes and into new places makes for stronger individuals, communities, and economies. As a nationally recognized leader in marketing, we work across the travel and tourism industry to help our clients showcase why others should discover the unique reasons they call it home.

Our partners range from destination marketing organizations in small communities to some of the most traveled destinations and attractions in the world. For 35+ years, the team at Madden has worked with our clients to stay informed of the latest research, marketing techniques, and technology solutions that can improve how they showcase their community. At Madden, we Connect People to Places because #TravelMatters!

Travel Matters for People

America is the most under-vacationed advanced economy in the world. We know from research conducted by U.S. Travel, vacation is essential for strong bonds, a productive workforce, and a fulfilled life. But each year, more than half of Americans leave vacation time on the table, accumulating to 705 million days in 2017.

There are countless reasons to travel, but the top of the list is telling about what matters. A decisive 85 percent of Americans report that seeing their child excited about an experience is reason enough to get away. Nearly all Americans say they want the opportunity to relax and reduce stress (82%) and the chance to make memories (81%).

Travel Matters for Business

“Freed from the daily stresses of my working life, I find that I am more likely to have new insights into old problems and other flashes of inspiration.”

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson wrote in an op-ed on taking
an inspiration vacation.

Time off has been behind many of America’s most admired companies. The filters that made Instagram so successful were inspired during a walk on the beach that founder Kevin Systrom took with his fiancé while on vacation in Mexico. Dropbox started as a simple idea that founder Drew Houston had while traveling. Lin Manuel Miranda, creator of Hamilton, came up with the idea for the musical on vacation. He told Arianna Huffington it was “no accident that the best idea I’ve ever had in my life—perhaps the best one I’ll ever have in my life—came to me on vacation.”

“Vacation is one of the few times, especially if someone has a full-time job, to be able to think deeply about a subject and create something new, because many things are new on a vacation, it naturally encourages
people to transcend their perceptual thinking ruts…which can be great fodder for new ideas.”

Bryan Mattimore, author of Idea Stormers: How to Lead and Inspire
Creative Breakthroughs, told Forbes.

Travel Matters for Communities

According to U.S. Travel, In 2018, domestic and international travelers spent nearly $1.1 trillion ($1,089 billion) in the U.S. This spending directly supported 8.9 million jobs and generated $268 billion in payroll income and $171 billion in tax revenues for federal, state, and local governments.

In 2018, travel generated $2.5 trillion for the U.S. economy, supporting 15.7 million American jobs.

U.S. Travel Association

Accounting for 7.1 percent of total private industry employment in the U.S., travel directly supported 8.9 million U.S. jobs in 2018, an increase of 1.3 percent from 2017. Characterized as a labor-intensive industry, the power of travel to create jobs is much greater than in other industries. On average, every $1 million in sales of travel goods and services directly generates eight jobs for the industry. In contrast, every $1 million in total non-farm industry sales creates five jobs on average.

Modernize Your Research Strategy

Research is Essential

In today’s mobile age, market research has evolved from visitor intercept studies that only capture a small pool of consumers to GPS-based studies. This shift allows Destination Marketing Organizations to see actual travel patterns of consumers known to originate from outside your market. The research is less time- and resource-intensive and more nimble—we can slice and dice data to answer your burning questions effectively.

Understanding who your visitors are guides your marketing decisions—it’s crucial for DMOs to build campaigns based upon trusted data. Madden’s experience with providing reliable insights and information is extensive. Our team develops visitor profiles in partnership with UberMedia, a mobile location data aggregator, giving much deeper insights than can be achieved through standard intercept studies.

Our Approach

While there are many vendors in this market, we have found the data from UberMedia, when paired with our visualization and research tools, to be among the best value (one-third the cost of some other vendors). UberMedia is a mobile data analytics company providing location-based behavioral information and analytical insights. The company collects, prepares, and disseminates mobile consumer data focused on location and behavioral information.

Combining UberMedia’s research with Madden’s 35+ years of tourism industry experience helps you understand the source markets of people visiting your destination. This occurs by discovering visitors’ mobile device IDs—their cell phones—within a geofence of your destination. The created polygon is double-verified and is created based on visitors who are at least 50 miles away from your destination. Taking this strategy one step further, we compare those IDs to where the device regularly resides during their overnight hours to establish a Common Evening Location (CEL). From there, the zip codes attached to visitors’ mobile devices are analyzed to help us understand your source markets.

Some examples of reports that our team can provide to you with this data include:

Source Market Report:

Provides the Top Source Markets by Destination Marketing Area (DMA) as well as a heat map and spreadsheet of the compiled data.

Demographic Report:

Includes average age, ethnicity, income distribution, and education level. Graphs and spreadsheets for the time period are provided. If research continues, these deliverables can be compared by season or year-over-year.

Audience Affinity Report:

An analysis of your visitors’ interests and places them into audience categories based on retail location visits, app usage, interest indicators, and more. DMOs will receive a report that shows the count and percentage of visitors that fall into each of the 25 audience categories, as well as detailed explanations of each audience type.

Conference Center/Event Visitation Report:

Are your conference or major event attendees just going between the hotel and the location of your conference center or event? We provide research and analysis that show the paths your attendees travel. This data can be analyzed by conference, conference type, or overall convention center or event.

View Your Market Research Alongside Your Marketing Performance

Using Madden Voyage, our team can bring in the data from both your research and your marketing performance metrics. We can work to further integrate Google Analytics and marketing attribution tools to determine the impact of your marketing spend.

Creative Ad Agency Burghardt+Doré joins the Madden Media team!

Tucson April 22, 2019Madden Media, a leader in destination marketing services, announced that it has reached an agreement with Burghardt+Doré to join the Madden team. Burghardt+Doré is a full-service creative agency that focuses exclusively within the travel and tourism industry. This partnership started over six years ago when Madden Media, a Google Premier Partner, began providing digital marketing services to the Burghardt-Doré team and their amazing clients.

With the increasing need to couple great creative with data-driven performance on marketing campaigns, the combination of these companies promises to improve marketing outcomes for clients. Their experience will add to the already robust marketing and media buying capabilities of Madden. Their commercial video experience and the growing need for high-quality video on digital channels such as YouTube and Connected TV, Madden expects to help their clients grow throughout the changing media landscape.

“We are excited for Jeff Burghardt and his team to join the Madden team. The addition of Burghardt+Doré, who are known for great creative solutions and agency services, gives a new dimension to conversations with our clients,” said Dan Janes, CEO of Madden Media. “Their experience working as a full-service agency with destination marketing organizations, destination events, independent hotels, and resorts will deepen our experience as a company while remaining focused on our core philosophy of connecting people to places.”

Burghardt will become the Vice President, Destination Marketing Strategy, responsible for being a strategic leader for the overall company and driving creative, integrated campaigns for current and prospective clients. In addition, Nicole Doré will complement Burghardt’s big-idea thinking as Creative Strategist at Madden, bringing her creative and stylish approach to branding and design.

“We are excited to combine our full-service destination marketing expertise with the new technology, research, and digital-media platforms currently being implemented by Madden,” said Jeff Burghardt, President of Burghardt+Doré. “Together, we will offer existing and prospective clients expanded ideas, digital expertise, and data-driven solutions to maximize marketing investments.”

Established in 1982, Madden Media has a long history within the travel and tourism marketing industry. With the addition of the Burghardt+Doré team, Madden will have nearly 100 full-time employees to support clients across the country. Madden has worked nationwide to deliver industry-leading marketing solutions in an ever-changing environment. Madden works with clients to develop campaign strategy and vision, then manages all stages of production.

Burghardt+Doré crafts digital-first, fully integrated marketing campaigns that connect with people at the right place at the right time. They are an award-winning team who offers big-agency firepower with personalized service to build long-term client relationships and deliver results year over year.

Media Contact: Bailey Madden, bmadden@maddenmedia.com

How Can Search Inspire Travel?

Find out how search can inspire travel with Madden.

There are 40k searches done each second, 145 million each hour, and 3.5 billion searches each day. Consumers live their digital lives centered around discovering answers to their curiosity.

As destinations look to be discovered, consumers are looking for content across multiple channels and platforms. Being discovered through search is much more complicated than simple keyword stuffing. Search engine optimization must take into account user experience, mobile responsiveness, page speed, metadata, backlinks, domain authority, and so much more.

At Madden, we have deep experience with search from search engine marketing (SEM) to search engine optimization (SEO). Our team uses this foundational understanding of the consumer experience to build effective websites through Growth-Driven Design and immersive storytelling that provides a great user experience.

Whether your future consumer is dreaming, planning, booking, or experiencing your destination. Madden can make sure you are there to make their visit to your destination that much more meaningful.

Let Us Help Showcase Your Social Media Content!

As social media marketers ourselves, we know how important it is to keep your message in front of multiple audiences. We know our advertisers, writers, and social media influencers are part of what brings our readers back to our publications.

We want to showcase you more on our own social and digital channels. There is a simple (and quick!) way for you to share the content you and your community are creating with us, so we can easily discover it.


All you will need to do is connect your Instagram Business Account with us through CrowdRiff. CrowdRiff is a visual marketing platform we use to find visuals to use in marketing, website, and of course sharing on our social channels!

What does connecting your account mean?

Connecting your account effectively gives us a shortcut to discover your content. It will come directly to us, rather than depending on the Instagram algorithm to discover it.

Once we are connected, it will not involve any work on your part. It simply allows us to view the Instagram content posted by or about you as we are gathering visuals to showcase our partners.

When you connect, we will see:

  • Your Instagram posts
  • Your Instagram stories
  • Any posts you are tagged or @mentioned in

When you connect, we will NOT get:

  • Your personal information
  • Your Instagram or Facebook insights or data
  • The ability to post on your behalf

What is in it for you?

  • We can better promote and showcase you on our own channels!
  • Amplify your reach when your story is told to a wider audience
  • Reach a new audience (ours!)

Connect here!

Would you like more on what does “Connect your Instagram Business Account Mean? Find out here.

Southern Arizona Teacher Travel Storytelling Project

Madden Media is excited to create a new program dedicated to Southern Arizona teachers. Through our many publications and support to clients, we work with travel writers from across the country. These voices are incredibly important to travelers to inspire them to visit new destinations and understand what traveling to those destinations is really like.

Why teachers? Well, we know teachers are great communicators and have skills that enable them to connect with students and adults alike. We also know how important travel is to education, discovery, and breaking down biases and stereotypes. Our belief is with your unique skills in communicating and introducing new ideas, you will be able to help our readers gather a new perspective of locations around the country. Beyond that, we love supporting the work that you do, and it’s our way of saying “thank you” for your amazing efforts.

Authentic Storytelling

In our experience, readers crave authenticity. They want to feel like they are not being sold, but are instead seeing the world through someone else’s eyes. One of the ways we do that is through authentic, inspirational travel-based storytelling. Research has proven that when people read first-person stories about travel, they’re inspired and more likely to plan vacations of their own. With the summer and its travel possibilities nearly upon us, we would love to hear about your own travel adventures (and we can offer you $250 per accepted article).

Don’t worry if you’re on a tight budget and don’t have big travel plans. Many people think travel writers must head off to some exciting destination in far-off corners of the planet. The reality is, most travelers go places that are much closer to home. You are welcome to write about something fun that you do this summer right in Tucson and southern Arizona, or a past trip that took you to another part of the country. We love budget-friendly stories just as much as we love stories about all-out experiences, and our readers do, too.

Connect People to Places

At Madden, our mission is to connect people to places. As you read through the articles we write with our clients, you will see the individuals – the travelers, the makers, the places that make up a destination. These are the types of stories we want to work with you to write on our own digital travel sites: TucsonGuide.com, ValleyGuide.com, VacationistUSA.com, and VisitGayUSA.com.

To get a sense of what we produce, take a look at some of the exciting things to do in places where we have worked with travel writers and clients like St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Discover Southeast, Idaho Road Trips, Lake of the Ozarks, Omaha, Wyoming, Valdosta, and South Carolina.

Here’s what we’re looking for:

First, homework! Read our travel sites and the stories that we did with our clients to get a sense of our voice and the type of content that appeals to our audience. Be original; we do not need 100 stories about New Orleans. Your originality helps move you to the top of the list to be selected.

Second, you will write from a first-person perspective. Use active, colorful language to describe why you are traveling to your chosen destination, what happens there, what is seen, what is felt, etc. The reader should be able to imagine themselves in the destination with you. In general, we are looking for a positive tone, and want to feature things in a positive light. The story will be separated by subheads, typically three or four—you can determine where to put the breaks, or we will.

  • 800-1200 words, approximately
  • First-person perspective
  • Descriptive, detail-filled, immersive writing – the reader should feel like they’re on the journey with the writer
  • Include a catchy headline
  • Include subtitles for each section of the story
  • Include pictures, video, let us experience it alongside you
  • Optional: Provide a brief bio about you and where you have significant experience traveling or living for those not from southern Arizona
  • Optional: Your Facebook/Instagram Profile

Third, we will review the submissions provided and we will select those that fit within our editorial plan. For those selected, we will begin the editorial process with you. At the conclusion of which, we will publish your story to the selected platform and provide $250 payment to you as our newest published travel writer!

For those who would like, we will also add your bio and travel experience to our list of travel writers whom we contact when working with clients around the country.

Okay, some rules.

No plagiarism! Seems obvious, but you would be surprised. The articles you submit should also not be published anywhere else – other travel sites, blogs, etc. We want this to be original, authentic stories that help to tell the stories of destinations.

Let’s Connect

Also, please make sure you are following our social media channels. We will be promoting your articles and those of your peers

Ready to Submit Your Story

Please click here and complete the following form!

Not sure if you are on the right track? Pitch us your idea in the form, and we will try to provide you feedback on whether it fits in our editorial plan.

Let Google be your advocate

Use OnLocation to clean up your destination’s Google listings

Lead by example

Your partners look to you as an expert. When you get on board with implementing everything Madden can do to boost your Google presence, both you and your partners will benefit. You’ll appear more prominently in Google searches and your destination will reap the rewards.

Let us do the heavy lifting

Madden will conduct an in-depth evaluation of the top 25–30 attractions in your market, your consumer reviews, photos, and events to determine whether they are on brand and positively promoting your market and partners. We’ll then generate a report to show you where your areas of opportunity lie.

Feet on your streets

With OnLocation PLUS Madden’s experts travel to your destination where we conduct a two-day networking workshop with Google Local Guides and your partners. During these workshops we’ll teach your partners how to update their information and maintain compelling content for Google My Business. We’ll also tour your destination’s top attractions to collect photos and video assets for your partners to use in Google My Business, and hold weekly reporting calls to discuss how the process is going.

How you benefit:

  • Increased brand awareness. Properly represent your brand in Google searches to ensure visitors see your destination in a positive brand view.
  • Help travelers have the best experience. Provide ways for travelers to find things to do, places to stay, and more while in your location and when they plan their trips.
  • Ensure positive branding. Receive a complete analysis of your online presence and current consumer reviews on Google, TripAdvisor, and Yelp.
  • Showcase the best shots. Valuable recommendations will be provided on how to make improvements and place images and video on DMO pages and partner listings.

Up your marketing game

Get meeting planners to book their next meeting

Meetings, from larger events like conventions to smaller off-site company gatherings or group events, have the ability to bring visitors to your destination. But how do you go about getting the attention of meeting planners?

Having done many meetings campaigns for our partners, we recommend:

  • Showcase what makes holding a meeting in your destination different from a meeting in a competitor’s destination.
  • Always make sure to have dedicated pages on your website for this specific audience with clear calls-to-action.
  • Upgrade your search efforts to ensure meeting planners searching for the perfect venue are able to find you.
  • Use LinkedIn’s and Facebook’s platforms with hyper-targeting tactics to drive planners to your site.

Showcase what makes you different

The core of each meetings campaign we run is a custom-created story, written from the perspective of an event planner or attendee that shows how your destination is an ideal meetings location. This format goes well beyond the meetings content that most DMOs have on their websites. Most destinations only highlight the technical aspects of their meeting capabilities, the number of rooms or the services of the venue—but nearly every destination has meetings locations. What makes your destination different? Just like with leisure marketing, the best way to convince a planner that your destination is the “one” is to inspire them with the things they can do after working hours. If attendees are really excited about the destination their meeting is in, they may even stay a few days before or after the meeting exploring the destination.

So how do you inspire planners? We’ve found inspiration is at its highest with Amplified Storytelling.

Making search work for you

Madden search

We collaborate with our partners on relevant story ideas, bringing SEO keyword research to the table in order to develop content that will most interest your audience. Then we hire talented writers who create a first-person narrative from the view of a meeting planner or conference attendee, showcasing the destination as well as the meetings venues and opportunities.  We work with our partners every step of the way to make sure it stays true to their destination.

In addition to having SEO-charged copy on your site, we also recommend running SEM ads to get your website on top of the search results when planners are Googling.

Reaching the right audience

Once the story is created, fully designed with images and interactive elements, we send readers to the story through LinkedIn and Facebook ads. On these platforms we target meeting planners, the decision makers who you really want to read your story. From there, we’ll encourage those planners to take the next steps—contacting you for more information.

Continuing the Madden family legacy

With over 90 employees, it’s sometimes hard to remember that Madden is a family-owned company. Kevin and Jill Madden started Madden Media, then Madden Publishing, over 35 years ago. They went from door to door, building relationships in the community while selling print ads for Tucson Guide. The rest is history, but recently Madden has opened a new chapter in the Madden story. Bailey Madden, one of the daughters of Kevin and Jill, has recently joined the team as Market Engagement Director.

“We have always advocated Tucson as a great place to live, work, and play and now we have one of our own doing just that. I hope many more graduates decide to make Tucson their home as well.”–Kevin Madden, owner

When she was young, Bailey spent a lot of time with her mother in the office and on sales calls. She would sit beside Jill Madden and cut up magazines, pasting them back together to showcase destinations in her own way. When she grew up, she wanted to be just like her mother. Bailey saw how much her parents cared about the community. They were passionate about Tucson and the tourism industry, and she caught it like a bug.

Summer often meant an annual trip and drive to Montana where the entire family would pile into the car. The family vacations strengthened their familial bonds—bonds which remain strong to this day. As an adult, Bailey has traveled the world, taking in the beauty of new places and discovering anew what travel can mean to both destinations and travelers. In her own words, Bailey believes, “There are few things more important than travel, as it leads to a more open and accepting world.”

After college, receiving a B.S. in Finance from Oregon State University, Bailey struck out on her own, working in a tech startup in Colorado. She worked as a Customer Success Manager, in charge of account management for a variety of clients, including Anheuser-Busch, Beam Suntory, Maui Jim, Otterbox, Clorox, Atkins Nutritionals, and Citizen Watch. Her work spanned across industries; alcohol beverage suppliers and distributors, consumer packaged goods, luxury goods, beauty products, and more. She built relationships with these clients, working to retain, grow, and renew the accounts. Her experience in the tech startup was very valuable, as she was able to take her working knowledge of how Madden operated, compare it to another company, and bring what she learned to her new position at Madden.

Bailey’s new position at Madden has allowed her to return to the city and community she cares for so deeply. She is excited to bring her creative approaches to solving problems to the table to continue Madden’s position as a driving force in the destination marketing industry.

“I know Bailey will do a great job and Jill and I are both excited to have her join the company we started 36 years ago.”
–Kevin Madden, Owner

Meet Bailey Madden

Bailey Madden

Bailey is a determined young professional with a passion for contributing to the growth of companies. She thrives in constantly changing environments that provide her with ongoing challenges and projects to work on. She is interested in companies that have an inviting culture and that provide her with continual learning and new experiences.

Travel this Veterans Day

As Veterans Day nears, we should take time to think about how we spend our time off. 54% of families in the United States end up not taking all their time off, according to Project: Time Off, and veterans are no exception. With deployments and training assignments, veterans spend a lot of time away from their families, so it is even more important, when they do return home, to rebuild relationships and connections.

Each time a deployment ends, service members are briefed about reintegration into their normal lives. Whether it’s three months or several years, things will have changed at home. From haircuts and routines to children growing older, changes affect the relationship dynamics of families. Type in “military return home” in Google and you’ll be confronted by an endless stream of videos sure to make you tear up as veterans are greeted by wives and husbands, dogs, and children. But after that initial “welcome home” moment, settling back into normal life after so much time away can be awkward and difficult, mixing emotions of happiness, relief, anger, and guilt can arise and often PTSD can make the transition even more fraught with difficulty. It will take time to adjust.

We recommend using time off to rebuild relationships. After all, individuals who participate in higher levels of leisure activity are more likely to have an increase in positive moods, attention span, and the ability to reflect on problems.1

In a study that analyzed the letters of 67 veterans who attended a therapeutic fly-fishing program in Dutch John, Utah along the Green River, it was found that the outdoor activity helped veterans with PTSD rediscover purpose in life, improve relationships, feel a sense of success, and work toward recovery. One veteran wrote, “Spending time with the (…) program has shown me it’s okay to enjoy what God has to offer. You support helped (…) to remind me to live life instead of hide from it.”2

Travel has a way of transforming. Our CEO, Dan Janes, is both a veteran and a family man. He encourages our employees to use their time off to explore locally, nationally, and abroad, finding unique destinations that provide the setting for memories to be created and relationships strengthened. Having been through deployments himself, Dan says, “Being a veteran often requires sacrifice, not only by the service member, but also by their families: those who keep things running a home so the service member can put their country first. I think it is important to make use of the time we do have with our families to reconnect and strengthen relationships.”

Photo of Military Brass Band with U.S.Flags

This Veterans Day we encourage you to spend time with your family. Take the time to travel and create new memories. Take the time to laugh and enjoy the outdoors. Work will still be there when you get back.

For active duty and veterans, we recommend checking out the deals compiled on Military.com. You’ll find links to specials and deals like B&B offering complimentary rooms and museums and parks with free admission.

1 Mayer, F. S., Frantz, C. M., Bruehlman-Senecal, E., & Dolliver, K. (2009). Why Is Nature Beneficial? Environment and Behavior, 41(5), 607-643.
Mowatt, R. A., & Bennett, J. (2011). War Narratives. Veteran Stories, PTSD Effects, and Therapeutic Fly-Fishing. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 45(4), 286-308.