In a *somewhat* particular order:

  1. What role will the DMO play in the metaverse? (Remember that it already exists in gaming and is only a matter of time that business and travel applications will be available.) Do DMOs function as virtual tour operators? Do they ignore this impending shift? How will boundaries and bed tax be affected?
  2. Without cookies, how will your DMO plan ethical marketing practices? Is it time for offline strategies to accelerate? How will you measure? What KPIs will need to shift? How does it affect your remarketing strategy? Is your remarketing strategy helping or hurting your brand?
  3. What part will the community play in destination marketing? Are residents educated on the importance of tourism? Do they encourage travel to your destination? How can you keep them as your most important ambassadors?
  4. How will you put branding on everyone’s agenda? Does your staff, your board, your stakeholders know how to further propel the brand in everyday actions?
  5. Is your destination doing all it can for remote workers who travel? How are you addressing the “work from anywhere” trend? Do you have clear business and leisure resources laid out for this trend?
  6. How can your DMO attract and maintain the highest quality talent? What are the implications to the organization if a critical role is not filled quickly? What are the implications if a critical role is filled too quickly? How do you keep strategic momentum when a position(s) are open?
  7. How are you supporting partners? Are you providing a platform for partners to better engage with each other? What can you do to help partners refer business to each other? Is there enough staff in-market, live at events, cultivating relationships?
  8. Are you refreshing your competitive set with a more modern purview? Have you taken into account factors outside of assets, budget, population? Are you looking to social shifts to update the comp set?
  9. How relevant is your market strategy to today’s shifting social trends? Are you trying to be everywhere at all times? Are you cultivating specific platforms with a strong strategy?
  10. Do you have your marketing budget allocated with room for innovation and testing? Is your A/B strategy just that, A + B, or can you rework the strategy to conversation flywheels in lieu of the outdated funnel?
  11. Are you providing “cred” in social currency for travelers to share their experiences? How can you better encourage the average traveler to tag and share, engage with the brand?
  12. Are you catfishing? (be honest) Does your brand align with what people say about your brand?
  13. Does your data tell you what audiences are the best calculated risk? Are you still marketing to those who have visited the last 20 years? What’s your breakthrough strategy?
  14. How do you prioritize strategic risk? Do you have an operationalized approach to make way for new programs, and trim outdated practices?
  15. Are you making time for fun? How do you show appreciation to your tribe? Can you gamify one or more strategic initiatives?
  16. Are you soliciting fresh ideas from unexpected places? What does a non-marketer think about how to move the destination forward? Are you tapping into a diversity of generational opinions?
  17. How agile are you? How nimble is your team? What types of pivots are you prepared for, where are your blind spots?
  18. How are you defining the difference between marketing, advertising, and public relations? Do you have clear KPIs for each? How does the strategy differ? Are you lumping digital into one bucket or isolating skills, talents, and goals?
  19. What does your budget look like in relation to your goals? Are you overspending? Underfunded? How do you think like a private business in terms of expense to return?
  20. Is your last customer as important as your next? What are you really doing with those newsletter sign ups, the past visitors, meeting planners? How are you growing those relationships instead of just pushing the next sale?
  21. How much importance do you put on your front line? Are you considering that employee retention extends to those front-line workers, which are the guest experience? Do you have a program in place? How can you incentivize them to be the best brand ambassadors and love their contribution?
  22. Do you feel like there is an opportunity to create innovation in your community? Who are the shakers? What is the big idea? Who can help you achieve it? What is missing that can give you a competitive edge?

I hope these questions usher in a sense of development and not anxiety. You have all year. Take it slow and strategic.

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I love your face. You’ve got this,


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