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Adirondack Craft Beverage Trail Mobile App: Synopsis - Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce

2016 ACE: Grand Award

In 2015 the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce received a $168,000 grant to enhance the Adirondack Craft Beverage Trail and strengthen the craft beer, wine, spirits and cider industry in the southern Adirondacks and northern Capital District in NY. This trail experience acts as a connector to 27 purveyors in our region and establishes a tourism destination for individuals drawn to locations for a craft beverage experience. To enhance the project in year two, 2015-16, we developed a mobile application and a standalone website to further encourage regional tourism, through technology, in the craft beverage industry. Additional marketing efforts were implemented throughout NY, MA, CT, and NJ through newspaper ads, web ads, and other media. Partnerships have also been developed with Warren, Washington, and Saratoga County Tourism departments to expand marketing efforts.


Date: August 28, 2016
Organization: Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce
Chamber Website: http://www.adirondackchamber.org
City: Glen Falls, NY
Community Peer Group: Emerging Cities
Revenue Category: $450,001-900,000

Adirondack Craft Beverage Trail Mobile App: Synopsis - Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce

Synopsis:

In 2015 the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce received a $168,000 grant to enhance the Adirondack Craft Beverage Trail and strengthen the craft beer, wine, spirits and cider industry in the southern Adirondacks and northern Capital District in NY. This trail experience acts as a connector to 27 purveyors in our region and establishes a tourism destination for individuals drawn to locations for a craft beverage experience. To enhance the project in year two, 2015-16, we developed a mobile application and a standalone website to further encourage regional tourism, through technology, in the craft beverage industry. Additional marketing efforts were implemented throughout NY, MA, CT, and NJ through newspaper ads, web ads, and other media. Partnerships have also been developed with Warren, Washington, and Saratoga County Tourism departments to expand marketing efforts.

The most significant aspects of the mobile app and standalone website is the integrated Google Maps API which allows people to find and get directions to all of the craft beverage makers. If using the app, this is done through narrated turn-by-turn instructions to each maker. Additionally, the app creates a Geo-Fence around each craft beverage maker that sends an alert to anyone that has the app letting them know they are near one of the beverage makers and asking if they would like to go. If they do, the map automatically goes into effect and gives them directions to the location. On the website, directions can be either printed out or read easily by anyone. There is also a section of the website called Trail Tales which is a blog of information, video, and audio pieces regarding the Trail, the craft beverage makers, and the region at large.

Please see the below results that were gathered from different activities that we did throughout the year to expand the marketing of the initiative.

Results

  • 1300 downloads of the Adirondack Craft Beverage App (through Apple App Store & Google Play Store)
  • Over 16,000 unique visitors of AdkCraftBev.com
  • Digital Marketing Activities:
    • Programmatic Marketing – 2201 clicks (87.5% higher than industry standard click through rate)
    • Native Advertising – 26,829 clicks (664% higher than industry standard click through rate)
    • Mobile Advertising – 1915 clicks (230% higher than industry standard click through rate)
    • Geo-fencing – 3604 clicks (200% higher than industry standard click through rate) 
    • Facebook Ads – 7711 clicks (359% higher than industry standard click through rate)
    • Digital Radio – 5132 clicks (57% higher than industry standard click through rate)
  • 40,000 printed & maps distributed (nearly 100 returned maps were completed to receive a Trail completion prize)
  • The Adirondack Craft Beverage Facebook page grew by nearly 150% (597 likes to 1467 likes)
  • Enhanced knowledge of the Adirondack Craft Beverage Trail initiative as evidenced through panel discussion participation at the Empire State Tourism Conference, collaboration with Paul Smith’s College hospitality students, and an article about the Trail written in national publication Vineyard & Winery Management, based in Santa Rosa, CA.
  • Over 3200 event participants at the Adirondack Wine & Food Festival and Glens Falls Brewfest who were all exposed to the Trail and our craft beverage makers.
  • Over 450 attendees at Paired event where everyone had a chance to get the map, download the app, and learn more about the local craft beverage makers.
  • The commercial produced by Warren County Tourism has received over 6100 views on their YouTube.com channel. We also have access to the raw footage for future use.

Overall Project Evaluation

The activities undertaken using the funds from grant greatly enhanced the presence and awareness of the Adirondack Craft Beverage Trail. The development of the app and standalone website will allow the program to continue to be sustainable for years to come. The Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce has plans and mechanisms in place to continue to fund the upkeep of both items. The expanded marketing has helped to bring the awareness to people outside of our immediate region. This again will aid in the sustainability of the entire initiative, as it is dependent on outside participation and awareness of the Trail. The targeted marketing programs taken advantage of during the duration of the grant proved to be the most effective way of getting the message out about the program. This industry has such a niche following that doing large-scale traditional marketing can get lost in the shuffle and go un-noticed. The more targeted the advertising the larger return on investment, and engagement, we saw. Being present at regional craft beverage events and festivals became very effective, as not only a place to talk about the Trail, but also to get feedback from individuals who already interacted with the Trail or knew about it.

Overall, this project has more than exceeded our expectations and this is due to the funds received from the grant to expand what was already being undertaken. Through continued best practices and lessons learned throughout 2015, we feel that the sustainability of the Adirondack Craft Beverage Trail is intact. As we continue to grow the Trail with new craft beverage makers, partners, and including additional craft beverage ancillary businesses, such as hop farms, on the map, we believe that the Trail will continue to draw repeat and new individuals to explore these New York State made products and visit the various parts of our region.

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