I had the great pleasure to work with about 20 destination marketers yesterday afternoon during a segment on Strategic Internet Marketing at the Certified Destination Management Executive program. We tackled a number of issues, but the underlying theme was to understand what is available to you in terms of online marketing and social media, and then, determine what fits into the profile of your visitor. One thing was very clear - due to the multiple mediums, segmentations are shrinking and marketers have to work very hard to meet the consumer’s needs. The vast majority of the group acknowledges the direction we discussed is very accurate, but there are struggles with execution, proper budget allocations and internal staffing limitations. I came across an article this morning that complements our discussion.
The e-Marketing Insight program officially begins at 1:00 pm on Wednesday. David Bratton and Erin Francis Cummings, of Destination Analysts will lead-off the conference. They are making the cross-country journey from San Francisco to talk about online travel trends and explain the process of consumer web site usability studies. David will provide some additional insight on the semi-annual State of the American Traveler Report and discuss other trends influencing online travel planning. Erin will provide attendees with a live version of a consumer usability study – which may be an tourism educational conference first . Attendees will have the opportunity to see consumers work through a destination web site in real-time.
The second session will be conducted by Tania Leichliter, of AdGenuity Marketing Solutions, Inc. which is located in nearby Boston, MA. Based on her experience at Travelocity and current knowledge built in her own consulting practice, Tania will teach attendees how to effectively deliver their destination’s online marketing message through advertising and partnerships – along with some key advice on working with networks and online agencies.
Blog updates will becoming live from the conference tomorrow afternoon , along with some "tweets". We will list some of the other Twitter user names tomorrow so you can follow us from where ever you are. Looking forward to Day 1!