100 Years of Advancing Destinations

Top 10 Tips: Digital Strategies to Reach Meeting Planners (Part 2)

Posted: October 28, 2013
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Mya Surrency of Smith & Surrency Digital Marketing, is back this week for the top five digital marketing tips to reach meeting planners! We know you all have been patiently awaiting this since last week and we didn't want to make you wait any longer!

Here goes:

Mya Surrency, Smith & Surrency Digital Marketing5.  Follow Planners Preferences for Outreach
Email is such a big tool for planners, as 80% of planners said it is their preferred method of communication with your DMO.  Seeing your team at an event or conference is the second preferred method of communication at 39%.

San Francisco Travel uses our services to bridge the gap between the Marketing and Sales Teams.  In the today’s typical DMO world, Marketing Teams need to focus on marketing the destination and managing their brand and therefore cannot execute the large volume of marketing messages needed to communicate to meeting planners.  By utilizing our digital marketing techniques to communicate the sales team’s travel & tradeshow activities, client events and promotional opportunities to planners, San Francisco Travel Association’s sales team is now strategically communicating to 3,500 to 10,000 planners per month.

4.  Create Online Forms From the Planners Perspective
Is your DMO meetings site easy to submit an RFP?  Too many DMOs make the RFP submittal process cumbersome.  The online RFP form should be short, easy and to the point.  Allow planners to upload the full RFP if they like and use the online RFP to open the door for the lead.

Don’t force planners to use every field your sales team uses in the CRM system to send you an opportunity for business.   Always approach the development of your online RFP from the meeting planner’s perspective and what their needs are.

Think about how you can convert the 27% of planners visiting your website to submitting an RFP.  The same study reported 95% of planners submit online RFPs.  Take advantage of this opportunity and make it easy for planners to send you business.

3.  Be a Part of the Sales Process
Your sales team is working directly with planners and clients.  They know what planners are saying, they know what they want and they are positioning the destination to planners.  As a DMO marketer, make sure you are a part of this process and know how the team sells your destination. 

This is a great opportunity to incorporate your brand and see the messaging come to life in the sales process.  When you know what planners are asking and you know what their objectives are, you will also be able to craft better messaging on your website and in your printed materials.

2.  Spend Time Focusing on Your Sales Team
61% of all meeting planners speak to or email DMO staff and 27% visit a DMO’s website, while only 2% rely on a DMO’s printed materials, according to Development Counselors International’s October 2012 Study “Winning Strategies in Destination Marketing.” 

There is a huge gap between how many planners are talking to your sales team vs. the time they are spending with your marketing materials.  If you are part of a DMO’s marketing team, are you spending as much time focused on working with your sales team as you do on your website and on your printed materials?

1. Integrated Sales & Marketing
The best digital strategy for reaching meeting planners requires an integrated approach that incorporates your marketing team, sales team and your sales team’s activities.

It is imperative that all the sales and marketing teams perform in unison to market effectively to planners and to ensure your DMO is managing your brand vision along the way.  Our agency focuses on bridging the gap between a DMO’s sales and marketing teams to effectively reach planners and drive new business for destinations.

There you have it folks! 10 tips that will help you and your dmo to leverage digital and social media marketing tools to reach meeting planners! If you didnt happen to catch our first installment of this post, feel free to click here and give it a look.

As always if you have questions or comments, hit us up on Twitter and or Facebook, and we'll get back with you as soon as possible!