Tag: destination marketing

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

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/

Marketing 3.0Tourism marketing

Why Isn’t Anyone Supporting our City Brand?

In recent months I fielded calls from two frustrated CEO’s of DMOs, one in Australia and one in the USA with the same question, “why isn’t anyone supporting our new brand?” Both had launched their brands about 3 years ago and were finding that their DMO was the only organization making reference to the brand. Adding to their frustration was that local partners were continuing to dilute their city’s brand message by not focusing on what they considered to be their brand strengths.

It seems that both brands were originally created by agencies that only engaged a small number of stakeholders in the process. Additionally, the DMOs received nothing more than a logo, tagline and guidelines for correctly using the logo and visual identity. Of course these are important parts of the toolkit, but it takes much more than that.

Both locations are now refreshing the brands by developing more robust brand management tools and stakeholder engagement which include:

  • Product development and experience delivery sessions to gain their support of partners in bringing the brand to life;
  • Partner guidelines for creatively and correctly communicating and using the brand;
  • Brand education coaching for staff, partners and marketing vendors;
  • Outreach programs to engage, inform and energize partners to use the brand;
  • A comprehensive brand manual to aid current and future staff and partners.

The two DMOs I spoke to could have avoided their brand acceptance problems if their original processes had considered the need to generate stakeholder buy-in and support from the very start of the project. At the heart of the problem was the need to have been more alert to avoiding the narrow confines of considering their brand to being simply a logo and tagline. The reality is that successful place brands demand a highly consultative process and ultimately a comprehensive toolkit and outreach that will enable brand managers to rally the support of partners, stimulate the design of brand experiences and foster synergy from across the community.

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

Marketing 3.0storytellingTourism marketing

How to measure transmedia experiences

We’re delighted to be working with Eefje Op den Buysch, Head of the Fontys Transmedia Storytelling Lab and Hille van der Kaa, professor of the professorship of Media, Interaction and Narration at Fontys School of Applied Sciences in the exciting and much needed area of audience engagement as it applies to transmedia storytelling.

Below is Eefje & Hille’s “flyer” for their talk at the Conducttr Conference where they’ll be presenting their findings. Our plan is to incorporate this work into Conducttr so that we present a meaningful dashboard with actionable insights rather than a simple series of charts.

How do you measure transmedia? What metrics will help transmedia producers better understand, compare and contrast the impact of a transmedia story?

In this research we analyzed existing engagement models and added the insights of twelve leading transmedia experts in attempt to come closer to a final solution.

Measuring engagement means placing audience size into a broader context of how the transmedia production is actually performing. Stakeholders in the production get to see where, how and when fan engage so that refinements can be made.

In this research we choose to focus on the goals of the storyteller.

We propose a model that can be used to create and give direction to a transmedia production team of writers and performers. Twelve leading transmedia experts evaluated this so-called ‘Toggle Switch’ model.

Toggle Switch Model

We see three important aspects of a transmedia production:

  • the storyworld
  • the individual audience member’s behavior in comparison to others
  • the experience of the storyworld at various stages of the audience journey.

Audience members who interact with the world are considered to be engaged users. By tracking the behavior of individual users we can map how they discover the world and how they interact with it over time: each time a user touches something in the storyworld, we record it. By listing all these ‘points of interaction’ and structuring them into chapters, scenes and beats, we can track the journey and hotspots of engagement for individual users as they progress through the story.

The key benefit of our conceptual model is that the behavior of an individual user can be compared to others. In doing so, we can interpret the relative engagement of an individual user compared to others (as a ratio) at certain points of interaction (touchpoints, chapters, scenes, beats). By tracking the user journey the storyteller gets actionable insights on the behavior of that individual, but also on the behavior of groups of users.

Evaluating Toggle Switch Model

We asked twelve leading experts to evaluate the clarity, completeness, affectivity, applicability and benefit of our model.  Amongst them are Sam Ford (Peppercomm, New York, NY), Dr. Pamela Rutledge (Media Psychology Research Center, Boston, MA), Bart Robben (Elastique, Hilversum, NL), Egbert van Wyngaarden (Transmedia Desk, Munich, DE) and Soraia Ferreira (UT Austin, Porto, PT)

Participants found our model interesting, allowing the ability to track both individual and overall journeys and providing the opportunity to adjust the strategy during the campaign. But they were doubtful that this model could measure real emotions. Based on the insights of our expert panel, we have improved our model and we are excited to share these results at the Conductrr Conference.

We aim to present an engagement model that can be easily integrated in the daily activities of a transmedia storyteller.

About this research

This research is conducted by Eefje Op den Buysch, Head of the Fontys Transmedia Storytelling Lab and Hille van der Kaa, professor of the professorship of Media, Interaction and Narration at Fontys School of Applied Sciences. 15 students at the Fontys Transmedia Storytelling lab run the interviews.

Fontys’ Transmedia Storytelling Lab was designed for the research and development of transmedia productions and their value in the digital age. The professorship of Media, Interaction and Narration aims to develop innovative media concepts. It puts focus on the influence of technology on storytelling.

Check out the PDF here

“This model is designed to be able to track individuals and in what way each person travels through the narrative world… It gives storytellers the possibility to understand which particular parts of the story serve the right purpose.” – Sam Ford

“It is a very clear way of starting to break down the transmedia experience. By looking at ways of measuring these multiple threads of behavior to try and make sense out of them in a hole.”– Dr. Pamela Rutledge 

 This blogpost is from http://www.tstoryteller.com/how-to-measure-transmedia-experiences

Marketing 3.0Tourism marketing

5 recommendable Destination Branding Books

The role of PlaceBrandObserver.com is to build bridges between place branding thinkers, shakers and doers, and to provide useful information, research insights and examples of credible, authentic place brands and responsible, sustainable branding, promotion and positioning of cities, regions, countries, nations, and destinations. In a nutshell they’re a great source of information on place branding. They make an annual list with books recommended by place brand experts in PBO interviews.

The books they listed are:

Top 1: Rethinking Place Branding: Comprehensive Brand Development for Cities and Regions. Edited by Mihalis Kavaratzis, Gary Warnaby, Gregory Ashworth (2014, Springer)

Top 2: Nation Branding, Concepts, Issue and Practice, Edited by Keith Dinnie (2nd Edition, 2015, Routledge)

Top 3: Destination Branding for Small Cities, By Bill Baker (2012, Creative Leap Books)

Top 4: Places: Identity, Image and Reputation, by Simon Anholt (2009, Palgrave MacMillan)

Top 5: Marketing Places, By Philip Kotler, Ronald Haider, Irving Rein (2002, Free Press)

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

Marketing 3.0Tourism marketing

Amplify Your Roar: Leverage Social Media to Market Your Destination

In this generation, social media is more important than ever, especially for tourism marketing. People are spending over four times more time on Facebook than Google – today there are about 1.3 billion people on Facebook. Is Facebook really useful for businesses? Let this number convince you – 52% of businesses have acquired customers through Facebook. That’s a lot of potential for the tourism industry.

Needless to say, social media can be your destination’s magic megaphone. But do you know how to use it well? Here are some questions to ask yourself as you endeavor to amplify your roar.

Are You Connecting With People? No, Really Connecting?

A billboard does not listen. People listen. This is where social media differs from traditional marketing- as you can (and should) be interacting with your audience directly. Ask questions. Make it interactive. Reply to comments.

Another exciting thing about social media marketing is the way in which even one individual’s Likes, Shares, Comments, Tweets, Friends, or Tags are able to increase your visibility, diverting more and more eyes to you.

Are You Developing the Right Content?

60% of the sales process is over before a prospective buyer ever talks to a salesman or begins the process. What does that mean? It means that almost every single visitor will make a majority of their decision through online research before anything else. You want to create content that supports them in that online research phase.

So be sure to evaluate your content. Have you thought about keywords? How is the quality of your images? Are you providing a diverse enough array of multimedia content? What are you offering and are you communicating it in an appealing way? These are important thoughts to take into consideration.

Are You On the Right Platform?

It is also important to know where to roar.  Find out who your target audience is, and where they spend their time in the online world. They could be on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, or maybe even all of the above. There is more to social media than Facebook and one of the best ways to amplify your roar is to increase your reach through these different, targeted social media platforms.

Are You Showcasing Personality?

Social media also offers you a unique opportunity to be human. Nobody wants to talk to a salesman who is constantly pitching; they want to build relationships with real people. The same principle applies when it comes to creating brand loyalty, trust and eventually sales. Don’t be afraid to show a little bit of humor and personality in your social media marketing strategy. Be relevant, not robotic. If visitors to your social media site are having fun, they will want to have fun at your actual physical site too.

What Does Your Unique Roar Sound Like?

Every destination, including yours, has something unique to offer. So there’s no need to spend all your time trying to imitate somebody else’s roar.

A destination assessment can go a long way in identifying your hidden gems and how to best conserve them. Many destinations have a diverse array of brilliant tourism products which have been overlooked. You want to be able to spot these with destination assessments and to also tailor social media marketing strategies to showcasing your best colors. Some projects in Rwanda, Namibia and the U.S. Gulf Coast, for example, have been integral in doing that: maximizing an active audience of followers, generating stunning branding content and increasing revenue by presenting destinations at the very peak of their potential.

With unlimited online space, the opportunities to multiply your untapped audience are limitless. Take the right steps with social media and you could have the loudest roar of all.

This blog post is from www.solimarinternational.com/resources-page/blog/itemlist/tag/Destination%20Assessment

StrategyTourism marketing

How to Avoid Being Anytown, USA: Part Three

There are many reasons why even well-meaning cities can end up being bland and uninteresting. The most common causes are that they lack bold vision, belief in themselves and don’t have a focus on their distinctive points of difference. On many occasions it’s because they try to be all things to all people and lack the will to stand for one thing around which they can build a competitive advantage. They may also be neglecting their natural, heritage or cultural assets. To get beyond this state takes vision, some good old-fashioned guts and stop trying to please and appease local interest groups.

Great place brands thrive when there is a touch of tension derived from making a stand around a singular brand concept that resonates strongly with customers and that competitors can’t easily match. It may sound simple, but achieving this takes courage, leadership and imagination – and a great amount of selfless teamwork.

Dare to be Different

To avoid the Anytown, USA syndrome a city cannot present itself as all things to all people, or claim that they “have it all” or are “the center of it all”. These platitudes simply dilute any competitive edge and the city ends standing for nothing and being a weak imitation of other places.

We rarely conduct a Brand Retreat or focus group for a community when someone doesn’t say, “This is the best place to live, work and play”. Further, many residents advocate that it should be the city tagline.

While researching for “Destination Branding for Small Cities” I Googled the term, “a great place to live, work and play” and variations thereof. I found over 4 million results. So if you are considering joining the masses in building a community brand based on being “a great place to live, work and play”, you have simply identified an entry level ticket to play the game. There are tens of thousands of places in the USA and even more around the world that can match that claim. You simply have to dig deeper to uncover the heart and soul of your city and what will help it stand out and be valued.

It is easy for residents to overlook the appearance of their streets, the absence of trees, the poor lighting, trash and bad signage that may have evolved over the years. Visitors, however, are much less forgiving. When attention has been paid to the aesthetics of a place, including preserving or enhancing its natural qualities and environments, the city gains the reputation as a “special place” or a “fun place to hangout”, and this goes a long way toward supporting its brand identity.

City Image Boosts Economic Development

Tourism is now one of the key drivers of the American economy. It’s a leading employer in communities across the country, and a highly efficient revenue generator for state and local governments. States and cities are increasingly treating their travel promotion budgets like strategic investments that will be rewarded with more visitors, more jobs and higher tax revenues. But gaining these rewards means not being seen as Anytown, USA.

When city leaders recognize that there is a direct link between their city’s image and reputation and its attractiveness as a place to visit, live, and invest it is off to a good start. If a city isn’t attracting more income, talented people, new residents and investment then it is slowly dying.

A 2015 landmark study by Oxford Economics analyzed the tourism performance of more than 200 U.S. cities over 23 years and found widespread economic benefits from those actively promoting tourism. The study clearly showed a direct link between marketing expenditure of destination marketing organizations (DMOs) and long-term economic growth.

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

Marketing 3.0StrategyTourism marketing

How to Avoid Being Anytown, USA: Part Two

We are living in the most competitive time in history, where cities of all sizes find themselves competing more fiercely for relevance, respect and reputation. In the USA alone there are approximately 20,000 incorporated cities, 3,400 counties, and myriad downtowns and suburbs clamoring for attention. Many are trying to compete with an image that is out of date, bland or inaccurate. These images, whether accurate or not are the reality for people who may be searching for a place to visit, live, or invest.

The biggest challenge facing many places is taking control of their identity and reputation which may have been unmanaged for a long time. Without a clear vision or a place branding strategy, a city may bounce from one set of messages to another without considering what the place should be known for.

Place branding involves much more than a new logo and snappy slogan. It should provide a framework and toolkit for differentiating, communicating and focusing the location’s competitive and distinctive identity.  It must be grounded in truth and reality, and not wishful thinking and hype. This means that what cities are promising must be met or exceeded when people are actually experiencing the place. Ambitious places wanting to avoid being Anytown, USA should first resolve a few basic questions:

  1. What do we want to be known for?
  2. How can we stand out from the crowd and be more competitive?
  3. What thoughts and feelings do we want to come to mind when people are exposed to our name?
  4. How can we build and preserve our heritage and authenticity?

Great Leaders Lead to Great Places

Many communities are becoming increasingly conscious of the need to proactively shape and influence what the world thinks of them and not allow inaction, the media or competitors to define who they are. They must resist developers and corporations far removed from their communities who would like to plant their cookie cutter designs and architecture in their towns. An important starting point is for city leaders to recognize that there is a direct link between the city’s distinctive image, respect and reputation and its attractiveness as a place to visit, live, invest, and study.

An even greater realization for some is that inaction is not a viable option if they genuinely want to display their distinctive character and improve local prosperity. Unfortunately, while many cities and regions are attempting to avoid Anytown USA status, many simply settle for cookie cutter architecture, a new logo and new design for their website.  They totally miss the transformative power of differentiation through branding.

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

StrategyTourism marketing

The Basics of Integrated Marketing Programs

An integrated marketing program in the travel trade is a comprehensive marketing solution specifically designed to ensure that all messaging and communications are unified across all channels and strategically focused to attract the customer- travelers.

It is a concept based on the principles of inbound marketing: providing valuable content to highly targeted consumers, which attracts and engages them, moving them down the funnel towards buying your services, product or in our case- a destination. This way, businesses and destinations spend their valuable resources in the most productive way, and consumers are delighted by content relevant to their interests.

There are seven essential steps to creating a great integrated marketing program. Through these steps, your business will be able to develop and maintain a simple yet productive integrated marketing campaign. They are:

  1. Marketing Strategy – After a thorough analysis of the business or destination’s features and attraction, an integrated marketing strategy must be developed. The strategy will serve as a road map for the implementation of an integrated marketing program—and should be tailored to your product’s needs. The strategy should integrate social media, search engine optimization, blogging, content and lead nurturing, public relations and trade relations.
  2. Brand Analysis – Prior to implementing any integrated campaigns, a specific brand or logo should be developed in order to improve your look and focus your message.
  3. Website and Content Development – Once a consumer finds your website, the goal is to make it so captivating that they want to stay on the site, engage in your content, and share it with others. To do this, both content and a schedule for posting it should be generated.
  4. Social Media Strategy and Blogging – Social media gives you a place to talk to your consumers before they travel, while they travel, and after they have returned. This includes social networks, blogs, micro-blogging sites, and third party sites. It is important to determine the best channels to use for your target markets, and what content to post.
  5. Creative Campaigns – With all pieces of your marketing foundation in place, now is the time to develop and implement creative campaigns and sweepstakes designed to draw visitors to both your site and social media platforms, while synchronizing your marketing message and brand value for maximum effectiveness.
  6. PR/Media Outreach Strategy – In creating a PR/Media strategy, it is important to employ simple but effective monitoring tools to allow you to identify influencers in your market. Then you can “listen” to the conversations taking place online, join ongoing conversations, build trust, and demonstrate expertise. It is critical to develop a database of contacts and design effective outreach campaigns to reach local and national media, relevant bloggers, guidebooks, and sales intermediaries.
  7. Trade Distribution Strategy – If you work with business to business (B2B) sales, it is most effective to take your relationships online by developing a dynamic database that tracks all communication with trade partners; from the initial email/call, to in-person meetings at trade shows, and shares on social media sites by each partner. Having a detailed record of your communication history with your partners helps you strengthen your business relationships.

In sum, integrated marketing programs provide an effective and streamlined solution to marketing, which is thus more productive for both the businesses and the consumers. They create a pleasant marketing/consumption experience, ultimately leading to more concrete results for businesses.

This blog post is from www.solimarinternational.com/resources-page/blog/itemlist/tag/Integrated%20Marketing%20Program