After speaking at a seminar in Australia last November, I was approached by the tourism marketing director for a popular destination in New South Wales (NSW). He asked me some very challenging questions and posed some interesting scenarios regarding how destination marketing organizations (DMOs) may have to adapt to a future highly influenced by digital communications. I then wrote a paper to begin exploring some of the issues. I welcome your thoughts.
Today, forward-thinking DMOs are realizing that their destination, and its products and experiences, must be of the highest quality to satisfy today’s discerning customers in a highly competitive and rapidly changing environment. Importantly, what the place promises must be delivered! Who will help orchestrate this alignment?
The Digital Age has created a hyper-connected world in which traditional and digital media converge and prospective customers are bombarded with a dizzying array of choices, media channels and information. Customers are always online, sometimes multi-screening with devices that interact with each other. It’s a world where speed, choice and expectations have morphed and marketing is no longer a one-way dictate by DMOs, but rather must fit within an environment that demands interaction, transparency, flexibility and relationships. While the fundamentals of destination branding haven’t changed, marketing as we have known it is largely superseded.
For DMOs the challenge now extends to their capability of orchestrating and influencing encounters so that they are as close as possible to their brand promise and messages at every critical touchpoint. Achieving this may mean collaboration with, and among, totally new partners in business, government and non-profits. Without this renewed focus, DMOs risk becoming irrelevant and obsolete.
What do these changes mean for the structure, funding and focus of future DMOs? You will find the full article here. What are your thoughts?