Focus on integrity and cut the gimmicks, says Nooch Homrossukhon, TCEB’s director of meetings and incentives.
Destination marketing in Asia is constantly challenged by digital transformation — namely data integrity. Data captured from Western markets, association meetings, and global exhibitions is reliable, but when it comes to Asia — especially in the corporate meeting and incentive business — data can be very difficult to capture. This, in turn, makes it very difficult to quantify the true value of our industry.
We remain conservative when it comes to folding certain data into our marketing mix. We prefer to combine data from our research teams and global/regional industry reports with face-to-face discussions with key customers and partners.
I believe the future of destination marketing is rooted in integrity — and telling the truth. Haven’t we seen enough brochures, websites, and promotional videos that promise “personalised service” and “world-class facilities”? In reality, meeting planners just want someone to respond to their emails with accurate information.
For tourism boards and convention bureaus to survive, our marketing teams must do away with cheesy branding and gimmicks. We simply need to be authentic. Our industry must continue to engage customers by meeting them, having open conversations, and creating flexible, cost-effective solutions together. We also need to work together as service providers toward greater industry unity. This will help destinations win business. Greater cooperation will also help us overcome our current data hurdles.
If we claim to be in a “people” business, we need to get out there and meet with people. No client expects one company to solve all of its problems. But they do expect innovative ideas and collaboration.
Delivering the right content design and sharing knowledge is the best way to show marketing leadership. If a new marketing concept doesn’t make your heart skip a beat during the planning stages, it will likely hit a flat note when it reaches the market. Combining our passion to meet client needs with the correct marketing matrix is still best practice. But we cannot forgo, or forget, our common sense and listening skills.
Nooch Homrossukhon is the director of meetings and incentives at the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB).
Learn more about 2018 PCMA-ICESAP Annual Conference in Bangkok, Thailand here.