Know your destination DNA


The Destination Marketing Manager of the coastal town looks stressed as he prepares his report for the next day’s Board Meeting. He persuaded the Board Members a few meetings ago to invest half of their marketing budget into an out-of-season campaign. The results have been dismal.

The Manager is confused. He made sure there were no clashing offers or activities. The adverts listed the many things that could be done in the town. The bigger budget allowed him to advertise broadly so that everyone would see the offer.

The tourism marketplace is flooded with destination options, many of which offer similar lists of activities. The philosophy of trying to be all things to all people is ineffective in the modern tourism marketplace. So how do we avoid these pitfalls and get an excellent return on marketing campaigns?

The best destination marketers, and their members, listen to their current visitors and discover which experiences set the destination apart from their competitors. They can then put together a profile of their destination from their visitors’ point of view and build a vision and strategy from this knowledge.

Can you describe your destination’s DNA, its USP and the experiences that set you apart? Do you know which of your market segments are attracted to this, how to reach them and when they are available?

It all starts with the customer. Find a new approach that starts with knowing more about their world and the experiences they enjoy. That is your destination DNA and it leads the stories you will tell your customers to interest them. At the same time, focus on improving the experiences they enjoy and sharing this information with your members.

There are no shortcuts to successful campaigns, or to great report-backs at Board Meetings.

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