Category: Co-creation

Co-creationMarketing 3.0StrategyTourism marketingTourism trends

Cross-destination competitiveness programs: enhancing marketing

Route partnering with neighbor destinations. Regardless of whether nearby destinations are within the same country or not, for some tourism sectors such as International touring or Fly & drive, marketing an attractive route encompassing a selection of interesting destinations is likely to be far more efficient and effective than marketing these destinations independently. Further, it makes the product far more competitive.

This partnership may be also attractive for some types of Special Interest travel, especially in the case of the long haul markets, whose tourists are more likely to do long routes once they land at the destination. The sum of Special interest attractions of the same kind within a route makes it an attractive product to justify a trip for many of these long-haul travelers. This is also an opportunity to develop new products for many destinations in the same area, making it a win-win development project.

Therefore it is convenient to explore partnership agreements with neighbor destinations which are suitable for adding value to the final product, so as to share marketing costs while creating a more attractive product. Even if many tour operators create these routes themselves, the marketing activities not only directed to tour operators (fam-trips, workshops, etc.), but also to the final client, are likely to increase the results of the marketing efforts.

New flight connections. A key program to develop is connecting the destination with all target markets, by all possible means, but mostly focusing on flight connections. Accessibility is a key factor for competitiveness, and so enhancing the capacity and the competition among transport operators benefits also the destination competitiveness.

Attracting new flight connections is not at all an easy challenge. First, and most importantly, the destination has to arouse sufficient demand to make the airline operator identify a business opportunity. To do so –whenever the destination is also an outbound market for the other- it is convenient to join efforts with the other destination’s DMO and Government in order to boost demand to clearly creating a profitable opportunity.

The Government and DMO should share with the airline operator the Tourism development plan, to build confidence and make them envision the business growth they can take advantage of, highlighting the marketing activities planned for their market. It is important to highlight that the intervention of the Government executives is very recommended, even in the cases when it is not strictly necessary, so as to build trust from the very beginning.

Destination App. Apart from the tourist information offices and guides, modern tourists like to have all or most of the information in their smartphone. Apps provide excellent information services, being able to provide tailored information on demand, high quality pictures and videos, downloadable maps, and many other features.

In the case of Tourism 3.0, Apps may be also a tool to foster tourist contribution to the content marketing system and product co-creation. Apps can operate like a channel through which the tourist provides service reviews and ratings, creative reviews about products, pictures, videos and text based stories, etc. It is important to point out that the destination should count on many free wifi areas to empower the Apps in providing all the possible services and up to date information.

Finally, Apps may also be a sales channel, providing access to the destination branded souvenirs online store, booking service, and also offering special deals near the location of the tourist through the geolocalization technology. Altogether, it is a very powerful tool, which is actually likely to become the main information supplier and the main channel to connect tourists with the destination operators. Closely related to the App services, the new technologies for augmented reality should also be included to provide a higher experiential value to the tourists through their mobile devices.

Which other programs would you consider to enhance the destination marketing?

Business model innovationCo-creationCollaborative business modelsEnvironmental sustainabilityInnovation

Story innovation concepts: added value & crowd game driven experiences

Beyond the explained details of the four prototypes, there may be many other added value experiences to support the main one in fostering its popularity and conveying new contributions both in virtual and real world platforms. Some of these story related experiences could be video games (in the case of the prototypes 3 and 4 the video game is an essential component), comic based stories, theater plays, board games, movies, spin-off stories, merchandise products, etc. This is actually what film series such as Harry Potter, Star Wars or Lord of the rings have done to some extent, trying to satisfy the desires of their followers for more story related experiences.

With regards to the crowd game driven experiences, the environmental challenges would be driven by volunteers, usually entailing some kind of field work to achieve a certain goal in relation with the environment protection in the form of a game driven experience to make it more fun and stimulating. In the case of the creativity & cooperation challenge, it would be driven by contributors willing to prove their creative skills, in the form of a game driven experience where participants also have to prove teamwork capacity by solving one or more innovation challenges related with the mission purpose, which also serves as an educational experience in collaborative innovation. Finally, the educational fun experience is for tourists willing to entertain while taking away some significant learning outcomes related to skill development or social consciousness, for instance.

In the case of contributors in creativity & cooperation challenges and also in the case of story making contributors, there should be a system that not only facilitates but also rewards contributors based on a reputation and incentive system, in order to stimulate talented followers to bring in their passion and imagination to build the story world. This is not only crowd sourcing but also providing the audience members an opportunity to live a life-changing experience by exploiting their skills. The Whitepaper “Envisioning Open innovation in destinations” is to further develop the idea of the incentive and reputation system for contributors.

Do you envision other story innovation concepts to enhance the aforementioned ideas or to inspire new story based experiences?

Business model innovationCo-creationInnovationMarketing 3.0Open innovation

Story innovation concepts: story platform

A key idea to understanding the aforementioned prototypes is that of the story platform. In this concept there is one principal author who drafts the main guidelines of the story, like the location, the value proposition, a basic plot, and some of the main characters. This could also be called the story backbone or the story constraints.

 Taking this platform story as a starting point, the free contributors –working individually or in groups- may create their version of the story by filling all the gaps that the backbone leaves to develop the contributors’ imagination, adding new characters and sub-stories that shape its uniqueness. As a result, there end up being many different stories with a common purpose related to the mission for which tourism is being developed in the destination. This is the case of prototype 2.

In the case of prototypes 3 and 4, there would also be a platform story with constraints and pre-determined ingredients. But the difference is that they are game driven experiences applicable to many kinds of missions that are created to draw flows of contributors, volunteers or tourists in taking real action in benefit of the mission purpose.

 Further, in these cases the roles of the participants are all pre-determined and every individual decides what type of role he or she wants to play in the story, with freedom to develop the role with his or her skills, ideas and knowledge.

Do you envision other types of story platform to develop story based experiences?

Business model innovationCo-creationCollaborative business modelsInnovationMarketing 3.0

Destination story based experience prototypes

Needless to say that many more possibilities for each variable may be envisioned, but these are just some examples to help the reader understand the innovation method. Based on these ideas, we have drafted four story driven prototype experiences to illustrate the type of result that the innovation method may produce.

  1. Personal awareness & Spiritual development journey, in line with pilgrimages and similar experiences. This is usually a journey that is carried out alone as of a process of self-reflection and discovery. The role of the protagonist is that of a tourist, so long as he or she is the only beneficiary of the experience, and may encompass both walking routes and static setting stays. In this case, the tourist is to write the story at the end of the experience, ideally with the support of a training workshop, but the protagonist should work on drafting the story from the beginning of the experience. The goals of writing the story are completing the self-awareness and discovery experience, and to inspire others in living their own transformational experience.
  1. Story driven development of a theme route, as in the cases where some novels or films have inspired the development of tourism routes for the fans of the story. This would consist of a story contest launched by the destination management organization (DMO) based on some constraints or even a story backbone. In any case, the story has to be developed based on the destination as the story platform. The contest should be open to both individual creations and group co-creations. At this point, many formulas could be envisioned to encourage the contribution of as many people as possible. The value proposition of the story driven experience should be in line with the tourism 3.0 principles, which means that it should have at least an educational or cultural transformation goal, without disregarding the fun or entertaining value.
  1. Crowd gaming ongoing experience consists of an ongoing story driven experience that takes place in a certain setting without a time limit. This experience takes the form of a mission driven game or challenge, and so the mission accomplishment is what keeps on driving the development of the story game. There is no foreseen end, as long as the mission is not fully accomplished. Such story would work like an MMO game where everybody is entitled to participate both in the virtual and the real world platform in the destination. The location could be any type of destination and the protagonists could either play the role of tourists, volunteers or contributors, depending on the type of challenge: educational fun for tourists, environmental protection challenge for volunteers, and creativity & cooperation challenge for contributors. In this story driven experience, the story plays the role of drawing tourists, volunteers or contributors to the story making and to visit the destination to participate in the real world experience.
  1. Crowd gaming event consists of a crowd sourced game driven story that is played like an MMO game with some real world experience along the story, but especially at the end of it. The events could take place in almost any type of location, including cities, nature settings, cultural destinations or theme parks –for instance- depending on the ultimate purpose and nature of the real-world experience. Such purpose could be for an environment protection challenge, creativity & cooperation challenge, or an educational fun experience. As in the case of the Crowd gaming ongoing event, the role of the protagonist is related to the purpose of the experience, and so could be a volunteer, contributor or tourist. In this type of story-driven experience, the story also plays the role of drawing attention, participation and contribution of individuals in the co-creation of the story, the contribution related to the purpose and in visiting the destination when the event takes place.

Out of the innovation parameters explained in the previous post, do you envision other story based experiences?

Business model innovationCo-creationInnovationMarketing 3.0Open innovation

Story innovation framework and guidelines

Based on the trends mentioned in previous posts, we have envisioned some innovation guidelines to integrate storytelling with real world tourism experiences. To do so, we have identified seven variables that define each of these story-driven tourism experiences. By playing with different combinations of values for each variable, we can develop an innovation method.

Type of experience refers to the variables that shape the way the experience is delivered, such as individual or group activity, ongoing availability or scheduled availability (the case of events), location based or route based, game based or journey based, etc. In this regard, there have been envisioned four main types of experiences:

  • Walking route, to be experienced by oneself or in group
  • Stay in a location, to be experienced by oneself or in group
  • Crowd gaming event
  • Crowd gaming ongoing experience (24/7)

Type of story authorship refers to how many people have contributed to the creation of the story. In this regard, there have been envisioned three main types of authorship:

  • Individual
  • Group co-creation, referring to a limited group of people
  • Crowd co-creation, referring to a story where everybody is entitled to bring in their ideas

Type of location refers to the kind of setting where the experience is to be delivered. In this regard, there have been envisioned five main types of settings:

  • Theme park or resort
  • City
  • Nature setting
  • Cultural or Theme route
  • Cultural destination (other than a city)

Type of value proposition refers to the core of the experience, its aim and its value. In this regard, there have been envisioned four main types of value proposition:

  • Environment protection challenge or rally
  • Educational fun
  • Creativity and cooperation challenge or rally
  • Personal development and awareness journey

Role of the protagonist refers to the type of role developed by the person who is to live the experience. In this regard, there have been envisioned four main types of roles:

  • Tourist
  • Volunteer
  • Contributor
  • Brand ambassador

Type of story creation refers to the creation process of the story, in line with the aforementioned trends. In this regard, there have been envisioned four main types of story creation process:

  • Contest and crowd or group co-creation based on backbone story, with location and value proposition constraints
  • The author writes the story at the end of the experience, with the support of a storytelling training workshop, though he or she drafts the story for as long as the experience takes place.
  • The story-game is co-created in digital platform –like an MMO game- and the real-world experience takes place when the virtual story-game is already advanced or right at the end.
  • Ongoing open co-creation by the crowd contribution –under established rules- both online and on the real site, like a never ending MMO game that takes place simultaneously in the real and virtual space.

Role of the story refers to the relationship between the story and the experience, in terms of cause-effect and temporary sequence. In this regard, there have been envisioned four main types of story role:

  • Inspire the development of a new tourism experience or product, like a themed route
  • Draw a crowd to drive an MMO game based challenge that ends with a real world event
  • Tell the personal journey experienced in relation to an existing tourism product
  • Draw audience to follow a story driven game or challenge, learn from it, and inspire them to live their related on-site experience and contribute to the story building

Would you consider any other story innovation parameter to this method framework?

Co-creationMarketing 3.0Tourism marketing

The Marketing Plan 3.0: product development tactics

In improving and developing new products, Marketing 3.0 introduces cooperative contribution from stakeholders through co-creation. The tactics’ challenge is therefore to stimulate and facilitate contribution, and to educate in new co-creation methods. There is a huge potential in leveraging the stakeholders’ collective intelligence. Some of these could be:

  • Contests are key activities not only to create stories, but also to create graphic designs for merchandise products and life-changing experiences to be developed as tourism products.
  • Workshops are the best way to train contributors on how to develop product through co-creation. It is also a way to foster networking and collaboration among contributors.
  • Creative reviews consist of encouraging tourists not only to give a review of their experience but also to bring in ideas on how this could be improved, rewarding the most creative and useful ones.
  • Survey on site to evaluate the tourists’ satisfaction, complaints and ideas for improvement. This could be a way to identify and recruit creative contributors for the open innovation system.
  • Benchmarking is a very effective way to learn the best practices and get new ideas. This may be done through the internet, or on site when searching for richer information.

What other tactics would you consider?

Co-creationMarketing 3.0StrategyStrategy planning & executionTourism marketing

The Marketing Plan 3.0 Product strategy: developing life-changing experiences

The life-changing experiences are what sets the destination apart from others and somehow the main reason why the destination is to become popular through the stories. Along with the marketing contents, the life-changing experiences are developed through co-creation between local suppliers and creative stakeholders within the open innovation system.

Taking the value proposition and mission statement as the inspirational mantras, along with some reference benchmarks, the product innovation challenge is about leveraging the stakeholder imagination by stimulating contribution permanently, through creative reviews right after the experience and also through product development contests and co-creation workshops.

There has to be a Product Manager in charge of organizing these events and supervising the developed ideas to assess their feasibility and adequacy, and eventually to put them into practice.

Out of the aforementioned events, innovation is constantly encouraged by rewarding well elaborated ideas and customer reviews bringing in ideas on how the experiences could be improved. Furthermore, the proposed experiences are flexible and customizable for every client, hence generating a wider variety of stories and ideas for product development.

Would you consider other strategies to develop life-changing experiences?

Co-creationMarketing 3.0StrategyStrategy planning & executionTourism marketing

The Marketing Plan 3.0: Content strategy development stages

As the Content Marketing Institute defines, “content marketing is the marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience, with the objective of driving profitable customer action”. The marketing contents are created and delivered to educate, inspire, entertain and ultimately to motivate sharing, interaction and engagement with the brand’s marketing activities and its mission purpose. In destination marketing 3.0, the content marketing encompasses not only images, text, audio and video, but also graphic designs to be used for branded merchandise products.

The content system has three development stages:

In the first stage, along with some professional writers employed for these purposes, the priority is to engage the industry influencers who are more likely to contribute in content creation for their expertise in doing so: bloggers, journalists, travel industry leaders, NPO leaders, etc.  It’s time to leverage the most skilled and influential stakeholders to start developing the content creation and storytelling virtuous circle. As these are often busy professionals, sometimes it may suffice to have a partial contribution within a piece of content, as long as they feel it is their own creation, so as to deliver it to their follower audience with their signature, guaranteeing a broad readership.

In a second stage, the circle of contributors should expand encompassing the corporate employees outside the marketing team and the most committed community members. Through storytelling training courses, all these non-professional but potentially skilled writers and storytellers are to develop confidence and skills to eventually become talented contributors. In this stage, there could be schools included whose teachers are interested in developing these skills in their students, along with the motivation for the mission driven purpose. In this stage, there should be also included the co-marketing partnerships, consisting of a content delivery exchange with other mission driven partners, as long as both partners’ contents are relevant to both sets of audiences.

In the third stage, the network of contributors is to reach all kinds of profiles, and the content marketing system starts fuelling itself through the aforementioned creative activists who eventually take control of the brand. In this stage, the destination executives role is no longer about pushing stakeholders to convince them to contribute, but mostly about tracking the results and managing the operational system to streamline and develop communication and sales tactics. In this point, it is necessary to remark on the importance of following the conversations about the brand, the mission accomplishment and the stories, and prepare a strategy for managing crisis in case some issues threaten to damage the brand’s reputation.

These development phases are closely related to the network development strategies explained in the “Network development” section, where the specific strategies to engage every profile are explained.

Would you add other stages or include any relevant point in these three?

Co-creationCulture changeInnovationMarketing 3.0Strategy

Destination Models 3.0: Development strategies (III)

Transitioning to content based marketing

As it takes a certain time for the open innovation system to become a productive content marketing machine, it is necessary to use other marketing strategies along the early stages of the destination model development. These would mainly consist on the following:

  • Partnering with Special Interest tour-operators and travel agents connected to a network of values driven travellers, to become our first brand ambassadors.
  • Invite popular bloggers and journalists to write about the destination’s experiences and stories.
  • Advertising in target related media, co-branding with our channel partners.

In parallel with these marketing strategies, it is necessary to start spotting existing stories to be used for marketing purposes. As many stories are already in the minds of the locals or even written, there has to be carried out some research to identify them. Further, the storytelling  training is also expected to empower and motivate locals to tell their stories and create new ones.

So long as the storytelling facilitation and the content creation contests generate an increasing amount of marketable content, and this manage to create awareness about the destination’s brand and its life-changing experiences, the platform could start reducing the budget for the aforementioned marketing programs, eventually concentrating all the marketing efforts on the “content marketing system”.

Such transition requires accurate monitoring of the social media impact of the stories in contrast with the impact of the other marketing programs. Based upon the results of such tracking, the platform’s marketing executives should decide whether to accelerate or not the transition towards the storytelling system. For such purpose, the marketing plan should have a series of key performance marketing metrics to help the executives visualize the impact of every marketing program.

Therefore, the marketing plan has to be flexible, with marketing goals determining the turning points when to shift the budget allocation from conventional to storytelling marketing.

Would you consider any strategy to accelerate the transition to content based marketing?

Co-creationCollaborative business modelsIntelligenceIntelligence methodsMarketing 3.0

Destination Marketing 3.0: Mobile Apps 3.0

As an essential tool for empowering tourists to contribute and participate in the collaborative marketing system, the Mobile Apps 3.0 would enable tourists to write reviews and rate immediately after the experience, vote and participate in content creation contests, make bookings and search for information about the destination.

The Mobile App 3.0 would not only be a supporting tool for the communication between the tourist and the destination, but also a tool to encourage tourists to become co-creators of the destination experience and to engage them in the mission accomplishment. Other functions of the Mobile App could be augmented reality features, geo-localization, video & photo uploading, map download, nearby deal pop-up service, etc.

This is to be developed for DMOs only, to take profit of the investment being supported by many stakeholders, and to offer the tourist a comprehensive service.

What kind of obstacles do you envision to make the Mobile Apps 3.0 an effective tool?