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Destination On The Left

Destination On The Left is a podcast focused on the travel and tourism industry that explores successful collaborations, creative marketing ideas and best practices. Interviews are a mix of Destination Marketers, Industry Leaders, Consultants and businesses in the industry. We explore consumer marketing programs and travel trade marketing programs. This podcast provides an opportunity for professionals in the travel & tourism industry to share what they have learned and successes that they have achieved.
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Now displaying: October, 2023
Oct 25, 2023

Jackie Dunfee is a seasoned marketing and brand executive with over a decade of experience crafting groundbreaking marketing strategies for brands. Jackie believes in the transformative power of exploring new cultures and is passionate about elevating unique experiences near and far. As a Client Partner, Travel at VDX.tv, Jackie spearheads strategic partnerships with destinations, attractions, and parks, developing solutions to turbocharge engagement and drive visitation. Jackie was previously the Director of Marketing at Tourism Australia in North America. Jackie has lived in Italy and Australia, experienced over 30 countries across the globe, and is excitedly heading to Japan next.

On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Jackie about how to create video-driven experiences within your marketing to stand out from the crowd. Jackie also shares her experiences working with clients to create campaigns that fit all parts of the funnel.

 

What You Will Learn in this Episode:

  • The importance of making potential travelers immediately associate a certain destination with the visuals they see, creating a direct association
  • Why engaging experiences, such as interactive mapping and showcasing specific itineraries, are crucial in trip planning
  • Why providing information at different stages of the consumer travel journey is crucial
  • Jackie shares how exploring “coopetition” can help people work together for a common goal
  • The need for authentic storytelling to drive attention and create a deeper connection with the destination, showcasing what is unique

Differentiating Your Destination

From her experience in the travel industry, particularly in working with clients, CVVs, DMOs, ski destinations, and resort destinations, Jackie shares invaluable insights about how to effectively market a destination. She emphasizes the importance of differentiation and creating a direct association for potential travelers when promoting a destination by showcasing visual content that resonates with prospective visitors, such as 360-degree videos, allowing viewers to explore the inside of a cruise ship or a cruise room.

Jackie discusses why capturing attention and making a lasting impact in your destination marketing is essential. She digs into how to create engaging experiences and incorporate partner KPIs in video-driven campaigns, and why it’s invaluable for travel brands looking to make a powerful impression on their target audiences.

The Power of Partnership

Jackie emphasizes the power of collaboration and partnerships in the travel industry. She shares how she finds points of connection and looks for win-win situations where each partner gets what they need. She mentions the concept of “coopetition,” where competitors work together for a common goal, and how her company utilizes creative capabilities and data analysis to show relevant content to prospective visitors.

This collaborative approach allows them to access platforms like Pluto TV and Samsung and leverage data partnerships to improve data quality. Jackie’s perspective on collaboration in the travel industry showcases the importance of working together to achieve shared goals and deliver impactful experiences to travelers.

The Personalized Experience

Throughout the episode, Jackie stresses the importance of providing information at all stages of the consumer travel journey. Travelers constantly seek more information and want to feel confident in their choices. Jackie’s team’s commitment to delivering personalized experiences is so important in telling a destination story that resonates.

Resources:

I am so excited to announce that my first book, Stronger Together: Building World-Changing Collaborations that Succeed, has been released! Help me celebrate this milestone and expand your knowledge about collaboration. Find out more information here: nicolemahoney.com

We value your thoughts and feedback and would love to hear from you. Leave us a review on your favorite streaming platform to let us know what you want to hear more of. Here is a quick tutorial on how to leave us a rating and review on iTunes!: https://breaktheicemedia.com/rating-review/

Oct 18, 2023

Born and raised in Michigan, Kevney Dugan grew up playing any sport he could make time for. In the long run, trail running, mountain biking, and fly fishing were the sports that stuck. Fly fishing was the one that offered a working opportunity out of college and took him to Livingston, Montana; San Jose, California; Jackson, Wyoming; and eventually to Bend. Having the opportunity to be the President/CEO of Visit Bend is a dream come true. Rarely does one have the opportunity to take their passions and provide them on such a grand stage to such a wonderful community.

On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Kevney Dugan and discuss how Visit Bend is leveraging influencer marketing to help build awareness and encourage visitation during off-peak times. We also dig into how his team balances the visitors’ needs with those of residents by concentrating on workforce development and prioritizing sustainability.

What You Will Learn in this Episode:

  • Kevney’s unconventional path into destination marketing
  • How Visit Bend has used influencer marketing and why it works so well for them
  • Why they’ve honed their marketing to concentrate on fall, winter, and spring as a great time to visit Bend
  • The importance of bringing the community on board when creating a marketing and PR strategy
  • How Visit Bend is working hard to solve the workforce issue and help young people see travel and tourism as a viable career path
  • Why they created the Bend Sustainability Fund, projects it contributes to, including riverbank restoration and creating new trails, and why it will change the future of the destination

How Visit Bend is telling the Authentic Story of their Destination

Kevney joins us on the podcast to discuss the evolving landscape of consumer engagement and the power of trusted voices in marketing. We discuss why today’s consumers are drawn to information from sources they trust, which means that strategies like influencer marketing are an important consideration for DMOs.

He highlights that collaborating with influencers helps his team share the destination with target demographics. These influencers, using their authentic voices, share their experiences in Bend, leading to significant engagement and even influencing travel decisions based on their experiences.

Creativity in the Face of Challenges

Our discussion sheds light on the importance of adaptability and creative problem-solving, in the wake of unprecedented challenges like those the travel industry faced in 2020. Kevney shares how challenges often spur creativity and innovation, and why, instead of dwelling on the negatives during tough times, it’s crucial to use such moments as learning opportunities, aiming to emerge stronger.

Workforce Development

We also talk about how Visit Bend is engaging middle school and high school-age students and helping them to think about travel and hospitality as a viable career path. He discusses how they hope it’s going to help with the labor shortages they’re currently seeing. Kevney emphasizes that workforce development is all about planting that seed early on and that this industry has some amazing opportunities.

Resources:

I am so excited to announce that my first book, Stronger Together: Building World-Changing Collaborations that Succeed, has been released! Help me celebrate this milestone and expand your knowledge about collaboration. Find out more information here: nicolemahoney.com

We value your thoughts and feedback and would love to hear from you. Leave us a review on your favorite streaming platform to let us know what you want to hear more of. Here is a quick tutorial on how to leave us a rating and review on iTunes!: https://breaktheicemedia.com/rating-review/

Oct 11, 2023

Episode 351:

Mike Skladony serves as the general manager of the consumer services team at Semcasting. He oversees all travel, entertainment, tourism, higher education, and nonprofit clients. Mike’s team of audience developers, account managers, and campaign managers work with clients hand in hand to develop audience solutions and win digital campaign strategies. Mike started his career with Semcasting in 2012, straight out of college and right into a role as Semcasting’s first digital account executive.

 

On this episode of Destination on the Left, Mike Skladony and I discuss how to apply traditional advertising approaches to the digital landscape. We dig into the importance of first-party data and why it plays an important role in both marketing strategy and results. Mike also elaborates on why collaboration and data sharing are essential for successful marketing campaigns.

 

What You Will Learn in this Episode:

  • The specific challenges in measuring the effectiveness and ROI of programmatic advertising
  • How we can apply traditional marketing strategies to the digital landscape
  • Why collaboration and data sharing between companies enhances marketing campaigns
  • How merging traditional and digital marketing methods helps achieve affordability for consumers
  • Effective strategies for optimizing media spend and allocating resources in advertising campaigns

How Programmatic Advertising Works

Mike and I discuss how programmatic advertising can be a powerful tool for effectively targeting a specific audience and driving engagement. He highlights the importance of analyzing both behavioral and deterministic characteristics of the target audience to create highly targeted campaigns. By combining data from various sources, including mobile location history and offline deterministic data, advertisers can identify the right audience and deliver personalized ads.

Although Mike cautions that while programmatic advertising may not always directly result in immediate conversions or sales, it plays a significant role in building brand awareness and influencing buying decisions.

Data Sharing for Better Outcomes

During our conversation, we also dived into collaboration and data sharing between companies and how it can improve marketing campaigns by providing a more comprehensive and accurate understanding of the target audience.

When different companies come together and share their first-party data, it allows for a deeper level of insights and segmentation, leading to more precise targeting and messaging. By combining data from various sources, marketers can gain a holistic view of consumer behaviors and preferences, enabling them to create more personalized and effective campaigns.

Sharing data can help optimize media spend by identifying overlap and avoiding duplication in targeting efforts. As we almost always find when talking to our guests on the podcast, we heard from Mike that collaboration and data sharing foster a collaborative ecosystem where companies can leverage each other’s strengths and resources to achieve better marketing outcomes.

Resources:

 

I am so excited to announce that my first book, Stronger Together: Building World-Changing Collaborations that Succeed, has been released! Help me celebrate this milestone and expand your knowledge about collaboration. Find out more information here: nicolemahoney.com

We value your thoughts and feedback and would love to hear from you. Leave us a review on your favorite streaming platform to let us know what you want to hear more of. Here is a quick tutorial on how to leave us a rating and review on iTunes!: https://breaktheicemedia.com/rating-review/

Oct 4, 2023

Episode 350:

Jennifer Barnwell is President of Curator Hotel & Resort Collection. Launched in November 2020, Curator provides lifestyle hotels the power to compete together while allowing its members the freedom to retain what makes their hotels unique.

Before moving over to Curator, Barnwell was Senior Vice President of Asset Management of Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, a leading real estate investment trust, which was formed and went public in late 2009. She oversaw hotels on the West Coast in San Francisco and Los Angeles and had a team of three Asset Managers reporting to her. Prior to joining Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, Barnwell was Senior Vice President of Peninsula Real Estate LLC, a private real estate investment fund based in New York. While at Peninsula Real Estate LLC, she was involved in all aspects of the fund, including formation, acquisitions, and asset management. Previously, Barnwell was Vice President of Tishman Hotel & Realty LP, where she was involved in Tishman Hotel & Realty’s many activities, including acquisitions, management, asset management, development, and brokerage. Jennifer holds a B.S. from The School of Hotel Administration of Cornell University, graduating with Distinction.

Barnwell currently serves on the Board of the Boutique Lifestyle Leaders Association (BLLA).

On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Jennifer Barnwell about the Curator Hotel and Resort Collection, a new idea that was launched in 2020 to serve independent hotels. We discuss how to amplify smaller brands and the creation of curated experiences that are bookable, memorable, and unique.

What You Will Learn in this Episode:

  • How, by harnessing the power of scale and working together, hotels can compete more effectively and achieve better financial results
  • Why building collaborative programs requires education, commitment, and awareness
  • How collaboration allows independent hotels to negotiate better financial terms and access a wide range of offerings at a lower cost
  • The importance of open communication, transparency, and collaboration in running a successful collaborative program
  • How Curator helps promote the hotels in their collection with savvy digital marketing and showcasing unique experiences

Independent Hotels Getting Ahead

Through collaboration, independent hotels can pool their knowledge, experiences, and resources, allowing them to compete more effectively with larger chain hotels. Jennifer shares how this sense of togetherness helps to level the playing field and fosters a strong support system within the industry.

By embracing coopetition, independent hotels can find common ground and work towards collective growth, while still maintaining their unique qualities and identities. Through collaboration, they can also offer a huge range of offerings and amenities that cater to different preferences and interests to enhance the overall guest experience.

Authenticity and Honesty

Jennifer emphasizes the importance of open communication, transparency, and collaboration in building successful partnerships. Through collaboration, independent hotels can amplify their brands, attract more guests, and create a sense of place that sets them apart in the industry.

Unique Experiences

By collaborating with independent hotels, Curator can curate and showcase experiences that are truly one-of-a-kind to make their guests’ experiences even better. These experiences can range from local culinary adventures, immersive cultural activities, vibrant art exhibits, and outdoor adventures. They help provide guests with memorable and authentic moments that really can’t be replicated elsewhere, making sure that every stay within the Curator network is a fabulous experience.

Resources:

  • Website: https://www.curatorhotelsandresorts.com/
  • LinkedIn Personal: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifer-barnwell-a8689ba/
  • LinkedIn Business: https://www.linkedin.com/company/curator-hotel-and-resort-collection

 

I am so excited to announce that my first book, Stronger Together: Building World-Changing Collaborations that Succeed, has been released! Help me celebrate this milestone and expand your knowledge about collaboration. Find out more information here: nicolemahoney.com

We value your thoughts and feedback and would love to hear from you. Leave us a review on your favorite streaming platform to let us know what you want to hear more of. Here is a quick tutorial on how to leave us a rating and review on iTunes!: https://breaktheicemedia.com/rating-review/

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