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The Story Behind the Collaboration

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The Story Behind the Collaboration

Philly’s Newest Marketing Collaboration is Making Waves Across the Tourism Industry

Imagine how many great campaign ideas get put on the shelf for later. Think about how many of those never make it to launch — waiting for just the right moment or a little extra bandwidth. This could have very well been the case for Philadelphia’s two top tourism organizations whose talks of a creative partnership had been derailed by the pandemic. Until now.

So what drove both Visit Philadelphia and Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) to finally take that big step into a groundbreaking collaboration that has its sights on transforming the city’s tourism landscape? On May 31st, 2023, Philly Ad Club will be hosting an CMO Series event that reveals all the valuable intel behind their partnership — from how it started to all the challenges, successes, and lessons learned along the way.

As we gear up for the big day, we sat down with Visit Philadelphia’s Chief Marketing Officer, Neil Frauenglass, and PHLCVB’s Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Joe Heller, to get a sneak peek into all the exciting reveals they’ll be making at our event. Check it out.

As two newer members of their respective decades-old organizations back in 2020, Neil and Joe, the two admit a collaboration seemed like a no-brainer to them, but it simply remained a “discussion” for years prior to their involvement.

“With both of our organizations representing one destination, we share a positioning and approach that naturally aligns,” Neil shared. “A collaboration was just never something anyone pulled the trigger on. But then the pandemic really brought the entire tourism industry together and gave us a white board where anything was in the realm of possibility. It opened up lines of regular communication between our organizations and also created a real sense of urgency to make something big happen.”

With their own unique target audiences and focus areas — Visit Philly serving a much larger demographic — there were certainly challenges in trying to check each organization’s boxes in the most meaningful way. But the key was uncovering the core truth that would be the guiding light for the entire campaign.

“We were able to pull together the audience research and focus group feedback that each of the teams were already collecting and combine these insights to uncover palpable overlaps,” Joe shared. “We created a matrix based on the one theme that was universal across all of our segments that would drive our entire strategy. Between our two organizations, there were a number of categories, activations, and timelines to consider, but we held each other accountable for our individual and shared goals because we knew without the success of one, you can’t have the other.”

And that accountability included finding an agency partner that not only aligned with their key objectives, but also were able to provide the right creative platforms to bring it to life. “It was really important to have everyone on the same page throughout the entire process — from our internal teams and agency creative teams to our decision-makers and external stakeholders,” Neil explained. “By starting from the same place, our overall messaging for the destination was so much stronger. We now had a crisp narrative that everyone could rally behind and we are able to show up at industry conferences and events with a much more powerful, unified presence.”

It doesn’t stop here either. This initial alliance has only opened the door to new collaboration opportunities for the two Philly tourism powerhouses moving forward. “Brainstorming new ways to work together just comes naturally to us now,” Joe added. “We’ve synced our annual reports to deploy at the same time, we’ve planned events together, and are considering doing photo shoots together. We’re looking at things more holistically and exploring how this teamwork can benefit both organizations in the long run. It’s exciting to think about where the future can take us.”

To get the full details driving the success of Visit Philly and PHLCVB’s pioneering collaboration with a chance to ask all your burning questions, don’t miss the Inside the C-Suite: CMO Series event on May 31st!

Seats are limited, so register EARLY before it’s too late!
Wednesday, May 31, 2023
8:30- 10 AM
Liberty View Ballroom, Philadelphia Visitors Center
Click here to register or learn more.