Tag: human spirit marketing

StrategyStrategy planning & executionSustainability

Developing destination’s spiritual value

The programs or actions to neutralize or reduce the negative impacts of the tourism activity are nearly or exactly the same ones that eventually manage to create positive impacts. In most cases, it is just a matter of the initial state of the destination and the intensity and ambition of the program what makes the difference between neutralizing or reducing negative impacts, and creating positive ones. Such impacts may correspond to three different spheres of influence: social, economic and environmental impacts. The main factors that create spiritual value in a destination are the following:

  • Fostering entrepreneurship at the base of the pyramid and training the poorer layers of the local community to integrate in the labor market not only reduces poverty but also enhances social cohesion, and creates a spirit of social harmony as a result of the integration of these groups of people in the community. This is very likely to be perceived by the visitors and appreciated by their human spirit.
  • Encouraging community members to contribute through the open innovation system in creating stories, co-creating products and bringing in ideas to enhance competitiveness is also a powerful social impact generator. Leveraging people’s talents, rewarding and giving them recognition for their contribution makes them feel like valuable protagonists within the tourism industry system, and helps them grow personally, eventually shifting their attitude towards tourists, being more hospitable and helping them have a memorable experience.
  • Preserving the natural environment and fostering the growth of the local endemic species helps the destination boost its uniqueness and character. Creating green spaces both in the public and private areas with typically local trees, plants and flowers conveys a spirit of healthy environment. Furthermore, in the cases where there are typically local animal species, it is also good to make them be part of the destination experience. Both lush animal and vegetable life provide positive impacts to the visitors’ human spirit.
  • Enhancing the attractiveness of the destination also makes it a pleasant living place for its inhabitants. Improving cleanliness, heritage restoration, developing cultural entertainment –events, museums, etc.-, creating green spaces, clearing pollution, making the urban areas more human friendly, harmonizing urban aesthetics and enhancing other aspects of the landscape are appealing to all community stakeholders.
  • Boosting economic development and wealth creation is one of the main goals of tourism development. The tourism 3.0 approach intends to spread the generation of wealth among all types of stakeholders. A clear indicator of success is therefore the increase of disposable income throughout all layers of society. The extent to which the destination collaborative model expands is one of the main key success factors to make it happen.

The key idea behind the creation of spiritual value is the balanced development and shared growth, considering tourism businesses, employees and micro-entrepreneurs, local inhabitants not related to the tourism activity, non-tourism businesses, and the cultural and natural heritage. Tourism development should be a win-win activity for all elements that are part of the destination life to make it appealing to the visitors’ human spirit.

Do you think of other factors which contribute to create spiritual value?

Business model innovationCollaborative business modelsCulture changeMarketing 3.0Strategy

The Marketing Plan 3.0: selling the vision to community stakeholders

The challenge of engaging the local community stakeholders requires its own marketing plan, usually known as internal marketing plan. This should be focused on the target stakeholders aimed at attracting in the first phase, encompassing the key partners and the local community. The Plan’s goals are to explain the vision, mission and the value propositions of the Destination Marketing Plan 3.0, encompassing the community related issues to be addressed through the destination development, the sociocultural transformation through life-changing experiences and the values that have to drive the organizational standards of behavior and the stakeholder community.

The Plan should distinguish between the different target audiences to assess convenience for targeted communication strategies. For instance, the professional audience and target partners may require a business oriented presentation, whereas for the bulk of the community members the presentation would be rather storytelling oriented.

Considering that many of the key partners and community leaders have been engaged since the mission definition, most of the effort should be focused on the local community members who have not yet been engaged with the project. For such purpose it is convenient to explain to them the project vision through a compelling story that connects first with their emotions and human spirit, to awaken interest for a deeper understanding of the marketing system.

Once these community members are interested, it is necessary to explain to them the operational functioning for them as potential contributors, and a series of communication tools should be developed to help them understand what their contribution experience is likely to be about. Such communication tools could be brochures, CD with video showcasing contributor’s fiction stories, web-based interactive presentation, social media based forums to solve queries, customer service hotline, etc. Finally, co-creation and storytelling workshops should be organized to empower potential contributors to participate in a first content creation contest with prizes for contributions in many categories so as to reward all valuable contributors proportionally and boost engagement.

To make a compelling story for this purpose it is convenient to use one main character similar to the audience profiles as the protagonist. Such a character should have similar problems, needs, concerns, fears and aspirations as most local community members, to allow them to identify with him or her and connect with the story. Then, the story shows the character finding out how the new destination model addresses all their needs and concerns, and how the open innovation system gives them an opportunity to contribute, showcase their skills and gain social reputation.

What other points would you consider when drafting the internal marketing strategy?

Marketing 3.0StrategyStrategy planning & executionTourism marketing

The Marketing Plan 3.0: Social media strategy for Facebook

Facebook is used by 90% of B2C marketers and 80% of B2B marketers, for it is suitable for all types of targets. This is likely to be the first platform to develop, for its suitability for all targets, its reach, the many kinds of contents it may convey, and the many kinds of activities it may hold (contests, sweepstakes, polls, etc.).

Once created the brand Facebook fan page, a specific strategy plan has to be crafted explaining the audience segments it wants to reach, the type of contents it wants to work with, the types of conversion or target roles it wants the audience to take through the content’s call to action and measurable marketing goals related to conversion, engagement, reach, etc. Further, the plan should explain the strategies and tactics to optimize its marketing performance. Such strategies and tactics are likely to change over time as long as Facebook keeps on adding new features and tools.

For Facebook, the target roles to engage the audience with should be followers, tourists, contributors, brand ambassadors, partners, employees, clients and volunteers. As aforementioned, the Facebook reach encompasses all types of audiences, though for some specific targets such as financial institutions, potential investors or the government, for which there are other communication tools.

On the other hand, Facebook may support many kinds of content, for it is advisable to take advantage of this potential to deliver many kinds of contents and activities such as videos, photos, text stories, forum discussions, polls, contests, sweepstakes, etc.

Finally, we suggest some strategic guidelines to get the most of your Facebook page:

  • Spend time posting well-edited photos and well-written text. Prioritize quality over volume.
  • Short messages stand out, though long messages work when they are compelling, so communicate succinctly unless you really need the extra words.
  • Create your content in your corporate blog and link to it from Facebook, as you may wish to use this content also for other social media platforms, and not to be too dependent on Fb.
  • Find out which messages inspire action by measuring fans interaction
  • Make sure your content is going to be relevant to your intended audience. Be selective.
  • Facebook ads allow clients to target their audience segmenting by multiple variables: age, language, gender, interests, location, if they are connected or not to the brand, or have friends following the brand, etc.
  • Use Facebook Page applications to incorporate other social media contents from platforms such as Youtube, Slideshare, Twitter, etc.
  • Use Facebook Questions to answer queries, ask questions or start polls to help bring up conversations in relation to the destination.
  • Organise contents and give things away to engage with your audience and encourage them to share your page with their network. Just make sure that you stick within the “Facebook Guidelines when promoting contests”.
  • Moderate discussions, setting clear rules to abide by and even creating a blocklist of keywords to automatically filter out.
  • Try to create some kind of ritual that engages the users to interact with the page at least once a week.
  • Encourage fan content –articles, photo and video- posting to engage them and make them feel part of the brand family.
  • Make the Facebook page a must visit site for many kinds of information updates and procedures so to stimulate visits and engagement.
  • Offer special deals to your followers, such as discount stays in the destination, group deals, merchandise product package deals, etc.

Beyond the Facebook page, there are other functionalities that enhance the brand’s marketing performance:

  • Create also a Facebook Group and invite all visitors to join it. From then you can invite them to events, join conversations and establish a closer relationship.
  • Use Facebook Connect to allow Facebook users to log into your website through their Facebook profile. This way, when the readers like some of your site’s piece of content, these are displayed on their Facebook newsfeed, and therefore seen by all their friends.
  • Facebook instant personalisation in your website allows readers to view the content pieces that their friends have liked, which are more likely to engage them.

To monitor the results of the Facebook page you may take advantage of some specific tools:

  • Facebook insights provides a general view of the fan page activity for every week
  • Likealizer provides with an audit of the fan page activity
  • Smetrica analyzes the brand’s presence in the Facebook conversations

Would you consider other target roles, content types or strategy tips?

Marketing 3.0StrategyStrategy planning & executionTourism marketing

The Marketing Plan 3.0: Setting goals for the social media strategy

Even if Social Media Marketing is presented here as a new channel which eventually has to replace the traditional ones, the best way to bring it in is in coexistence with the current marketing system. Furthermore, social media channels are to be useful for communicating with many of the current clients of the destination, for it is convenient to take them into account when formulating the social media strategy, even if this Whitepaper focuses its attention on the main targets related to destination marketing 3.0.

Social media platforms offer a great opportunity to connect with the target audience not only to deliver content but also to create a two-way conversation, and these conversations are the ones that eventually lead to their engagement with the destination’s mission and brand. Among the many goals that can be achieved through social media channels, the following may be highlighted:

  • Generating traffic to the corporate website
  • Delivering targeted contents to segmented audiences
  • Tapping into new markets and segments through social endorsements and paid advertising
  • Provide a customer service platform where customers queries and complaints are attended
  • Operating many activities of the open innovation system, especially those for non-professionals
  • Facilitating the connection between tourists to let them share stories and information
  • Enabling social leaders and creative activists to advocate for the brand in their communities
  • Generating conversations and discussions about brand or mission related issues
  • Interacting and building relationships with stakeholders to engage them with the brand

Do you think of other relevant goals attainable through social media?

Marketing 3.0Tourism marketing

The Marketing Plan 3.0: Types of content pieces and formats

When designing the content strategy, it is convenient to reflect upon what kinds of content pieces may interest the target audiences, as well as all the suitable formats to leverage the created content through all the available marketing tools:

CONTENT PIECES CONTENT FORMATS
·  Educational guides, adapted to many targets

·  Thought leadership pieces

·  Industry news

·  Photos conveying emotions and experiences

·  Destination news about events

·  Mission related accomplishments

·  Stories about experiences in all roles

·  Announcements calling participants to a contest

·  Designs for t-shirts, caps, umbrellas, etc.

·  Designs for school material items

·  Stories about other destinations

·   Books

·   Audiobooks

·   Cartoons, comic book graphics

·   Podcasts

·   Webinars

·   Blogposts

·   Brochures

·   Branded content tools

·   Press releases

·   Microblogs

·   Mobile applications

 

However, despite the various types of content that may be created, the stories on the destination’s life-changing experiences are to be the central and most compelling pieces of content. Apart from the professional content creators and storytellers, it is convenient to carry out research on the destination’s existing stories and train the local community members to craft and make them compelling, before making up brand new ones. The Storytelling training is to explain the techniques to craft and tell compelling stories, so as to leverage the locals’ talent through the open innovation system to create the best possible marketing content for the destination.

The Whitepaper Marketing destinations through storytelling explains how to craft compelling stories as well as other relevant facts about storytelling.  Furthermore, the Whitepaper Envisioning Open Innovation in destinations explains how the open innovation could be deployed as a marketing content generator, among other outputs.

Beyond the goals and formulated strategies, the daily experience and tracking of the results and conversations will determine what works and what doesn’t, what needs to be improved and what needs to be changed to attain the desired results. Even when the intended results are achieved, the needs and desires of our target audiences are to change over time and so the strategies have to change.

Do you think of other interesting content pieces or formats?

Marketing 3.0Strategy planning & executionTourism marketing

The Marketing Plan 3.0: Designing purpose driven content

Even if some contents may work for various purposes, an effective strategy has to consider specific content to move the audience in taking a role: motivating to become a follower, a client, a contributor, a brand ambassador, or a volunteer requires different types of content, and some targets may need content adapted to their taste.

For instance a story about a tourist living a life-changing experience is to convince the audience to become a follower or a tourist, whereas a story about a contributor’s experience when making and telling his personal story is to engage tourists in learning how to make and tell their story as a contributor. The same would apply for stories about volunteering or about advocating as a brand ambassador among their community.

Furthermore, when designing the piece of content, also think about what specific action you want the audience to take in order to direct them to the ultimate goal of the content: share or retweet, comment or vote, engage in a conversation, click a link to your webpage or blog, sign up to attend an event, buy merchandise from your online store, ask for further information, make a booking, like a page, etc. and measure the success of the call to action!

When adding the “Call to action” to the content, make sure it stands out at the end of the piece to catch the reader’s eye and that it is conveying the value that the user is about to get by taking this action.

What other tips would you consider when drafting goal driven content?

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?

Marketing 3.0StrategyStrategy planning & executionTourism marketing

The Marketing Plan 3.0: Communication strategy

The communication strategy challenge showcases the strategic shift that entails embracing Marketing 3.0. As in the case of the targeting strategy, there first has to be a sound analysis about the cost-effectiveness of every marketing tactic and marketing channel used to reach the target groups, assessing also its strategic value in accessing the most profitable targets and achieving other key objectives, to eventually streamline the operational system.

Once the objectives are formulated, it’s necessary to foresee the transition process and set intermediate objectives along the path between the present starting point and the desired achievement at the end of the period for which the Plan is elaborated. These intermediate objectives are to be the turning points that determine when the communication strategy has to leap forward to the next transition stage.

Therefore, the strategy has to determine all these intermediate goals and their corresponding strategic shifts, which may consist of a change in the budget allocation –from one channel to another, for instance- or a deployment of a new channel. This way, the new marketing contents, channels and activities are to gain precedence in the overall budget, as long as they obtain the desired results and manage to optimize profitability. However, there has to be consideration of both the impact of the new marketing and its social media reach on the current –and specially the most profitable- customers, as well as the need to find the right balance between the new and the old marketing activities to keep on attracting the most profitable current clients.

Along with the content marketing system, the strategy has to take into account that the destination also intends to develop a business unit marketing branded products and to partner with mission driven travel agents which are to create significant marketing impact on the target audiences. Along with these channel partners, other mission driven partners should be taken into account to reach the desired targets, considering also co-marketing agreements with other mission driven destinations.

The communication strategy will therefore include a content strategy depicting the what, who, how, when, for who and for what purpose for all kinds of contents to be created; a social media strategy depicting which platforms to use, how to use them, for who, for what types of contents and for what purposes; and the traditional strategies foreseeing a progressive decrease in their budget allocation in favor of the new marketing powered by the open innovation system.

What other challenges do you foresee along the transition process?

Marketing 3.0StrategyStrategy planning & executionTourism marketing

The Marketing Plan 3.0: Communication goals

With the new marketing system, communication turns into a two-way conversation between the destination and all its stakeholders, who want to be listened to and want to contribute in the brand control and development. Therefore, the goals, the contents, the channels and the communication flows are to change radically over time. However, digital marketing is not to replace traditional marketing, but to integrate with it in order to enhance the marketing system capabilities.

Firstly, there are many goals to consider when formulating the communication strategy:

·  Increase brand or issue awareness ·   Letting stakeholders support your cause
·  Getting feedback from your constituents ·   Telling stories
·  Spur conversations about brand’s topics ·   Promoting events
·  Recruiting contributors ·   Connect with like-minded organizations
·  Getting people to participate in contests ·   Raising concern about a particular topic
·  Recruiting volunteers, trainees and employees ·   Knowing what is said about the brand
·  Building a community around a specific topic ·   Communicating mission achievements

 

When formulating the communication goals, it is necessary to state the target audiences they refer to, as well as to prioritize both the goals and their application to every target audience. It is also necessary to convert them into specific and measurable objectives.

Do you think of other relevant goals to include?

Marketing 3.0StrategyStrategy planning & execution

The Marketing Plan 3.0: Positioning or brand strategy

The positioning or brand strategy defines the identity that the destination intends to project in the outbound markets, as a way to synthetically communicate the destination’s main attributes, create an expectation in the mind of the potential tourists and set itself apart from competitors. When formulating the positioning strategy there are three concepts to be defined:

  • Core identity defines in a sentence the intended image of the destination brand.
  • Broad identity encompasses all attributes that shape the destination’s personality and the values that have to become the institutional standards of behavior.
  • Value proposition describes the functional, emotional and spiritual benefits that the destination is offering to its visitors.

Altogether this provides the destination executives with a structured set of ideas to be used in the communication infrastructure and marketing activities.

In destination marketing 3.0, the positioning strategy has to embed the mission driven purpose at its core, as the success of the destination is to come from the appreciation of the business contribution to the community well-being and the positive cultural transformation it makes on the visitors through the life-changing experiences.

As for the mission definition, the positioning strategy should be defined in the executive board with the participation of the community leaders, main stakeholders and industry influencers, as this is the strategy reflecting the spirit of the mission. Furthermore, as long as the positioning strategy defines the set of values that are to guide the destination’s institutional behavior, this is a key issue in which all leaders have to feel identified and committed.

Since the community leaders are the key decision makers on these issues, it would be convenient to assess the fit of the proposed set of values within the community culture, so as to evaluate the feasibility of the cultural change, as long as this is necessary. In that case, a cultural change strategy also has to be drafted, to be enclosed with the network engagement and development strategy.

In marketing 3.0, only originality, authenticity and honesty are effective, because the reputation of the brand is under control of the creative activists and other like-minded personalities holding the trust of their communities, and they are the first ones to spread the stories throughout the social networks. The brand integrity, determined by the loyalty to the stated values throughout time is an nonnegotiable must in the path to success for destinations embracing marketing 3.0.

Would you consider other methods to define the positioning strategy?