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2019 Website RFP Questions and Answers

Q. CRM Integration. Should we include information about our destination CRM solution, costs, and what it could do for the Big Bear website? Or do you have another CRM option in place? 

A. We currently do not have a CRM option in place. It would be helpful to include your destination solution, costs and what it could do for the Big Bear website. However, proposals will be selected based on the web proposal and BBVB may not necessarily choose the CRM option in the RFP.

Q. Mobile App. Does Big Bear have a mobile app currently live in app stores? What types of integrations are you hoping to have with the new website? 

A. Big Bear Visitors Bureau does not currently have a live app. We are considering a proposal from Omniex. We are hoping that the CRM can integrate with select content pages/articles on the website, as well as listings. Mainly, the mobile app will need to integrate with the CRM, which we would consider the “hub” of information.



Q. Email Newsletters. Which program are you currently using to distribute your email newsletters? And how many are you sending out annually? Should we include services to manage your email marketing program or is that handled internally/by another agency? Can you share a copy of one of your newsletters that recently been distributed? 

A. We currently use IBM Silverpop to distribute emails, through a company called Ascent360. We send out about twice a month, to an audience of around 70,000. We are working on a segmented email platform. The web agency will not need to manage our email marketing. We will want to set up a system that newsletter sign ups from the site are sent to the CRM, which are then routinely pulled from the CRM to the email program.



Q. Content Management Systems. Do you have a preference in which CMS is used for the new website? Would you prefer an open source or something proprietary?

A. Open source – See section “website rebuild.” There is no preference in which open source system so long as the reason is explained in the submission.



Q. Ad Service. Can you go into more detail about this monetization program? We couldn't find any ad placements on the site, but we're hoping you could give us more information on what you hope to accomplish with a native advertising program for the new website? Should we include ad management services in the proposal?

A. BBVB currently manages a small ad program, that is sidebar ads on our landing/article pages. We hope to offset some of the costs of web services by monetizing selective placements on our site, as well as providing additional revenue to the organization outside of the TBID. We would be open to ad management services, particularly if it could help us grow this program.



Q. Hosting/Supporting of Current Website. Are you looking for the selected vendor to host and support the existing BigBear.com website while the new site is built?

A. No. We can continue to host and support the existing BigBear.com until the new site is built.



Q. SEO Management. Who does your organization currently use for monthly SEO management? What is your annual budget for SEO? Would monthly SEO management start immediately or only once the new website launches?

A. We currently work with our digital agency of record, 85sixty. They are assisting us with some SEO services on a project basis, and additionally assist us in reviewing and updating new content with the best SEO practices. Our annual budget for SEO is limited, so rather than a hands-on-approach, we would look for an agency or outside source to review and report harmful things such as broken links, duplicate pages, etc., as well as train the team on best SEO practices when creating new content.



Q. Asset Management. Does your organization have a Digital Asset Management (DAM) (i.e Libris, Barberstock, Crowdriff) system currently in place? Is your organization using any User-Generated Content platforms to curate social content?

A. We don’t currently have DAM, beyond dropbox, though we are evaluating a proposal from Libris. We have not used UGC content on our site, only on social media.



Q. Is there a brand manual or brand guidelines that you’d like us to follow on the build? Are we able to review that in advance?

A. We do have a brand style/guidelines. It is attached here.



Q. Can you please give me an idea of the website traffic currently? (Maybe total sessions & pageviews for the past 12 months)

A. In 2017 we had approximately 1.8 million sessions, and 5.4 million pageviews. 2018 is about on par.



Q. The RFP indicates "Newsletter signups shall flow into dedicated email system." Do you guys already have an email marketing platform you are happy with? Or should we include a solution in our proposal?

A. We currently use IBM through a company called Ascent 360 for consumer emails. We are currently satisfied with the email marketing platform.



Q. The RFP also mentions integration with a mobile app. I didn't see anything in the app store, and couldn't find any content on the website promoting the app. Is there an app currently? Is one in-development? If not, should we include an app as an option in our proposal?

A. We are considering a proposal for an app through a company called Omniex that we will likely move forward with. It is not needed to include an app as an option in the proposal.



Q. Are you required to maintain a contract with your current booking engine or are you open to other options?

A. We do have a contract with our booking engine. Currently we aren’t considering other options actively, but would always be open to considering different solutions.



Q. How many booking conversions currently take place on a monthly basis? Searches as well as actual bookings?

A. It is dependent on the season, but over the last 30 days we had 80,000 visits to our booking engine and about 200 direct bookings. A number of properties are only on a referral set-up, that links through to their site. Those bookings are not tracked to the point of sale.



Q. On average, how many monthly visitors are you getting to your site?

A. This varies by the season, but over the last 30 days we’ve had 130,000 visitors



Q. What is the total marketing budget for the BBVB TBID?

A. We have elected to keep this number private for the purposes of this RFP. 



Q. Do you have a budget range in mind for this initiative?

A. We didn’t include or set a target budget in the RFP on purpose. This is the first RFP that Big Bear Lake has issued for web development and services so part of the evaluation of the proposal will be cost, and we didn’t want to set what we think we should be paying for a site overhaul, which might be below or above what we actually should be paying. In the terms & costs of the RFP, if you are choosing to bid, show in your proposal an estimate for the number of hours that includes hourly rates for planning, account management, creative services, research/analytics, auditing, site development, testing and training, and travel time. Our board and organization are a group fiscal-minded individuals and business owners who want to spend the right money on the right project.



Q. Are you currently executing any creative campaigns?

A. We have a number of creative campaigns we run throughout the year. During the winter we push lift and lodging packages, in the spring we will be pushing "adventure season" and so forth. 



Q. When was the last time assets were refreshed? Specifically photo & video?

A. We continually update our assets throughout the year and invest in a brand shoot about once a year minimum.



Q. Is there existing tourism-specific research of the region and it's target audiences we are able to reference? If so, when was the last time it was updated?

A. Our target audience is a regional drive market of Southern California, Nevada and Arizona of young families or solo travelers who seek the outdoors, cabin get-a-ways and adventure sports. From time to time we have performed brand tracking studies and utilize data constantly to make the best marketing decisions possible.



Q. What are the current (main) KPIs being used to judge website success?

A. See Website Rebuild section: "BigBear.com’s key performance indicator is overnight stays and the website renovation number one goal is to increase heads in beds."

Q. How big is your team the vendor would work with, and what does that structure look like?

A. The vendor would work with the following in some way: the Director of Marketing, the marketing coordinator, the director of operations, visitor center staff, director of events, and our CEO. The director of Marketing would be the touchpoint person on our team and lead the rest of the staff through the redesign process with the web vendor.



Q. What is your level of satisfaction with the current copy on the website?

A. We are satisfied with the current copy on the website, though we want to be creating more. We frequently update pages and create new copy.



Q. Do you have an ongoing content strategy for 2019-2020? Is your content development strategy managed and produced in-house or by an existing partner?

A. Our content is developed and produced in-house. As a four-season destination our content is mostly structured to change with each season.

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