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Visit South Walton Zehnder Case Study

The Client
Visit South Walton

In 2012, Visit South Walton partnered with Zehnder to help market South Walton, Florida and its 16 beach neighborhoods. If you know the neighborhoods that comprise South Walton, then you know that their offerings and attractions are expansive — including eclectic restaurants and boutiques, biking and running trails, upscale spas and sugar-white sand beaches. Zehnder’s job is to help market all of these attractions that make up the unmatched experience that is South Walton.
The Strategy
Reaching Target Audiences, All Year Long

When Zehnder began working with Visit South Walton in 2012, the destination had recently changed its name from The Beaches of South Walton. The client needed a strong new message that elevated the area’s profile while advancing the conversation about South Walton’s 16 distinct beach neighborhoods. Establishing brand and destination awareness was a key focus of Zehnder’s marketing efforts from 2012 through 2014.

As the destination has evolved, so have our marketing challenges. The amount of travelers visiting South Walton has skyrocketed in recent years — clear evidence that our original objectives have been met. Currently, Zehnder’s main goal is to help the Visit South Walton team attract highly affluent travelers to South Walton during all times of the year, not just during the popular spring and summer seasons. One of the main ways we do this is through promotion of the destination’s “beyond the beach” attractions such as dining, shopping, and ecosploring.

Delivering a Destination

Zehnder’s brand activation team has delivered the South Walton experience to target audiences in key markets. Our agency has promoted South Walton at highly acclaimed events such as Cattle Baron’s Ball (Dallas), Music City Food + Wine (Nashville), and BlogHer. Our “perfect beach” booth delivers the sounds, scent, and scenery of the beach to consumers as soon as they step inside. Celebrity chefs, digital vending machines, giveaways, and South Walton swag keep event attendees eager to learn more about the destination.

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Bringing the Beach to the People

The oasis of Northwest Florida, South Walton is a true luxurious beach destination that is continually acknowledged with top awards in the industry. South Walton is a beautiful 26 miles of sugar-white sand, turquoise water and 16 unique beach-side neighborhoods. We helped potential visitors to South Walton find their perfect beach.

Cultivating an Online Community

We keep South Walton at the top of travelers’ minds — even when they’re not at the destination — through engaging, inspiring digital content. Social media messaging, web copy, blog posts, search and display ads, and email blasts help travelers feel like part of the South Walton community from afar. To date, we’ve helped grow the brand’s social media presence to more nearly 400,000 users and engagement levels are at an all-time high.

Becoming a Go-To Resource

One of the most daunting parts of travel is planning the trip. Zehnder has helped relieve the stress of traveling to South Walton by providing trip-planners with resources such as the annual Visitor Guide and the Find Your Perfect Beach mobile app. Additionally, we’ve undertaken specific print and digital projects for business meeting planners and brides-to-be.

The Results
South Walton Through the Years

Our partnership with South Walton over the past several years has returned great results, including local economic impact.
+137%
Vistitation
"Shoulder season" (fall and winter) visitation increased by 137% since 2006.
$3B
Economic Impact
The total economic impact of South Walton tourism equals nearly 3 billion dollars, with an 8% increase in economic impact from 2015 to 2016.
+10%
Aided Awareness
In 2015, aided awareness levels of South Walton increased by 10%.
Flagler
Florida Tourism Recognition
Our work for South Walton has received dozens of industry awards, including the Henry Flagler Award, which recognizes outstanding achievements in Florida tourism marketing.
+137%
Vistitation

"Shoulder season" (fall and winter) visitation increased by 137% since 2006.

$3B
Economic Impact

The total economic impact of South Walton tourism equals nearly 3 billion dollars, with an 8% increase in economic impact from 2015 to 2016.

+10%
Aided Awareness

In 2015, aided awareness levels of South Walton increased by 10%.

Flagler
Florida Tourism Recognition

Our work for South Walton has received dozens of industry awards, including the Henry Flagler Award, which recognizes outstanding achievements in Florida tourism marketing.

Listen Hub

Listen Hub is how we gather such in-depth statistics about all of our projects. Using breakthrough technology, we sift through multiple channels – social media, blogs, web traffic, search engines, videos and customer relationship management software – to analyze real-time conversations taking place about your brand.
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