BALTIMORE, MD A new report released this week ranks the website and social media channels for the Maryland Zoo among the best customer engagement experiences by a zoo or aquarium in the United States.

National marketing and customer experience agency, LaneTerralever, ranked 57 of the top zoos and aquariums in its “2022 Zoo & Aquarium Digital Customer Experience Report,” with the Denver Zoo, Maryland Zoo, and San Diego Zoo taking the top three spots.

“In a post-pandemic world, it’s no longer enough that we provide world class animal and educational experiences on our campus. We have to earn and keep our visitors’ attention through outstanding digital content and online customer service,” said Maryland Zoo President & CEO, Kirby Fowler.

“Many of the actions we took during COVID-19, like improving digital ticketing, have made us more competitive now that things have opened back up,” Fowler said.

As the report authors noted, “It is important for zoos and aquariums to establish themselves as brands [where] visitors want to have an ongoing relationship rather than just an occasional activity. This encourages long-term customer loyalty versus one-time visits”

“Many attractions employed new digital content like behind-the-scenes videos and created new experiences like drive-through exhibits to survive during pandemic restrictions. Now, with operations back to normal, we are finding guests have a new level of expectations,” shared LaneTerralever Attractions Expert, Hannah Tooker.

During the pandemic, the Maryland Zoo added new ways for the public to interact with its animals, keepers, and educators. This included online Sofa Safaris for school children, virtual keeper chats, live webcams from animal exhibits, and drive-through events like the popular holiday Zoo Lights. The Zoo also improved its web-based ticketing systems, converted its printed magazine, ZooGram, to a fully digital publication, and launched a new marketing campaign, You’ve Got Wild Neighbors.

These improvements are still in place now that the Zoo is fully open for in-person visits, field trips, and events, including: sold-out summer camps (for kids and adults); and Wild About Animals days; and the blockbuster temporary exhibit, DINOSAURS, which was named Best Kids Exhibit by Baltimore Magazine.

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