How marketing intelligence improved ROMI for Tennessee Tourism

June 2022
Alisha Sharda
Read time:
6 minutes
How marketing intelligence improved ROMI for Tennessee Tourism

View the video here!

VMLY&R implemented 10th Man to help drive greater return on ad spend, optimize organic performance and improve total reporting efficiency for Tennessee Department of Tourist Development (TDTD).

From the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (America's most visited national park) to the rich musical heritage of Nashville and Memphis, tourism is big business for Tennessee. TDTD is the state's official tourism authority, responsible for driving the growth of visitors and visitor spend. Its mission is to "motivate travel … by inspiring enjoyment, creating memories [and] producing a desire to return".

The challenge of lacking holistic oversight of marketing performance

To achieve this, the VMLY&R Tennessee team manages a large marketing budget across paid, owned and earned channels, running over 30 different concurrent creatives per paid campaign.

Managing such a complex marketing mix would be a challenge at any time, but the turbulence caused by the Covid-19 pandemic made it essential to quickly understand how individual campaigns were performing and to adapt to a dynamic environment.

However, TDTD lacked a clear view of marketing performance across all its channels and spend. Paid, owned and earned channel teams worked in siloed work streams, the individual point solutions used by teams lacked clear visualizations and understanding performance across all channels was a serious challenge.

Hannah Weissbeck, Data Analyst explains: “We’ve used the top two email marketing platforms and neither of those have a ton of visualisation aspects.

"We were struggling to see the whole picture of performance.”

The consolidated marketing performance report took four analysts one week per month to complete and produced a single, historic, point-in-time view that made it impossible to respond in a timely manner to changing circumstances.

"Paid media reporting can be a very manual process. We had to access data through multiple platforms and partners that we had to aggregate and analyze and then draw conclusions from." – Nikki Hardin, Group Director of Innovation and Data, VMLY&R

A marketing intelligence platform to plan, align, optimize and report

To obtain a dynamic, holistic view of its marketing performance across all channels, Tennessee turned to 10th Man.

10th Man's marketing intelligence platform puts brands' plans and performance on a single page, combining any and all marketing data in real-time. Its secure SaaS architecture makes it simple for marketing and management teams to collaborate and optimize performance based on the latest insights and grounded in established, objective, best-practice performance metrics.

Democratizing data for a consistent, objective view of marketing performance

"With 10th Man we're able to look at performance across channels, tactics and creatives," - VMLY&R's Group Director of Innovation and Data Nikki Hardin.

"And not only top-performing or what's performing really well, but also where there are opportunities, whether it's tactics or creative that might not be performing as well."

Bringing together data from different sources enables TDTD to understand performance across its marketing investments, making different creatives, campaigns and channels truly comparable using reliable signals for success via the standardized reports designed by marketers for marketers.

As a result, TDTD can measure the effectiveness of its marketing storytelling throughout the journey, from initial awareness through to visiting Tennessee and returning. 

"Because 10th Man brings everything into one platform, we can use our organic insights to help influence our paid – and  sometimes even our paid to help look at and benefit our organic – because they both go hand in hand," adds Hannah Weissbeck, Data Analyst. "We try to look at the whole picture."

Having that single "pane of glass" also supports cross-team collaboration that generates deeper marketing insights.

"10th Man is a great platform for us to use"

"It allows us to integrate various data sources across multiple channels, and that allows for deeper integration across teams.

"We use 10th Man's Highlights functionality so that, when we do spot something, multiple team members will add highlights and suggestions for where there might be opportunity for change," Nikki explains.

Media Specialist Bailey Vincent, adds: "I like 10th Man's summary review because that's the only place we get social spend alongside our programmatic spend and our paid search. 10th Man helps us answer the question, 'How much did I spend this month? And what did I get for it?' That top line is what most people are looking for at first glance, and then we can drill down into those other things. It's great."

Better marketing ROI through greater insights, agile optimization and improved outcomes

10th Man's always-on, real-time perspective on performance enables TDTD to optimize marketing spend mid-flight, monitoring creatives and adapting channel mix to respond to a dynamic marketplace.

Marketers can easily compare month-on-month and year-on-year performance and use rich visualizations to support quick decisions on spend, messaging and consumer behaviour.

"Tennessee is very data-driven," Hannah explains. "We like having all the numbers in front of us. So, 10th Man has helped us improve performance and navigate the Covid-19 impacts in the travel industry."

"We love the ability to look on the 10th Man platform and see what posts are performing well on what platforms. Looking at the engagement rates, we've been able to identify faster that we've seen a decline in organic social for example, versus having to go into every single social platform separately. 10th Man brings together our total organic social landscape."

But insights are only effective when they are timely.

"10th Man is the fastest way for us to make sure that every single campaign is delivering," Bailey says. "We run 30-plus creatives for every single campaign. It's really great to be able to make sure they're all delivering. 10th Man allows us to look at all of our paid media metrics in one place and we can narrow down between campaigns and vendors to get that data visualization really quickly. That means we can make recommendations that are actionable, with the ability to show the data and trends behind it as well."

"10th Man is the fastest way for us to make sure that every single campaign is delivering," – Bailey Vincent, Media Specialist

Saving time and freeing skilled marketers to focus on creativity

The VMLY&R Tennessee team has revolutionized its reporting processes.

Reporting used to take a team of four a week every month, generating a report over 50 pages from disparate sources.

Today, 10th Man's instant, always-on reporting is accessible to stakeholders across TDTD and its nominated partners. The platform enables readers to add comments and tags to further drive collaboration and speed the process of answering queries.

"10th Man makes pulling reporting faster and less tedious"

"We're not combining from multiple sources, so we're saving our teams time internally and also providing more transparency for our clients. They're able to do it, they're able to look up that information on their own if they want. But, we can also get into the platform very quickly, and provide additional context if we need to. We can also add highlights and notes to dashboards for further clarity."

Importantly, the TDTD team has freed the equivalent of one full-time, highly-skilled, marketing analyst to work on value-add tasks other than generating hindsight.

Looking ahead to advanced marketing analytics and deeper insights

Having started with 10th Man's standard suite of reports – generating objective insights in minutes, not months – the TDTD team is now unlocking even greater value by beginning to leverage 10th Man's powerful AI/ML capabilities for advanced analytics.

As Nikki concludes, "10th Man is a great platform for us and the state; because of the value the platform provides, VMLY&R is continuing to onboard additional Tennessee Tourism partners to standardize measurement, better understand marketing effectiveness and streamline reporting.

"The more that we put in, the deeper the insight we're able to get out."

Want to join the likes of Tennessee Department of Tourist Development and see how 10th Man can help you? Email today!

Watch the video testimony here.