Should Destination Organizations be Working With Non-Local Marketing Agencies?

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<span>Should Destination Organizations be Working With Non-Local Marketing Agencies?</span>
Bottom Line:

Destination organizations must carefully weigh their choices when deciding which marketing partners they use.

Destination organizations must carefully weigh their choices when deciding which marketing partners they use. Many destination organizations supplement their marketing efforts with marketing agencies, public relations firms and various other services located close to home. However, with the ease of new digital technology, branching out with a non-local agency is worth considering for your destination.

The Pros of Hiring a Local Agency

Naturally, your local agencies provide established knowledge of and familiarity with your destination, often negating the need for excessive research. A local marketing agency can also bring additional connections to other community organizations for partnerships or collaborations. Keeping your marketing agency local can also provide better reach to local residents and those

in the vicinity of your destination.

Working with an agency based nearby also means there are more opportunities to work together in person. Discussing project details face-to-face saves employees from sending countless emails and lessens the threat of miscommunication. If this is a work style you prefer, working with a local agency is a great option.

Non-local Agencies Provide a Fresh View of Your Destination

Fresh eyes in turn bring fresh ideas to your projects and can be ideal in a brand overhaul or refresh. While local marketing agencies bring familiarity to the table, that closeness can backfire. Frequently, local ad agencies become blinded to the novelty of a destination and fail to see what captivates tourists. The ability to see through the eyes of a visitor is crucial. The non-resident at the agency will have a completely different perspective of what your area offers to tourists, and agencies that are based farther from your destination are typically in closer alignment with your intended audiences. This alternate vantage point, paired with a destination organization's intimate knowledge of the destination creates a robust campaign across multiple channels when applied correctly.



Diversity in Creative Minds is Healthy

According to Harvard Business Review, a high level of diversity in professional groups can produce more creative dividends. Working with an agency that differs from your destination organization in race, age, location or culture can create exciting and unique new ideas not seen with a homogeneous pairing. Look for an organization based in an area with different demographics than your organization, but similar to your desired visitors.

Changing up your partnership with a new agency from a different town, state or country can keep your destination organization and their agency on their toes as a unique and ambitious product that will produce engaging results.


Technology Expands our Options

Today, long-distance work is easier than ever. With the rise of digital meeting places like Zoom, Google Meet and Skype, companies from all over the world can meet and collaborate daily. Gone are the days when an organization is confined to local agencies available to meet in person. destination organizations now have the freedom to choose an agency from anywhere that reflects their goals and values.


What Works Best

In the end, much of the decision comes down to chemistry. A marketing partnership will never work if the two organizations' goals and ideals don’t align. Thinking beyond proximity opens up a world of different options to explore. Ultimately you seek compatibility with the most creative and productive team for your long-term success.

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About the Author

Adam Stoker

President & CEO

Adam Stoker is President/CEO of Relic. He's been working with destinations for nine years, consulting with leisure travel, stakeholder engagement, destination branding and convention/meetings marketing. He has been featured in the Utah Business and Utah Valley Business Magazines' 40 Under 40 issues. He now speaks on different industry subjects at tourism conferences across the country, most recently including Utah Tourism Conference, and the Texas Travel Summit. As one of the up-and-coming industry thought leaders, Adam's impact on the industry is just beginning.

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