Bran Ferren is the CEO of Applied Minds and the former president of Walt Disney Imagineering, Disney’s R&D division. This lecture is almost 2 hours long and it is very good. While watching this lecture, I put together another piece of the puzzle that reveals the process and methodology we use with Tourism BC’s online team and Rob Munro’s team at technology partner T4G.
My interpretation of Bran’s argument is that there are two types of people; the requirement thinkers and the big idea thinkers. Requirement thinkers are driven by process, documentation and figuring it all out before you start. Big idea thinkers are visionaries, innovators and driven to make things better. To achieve excellence, you need diverse talent and constructive tension to generate a vision, and an aligned team who’re great at implementing using a requirement process but are comfortable with continued evolution. Sounds a lot like our team.
I also like his statement that “consensus based management is the most evil process for destroying innovation I can think off“. I don’t disagree. Although desirable, it often leads to mediocrity or an insane waste of time.
The part I’m referring to runs from minute 24:30 til minute 46:00. There’s more great stuff, you have to watch it.
In another article I found Bran said: “Big-idea companies are run by passionate maniacs who make everybody’s life miserable until they get what they want.”
Guilty as charged. Sort-off.
Interesting to see a lot of campaigns specifically targetted at growing Twitter Followers or Facebook Fans.
Traditionally these campaigns would be used to grow a consumer database. Is a Twitter follower or a Facebook fan more valuable than an email address? Or is it Shiny Object Syndrome? Or isn’t about the aquisition but about the engagement; the process of entering into the contest. Asking somebody to give an excuse to visit Vegas will at least make somebody think about visiting.
I think a Facebook friend or Twitter follower can be much more valuable because there’s an opportunity for two-way conversation and interaction between community members. Something typically not part of database marketing. But if the objective is to broadcast on somebody’s wall or feed, it will probably lead to predictible failure.
Perhaps the most annoying thing you can tell me is that some DMO is re-branding their destination.
A destination brand is:
To re-brand a destination, you need to change the stories people tell when they get home. In order to do that you need to change the experiences travelers have. Changing your story doesn’t mean anything if yours is different from the real one.
I’m working on an idea I’ve had for a long time with the working title “Disneyworld as the perfect DMO”. Here’s a piece of knowledge from Disney every DMO or travel business can copy-and-paste and hang on their walls.
Mickey’s 10 Commandments
Martin Sklar, Walt Disney Imagineering, Education vs. Entertainment: Competing for audiences, AAM Annual meeting, 1987
Word-of-mouth is the core of tourism marketing. Remarkable tourism product and experiences drive word-of-mouth. No amount of advertising can build credible awareness or brand like word-of-mouth.
While in Riga for the ETC eBusiness academy, I came across a few great examples of remarkable experiences that I’ve told to at least 50 people. Plus the people in my social networks have seen videos and photos. Many of these people asked follow-up questions. What are the people like? Is it expensive? Where is it?
I had dinner in 4 or 5 restaurants while I was there. They were all good. But I don’t remember their names. Except one: Hospitalis, a soviet style hospital themed restaurant. The video I took of my Austrian friend Martin below will explain why.
My new friend Maija from Riga invited me and Martin to “go flying”. No idea what she was talking about but how can you say no to that? About 20 minutes outside Riga was the Aerodium. Hovering 10 meters over a huge ventilator was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. I would fly back the 12 hours just to do that again.
I’ve talked to people. I’ve posted photos and videos on Facebook, Flickr and YouTube. I am the media and the message for Latvia Tourism. I wonder how many of the people I’ve connected with have heard of Riga before? And I wonder how many have Googled either Riga, Latvia, Hospitalis of Aerodrome. Will you?
The future of DMO websites needs real time and social content. Yesterday, our Torch Relay Field Reporter program is a good example of a step towards real time content. And I use social in a broad sense. It means collaboration with people who have a personal or commercial interest in assisting potential travelers to visit a destination.
In our case, our province is a collection of regions, cities and communities; most with their own DMO. Last year our regions took a bold step and decided to use their region on HelloBC as their website. Instead of both spending time and money on development, content, SEO, SEM, etc, we’re now collaborating and HelloBC is better for it.
Most DMO’s are also using Twitter now. Twitter is a great way to connect our website visitors with local experts and give them real time information about regions and communities. So we’re starting to add the local DMO twitter feeds to the relevant pages of HelloBC.
Another step towards a more social and real time website.
Chris Wheeler is our Torch Relay Field Reporter. He will travel with the torch throughout BC and Canada and document the relay, the celebrations while showing off the amazing places the torch passes.
One of our objectives for leveraging the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games is maximizing exposure surrounding the games for all of British Columbia and Canada. And the Torch Relay is a perfect way to do so.
Big kudos to Chris, the Tourism BC team (Paul, Jose and Mike in particular) and our regional staff for doing an amazing job and bringing the vision to life.
Chris will product a video for every day the Torch is in British Columbia and key places throughout Canada.