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Why data must be the currency for destination marketing organisations ?

The big picture

Today’s changing travel market calls for new, flexible approaches to this dynamic environment, and central to this is data. Only by having the deep insights and information necessary to guide their marketing decisions can destination marketing organisations (DMOs) develop their future strategy to remain relevant.   

Why it’s important 

Data drives effective marketing. Whether it’s revealing customer traits, recognising changing visitor profiles, guiding your spend decisions, personalising communication or treating people as individuals, all rely on quality data and having a single customer view. And DMOs must have this holistic view of their customers across channels, devices, and spending habits. They can then connect these on and offline behaviours to gain a complete understanding of every individual’s trip and spending and gain a full picture of their marketing attribution.  

Deeper dive 

Here are 5 ideas DMOs should be considering to activate their marketing strategy by using their data to its full potential:  

  1. Gain a holistic understanding of your visitors: Connect all their activities across multiple devices to understand who they are. This will include what destinations they’ve searching for, what’s important for their visit, where they’ve been previously, what travel blogs they’re reading and much more. From this, you can target them with cross-device personalised messages to encourage them to visit your destination.

  2. Focus on high-value visitors: Use your audience insights to target individuals who will impact your destination the most. Look at past visitors and focus on those that engaged the most in your area. Reconnect with them and give them reasons to return. And find prospective visitors whose behaviours, lifestyles and interests can all be met by visiting your area. Then encourage them to consider travelling to your location. 

  3. Personalise your communications: Use your rich insights to message individuals with personalised information that will resonate with them. For example, if they’re foodies, highlight the wealth of culinary experiences and cuisines on offer. Or, if it’s culture, focus on theatres, galleries, and exhibitions available to them. Show them how your destination is right for them and offers them what they’re most interested in. 

  4. Optimise your digital activity: Take advantage of technologies like machine learning to understand which messaging sequencing and combination of ad formats resonate with an individual. Whether display advertising, video, mobile, or desktop, make sure you’re optimising the individual journeys to have the most chance of success.

  5. Invest in a Customer Data Platform: Centralise and leverage all your data in one platform. Gain insights into your past, current and prospective customers as individuals, then use this to activate your marketing strategy.    

The bottom line 

By better understanding your visitors and prospects and their motivations across a wealth of data dimensions, you can start to match these with what your destination offers. Using your data intelligently, you can design marketing activities that are more likely to appeal to them and spark an interest in visiting you.  

And to help you navigate today’s travel environment, download our Future of Tourism ebook, which provides information, insights, and ideas on how to shift your marketing thinking and elevate your marketing approach.