Month: July 2018

Marketing 3.0storytelling

What Makes a Good Story (From 6 Masters of the Craft)

I write and speak a lot about storytelling. Of course, my focus is the business world and helping organizations engage better with people. But when it really comes down to it, there isn’t really any difference  between stories told for a business purpose and those told otherwise. Why? Because we are all people. Businesses have a terrible habit of de-humanizing the world, of turning people into numbers and relationships into prospects. Only that doesn’t really engender trust, credibility, and loyalty, does it? Characteristics that every business wants from their customers.

No, business must treat their audience as people. They must learn to engage with them. They must learn to connect with them. Stories do that really well which is why I pound the pulpit everyday (including in this very post). Only most business marketers don’t consider themselves storytellers. They equate storytelling with Stephen King and Shakespeare, not with their craft of creating demand, building pipeline, and converting prospects.

But I think all marketers can be storytellers because, as people, we are all storytellers at heart. We may not be comfortable with it. We may not understand how to do it (i.e., the conventions). But those are surmountable obstacles.

Below is a link to a TED playlist on “how to tell a great story.” This playlist features 6 videos from 6 well known storytellers who talk about everything from cultural stories to comic books.

I’ve sampled two of them and tried to capture their key points.

Andrew Stanton: The clues to a great story

Andrew (the guy behind Wall-E and Toy Story) explores what makes stories great. In his words, great stories “make us care.” And when we care? We have a relationship with the storyteller. Some of his key points about a great story:

  1. They should provide a promise that the story will lead somewhere. In my 9C’s of Storytelling, I refer to this as Conclusion. Any story with a good narrative arc will have a reason for existing because there is a resolution that is promised.
  2. The unifying theory of 2+2. Don’t give your audience 4. Give them 2+2. As humans, we are wired to deduce. Let them figure it out and draw their own conclusions.
  3. Characters have an itch they can’t scratch, some fundamental motivation that drives them. This is part of the 2+2, the thing that the audience has to deduce.
  4. Drama is anticipation mingled with uncertainty (William Archer). You story needs to construct anticipation and it needs to make the audience want to know what happens next.
  5. Storytelling has guidelines, not hard, fast rules.
  6. Wonder is the “secret sauce” of great stories. Wonder is honest. It’s innocent. It can’t be artificially created.

The mystery box, by J.J. Abrams

  1. Abrams (yeah, that Lost guy amongst other epic blockbuster movies) talks about mystery and why it’s so important in stories. And he rambles a a bit but he has some very salient ideas.
  2. Good stories (like StarWars) are a series of questions that continue to lead the audience towards the conclusion.
  3. Intentionally withholding information is much more engaging. This is similar to Andrew Stanton’s second point (the unifying theory of 2+2) and his fourth point about anticipation.
  4. Technology enables storytelling. It provides us possibilities to tell a story in any way, shape, or form. Technology has become part of the storytelling.

Image courtesy of www.endinghunger.org

This post is from www.rethinkeverythingblog.com/2017/11/07/what-makes-a-good-story-from-6-masters-of-the-craft/

Marketing 3.0storytellingStorytelling training & case studiesTourism marketing

Small Town Tourism and Transmedia Storytelling

Small towns around America have histories that offer a foundation for transmedia storytelling to bring in visitors and customers for local retailers. The Roswell Experience is a location-based story told across 32 locations in Roswell, New Mexico which uses a fictional alien, Vrillon, to introduce visitors to the area’s rich history.

The video and presentation below showcase the work of Airhart Media of Roswell, New Mexico and how Conducttr was used to support this new form of local, interactive storytelling. We finish the presentation with some advice for other small towns and transmedia storytellers thinking about creating location-based stories and games.

See the video about Roswell Transmedia Storytelling Experience

You may check also a presentation about the Roswell Case Study

This blogpost is from www.tstoryteller.com/small-town-tourism-and-transmedia-storytelling

Marketing 3.0StrategyStrategy planning & executionTourism marketing

Creating a Baseline to Measure Your New Marketing Results

Tourism marketing is an exciting activity. We also know that marketing can be a stressful activity, especially when asked to prove the worth of marketing activities or to justify the budget & spending by the CEO. More so, someone anonymous has famously said, “You cannot manage what you cannot measure”. So do not worry; we’ve got you covered.

In the simplest definition, marketing is concerned with conveying the value of a product or a service offered by a firm through a variety of activities to a potential customer. This in turn, generates a demand, ending in a sale for that product or service. In a nutshell, marketing triggers demand, and demand triggers sales. Marketing, just like other business activities should be planned, and a planning cycle usually follows these following four stages:

Esquema marketing

The first stage is concerned with the current situation, and the second stage is concerned with the desired positioning for the firm or its products. The strategy emerges out of the gap between the first two stages and informs a strategic direction. The third stage, “How do we get there?”, simplifies the strategy into attainable goals, and sets objectives and targets to measure marketing activities to reach the desired positioning. The fourth stage, “Are we getting there?”, measures the marketing activities in relation to the goals and analyzes if the planned activities are helping accomplish the strategic vision. This analysis helps create the new “current situation”, and the planning cycle repeats itself.

It is crucial to continuously pursue marketing activities in this planning framework as it helps a firm to be innovative and remain competitive in the marketplace. The importance of planning for marketing is indisputable. However, it is equally crucial that the baseline created to measure your new marketing results is suitable for your firm or it’s offerings due to the uniqueness of each entity. The three steps to measuring your success are: a) Define success: KPIs, b) Track your performance, and c) Measure your performance against the KPIs. They are discussed more in detail below:

  1. Define success: the key performance indicators

Since the marketing strategy and activities will vary from business to business, it is essential for a business to define what “success” means to them in practical terms and how it will be measured. This means, that a firm should design key performance indicators and set relevant targets for each. A key performance indicator (KPI) evaluates success of a particular activity. Therefore, depending upon your Marketing initiatives, key performance indicators should be designed tailored to your needs.

To design a KPI, one should ask two questions: what is our strategic or operational objective by pursuing this activity, and how do we know that we are meeting that objective. For example: If the operational objective of a business is to reach 25-30 year old market for sales to a theatre dinner via Facebook ad, the KPIs will be “The number of 25-30 year old consumers reached via Facebook ad”, and “the number of tickets sold to consumers in the age category of 25-30”.

  1. Track your performance

Upon defining success, one should ensure that proper metrics are in place to track your performance overtime. Once again, the metrics will vary activity by activity, and they will need to be customized in accordance to your KPIs. For example, your sales system can generate a report on the 25-30 year old market to see how you performed and Facebook metrics can inform how vast your reach was. Another example is an excel spreadsheet to track your social media reach. See example below:

Quadre sobre marketing

However, depending on the KPIs, new tools and methods of data collection will be required to track your performance.

  1. Measure your performance against the KPIs

Once you input the data into the tracking system, you can compare it against your KPIs to see the progress and/or if the marketing efforts have materialized. This step is the moment of truth as it informs the new “current situation”, and takes you back to the stage 1 of the continuous planning cycle. This step allows you to understand which activities worked and which ones did not, you can uncover trends & patterns, see if the strategy you set out to achieve is feasible and working, or if the firm needs to rethink the targets or the key performance indicators. The results from the analysis inform new choices for the firm, which are vital for maintaining competitiveness in the market.

In summary, a firm needs to define “success”, design KPIs, track their performance as needed, and measure it to see the impact of the marketing efforts.

This blog post is from http://www.solimarinternational.com/resources-page/blog/itemlist/tag/Marketing%20Training

Marketing 3.0storytellingTourism marketing

3 Transmedia Tactics for Creating Compelling Audience Experiences

This is a guest post form Krishna Stott. Krishna is a technology and story pioneer. He runs Bellyfeel, a leading provider of information and consultancy for traditional media producers who want to expand their audience and increase profits using new devices and platforms.

As a creator, producer and consultant of Transmedia I draw heavily on the media that got me excited when I was a kid. Movies, TV, Music and Books.

Some of those things don’t exist anymore; VHS, vinyl, cassette – but the feelings are still there.

Analogue vs Digital

Those analogue and physical formats were big influences on me and I can’t help thinking that digital is not as rewarding – so you have to try harder as a creator.

As a kid, I would salivate like a starving dog in anticipation of the next 7” single from the Buzzcocks or the Clash. After a Saturday trip to town to buy the shiny black disc in a full color sleeve, I would be vibrating with pleasure on the bus home. Then the joy of popping on the turntable, dropping the needle and experiencing the music.

I would pore over the sleeve for clues as to what my heroes were saying with this latest slice of pop culture. And getting a bit of ‘behind the scenes’ was really exciting – if you could hear the band talking in the intro or outro, or even a distant ‘1 2 3 4 !’ – this was a massive bonus.

Instant Pop Culture

Digital is all about QUICK – NOW – NO WAITING. That’s not good or bad – it’s just how it is – but instant doesn’t mean better.

And digital gives many more options for creativity and business. But more options doesn’t mean better quality experiences.

In a way, you now have a bigger palette for storytelling but the paint is thinner and the picture comes out not as bright or vivid. (Which is ironic because digital is perceived as being brighter and clearer than analogue media.)

So how do you evoke the kinds of feelings that get today’s audience hooked and wanting more, more, more.

Ignite Your Audience With These Transmedia Tactics

I have been creating Digital, Interactive and Transmedia stories for 15 years now. In that time I have picked up a few useful tricks. Here are 3 Transmedia Tactics you can use to ensure your audience gets very excited about your story experience.

1 – Fan Allegiance.

In the old days this meant joining a fan club by mail or reading the weeklies to keep track of their progress – today you can make it easy for fans to connect and take them along with you (and your story) at very low cost, on a global scale.

Do you know the famous Transmedia campaign “Why So Serious?”. This campaign for the “Dark Knight” film had over 10 million fans all following and joining in the actions around the world. Make your content meaningful to your audience and aim for 10 million global fans!

2 – Anticipation.

Once the audience is hooked in, make them wait a while! Then reward them – this will get them chomping at the bit. Don’t make it so easy for the audience – if your story is good enough it will be worth waiting for.

There was a very early interactive web campaign for the 1997 film “The Game” which actually refused entry to lots of people. This was a completely counter intuitive tactic at the time but a genius one IMHO. Make the audience wait… make them wait and then give them…

3 – WOW! Moments.

Although digital storytelling relies on systems for delivery – when telling stories you have to break out of the systems every now and then to create big WOW! Moments.

Remember a film called “The Crying Game”? Watch this film if you don’t know what a WOW! Moment is. Get the audience to expect the unexpected from your story!

These 3 Transmedia Tactics are highly effective in turning your audience into rabid fans – and your audience had better be hot under the collar as the competition for attention is ferocious these days.

This blog post is from  www.tstoryteller.com/three-transmedia-tactics-for-creating-compelling-audience-experiences

Marketing 3.0StrategyTourism marketing

Is Your Tourism Marketing Tapping into Visitor Feelings?

This article is written by Bill Baker, Chief Strategist at Total Destination Marketing, author, speaker, and blogger at “Small City Branding around the world”

Along my career as Marketing Consultant I have observed how successful places focus on delivering emotional and social benefits. They are concerned by how they will make people feel, rather than relying on boring lists, facts and details. I recently came across similar comments by brand strategist Megan Kent where she said, “Marketers haven’t been using all the tools available to them because they assume that consumers make decisions rationally. While the rational, or ‘thinking’ part of the brain does play a role, it’s most often there to simply validate, or put into words a decision that our subconscious mind has already made for us.” Exactly!

Megan goes on to explain, “In order to reach the neo-cortex, i.e. the ‘thinking’ brain, our messages need to first pass muster with the older parts of our brain, the parts that are far more primal and emotionally oriented.”

We see this at work when visitors make decisions and purchases. Yet, it’s amazing how many places still try to promote themselves by using uninteresting lists of local attractions, businesses and services. While this information does have a role later in their decision-making, it is rarely important at an early stage when prospects are forming their initial awareness and preference for a place.  Lists alone don’t make emotional connections. Prospective visitors first need to be convinced of what is appealing and special about the place, and how it’s going to make them feel.

“Science now tells us that the data stored in our subconscious minds (our feelings, memories, emotions) are the primary drivers in 90% of the decisions that we make. So it turns out that ‘going with our gut’ isn’t just a once-in-a while phenomenon. The truth is we actually ‘go with our gut’ almost all of the time. As Nobel Prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman puts it, ‘we think much less than we think we think,’” Megan added.

Megan was one of the architects for Brand USA, America’s first global tourism campaign. “We knew that if we used a rational approach to selling the USA, we’d come up against foreigner cynicism, especially regarding U.S. foreign policy and immigration restrictions. But by using a completely non-verbal, emotional approach, the campaign has surpassed target goals.”

Are your marketing communications aimed at the “thinking” or the “feeling” parts of your customers’ brains?

Article reposted with permission from http://citybranding.typepad.com/city-branding/page/2/

Culture changeMarketing 3.0

Developing leadership for change: 4 levels of leadership (II)

Following with the explanation of The Leadership Circle Profile’s 4 levels of leadership, hereby are presented the two most interesting and necessary leadership levels for culture change as well as for the development of destinations 3.0: Creative leadership and Integral leadership.

Creative leadership. In the transition to the Creative Mind, the leader opens the mind by leaving old assumptions behind and exploring the inner self in search of a more authentic identity in connection with the soul. In this stage, leaders analyze the values they are willing to stand for and reflect upon the purposes they want to strive for, depicting a new vision of who they want to become and how they want to contribute to achieve these purposes with their leadership. The definition of the new self is configured from the inside out. In this stage, action is no longer driven by the social standards but by a sense of inner purpose, developing creativity, feeling more freedom and motivated by fulfillment rather than for appreciation.

The Creative leader is driven by self-expression and cooperation, encouraging others to follow the same development path, developing new and better leaders within the organization. This leadership style is characterized by many new competencies, classified into five categories:

  • Achieving, the ability to envision and attain results
  • Systems awareness, the capability to design organizational systems for higher performance
  • Authenticity, the willingness to act with integrity to tell the truth even when it is risky
  • Self-Awareness, balance, composure, emotional intelligence, and ongoing development
  • Relating, the capability to relate well to others, build teams, collaborate, and develop people.

The Creative stage is the first level –within the TLCP framework- from which it is possible to create lean, engaged, innovative, visionary, high-fulfillment organizations and to transform the culture in accordance with the new challenges of the XXI century.

This type of leader is mainly focused on developing new leaders by depicting the vision, engaging others and making them realize how the vision also sets their path to fulfillment, and empowering them to cooperate to achieve their common purposes.

Integral leadership. The stage beyond the Creative mind aspires to be a servant of the whole stakeholder system by working on a vision that goes beyond the interests of the organization, to create positive impacts also for the outside stakeholders and caring for the community’s common good to the largest extent. This type of leader develops the ability to tackle complex systemic challenges that require a great deal of listening, dialogue, reflection and vision for the development of complex and integrative solutions. Only 5% of leaders reach this stage, which accounts for the best performance score of all, around the 90th percentile. This can only be achieved through the development of a higher consciousness capable of envisioning larger and more complex systems where to develop multiple synergies.

The intended legacy of this kind of leader is a mission driven organization connected to society in order to address many of its concerns related to the environment and social challenges such as poverty alleviation. This is a leadership style designed for advancing towards global sustainability and common good. It is therefore the best possible leadership for developing destinations towards the vision of Tourism 3.0.

This blog post is from the Whitepaper “Building a culture of collaboration and innovation”, freely downloadable in this weblog. You may check the Whitepaper’s references to know the sources used for its elaboration.

Marketing 3.0storytellingTourism marketing

Why Storytelling is So Important to Marketing

In relation with my article Transmedia Storytelling as the future of digital marketing, a lot of the thinking behind it was related to my work at Limelight Networks and our recent pivot towards becoming the leader in digital presence management. The gist was this: our emerging multi-device behavior coupled with a growing “always on” existence requires that marketing messages are consistent across the devices. Transmedia storytelling is simply a vehicle by which to enable that.

But that brings up the question, “why storytelling?”

A (Brief) Understanding of Stories

Why do we love stories? Why do we like to tell them? Why do we like to listen to them, watch them, and read them? Aristotle believed that they embodied fundamental, visceral responses to our own lives so we watched them as a reflection of us. But he felt that plot, and the ability to create a powerful structure, are more important than character or dialogue: “…every drama alike has spectacle, character, plot, diction, song and reasoning. But the most important of them is the structure of the events” (Poetics). What Aristotle didn’t consider was the personification of the events and the environment. When there is only an event, the event itself becomes the character. In essence, Aristotle had it correct, but he didn’t quite understand why. It is only through decades and centuries of philosophical, neurological, and psychological inquiry that we understand the human need to personify, to make things relate to ourselves (egotistically, of course). And, that is ultimately why we enjoy them. They provide us a mechanism to create connection and, ultimately, shape our own identities (a topic that I explored deeply during my graduate studies and hope to return to for my doctorate). What will throw you for a loop is to consider that everything we do in life, every bit of news, every bit of memory and photograph, is a story that we shape to our own needs (either to support who we are, through both negative and positive connotation, or what we want to do). It goes back to that connection. Whether we watch or act, our brains actively work to create a connection between what’s happening in the story and our own identities.

The Impact of Stories on Marketing

According to Maslow, there is a hierarchy of needs that drive all human motivation. In a commercial economy, those needs are often actualized by purchases. So you purchase base necessities first (the physiological needs according to Maslow) and then eventually luxuries, etc. Although I think Maslow’s work needs a revisit, it’s a fair framework. It’s possible that the digital world upsets those hierarchies and that long-term modification is in order. But, whatever aspect of the hierarchy comes first, influence is critical especially in a highly competitive commercial market (i.e., a global digital economy). There are simply too many products (and too many merchants selling the same products) that without influence, failure is pre-determined.

How then can a marketer create the most influence? How do they stand out from competitive products (and competitive merchants)? Easy. They create an emotional connection between the potential customer and the product/company.

Why the World of Marketing Today is So Different Than Before

The economy is globalizing. Plain and simple. Here’s why:

  • E-commerce. Anyone, anywhere in the world can setup a shop online and sell products.
  • Global logistics. UPS, DHL, Fedex. These and other companies have established a worldwide distribution network.
  • Product digitization. Mobile applications, desktop software, music, movies, books.

Because of this global economy, traditional “spray and pray” marketing no longer works. In the past, regional and physical boundaries minimized product competition. There may have been only several product competitors in any given area. That no longer applies. In the global, digital economy, competitors can appear overnight. Boundaries are removed. Companies that once benefited from “spray and pray” in local or regionalized markets find themselves now competing with hundreds of competitors simultaneously. Hoping that marketing messages get heard ensures that they don’t.

Today, marketers are intrinsically worried about the “noise:” all those other messages about similar products, and so they seek any way to set themselves apart. The way to do that most effectively is by creating an emotional connection with the customer. By telling a story.

A Message That’s not a Message

Marketers as storytellers are doing something fundamentally different than marketers of before: they are focusing on establishing a connection between customer and message first and selling the product second. They are telling a story in which the product or service is an element. Perhaps it is the catalyst for change (i.e., a character in the story uses the product and is changed for the better or worse) or perhaps it helps move the story along. Whatever, the product or service only serves a role. The story is primary.

And, because of that, the message sounds more genuine. Although consumers ultimately understand that the message is intended to convince them to buy the product or service, they are emotionally connected to the characters (or the “action” of the story in the event that such action is personified) because it is a story. They see the character as a representation of their own needs (back to Maslow). Because that character uses the product, the need is transferred. Of course, this works in both directions. When there is a negative association with the characters within the message, the character’s needs for the product (i.e., how they are using it) become a reason not to purchase.

Why Transmedia Storytelling Will Be the Most Impactful

Which leads us back to Transmedia Storytelling. In 1964, Marshal McLuhan coined a phrase: “The medium is the message.” Although I won’t go into details here (there are plenty of resource that explain McLuhan’s philosophy), the basic tenant is that how the message is delivered has just as much impact as the content of the message itself. So a message delivered via a movie versus via a written page versus  still images affects the message which is hugely important when trying to create an emotional connection between the customer and the characters in the story. And, mediums are multi-dimensional. So video on a mobile is still different from video on TV just as video on a flip-phone is different from video on a smartphone. It is critically important that marketers understand how McLuhan’s original philosophy is impacted by the digital world. He never foresaw the number of channels and methods by which a message can get delivered.

Why is this important? It goes back to creating connection. Some customers will find appeal in certain messages delivered via certain channels. That’s what McLuhan was truly after. To appeal to the broadest set of customers, then, marketers must craft stories that take advantage of their mediums. Ultimately, you can call it whatever you want. Right now we have Transmedia Storytelling. Tomorrow it may be another term. Regardless of the name, it’s a framework for marketers to tell stories that leverage the medium by which the message is delivered (i.e., TV vs phone) and in which the message is delivered (i.e., videos vs. text vs. pictures, etc.).

 This blog post is from www.rethinkeverythingblog.com/2017/08/31/why-storytelling-is-so-important-to-marketing/

Culture changeMarketing 3.0

Developing leadership for change: 4 levels of leadership (I)

Regardless of the culture they belong to, leaders develop through a series of sequential stages.  According to The Leadership Circle Profile –a reference methodological framework for leadership development- at each progressive developmental stage, the way we manage the self-world relationship changes, shifting the self towards a more complex and superior Inner Operating System (IOS). With this “new operating system”, the leader is able to handle more complexity with greater ease and efficiency. The person experiences a leap forward in creativity, effectiveness, freedom, power, and joy, becoming capable of greater contribution.

The culture change process takes place first in the consciousness of every person. Then, every individual influences the system to change it, and the new system encourages more people to experience their personal leap forward. As soon as a critical mass has developed, the new stage is achieved and consolidated, reducing significantly the chances of leaping back to the previous stage, and setting the stage for a leap forward towards higher-order leadership level. Therefore, the organization performs in accordance with the level of consciousness of its individuals. Actually, resistance to change is mostly derived from the difficulties that individuals have in making this leap forward in consciousness. This needs coaching and support. The four leadership stages are: egocentric, reactive, creative, and integral.

Egocentric leadership. This stage starts at the age of 8 and usually finishes at the end of the adolescence or early adulthood. This is characterized by relating the identity with the ability to meet ones needs, and so the social relationships are built in view of satisfying the personal needs only. Unavoidably, the strength of egocentricity is the capacity to get the personal needs satisfied and gain independence. So long as the egocentric are not aware about the others’ needs, they do not take these needs into account when making decisions. There is a total absence of shared reality in this personal stage, and so the growth path consists of taking others’ concerns into account and defining the identity co-relationally in a way that loyalty shifts from self-loyalty to the social loyalty. Around 5% of leaders operate in this stage.

Unfortunately, some people do not fully make the leap forward to the next stage and remain egocentric in their adulthood. The Egocentric mind is normal in adolescence, but pathology in adulthood. Leaders with egocentric mindsets tend to be autocratic and controlling, pretending that employees exist to serve them. This turns into an oppressive and destructive leadership.

Reactive leadership. The challenge of the Reactive Mind is to develop the ability to cooperate with others and within organizations. Leaders at this stage build their identities from the outside in: their self-worth is determined by their ability to meet the expectations of their social environment. To feel successful and worthwhile they need the approval of the others, which is based upon a set of standard cultural values.

These leaders are defined according to their capabilities, in three categories:

  • They define their identity around the relationship skills, developed by leveraging their big-hearted nature, and tend to give up too much power to be accepted.
  • Controlling. This type of leader tends to use power to achieve what they want, using people for their own profit. These leaders define themselves through their achievements.
  • Protecting. These leaders build their identity upon their intellectual superiority. They are distant in relation to others, thus limiting their capacity to influence.

By focusing on their capabilities they eventually over-use these strengths, and this excessive use becomes a weakness and their main limitation, so long as they restrict the range of options when dealing with any challenge. This obviously limits their leadership effectiveness. This mindset is programmed to perpetuate the status quo, and so whenever there is a challenge, the leader will focus on fixing the problems in a way that everything gets back to the previous state, without making any leap forward on the model to address the root of the problem. Further, the lack of vision makes it barely impossible to anticipate challenges and take action accordingly, and so he or she is only moved by the reaction to the problems when they arise, and this reaction is driven according to the standard procedures of the cultural environment to meet the expected results of this environment.

With regards to the Egocentric style, Reactive style replaces the loyalty to the self with the institutional loyalty. This is characterized by relationships based on loyalty and obedience, and bureaucratic oriented hierarchies. Nowadays, however, most change efforts intend to create leaner, flatter and engaged cultures, which require more ownership and creative accountability at the lower levels of hierarchy. The Reactive leadership is not ready for such kind of culture transformation, and so a higher-order mindset is needed. There comes the Creative mind. It is estimated that about the 70% of leaders operate in the Reactive level or in transition towards the Creative stage, so this is the kind of leader we are more likely to deal with.

The explanation of the Leadership Circle Profile’s 4 levels of leadership is to be completed with another upcoming blog post.

This blog post is from the Whitepaper “Building a culture of collaboration and innovation”, freely downloadable in this weblog. You may check the Whitepaper’s references to know the sources used for its elaboration.

 

Collaborative business modelsMarketing 3.0StrategyTourism trends

Collaborative tourism: is it an original business model?

When we talk about collaborative tourism or tourism peer to peer, we refer to a new trend in the way of traveling based upon sharing basic resources such as accommodation, transport means or personal experiences with other travelers through platforms where the host publishes his/her offer and the tourist makes the booking.

Theoretically, this phenomenon comes from the collaborative economy model, where consumers may also become suppliers by sharing their means with other consumers, also operating on a global scope, prioritizing human relationship above competition and selfishness. The presentation results in being attractive to more and more tourists, who do not really know the business model completely.

Due to the constant transformation of the virtual economy, the task of identifying and describing virtual business models has turned to be quite hard. However, since this P2P platform business model usually determines it’s success, it is no longer unknown: platforms meet the needs of both supplier and buyer, and take a commission from the booked services price.

Checking the four main collaborative platforms operating in Spain for the four types of services available (eating, accommodation, transport and experiences), we find that their revenue sources are not so different from the traditional tourism intermediation models:

  • AirBnB: charges a commission between 6 to 12%, plus 3% of the conversion rate.
  • BlaBlaCar: depending on the amount of the transaction, it charges 1,60€ for transactions from 1 to 8€ or a commission of 20% for transactions of more than 8€.
  • EatWith: it takes a commission of 15% of the transaction.
  • Trip4Real: it takes 25% of the transaction.

A similar procedure is used for any other tourism intermediary, such as a travel agency, a tour-operator, broker, etc. The difference remains in that these intermediaries comply with the regulations in terms of safety, health and taxes, whereas most of the accommodation and transport means offered in the collaborative platforms do not comply with them.

Therefore, the consumer of collaborative platforms pays a lower price due to the non-compliance with the aforementioned regulations, and takes the risk of suffering any kind of accident without the safety prevention means. Furthermore, despite the social sharing philosophy upon which the platform is created, many suppliers operate for profit rather than for the aim of sharing cost or experiences. However, this is difficult to prove and control.

The hospitality sector’s opinion. The outburst of the tourism collaborative platforms has transformed many housing apartments into competitors for the hotels and regulated tourist apartments, and so it has turned into an important issue for the Public Administration.

According to the Spanish Confederation of Hotels and Tourist Apartments, there are only two possible solutions to this conflict: the total banning of the platform operations –as has happened in many major cities-, or the obligation for the apartments to comply with the same regulations as the current regulated tourist apartments.

It is necessary to take into account that the tourism sector in Spain is hyper-regulated. There are around 250 regulations at the European level referring to intellectual property, consume, safety and payment means, plus those from the local administration. All in all it entails a great deal of costs that do not apply to the collaborative platform operators, including the VAT, the police files, fiscal and sanitary costs. This is clearly a case of unfair competition. In this regard, there are many points to consider:

  • The regulations applying to these tourist housing apartments are different for every region in Spain, for it is necessary for the destination regulators to study them all in detail.
  • It is necessary to consider the product separately from the platform, taking into account that the platform operation is similar to the traditional channels such as the travel agencies, and so the same regulations should apply.
  • The evolution of the global society is likely to propel this paradigm beyond the current conditions, demanding solutions in terms of adapting the new regulation and policies.

This blog post is from  http://www.visionesdelturismo.es/turismo-colaborativo/