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Travel DMOs need to go into marketing rehab

It’s time for destination marketing organisations to forget their old habits and hits and get high on new evidence-based marketing instead, said MyTravelResearch.com at its inaugural ‘Tourism Marketing Rock Star Convention’

Destination marketing organisations (DMOs) and tourism businesses need to perform like rock stars after rehab: focus on the customer and draw out from within their destination or business all that is good and unique and turn it into a performance of integrity and passion that resonates with the traveller.  

That was the core message from the two rock divas – Carolyn Childs (as Adam Ant) and Bronwyn White (as Amy Winehouse) – co-founders of MyTravelResearch.com as they took centre stage at the ‘Tourism Marketing Rockstar Convention’ 17 August in Royal Automobile Club in Sydney.  

MyTravelResearch.com were performing to an audience of DMOs and tourism businesses that had purchased the company’s Tourism Marketing Plan Blueprint.  

Childs and White told the audience that modern destination marketers have to “be there, be useful and be quick.” Modern DMOs have to excel in social media, video, content marketing, maximising Google platforms, and mobile. In an age of digital metrics, there is no room for ‘hope’ marketing, they said.  

All marketing should seek to enhance the travel brand’s reputation, trust and authority. Without these, your marketing will come to nought.  

White told the audience: “By remaining consistent in your communications, you will strengthen your position and give clarity to the brand as well as a strong competitive position. You will be more resilient in the face of changing circumstances as new competitors enter the market.”  

The two speakers emphasised the rise of micro-moments when tourists on their mobile devices make travel decisions, often based on the search term “near me,”  for example, “Find restaurants/museums/attractions near me.”  

The power of mobile is increasing its hold. Research shows that consumers are already checking their phones 150 times a day; 68% check their phones within 15 minutes of waking up; 87% of millennials have their phones by their side, day and night.  

Successful marketers also need to turn their customers into “personas” based on factors such as their location, family profile, needs and interests, and solve their unique travel requirements.  

The two rock divas said the top ten trends that modern have to deal with are: mobile, new SEO (semantic search), content marketing, intent marketing, local marketing, accessibility, seniors, multi-generational travel, solo travel, and diversity.  

In a session called “Rock the SWOT,” each attendee was encouraged to turn the numerous insights into action by completing SWOT forms unique to their destination or business.  

“Our rock star convention was our Tourism Marketing Plan Blueprint performed live,” said Childs after the event. “For DMOs and tourism businesses who missed it but want to be top of the hit parade, they can still get their own copy and use it as a ‘done for you’ practical tool kit.”  

She added: “It’s time for DMOs to think of themselves as publishers of compelling content. It takes effort and time. We’ll show you how.”

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