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The Challenge

How do you find the understanding needed to increase your relevance to important consumer segments? That is the problem Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) was looking to solve. VTC knew that there was an opportunity to attract more African American travelers from outside of the state to Virginia. They knew a lot about these travelers, including that Virginia has many attractions and places that are both unique and relevant. They were unsure how to best communicate to African Americans about these places, especially historical sites. They hired Share More Stories to help them more deeply understand the needs and values of their consumers, so they would have a foundation upon which to build better communications.

The Solution

We used our storytelling workshops (SEEQ Sessions) to hear and collect stories of travel in Virginia from African Americans both inside and outside of the state. The story sharing was deep, joyful, sad and authentic. We learned a lot about both the motivations of and barriers to travel in the state. Using IBM Watson’s AI Natural Language Processing tools, and our own machine learning processes, combined with the diverse experience and perspectives of the Share More Stories team, we were able to identify critical traits for relevant communications to these travelers.

We also discovered three segments of African American travelers, based on needs, values and personality traits and helped VTC think through engagement strategies for each segment. We confirmed prior data showing that the sites and attractions in Virginia were relevant to this group and were able to help VTC understand how to best present what Virginia has to offer to African American travelers. Finally, we were able to map the critical characteristics of effective historical sites as well as how to communicate about the history of and in Virginia more generally.

Virginia Tourism Corporation was excited with what we learned together and quickly shared these findings with several partners across the state. They are currently re-working some of their creative briefs and looking to incorporate these findings into future marketing executions. VTC will also be sponsoring learning sessions for historical sites across the state to help other organizations more effectively present their rich history.

Insights. Ideas. Experience. Virginia Tourism Commission is well positioned to make one of the most iconic and recognizable travel brands in the world even better.

Related Information

Virginia Tourism Corporation Full Insights Report