What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
We always want to quantify our media buy, whether it’s at the micro-level (e.g., website tracking, clickthrough rates) or the macro-level (e.g., park growth).
Over the years, it’s clear that our park has grown thanks to EXL Media’s support. Our attendance when we first started working with them was somewhere around 140,000–150,000 people. That number grew to almost 210,000 people in 2019.
We’ve also been able to physically grow the park through capital investment in new rides, areas, and more. Of course, when you make physical changes, you have to use marketing to sell them to the public, too.
EXL Media has been fantastic at capitalizing on the synergy between our park and our advertising. They give us good, quality information, finding out what people think about us, what they expect from us, and where they’re coming from. Their use of social media has allowed us to survey our customers for that feedback.
How did EXL Media perform from a project management standpoint?
They feel like a part of our team. Everyone is extremely organized, and they focus on setting clear goals and metrics to define success. At the end of a campaign, they help us understand how we’ve met our objectives or, if not, why we didn’t meet them.
I’m not sure what software they use, but they have a tool that provides in-depth analytics about our campaigns and website. They go over that report each week at our status meetings, which acts as a catalyst for the conversation. It helps to have the numbers because I can go in feeling a bit more prepared, and they make our results more tangible.
What did you find most impressive about them?
First of all, it’s the passion that they have for the industry they’re in. They’re knowledgeable about the product and understand how the market works. I’ll also add that their execution is impressive.
Are there any areas they could improve?
They’re great about looking to the horizon for market changes, but there have been a few times when they’ve been a bit slower to see where our industry is moving. They might not have thought that there was an opportunity in a particular channel, for example. But that’s really difficult to keep tabs on, and they do a good job for the most part.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
You have to trust them. Obviously, my company is my passion, so it’s hard for me to give up some of the control. But, for them to become a part of your team, you have to trust that they know what they’re doing.