Part Four in a series on what the new fundamentals of marketing mean to DMOs and destination marketing professionals as inspired by the recent McKinsey article: “The Dawn of Marketing’s New Golden Age”.
McKinsey-Speak: Develop the management skills and organizational clout to bring cross-functional teams together swiftly. Achieve a shared vision with product developers to facilitate a speedy response to market changes.
DMSpeak: Partner fast and partner often to co-create solutions that get stuff done at the speed of the marketplace.
The Reality Check: Let’s borrow from Jim Collins here and “confront the brutal facts”: The notion of speed and DMO strategic action don’t often coexist. We don’t have a reputation for moving quickly when it comes to strategic undertakings. (This is not to be confused with tactical operations where most DMOs outperform when it comes to client service and guest response.) For strategic development we like to form committees and/or task forces to engage and give transparency to the opportunity and thought process. Then we vet the group’s recommended course of action with another leadership body. Engagement by process (often prescribed in a DMO’s bylaws or policies) rather than for advantage often rules the day for DMOs. A consultative approach? Absolutely. Transparent governance? For sure. The problem is that today’s global marketplace is built upon “always-on” engagement instead of process, further accelerated by the speed of technology. And more often than not, the enterprise that engages fastest to identify and respond to a marketplace opportunity or trend, prevails…again and again.
What Does That Look Like: Engagement is not a codified policy process you can turn on and off when you want to get something done. Its a permanent enterprise practice. Its a brand value. The McKinsey article cites the example of how Nestle deploys “digital acceleration teams” to train existing business units on how to use today’s engagement technology (e.g social media) to stay engaged with their customers and also with their product development teams. For DMOs this means training and equipping sales and service teams with tools to help them discover marketplace trends and opportunities through the customer data and visitor conversations they deal with everyday. This is DMO gold. DMOs can go even further by extending that engagement connectivity to their myriad of diverse community partners and draw upon their marketplace perspectives to amass significant business intelligence that accelerates a destination’s response to opportunities. As Nestle discovered, an “always on” engagement platform accelerates product development. For DMOs it can also enhance the likelihood of marketplace success for campaigns and new destination services. It should even help a DMO support public and private sector product development investment in the destination.
Of course, even with a commitment to an “always on” engagement platform, DMOs should also be taking steps to streamline their governance culture in order to be supportive rather than constraining to the required speed to succeed in today’s marketplace realities.
Next Up: Simple