Destination marketeers need marketing rehab to kick old habits, say ‘rock divas’

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 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 two rock divas – Carolyn Childs (as Adam Ant) and Bronwyn White (as Amy Winehouse) – co-founders of to the ‘Tourism Marketing Rockstar Convention’, 17 August, in Royal Automobile Club, Sydney.

An audience of DMOs and tourism businesses heard Childs and White underline 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, the ‘rock divas’ said.

All marketing should seek to enhance the travel brand’s reputation, trust and authority, they argued. Without these, 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 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 speakers quoted research showing consumers are already checking their phones 150 times a day.

Successful marketers also need to turn their customers into ‘personas’, the two speakers added, based on factors such as their location, family profile, needs and interests, and solve their unique travel requirements. They said the top 10 trends here 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’, attendees 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, adding: “It’s time for DMOs to think of themselves as publishers of compelling content. It takes effort and time. We’ll show them how.”

Paul Colston


Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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