At US Travel’s ESTO Learning Labs this year, our team at Miles had the opportunity to present best practices and essential skills on “How Industry Co-Ops Can Empower Your DMO.” My colleagues, Chris Adams and Laura Libby, and I shared insights into planning, setting up and managing cooperative programs. Industry coop programs no only drive revenue, but enrich and expand marketing for your destination and build closer, more valuable connections with industry partners.
As we prepared for the presentation, we reviewed case studies, studied results and found that these six consistent ideas that are essential to the success of a coop program.
1. Build a Strong Partnership with the Industry
Industry participation models allow DMOs to connect with its tourism industry partners. This takes engagement and leadership from DMOs in a collaborative and transparent manner, developing clear collective goals. A strong partnership allows for far more effective communication between DMOs and partners and serves as an opportunity to strengthen a program.
2. The 3Qs: A Qualified, Quality, Quantified Audience
It’s important to build an advertising proposition that demonstrates the value of the audience you are offering. This proposition, backed by research and analytics, provides specific insights into the audience
3. Visitor-Centric Coops
Successful, long term coop programs focus first on the needs of the visitor and from this, build a great proposition for advertisers. Use research to determine the target audience’s behaviors, interests and motivations for traveling and further, shape the program.
4. Advertising that Informs
Programs are a great way for DMOs and partners to inform and attract potential visitors. Offer advertising opportunities (e.g.: native advertising, formatted ads and sponsored content) that add valuable content and information for visitors.
5. Multi-Channel Value
In today’s traveler’s trip planning process, they use more media and resources than ever, from DMO websites and official visitor guides to social media and online videos. To reach the “Hyper-Informed Traveler”, build an audience across a wide range of online and traditional media, channels and creative types.
Let the results speak for themselves! Provide detailed reporting to partners and encourage them to continue measuring “Beyond the Click”. Work collaboratively to review, refine and improve the program using research, data and analytics.
For additional content on Industry Participation and Coop Programs, check out the other blogs in this series: