Metrics, those pesky measurements we use to gauge the effectiveness of marketing and promotion. Ask anyone involved in social media, and they will have some statistic to spout off about the return on investment for their efforts.
Summer steams ahead and crowds swell with the temperature. For a town that does little marketing other than event promotion, Cape May reaps the benefits of the marketing efforts of individual businesses and the collective efforts of Chambers of Commerce and County Tourism departments.
Cape May has been the recipient of numerous accolades that money could not buy. Sports Illustrated using Cape May beaches as a back drop would have broken the budget had it been a paid magazine spot. The benefit of that exposure (pardon the pun) should be felt for some time, although difficult to measure. TripAdvisor naming Cape May as a top beach a few years ago is another example of priceless advertising. Jen A. Miller’s article in New Jersey Monthly two summers ago is still another.
Events like Harbor Fest, Dragon Boat and Oktoberfest, have a major impact on the shoulder season. The new Seafood Festival, while serving up thousands of meals to a town already packed for the weekend, adds to the visitor experience. While claiming to draw and additional 10,000 people to the city for the Seafood festival, I have to wonder if the city measured any of its own metrics for the event. Did we capture zip codes for the attendees?
The city seems to be investing all of its money during the in-season period, instead of concentrating on how to bring visitors to fill hotel rooms during the off-season. If not for the strategic efforts of businesses in Cape May marketing their own brands and indirectly marketing the brand that is Cape May, there would be little exposure at all.