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Experience Burnsville

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Revitalizing Tourism: How A Brand Refresh and Clear Marketing Strategy Attracts More Visitors

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Project Overview

A strong brand and clear marketing strategy play a pivotal role in attracting visitors and driving economic growth for visitor bureaus. Experience Burnsville, the official tourism organization for Burnsville, Minnesota, partnered with Mercury Creative Group to revitalize their tourism efforts. The city of Burnsville is a hidden gem with vast potential, and our mission was to uncover and showcase this potential to a broader audience. A strategic blend of brand strategy, innovative design, and targeted marketing transformed Experience Burnsville’s approach, setting a new standard for destination marketing. This partnership led to a remarkable increase in visitor engagement and economic impact, providing valuable insights and actionable strategies for any CVB looking to elevate their destination’s appeal.

Client Goals​

Experience Burnsville’s leadership wanted clear marketing language to showcase everything Burnsville has to offer. They collaborated with Mercury Creative Group to define their brand foundation and create a strategic marketing approach highlighting Burnsville’s strengths, attracting more visitors, and ultimately making a positive economic impact.

Primary partnership goals included:

Build a Strong Brand Foundation: Create clear messaging and a strategic framework to guide marketing efforts.

Creative Design and Content Development: Design innovative brand assets, produce engaging content, and update the website to enhance user experience.

Strategic Marketing Planning and Execution: Develop a comprehensive marketing tactical plan that aligns with the primary goals and objectives, manage digital campaigns and track performance.

Ongoing Evaluation and Adaptation: Regularly review and refine strategies based on performance data, collaborating closely with the Experience Burnsville team to measure success and keep leadership informed.

Experience Burnsville Logo
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Project Focus

Brand Strategy:

Using the Mercury Method, the Mercury team collaborated with Experience Burnsville to develop a strategic brand framework. They started by precisely defining the ideal visitor.

This comprehensive process utilized in-depth demographic research, surveys, and storytelling exercises to understand the primary audience. From this research, Mercury identified the ideal visitor for Experience Burnsville, whom they named “Sheila.” Sheila became central to all marketing efforts, ensuring that every message resonated with this primary audience. The Experience Burnsville team fully embraced this concept, creating “Sheila on a stick” – a physical representation to keep their focus on serving their ideal visitor. Sheila would “show up” in meetings, anchoring the team around her needs and preferences.

The completed brand guide included the following elements:

  • Ideal Visitor Profile: Identifying the key characteristics, preferences, and behaviors of the primary audience.
  • Value Proposition: Defining the unique value that Experience Burnsville offers to visitors.
  • Brand Voice: Establishing a consistent and authentic voice for all communications.
  • Key Words and Messages: Ensuring clear, consistent, and impactful communication that conveys the values and benefits of the brand.
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As a true, connected partner, Mercury Creative Group attended board meetings and city council meetings, helping all stakeholders understand the key brand elements to create buy-in across the organization. This internal brand launch also helped ensure alignment with community goals.

Design:

With the brand strategy in place, the Mercury design team started the next phase of the project. They began by updating the logo to a more approachable and modern design, accompanied by a vibrant new color palette that injected new energy and relevance into the brand.

Next, Mercury Creative Group launched a redesigned website for Experience Burnsville, featuring improved navigation and a more organized presentation of information. The new design enhanced the user experience, making it easier for visitors to find information and plan their stays.

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Marketing:

The Mercury Method™ helps put strategy into action. The marketing phase started with an audit of current marketing tactics, followed by collaborative decision-making on strategies to pursue. This approach ensured that all efforts were worthwhile investments, creating a successful marketing plan for moving forward. A content plan was developed, considering seasonal trends and local events to guide email marketing, social media, and paid campaigns.

To effectively engage the primary audience and enhance the brand’s presence, Mercury Creative Group focused on:

  • Content Creation and Management: Producing compelling blog posts, newsletters, and long-form website content to drive traffic and engagement. Developing and managing a comprehensive monthly marketing calendar to coordinate organic social media, paid ads (SEM and retargeting), SEO optimization, email marketing, video production, and website content.
  • Advertising and Collateral Design: Creating innovative assets for seasonal campaigns. Designing collateral, and developing digital ads (including display and retargeting) for both website and social media platforms.
  • Email Marketing: Designing email templates and managing content and delivery to maintain consistent and compelling communication.
  • Website Enhancements: Continuously monitoring website design and content and making improvements to drive visitor conversions.
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Ongoing Marketing Partnership:

Mercury Creative Group reinforced the effectiveness of the brand and marketing strategies for Experience Burnsville through continuous evaluation and adaptation. Working closely with the Experience Burnsville team, Mercury made sure all marketing efforts aligned with the brand’s unique value and spoke to the primary audience. The ongoing partnership included:

  • Performance Tracking and Reporting: Setting up a robust system to monitor the effectiveness of all marketing efforts.Running quarterly reports to evaluate key metrics, complemented by a thorough six-month review for ongoing success.
  • Agile Adjustments: Regularly reviewing and making adjustments based on real-time data and evolving needs.
  • Client Collaboration: Holding weekly meetings with the Experience Burnsville team as an accountability partner, keeping all marketing efforts aligned with the brand’s unique value and goals.

“I love it! You hit the nail on the head with the message we wanted to share - Burnsville is a great place to visit, live, work and move your business to!”

— Amie Burrill, Executive Director of Experience Burnsville

Results

  • The “Stay” page on the website, once buried in the ranks, soared to the number 3 spot. 
  • Google Ads hit it out of the park with 3 to 10 million impressions per month. 
  • The targeted content and ads led to a substantial increase in engagement and interest in Burnsville as a travel destination.

Integrating a strong brand foundation, engaging design, strategic marketing, and a trust-based partnership culminated in success! Mercury Creative Group’s consistent communication and support solidified their role as an invaluable partner, demonstrating the power of the Mercury Method in achieving outstanding results.
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The refreshed brand identity, improved website, and strategic content plan drove significant increases in visibility and engagement. The foundational brand work allows all future marketing activities to align and focus effectively. Mercury Creative Group’s commitment to being a strategic, design, and marketing partner fostered a strong relationship with Experience Burnsville, positioning the ongoing partnership for continued success.

Harness the power of your brand to drive organizational growth.

Put the Mercury Method™ to work.