Advertising Effectiveness/ROI Research

Credibility is Key

Longwoods has developed a science-based, peer-reviewed methodology for measuring the return on investment of advertising. The key is our proprietary control procedures that isolate advertising effects from other factors affecting travel decisions, such as the economy, weather, price, etc.

This allows us to conservatively estimate incremental trips taken that would not have occurred in the absence of a destination’s promotional efforts. The goal of this research is to evaluate the success of the destination’s marketing promotion, including broadcast, print, outdoor, digital, and social media.

We have applied our ROI methodology study since 1990 to hundreds of campaigns, not only in tourism, but for major private sector clients in banking, automotive, packaged goods, etc. Not surprisingly, in most cases advertising does generate sales and a positive return. We have also seen cases of ZERO ROI, where messaging or choice of target markets was shown by the research to be the problem. This clearly demonstrates the power of our control procedures and the conservative nature of our ROI estimates.

Longwoods’ ROI methodology has won awards for best practices from the Travel & Tourism Research Association, Georgia Tech, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, and the Advertising Research Foundation. It has successfully withstood intense scrutiny from legislators and the media, helping our clients defend their tourism budgets and gain increased funding for tourism promotion.

We believe that Hawaii’s accountability study is one of the most advanced models for measuring the impact of destination advertising. The Longwoods International study probably provides more conclusive evidence of the effects of destination advertising effectiveness than those used by other destinations. 

In conclusion, the Task Force members applaud the Bureau for embarking on this rigorous attempt to show that tax dollars spent on tourism promotion can stimulate tourism travel to Hawaii, and are encouraged that the benefits of destination advertising are not just a matter of faith, but of measurable quantities.

Hawaii Governor's Accountability Task Force Legislative Testimony

Longwoods International uses integrated data sources to derive not only insights, but also implementable models that enable the marketer [to] optimize ROI. [This is] a company of whom the traditional research industry has never heard, and yet who is eating our proverbial lunch.

Simon Chadwick
Cambiar L.L.C. Former Global CEO, NOP World, Chairman of CASRO

Four years of independent research has found that every $1 Michigan invests in out-of-state tourism advertising now generates $2.86 in new sales tax revenues for the state. The bottom line: [this] is more than a great tourism advertising campaign. It is a pure business success story and probably the best example of a state-funded program generating big profits for the taxpayers who are paying the bills.

Mike O'Callaghan
Executive VP and COO, Detroit Metro CVB
Our Services

Understand your visitors with detailed profiles including volume and spending.

Find out if your advertising is working in terms of incremental visitation, spending, and messaging. 

What does the traveling public think about your destination? Leverage your knowledge to build more powerful messages.

How does travel marketing contribute to broader economic development goals?

Longwoods' tourism experts can guide your organization through questions and challenges. 

Understand how locals perceive tourism and its impacts.

Use our market research expertise to position your destination for success.