West Salem Connector Marketing Campaign
The West Salem Connector is a flexible, on-demand transit service provided by Cherriots, the public transit district in Salem. Riders must books trips online or by calling customer service. This pilot project was designed to provide better transit service in West Salem. It launched in June 2015, and the marketing campaign was rolled out in phases over the following year and a half.
As project manager, I created a multifaceted marketing and PR campaign to reach target audiences: residents of West Salem, and Cherriots bus riders. Because Connector zones may be established in other areas of Salem and Keizer in the future, the secondary target audience was the greater communities of Salem and Keizer.
The 14-foot Connector buses were given branded wraps to differentiate them from paratransit vehicles. A turquoise and white color scheme distinguished the Connector service from Cherriots fixed route service. At Connector stops, eye-level signs explain how to book a trip.
To reach current bus riders, print and digital notices provided information about the Connector. Staff also rode the buses in West Salem, talking with riders about the new service.
The campaign launched with several outreach events. Unique promotional items and a “Connector Connect Four” game created excitement about the service. The campaign continued with a wide variety of print and digital elements. I proactively pitched the media, resulting in local and national coverage.
In just over three months the Connector achieved its ridership goal. Based on its success, the Cherriots Board of Directors voted to extend the pilot project.
Campaign Results include:
Through this marketing campaign, I successfully introduced a service that is unique not just to Salem, but to the nation.