The Power of Owned Media, with Adam Stoker

Episode 369

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Adam Stoker is the Co-Founder, President, and CEO of Relic, a full-service destination marketing agency. For over 15 years, Adam has excelled in the leisure travel, stakeholder engagement, and destination branding spheres.

Immersed in the world of tourism, Adam has spent time as a member of the Utah Tourism Industry Association Board. He is a frequent speaker and collaborator at industry events nationwide, speaking at the Utah Tourism Conference, Texas Travel Summit, several Destinations International events, and more. A passionate thought leader in the world of owned media, Adam speaks on the power of branded content and the success his clients have seen with this bold strategy.

Adam hosts the Destination Marketing Podcast, a weekly podcast with over 115,000 total listens that shares insights and experiences from worldwide industry professionals. Published in 2020, Adams’s book, “Touchpoints: The Destination Marketers Guide to Brand Evaluation and Enhancement,” is available on Amazon.

On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Adam Stoker about his three-part formula for putting owned media to work for your DMO. He shares examples of destinations using an owned media strategy to deliver big results and how he’s helping them leverage ChatGPT to make content easily accessible and actionable.

What You Will Learn in this Episode:

  • Adam’s insights on using owned media to attract today’s travelers
  • How Adam uses ChatGPT strategically to make content more accessible by creating chatbots for destinations
  • Adam shares the 3 C’s for building an audience — content, community, and commerce and how they influence purchase decisions
  • How technology allows for building a community beyond geographical limitations, expanding destination marketing opportunities
  • Adam’s scalable vision for a network of destination marketing podcasts, creating opportunities for collaboration and growth

Embracing Owned Media for Audience Engagement and Influence

On this episode, we’re talking about the importance of owned media in attracting today’s travelers. Owned media is a company’s website, blog, and social media channels, and they allow brands to build connections with their audience and potential visitors. Adam shares his three-part formula for using owned media in organizations – content, community, and commerce – and provides a strategic framework for building and leveraging an audience.

Adam discusses the strategic use of ChatGPT, to make content more accessible. He has found that by using it, destination marketers can provide accessible and engaging content experiences for their audience, such as responsive chatbots that boost their brand’s reach and keep them top of mind.

Shifting from Geographic to Interest-Based Marketing

We dig into the paradigm shift from geographical marketing to interest-based marketing. As developing technology allows for precise audience targeting based on specific interests, destination marketers can capitalize on this shift to engage niche audiences within communities. Adam shares examples like The Palm Beaches and Visit Myrtle Beach, which have successfully focused on specific audience interests, demonstrating how interest-based marketing can yield more impactful results than traditional geographical marketing approaches.

Diving into Branded Entertainment and Long-Form Content

Adam also introduces the concept of branded entertainment and emphasizes the need to prioritize entertainment over traditional advertising methods. Destination marketers can create content that resonates with their ideal audience by understanding current visitor preferences for longer and more engaging content. Building a community around this infotainment is a great way to engage your audience.


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