Tomorrow’s DMO needs to be even more customer-focused and experience delivery oriented, and assume an even greater leadership role within their community. In short, they must adopt a leadership role that goes beyond that of being the city’s marketing communications agency and become the community’s brand manager.
With myriad organizations communicating about the city in a random and unfocused manner, there is an increasing need to protect and actively manage the city’s identity and reputation. The DMO has an important and unique role to play in unifying stakeholders and partners behind the brand to ensure that there is a consistent message, no matter who is communicating. It must also be a proactive leader as brand manager to collaborate with partners and ensure that the city consistently delivers on its brand promise. While marketing budgets may be declining, there is still the need to optimize the opportunities from getting everyone singing from the same song sheet.
Without the leadership of the DMO, most cities will be leaving their image and reputation to be shaped by the media, competitors, bloggers and others. A city’s good name and reputation are its most valuable asset. Therefore, protecting and managing the city’s brand should be the DMOs central mission and this is a role that cannot be adopted by any other organization. But first, the DMO and the city must recognize the value of a branded approach – and realize that it involves much more than a snappy new logo and tagline.