The DMO Download
A weekly digest for those who market and manage destinations.
Google Analytics Update Offers Opportunities for DMOs
by Paige Schamberg
The Latest in DMO News
This week’s DMO Download is packed with fascinating stories. Check out what DMOs can take away from Google Analytics’s new update, what Brand USA is predicting for US tourism, how rural partnerships can lead to success in funding, and more. Keep reading!
Google Analytics Update Offers Opportunities for DMOs
Many DMOs rely on Google Analytics for tracking and measuring digital metrics. Transitioning from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 offers DMOs deeper insights into visitor interactions with their web content. It enables cross-device analysis, providing a unified view of user journeys across mobile and desktop platforms. The update also allows for more specific reporting on user interactions and demographics, aiding targeted marketing efforts. DMOs can integrate mobile data into their strategies, understand visitor segments better, and draw connections between advertising and visitation patterns. However, the transition requires preparation, resource allocation, and educating stakeholders about the new interface and reporting.
Overall, the update presents opportunities for DMOs to refine their campaigns, demonstrate website viability, and communicate performance effectively. Here are some takeaways for DMOs:
- Deeper Insights: The update to Google Analytics, specifically the transition to Google Analytics 4 from Universal Analytics, will provide DMOs with deeper and more streamlined insights into how visitors interact with their web content. This includes understanding discoverability, user behavior, page views, and other interactions on their websites.
- Cross-Device Analysis: The update will allow DMOs to understand how users engage with their content across different devices, bridging the gap between mobile and desktop tracking. This unification of user journey tracking provides more granular data insights on the full user journey on their sites, enabling better analysis and optimization of marketing strategies.
- Enhanced Targeting: With more specific reporting on user interactions, such as scrolls and engagement, and demographic data like age, DMOs can leverage this information for targeted marketing. Niche targeting based on user interactions and demographics can help optimize campaigns and reach the right audience effectively.
- Mobile Data Integration: The article mentions that tourism boards have been increasingly incorporating visitor mobile device data into their marketing strategies. The update allows for a better understanding of mobile user behavior and its impact on visitation patterns. DMOs can draw connections between display advertising, specific visitor segments (e.g., visiting friends and relatives), and visitation patterns.
- Preparation and Education: The transition to the new Google Analytics system requires preparation and resources. DMOs need to allocate time and effort to implement the changes and ensure their stakeholders are comfortable with the new interface and reporting. Educating small business partners and stakeholders about the benefits and usage of the updated Google Analytics tool is important for maximizing its potential.
Overall, the update to Google Analytics offers DMOs an opportunity to gain deeper insights, improve cross-device analysis, enhance targeting capabilities, and incorporate mobile data into their marketing strategies. By leveraging these insights, DMOs can refine their campaigns, demonstrate the value of their websites, and effectively communicate performance to stakeholders.
Brand USA Predicts a Positive Travel Outlook for the Rest of 2023
This article highlights Brand USA’s participation in IPW 2023, a trade show for inbound travel to the United States. Brand USA, the nation’s destination marketing organization, showcased the USA as an unmatched travel destination and unveiled its latest consumer marketing campaign. The press conference emphasized the diversity of geography, experiences, people, and pop culture that sets the United States apart. Brand USA’s CEO, Chris Thompson, expressed optimism about inbound travel and highlighted the removal of two barriers: the expected near 100 percent return of airline connectivity by the end of the year and the elimination of the COVID-19 vaccination requirement for international travelers entering the United States.
This positive travel forecast and the emphasis on diverse experiences in the United States can indirectly benefit rural tourism. Rural areas with unique natural attractions, cultural heritage, and outdoor activities may attract international travelers seeking authentic and off-the-beaten-path experiences. The removal of barriers to travel and the marketing campaign’s focus on different types of experiences can potentially drive visitors to rural destinations and contribute to their economic recovery. Rural tourism stakeholders should consider leveraging Brand USA’s marketing efforts and promoting their distinctive offerings to tap into the anticipated increase in international travel.
Leveling the Playing Field to Secure Federal Funding
This article from the Daily Yonder highlights the importance of rural-to-rural partnerships for DMOs in securing federal funding. These partnerships involve collaboration between rural DMOs and other organizations within their communities. By working together, DMOs can overcome challenges, pool resources, and present a unified front when applying for funding. This helps level the playing field with urban counterparts and increases funding opportunities. Collaborative efforts also enable DMOs to diversify their funding sources, advocate for their needs, and support the development of rural tourism.
Here are some implications for DMOs:
- Enhanced Collaboration: Rural-to-rural partnerships involve collaboration between DMOs and other organizations within rural communities. By working together, DMOs can strengthen their collective voice and present a unified front when applying for federal funding. Collaborative efforts can lead to increased visibility, improved resource allocation, and better representation of rural areas’ unique needs and assets.
- Leveling the Playing Field: Rural DMOs often face challenges in accessing federal funding due to factors like limited resources and infrastructure. Rural-to-rural partnerships help level the playing field by pooling resources and expertise, enabling smaller DMOs to compete for federal funding on an equal footing with their urban counterparts. This can lead to increased funding opportunities and greater support for rural tourism initiatives.
- Diversification of Funding Sources: Collaborative partnerships can help DMOs tap into a wider range of funding sources beyond federal grants. By joining forces with other rural organizations, DMOs can explore alternative funding streams, such as private investments, philanthropic contributions, or state and local government support. Diversifying funding sources can provide stability and sustainability for rural DMOs’ operations and initiatives.
- Advocacy and Representation: Rural-to-rural partnerships can amplify the collective voice of rural DMOs in advocating for their specific needs and priorities at the federal level. By aligning their interests and goals, DMOs can advocate for policies and funding allocations that address the unique challenges and opportunities of rural tourism. This advocacy work can help shape policies, secure funding, and support the overall development and growth of rural tourism destinations.
Overall, rural-to-rural partnerships offer DMOs in rural areas the opportunity to collaborate, leverage resources, access federal funding, and advocate for their specific needs. By working together, rural DMOs can strengthen their position, level the playing field, and contribute to the sustainable development of rural tourism.
Google Business Profile Showcases Your Destination’s Amenities
It’s important to use every tool you can to attract more visitors to your area, and Google Business Profile offers many opportunities to share what your destination has to offer. A well-developed, optimized Google Business Profile listing can help your destination rank higher in search results and give your area a competitive advantage using listing geography. This includes sharing detailed and clear information about each location including hours, address, descriptions, high-quality images and more. Also, with Google acting as one of the top review platforms out there, it’s vital for businesses and amenities to encourage more people to leave positive reviews and engaging with posted comments to build an active brand presence. With around 63% of visitors consulting reviews before making a decision, it’s more important than ever for businesses to make their listing a space for positive engagement.
Encouraging your local businesses and amenities to build or enhance their listing will help you promote your whole region. While someone may not check out a business listing for your DMO, it’s important for your stakeholders to be actively engaging with reviews and updating it with the latest information to prove their credibility. Once visitors see eye-catching images, positive reviews and an updated profile, it makes them more likely to visit. Read this blog to learn more about how DMOs can leverage Google Business Profile in their marketing strategy.