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Destination Innovate Blog

Heads Up DMO: 8 must-haves for DMOs by 2020

Heads Up DMO: 8 must-haves for DMOs by 2020

Hey, where’s our crystal ball dude? Oh right, back to reality. Guess we have to rely on good ole’ fashioned experience, research, and trend data to predict what’s next.

We don’t have all the answers, but we do know this. If pace in 2019 stays on track to see the same fundamental consumer behavior shifts as 2018, we’re in for a big awakening come end of year. DMOs will have no choice but to take charge in completely new ways.

We are talking about a tectonic shift for the online travel industry by 2020. These technologies and strategies already exist, but are only rarely employed by DMOs. To keep your marketing technology on par with trends and impending shifts, I recommend immediate action on these maneuvers.

  1. An AI website. Contrived websites driven by static databases and listings are so 2004. Even with a full time content staff, it’s still a static website undermines the evolution of the web and the sharing economy. I’m not talking about plugging in a TripAdvisor API. I’m talking a fully run smart site, with curated information from the entirety of the web. BTW, please see #4 about how to deploy this. Stop building from a desktop and start with mobile.
  2. Business Dashboard Data, real time big data. The most elusive for DMOs since the advent of digital marketing is the true KPI. Mostly, still done as a “history report”, available metrics from visits to engagement honestly tell you nothing actionable until the execution and tactics have well-past deployed. There are a myriad of data companies solving this problem and allowing non-profits to view their success like their corporate counterparts. This is a significant investment, that will not only let you report true economic impact, but will inform and grow your team’s expertise. Most often, you don’t have a marketing problem, you have a data problem.
  3. A Blockchain Booking option. Intermediaries that disrupted the industry in the early 2000s are shaking in their boots. As blockchain matures (and it is in the most rapid pace in history), consumers will demand a direct, secure transaction. Decentralized travel is upon us, and it’s bout time. It’s important for the DMO to take a place in this shift. We were late to the game with the OTAs, let’s get in front of what is arguably the biggest thing since the personal computer. This also has a major advantage to the DMO, without middle-man commissions, stakeholders can control their own inventory, price competitively and keep more profit to improve their facilities. Don’t forget to address m-commerce and convergent commerce.
  4. Mobile service economy. Step up your mobile game, like, yesterday. Please?!? Futurists predict that “the path to purchase will condense to a single mobile moment.” What’s your plan for a mobile command center? Think: solely mobile, crucial connectivity, application consolidation, building your assets on mobile.
  5. A journalism staff made up of influencers. You are the impartial educator. Content development meets edutainment with a true journalistic approach. Having their own “interests” and loyal following, you will want to employ these citizen journalists for more than sponsored blog and post. You will give them integrity and freedom to stay out in the destination 100% of the time, being live brand ambassadors through their own channels (and ported back to your AI site and social media).
  6. Multisensory Multipliers. Think fluid realities with AR,VR. That 360 video is cool, but what is cooler is putting the potential visitor right into the vibe of the destination. Further that by amping up in-destination experiences by creating unique ways to experience the destination. Visit New York during the renaissance of culture, circa 1920s, you say? Pop these glasses on and have a bourbon with F. Scott Fitzgerald or Dorothy Parker.
  7. Smart Cities. This isn’t a new concept, a lot of cities are moving in this direction. But, by 2020, if you aren’t one … it’s gonna do some brand damage.
  8. Deconstruct media targeting, and personalization of the mid-funnel. I’m not going to say omnichannel, because that gets misconstrued as fractured remarketing. I’m talking about a complete mechanism (replete with AI) that addresses your marketing funnel and is concentrated on the mid-funnel nurture, data and hyper personalization. One main thing to think about with nextgen personalization is that identities are blurring, and personas will become obsolete. Our identities are more fluid with micro and situational moments. Just because I shopped for nike’s does not mean I’m into sports. As far as creative delivery goes, think beyond video on in-booking ads – go for sensory experiences like haptic and AR in a deeply personal way.

Change is hard, what’s immeasurably tougher is catching up. I encourage you to be bold, be willing to break the system, only to have a better, stronger, more long-lasting system that will yield a business outcome you may not have imagined.

My love for DMOs and my campaign to help you improve will never waiver, you can be sure I am here for you, however you need. Get in touch.

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