Learn How to Apply Value Proposition to Destination Marketing
Your value proposition is the primary reason a prospect should buy your product or service. It’s not a slogan or catch phrase, but a promise of value to be delivered. It should determine the very business you are in, which customers you seek, why your destination is unique and what your Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) will do to improve their experiences in return for their business.
If you’re a DMO, meetings and conventions are one of your target markets. Has your organization created a value proposition for this market segment? Have you looked at the ads or landing pages targeting this group? Most use some variation of “accessible” or “close to air service” to describe the location. While these are features of your destination, the benefit would be that meeting planners are saving time and money by choosing your destination. Although that is a great benefit, is it a benefit that makes your destination unique?
Are you the only location in the world that has a certain activity? Have you won awards for your location? Why do your clients come back year after year? It’s your job to hit people in the head with what makes you different and worth their attention.
Elements of a good value proposition
Crafting a value proposition can be intimidating because you’re trying to state what differentiates your product/service from your competitors, ideally in 10 words or less. It requires substantial reflection on what is unique about your destination and services.
It must be clear and believable.
It avoids hype, superlatives and business jargon. It can be read and understood in about 5 seconds.
It communicates concrete results.
Without proof, your value proposition gets lost in the digital clutter.
It differentiates your company from your competitors
When people understand why they should buy your product instead of any other, they’ll do it. Focus on the benefits as opposed to the features. Customers care more about what they get by using your product/service.
Testing your value proposition.
You can evaluate your current value proposition by checking whether it answers these four questions:
What product or service is your company selling?
What is the end benefit of using it?
Who is your target customer for this product or service?
What makes your offering unique and different?
The best way to test the effectiveness of possible value propositions is through split A/B testing. If you don’t have the resources to conduct A/B testing, create several variations of PPC ads and measure the clickthrough rate of each.
Why a value proposition is important in DMO
Many destinations market their locations by showcasing a pretty image with creative copy, but what is that ad actually telling consumers? How does your message stand out from every other destination?
Kayak does a great job of this within the travel industry. The concept of comparing travel costs isn’t new, but Kayak offers consumers the unique benefit of saving more time and more money than other tools:
“Compare hundreds of travel sites at once. You could save 25% or more on the same hotel.”
The message is clear and concise. Now, how can you apply this concept to meeting planners?
What meeting planners consider as a unique benefit
Meeting planners are looking for DMOs to provide intellectual and innovative resources that would benefit their industry. As an example, medical meeting planners are searching for destinations near top-tier medical institutions that they can tap into for event speakers, sponsors, exhibitors and tours. By having access to local experts, a unique and value added benefit would be not having to pay to fly speakers across the country or offering tours of the medical facility to provide an enhanced experience for the attendees. This is a unique benefit that meeting planners want and one you may want to consider highlighting in your value proposition.
Now sharpen your pencil and craft your value proposition so meeting planners understand the value of choosing your destination.
A veteran in Destination and Hotel Sales and Marketing, Shirley utilizes her expertise to develop services that assists DMO’s in research, generating leads and increasing awareness for the destination’s meetings product and experiences.