The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission has navigated through uncharted territory the last few years with significant budget cuts and the directive to bring in additional earned revenue with less reliance on the state’s general fund. Recently, there has been broadly shared acknowledgement that moving toward complete self-sufficiency is not a viable or desirable option. However, the agency remains focused on seeking ways to improve the customer experience and customer relationships while, at the same time, increasing earned revenue. To do this, the agency’s Business Development team is migrating to measurable marketing. The focus is on understanding the customer to ensure the right product mix and the right message at the right time.

Marketing in and of itself is about increasing awareness, visitation, and reservations which thereby increases revenue. Marketing is the key to helping maximize revenue and increase customer understanding of all the beauty and adventure Washington state parks offer. Washingtonians have many choices in outdoor recreation. To be relevant and useful, the agency must engage in standard marketing practices to compete and promote our services and recreation lands to the public. It is imperative we engage with our customers and establish a one-to-one relationship to stay top of mind. To do this, the agency first needs to understand the customer base and recognize the changing needs of the demographic.

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