Consumers expect brands—including destinations—to think beyond the bottom line and consider the impact of marketing messages. Marketers have a duty to protect the privacy of the individuals they are trying to reach, embrace inclusivity with personalized content, prove the ROI of the budgets spent, and integrate environmentally-friendly practices whenever possible.
How can agencies and marketing organizations in the tourism industry increase responsible marketing? From combatting over-tourism to creating environmentally responsible publications, your organization can choose to follow socially responsible practices and become leaders in making travel more sustainable.
Madden believes in actively developing long-term growth alongside our partners through conscientious marketing. Together, we can lead the way to thoughtful and responsible promotion of travel.
Complying with privacy laws is only the beginning of being trustworthy with consumer data. As consumers, we all want to know that our personal information is safe, so as marketers we should do all we can to respect and protect the people we promote our services to. We should go beyond the minimum efforts that are required and give consumers opportunities to opt out of data collection they’re uncomfortable with—besides, why waste your precious marketing dollars on people who aren’t likely to convert?
Madden takes privacy seriously, and we work closely with our partners to ensure the target audiences we’re reaching opt-in or consent to sharing the information we collect. For example:
- In our remarketing efforts, we do not collect personal information that is protected under GDPR or CCPA policies. As an added protection and best practice, our team expires remarketing lists after 90 days, which is half the time required to remain compliant.
- We’ve evolved our lead generation programs and marketing through our proprietary sites, VacationistUSA.com and VisitGayUSA.com, so that our partners receive better quality leads and consumers are provided with travel information they’re truly interested in.
- Our team collaborates with data platforms to increase transparency and boost consumer control of data. Madden will continue to work with our future & current DSPs to ensure compliance with the cookie-based targeting of the campaigns we manage for our partners.
- We encourage our partners to update their website privacy policies as new guidelines and practices come into play.
As travel marketers, our goal is to connect people to places, encourage exploration, and increase tourism year over year. However, from overcrowding to the deterioration of fragile environments, too many visitors can be harmful to local communities. At the destination level, local DMOs have the responsibility to educate prospective visitors about under-trafficked areas so that they can have a truly unique experience, not just everyone else’s vacation. Discovering less explored locations, attractions, and restaurants makes for a more balanced destination.
Madden recommends implementing Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Programs and Responsible Visit Campaigns to our partners—all businesses and community members should unite together to reduce the impact of overtourism.
Effective Use of Natural Resources
Our history began with promoting destinations through visitor guides, and there are many ways we can improve the practices and processes used to be more eco-friendly. By utilizing page counts that minimize waste when printing and downsizing pages for efficiency, visitors guide become far more environment-friendly. We love sustainable paper, we think it is a more environmentally conscious approach than recycled paper. Paper recycling uses more energy than plastic recycling, it requires chemicals to strip the paper, and you can only reuse the paper seven times before the fibers are too small. To be truly sustainable and environmentally conscious, and give your guide high quality paper, we recommend getting paper from trees that are grown and harvested in an earth-friendly way. These trees are planted and harvested in a way that doesn’t interfere with the habitat and use rainwater (Source: Sustainable vs. Recycled: Which Paper is Best?, Double A Paper).
With the rise in technological advances and our ability to track ROI, it has become more important than ever for DMOs to prove the effectiveness of marketing efforts. Organizations from states to cities have been in the media spotlight fighting for their budgets. To be a responsible marketer, your agency must understand your need to report on the success of your campaigns to community members, stakeholders, board members, and partners. Reporting should be data-driven and provide transparent insights to show your budget is being used effectively with attributable results.
Want to learn more about being a responsible marketer? Let’s collaborate!