Dan Rosenbaum is the Director, Global Digital Marketing at San Francisco Travel Association, the San Francisco destination marketing organization. At SF Travel, he oversees all of our content, social media and digital advertising efforts. We are pleased to welcome Dan Rosenbaum as a speaker at #DTTTGlobal on 30th November & 1st December in Brussels to learn about their 'Always Welcome' initiative.
Biggest Challenge in digital, marketing, transformation
Other than the ever-evolving landscape of platforms in digital and marketing disciplines that you need to continually learn to stay on top of your game, the biggest challenge is understanding the entire customer funnel and the journey they take from awareness, consideration, and conversion specifically to your digital ecosystem. That means understanding the digital platforms your audience can or could be coming from, what your visitors do or content they consume on your digital properties, the communication mechanisms to keep your audience engaged and an understanding of analytics and tracking to make sure what you do is working.
Biggest Opportunity in Digital Marketing
The biggest opportunity in digital marketing is to evolve with the existing platforms and your audience to meet their needs. That means marketers need to tap into communities, networks of other marketers and creatives to understand what works and to actively do their own due diligence. One needs to increase their failure rate to learn. That can only be done by actually doing/creating something.
Changes in the Use of Digital Marketing
Three years ago, our consumer digital marketing budget was separated into two campaigns (Holiday and Spring), which was co-opted to our partners, lessening our control and creative freedom. The rest of the year, our digital marketing efforts (aside from email and organic social) were completely off. That completely changed in the Summer of 2014 when we redesigned our current website, www.sftravel.com. We reevaluated our marketing strategy with aim of giving us back control and creative freedom. The answer was content.
After evaluating our audience, which involved mapping out their needs, we created an “Always-On” strategy around our four primary pillars: Destination 101/Iconic, Culinary, Arts & Culture, and Diversity. Instead of just identifying two periods to market San Francisco during the year, we created an integrated process that allows us to create content year-round and the flexibility to amplify content that is resonating with our audience.
Appealing to Global Audience
Through research and visitor data, we’ve identified international visitors as our most valuable visitors. They stay longer and spend more than our domestic visitors. To better meet their needs and attract more international visitors to San Francisco, our marketing and tourism trade department have undergone a realignment that integrates the two departments better and allows us to think more globally. Through this realignment, we're prioritizing market spend by international visitation and flight expansion opportunities.
Always Welcome Campaign
The “Always Welcome” campaign was our response to the rhetoric out of Washington D.C. and our effort to distance San Francisco from the travel ban. We want the world to know that whatever else might be happening, whatever other people¹s attitudes and opinions might be, you're always welcome in San Francisco.
Working with Partners to spread the Message
Our “Always Welcome” message is a part of California’s values. To extend the impact of the message, we’ve partnered with Visit California and the three other California gateways (Los Angeles, San Diego and Anaheim) on the All Dreams Welcome campaign, an international effort to continue the world know that you are always welcome.
So far, despite who or what is coming out of Washington D.C., we’ve seen positive sentiment towards San Francisco and a vocal desire to visit San Francisco for the first time or again one day. San Francisco is still high in people’s consideration set.
Role of Always-on Marketing
It’s the foundation of all of our digital marketing efforts, from strategy to content production to our media partners. We need to always be on, or the flexibility to do so.
Continuation of the Campaign in 2018
We are going to continue weaving our “Always Welcome” throughout our digital efforts as we have teamed up with a local photography group to create a photo essay series that showcases the beauty and diversity of the people who live in San Francisco. Also, we are weaving the “Always Welcome” messaging into other international campaigns across our other departments.
Why should attendees not miss your talk at #DTTTGlobal?
My talk will show how other destinations can be proactive about fighting perceptions one might have towards a destination and show how to turn those perceptions around, whatever they might be.
More from #DTTT
In December we present:X. Imagine RecapThe last day of X. Festival was probably the most unique: two tracks were available to be followed. One was packed with talks and presentations from the most visionary tourism leaders, the second one was a line-up of live roundtables aimed at answering the most debated questions in tourism. Let’s recap on what we [...]#reshapingtravel
In December we present:X. Rebuild RecapThe third day of X. Festival has been incredibly insightful. We have heard from leaders in the data and research sectors, who helped us understand what is happening in the market and how to prepare for recovery through sharing invaluable insights and forecasts. Let’s recap on what we have seen on X. Rebuild. We [...]#reshapingtravel
In December we present:X. Engage RecapDay 4 of X. Festival was all about trends, digital consumer behaviour, influencers and creators, engagement and content. Let’s recap on what we have seen on X. Engage. Alex Herrmann, Director of UK & Ireland at Switzerland Tourism, gave us another daily dose of Switzerland. Ben Shacham, Culture Trip, opened the day with an [...]#reshapingtravel
In December we present:X. Purpose RecapThe second day of X. Festival is over. We have now gone through 40% of the programme. Let’s recap on what we have seen today, on X. Purpose. Alex Herrmann, Director of UK & Ireland at Switzerland Tourism, gave us another daily dose of Switzerland. We have opened the day with an incredible piece of [...]
In November we present:X. Disrupt RecapThe first day of X. Festival is over, which is like saying that we have gone through 20% of the programme. As you can well imagine, there is still a lot to be explored. Let’s recap on what we have seen today, on X. Disrupt. Alex Herrmann, Director of UK & Ireland at Switzerland Tourism, [...]
In November we present:Accelerating Travel Innovation after Coronavirus: From Tragedy to HopeHow can the travel industry take the global crisis as an opportunity to accelerate innovation? Caroline Bremner, Head of Travel Research at Euromonitor International, will share insights from their last research, providing a unique perspective on the great opportunities for tourism organisations and businesses in the field of innovation. As part of a series of [...]