Keeping Up With Tech Trends

It is a simple question, one that I encounter often.

How should we (DMO, destination, hotel, resort, etc.) keep up with the latest social/tech/digital trend?

With so much innovation in the digital space, it can seem overwhelming.  A new social site launches each day, flash travel sites arrive and disappear in a flash and the entire time you are simply trying to keep up.

So, how do you?

First things first, let’s make sure we maintain focus.

Keep the brand story consistent.

Regardless of medium or screen, tablet or technology, your brand story must remain consistent to establish a foundation for success.

Now, back to the question.  With so much change, how do you keep pace?

The answer, listen to the consumer.

Let the consumer tell you what trend is coming next.

Simple, but there are some rules attached to this answer.

First, you as the marketer are concerned about the technology, while the consumer is concerned about communication.

Here is a secret: the average consumer does not really care about the technology, they simply want it to work.  Example A: the iPad.

Keeping Up With TechnologyAnd how would one determine what tech trend a consumer group is interested in, using or open to?

Ask them.  Or, consumer research.

Far too often our tourism peers simply fire off a digital campaign idea with basic knowledge such as…how many of your potential visitors have an iPhone.

Well, there are 45 million units, and 5,000,000,000,000 apps, blah, blah, blah.

Wrong.  I asked you how many of your consumers use an iPhone, not how many iPhones there are in the world.

Big difference.

Ah, the lost art of consumer research.  Have the consumer, the traveler, the tourist, tell you if they actually would use a Foursquare app.

But Troy, we need to be cutting edge, think outside the box, everyone at our agency uses Quora.

Great, your agency also starts Beer Friday around 2:00pm, which I can confidently say does not happy in every office park and high-rise.  Let’s not use the agency as the benchmark.

But, we need to introduce this technology to our consumers, we should teach them how to use it.

Show me in your mission statement, strategic plan or any other official document where it says that a organizational goal is to education your consumers on someone else’s product.

Your job is to sell hotel rooms, get visitors to a destination or raft people down a river.

Educating the masses on how to use Foursquare is not your mission.  Let Foursquare handle that.

So, how do you keep up?

Let the consumer tell you what trend is coming next.

Photo Credit:  x-ray delta one

Comment? @travel2dot0 or email.