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.
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