Destination on the Left Virtual Summit Recap: Day 3, with Nicole Mahoney

Episode 163

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With a talent for creating special events that blossomed while working for my dad’s car stereo shop, I got my start in marketing at Frontier Field in Rochester and I began serving as the executive director of the internationally known Lilac Festival. Later on, I headed the Canandaigua, New York Business Improvement District while also performing projects for the tourism promotion agency Visit Rochester. In 2009, I founded Break the Ice Media, with more than 20 years of experience in tourism marketing. I now host “Destination on the Left”, a highly successful tourism marketing podcast. As a business owner, I know what it takes to be successful. I founded BTI to help businesses tell their brand story through public relations, digital and traditional channels. I have the ability to uncover unique marketing opportunities and develop marketing and public relations initiatives that help clients build long-term success. In this solocast episode of Destination on the Left, we look at the highlights from the final day of our Destination on the Left Virtual Summit.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • The highlights from day three of the Destination on the Left Virtual Summit
  • How DMOs can better measure the success of their campaigns
  • How Tourism Improvement Districts are impacting destinations across the U.S.
  • How to use the Barcelona Principles 100-point scoring system for the evaluation of PR campaigns
  • Why your DMO should be leveraging the experience economy
  • What tools and metrics your destination should be paying attention to

Destination on the Left Virtual Summit: Day 3

The first two days of the Destination on the Left Virtual Summit were nothing short of spectacular! It was an honor listening to our ten marketing experts share their thoughts on industry trends and challenges that destination marketers are facing. If you missed either Day and want to revisit the presentations, make sure to check out our recaps of Day 1 and Day 2 . In the latest solocast episode of Destination on the Left, we will be rounding out the last day of the virtual summit with a recap and final thoughts about the event. Today’s episode will include highlights from presentations by Jennifer Barbee, Tiffany Gallagher, Sarah Blackwell, Colleen Onuffer, Josh Collins, and David Holder. Learn what they had to say about: Building Relevancy With an ROI Plan: Jennifer Barbee of Destination Innovate discusses new ways for destinations to think about marketing. She explains why DMOs should design campaigns with key performance indicators (KPIs) to mine data that tells a story. The Evolution of Destination Marketing Funding: Tiffany Gallagher of Civitas Advisors discusses the development of Tourism Improvement Districts and explains how they are impacting destinations across the country. Evaluating Public Relations: Sarah Blackwell and Colleen Onuffer of Break the Ice Media explain the Barcelona Principles, the 100-point scoring system for the evaluation of PR campaigns. Vibrant Destinations: Josh Collins of Streetsense gave a presentation about the evolution of the experience economy. He explained how destinations can attract more visitors by building trust, leveraging data, curating their culture, and embracing marketing challenges. Measurement Tools and Responsible Metrics: David Holder of JLL discusses tools and metrics with a metaphor using three buckets. His concepts are broken up by overall destination metrics, travel activity indicators, and annual market results. If you weren’t able to take part in the amazing Destination on the Left Virtual Summit, don’t fret! You can still watch all of the presentations on our website. Just purchase an all-access pass and enjoy! Otherwise, keep an eye out for an upcoming announcement for our next summit in Spring 2020. We hope you can join us.


Nicole Mahoney: 00:22 Hello listeners, this is Nicole Mahoney, host of destination on the left and today as our final episode recapping the takeaways from our virtual summit that took place in December. The final day of the summit continued our theme of marketing effectiveness, proving value, relevancy, and ROI. Our previous podcast guests were invited to be presenters at the summit and their content did not disappoint. They brought new ideas, thought provoking concepts, [inaudible] technical suggestions to help marketers move the needle in 2020 here’s what I took away from day three with additional references to [inaudible] previous podcast interviews that relate to the summit topics for further X duration. So get your pencils ready as you may want to take note of some of our past episodes to go back and listen to later. First up on day three was Jennifer Barbee from destination innovate. I love Jen smart, no nonsense approach to marketing and her presentation on building relevancy with an ROI plan was full of great advice and new ways to think about your marketing plans.

Nicole Mahoney: 01:22 What really stood out to me? What’s the importance of setting your KPIs or key performance indicators upfront and thinking all the way through the campaign to what matters the most for measurement? There are a lot of tools that you can use to measure campaign success, but Jennifer pointed out, you need someone on your team that can interpret the data, who can look at data and read it with logic and behavior analysis. She suggested the most coveted position for future deemos are going to be data storytellers, and I love that concept. This presentation reminded me of the conversation I had with Aaron Francis Cummings from destination analysts on episode 89 when she described using Google analytics and the voice of the customer and an advertising campaign to gain insights into the mindset of the consumer and what they were truly looking for from a digital footprint. This type of data storytelling can help us see if the advertising was indeed delivering new customers to a destination.

Nicole Mahoney: 02:23 I encourage you to listen to episode 89 for more information on how they were able to track that behavior. Tiffany Gallagher from [inaudible] was the second presentation of the day in her presentation on the evolution of destination marketing funding. Tiffany gave a great overview of the process that communities can go through to form a tourism improvement district and the benefits to forming those districts. She reported that there are now 16 States with T IDs and with some recent ones being Baltimore, Maryland in Newport, Rhode Island. I was excited to hear that Newport Rhode recently passed a tourism improvement district and remembered all of the exciting development that they have happening there, which Andrea McCue from discover Newport shared with me on episode one 24 and Sarah Blackwell and Colleen on a first presentation on evaluating public relations. They shared the Barcelona principles 100 point scoring system, revaluation of PR campaigns. What I loved about this approach is that it forces you to consider what you are really looking for from a PR campaign.

Nicole Mahoney: 03:30 In order to apply these principles, you need to first identify your top media outlets that you would like to receive a placement in and identify the geographic areas that are most important to you. Points are assigned based on a placement, getting into one of your top outlets, meeting your geographic locations and inclusion of a link, hashtag photo quotes, et cetera. Gone are the days that just knowing impressions is good enough to measure success of a PR program. When you take the time to think about your goals before starting a PR campaign, you will have greater success. That reminded me of a successful PR campaign that visit Ithaca did around being the birthplace of the ice cream sundae. There were two communities that laid claim to that historical fact, [inaudible] and two rivers, Wisconsin. With some planning and strategy. The two communities both realized national exposure on CBS, evening news and many other national news outlets.

Nicole Mahoney: 04:27 You can learn more about how this PR stunt played out. In my conversation with [inaudible] red vine, an episode one Oh nine Josh Collins from street sense gave a presentation on vibrant destinations that gave us a lot to think about. Specifically you dove into the evolution of the experience economy and how destinations can capture more visitors by building trust, listening to the data, curating the culture and embracing the challenges. This reminded me of the conversation I had with Paul Leon from the New York state brewers association on episode one 22 when we talked about marketing the hyper-local, you’re cold locally crafted beer. David Holder from J L L ended our three day summit with his presentation on measurement tools and responsible metrics. I loved how David broke down measurement tools into three buckets. One bucket represents the overall destination condition metrics such as travel, spending, visitor profiles, and lodging performance. A second bucket represents travel activity indicators such as website activity, social media engagement, sales leads and travel media coverage.

Nicole Mahoney: 05:38 And the third bucket includes the annual market results such as group bookings, data-driven results of campaigns using technology to measure ROI and analyzing all of it compared to the business plan. A destination is ability to get buy in from its funders and stakeholders is crucial or its to be successful in attracting visitors. The U S travel association has a lot of data and information around this on their website and I had a great conversation with David Heusser, senior vice president of research on episode one Oh one where we dove into many of the metrics that us travel is tracking and that’s a wrap. Three days of summit presentations summarized in three podcast episodes. I hope you found value in the content that we shared and are encouraged to go back and listen to some past episodes of destination on the left to learn more. If you miss the summit in December, you can still access all of the D O T L virtual stomach contents on our website by purchasing our all access pass, which gives you lifetime access to all of the presentations and downloads.

Nicole Mahoney: 06:45 Check it out at [inaudible] destination on the forward slash summit and watch for an announcement coming soon as we are already planning our next virtual summit with more of our guest presenters and new content to share. I will be back next week with another great guest. Thank you for listening all the way to the end. I love sharing this podcast with you. If you enjoy the podcast too, I would greatly appreciate you providing a rating and review. It helps others find our content. We have a goal of 100 reviews by the end of 2020 we’re getting close and could use your help. Click the iTunes or Stitcher link on the destination on the left website and leave a rating and review or go to your favorite podcast app and leave your review directly there. It only takes a minute and your support means a lot. Thank you.

Speaker 1: 07:34 It’s time to hit the road again. Visit destination on the during your travels for more podcasts, show notes and fresh ideas.

Speaker 3: 08:20 [inaudible].

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