Jun 18, 2019
About the episode:
Steve Lyons has been with the Maine Office of Tourism for 20 years and was named director in July of 2017. He is responsible for overall operations of the Maine Office of Tourism, having moved into his position following nine years as director of marketing. In that capacity, he played a critical role in developing a tourism marketing strategy for the state of Maine and managed contracts for the state’s ad agency, marketing research firm, fulfillment and call center operations, and website.
Over the past five years, Steve has been instrumental in guiding the rebranding of Maine and the award-winning “Maine Thing” campaign. The 2017 television campaign won the Mercury Award from the U.S. Travel Association, and in 2016, the campaign was the recipient of three Adrian Awards from HSMAI.
Steve was born and raised in Montpelier, Vermont, and began his tourism marketing career at Stowe Mountain Resort in Vermont. In 1993, he left Stowe and journeyed west where he worked in Glacier National Park, Montana, and Portland, Oregon, before returning to New England where he held positions as director of marketing at Mt. Cranmore Ski Resort in New Hampshire, public information specialist at the Vermont Department of Tourism, and sales and marketing manager for HearthStone. In 1998, he moved to Maine where he has resided ever since.
During his off-time, Steve enjoys hiking, paddling, biking, skiing, snowshoeing and exploring New England’s many interesting attractions with his wife and son, which he writes about in his NE-Wanderer blog.
In the episode:
0:48 – Steve shares the goals of the annual Governor's Conference on tourism.
2:30 – Nancy asks Steve about how his career in marketing started and growing up around the tourism industry.
8:39 – Nancy recalls her experience in guerrilla marketing at the beginning of her career.
13:30 – Steve shares how the state of Maine has incorporated the personalities of Maine people to build the brand of the destination.
18:36 – Steve explains how PR can build a brand where paid media can only go so far.
22:01 – Steve thinks back to when his father started in marketing and how the industry has changed since both his and his father’s careers started.
29:58 – Nancy asks how Steve is able to coordinate the messaging of the brand so it reinforces the overall brand.
32:22 – Steve describes how Maine's brand platform of originality has led to extensive growth.
36:00 – Steve explains how visitation and taxable sales are used to measure the impact of marketing, advertising and PR for Maine tourism.
41:50 – Steve encourages marketers to get to know what it is they are marketing.
43:52 – Steve discusses Maine’s more general approach to advertising.
"The brand is based upon our core personal values and what better way to present them than through real people." — Steve Lyons, Director, Maine Office of Tourism
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