The development of the Marketing Plan 3.0 may present two cultural challenges:
- The need for developing a new set of values as organizational standards of behavior, as a key success factor of the new values driven marketing
- The need to overcome barriers in the adoption of the social media and content marketing engagement by the employees and the local community
Beyond the life-changing experiences and the related stories, to keep the brand integrity and ensure the success of the new marketing endeavor it is necessary that the employees and partners’ behaviors faithfully reflect the preached values. Therefore, it is probably necessary to develop a culture change program, at least to harmonize certain critical behaviors throughout the destination stakeholder community.
Designed upon consensus among the key stakeholders and community leaders, there has to be a set of values underlying the behaviors to be promoted throughout the community. Such values should be cooperation, innovation and openness to new ideas, integrity and transparency, initiative, sustainability, solidarity, common good, etc. To convince stakeholders of assuming the new set of values, it is recommendable to elaborate a Case for Change, which contains the following pieces:
- Context: why changes are needed now, stating opportunities and threats that justify it.
- Changes: what has to change, who is to be affected and what does not have to change
- Process: how the proposed changes are to be implemented and expected timing
- Benefits: who benefits from the changes (destination, community, individuals, etc.)
- Consequences: what would happen if these changes are delayed
- Expectations: the role every stakeholder has to play
- Commitment: leaders have to present the Case for Change to the community, stating their explicit commitments that ultimately make them accountable to the community.
Once the Case for Change has been defined, it’s time to implement it following five principles:
- Train employees, partners and community members on how to apply the new set of values on a daily basis, with especial emphasis on their relationships with tourists.
- Putting the new values into practice by changing behaviors
- Leaders have to preach by example, becoming the key role models that inspire everybody
- Ensure that everyone is aligned with the new values and behaviors, and correct if necessary
- Celebrate results achieved by any employee or community member to encourage others
The key ideas of driving culture change to understand are that this has to be started from the leadership positions, well communicated to convince their organization or community while listening, understanding and addressing their possible resistance, preaching by example, achieving and celebrating results, and benefiting all stakeholders to prevent further resistance.
The Whitepaper on “Building a culture of collaboration and innovation” is to develop in detail the key factors to a successful cultural change into developing the desired attitudes.
Would you consider other points in designing and implementing the Case for change?