10 Things DMOs Should Be Giving Away
Destination Marketing Organizations are on a consistent crusade to determine their effectiveness. For those in the DMO space, you will instantly understand the challenges associated with such a crusade.
Return on inspiration is a difficult metric to track.
While DMOs may provide travel inspiration, they are often blind to the specific results of their actions, instead relying on assumptions, research and loosely connected data to determine success.
But what if tourism destinations built a helpful marketing strategy? Provided utility, services and infrastructure to improve travel, such as our airport terminal WiFi suggestion.
Instead of focusing on the mysterious parts of travel planning (inspiration) or the appeal of volume (contests) what if DMOs provided a helpful as well as desirable service, influenced a travel decision and tracked the ROI?
What if the DMO provided relief at common tourist pain points?
What if those solutions provided an undeniable marker of effectiveness?
And what if they gave it away?
We think you should.
10 Things DMOs Should Be Giving Away
A unique WiFi code utilized at an in-market hotel, airport terminal or on a destination-bound flight is a clear marker of successful influence and an answer to the biggest pet peeve for travelers. Plus, it is a premium that most hotel and airline partners can comp as a portion of the partnership.
Skype Gift Cards
For your international guests, Skype gift cards (which, by the way, require an email address…bonus data!) make calling back home easier. For about $10, send your prospective Australian visitors a 500 minute calling card for US to Down Under check-ins. And you can even create a custom design for the gift card. G’day, mate!
Most of your visitors not traveling by plane? What about mailing them a complementary GPS they drop back off at your visitor center upon arrival?
Again, combine a valuable benefit with a clear marker of successful conversion. Pay for the in-flight entertainment of tourists who ordered a visitor guide and skip the follow-up survey. They aren’t flying to your city for the free TV.
Don’t be afraid to trade data for entertainment. Want a $10 iTunes gift card to keep the little ones happy with new apps? Sure thing, just give us your email address, travel dates and flight number.
Partner with a handful of local hotels provide a complementary room upgrade to those visitors who are in both the DMO and hotel email database. Or email them a geofenced promo code that can only be used once in-market.
Rental Car Upgrades
Same theory for rental cars. And using a unique code, email, text, flyer, tweet, etc. give them a car upgrade. Or a free day. Or two. At that point, the visitor has arrived, ROI confirmed.
Priority Boarding / Airport Lounge Access
Big convention market? Major airline hub? Use access as a sales tool and reward for meeting attendees. While a lot of us enjoy airline status or fly on the company card, it is not true for everyone. Priority boarding or lounge access is not only confirmation of visit, but also a tweet-friendly perk.
A behind the scenes tour, early access or VIP experience for an entire traveling party or just a select few is a benefit the requires redemption. Which should make a campaign like Canberra’s Human Brochure go a lot further.
Almost 30 cities in the US either offer or will offer a bike sharing program. And there are a couple hundred more throughout the world. If you are the Houston CVB (or Kansas City, Stuttgart, Brisbane, etc.) drop a couple of $15 7-day passes in the mail after the subscriber opens their 3rd email from you (sorry, no locals). Then have your friends at B-cycle run a report showing the number of DMO-influenced miles ridden.
Now, a caveat before you begin giving it away.
It is important to understand that these perks should only be presented at the conclusion of a planned and sustained marketing push.
Included with a visitor guide.
Received after a certain number of emails opened.
Triggered after a travel-focused social media question.
Simply running a promo code on a print ad is cheating. Yes, you will increase redemption, but any city council member will see that the promotion was a hand-out, not true persuasion of a travel decision.
10 ways for the tourism destination to help tourists, monitor marketing and track effectiveness.
You just have to give it away.