Sometimes it’s hard for travel marketers to think of the value of their position in concrete ways. Similarly, it’s very hard for management to justify staff resources and out of pocket expenses for positioning work if they can’t find immediate ways to demonstrate some semblance of an ROI. This is especially true when the destination is lagging behind sales projections or flat out losing money. But if you look at your position as the foundation of your marketing communications, just about every marketing initiative gets a bump in ROI.
A benchmark for communications and performance
When you dig down deep and get to the truth about your position, you’re really getting in touch with the soul of your destination. If you use that learning to position your business, then lots of other things fall into place. Just think of front line staff: with an ethos to follow, they can really live the new position and use it to create great consumer experiences. That may sound like an ethereal idea, but it’s very real, and it’s measurable.
Destinations that practice this consistently score better than the competitive set for customer satisfaction, advocacy (or willingness to recommend), and loyalty. Net promoter scores invariably rise. The correlation between these marketing metrics and visitor days (read: profits) is strong. There are other good examples of how a strong position can make other marketing initiatives easier, and return more value.
A focus for internet marketing
With media budgets on the chopping block, the web is the one sector in the destination advertising industry that has seen steady growth in recent years. Without a clear position in place, basic web marketing tasks like SEO and SEM are painful, and likely, aimless. Sure, your web traffic is trackable, but without a position, it’s difficult to create effective paid and organic keyword campaigns that translate into conversions. A unique and deliverable position helps focus your long term strategies for improving organic rankings, attracting more relevant visitors, and converting at higher rates.
A platform for great creative
Perhaps the most compelling example of positioning’s effect on marketing comes in your resort’s advertising and marketing communications. Consistently good creative is the love child of great positioning and creative talent. Agencies whose clients have established their competitive line in the sand, grounded in truthful insight, can deliver great work over and over. Effective positioning makes creative more powerful from the outset, and makes it easier to stay on track over time. Great advertising is just the advantage an underperforming destination needs to fuel a comeback.