Within many industries, the role of the brand is to promote awareness and interest in the product, while letting entities down the purchase funnel tackle conversion (sales). Both elements are essential when it comes to turning a profit, and understanding how they work together is critical for companies. Think about the auto industry. The manufacturers (GM, Chevy) promote the brand and models with features, benefits and value, while the local dealer groups and individual dealerships strive to generate foot traffic on the lot and sell cars by way of price points and offers.
Destination marketing organizations (DMOs) also fall into this dynamic, promoting (branding) a city or state, but lacking the ability to actually sell hotel rooms. Therefore, DMOs are generally forced to seek engagement from consumers online – time on site, video views, newsletter signups, etc. – while individual hotel properties are tasked with booking room nights.
Technology today provides means for a branding entity (i.e. a DMO) to advance the information captured and reported on for a campaign’s performance and return on investment (ROI). Cue 3rd party systems! Through established partners, a brand is now able to track and measure a customer well beyond the brand’s lading page and into the lower area of the purchase funnel, even to a point of conversion (making a reservation) and arriving at a destination. In other words, we can determine for sure if our campaigns are directly driving actual sales!
WHERE TO NOW?
With these advances comes the need for serious discussions in terms of campaign strategy and goals. DMOs now have an opportunity to let go of past methods used to determine the success of their campaigns, which historically have been ad buy and landing page based. By releasing the old and looking forward, key performance indicators can now speak directly to the bottom line – Did we book room nights? How many room nights were booked?
It’s a wonderful leap to make, albeit a difficult one, that provides an enormous amount of information and accountability. That accountability comes in the form of cost per sale/acquisition data that both the marketing and executive teams desperately want to put at the forefront.
Over the last 21 years, Morgan & Co. has helped many clients make the leap to such accountability based metrics. At the core, it creates an unequivocal standard by which all strategies and tactics are judged against. It has fundamentally changed the nature of the conversations we have with our clients and clearly demonstrates the value our team brings to the marketing relationship.
Let us help you develop a marketing strategy that is clearly linked to the bottom line. Give us a call at 504-561-5055.