Most destinations marketers are familiar with the principles of target marketing. Targeting the right message to move a specific group of consumers through the buying process is standard operating practice at most DMOs.
It is surprising how few DMOs use the same principles of targeting their message to specific groups within the destination. Often the communication with these stakeholder groups is “one size fits all”. Of course, “one size fits all” normally means that no one is getting what they need.
This point was made clear to me during a recent research project led by my colleague, Dr. Mick La Lopa. In this project we examined the adoption of sustainable tourism practices in a specific destination and the results were clear. There were three distinct groups within the businesses we surveyed: one group that was “on the fence” and needed specific suggestions and assistance to get things moving, one segment that was “on board” and needed support and encouragement and a final group that wasn’t thinking about sustainability and needed to be introduced to the concept and convinced of its importance. The strategies needed to support these three groups are very different – one size does not fit all.
As DMOs grapple with their role in product development “internal marketing” is becoming more important. Targeting the message to the folks at home is just as important as targeting the message to consumers.
Want to read the article?
La Lopa, J., & Day, J. (2011). Pilot study to assess the readiness of the tourism industry in Wales to change to sustainable tourism business practices. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management, 18, 130–139. DOI 10.1375/jhtm.18.1.130