From road-tripping across the country on a tour of national parks to backpacking through Europe, Nick Mattera has always loved traveling. Little did he know, he would wind up guiding strategic, innovative marketing at the entertainment capital of the world: Las Vegas CVA.
Nick Mattera first found his place in travel and tourism marketing at the Niagara Falls CVB in 2011. “It was almost too easy of a fit for me to get into the tourism space,” he said. “It’s really a love for travel and a love for storytelling.” Fast forward five years – Nick is now the Senior Director of Digital Engagement for Las Vegas CVA, the pinnacle of innovation in the travel and tourism industry.
With 42.3 million visitors coming to Las Vegas per year, Nick says his biggest challenge is finding a specific story to appeal to each unique audience. Las Vegas CVA has met this challenge with innovative, game-changing solutions that start with data-driven content. “What really gets us excited is how many stories there are to tell about Las Vegas,” Nick said. His favorite new way to tell these stories? Virtual reality (VR). Las Vegas jumped on the VR bandwagon very early, and has created more than thirty pieces of VR content since their launch at SXSW in March 2016. “Virtual reality gives you the ability to allow someone to transport themselves into the destination and they get to experience ‘try before you buy’ in a new way,” Nick explained. “It could be a helicopter over the Strip, driving a car through Red Rock – it’s just getting someone to want to get to Las Vegas and show them something they didn’t see before.”
Staying Ahead of the Game
Las Vegas’ VR innovation isn’t stopping there, though. At each tradeshow around the world, Nick estimates that they can reach only a few thousand customers with the VR headsets they supply. However, they have developed a free app that allows anyone with a smartphone to experience 360 degrees of Vegas. They have made experiencing Las Vegas accessible and intriguing to people worldwide by using the up-and-coming technology of VR; that’s what we call a marketing win. Their next steps with VR? “We’re finding partners who can help us marry VR with sales in a meaningful way,” Nick said.
In addition to giving the world a free, 360-degree sneak-peak of the city, Las Vegas uses specificity to their advantage. With 42.3 million visitors per year and many different audiences, Las Vegas could have easily spread itself too thin trying to appeal to everyone at once. “It’s a challenge because there’s so much content we could be creating,” Nick told us. Instead, they used specificity to acknowledge each audience. “We write articles that might appeal just to consumers coming from LA, for example,” he said. “We created an article called I-15 Bingo – a game you can play on the drive from LA to Las Vegas. It gets you excited about getting to the destination and ends with the things you can do once you arrive.” By tailoring content to each specific audience, Las Vegas fosters the brand-consumer connection on a large scale. “We’re really looking at what are our top markets, who are we trying to speak to, and then we create and target content to all of our specific demographics,” Nick said.
As a Millennial marketer, Nick Mattera is helping guide strategic, ahead-of-the-curve innovations in the entertainment capital of the world. Humble as ever, Nick reminded us where his heart lies: “At the end of the day, it’s about telling great stories about why it’s so exciting to visit Las Vegas.”