Be more strategic: ask WHY

By William Bakker | 05.23.14 | Comment?


Here’s an exercise you should do.

List the marketing activities in your DMO. Be very specific and tactical. Include things like

  • running Facebook advertising
  • managing the Facebook community
  • create and maintain website content
  • build a new website addition
  • advertise on billboards in city X
  • run banner ads on Tripadvisor
  • run PPC/SEM ads
  • build or maintain a mobile app
  • organize industry training
  • attend a tradeshow

Then list why do it. What’s the specific reason for the activity. Start with “to….”
Then list what the reason is for that.
Repeat step 3 until you list “to grow tourism in my destination”


  • we run PPC ads
  • why? to drive more visitors to our website who are looking for specific information
  • why? to help people plan their trip
  • why? to increases the likelihood they will visit our destination or enhance their trip experience
  • why? to grow tourism in my destination

Another one

  • we run Tripadvisor banner ads
  • why? to intercept people who are in “trip planning” mode on Tripadvisor
  • why? to make our destination a consideration
  • why? to increase our changes for conversion
  • why? to grow tourism in my destination

If you can’t credibly get to the last answer, you need to seriously consider if what you’re doing makes sense.

You should also really think about each step and evaluate of this is truly the case. Do the numbers indicate this? And what would the impact be if you wouldn’t do this? What would be the impact on the consumer? Is there an alternative for them? Are you doing some things because you’ve always done them? Or because you think your stakeholders demand it? Or because you need to outdo the DMO next door in some arbitrary number?

For example, what would happen if you didn’t run those PPC ads? Would people simply find the information elsewhere? Is that information elsewhere good if not better? Is the real reason for those ads because you need to report the number of website visitors? This is not attack on PPC campaigns by the way, they can be very effective.

Someone needs to ask these questions, for everything, regularly. It’s part of being strategic.