Cedar Point Getaway Guide... WTF?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 12:56 PM
DawgByte II's avatar

I checked through many pages of threads, and haven't found any in response or at least specifically targeting the Getaway Guide, so I thought I'd start one in lew of getting some questions/opinions.

I checked my mail on May 12th, and low & behold, I see this small pamphlet which looked like just a sort of large broschure to Cedar Point... I unfold it, and on the front it says "Cedar Point Getaway Guide". I'm looking at and I said "Are you kidding me?!" (talking out loud to myself, not a good sign of complete sanity).

Anyway, I open it up and there's maybe one full page on the inside, and the other two pages are just coupons... then on the back, there's maybe two other pages (behind the coupons) of stuff about the park.

Is this seriously the 2009 Getaway Guide for Cedar Point? I have some dating back to when Magnum was brand new, and that was almost like a book... Then I got on a yearly tract in the late 90's & I noticed that they first shrunk the overall width, and then it became a little bit thinner over time, but they still had many pages of the Lighthouse Point, the on-site & off-site hotels, the waterpark, the rides themselves, the shows, and their flaunting of the "golden ticket awards".

In each yearly guide, they always had a centerfold of the park map... and after the half-way mark, there were usually advertisements from 3rd party places such as the Bayshore campground (and its affiliate), Great Wolf Lodge, and many others. Now, they elimated just about everything to a bare-bones coupon guide with a quick CP face to it.

Is this truly the guide for 2009, and if there are any insiders, is there any true reason that they cut back so much, even from 2008 that it's just basically a big nothing? The Getaway Guides were always great to get an amusement park fan excited about visiting the park.

+0
Wednesday, May 13, 2009 1:01 PM
Jeff's avatar

Are you sure you aren't over-reacting a little? I mean, it's not like you don't already know what's there. For years people have made a big deal about these things and I've never understood why.

Mailing stuff is an expensive and inefficient way to market the park. I suspect that they've scaled back because there isn't a lot of return they get on these kinds of things. Especially with hundreds of enthusiasts trying to scam them for their collection. ;)


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

+0
Wednesday, May 13, 2009 1:08 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

Yeah, I think it makes sense that as internet capabilities and usage expanded over the years, the paper Getaway Guide would shrink accordingly. It's my impression this is pretty consistent in just about any industry where mailers exist(ed).


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

+0
Wednesday, May 13, 2009 1:13 PM

If you think that's bad, you should see the CP travel brochure they stock at turnpike/highway rest areas. This year, they're so bad they look like the mother of all misprints. In fact, I wasn't sure that I wasn't holding a misprint, until I examined it closely. The brochure is covered with white splotches. At first I thought it was a really bad printing run, until I noticed that some of the splotches seemed to center around certain pictures, with slight stylistic flourishes that show they were actually intended.

I can't understand the rationale for what could fairly be described as a marketing disaster. The only thing I can think of is they decided that by producing really cheap looking literature, it would convince potential guests that the park itself must also be cheap. If so, anybody that arrives with that mindset is in for a rude awakening.


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

+0
Wednesday, May 13, 2009 1:14 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I totally get that the old Getaway Guide's time has passed, but I'm still with DawgByte on this one.

The Getaway Guide was a pretty special thing. How many parks really put out a yearly catalog promoting their parks? Those things caught my imagination long before I was an enthusiast of any kind.

At least WDW still does the free DVDs. Do the other Orlando parks offer promotional goodies? I seem to recall Universal doing videos about a decade ago. (I'm sure I still have one somewhere)

They (CP) should just do a PDF version.


+0
Wednesday, May 13, 2009 1:17 PM

Yes, I was just about to say that.

Do you think that perhaps the growth of the interent has come at the expense of the Getaway Guide.

Those big magazne sized advertisements were pretty nifty to have back before the web. It served its purpose at that point in time, much like the website does now. It reminds me of an anecdote I read in a book about Disneyland. For the longest time Disney published a big coffee table book full of big color photos from their park, then they turned around and put these in their gift shops either at or below cost. Why? So that people would buy them, take them home, put them on their coffee tables and then when they had company over, perhaps they would thumb though them.


David Bowers
Mayor, Coasterville
My Blog -> http://coasterville.blogspot.com

+0
Wednesday, May 13, 2009 1:19 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

Sure, they looked cool and got people excited. But where's the data that demonstrates they actually translated to increased attendance? Without that, this is all just arbitrary spending.


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

+0
Wednesday, May 13, 2009 2:50 PM

All of marketing seems to be arbitrary. Its not like tv/radio/internet are an exact science.


+0
Wednesday, May 13, 2009 3:07 PM
eightdotthree's avatar

I used to LOVE getting the Getaway Guide when I was a kid, but then the internet came along and I can get that and more without wasting the trees. The brochure is a different story.


+0
Wednesday, May 13, 2009 3:39 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

No, it's not an exact science, d_port_12E. But it doesn't have to be in order to apply some quantifiable data towards it's effectiveness.

That's why some businesses have surveys that ask how you might have heard about their services. Or coupons might be distributed that have a number sequence on them so that when they are turned in it can be determined where that coupon came from and therefore what market might have been enticed by it.

All I'm saying is that if nothing like that has been applied, then there is no evidence that these marketing pieces have any effect on business. "This looks cool!" means nothing to a business in terms of justifying the expense.


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

+0
Wednesday, May 13, 2009 5:26 PM
Mamoosh's avatar

Given the economy, what company wouldn't be looking for ways to reduce costs? IMO reducing the size of the guide is a no-brainer.

+0
Wednesday, May 13, 2009 5:38 PM

I received my Getaway Guide in the mail this afternoon. I was surprised when I saw that the format of the Guide had changed from a booklet to a flyer. The only reason I was looking forward to receiving the guide was the coupons, so I was not disappointed.

+0
Wednesday, May 13, 2009 6:02 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

d_port_12E said:
All of marketing seems to be arbitrary. Its not like tv/radio/internet are an exact science.

The Getaway Guide especially seems like it'd be a great intangible. Who knows what effects it has on driving people to the park...this year, next year, five years down the road. A website is one thing (and I understand the world is going electronic), but the ability to put your propoganda in people's homes - on their coffee tables, on nightstands, in bathrooms with who knows how many eyes seeing it over and over again. It just seems like an easy win.

I suppose a flyer/brochure works too, but the Guide really was a showcase of the product that created an image that stuck. I can't see a glorified coupon page having the ame impact.

How much could it really cost to produce and mail the Guides anyway? Seriously, anyone have any idea?

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Wednesday, May 13, 2009 6:03 PM
+0
Wednesday, May 13, 2009 6:34 PM
Mamoosh's avatar

Hmmmm. Anyone post here who is, oh....say, a production manager for a magazine? I bet he would know.

+0
Wednesday, May 13, 2009 6:48 PM

nebula said:
The only reason I was looking forward to receiving the guide was the coupons, so I was not disappointed.

This could have been the most frequent answer on a market research survey:

What is the best part of the guide to Ride?
Info about the park/attractions
Info about special events
Info about resort properties
Coupons ----ding ding ding we have a winner

I do not truly remember what the Guides to Ride look like because they always end up buried on the bed in the back bedroom and only get dug back out if I happen to be going to the Point that year. They never stay on my coffee table.

Until the production manager comes back with some numbers here is some printing data for a course catalog/brochure:

8.5" x 11" finished page size, full color, 104 pages, saddle stitch, 12500 copies-- approximately $2.21ea. to produce plus $0.66ea. mailhouse and postage (non-profit bulk rate)


+0
Wednesday, May 13, 2009 7:31 PM

Carrie - When filling out a "How Did You Find Us?" survey, my answers are usually NOT listed. Its somewhat of a barometer, but nowhere near scientific.

I firmly believe advertising is like throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping it sticks. In terms of radio and TV commercials, who watches/listens to them? These numbers ARE tabulated, but they're based on who is tuned to the programming, there's no gauge for how much information (if any) is consumed during a commercial break.

On top of all this: Is the commercial effective? If someone IS tuned to the programming and they ARE paying attention to a commercial, is the spot actually reaching them? Getting that "This looks cool!" response, in my opinion, is what EVERY amusement park marketer wants.

Lord Gonchar said:
The Getaway Guide especially seems like it'd be a great intangible. Who knows what effects it has on driving people to the park...this year, next year, five years down the road.

Dude, I totally agree. In that same sense, how many people didn't actually see a Kings Island commercial, but heard about the park's new coaster through a friend that had? Again, impossible to gauge.

Last edited by d_port_12E, Wednesday, May 13, 2009 7:45 PM
+0
Wednesday, May 13, 2009 7:49 PM

The Getaway Guide especially seems like it'd be a great intangible. Who knows what effects it has on driving people to the park...this year, next year, five years down the road.

The purpose of the Getaway Guide (like the Disney DVD) is, first and foremost, to upsell. Get guests who are already thinking about visiting to also think about staying the night. Get guests thinking about staying in a cheap hotel to stay in a better hotel. And so on.

Why? Because you have to ask for one. Someone ordering a Getaway Guide (or, equivalently a DVD) is already at least thinking hard about visiting.

The rest area brochure, on the other hand, may well be driving new business. That's a different story.

For whatever reason, the Powers That Be think that the Guide doesn't drive enough revenue to be worth printing. That could be because of the Intertubes. It could also be that demand for the resorts is still as strong as ever, because location trumps all.

It's probably not just because some dude at CF said "hey, we could save some money by making this smaller." While there are a a lot of things I think CF could do better, they are pretty darn good at guest measurement.

Last edited by Brian Noble, Wednesday, May 13, 2009 7:50 PM
+0
Wednesday, May 13, 2009 7:54 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

Brian posted while I was pecking away on this response...

Lord Gonchar said:


The Getaway Guide especially seems like it'd be a great intangible. Who knows what effects it has on driving people to the park...this year, next year, five years down the road.


Well, if it really is true that there is no way to gauge the effectiveness of this kind of marketing material, then how in the world could an organization that needs to cut costs justify continuing its production/distribution? Seems to me when the going gets as tough as it is right now, you better be able to draw a line of correlation from your costs to increased revenue.

A website is one thing (and I understand the world is going electronic), but the ability to put your propoganda in people's homes - on their coffee tables, on nightstands, in bathrooms with who knows how many eyes seeing it over and over again. It just seems like an easy win.

Just how many people do you have traveling through your home each day? Ok, I know you have kids... how many people who are decision makers about travel plans do you have traveling through your home each day? :) You make it sound like because you receive it, there will be droves of people seeing it that wouldn't have otherwise. I don't buy that.

The thing is, particularly with this piece, you have to express interest in the park in order to even receive it. Seems to me if you were going to express interest already (which, by the way, you can do from their web site where all of this information is stored anyway), you likely don't need an extravagant mailer to help you make the decision. You're part of the way there as it is.

Last edited by Carrie M., Wednesday, May 13, 2009 7:56 PM

"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

+0
Wednesday, May 13, 2009 8:01 PM

I know you have kids... how many people who are decision makers about travel plans do you have traveling through your home each day?

Funny you should mention that.

My kids---Disney veterans who happen to be the children of tightwads---were extremely geeked about "a Disney resort" after watching the DVD a few times. Now, I'm a right bastard, so I tell 'em that if they want to stay in one of those places, they need a paper route. But, a surprising number of discretionary purchases are made because the kids ask for them.

Ever noticed that the sugar-loaded cereals are on the bottom few shelves? No accident, that.

Last edited by Brian Noble, Wednesday, May 13, 2009 8:05 PM
+0
Wednesday, May 13, 2009 8:03 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

Ha, all the more reason to market electronically I would say! :)


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

+0

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2018, POP World Media, LLC
Loading...