May 2018

SAM's Annual Best and Worst in Marketing 2017-18

Written by Gregg Blanchard, Halley O’Brien, Dave Meeker, Meghen Townsend, Alex Kaufman, Mary Walsh | 0 comment

Table of Contents

A look back at the hits and misses from the past year, as reviewed by our independent and opinionated critics.

With all the noise consumers are exposed to everyday, getting them to notice your brand requires some work. This year, marketers took a variety of approaches to get their target audiences to stop and look, listen, and/or read.

Some were very successful at this in multiple facets, as evidenced by the number of resorts in this sample that, for different reasons, caught the eyes of more than one of our contributors. Most of the time when more than one “Best and Worst” contributor calls a resort’s marketing out, it’s for the same campaign. This year, a handful of the same resorts got noticed by multiple contributors, but for different efforts. And for the most part, they got noticed because it was good.

That is an interesting result in a report such as this since, by design, our contributors mostly hail from different areas and have different preferences. As a result, the marketing they’re served, typically, is different.

As is always the case, SAM’s Best and Worst in Marketing is not a poll or survey. It is a subjective review by a handful of people who ski or snowboard and have some connection to the mountain resort industry—whether that be in a professional role or consumer. They all know what they like and don’t like, and in the following pages they constructively describe why some marketing efforts hit the mark and others didn’t.

It’s impossible for our contributors to see it all, though. If you want to make us aware of a special marketing effort—good or bad—head to and let us know in the comments on this article. That’s also where you’ll find all of the reviews, as we’re only able to fit about half of them in the magazine.

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