Development and implementation of a scenic byway marketing program, 23 U.S.C. 162 (c)
National Scenic Byways Program funds may be used to develop and implement marketing programs for:
- The State's or Indian tribe's total network of byways
- A cooperative multi-state, multi-tribe or regional program
- A particular byway
Marketing programs and information must reflect the entire National Scenic Byway, All-American Road, State or Indian tribe designated byway, and be directly related to the byway and the byway's intrinsic qualities that support the byway's designation.
National Scenic Byways Program funds may not be used for the ongoing administrative or operating expenses of a byway marketing program (e.g., general staffing or administration, website hosting and maintenance, toll free number maintenance, sponsoring annual promotional events or festivals, fulfillment of individual information requests, etc.).The Federal Highway Administration encourages cooperative marketing initiatives for multiple byways within a State or Tribal system, a multi-state or multi-tribal system, or a market niche.
The proposed amount of byway funds should be proportionate to the proposed marketing project's benefits for byway travelers. We expect an applicant advancing a project benefiting the general public to propose a larger share of non-byways funds.
A byway marketing program includes initiatives and activities that support the overall marketing strategy such as developing and implementing a byway marketing plan, marketing and public relations activities, development of collateral materials, and identification and development of cooperative advertising, partnerships and/or sponsorships.
A byway marketing plan is a detailed, written account and timetable of the objectives and methods to be used to achieve marketing goals. A marketing plan could include research, branding a byway, and/or marketing strategies (e.g., advertising, trade shows, expos and conferences, public relations, media relations, promotions, electronic marketing, and traveler's tools).
When submitting an application for the development of a marketing plan, applicants should include the following:
- a detailed written account and timetable of objectives and anticipated methods to be considered to achieve the marketing goals, along with any anticipated performance measures for the strategies identified. This should be addressed within the context of the byway's target market, and clearly address how the plan will showcase the byway, the intrinsic qualities supporting the byway's designation, and the region.
When requesting funds to implement a specific component of a marketing plan, applicants should:
- provide information on which specific components of the marketing plan will be addressed, discuss prior marketing efforts conducted to date, how the proposed project will build on/complement/expand on prior marketing initiatives and how results/performance will be measured. The application should also include information regarding the byway's target market, including segmentation and niche markets.
- identify specific project components in both the Work Plan and Budget sections of the application (e.g., creative development, media buys, advertising, etc. and quantities). For example, if you are requesting funding for Public Service Announcements (PSAs), the narrative should address why this is considered an effective strategy, what market they will target, intended outcomes and how performance will be measured and how this fits into the goals identified in the marketing plan for the byway(s). The Work Plan section of the application should outline specific tasks to accomplish these activities and the Budget should include the quantity, length, and frequency of PSAs, as well as development and placement costs.
Byway funds may be used for byway marketing training, including meeting materials, meeting facilities, equipment expenses, and speaker expenses directly related to training.
Byway funds may be used for trade show registration costs; development, purchase or rental of an exhibit booth; and trade show booth expenses (e.g., furnishings, posters and materials). Byways funds may be used for both domestic and international marketing activities.
All completed products should acknowledge the funding sources used to accomplish the work. See http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/hep/scenic_byways/logo and click on the America's Byways Graphic Standards Manual for attribution guidelines, and, where appropriate, the use of the America's Byways® logo.
A website should provide a link to the America's Byways® website for travelers or the National Scenic Byways Program Community Website http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/hep/scenic_byways/, as appropriate. Websites developed using Federal funding should meet accessibility requirements under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 794 (d). See http://www.access-board.gov/guidelines-and-standards/communications-and-it/about-the-section-508-standards/.
Expenses associated with distribution of promotional materials and media packets are limited to shipping costs for mass mailings.
Certain activities are not eligible for byways funds such as:
- Trade show travel, media and travel/tour operator familiarization trips.
- Entertainment and alcoholic beverages.
- Ongoing administrative or operating expenses of a byway marketing program such as general staffing or administration, organizing or sponsoring annual promotional events or festivals, hosting and maintaining byway websites and toll-free phone numbers, responding to calls and inquiries, and postage for brochures and other products mailed to individual travelers.
When considering how best to organize an eligible project proposal in the Marketing Program category, we expect the applicant to consider and respond to the following questions:
- What would be accomplished with this proposed project? Will specific projects and priorities be identified in the development of the marketing plan? If a marketing plan is already in place, how does this project specifically relate to the activities/initiatives and priorities identified in the plan? How will success be measured (e.g., number of "hits" on a website, market penetration in the case of media outreach, etc.)?
- Is the byway ready to meet travelers' expectations? Are directional signs currently installed along the byway? Is directional information available to byway travelers in byway maps, publications, exhibits or other mediums? Are byway interpretive materials (brochures, maps, etc.) ready and available to visitors?
- Are traveler services available along the byway? How are travelers informed where to find food, gas, and lodging? How are travelers informed about seasonal limitations, vehicle restrictions and safety precautions?
- What are the marketing position and goals for the byway? What is the byway's target market(s), including segmentation and niche markets? What actions are needed to achieve the marketing objective(s)?
- How does the marketing message for the byway relate to the byway's stories, the intrinsic qualities supporting designation and to byway travelers' experience? What distinguishes the byway from other byways in the area, State, Indian lands, or region of the country? How would this proposed marketing project help differentiate the byway travel experience?
- What would be accomplished through this proposed marketing project? When would it be accomplished? What marketing materials and distribution venues would be developed and or/used to attract target customers, e.g. brochures, flyers, postcards, and/or newsletters?
- Is the proposed amount of byway funds proportionate to the marketing program's emphasis on byway travelers? To what extent would the marketing program emphasize the byway, the region, surrounding area or particular sites or attractions?
- Is the proposed marketing program leveraging opportunities through multi-byway, statewide, multi-state, multi-tribe, regional or national marketing or promotional initiatives?
- Have potential partners been identified to support marketing activities and achieve marketing objectives for the byway?
Complete Applications Include:
Below are some tips to the applicant when preparing a complete application for a project in the Marketing Program category.
MARKETING PROGRAM: Reviewers can determine eligibility only when the application demonstrates there is a clear relationship between the proposed project and the byway traveler experience. Respond to the questions posed in item ten of the Practices section - in the Narrative Section of the application.
MAPS: Provide a map that locates the individual byway within the State or on Indian lands including the beginning and end points of the byway or, in the case of a Statewide or a regional proposal, a map showing the byways covered by the marketing proposal (If possible, please include the addresses/intersections and GPS coordinates for the end points of the byway(s) such that the byway(s) can be located using basic mapping software.)
SUPPORT DOCUMENTATION OR MATERIALS: Use the Attachments Section of the application to include:
- Sample designs for collateral materials, interpretive signage, maps, ads, trade show exhibits, or videos; and/or
- Sample marketing research methodology and/or questionnaires.
- Maps, existing brochures, promotional products or information a reviewer would need to understand the scope of the proposed marketing project and its connections to the byway and benefits to byway travelers.