Category: Culture change

Change towards a more innovative and collaborative culture

Co-creationCollaborative business modelsCollaborative cultureCulture changeInnovative culture

Destination Marketing 3.0: Product development through co-creation

Co-creation is the new approach to product development. Tourists want to personalize the experience according to their own unique needs and desires. Destinations provide a platform experience as of a generic product, which is somehow customizable by tourists, and by observing how they customize their experiences, the platform eventually develops a portfolio of experiences customized to the needs and motivations of various types of tourists, though still flexible.

Product co-creation is developed mainly through the open innovation system, where stakeholders participate motivated by the will to contribute to the mission accomplishment, and also by the will to showcase their creative skills and gain reputation among the community. Marketing 3.0 intends to leverage these motivators to foster co-creation of experiences and continuous improvement in collaboration with the local service suppliers to keep on enhancing the destination’s offered value.

The co-creation takes place in a collaborative platform as part of the open innovation system where locals may offer their experiences and they receive reviews, ratings and advice from destination product managers on how to make it better. To train stakeholders in the co-creation process, special workshops could be organized, where the key factors to successful product development are explained.

To create life-changing experiences, contributors should start by gaining a deep understanding of the mission statement as a basis for discerning what kind of experiences could be suitable. Further, by listening to stories they can understand what kind of experiences create a life-changing impact on the receivers and thus inspire new experiences by leveraging the contributors’ imagination from the open innovation system. The fact that brand enthusiasts are empowered to participate in the co-creation process spurs their commitment and their will for spreading the stories, as they are also willing to let everybody know about their contributions.

What main challenges do you foresee in the co-creation of tourism experiences?

Business model innovationCo-creationCollaborative business modelsCollaborative cultureMarketing 3.0

Destination Marketing 3.0: Communication strategy (II)

In searching for enthusiastic contributors and mission driven stakeholders there may be many different profiles such as schools or NPOs . Continuous search for like-minded communities is key to nurture the content marketing system and expand the destination brand awareness. Individual partners such as bloggers or journalists are also likely to be good storytellers, also considering their media power as key influencers.

Beyond the existing communities related to the aforementioned stakeholders, the destination should develop its network of brand enthusiasts, accommodating the needs of individuals to connect with like-minded people in new communities where the bond is rooted in one-to-one relationships among members. The destination management has to be conscious that communities exist to serve the members, not the business; and so it has to facilitate interconnection among them and encourage participation.

It is necessary not only to communicate the mission and the vision, but also the evolution of the key performance indicators related to both social and environmental issues, to let the stakeholder community see how the destination is advancing towards the mission accomplishment: how much has been done, and how much is left to do.

In the Whitepaper “Marketing destinations through storytelling” there is to be explanation of how to leverage the destination’s stories as a key marketing content. Furthermore, in the Whitepaper “Envisioning open innovation in destinations” there is envisioned several ways the open innovation could be deployed as a marketing content generator.

Do you think that horizontal storytelling –created and controlled by brand enthusiasts- may fully or almost fully replace traditional communication tools such as advertising? What do you think it is necessary to make that happen?

Business model innovationCollaborative cultureMarketing 3.0Tourism marketing

Destination Models 3.0: Marketing channels

The main marketing channels are the social networks where all the brand ambassadors are spreading the stories, and the mission driven travel agents connected to like-minded travellers. Other partners such as non-for-profit associations may also become channel partners, as they can distribute the stories to their social circles and attract new stakeholders. They are the ones with the best credibility to do so.

Channel partners will not only work as change agents and brand ambassadors, but will also collaborate in the innovation platform bringing worthy ideas and market insights, thanks to their deep knowledge of the outbound markets. For instance, they may bring information about how other destinations are tackling similar challenges.

Furthermore, as mentioned before, it may be necessary to attract non mission driven tourists and therefore use conventional travel agents to market the destination to these targets. This will most likely be necessary in the early stage of development, when the destination has not yet generated enough contents and stories to engage the desired targets. Travel agents will therefore have a key role during the early stages of the destination’s development bringing key insights for the strategic planning, and as key channel partners, to leverage their market knowledge and marketing influence.

Other marketing channels to take into account will be the platform’s booking center and travel portals as sales channels, whereas journalists and bloggers are likely to be key story deliverers especially during the first years of the destination’s development.

In this section, the business model should explain the different channel partners and marketing channels through which the destination intends to communicate its value proposition and deliver the stories. It should explain the expected functions and strategic importance of each channel throughout the short, mid and long term.

Do you envision any other specific marketing channels for destinations 3.0?

Co-creationInnovative cultureMarketing 3.0Open innovationTourism marketing

Destination Models 3.0: Customer relationships (II)

This open innovation system is the core of the destination marketing 3.0, becoming the central hub where all communities get connected, and fulfilling the need for connection with other consumers in communities. These communities are the ones which guarantee that the business will ultimately serve the customer’s interests and concerns, and not just the business profit. It is through this community initiative and collaboration that the platform becomes a “content marketing machine” where people create, share and inspire each other to live and tell new stories.

Finally, business models need to develop their unique DNA that reflects the brand’s identity through the social networks, targeting the mind of the consumers and intending to be relevant to their needs. Then, they have to stick to their brand promise delivering experiences up to their claims, prioritizing the mission accomplishment, to keep the brand’s integrity and reach the spirit of the consumers.

Failing to comply with the stakeholders expectations will eventually lead to losing their credibility and hence their engagement. This should be complemented with a brand image whose values appeal to the consumers’ emotional needs. All together is what leads consumers and other stakeholders to experience, engage and eventually become brand ambassadors. Only originality, integrity and authenticity will be effective.

From the operational perspective, such open innovation ecosystem would be based on technological platforms –either existing or proprietary- where to held content creation contests -photo, video, stories, poems, etc.- and collaborative creation processes to further refine the content and integrate insights from various stakeholders.

In this section, the model should explain what kind of relationships it intends to establish with each customer segment, whether they are to be passive receivers or active contributors, specifying what kinds of contributions are expected -co-creation, story delivery, contest participation and voting, etc.-.

Do you think that destinations usually leverage their client’s creative and influential power?

Co-creationCollaborative business modelsCollaborative cultureMarketing 3.0Storytelling training & case studies

Destination Marketing 3.0: Communication strategy (I)

As aforementioned, with Marketing 3.0 there is a shift from vertical to horizontal control, being that the communities of creative activists are those who do the marketing by supporting brands concerned about making positive impacts in their communities. Therefore, the new marketing has the social networks as the main scenario where most brand marketing activities take place.

The communication strategy embraces collaborative channels as its main conveyors of the value proposition, as these are the most trusted ones by the communities of potential stakeholders. Furthermore, the new communication channels have to enable connectivity and interactivity to empower community members to participate at any time –especially when they are enjoying the destination- and share content with the rest of the community. The new wave technology is what allows community members to express their ideas and opinions in collaboration with the rest of the community.

The destination should accommodate the will of tourists to connect with other tourists who want to share their experience and story. Only by helping tourists connect with each other and deliver the promised brand values will the destination gain the crucial support of the communities.

The main marketing contents to be shared throughout the communities are stories. Stories are to convey the Mission, vision and values of the destination brand embodied in the life-changing experiences in a compelling manner drawing the attention of potential tourists and stakeholders.

Compelling stories are the new advertising, and their success is measured by the extent to which these stories are the focus of conversations in the social networks. These stories create loyalty among stakeholders who end up regarding the brand as an icon. Then, these enthusiast stakeholders become brand ambassadors by spreading the stories throughout the social networks. This is the power of storytelling.

To generate stories and other marketing contents, there has to be design of a content marketing system with a strategy to leverage the already existing stories and also to leverage the creativity of the stakeholders to make up new ones, as well as to spread the stories throughout the social media. The open innovation system is the one that leverages all the knowledge and creativity to nurture the content marketing system, and the existing local communities are where we should search for the existing stories to start-up the content marketing system.

What main challenges do you foresee in developing this communication strategy?

Co-creationCollaborative cultureInnovative cultureMarketing 3.0Open innovation

Destination Models 3.0: Customer segments (I)

Beyond the targeting criteria according to the kind of tourism activities -nature, culture, sports, etc.-, the primary target destinations 3.0 intend to attract and engage is the so called “Creative society”. Creative people are the most expressive and collaborative consumers, and also those who are most active in the social media, thus connecting and influencing many other consumers and becoming a backbone in the local economies. They are trusted and admired within their community, and through their concern and awareness about the social impact of brands, they are to become our best brand ambassadors.

Because of their aim for self-actualization above other needs, and their desire to create and collaborate, they are the ones who are most likely to become engaged with our value proposition and to participate in co-creating experiences and stories for the destination. They are those searching for spiritual fulfillment on top of other motivations, and this is what unlocks the most of their creativity. Furthermore, they are trendsetters and change leaders within their communities. They are the new wave of consumers who move the society towards a more human centered world. They are Tourists 3.0.

In summary, the prototype of the “Tourist 3.0” could be described as someone who:

  • Is driven by the aim for contribution to make the world a better place, and for human spirit fulfillment.
  • Belongs to communities and social media networks, which are the main and most trusted source of information, and with whom shares knowledge and stories.
  • Likes to co-create and collaborate with other consumers in his favorite brands’ marketing activities.
  • Is concerned about the impact of tourism on the environment and the local communities.
  • Looks for authentic experiences through which he can develop new skills, learn about new realities, cultures, and ways of life, which open his mind and ultimately change or influence his life.

Have you heard of the Creative Society? Do you regard its related trends as futuristic or current?

Collaborative cultureIntelligenceIntelligence methodsStrategyStrategy planning & execution

Destination Intelligence 3.0: Benefits of capturing intelligence in the outbound markets

The growth of the tourism business with emerging outbound markets and new destinations is drawing an increasingly competitive scenario with plenty of opportunities. Moreover, the markets are evolving rapidly with new business models, new communication & sales channels and new market segments.

This major dynamism, innovation and market fragmentation requires a systematic analysis to detect new trends, new key success factors, foresee its threats and take advantage of its opportunities. Furthermore, along the last years there has been a significant decrease on the tourism promotion profitability, which suggests the convenience of innovating in more efficient marketing strategies and tactics.

Market intelligence (MI) is a systematic process of search, selection, analysis and distribution of information about the competitive environment, recognized and accepted by all the organization and its stakeholders.

The market intelligence studies are to identify business opportunities and market trends, analyze competitors, their practices and strategies, and all the variables that affect the evolution of the competitive scenario in order to orientate the strategic planning.

The impact of the MI activities consists mainly of the support given to cost reduction decisions -including risk reduction on the decisions to make- and de discovery of opportunities and innovations that produce an increase to the value provided to the client. The knowledge generated by the MI may be summarized in the following points:

  • Detailed company profile of all potential collaborators.
  • Best practices in marketing, management, innovation and new business models.
  • Markets and segments attractiveness. Opportunities, market trends and evolution of all the key factors influencing business development and profitability.
  • Key information for the design, innovation and product development obtained from deep demand analysis.
  • Key information for the optimization of the company’s commercial missions in the outbound markets, as well as for the Tourist Boards.

At the end, this brings the following benefits:

  • Decrease in the risk of failure.
  • Business diversification with the penetration in new markets and segments.
  • Improvement in the competitiveness and the innovation process.
  • A revenue increase from the opportunities of which we take advantage.
  • A major profitability of the marketing investment.

Can you envision any other outputs or benefits of the market intelligence?

Business model innovationCo-creationCollaborative business modelsCollaborative cultureCulture change

Destination Marketing 3.0: Targeting tourists 3.0

Once the Mission, vision and goals are defined, it’s time to think about the necessary strategies to guide our efforts towards the goals. Prior to the mission statement, there has to be a marketing diagnosis to set the starting point from which we intend to achieve all these goals.

Beyond the conventional segmentation criteria according to geographical origin, sociological and motivational profile, the key target group to engage in order to succeed in the marketing 3.0 transformation are the creative activists, also referred to as creative society or tourists 3.0. The challenge is mainly expanding the network of mission driven activists and other like-minded contributors.

These kinds of tourists are more likely to be found in specific communities or social networks, for the conventional marketing channels are not likely to work. They are concerned about the impact of the tourism activity on the environment and the local communities, and are driven by the aim for contribution to make the world a better place, and for spiritual fulfillment above other motivations.

They are activists in the social media either criticizing the brands creating negative impacts on the society and the environment, or promoting brands concerned about positive impacts. Such networks are becoming the main and most trusted source of information for most consumers who increasingly trust other consumers rather than companies. It is through these social networks that consumers share their knowledge and are to share stories about the life-changing experiences offered in the destinations.

Unlike typical passive consumers, tourists 3.0 are willing to take an active role in their relationships with their favorite brands, through co-creation of products and marketing contents. They want to be active players in the brand’s marketing activities, mostly through the social media networks. They are the ones who hold the community’s trust, and so have the power to decide which brands are to be supported.

They are more motivated by self-actualization, which is what unleashes most of their creativity, and by giving them the opportunity to contribute in social and environmental issues the destination is targeting and appealing to their human spirit, their primary motivator. In the destination, they look for authentic experiences through which to develop new skills, learn about new realities, cultures, and ways of life, which open their mindset and ultimately change or influence their life.

Attracting, convincing and engaging them in the mission purpose turns them into brand ambassadors who spread the stories about the destination’s experiences, ultimately expanding the network of brand enthusiasts at no cost to the destination.

Another strategic target is that of the young generations, who may get engaged through special educational programs and game-playing activities. Furthermore, it is interesting to explore the many niches and segments of special interest travelers, characterized by a high educational level, sensitivity towards cultural and environmental issues, and high expenditure in the destination.

What percentage of the desired marketing impacts do you think we can expect from this type of brand ambassadors, compared to the impacts created through conventional marketing in mission driven destinations?

Business model innovationCollaborative business modelsCollaborative cultureCulture changeEnvironmental sustainability

Destination Marketing 3.0: Mission, Vision and goals

In Marketing 3.0 the mission is the main purpose of the destination development. This is to be defined by listening to and understanding the needs, concerns and aspirations of all stakeholders, starting with the local community leaders but without disregarding other potential stakeholders such as the communities of creative activists, who are to become the destination’s best brand ambassadors. Creating a mission often starts by thinking about small ideas that can make a big difference, and doing a Marketing Plan 3.0 gives an opportunity for reflection upon the mission definition, to make it more ambitious and attractive to the targeted mission driven stakeholders.

Such concerns and aspirations addressed by the mission are to be closely related to poverty alleviation at the base of the pyramid, protection of the natural environment through sustainable practices, and socio-cultural transformation towards more open and sensitive mindsets, changing the way people do things in their life, unlocking their human potential through skill development, and also fostering discovery of the fulfilling power of contribution to the greater good.

When a good mission is created it introduces a new perspective which ultimately is to transform the stakeholders’ lives, becoming a symbol within the community. Such a mission has to be spread through compelling and real stories that appeal to the targets’ human spirit, also empowering them to contribute in the activities aligned with the mission accomplishment. Their participation is crucial and they should feel responsible for fulfilling the mission.

The vision depicts how the destination and its stakeholders are to be transformed through the accomplishment of the mission, what the destination aspires to become and attain. The vision has to be the guiding force that motivates all stakeholders to contribute to the mission accomplishment and become brand ambassadors for the destination.

Marketing the mission and vision to the stakeholders is to be a critical step in the transformation, in order to engage them in the collaboration and innovation efforts, in view of a better future for the destination’s community. This is to be explained in the section about Internal Marketing.

Once the mission and vision are defined, they have to be turned into goals to better focus the strategies and efforts towards the mission accomplishment. Further, these goals have to be converted into a series of specific, measurable and time-bounded objectives which are to be the reference upon which performance is tracked throughout the implementation of the marketing plan.

Such goals and objectives are to be classified in many different areas of scope:

  • Mission goals and objectives, related to poverty alleviation, environment protection or socio-cultural transformation.
  • Business goals and objectives, related to financial performance and business model development.
  • Marketing goals and objectives, related to brand awareness, storytelling contribution and popularity, content delivery, merchandise sales, etc.

All these goals and objectives are to be used in the definition of the key performance indicators to track the success in the implementation process of the plan.

Which do you think will be the key success factors in defining the adequate Mission, Vision and Goals, beyond stakeholder participation?

Collaborative cultureCulture changeInnovative culture

The 7 credos of tourism 3.0

In Tourism 3.0, values are embedded in the core of the business models’ value proposition, attaining the maximum integration stage within the corporate strategy. Values are no longer a marketing tool to improve the brand image through philanthropy, but an essential component of the corporate mission. To better understand how values are integrated in the new business model generation, the 7 credos illustrate the values driven principles of Tourism 3.0.

  1. Love your stakeholders to convey mission engagement. The key success factor for accomplishing the mission is to deliver superior value conveying passion and enthusiasm to engage all stakeholders in the mission pursuit, making them brand ambassadors to further expand the network. It is by touching their emotions and human spirit that they are to become engaged with the brand mission.
  2. Become a change agent. Tourism 3.0 is about creating positive change through tourism activities. Such change is to be spread through change agents or leaders who tell stories about how change may be attained and set examples of the attitudes and values –initiative, fairness, generosity, etc. – that create trust and foster cultural change towards collaboration and innovation.
  3. Care about the brand integrity. Unlike in other tourism businesses, Tourism 3.0 places its mission accomplishment above short term profits, which engages stakeholders to deliver value superior to conventional business. Such engagement and motivation is the most valuable intangible asset of the business model, but is also very fragile. Therefore, caring about integrity is critical for success.
  4. Live and work with vision. Tourism 3.0 intends to attain ambitious goals over the long term, which requires patience and vision, resisting temptation of short term profitable alternatives which deviate from the vision and the mission. The vision is the guiding force that drives the stakeholders’ efforts towards the mission accomplishment, and so it has to be present in their daily lives.
  5. Be flexible and understanding. Even if the core of the destination models 3.0 is to be driven by mission oriented stakeholders, it is necessary to understand that not everybody is enthusiastic and passionate about it at least in the beginning. For many people it takes time to become engaged in some purpose that goes beyond their own convenience in the short term, and this is acceptable.
  6. Be ambitious and strive for self-improvement. Tourism destinations 3.0 strive for ambitious missions and goals, and so they need their stakeholders to be ambitious in their efforts in learning and developing new skills to the utmost of their potential, which ultimately benefits the competitiveness of the destination as they manage to improve the value delivered.
  7. Aim for contribution to the greater good. Along with the change agents and leaders, cultural change is fostered so long as individuals think beyond their own interests and focus their efforts and creativity on higher purposes related to community issues and mission accomplishment. Such efforts are to be embraced and rewarded by the open innovation system to nurture further motivation.

According to what you have read so far about Tourism 3.0, do you think there should be any other credo?