Last week, myself and a few members of the Morgan & Co. team attended LTPA’s LT. Governor’s Summit. It was a week full of informative breakout sessions, networking, and plenty of fun swag. It’s a time for the state to come together to share information and resources to ensure that we’re all promoting the wonderful state of Louisiana in the best way we can.
Normally, I’ve always attended the sessions that directly relate to media such as research and social media. This year, I decided to take a different approach and focused on attending sessions that gave me more insight to the struggles that our clients face. One that I found particularly interesting was Mike Prejean’s session “International Marketing on a Shoestring Budget.”
Throughout the session, Mr. Prejean and his panel of international experts focused on the importance of understanding the international consumer and their perception of a destination. Here in Louisiana, there is nothing more mouthwatering than a picture of freshly boiled crawfish getting poured out on a table. Unfortunately, according to a survey done by Mike and his team, boiled crawfish was rated as the least appealing image presented to a panel of international visitors. To them it looks like a bunch of termites or cockroaches. When considering images for a campaign, you need to step back and look at things as an outsider. Is the image something that can be misconstrued? Focus on delivering a message that is universally understood, but still shows the inherent beauty and uniqueness of your destination.
Another area that was clearly a problem for many destinations was effectively communicating what the destination had to offer. Many of the slogans throughout Louisiana used the term Cajun in some way. Many international travelers have no idea what the word Cajun means. When it comes to international marketing, keep it simple. Use terminology that is simple and easy to understand so nothing gets lost in translation.
While a lot of this information seemed to focus on international travel, I started thinking how this impacts domestic travel as well. It honestly translates well. People want an authentic experience and it needs to start with the messaging that we put in front of them. They want an honest view of what your destination has to offer. So keep your messaging simple and concise and focus on what makes your destination truly great.