How iOS 14 Privacy Changes Impact Your Facebook Marketing

Apple’s and Facebook’s advertising platforms are ubiquitous for DMOs. New iOS 14 privacy changes and their effects on Facebook marketing will put limitations on the ability to track ROI on Apple devices. And while this update is still new and Facebook is still developing solutions, we will help you through it. 

What’s Changed?

Data Nutrition Label

All apps must submit information about their app’s data collection practices.

Tracking Transparency Prompt

App Store apps, including Facebook, must ask users for permissions to track them across third-party apps and websites.

Tracking via App/Browser APIs

Facebook and other platforms will need to use a new framework that restricts, aggregates, and delays event reporting.

Conversion Window

There will now be a seven day delay on attributions. 

What’s the Impact?

Reporting metrics will be more limited. This will lead to under-reporting on metrics. 

 If users opt-out of having their data collected, advertisers will have limited access to data on conversion events. For example, web traffic from the Facebook app to an advertiser’s website will no longer be captured if the user has opted out. Advertisers will also be limited to tracking eight conversion events.

Advertisers should prepare to:

  • Operate and define the priority of a maximum of 8 Pixel events per domain
  • Anticipate changes to attribution windows and update automated rules if necessary
  • Prepare for attribution window changes (deprecation of 28-day click-through, 28-day view-through, and 7-day view-through windows)
  • Identify campaign optimization strategies that may require testing such as alternative audience options or different bidding strategies

How Does This Affect DMOs?

Expect a Decrease in Events and Reported Conversions

While the changes will lead to fewer conversion events being captured, it’s important to know that it is not a reflection of ineffective tactics. The decrease will likely be due to users opting out of having their activity data captured.

Smaller Remarketing Pool

When users opt out of having their data collected on the Facebook App, it creates a smaller pool of users advertisers are able to target with remarketing ads. 

(Maybe) Fewer Conversion Metrics

Advertisers will be limited to tracking eight conversion events on the Facebook app. DMOs don’t typically have that many conversions events, as this change is more specific to e-commerce advertisers. However, DMOs will have to streamline their tracked conversion events if they currently have more than eight they measure. 

How Should DMOs Respond?

Claim Your Domain

The first step Facebook recommends is claiming your domain on Facebook Business Manager.

Install Facebook’s Conversion API 

Released last year, this is designed to replicate much of the functionality of the Facebook PIXEL for tracking and measurement, except it is server-based rather than browser-based. Facebook recommends leaving both the browser-based pixel installation and Conversion API installed and let Facebook remove duplicates. 

Install Server-Side Tag Management

Clients that have a tag management solution to manage their pixels and additional scripts for their website, like Google Tag Manager, should consider server-side tag management.

Optimize Your Strategy

Earn the Opt-In 

Earn users trust and get them to opt in to having their data collected. Communicate that users’ data gives you the ability to create an engaging experience tailored to their interests. Be respectful and protective of their data—never misuse or share data with third parties. 

Review Existing Goals and KPIs

Don’t set yourself up for failure. Do not maintain existing KPI benchmarks or goals based on hitting certain thresholds in metrics that will be impacted.

Create Organic Strategies

Capturing metrics from paid tactics on Facebook will be more challenging. Rethink how you are using the platform and strategize ways to increase organic engagement.

Omni-channel Approach

Digital channels will remain at the forefront of media plans, but DMOs should also look to leverage traditional, out of home, and SEM tactics to complement their strategy. DMOs should also include PR and content marketing to ensure a holistic media approach.

Continue to Communicate Impact

While Facebook’s engagement metrics might go down due to the privacy changes, we know our partners’ impact is not decreasing. Destinations must evolve their KPIs to move beyond traditional campaign metrics. 

Madden provides our partners with destination intelligence modules that include data on visitations and tourism-related revenue. Your work has always been more than clicks and impressions. You should align your measurement program to capture impact metrics like visitors from key markets, hotel tax revenue, and in-destination spending. This approach will create a more holistic measurement strategy. 

Madden is helping our partners through this transition, and is standing by to help assist any DMO evolve their digital marketing programs to respond to the new iOs 14 updates. We’re here to work through ongoing media changes and optimize reporting to keep proving your organization’s value.

Read more about how to develop your Facebook marketing strategy.

Reimagine Leisure Tourism Marketing in the COVID-19 Era

National Plan for Vacation Day (January 26, 2021) marks the annual day DMOs across the country can encourage travelers to plan their next trip and consider their destinations. This day is about consumers planning for future travel. DMOs should look to spark travelers’ imaginations by reimagining their leisure tourism marketing. This ensures their communities will be top of mind when people plan their next trip during the era of COVID-19. 

We all need something to look forward to this year. Right now, people are dreaming of their next vacation, looking forward to seeing friends and family, and thinking of their first trip once they are ready to travel. This is a prime opportunity for DMOs to guide their audience decision making and drive visitations to their destinations.

So, how can DMOs reimagine their marketing strategies during the pandemic while promoting National Plan for Vacation Day to compel leisure travelers to visit? Madden recommends these three ways DMOs can reimagine their leisure marketing strategies.

Target Remote Workers

Many people are no longer working in an office. Freed of the requirements of physically being in a specific location to work, people are now able to work remotely. Many are working from home while COVID-19 persists, but they also have the ability to work in destinations around the country.

DMOs should promote long-term rentals, incorporate messages encouraging the ability to work remotely from their destination, and target urban drive markets where remote workers are more prominent. Integrating tactics like these into your strategies will compel people to consider your destination as a place to stay for an extended period of time for both remote work and relaxation when they are off the clock.

Promote Outdoor Experiences

Our data analysis of traveler behavior during 2020 shows people are more likely to visit a destination to experience outdoor activities. Whether it’s because people feel safer outdoors or need a change after isolating in their homes, travelers want to get outside. 

DMOs should promote outdoor experiences in their leisure tourism marketing. Madden has helped partners adjust their strategies to create immersive storytelling to highlight outdoor activities and emphasize outdoor imagery in their creative asset libraries. Spotlighting a destination’s spacious outdoor activities will help compel visitations from visitors wanting to get outside and make people feel comfortable traveling to your destination.

Reflect the Real World

It is unclear how long we will be living in a COVID-19 dominated world. Destinations should make plans to integrate our current pandemic culture into their marketing strategy. While vaccines are beginning to be distributed, it’s likely that public health will remain on the top of people’s minds for an extended period of time. It’s important to keep marketing messages grounded in the real world to ensure they resonate with your audiences. 

DMOs should make sure their marketing reflects the real world. For example, some of our partners have done photo shoots with talent wearing masks so people can see themselves safely visiting their attractions, restaurants, and community. It doesn’t make sense to invest resources in storytelling or creative assets that create a dissonance between what you’re promoting and public health best practices. For example, it makes more sense to include tactics that promote activities that have a lower risk of spreading COVID or the best takeout restaurants rather than building campaigns around large events or activities that include crowds. 

While living with the pandemic has become our new status quo, destinations can still make the most of National Plan for Vacation Day. By leveraging the three recommendations mentioned above, DMOs can effectively promote their communities and compel people hesitant of traveling to consider planning a visit for the future. 

Read more about Madden Media’s COVID-19 resources for DMOs here.

Linear vs. Streaming: What’s Your Strategy?

Sheltering at home in 2020 brought on a huge boost in video and television consumption on traditional linear networks and streaming services. In March, April, and May of 2020, we saw a large number of consumers paying more attention to traditional TV, streaming TV, and the web by 40%. As destinations develop their marketing strategies for 2021 and beyond, it’s important to consider the benefits and challenges found in linear and streaming services. To help you determine the right balance to accomplish your goals, we’ve compiled a quick analysis.

Let’s Start With the Basics

When you’re comparing linear vs. streaming for your strategy, it helps to know the difference between them.

Linear viewing refers to the traditional television model where consumers watch content that the provider presents. Linear advertising can also mean Connected TV (CTV) and Over-the-Top (OTT) options. The user watches a video and is served a banner ad or another video. The platform or network selects content, creating a passive viewer experience. Another challenge comes from DVR services that allow the viewer to fast forward through or skip ads on recorded programming. 

Streaming gives the viewer control of their experience. They choose what they want to watch on demand and can start, pause, rewind, and fast forward content. The streaming model is now the preferred method of watching television for consumers. Time spent streaming surpassed linear viewing in 2019 and has continued to increase over time.

Benefits Comparison

Linear content consumption has been around for a long time and is familiar for users. Decades of data are available to understand the demographics of viewers on different networks. This data shows how to best engage consumers with advertisements. One way to boost linear ad engagement is to purchase spots during the morning or evening news. This is when viewers are more “tuned” into the program and less likely to skip or miss ads. However, the lack of consumer control is the primary downfall of linear viewing. Some consumers flip through channels rather than watching ads. Others change the channel to avoid watching commercials. Many don’t want their viewing experience dictated by the provider. 

Streaming services allow the consumer to choose what they watch at any time and creates several key benefits to advertisers:

  • As noted in a recent Think With Google Article, “According to a Google-commissioned Nielsen study, YouTube reached more adults ages 18 to 49 in the U.S. than all linear TV networks combined in March 2020.”
  • When comparing the average time spent streaming in Q3 of 2019 to Q3 of 2020, Samsung reports a 43% increase year-over year and anticipates continued growth. 
  • Promotion on streaming services means advertisers are reaching an audience that can easily be tracked. While some streaming ads are not clickable, it’s still possible to capture view-through traffic. Some platforms can pair an ad viewed through streaming with a website visit, providing evidence proving ad effectiveness. 
  • Subscriptions within streaming platforms have concerned advertisers who feared they’d be unable to reach a majority of users. However, ad-supported video on demand (AVOD) is the fastest growing viewing platform. While there are plenty of subscribed users who opt out of ads, a majority of streaming service users have a free account where they are served ads. Trends show AVOD reaches more viewers than linear. AVOD is also growing faster in average time spent than subscription video on demand.

What Does This Mean For Your Strategy?

Unsure whether to include linear or streaming ads in your strategy? Consider who you’re trying to reach. Does research show that your ideal audience tends to watch certain networks or types of programming? Do they use mobile devices to consume content or is television their go-to? If you’re unsure, consider investing in a Visitation Intelligence Report or deeper analysis to define your audience. 

To reach a wider audience, advertising on both streaming and linear services is your best option. Customize the ad type and messaging to connect with distinct audiences on different platforms while maintaining a cohesive brand voice. An ad on traditional network television should be crafted with that format in mind and not used interchangeably with ads built for streaming services.

As more consumers shift to streaming platforms, your budget should transfer accordingly. Samsung reports that:

  • Streaming commands 63% of consumer viewing time and is expected to follow the same trend. 
  • 75% of Samsung viewers spend 87% of their time streaming vs 13% watching linear programming. 
  • Advertisers who continue to solely invest in traditional linear advertising are missing 7 in 10 viewers

Let’s Bring it All Together

Three key linear vs. streaming takeaways:

  • Advertising within streaming and linear services provides brand lift. They should be used in tandem with other tactics that guide the consumer toward consideration and conversion. Your goal should be to increase brand awareness and ad recall across multiple channels, not rely solely on these ads to drive visitation.
  • Deliver impressions that inspire, spark imagination, and encourage the viewer to seek out additional information about your destination. Tailor your brand message to the platform your ad appears on.
  • While linear advertising is still valuable to reach particular audiences, destinations need to consider the audiences they aren’t reaching if they don’t incorporate streaming. All signs are pointing toward streaming services becoming the primary placement to reach consumers while they watch TV.

National Plan for Vacation Day: The Collective Impact of Tourism

This year’s National Plan for Vacation Day (January 26, 2021) feels different than in previous years. The COVID-19 pandemic hit the tourism industry hard. This year will be a recovery year for many. Destinations are looking to reclaim their past success. They will look to bring travelers to their communities and revitalize their local economies. Americans are also in need of travel. According to the U.S. Travel Association, 63% of Americans say they desperately need a vacation. After a difficult year, National Plan for Vacation Day presents an optimal opportunity to schedule time to step away from your busy life—while also helping generate a collective impact in communities across the country.  

What National Plan for Vacation Day Means to Us

National Plan for Vacation Day is an important initiative in our industry and for individuals’ well-being. It encourages everyone to take a break from their busy lives, relax and recharge, experience new places, and create new memories with friends and family. Tourism is the lifeblood of our agency. It not only provides livelihoods to our employees, but helps us generate a collective impact in our partners’ communities—creating better places to live, work, and play. 

Madden was founded as a family business around the goal of helping our community by promoting local shopping, restaurants, and experiences. Our desire to spread that impact across the country has driven our growth, and guides our decision to work exclusively within the tourism industry—the ideal industry for generating a collective impact. 

Generating a Collective Impact

Our partners’ work is so much more than heads in beds. The travelers they bring to their destinations touch everyone in their communities. The shoppers they bring to main street local businesses grow their economies. The public funding generated by tourism-related revenue goes towards a quality education and safe places to play for the children of their communities. The money service industry workers earn during peak tourism season feeds families and gives people a place to call home. We choose to serve our partners, and we are proudly promoting National Plan for Vacation Day, because of these impacts. 

Plan Your Next Trip

So, plan your next vacation and research new places to visit. Your trip and the money you spend will ripple through a community for generations. Especially now, when the pandemic has ravaged the tourism and service industries, travelers are needed more than ever. The relaxation and fun your vacation brings to you and your family also means so much to the families who live and work in the place you visit. 

And while we want people to get out and travel, we want to ensure that the impact travelers are making on communities is positive. While we’ve entered a new year, COVID-19’s challenges have not disappeared. Wherever you travel, wear a mask, wash your hands frequently, maintain social distancing, and follow local health guidelines. Taking these steps will help make travel safe for everyone and lead to a faster tourism industry recovery. 

Your Vacation Means More This Year

2020 was a tough year. Many lost loved ones or lost time spent with loved ones when trips, weddings, events, and more had to be postponed. We’re encouraging people to mark this new year, and National Plan for Vacation Day, by taking the time to make up for lost time. Plan a visit to a beach destination this winter. Map out a camping trip for the springtime. Schedule time to meet up somewhere with family and friends this summer. Take steps to spend more time outdoors this fall. Whatever your reasons for traveling, by planning your next trip today, you start looking forward to the experiences coming your way, the memories you’ll create, and the collective impact you’ll make on the destination you choose to visit. 

Read more about how Madden is generating a collective impact for our partners.

Three Ways to Avoid Ad Fatigue Among Your Audience

Let’s face it. Your audience is bombarded with brand messages every day. Not all stick. Our inboxes full of unread promotional emails serve as evidence. So, how can you ensure your marketing messages are sticking?

We build unique media plans for every client. However, we incorporate these three key principles into every media strategy to keep our partners’ audiences engaged and avoid ad fatigue. 

Audience over Brand

It’s vital to focus on WHY people travel rather than WHO travels. We build our strategies around intent-based audiences rather than demographics. This approach enables us to speak directly to the reasons people travel, and show your destination offering the experiences they crave. We constantly analyze media consumption data to understand which channels travelers interact with when they are dreaming of, planning, and booking their next trip. These insights mean our messages are always delivered on the right channel at the right time.

Our client Explore St. Louis planned to invest CARES funding, but didn’t want to target people unlikely to travel due to COVID-19 fears. We analyzed how the pandemic was affecting traveler behavior, and developed intent-based creative and keywords to reach people looking for outdoor destinations they could safely enjoy with their family. 

Stay Fresh

We build constant optimization into every media strategy to ensure creative variety, viewability, and frequency. It’s vital to establish recurring times throughout your campaigns to refresh your creative assets. This approach helps avoid repetitions and let’s us build upon what’s effective. 

These regular refresh periods also create the opportunity to adjust. For example, after the COVID-19 pandemic brought new social distancing and public health guidelines, we helped many clients refresh their creative asset libraries to emphasize outdoor activities, small groups, and in some cases, mask wearing.

As the agency of record for Visit Idaho we refreshed our media tactics frequently since the beginning of the year to keep our audiences engaged. In anticipation of seasonality transition and COVID-19 causing more people to look for outdoor experiences, we refreshed all our media buys to feature autumn outdoor creative.

Madden Media's Visit Idaho Fall Adventure Idaho ad campaign - 300x250 adMadden Media's Visit Idaho Fall in love with Idaho ad campaign - 300x250 ad
Madden Media's Visit Idaho Fall For Idaho ad campaign - 300x250 adMadden Media's Visit Idaho Don't miss Idaho ad campaign - 300x250 ad

Remain Top of Mind

It’s important to structure multiple touchpoints that align with the traveler’s journey. This approach builds connections with people during each phase of decision making. We plan out multiple touchpoints through creative ad sequencing. This method serves people different ad designs and messages on the same platform, often having each ad building upon the one another—creating a narrative through advertising. 

Using several different ads in sequence performs better than repeating the same ad. According to Ipsos, video sequences with three ads increased key message retention by 89% — much higher than two repeating ads. It’s also a great way to deliver remarketing messages to people who have viewed or interacted with specific campaigns. 

Our winter campaign with Visit Idaho leverages video sequencing to highlight different activities and places to visit around Idaho’s diverse region. This approach adds variety and appeals to different intent-based audiences. By running tests on each video ad, we determine which videos perform best and sequence the order to maximize effectiveness.  

Build Relationships Without Overwhelming People

Capturing and holding your audience’s attention will determine whether your destination is considered for their next trip. By following the three principles discussed above, DMOs can guarantee they are getting noticed and building relationships that generate visitations.

Why We Recommend Open Source Website Platforms

Open Source & Microservices vs Proprietary Approach

When building sites, Madden subscribes to an open source platform approach with a microservices backbone. Many website companies use a proprietary platform to develop websites, but Madden believes that there are several downsides to this approach.

Open Source Community of Developers vs a Single Vendor

First, clients have to rely on the vendor for fixes, upgrades, and changes to the system. A proprietary solution only has the developers employed by the parent company to work on the product. In most cases, they are supporting multiple clients. On the other hand, an open source platform solution, has thousands of developers working on it all over the world. This mean that the community at large discovers and resolves security issues quickly. In the world of quality assurance, the more eyes that can see something, the more likely issues are revealed and subsequently fixed.

Flexibility vs Long Term Contracts

Second, proprietary solutions often strike longer term deals with 3rd party vendors to integrate their data into the platform. For example, a review service might sign a multi-year contract to have their reviews used exclusively in client sites. The microservice approach lets you pull from the right data source for you. You can use a plug and play approach to adding a new service if one falls out of favor or becomes unreliable. Open source platform’s flexibility benefits both you and your site visitors.

Simple Transfer vs Unorganized Data

Lastly, a proprietary approach means that when other agencies stop working with a client, they retain their proprietary software. This makes it much more challenging to move away from that system. Clients can be left at the mercy of their old developers who don’t always have clean solutions in place to hand off data to new teams. They’re also under no obligation to provide this in an organized or timely manner. With open source platform solutions, your site can be easily transferred if you decide another developer is better for your needs.

Madden believes your website should be YOUR website.

We choose open source technology solutions because we want to provide the best tools to our destination marketing partners. Open source solutions allow us the flexibility to shift and adjust strategies as marketing and business needs change. We empower our partners using these tools and strategies. They’re able to move on their own without making our teams a bottleneck.

WordPress is our preferred platform. Its easy-to-use CMS gives full control over publishing new content and updating existing content. Our partners can adjust page layouts and create new web pages quickly and efficiently. When paired with our hosting platform and best practices, WordPress sites are fast, secure, and reliable.

Need More Website Insight?

For more of Madden’s website recommendations, check out our COVID-19 Website Strategies and Inclusion Goes Beyond Compliance for Travel Websites.

Best in Show Highlights 2020 Flagler Award Client Wins

Madden is proud to announce our clients Discover Crystal River and Visit Tampa Bay earned 2020 Flagler Awards in recognition of their tourism marketing excellence, including Discover Crystal River winning “The Henry” 2020 Best in Show award.

In addition to winning Best in Show, Madden’s work with Discover Crystal River received two Bronze awards for Internet Advertising and Niche Marketing, and our partnership with Visit Tampa Bay won two Bronze awards for Print Advertising and Internet Advertising. Since 2012, Madden has proudly sponsored the Flagler Awards, which were created by VISIT FLORIDA to annually recognize the top destination promotion in the state of Florida.

Best in Show

Discover Crystal River received the top prize in the $500,000 – $2,000,000 annual budget category. In addition to its categories, The Flagler Awards anoint the best overall tourism marketing with its Best in Show award.

Internet Advertising

Visit Tampa Bay won a Bronze award for its “Baycrafted” campaign which targeted an intent-based audience of beer lovers interested in traveling to Florida. The campaign included a landing page with an interactive map and hero video, and promoted the “Every Pint Tells a Story” messaging on branded elements delivered through remarketing ads, Facebook Instant Experiences, and Carousel Ads. 

Discover Crystal River won a Bronze Award for its “Step Into Awesome” campaign which targeted an intent-based audience of people who live active lifestyles and frequently travel from their top markets. The campaign extended the “Step Into Awesome” theme into all brand pillars and created brand assets that reflected the destination’s environment. Campaign assets were integrated into a video that was distributed online, and campaign promotion included display advertising and social advertising.

Print Marketing

Visit Tampa Bay won a Bronze award for its 2020 Official Visitor Guide. The guide included feature length stories that spoke to different intent-based audiences, and tied the storytelling together with large-scale imagery and stunning design. The guide also included an online Content Hub to provide a virtual element and lead readers to

Check out the award-winning Visit Tampa Bay 2020 Official Visitor Guide!

Niche Marketing

Discover Crystal River won a Bronze award for its “Manatee Capital of the World” brand campaign. Including a “Swimming with Manatees” feature story on its website, Discover Crystal River positioned itself as the “International Manatee Authority” to highlight one of its brand pillars.

Check out “Swimming with Manatees,” part of the award-winning Niche Marketing campaign!


Inclusion Goes Beyond Compliance for Travel Websites

Article written by Curtis Thompson, VP of MarTech, Madden Media

As DMOs and businesses reflect on the way they promote their destinations and themselves, representation in advertising is once again trending. Madden believes that all people deserve to enrich their lives through travel, and ensuring a positive experience for all travelers is more important than ever. Using the example of disability compliance, we’ll provide you with some insight and action items to look further into true representation and help you deliver strong resources that benefit all travelers.

Checking the Box

Since 2003 in the NFL, there has been a rule for franchises called the “Rooney Rule,” named after the former owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dan Rooney. It requires teams to interview at least one ethnic-minority candidate for any open head coaching position. Despite this, the rate of minority coaches hired has dropped in the past decade, and continues to be a challenge. So while teams are compliant with the rule, the lack of inclusion persists for the league.

As with the NFL, America has adopted many rules and regulations regarding compliance on a variety of fronts, most notably in the area of disability. The ADA, passed in 1990, is a wide-reaching and comprehensive set of laws and regulations that revolutionized the country and opened up doors (literally and figuratively) for millions of Americans with disabilities. I know this, because I am one of them. As a wheelchair user in our country, I have directly benefited from the ADA and it has greatly improved my quality of life for many years now. To address similar issues in cyberspace, a more recent set of guidelines called the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) has been set up to help companies and organizations ensure that their websites are accessible by people with disabilities.

But along with the Rooney Rule, online disability inclusion often focuses more on checking the WCAG compliance box instead of actively thinking about the people who need the compliance to begin with. For example—a destination website might go to great lengths to ensure that screen readers can easily read pages to help people with visual impairments, but does it offer any resources on the site to help those people visit the destination in person?

Moving Beyond Perceived Inclusion

As a disabled traveler in America, I experience countless hurdles. Knowing details like cargo door dimensions on airplanes is critical to ensure that my wheelchair won’t be violently disassembled by airline staff to fit in the cargo hold, and non-emergency medical transport resources such as accessible public transit let me get around once at a destination. Information is key for me to travel safely and successfully. Many times, I get more accessible information about a business such as a hotel by looking at provided pictures of rooms than I do from reading their descriptive copy. As the saying goes, a picture can be worth a thousand words. 

But beyond the information those words in picture format give me, they can also provide comfort. Humans tend to respond favorably to pictures of people that they see as “like them.” While seeing pictures of disabled travelers in a destination helps show me things such as how tall the bed is in that hotel, they more importantly make me feel included. Believing that the pictures on a site are genuine is key to me as a disabled person. To this end, the use of stock imagery can actually be detrimental to what is otherwise a sincere attempt to be inclusive.

Making Your Website a True Inclusive Resource

So what steps can be taken to help a website and destination evolve from merely compliant to truly inclusive for not only people with disabilities, but all people? As with all change, many little things can easily turn into a bigger and more impactful result. Some easier areas to consider are:

  • Go beyond WCAG compliance on your site, and offer real resources for traveling to and within your destination.
  • Create and feature content and information from all the amazing cultures and people that are in your destination.
  • Acknowledge that most travelers already have their own resources from like-minded travelers (be them logistical or inspirational), and consider partnering with those resources in your area to offer information and content. 
  • Work with resources in your area to get advice, tips, and tricks that you can share with people who have never been to the destination before.
  • Ensure that imagery on your website is not only inclusive, but genuine and (ideally) helpful. If I can see a picture of a person in a power wheelchair at an attraction, I feel included and I also know that it’s likely that I, too, can go there and have the same positive experience.

One of the most amazing aspects of humanity is our diversity and our uniqueness, but along with this, it is critical that we work to help each other feel included in our society. This is why true inclusion for everybody has to go beyond the simple act of compliance.


The coronavirus pandemic has shifted the life of every American, upending all normalcy—and from a business perspective, the travel industry has been one of the hardest hit. The latest travel data reflects the dire situation our industry continues to face, but it is our day-to-day realities that underscore the true impact of the coronavirus pandemic on our companies, our communities, our colleagues and our livelihoods.

Despite the immediate and drastic halt to travel since the pandemic began, consumer sentiment and behavior is indicating a growing readiness to travel again, though it comes with a cautious optimism. This optimism, coupled with the initial demand we saw over the summer months, presents an opportunity to reclaim some of what we have lost.

Having faced crises before that put travel at a standstill, our industry has demonstrated its resiliency, which is why a group of travel leaders convened to form the Let’s Go There Coalition, focused on rebuilding the travel industry. Together they developed a plan to reignite a sense of wanderlust and inspire Americans to plan their next adventure. The goal is simple: when plans are made and eagerly anticipated, spirits are lifted and recovery will begin.

The Let’s Go There campaign will inspire Americans to do what is exciting, safe and productive: make plans to travel.

We are proud to say that Madden has joined the Coalition’s nationwide movement helping to expand the campaign’s reach. Our participation is supporting a larger paid media strategy, as well as our colleagues’ earned media and owned channel activation efforts. We are working together,
across sectors, to give Americans hope and remind them of the joy of anticipation, the benefits that come from planning not for now, but for what adventure lies ahead, to find happiness in looking forward and the excitement to explore somewhere new in our beautiful country.

Of course, the travel industry promoting travel seems obvious. However, 51% of jobs supported by travel were lost by the end of May–putting 8.1 million Americans out of work. That represented 38% of all job losses–one in four jobs. Small businesses have had to shutter or permanently close. Getting Americans moving again, safely, will in turn put Americans back to work.

Together, we can make a difference: we can cheer someone up, we can put someone back to work, we can be a driver of hope that helps lead us all toward brighter days.

For more information inspiration, visit For more information about the Let’s Go There Coalition and how you can join the movement, visit or contact

Driving Impact Across Communities

At Madden Media, we work to help drive impact across communities. Now more than ever, it’s important that you have a partner who will be with you every step of the way, ensuring that your marketing dollars are reaching their full potential. We offer 38+ years of experience in the tourism space and have more than 100 team members who are ready to help you achieve your goals through data-driven work. 

As we look at the impact COVID-19 has had across the industry, we remain focused on three calls to action: plan, protect, and recover. This framework provides you and your partners with a helpful guide to thinking about not just short-term actions, but preparing and planning for the recovery of your marketing efforts for your destination.

Like many destinations, we’ve been taking a hard look at the data to consider what travel looks like today. Utilizing our DOMO-powered reporting dashboard, we’ve identified and compiled key industry trends and research from a variety of sources including media platforms, DMO websites, and Google. Taking this broad mix of ever-evolving data, we’re able to analyze multiple streams of information at once to better predict when travelers will be ready to start traveling again. We call this measurement Travel Intent

With the help of data like this, we’ve seen success across a number of projects where our team has helped partners move the needle towards a positive recovery (see examples of work from St. Louis and Traverse City here and examples from Idaho and Grand Canyon West here). 

With all of our projects, we’re taking a step back to consider the impact that our efforts have, making sure that decisions still make sense and are providing appropriate ROI. From print publications like visitors guides to innovative digital campaigns and branding efforts, you can be sure that your Madden team has your best interests in mind.