Month: June 2018

Marketing 3.0Tourism marketing

The Keys to Measuring Place Branding

My colleague, Dr Florian Kaefer at Place Brand Observer wrote an interesting article on evaluating place brands which has been published by fDIntelligence (Financial Times).  Florian presents techniques for a variety measures to monitor and evaluate place branding.

I particularly liked the comment by Mr Boisen from the University of Groningen who said, “in place branding we deal with the overall perception of the place, and there are many factors that influence this perception. A lot of these factors are external, and often beyond the influence of organizations in charge.” To simply measure the success of a city brand in terms of bed nights and changes in revenue can distract from the underlying issues influencing demand.

In my book, Destination Branding for Small Cities, I presented some of the criteria and methods to consider when evaluating the brand, beyond the normal visitor performance measures. These include:

Brand adoption by stakeholders: Review commercial, government, cultural and community organizations to gauge the extent of their adoption of the brand – beyond the logo and tagline use. Consider the content and accuracy of brand elements in publications, websites and other communications.

Community pride and brand support: Conduct a survey of residents, businesses, tourism, government organizations. Repeat every two years.

Co-operative support: Track the level of participation in the city’s cooperative marketing.

Customer profiles: Assess shifts in customer profiles and source markets.

Customer satisfaction: Conduct ongoing customer surveys to monitor satisfaction with your experience delivery.

Brand consistency: Review the appearance and content of all marketing materials that project the city including those produced outside of the area, e.g. tour operators, websites.

Media coverage: Monitor the media for use of desired brand messages.

Stakeholder feedback: Survey key stakeholders, partners, and city messengers to review and monitor brand development issues.

Attitudes toward the city: Monitor shifts in customer attitudes, perceptions, and image of the city.

This post is from http://citybranding.typepad.com/city-branding/page/2/

Environmental sustainabilityMarketing 3.0SustainabilityThird sector and social sustainability

Sustainable Tourism Development: Helping Revive Post-Conflict Destinations

One of the greatest and perhaps least recognized aspects of the sustainable tourism industry is the potential for economic growth and peace building in post conflict areas of the world. Working in these areas proves that not only does sustainable tourism have the incredible ability to preserve natural and cultural resources, but it can play a key role in the revival of economies and communities shattered by conflict.

The State of Tourism in post conflict areas

Some of the major problems faced by post conflict destinations are security based. The first hurdle in the revival of the tourism industry is making sure the destination is absolutely safe for visitors and pushing that message consistently across all channels of communication.

Another issue that arises in regard to security is rebuilding the destination’s image, as these locations are often perceived as degraded during times of conflict and violence.  It’s important to highlight that a destination’s cultural and natural heritage is alive and well by sharing high quality content about the destination, such as images, videos and copy.

The second set of issues facing post conflict destinations relates to infrastructure and human capital. Many times, after a long-lasting conflict like the civil war in Sri Lanka, many forms of infrastructure and many of the industries that service tourists are in poor condition, making it difficult for them to visit in a number of ways. For example, in some areas, roads may have become impassable; buildings may be dilapidated and need to be rebuilt. In order to sustain a tourism industry, these areas need rebuilding and basic resources restructured in order to revive their destination’s appeal and functionality.

How to restart the tourism activity

When setting goals for these destinations it is convenient to mirror that of a brand new, undiscovered destination, even if they had a tourism industry before the conflict. Through clear and coordinated communication between all stakeholders, the first phase of these strategies focuses on building the structures necessary to sustain the tourism industry.

A great way to kick start the tourism presence in these areas is to focus on regions that have not been affected by the conflict. A good approach is to promote off the beaten path, adventurous destinations and target tourists who are interested in those types of places. In each destination this might look different, but strategic marketing and promotion allows for such burgeoning markets to flourish.

Benefits & Outcomes

First and foremost, tourism in these countries means an influential source of capital. It provides economic opportunity through employment, ownership of businesses, and an increased market size. It also perpetuates personal and community empowerment by offering renewed opportunities for self-sustaining businesses and economies.

Tourism can also play a key role in reconciliation. It often unites communities that may have been broken or displaced during conflict around common interests and goals, fostering a sense of peace and cooperation that may not otherwise occur. In some cases, tourism can contribute to preventing the revival of a conflict in destinations with increasingly well-established tourism industries, as it contributes to a virtuous cycle of development and economic growth that would be threatened by the renewal of violence.

By rebuilding and strengthening culture, economy, and infrastructure, the tourism industry provides post conflict regions a chance to make a statement about their future to the world. These communities are able to showcase their homes as more than just what people see on TV news.

This blog post is from www.solimarinternational.com/resources-page/blog/itemlist/tag/Geotourism%20Program%20with%20National%20Geographic

Marketing 3.0Tourism marketing

Should Tomorrow’s DMOs Become Brand Managers? – Part Two

This is the second part of the blog on the future role of DMOs as brand managers.

Over the past decade the TDM team has been advocating that DMOs must assume a much greater brand management role. As the DestinationNEXT Report now confirms, DMO will need to be even more customer-focused and experience-oriented, and assume an even greater leadership role within their community as advocates for visitors. In short, they must adopt a brand leadership role that goes beyond that of being the city’s marketing communications agency and become the community’s brand manager.

With myriad organizations possibly communicating about their city in a random and unfocused manner, there is an increasing need to protect and actively manage the city’s identity and reputation. They need to also mobilize citizens to become positive advocates for their community through social media. DMOs have an important and unique role to play in unifying stakeholders and partners behind the brand to ensure that there is a consistent message, no matter who is communicating. While marketing budgets may be declining in some cases, there is the need to optimize the opportunities to be gained from getting everyone singing from the same song sheet.

Without the leadership of the DMO, most cities will be leaving their image and reputation to be shaped by the media, competitors, bloggers and others – and to its disadvantage. A city’s good name and reputation are its most valuable assets. Therefore, protecting and managing it’s image should be the DMOs central mission because this is a role that cannot be adopted by any other organization.

But first, the DMO and the city must recognize the value of a branded approach – and realize that it involves much more than a snappy new logo and tagline.

This post is from http://citybranding.typepad.com/

Marketing 3.0Tourism marketing

Characteristics of a Successful Online Marketing Campaign

Being flexible and current are two important characteristics to a successful online marketing campaign. The social media landscape is constantly evolving—whether it is the changing of an algorithm, a new feature, new trend, or even the inception of an entirely new social media platform. To run a successful online marketing campaign you must be knowledgeable of these alterations and have the ability to adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.

Adapting to Changing Rules

To understand what a change in “social rules” looks like and how it could be a game-changer in your online marketing campaign, take a look at this recent example. Just a week ago Facebook instituted a change which disallowed requiring someone to “like” your page before entering your contest, promotion or giveaway. This feature, coined “like-gate”, has been a significant factor in online marketing campaigns. In many cases, the main purpose of offering a contest or giveaway is to enhance a company’s social media presence.

In fact, many online marketing campaigns use “likes” as a metric for success. Does your contest now serve a purpose if it isn’t generating “likes”? If not, how can you modify your strategy to accommodate for this? These are crucial questions in ensuring your online marketing campaign meets its objectives.

Finding Solutions

In 2013, the states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi carried out a Plan to promote Geotourism development and contribute to the region’s competitiveness as a tourism destination. An online marketing campaign focusing on the Geotourism MapGuide was carried out, which promoted the US Gulf Coast States (USGCS) through an online interactive map, mobile application, and print map. USGCS’s first marketing campaign was called “Hidden Treasures” and was designed to demonstrate the MapGuide’s utility as a resource for lesser-known attractions in the region. The mechanism behind this campaign was a giveaway in which participants could win a trip to one of three weekend getaways in Vicksburg, MS; Lake Charles, LA; or Miramar Beach, FL.

In early 2014, radical shifts in the brand page design and user feed algorithm on Facebook forced a shift in how the platform could be used for marketing and engagement. Facebook applications, on which the “Hidden Treasures” campaign was largely built, were sidelined. This meant that apps were no longer a central component in a page’s interaction with a user. As a result, driving traffic to the application was more difficult, entries into the contest were low, and the campaign did not achieve its intended result. This algorithmic change was largely focused to drive advertisers to pay for sponsored or boosted content. To adjust for this, a second campaign was rolled out, “Summer in the South” which was adapted to better thrive in this environment by utilizing Facebook’s pay-for-play services. The adjustment proved successful, driving over 12,000 visits to the USGCS Geotourism website—nearly a third of the website’s 5 month total traffic in two weeks’ time.

Integrating New Platforms

In other instances, an entirely new social media platform may start trending. In 2012, while working on the North American Destination Marketing Campaign (NADM) for Namibia, Pinterest emerged onto the social media scene. Specific content focusing on recipes and weddings, for example a board for “Weddings in Namibia”, were created.  By staying current and on top of trends, a completely new audience was reached.

These are just a few examples of how to keep a close eye on changes in “social rules” and trends when running online destination and tourism marketing campaigns.  Being able to quickly shift to enhance clients’ performance is key to success. To achieve this, a campaign needs to be flexible. Flexibility may be reached through diversification, as seen in the USGCS example. If the USGCS online marketing campaign solely relied on the “Hidden Treasures” campaign, the entire project would have failed. Being current is also extremely important. The NADM’s campaign would not have been as successful had it not been adapted to the social environment and utilize Pinterest. In an environment that is constantly changing, effectively running an online marketing campaign that is both flexible and current will help ensure that your campaign reaches its objectives.

This blog post is from www.solimarinternational.com/resources-page/blog/itemlist/tag/Geotourism%20Program%20with%20National%20Geographic

Marketing 3.0Tourism marketingTourism trends

Tomorrow’s DMOs Must Become Brand Managers

It seems that every other day I see more evidence that the role of destination marketing organizations (DMOs) is under greater threats and challenges than ever before. The diminishing role of print and broadcast advertising, the ready availability of new sources of unbiased destination information and new distribution systems all challenge DMOs to redefine the value that they add for their community. They must not only adjust to reduced budgets, but also avoid the ongoing technological and consumer behavior changes that are totally reshaping the game. Added to that, there are now previously unseen competitors and alternatives that threaten to replace them. Never before has the relevance and role of DMOs been as hotly debated.

It’s not hard to find DMOs that have had their budgets decimated or even worse are closing their doors. In most cases, this is extremely short-termed thinking where the objective has been to balance the City’s bottom line because of shortfalls in taxes and revenue. Cities that are serious about economic development and tourism, and the long term prosperity and growth of their communities need their DMO and the stellar reputation for their city like never before. However, in this environment DMOs must adjust their focus, role and the way that they operate. Specifically, they must become brand managers on behalf of their cities.

These challenges have been addressed by DMAI in its excellent DestinationNEXT Report which provides an important strategic roadmap for DMOs to succeed in the future. The Report reveals three transformational opportunities that DMO have to effectively address in this rapidly changing world. These transformational opportunities are:

  1. Dealing with the new marketplace
  2. Building and protecting the destination brand
  3. Evolving the DMO business model

Recommending that DMOs become brand managers by building and protecting their brand is not new to the TDM team. We have been advocating this for more than a decade.

This post is from http://citybranding.typepad.com/

Marketing 3.0Tourism marketingTourism trends

Southern Success Story: Effective Online Tourism Marketing of US Gulf Coast States

It is estimated that 84% of leisure travelers use the Internet for planning their trips. Knowing this, a creative and effective online tourism marketing strategy is essential for every tourism destination.

The US Gulf Coast States (USGCS), more popularly known as the “Southern Crescent,” comprising of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida has actively sought to enhance its online tourism presence and to interconnect its travel experiences across states. The results have proved promising: At the conclusion of the USGCS Geotourism Program, the region has succeeded in creating a regional website of around 1,800 unique and authentic local sites, attractions and businesses that has attracted over 35,000 unique visitors to its pages to date. The program has also built a Facebook community of over 3,000 followers.

The Project

The USGCS Geotourism Program, in partnership with National Geographic, seeks to promote tourism that sustains and enhances the natural, cultural and historic attributes of the four Gulf States and that benefits local communities. The goal is to highlight what’s unique about a place through the voices and stories of the people that live there.

The challenge was to facilitate collaboration among industry stakeholders including the government, local businesses, public lands and residents to develop marketing tools that promote the region as a world-class tourism destination.

Strategy included the establishment of a Geotourism Stewardship Council composed of representatives from the four state tourism offices as well as private and public sectors stakeholders from the region. The Council’s role was to oversee and implement the Geotourism Program in the region with the vision to help promote the lesser-known jewels of the states.

The Geotourism team used a tested methodology to gather content and stories from local people to create an online Geotourism website, highlighting the lesser-known attractions of the region through the voices of the people that live there. The website and its accompanying mobile app and print MapGuide are high quality tools, co-branded with National Geographic, to help travelers explore the region.

Once the Geotourism website, apps and print maps were created, two social media campaigns were implemented to promote the Geotourism website. A Geotourism Program Facebook page and related social media channels were established and used to engage travelers with the content and stories of the region.

The Results

Through these campaigns, the Geotourism Program generated over 35,000 unique visitors to its website, build a community of over 3,000 Facebook followers and generate over 1.8 million media impressions using the content from the website.

Ultimately, this campaign shed light on the importance of using smart online tourism marketing strategies. Developing useful marketing tools, targeting the right campaigns and involving locals in telling their stories are all part of what made the program a success.

This blog post is from  www.solimarinternational.com/resources-page/blog/itemlist/tag/Geotourism%20Program%20with%20National%20Geographic

Co-creationCulture changeInnovationInnovative cultureMarketing 3.0

The Impact of Social Media on Creativity

GigaOm recently published a great piece on discussing the impact of social media on creativity, citing the John Mayer’s tribulations with Twitter as their prime example:

http://gigaom.com/2011/07/19/does-using-social-media-interfere-with-creativity/

Although I definitely think a discussion around “distraction” is worth a few sentences, I don’t think it’s fair to make blatant statements about social media and creativity. Creativity can be inspired by the most unexpected of things. Perhaps it’s less so for musicians, but as a writer I often find inspiration in the most unlikely of places including tweets and status updates. One could argue that reading is not the same as posting and I would agree but there are many times when posting triggers responses that provide inspiration. I also conjecture that distraction is not necessarily a bad thing for art either.

There are times when focus is needed. I don’t want people talking at me or email dinging or tweets flying when I am head down on a piece. But there are other times when the distraction is welcome, when the creative process has stalled enough that distraction can provide the impetus to new inspiration. What is interesting about GigaOm’s piece is Mayer’s fixation on distraction. It became the primary focus rather than the distraction (perhaps his songwriting and tweeting switched places, and songwriting became the distraction).

Regardless, that is an individual artist’s issue, not necessarily an epidemic for artists as a whole. In fact, one would begin to wonder if John was looking for a way to avoid his art and saw Tweeting and social media as an easy distraction. But social network does embody something very intrinsic to the artist: the need to be at the center of things. Although some artists may not agree, saying they produce art for art’s sake, I argue that’s a rouse. The only point of art is for people to enjoy and appreciate it and, by doing so, the artist. If people are listening to your songs, what’s the point of writing them? This need to be loved, to have the attention of people, is endemic to the artist’s condition, his reason d’etre.

Unfortunately, as I have written before, being an author (or artist) will be tougher as time goes on because getting the attention for one’s art will become more difficult in the constant flow of tweets and status updates. That will require artists to adopt new means of connecting with their fans (i.e., social networking) especially when there will be fewer opportunities for traditional media promotion (i.e., agents). It may be interesting to see the rise of “social networking managers” to help the artist deal with and manage their tweets and other social feeds. This new requirement to connect with fans to promote art is simply another aspect of the “business” of being an artist that needs to be managed accordingly.

Social networking, as a whole, thought is a distraction to life. It interrupts work, it interrupts thoughts, it interrupts conversations and television shows. But it poses no more a threat to creativity than any other form of distraction including all of the other business aspects of being an artist (or at least trying to make a living at it).

www.rethinkeverythingblog.com/2017/12/20/the-impat-of-social-media-on-creativity/

Marketing 3.0Tourism marketing

24 Immutable Laws of Place Branding

Branding for destinations takes many rules from product branding and namely services branding. However, these have to be adapted to the specificities of destination marketing, and further, destination branding has also some specific rules not to be disregarded. 

  1. The law of expansion – The power of a brand is inversely proportional to its scope. Focus on a core set of industries or capabilities and do a good job of investing behind a strategy to leverage the critical mass in your location as a reason for both capital attraction and expansion.
  2. The law of contraction – A brand becomes stronger when you narrow its focus. It is more effective to target limited resources to build a best in-class structure and critical mass in a limited number of industries than to spread your resources too thin and make marginal progress across a wide range of industries in your location.
  3. The law of publicity – The birth of a brand is achieved with publicity. Be first to stake a claim and leverage it through publicity. Once to determine the core Promise of your location, be bold in declaring it to the world and harness the credibility of getting others to share your location story. Third-party endorsement is a powerfully persuasive tactic.
  4. The law of advertising – Once born a brand needs advertising to stay healthy. It is important to be top-of-mind with information seekers in order to be considered for more capital investment opportunities. If your location doesn’t make the list of locations to receive an RFP, you never have a real chance to be successful. Out of sight, out of mind and consequently out of consideration for due diligence.
  5. The law of the word – A brand should strive to own a word in the mind of the consumer. Your location certainly already has a name, so this counsel is not about revisiting that. Instead, think about what your location’s core Promise is and try to articulate it in one or two words. The exercise will force clarity in defining the unique reason to believe why your location is an ideal choice for capital investment. To the extent you can, try and make the word(s) benefit focused versus feature focused.
  6. The law of credentials – The crucial ingredient in the success of any brand is its claim to authenticity. Nothing kills a product faster than great advertising, and nothing will undermine your place branding efforts faster than failure for the capital investor experience to match your Promise. It is critical that the walk and talk are aligned.
  7. The law of quality – Quality is defined through the eyes of the potential capital investor. Make absolutely certain you location delivers value, solves a problem, or meets a real need for the business. Your place brand must be relevant and competitive in order to be seen as quality versus other options.
  8. The law of a category – A leading brand should promote the category and not the brand. Be as concerned about creating critical mass through industry infrastructure growth as you are about attracting individual company investment. The more synergy you can create through strategic company attraction that enhances industry capability, capacity or lowers cost for the companies in your location, the more attractive your location becomes.
  9. The law of a name – In the long run a brand is nothing more than a name. Your reputation is gold. Do not pursue strategies and alliances that risk your location’s good name. Do not pursue short-term gain at the cost of your location’s image. Trust is difficult to build and easy to lose. When you make promises keep them.
  10. The law of extensions – The easiest way to destroy a brand is to put its name on everything. Everything you put your location’s name on draws an inferred association. Be mindful of where your name is used and how it is used. Guilt by association is an unfair but too often real outcome.
  11. The law of fellowship – In order to build a category, a brand should welcome other brands. There is power and synergy to be gained through the right Regional efforts.
  12. The law of the generic – One of the fastest ways to fail is to give a brand a generic name. Don’t let your location get lost in a gross generalization of your region, It is important to stand for something and not let the world define you. In a competitive situation, the competition will always define you as second best or worse.
  13. The law of the company – Brands are brands. Companies are companies. Capital investors ultimately choose a piece of property to invest in. The Region, State and community are all considerations and need to contribute to the choice. But, if the specific property does not meet the capital investor’s needs (or can’t be made to meet them), then the decision to invest will certainly be no. A good brand creates attention, interest and desire. But, the product ultimately dictates the action. Don’t expect to cover product problems with a good brand.
  14. The law of sub-brands – What branding builds sub-brands can destroy. It is important to have alignment of promises from the state to the local community, and a consistent delivery of an authentic experience. To the capital investor, this is an integrated experience and not a series of random events. Interactions at all levels matter.
  15. The law of siblings – There is a time and place to launch a second brand. The naming of projects is important. Particularly, if a project is inconsistent with the brand promise or potentially controversial. It is much harder to disassociate your location’s reputation from a well-publicized project gone wrong. Pay attention to how your locations brand mark is used by third-party Organizations. It may be perceived as tacit endorsement of their product or service and create negative equity for your location.
  16. The law of shape – A brand’s logotype should be designed to fit the eye. How you plan to use your logo matters. Take the time to think it through. Eliminate complexity and ensure the logo is scalable both up and down. Also make certain the logo can be pleasingly presented in multiple media from print to the web.
  17. The law of color – A brand should use a color that is opposite of its major competitor. Color matters. Typically you will have a legislatively designated color. Leverage it in your promotion to create an association with your place brand over time. If your community does not have a color, your State does. Leverage the State color in your promotion to take advantage of any synergies that can be created between the State brand equity and your place brand.
  18. The law of borders – There are no barriers to global branding. Your branding should translate across cultures. Looking forward, you will be increasingly be competing globally for capital investment. It is important your location’s core Promise has relevance and is competitive to foreign direct investors.
  19. The law of consistency – A brand is not built overnight. Political cycles can kill a place brand program. Not only is it important that a consistent level of investment be made to support telling your location’s story but that it be told consistently by public sector leaders. Building brands takes both time and money. If you have limited time, you will need more money.
  20. The law of change – Brands can be changed, but only infrequently and very carefully. Brands cannot be static or the relevancy and competitiveness will erode. It is important to understand what currently makes your location the better choice versus competition and effectively promote on that basis. But you also need to determine what will make you even more competitive and keep you the location of choice. Public policy reform and infrastructure investment decisions should be made with an eye toward what your location should become as well as to deliver the current Promise.
  21. The law of mortality – No brand will live forever. Protect your place brand from politics or it will suffer irreparable harm. Place brands should reflect the core Promise (or essence) of a location and not be treated like a campaign slogan. Relevance, competitiveness and authenticity are what win investment and create jobs in a location.
  22. The law of singularity – The most important aspect of a brand is its single-mindedness. Begin with the end in mind and reverse engineer strategic choices to ensure excellence in delivery. Any promotional money spent that does not forward your brand communication is worse than money wasted. It detracts from your overall messaging by contributing to creating confusion on what your location stands for. You should always be able to articulate the connection between the investment and its tie back to your core Promise.
  23. The law of consultation. A place brand should not be defined behind closed doors by a select few. It must be defined and built through collaboration and consultation with multiple, diverse (and sometimes non-traditional) stakeholders to engage, inspire and generate future support and on-brand actions.
  24. The law of future generations. The long-term vitality and success of a place brand requires that there be continuity in understanding, knowledge and energy in regard to the brand strategy.  The concept of “passing the baton” to the next generation of elected officials, brand managers and partners must be integral to the original brand strategy.  Without this attention we have seen the brand investments made by some cities become diluted and gradually fade away.  Usually, all that remains is a lonely logo searching for meaning.

“Without a doubt any “person, place or thing” can become a strong brand. Edward has outlined exactly how to build a place brand according to our Immutable Laws.”

Laura Ries. Co-author of the 22 Immutable Laws of Branding

This post is from http://citybranding.typepad.com/city-branding/page/3/

http://strengtheningbrandamerica.com/blog/2009/03/22-immutable-laws-of-place-branding/