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How to market a country

In 2015 I was approached to become the CMO of Dubai (The Emirate). The goal was move the city from the fifth most visited to the #1 most visited destination on the planet by 2020.

It was an interesting challenge (one that I ended up not pursuing). But I did put together my take on how I would do the job. Here is a slightly modified version of the document I shared with the organization with my take on how to effectively market a country applied to Dubai.

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How to market a country

  1. 1. Marketing a Country Dubai Example
  2. 2. Agenda Why Dubai deserves to win Why destination marketing is done poorly How Dubai can be the #1 destination in the world Why Edward Nevraumont for CMO Edward Nevraumont Dubai 25MM by 2020 Action Plan
  3. 3. Setting a baseline: Dubai is already the 5th most visited destination with significant YoY growth Overnight visitors by city, 2014 Million 15.6 Dubai Hong Kong 8.8 8.6 New York Istanbul 12.0 Seoul 18.7 Kuala Lumpur 12.5 10.8 11.8 11.6 Singapore Paris London Bangkok 16.4 Annual Growth Rate Four Year Percent 9.2 2.1 5.0 15.8 5.8 9.2 9.1 4.1 12.0 6.2 • Dubai is the fifth most visited destination in the world • While Dubai’s visitors have ben growing significantly at 9.2%/year, that has slowed from 2013-2014 to 7.5% • In the last four years Dubai has shortened the gap vs world leader London, but that gap got wider from 2013-2014 • Meanwhile Istanbul has experienced the fastest growth of the major world destinations and could overtake Dubai if trends continue 4.7 7.0 13.1 17.5 6.6 7.5 3.1 1.8 -11.0 8.0 Annual Growth Rate Previous year Percent Source: Mastercard’s Global Destinations Cities Index Edward Nevraumont Dubai 25MM by 2020 Action Plan
  4. 4. In visitor spend Dubai drops to 7th place behind NYC and Seoul due to a below average $912 spend/visitor Total visitor spend $US Billion 11.5 8.3 8.1 9.4 18.6 10.9 14.3 17.0 13.0 19.3 Istanbul Kuala Lumpur Seoul Hong Kong New York Singapore Dubai Paris Bangkok London Spend per visitor $US 1,333 939 749 810 1,575 912 1,147 1,092 792 1,033 Four year growth in spend/visitor Percent/year 1.1 3.0 1.1 5.8 -0.1 1.0 1.5 0.2 2.1 2.6 • Dubai has the seventh highest total spend from visitors due to below average spend per visitor • While growth in spend/visitor has been low across all major destinations, Dubai is trailing significantly behind the others Source: Mastercard’s Global Destinations Cities Index Edward Nevraumont Dubai 25MM by 2020 Action Plan
  5. 5. Dubai attracts more visitors from outside region than other top destinations, but regional share is growing Share of visitors Percent • Dubai has by far the largest share of out- side of region visitors • But regional feeder cities in Saudi Arabia are growing much faster than feeder cities outside the region 47.0% 53.0% 58.0% Paris Inter-RegionIntra-Region 34.0% 66.0% Riyadh 45.0% 55.0% Bangkok Dubai Mexico City Istanbul 77.0% 23.0% 82.0% 18.0% 42.0% 64.0% 36.0% 67.0% 33.0% 46.0% 54.0% London Johannesburg Singapore Top five feeder cities Four-year annual growth (percent) 6.8 7.5 4.1 36.6 Jeddah London Paris Kuwait Riyadh 39.7 Source: Mastercard’s Global Destinations Cities Index Edward Nevraumont Dubai 25MM by 2020 Action Plan
  6. 6. Dubai is considered one of the “best” destinations in the world, but it is far behind the leaders Source: TripAdvisor Annual Top Destinations Survey Best (Top 25) Destinations in the World TripAdvisor Ranking Poll 1- Marakesh 2- Siem Reap 3- Istanbul 4- Hanoi 5- Prague 6- London 7- Rome 8- Buenos Aires 9- Paris 10- Cape Town 11- New York City 12- Zermat 13- Barcelona … 23- Hong Kong 24- Dubai 25- Sydney • Dubai is considered one of the “best” destinations in the world but it lags behind London, Bangkok and Paris: • London #6 • Bangkok #18 • Paris #9 • Singapore n/a • Dubai #24 • Thankfully being considered a “Top Destination” is not closely correlated with high visitor growth (i.e., Marakesh), but is a factor that should not be ignored Edward Nevraumont Dubai 25MM by 2020 Action Plan
  7. 7. Dubai has significant strength as an air hub, but still falls behind London and Paris Source: Mastercard’s Global Destinations Cities Index AirHub Index Score Mastercard Destinations Index • Dubai has the fourth highest AirHub score, but only marginally better than New York and Istanbul and significantly behind London and Paris • The combination of ease of travel (AirHub) and attractive destination (Top Destination Rank) is a good predictor of actual visitors. Any attempt to grow Dubai visitors should consider growing both in tandem 41.5 44.3 45.4 45.5 47.9 48.4 50.9 51.2 68.3 103.2 Amsterdam Singapore Moscow Hong Kong Istanbul Dubai New York Frankfurt Paris London Edward Nevraumont Dubai 25MM by 2020 Action Plan
  8. 8. Being the most visited destination takes three interacting elements A Great Destination Ease of Travel Great Marketing + + A Great Destination makes marketing easier and travel seem more bearable. Easier travel makes a destination seem more attractive and marketing easier. Great marketing makes travel seem easier and a destination more attractive. Dubai is a great destination with easy travel options. Great Marketing could take Dubai over the top to become the top destination in the world Edward Nevraumont Dubai 25MM by 2020 Action Plan
  9. 9. Agenda Why Dubai deserves to win Why destination marketing is done poorly How Dubai can be the #1 destination in the world Why Edward Nevraumont for CMO Edward Nevraumont Dubai 25MM by 2020 Action Plan
  10. 10. Destination Marketing around the world is currently done very poorly Tourism Boards were big spenders with Expedia Media Solutions, but none of them put any effort into measuring effectiveness Former VP, Media Solutions, Expedia Tourism Boards spend their money to impress their stakeholders, not to efficiently drive visitors. Only four bureaus spend enough to have accounts with Google. They are barely spending on digital at all. Managing Director, Travel, Google We feel we are more sophisticated than most other travel bureaus…But our best way to measure marketing campaign impact is before and after surveys and we know they are not really accurate. CMO, Destination Canada A lot of these guys [travel bureaus] use metrics like “media impressions” to determine impact. But two Pennysaver articles will get you more impressions than the cover of Time Magazine. Head of Public Relations, Expedia Edward Nevraumont Dubai 25MM by 2020 Action Plan
  11. 11. Destination Marketing is difficult, but much of the poor performance is due to structural issues Driver of poor performance Details Example Politics • Many T&CB teams are created at the whim of politicians. When the politicians change, the teams are often re-shuffled and given new priorities • When Mexico’s government changed hands the entire T&CB team was replaced and all in- flight programs were cancelled Stakeholder Satisfaction • Many T&CBs have limited budgets and need to ‘self fund’ with help from stakeholders like domestic hotels, airlines etc. Their goal becomes to appease their stakeholders rather than outward facing targets • California’s T&CB spends significantly on television IN CALIFORNIA. That way it is seen by the local stakeholders who feel they are getting something for their money Difficult Tracking • In order for destination marketing to be effective one needs to influence potential travelers very early in the decision funnel. By definition early funnel marketing is difficult to track through to impact • Since there is no simple way to track early funnel performance there is less accountability. Destination Canada uses before and after surveys which limits types of marketing activity, and does not correlate to actual results Old School Marketers • Traditional marketing was not data driven. Due to lack of ability to offer equity Tourism Boards have traditionally hired “old-school” marketers rather than cutting edge digital natives • Most Tourism CMOs come from the Packaged Goods Industry and/or transfers from other travel bureau-like organizations Edward Nevraumont Dubai 25MM by 2020 Action Plan
  12. 12. Dubai has the opportunity to break with tradition and have the greatest destination marketing in the world Driver of poor performance Politics Stakeholder Satisfaction Difficult Tracking Old School Marketers How Dubai can circumvent the issue and ‘out-compete’ the other destinations • Stable government in Dubai will allow a team to work towards a specific target for multiple years without changes in direction • Significant ‘single-point’ funding will allow a Dubai Marketing Organization to work towards a goal to drive visitors without excessive need to appease adjacent stakeholders • While early funnel tracking is always difficult, new methods have been created that will allow for an experienced marketing team to measure actual impact of marketing campaigns (more follows) • While equity is not on the table, high base compensation combined with no taxes can attract a strong leader and team. Note: Attracting Americans may be difficult due to their global tax policies, but finding international expertise with significant experience working in the USA should not prove difficult Edward Nevraumont Dubai 25MM by 2020 Action Plan
  13. 13. Dubai has a unique opportunity to become the world leader in destination marketing A Great Destination Ease of Travel Great Marketing High spend Efficient Spend • Dubai is one of a handful of destinations that have attractive characteristics for travelers AND easy travel • Dubai is already a top-five destination without significant marketing • There is huge opportunity to make Dubai a more “desired” destination (from current #24 position) • Dubai has a unique opportunity with marketing. The ability to have a high budget, combined with the independence to change the inefficient marketing methods currently used by destination bureaus Edward Nevraumont Dubai 25MM by 2020 Action Plan
  14. 14. Agenda Why Dubai deserves to win Why destination marketing is done poorly How Dubai can be the #1 destination in the world Why Edward Nevraumont for CMO Edward Nevraumont Dubai 25MM by 2020 Action Plan
  15. 15. There is a blue-print for how to build a world-class marketing organization Tactic Details Collect Information • Use existing customer touch-points to collect as much information as possible • Build scalable survey tools to collect non-customer information • Determine key drivers for travel to Dubai and key barriers for those choosing not to travel • Create enterprise an data warehouse and expose to analytic tools (i.e., Tableau / Qlikview) Create early funnel metrics • Create easily measurable early-funnel activities for potential travelers • Maintain long-term records of activities to ensure correlation to long term travel behavior Maintain Control Groups • Choose specific countries to hold out marketing activities. Use those countries as control groups to measure total impact on targeted countries • Vary marketing activities by country to estimate most effective channels Create a CRM program • Ensure marketing programs drive collection of potential traveler email addresses • Create long term “drip campaigns “ to keep potential traveler interest in Dubai (and drive repeat visits from a actual Dubai travelers) Utilize all marketing channels • Use early funnel metrics to determine most efficient marketing channels • Be prepared to test new channels which tend to have higher efficiency (i.e., Utilize social media personalities to change brand perceptions of target market travelers) • Create “flanker brands” to intercept potential travelers before they have considered Dubai Find ways to shift share • Look for “end of funnel” opportunities to shift share from other destinations to Dubai (i.e., Intercept shoppers traveling from USA to India and offer stop-overs in Dubai) Edward Nevraumont Dubai 25MM by 2020 Action Plan
  16. 16. Collecting Information is essential for efficient marketing spend • Use existing customer touch-points should be used to collect as much information as possible • Hawaii requires all visitors to fill out an agriculture form upon entering the State. On the back of the form is a tourism survey which collects data on who is visiting including things like • How long is the stay • How many people in the group • Independent travel or with a tour • Where will they be staying • Demographic information (age, gender, nationality) • Where they will go / what they will do in Hawaii • How many times they have been to Hawaii • Most importantly they collect visitors email addresses which allow for follow-up marketing and promotion (and surveys) Edward Nevraumont Dubai 25MM by 2020 Action Plan
  17. 17. Early funnel metrics are necessary to ensure efficient marketing spend • APFM helps people find senior housing for their parents or loved ones • In addition to end-of-funnel marketing channels (paid search), we spend significantly on top-of- funnel channels (Television) • Every TV or off-line media spot is given a unique phone number • We track the number of calls generated from every TV spot • The true impact of TV is NOT just the leads from the phone calls. We can see the short and long term correlation between phone calls and ‘brand’ traffic to our website • We cannot know if a given TV spot caused someone to visit our website 4 months later, but we can know the number of immediate phone calls a spot generated and we know that for every phone call generated xxx.x INCREMENTAL number of people will visit the website four months later (on average) • This allows us to focus on TV spend on the short term metric and know(or assume) the long term impact will arrive Edward Nevraumont Dubai 25MM by 2020 Action Plan
  18. 18. Marketing Dubai as a destination needs to drive potential travelers to perform measurable activities • Just as APFM drives potential customers to make phone calls, Dubai marketing could drive potential travelers to download a Dubai Guide • It would require creating a high quality product (similar to a Lonely Planet) and then give away digital versions for free • Actual impact from an early funnel marketing campaign would not only be the number of guides downloaded, but we could assume impact would be correlated to the number of downloads tracked back to the specific campaign • It would be a way to measure relative effectiveness of different marketing activities early in the funnel • (Other early funnel activity drivers could and should be tested as well) Edward Nevraumont Dubai 25MM by 2020 Action Plan
  19. 19. Holding out some markets as control groups allows the total impact of marketing to be better measured From Destination Canada’s annual report • Total international visitors to Canada were up 3.2%, while the countries that had marketing dollars assigned to them were up 10% • Note that this does not mean 6.8% of the growth was due to marketing. Other factors need to be controlled for such as overall tourism growth out of the two groups of countries Edward Nevraumont Dubai 25MM by 2020 Action Plan
  20. 20. Long term Customer Relationship Management is essential for early funnel marketing • Email is a scalable way to maintain touch points with potential travelers • Each email received is a “brand impression” that increases the future likelihood to consume the product • Each email also has a probability of causing a subscriber to ‘unsubscribe’ • Better programs are able to send emails at higher frequency without increasing unsubscribe rates Example emails received from Expedia Edward Nevraumont Dubai 25MM by 2020 Action Plan
  21. 21. New marketing channels can sometimes be the most efficient • Once an early funnel measurement system is set up, different marketing channels can be tested for relative effectiveness • Ting Wireless is a small regional telecom carrier. Without the huge budgets of AT&T and Verizon they were able to get significant growth by utilizing Social Media personalities • Rather than advertising on YouTube they went directly to YouTube ‘personalities’ and sponsored the individuals to promote Ting to their viewership. They also had similar success with Podcasters • With effective early funnel tracking one can determine which marketing channels (TV, Radio, Facebook, Social Media Sponsorship, etc.) are the most effective, and which subchannels within a channel are the most effective Edward Nevraumont Dubai 25MM by 2020 Action Plan
  22. 22. Flanker Brands are a proven technique to influence potential customers early in the decision funnel • While getting social media fans for “Dubai” is great, it would be even better to have long- term influence on potential travelers who have not yet committed to being excited to travel to Dubai – and influence them to become excited • One effective method is creating flanker brands that are more broadly appealing, and then use them to influence subscribers towards your brand • Adobe owns CMO.com where they discuss issues of importance to CMOs, but also nudge the use of Adobe products • A Place For Mom operates Alzheimer.net, a community for people with family members affected by Alzheimer’s. But it also nudges readers to getting help (when they are ready) – with A Place For Mom Edward Nevraumont Dubai 25MM by 2020 Action Plan
  23. 23. It may be possible to shift share of travelers at the point of purchase Expedia search results for flight from NYC to Mumbai It is possible to target travelers by departure city and destination with ads – during the booking process. A/B tests can be done to determine the effectiveness of ads suggesting the consumer ad a stop-over in Dubai Edward Nevraumont Dubai 25MM by 2020 Action Plan
  24. 24. Agenda Why Dubai deserves to win Why destination marketing is done poorly How Dubai can be the #1 destination in the world Why Edward Nevraumont for CMO Edward Nevraumont Dubai 25MM by 2020 Action Plan
  25. 25. Why Edward Nevraumont for CMO? • Edward is a quantitative, data driven marketer who trained under the most distinguished professors in modeling consumer-level behavior at Wharton business school • His four years at McKinsey provided experiences working around the world, including Canada, USA, Australia, Denmark, Czech Republic, France, Netherlands, Nigeria, Zambia, Tanzania, Congo-B, DRC, and Dubai • He led the turnaround for the Warburg Pincus-backed A Place For Mom, quadrupling it’s value in four years • His executive-level role at Expedia gave him a broad understanding of the worldwide travel industry and provided numerous contacts he could leverage in this role • Edward has a ‘spike’ in training and developing teams. He has volunteered his time coaching improv comedy teams to national championships and spent a semester lecturing at the University of Washington MBA school Edward Nevraumont Dubai 25MM by 2020 Action Plan
  26. 26. Good Enough •If you found this document interesting, check out my blog: MarketingIsEasy.com •I am writing a book: “Why Good Enough is Better than Excellent” •You can sign-up on MarketingIsEasy.com and get regular updates on the progress and excerpts from the book Edward Nevraumont Dubai 25MM by 2020 Action Plan

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