You're a tourism marketer, and your plate is full. On any given day, you're facilitating relationships with hotels, restaurants, wineries, and local attractions in your area. You're overseeing the execution of the marketing plan for your DMO, maintaining the tourism budget, and working with your Tourism Advisory Committee to develop strategies, programs, and policies to promote tourism. At the end of the day, most of your work functions involve marketing your destination to stimulate economic development and promote tourism. You know you're busy, and everyone at your organization values your work and thinks you're doing a great job. But what do the numbers and metrics say? How do you really know if you're on track and moving the needle? How can you be sure that your daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly objectives are the smartest investment of your time and energy?
Grading your tourism marketing efforts can give you valuable insight into your marketing endeavors and whether they're providing enough return on investment. Let's take your DMO's digital presence - a vital component for successful marketing - as an example. Considering it holistically, you might think, "our DMO has a strong digital presence." But it's essential to look deeper and uncover what truly comprises your digital presence. It's things like:
- Your website
- Your blog or newsletter
- Your social media presence
- Digital ads you have in market
- Your search engine rankings
- Your use of a marketing automation tool
- Your use of lead generation tool(s)
- And many others
Grading yourself for each digital sub-category will start to paint a picture of how good your tourism marketing initiatives really are, but more importantly, where opportunities and gaps exist. Once you have established your grades, or scores, taking an even more granular look can provide additional layers of insight and knowledge for you, as a marketer, and for your organization's future.
What does your website say about you?
Maybe you initially gave yourself a B+ when you considered your website as part of your overall digital strategy, but when you start to really "peel back the onion," you may have to re-think your grade, especially after giving consideration to items like:
- Clairity of navigation. Does your website provide clear navigation, and offer the most important items in less than three clicks for the end user?
- Depth and quality of content. Is your website content robust? Easy to read and understand? Provide valuable information for the end user? Answer questions your target audiences are seeking from a site visit?
- Updated data and news. Does your website provide a forum for users to browse news about your destination or community? Are you providing data that's relevant and useful to your audiences?
- Use of maps and GIS. Does your website offer maps - static or interactive - that give users a better feel for your destination? Do they allow potential visitors or companies (seeking convention locations) the opportunity to look at specific attractions or event spaces?
- Conversions. Is your website a platform for users to find information and take specific actions? Do your calls-to-action drive people to click and submit? And are you capturing your site visitors' information properly?
So, after a little more investigation, does your grade remain the same? Or did the digging reveal opportunities in your marketing approach that now need to be addressed?
Grading your tourism marketing efforts isn't meant to expose your DMO as lacking marketing effort; rather, it's meant to show you that there are facets to each tourism marketing element that need attention. Grading your DMO is a great way to get clear on all the things you're doing well, as well as those that need a little TLC.
As mentioned, grading your efforts is vital to continued success of your DMO. But why not let us do the heavy lifting for you? We'll grade your marketing at no cost to you, and provide a comprehensive report and write-up that you can use as a guide in strengthening your existing initiatives.