Stage 9. Partnerships & Alliances

Unlocking the potential of partnerships to build narrative around and amplify the potential of the brand.

Chapter 9 of our Transformation Series focuses on unlocking the potential of partnerships to build the narrative around and amplify the power of the brand. The first focus of this chapter is the creation of partnerships: building the right partnerships requires a lot of attention not to jeopardise the consistency of the brand of the DMO.


Chapter 9 of our Transformation Series focuses on unlocking the potential of partnerships to build the narrative around and amplify the power of the brand. The first focus of this chapter is the creation of partnerships: building the right partnerships requires a lot of attention not to jeopardise the consistency of the brand of the DMO.

Hence, it is important to look into the brand match and how the brand identity of the partner can align to the DMO's brand, as well as finding the right partner for the desired target audience. After explaining the criteria to evaluate the right partner, a series of best practices and examples will be presented, grouped under different kinds of alliances in the travel industry.

The first examples are related to content partnership, focusing on creating amazing engaging content and distributing it through the right platform. Then, a few examples of industry partnership and how to make the most of the alliances with other players in the travel industry will be explained. With a major focus on the target audience, the focus will shift on niche partnerships, paying attention to how to reach out to segments of the markets that have specific interests and characteristics. Nowadays, it is also relevant to focus on sustainability and innovation partnerships, built to enhance the role that the DMO plays in keeping up with sustainable and innovative trends in the market.

With the material of Stage 9, you will be able to assess your partners and implement your strategy.

This will include:

  • Analysis of the effectiveness of relationships with industry stakeholders, members and partners.
  • Creation of a new Partnership Framework around brand and experience development and digital storytelling.
  • Strategic mapping to identify out-of-industry opportunities in areas such as film & television, brand alliances and their value proposition.
  • A collection of the most relevant best practices in the industry.
  • A series of templates to run sprints workshops in your organisation

A list of Case Studies and Talks to watch

  • San Diego Tourism Authority: Shifting to an ‘Always-on’ Content Strategy
  • Norwegian and Copenhagen: Partner Collaboration
  • Fjord Norway: Data-driven Partner Marketing
  • XGames Oslo: Real-time Marketing
  • Visit Denmark: Creative Content Collaboration
  • Holmenkollen & Airbnb Campaign
  • Contiki - How to Ace your Brand Partnerships
  • Contiki & Visit Scotland - Content Partnerships and Digital Publishers

Partnerships & Alliances... Sprint

The Sprint is the first chance you have to gather your team and start a brainstorming and ideation process to assess and implement the network of partners. To make the most of a Sprint session you should print the following template in a big format, for example, A1 or A0, and hang it on the wall in order to allow contribution from everyone in the team.

The first section includes the identification of existing and potential partners; in the next section, it will be possible to identify the kind of relationship with these partners and if it is motivated by commercial, political or brand-related reasons. Next section enables to set the goal of the partnership, for example, if it is possible to promote the brand values, the content or a new aspect of the strategy of the DMO.

Focusing on content, it is important to consider if there is the need to promote the partnership through storytelling and how to involve the partners in this, as well as, deciding with the partner how to develop or enhance experiences.

The section on the right is useful to look into opportunities; first seeking for partners in and outside the industry. At the end of the sprint, you and your team will be able to come up with a list of 5 top partnerships to be enhanced or build and an initial idea on what initiative to undertake.

Get started with the sprint 🏃🏾‍♀️

A sprint is a great way to rally all your teammates around a big idea or produce great results by concentrating the team on a specific need over a short period.

  1. Print the attached worksheet in large format (A1 is best!)
  2. Find a great communal space, such as the canteen, to stick it up (double-sided tape!)
  3. Invite team members to scribble their thoughts and ideas on the wall
  4. Organise a stand-up session, where several members can express their thoughts
  5. Take a snap, keep it posted or even better 'scan the wall' and digitise into Mural

You'll be pleased with the results when you get everyone thinking collectively.

Types of Partnerships

Types of Partnerships: Criteria to evaluate partners & goals

Types of Partnerships: How to Ace your Brand Partnerships

Types of Partnerships: Template: Strategic Partnership Framework

It is essential to understand what the needs of the DMO are, before trying to identify opportunities. The aim of each partnership is to improve your situation by investing in one great opportunity. Parallel to this, you need to analyse your stakeholders, looking for possible partners. Once selected potential partners, it is possible to start to ideate the concept of the partnership campaign.

The template enables to gather initial ideas and start to build up the key message to attract the target audience in the 'campaign' area. In the top 3 boxes, the focus is more generally on the overall strategy, while in the bottom ones the focus is on the marketing campaign. The template includes a list where it is possible to collect the resources needed and the features of your partner and how to benefit from this collaboration. It is also important to consider time and set some goals in order to realise if the idea is feasible or not and finally, point out issues and problems that may derive from the marketing campaign.


Content Partnerships

Content Partnerships: San Diego Tourism

Content Partnerships: Visit Denmark

Content Partnerships: New York City & Co & Chute

Content Partnerships: Exploring the Groundswell of New Digital Publishers with Tastemade

Content Partnerships: Vancouver Island and CrowdRiff

Content Partnerships: Template: Creating Content Through Partnerships

This Template is the best way for you to start thinking about how to build a content strategy for your partnership campaign. In the first section, you will be able to identify the common goals and challenges of your partnership. Identify what is needed to create content, the goals, the benefits and resources needed. Then think about possible challenges, timeframe and milestones and how to get support from stakeholders.

In the business model canvas it will be possible to identify how to actually develop the whole project around the partnership; not to forget the audience match, it is important to define your personas, with specific and defined characteristics. Finally, the focus in on the creation of content, according to the framework of Hero, Hub and Hygiene, to the people that need to be involved and the channels that are intended to be used.

Industry, Niche & Innovation Partnerships

Industry, Niche & Innovation Partnerships: Copenhagen and Norwegian Air

Industry, Niche & Innovation Partnerships: Holmenkollen & Airbnb Campaign

Industry, Niche & Innovation Partnerships: Niche & Sustainability Partnerships

Industry, Niche & Innovation Partnerships: XGames Oslo: Real-time marketing

Industry, Niche & Innovation Partnerships: Visit Scotland, Contiki & Tastemade

Industry, Niche & Innovation Partnerships: Innovation Partnerships

Industry, Niche & Innovation Partnerships: Template: Managing Stakeholder Expectations

This template consists of a Stakeholder Analysis.

Use this template to define who should be involved in your project and in what way. Learn how to manage your stakeholders' expectations, ranking them according to fixed parameters: influence and interest.

In the first section, list your stakeholders, naming as many as possible, so that you can reduce the risk of forgetting someone. Then position your stakeholders in the grid according to the parameters of influence (high/low) or interest (high/low).

This template will provide you with 4 groups of stakeholders:

  1. Stakeholders that have high decisional power (influence) but low availability that you need to keep satisfied, constantly trying to meet their needs;
  2. Stakeholders that have both high influence and availability, who you can actively engage with and involve in the co-creation of a new product, experience, etc;
  3. Stakeholders that have high availability but low influence, which means you have to keep them informed and updated about what your DMO is doing;
  4. Stakeholders that have both low influence and interest, that you need to monitor in order to detect the right time to engage with them.

Do it with your team in order to collect many different perspectives and opinions.



Chapter 9 of our Transformation Series focuses on unlocking the potential of partnerships to build the narrative around and amplify the power of the brand. The first focus of this chapter is the creation of partnerships: building the right partnerships requires a lot of attention not to jeopardise the consistency of the brand of the DMO.


Chapter 9 of our Transformation Series focuses on unlocking the potential of partnerships to build the narrative around and amplify the power of the brand. The first focus of this chapter is the creation of partnerships: building the right partnerships requires a lot of attention not to jeopardise the consistency of the brand of the DMO.

Hence, it is important to look into the brand match and how the brand identity of the partner can align to the DMO's brand, as well as finding the right partner for the desired target audience. After explaining the criteria to evaluate the right partner, a series of best practices and examples will be presented, grouped under different kinds of alliances in the travel industry.

The first examples are related to content partnership, focusing on creating amazing engaging content and distributing it through the right platform. Then, a few examples of industry partnership and how to make the most of the alliances with other players in the travel industry will be explained. With a major focus on the target audience, the focus will shift on niche partnerships, paying attention to how to reach out to segments of the markets that have specific interests and characteristics. Nowadays, it is also relevant to focus on sustainability and innovation partnerships, built to enhance the role that the DMO plays in keeping up with sustainable and innovative trends in the market.

With the material of Stage 9, you will be able to assess your partners and implement your strategy.

This will include:

  • Analysis of the effectiveness of relationships with industry stakeholders, members and partners.
  • Creation of a new Partnership Framework around brand and experience development and digital storytelling.
  • Strategic mapping to identify out-of-industry opportunities in areas such as film & television, brand alliances and their value proposition.
  • A collection of the most relevant best practices in the industry.
  • A series of templates to run sprints workshops in your organisation

A list of Case Studies and Talks to watch

  • San Diego Tourism Authority: Shifting to an ‘Always-on’ Content Strategy
  • Norwegian and Copenhagen: Partner Collaboration
  • Fjord Norway: Data-driven Partner Marketing
  • XGames Oslo: Real-time Marketing
  • Visit Denmark: Creative Content Collaboration
  • Holmenkollen & Airbnb Campaign
  • Contiki - How to Ace your Brand Partnerships
  • Contiki & Visit Scotland - Content Partnerships and Digital Publishers

Partnerships & Alliances... Sprint

The Sprint is the first chance you have to gather your team and start a brainstorming and ideation process to assess and implement the network of partners. To make the most of a Sprint session you should print the following template in a big format, for example, A1 or A0, and hang it on the wall in order to allow contribution from everyone in the team.

The first section includes the identification of existing and potential partners; in the next section, it will be possible to identify the kind of relationship with these partners and if it is motivated by commercial, political or brand-related reasons. Next section enables to set the goal of the partnership, for example, if it is possible to promote the brand values, the content or a new aspect of the strategy of the DMO.

Focusing on content, it is important to consider if there is the need to promote the partnership through storytelling and how to involve the partners in this, as well as, deciding with the partner how to develop or enhance experiences.

The section on the right is useful to look into opportunities; first seeking for partners in and outside the industry. At the end of the sprint, you and your team will be able to come up with a list of 5 top partnerships to be enhanced or build and an initial idea on what initiative to undertake.

Get started with the sprint 🏃🏾‍♀️

A sprint is a great way to rally all your teammates around a big idea or produce great results by concentrating the team on a specific need over a short period.

  1. Print the attached worksheet in large format (A1 is best!)
  2. Find a great communal space, such as the canteen, to stick it up (double-sided tape!)
  3. Invite team members to scribble their thoughts and ideas on the wall
  4. Organise a stand-up session, where several members can express their thoughts
  5. Take a snap, keep it posted or even better 'scan the wall' and digitise into Mural

You'll be pleased with the results when you get everyone thinking collectively.

Types of Partnerships

Types of Partnerships: Criteria to evaluate partners & goals

Types of Partnerships: How to Ace your Brand Partnerships

Types of Partnerships: Template: Strategic Partnership Framework

It is essential to understand what the needs of the DMO are, before trying to identify opportunities. The aim of each partnership is to improve your situation by investing in one great opportunity. Parallel to this, you need to analyse your stakeholders, looking for possible partners. Once selected potential partners, it is possible to start to ideate the concept of the partnership campaign.

The template enables to gather initial ideas and start to build up the key message to attract the target audience in the 'campaign' area. In the top 3 boxes, the focus is more generally on the overall strategy, while in the bottom ones the focus is on the marketing campaign. The template includes a list where it is possible to collect the resources needed and the features of your partner and how to benefit from this collaboration. It is also important to consider time and set some goals in order to realise if the idea is feasible or not and finally, point out issues and problems that may derive from the marketing campaign.


Content Partnerships

Content Partnerships: San Diego Tourism

Content Partnerships: Visit Denmark

Content Partnerships: New York City & Co & Chute

Content Partnerships: Exploring the Groundswell of New Digital Publishers with Tastemade

Content Partnerships: Vancouver Island and CrowdRiff

Content Partnerships: Template: Creating Content Through Partnerships

This Template is the best way for you to start thinking about how to build a content strategy for your partnership campaign. In the first section, you will be able to identify the common goals and challenges of your partnership. Identify what is needed to create content, the goals, the benefits and resources needed. Then think about possible challenges, timeframe and milestones and how to get support from stakeholders.

In the business model canvas it will be possible to identify how to actually develop the whole project around the partnership; not to forget the audience match, it is important to define your personas, with specific and defined characteristics. Finally, the focus in on the creation of content, according to the framework of Hero, Hub and Hygiene, to the people that need to be involved and the channels that are intended to be used.

Industry, Niche & Innovation Partnerships

Industry, Niche & Innovation Partnerships: Copenhagen and Norwegian Air

Industry, Niche & Innovation Partnerships: Holmenkollen & Airbnb Campaign

Industry, Niche & Innovation Partnerships: Niche & Sustainability Partnerships

Industry, Niche & Innovation Partnerships: XGames Oslo: Real-time marketing

Industry, Niche & Innovation Partnerships: Visit Scotland, Contiki & Tastemade

Industry, Niche & Innovation Partnerships: Innovation Partnerships

Industry, Niche & Innovation Partnerships: Template: Managing Stakeholder Expectations

This template consists of a Stakeholder Analysis.

Use this template to define who should be involved in your project and in what way. Learn how to manage your stakeholders' expectations, ranking them according to fixed parameters: influence and interest.

In the first section, list your stakeholders, naming as many as possible, so that you can reduce the risk of forgetting someone. Then position your stakeholders in the grid according to the parameters of influence (high/low) or interest (high/low).

This template will provide you with 4 groups of stakeholders:

  1. Stakeholders that have high decisional power (influence) but low availability that you need to keep satisfied, constantly trying to meet their needs;
  2. Stakeholders that have both high influence and availability, who you can actively engage with and involve in the co-creation of a new product, experience, etc;
  3. Stakeholders that have high availability but low influence, which means you have to keep them informed and updated about what your DMO is doing;
  4. Stakeholders that have both low influence and interest, that you need to monitor in order to detect the right time to engage with them.

Do it with your team in order to collect many different perspectives and opinions.