June 3, 2010
The Marshall County Convention and Visitors Bureau is preparing to launch an interactive website to lure visitors to the county. The website facelift should be on line in August. The Bureau will be one of seven in partnership through the Northern Indiana Tourism Development Commission which are enhancing their online presence. The CVB’s website is being tweaked with the help of VERB
Interactive, a Canadian web design company which specializes in helping CVB’sand hospitality related industries across the U.S. and Canada with their internet marking.
The visitor bureau sites will all be featured at a hub, www.northernindianagetaways.com, maintained by NITDC.
Andy MacLellan stated there are four components needed to get the Web user to “dig deeper.” The site must have strong branding and design as users are quick to “judge by the cover.” Three other recommendations were to have a well-executed navigation structure, provide convenient functionality to engage the site visitor, and to make sure the quality of the content entices the visitor to explore further and to return to the site.
The new system will be “state of the industry“ and will allow us to be way ahead of the curve in collecting and using data to promote Marshall County. With our small budget, we must work smarter. Data is the key to effective marketing. We will be able to use the data we collect to tailor our message based on the interest of those interested in Marshall County.
The CVB believes that by being part of NITDC and working together we can accomplish much more than we can by working separately. This new website will let us tell visitors what Northern Indiana has to offer and we all will benefit.
A 2009 study by Ball State’s Center for Business and Economic Research finds that the tourism industry continues to produce a positive economic impact on every county in the state.