By Trent Hershenson, Vice President of Marketing
As 2021 draws to a close, the Jellystone Park franchise system is celebrating its 15th consecutive year of all-time record revenues. Continual growth during a period that included The Great Recession, 9/11, and a global pandemic is a true testament to the hard work of our franchisees, the compelling nature of our consumer offerings, the staying power of the Jellystone Park brand, and the efficacy of our ongoing marketing efforts.
We continually evaluate our marketing strategies and tactics, always exploring and experimenting with new initiatives to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of our efforts. Doing so expands the reach of our messaging and leads to greater revenues for our franchisees.
In 2021, we enhanced our digital marketing by relaunching our brand website, expanding our outreach efforts to family travel influencers and national media outlets, and partnering with the host of a network TV show on a Jellystone Park social media takeover. Those efforts were in addition to the ongoing honing of our digital advertising, which runs the gamut from video ads to display advertising to paid keywords.
Hey mom, we’re talking to you!
During the past few years, we have successfully leveraged the appeal of our locations’ family friendly attractions, activities, and character interactions in both our national brand communications and our franchisees’ local marketing initiatives. We know the key Jellystone Park offerings most appeal to our primary target market: mothers 35 to 44 years old with kids ages six to 12 who live within a 120-mile radius of a Jellystone Park. The brand message that we center on is that a day filled with swimming, water slides, mini golf, foam parties, dance parties, and yes, Yogi Bear™ is the perfect vacation for a mom’s entire family.
A pic-a-nic basket full of smarter-than-average strategies
In this day and age, most consumers research and book their vacations online, so we use a combination of search engine optimization, social media communications, public relations initiatives, influencer marketing partnerships, national promotions and more to drive consumers to JellystonePark.com, our national brand website.
This spring, we revamped and relaunched the website to better communicate our key messages to site visitors. The new structure and content – including all-new copy and imagery – are resonating really well with consumers.
The Locations page is now one of the site’s most visited. Driving traffic there is important because consumers can easily view the Jellystone Park locations nearest to them or to their vacation destination, including each location’s features and activities. Page visitors can even filter their search results if they’re interested in a particular attraction, such as a water slide, floating obstacle course, or indoor pool. Visitors then have the option of visiting an individual location’s park-specific website, checking the availability at a specific location, or calling that location directly.
This summer, 40 percent of the visitors to JellystonePark.com visited an individual location’s website, checked the availability at a location, and/or called the park for more information.That high conversion rate bodes well for the franchise both now and in the future, as many of those visitors will ultimately become Jellystone Park consumers.
Consumer interest in camping and glamping has been increasing for several years, and that trend was turbo-boosted during the past two seasons. It’s one of the many reasons why Jellystone Park revenues for 2021 were (again) our highest ever and were an unbelievable 40 percent greater than our previous record high, which was set way back in … 2020!
This soaring demand, combined with the effectiveness of our marketing campaigns and our website, is driving more and more families to experience Jellystone Park. This summer, 45 percent of our guests visited for the first time. The wonderful family memories they created are sure to bring them back time and again.
Before the pandemic, Jellystone Park’s repeat traffic was very high, with some locations achieving more than 80 percent repeat visits. We’re now seeing more multigenerational families return year after year as parents become grandparents, and guests who first visited Jellystone Park as a child now return and bring children of their own.
As we wrap up our 15thconsecutive year of record revenues, we’re turning our focus to maintaining that momentum in 2022. Next year will feature a stream of new Jellystone Park locations, new marketing initiatives, and even more of the amazing attractions, activities, and Yogi Bear™ character interactions that appeal to guests of all ages.