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Our Work - Mexico Beach, FL

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The Challenge

  • Mexico Beach, FL was impacted by Hurricane Michael on October 10, 2018. The destination suffered catastrophic damage, losing the ability to host visitors and therefore collect lodging tax for what would be a lengthy stretch of time.
  • As the destination slowly reopened, a phased approach to communication was needed. In the fall of 2020, in the wake of Covid-19 shut-downs, Mexico Beach, FL was ready to begin external communication efforts again.
  • A timeline was established to begin re-engaging with past visitors, social media followers, and those who loved the destination ahead of an open invitation for visitors to come and enjoy the newly re-built town.
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The Solution

  • Watauga Group drove anticipation and excitement for Mexico Beach through a paid social media approach to engage current followers and previous visitors during phase one of the campaign.
    • Look-back windows and placed based targeting data was used to identify and deliver audiences who had been in destination prior to the hurricane.
    • Custom targeting to create audiences based on Mexico Beach’s CRM data was implemented in Meta.
  • Phase two expanded to broader, drive-market audiences showing beach interest and travel intention, inviting guests back to the destination for spring and summer stays in 2021.
    • Targeted programmatic channels including display, video, and streaming audio built awareness and interest, driving consumers to a new landing page for Mexico Beach, FL.
    • Retargeting tactics were implemented from the landing page and with potential visitors showing interest through engagement in social media and video views.
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The Results

  • The 10-month media effort delivered 24.4M impressions and more than 476k clicks to the landing page.
  • Targeted audiences were highly engaged with more than 173k social reactions, comments, and shares.
    Performance of both paid social and programmatic channels were over 3x higher than travel industry benchmarks.
  • Mexico Beach, FL showed positive bed tax contributions in the same month lodging partners were able to accept guests and continued to grow month over month.