A Destination Marketing Organization as a trustworthy platform

Deciding which destination to visit is a difficult choice in today’s world. One major factor in deciding on a holiday is the online experience. How easy is it to find information on this destination? How trustworthy is this information? Today, customers expect a quick and seamless visit to a website to tell them exactly what they need to know. As Adam Goran, director of customer engagement at Grass Roots Group, stated “Brands Cannot afford for customers to have a great experience when they visit their website or mobile app, only for it to be fundamentally different when they visit a store” (Best Practice in Retail Sets Example for Others, 2014).

When a customer visits a Marketing Destination Organization’s website, they expect the information and pictures to be exactly what they will find when they visit the destination itself. When visiting the website of the organization they are expected to trust what they find and hope for the best. A customer cannot find pictures of lovely white beaches when at the destination itself no white beaches can be found. “According to a Concerto Marketing Group and Research Now survey, when customers trust a brand, 83 percent will recommend a trusted company to others and 82 percent will continue to use that brand frequently” (Adams, 2014).

A Marketing Destination Organizations needs to help make this step easier for a customer. The information displayed on the website for a destination needs to be easy to access and trustworthy. For example on the official tourism site for Lanzarote they have a page called ‘visitor images’. This page shows the pictures that visitors have taken on different parts of the island. This section makes it easier for a customer to trust the organization and it allows the customer to see the island through the eyes of other consumers. In the screenshot I took of the Lanzarote Tourism website below, the page with the map of Lanzarote and the pictures of visitors are showed (The Images of Visitors, 2015).

Images of visitors

Moreover, for a destination marketing organization to have a great online and offline experience, the right contact details should be displayed. For example, on the official destination website of Colombia it is possible to live chat with one of the employees, to contact them via a form, to find other customer experiences or to find frequently asked questions. As the article ‘Best Practice in Retail sets Example for Others’ states “it means customers see relevant marketing materials in the right location and find staff on hand in the right area at the right times” (Best Practice in Retail Sets Example for Others, 2014). By allowing the consumer to contact the business anytime, anywhere, they are creating a relationship with the customer and making their own business a more trustworthy platform.

References:

Adams, M. (2014, April 22). Three Ways to Build Customer Trust. Retrieved September 18, 2015, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/yec/2014/04/22/three-ways-to-build-customer-trust/

Best practice in Retail sets Example for others. (2014). Raconteur, 7-7. Retrieved September 18, 2015, from http://np.netpublicator.com/netpublication/n54494776

The images of visitors. (2015). Retrieved September 19, 2015, from http://www.turismolanzarote.com/en/panoramio.jsp

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2 thoughts on “A Destination Marketing Organization as a trustworthy platform”

  1. You are right, we expect the information to be correct. In finding out where to go, reviews play an important role. In assessing the value of the reviews, we take into consideration the number of reviews, the extent that they are positive or negative, the popularity of the destination, etc. Research (in other industries) showed that when there is negative feedback, we start to reed more reviews; the influence on the buying decision is not clear. When the feedback is positive, the intention to go there/to buy increases. When a product is popular, the influence of feedback is smaller; for products (destinations?) that are less known, the influence of a review is much bigger. This research was done in the market for games, music, etc. What do you think will the role be of reviews in destination marketing?

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    1. Dear Ed Peelen,
      Thank you very much for your input and taking time to comment on my blog post. I agree, indeed reviews play a crucial role in finding out where to go. I believe that the role of reviews in a destination marketing organization would be to find out the experiences of other individuals who have visited the destination. For example, when someone is looking to visit Lanzarote, they can go to the reviews on the official Lanzarote tourism page and read other people’s experiences. These reviews on the website play a crucial role in helping a consumer choose what destination to visit.

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