We all know community stakeholders – hotels, restaurants, attractions and other organizations – are critical to shaping the experiences of visitors while they are in your destination. However, these same stakeholders play an increasingly important role in, and can have a major impact on, the success of DMO marketing efforts.
Here’s why: What we are seeing with DMO clients today is that when marketing programs are executed successfully, at best they will motivate potential meeting planners and visitors to only seriously consider your destination. Before they will actually book a trip, they will check out what “the crowd” is saying on sites like TripAdvisor about their experiences while visiting your destination.
Here’s how: In this short video, Stamp’s David Allred discusses one concept that DMOs can share to help your stakeholders encourage positive conversations about your destination and discourage negative comments that can impact your goal of fueling the economic engine in your community that is tourism and travel.
Encouraging the Conversation: Right Pocket, Left Pocket Concept
So very often when I’m working with Destination Marketing Organizations, I talk a lot about encouraging the conversation. And really, this has to do with managing your destination and what you can do to go out and help the organizations in your community that are going to influence a positive experience for travelers in your market.
Travelers have so many opportunities now to go online and figure out what they want to do on their trip – where to stay, what attractions they want to visit, what they want to do when they’re in your market. So, if you go out to your organizations in your marketplace, and you’re teaching them about encouraging the conversation – I use the right pocket/left pocket example.
In your right pocket, you carry a card and it says, “Please Review Us on TripAdvisor”, and it has your very specific information. In your left pocket, you carry your business card. So, when you run into somebody in the lobby or in the hallway and you ask them how their stay was or how their visit was, and they say, “Oh! It was fantastic, I loved it”, you reach into your right pocket, because you did the right thing, and you get out a card and you say, “please review us on social media.” You’re encouraging positive conversation about your organization.
You continue walking down the hall, you run into another person and you ask how their stay was, how their visit was, and they say, “Oh! It wasn’t so great…there’s too many kids here…the shuttle didn’t take me where I wanted to go…this attraction isn’t what I expected it to be…this hotel isn’t what I thought it would be.” You reach into your left pocket, and you take out your business card and you say, “I’m very sorry to hear that. I’d really like to make it up to you. Next time you’re in town, please give me a call personally, and I’ll make it right.” That business card does not have any information about your social media channels. So, you’re discouraging the conversation from a negative perspective.
And when you did the right thing and reached into your right pocket, you’re encouraging the conversation on the positive things that are being said about your place.