2022 Predictions Series: Video is the Most Important Advertising Asset

With a double-digit increase in hours watched on both new and existing platforms, there was nothing more important than video in 2021. Consumers evolved into “explorers” and “superfans” of video content. With an increase across numerous platforms, we witnessed an enormous rise in both short-form organic social and long-form DIY videos. Harnessing the power of video will allow DMOs to open doors and lenses to authentic interaction between their brand and their audience.

The Changing Landscape of Television

Not only has the Media Rating Council changed how they define Conected TV (CTV), but the entire CTV advertising space has grown exponentially — fueled by rapid investments and massive growth of consumer streaming activities.

While it is no surprise to see video as a trend moving into 2022, the metrics are staggering when video marketing generates 48 percent more overall engagement and 1,200 percent more shares than text or image-based content. According to some experts, whether you feel you can or cannot afford video doesn’t matter. Some even go as far as to say the “golden age of TV” has ended. The creator economy is the one that is driving content consumption and communication.  By diversifying linear and streaming strategies, DMOs can accomplish a more balanced and effective video strategy.

The Next Steps

The keys to video success in 2022 will require appealing to short attention spans. According to experts, one video can represent over 1.8 million words — knowing this, storytelling through video will define the ever-changing landscape of marketing. You want videos that are easy to consume, highly informative, and as entertaining as possible — be sure to emphasize people over products. These videos will be important in both your organic and your paid media efforts. These videos will be useful on Google’s Video for Action and to a lesser extent YouTube shorts, Instagram which is over 50 percent of Meta’s media revenues, and TikTok, the fastest growing social media platform, which surpassed Google as the world’s most popular search domain. Pair strong anecdotal and visual storytelling, and you will develop a repeatable approach to keep your audience engaged.

More Predictions to Come

Be sure to keep an eye out for future blogs as we further explore each of these key concepts and trends, and follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn, where we will be sharing more predictions for this year from our team.

2022 Predictions Series: Search Continues to Evolve

Search as we know it is long gone. Consumers seek greater sensory experiences in their search approach and expect both their results and their tactile interactions with websites to evolve. Increases in voice search (20 percent of all searches), video search (YouTube is the second largest search engine), and visual search (19 percent of all searches return image-based results) has changed the entire landscape. 

Your future search performance requires a balance of showing your deep expertise surrounding your destination, referential authority through user engagement and trusted links, and technical performance and compliance.

The Rise of SEO

While content is king, it will not drive improved organic search results alone. Look to create exceptional SEO-friendly content experiences that integrate text, images, video, gamification, and other interactive content. Content should be focused on your ideal audience and the experience they are seeking, not just on the facts of your destination. Also, content does not always need to be new. Optimizing old web pages can drive new traffic too. Most organic visits are from first-time visitors, so what you have re-written even 10 times is still brand new to them.

Optimize for Best Results

Optimization of websites will continue to be of utmost importance when it comes to ranking high in search results. The release of Google’s Core Web Vitals metrics is factored into search results, making website performance and user experience a key indicator in determining placement in search results. You must optimize for page load speed, particularly with the size of images and video files, for the best results.

SERP Evolutions 

Google’s featured snippets and knowledge maps combined with the growth of zero-click searches deliver content on the search engine results page (SERP) without requiring a click. This evolution makes your technical approach to SEO even more important. Optimizing your on-page SEO structure and schema implementation for events, articles, FAQs, and videos is critical for showing up in highly-visible SERPs. 

Ranking Your Videos

Perhaps the most significant changes we’ve seen in search are video searches. Much like some of the keyword tactics of long ago, a robust tagging strategy could quickly move videos to the top of the search rankings for that keyword. As we move into 2022, tags have much less importance, and focusing on the right keyword, title, description, and video completion rates will drive performance in search.

The Downside of Search

We see levels of paid search and structured snippets dropping organic results well below the fold. You need to keep a strong search engine marketing strategy focused on your target audiences to ensure your message is being discovered and not conquested by competing destinations.

More Predictions to Come

Be sure to keep an eye out for future blogs as we further explore each of these key concepts and trends, and follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn, where we will be sharing more predictions for this year from our team.

2022 Predictions Series: Need for Destination Intelligence

For destination marketers, we know it’s vital to capture insights for learning, evolving your campaigns, and advocating for your program. As destination marketing organizations continue to make evolutionary leaps toward destination management, effective data assets and resources are essential.  

Destinations need data-driven tools to inform decision-making, measure impact, and fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities. Added to these critical responsibilities, DMOs need to be able to answer routine, though complex, daily operational questions, such as “what was my destination’s RevPAR for the past 3 months?” Moreover, you need to communicate those answers effectively and efficiently to your community leaders and destination stakeholders.

The Road Ahead

The pandemic is still with us, and it’s unclear how tourism will continue to change or create lasting changes. The only thing that’s certain is that visitation trends and traveler behaviors will be different than what existed before the pandemic. Competition for leisure dollars is also more fierce than ever with destinations routinely competing in an increasingly crowded marketplace. These challenges demand better data and information to create the most effective and cost efficient marketing and media strategies possible.

Chart Your Course

Madden’s destination intelligence platform, Voyage, is a dedicated response to the information and data needs of the modern DMO. Guided by decades of combined direct experience in the DMO industry, Voyage was designed and built to answer routine, but complex, questions in 30 seconds or less while still retaining  all the depth and capabilities needed in a complex industry environment. 

In a single platform, Voyage users are able to access daily updates on visitor behaviors, gather intel on the paid digital media activities of competitors, access hotel and lodging trends, and much more. These powerful tools are accompanied by a dedicated support team led by industry veterans with decades of direct experience in the destination intelligence field. 

Voyage in Action

Traverse City Tourism wanted to collect short-term rental tax, which would significantly increase their operating budget. However, they needed evidence showing a direct correlation between their advertising and overnight stays in short-term rentals to show their local and state legislatures. We used Voyage’s geolocation data capabilities to analyze the origin markets of visitor traffic into highly saturated short-term rental areas.

First, we established geofencing around the top areas in Traverse City with short-term rental density (excluding hotels). Then, we identified the top 20 markets Traverse City Tourism places advertising and analyzed how many devices traveled from those origin markets and stayed overnight in one of our geofenced areas. We then analyzed this data and found a moderate to strong correlation between media impressions and overnight stays in short-term rentals. We integrated this data into Voyage’s visualization dashboard so Traverse City Tourism could easily share the data with the legislatures.

Data is Destiny

It’s more critical than ever to use every available advantage to increase the economic impact of visitation. Whether through attracting new visitors, increasing the impact of returning visitors, or via sustainable tourism initiatives to name a few. As traveler behavior and visitation trends continue to fluctuate due to economic and public health challenges, DMOs need real-time information that helps them lead their communities with evidence-based decision-making. 

More Predictions to Come

Be sure to keep an eye out for future blogs as we further explore each of these key concepts and trends, and follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn where we will be sharing more predictions for this year from our team.

2022 Predictions Series: Digital Tribes are Building the Creator Economy

Online communities and social influencers have been growing as an industry for several years with the influencer marketing industry exceeding $13.8 billion in 2021. When Hubspot asked global B2C marketing professionals which trends they planned to invest in for 2022, 61 percent said they would focus on influencer marketing because it generated higher ROI than other trends like mobile web design and short-form video marketing.

The Creator Economy

While the industry has seen this group as a channel for marketing, they have quietly become the most powerful and trusted publishers and organizers. Whether it is social change, commerce, or the latest trends, their collective voices are leading us into a future that will be known for the “creator economy.” 

Individuals seeking to make a living doing something fulfilling with greater autonomy have driven the growth of the creator economy. Consumers have responded by finding independent content creators, and becoming loyal followers because of people they trust and share their values. According to SignalFire, there are 50 million creators, two million (four percent) of which earn a full-time income from their content and (4 percent) and 47 million (94 percent) earn a part-time income from their content. 

Leveraging Creators

Attracting social influencers to your destination is no longer a transaction, we need to broaden how we think about engagement with these creators. Yes, there will be paid social influencers initiatives, but there will also be earned creative and content partnerships that will require the same level of concierge services destinations provide to traditional earned media partners. Metrics and engagement will also evolve as social influencers have the ability to provide high-quality content and metrics from their efforts. While the largest branded publications have a wide-reaching audience, we are seeing data suggest that micro-influencers with under 100K followers may be more effective as their niche audiences are more invested and engaged.

These creators are also going to reshape the digital landscape. Creators are already moving their top fans off of the largest social networks and on to their own websites, apps, newsletters, and monetization tools like Substack. Taking the power from the hands of monolithic Web 2.0 companies, these creators are going to usher in the next evolution of the web as the cloud and decentralized platforms used in the Web 3.0 future that will go well beyond the “meta-verse”.

More Predictions to Come

Be sure to keep an eye out for future blogs as we further explore each of these key concepts and trends, and follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn where we will be sharing more predictions for this year from our team. 

2022 Predictions Series: Responsibility Matters More than Ever

What is the role of the DMO in 2022? What should you do when driving visitations is no longer your main aim? Responsibility in destination marketing has never been more crucial than it is today, and DMOs must shift their marketing strategies to meet the moment. 

DMOs are working within an environment with more conscientious consumers. They want to support brands that share their values, and they are putting more of an emphasis on companies’ positions and initiatives on environment and social responsibility. We are seeing research from organizations like McKinsey that predict customers more heavily supporting brands that demonstrate care for all customers, employees, and shared causes. This creates opportunities for destinations to reach out to causes they care about and to create new partnerships.

We predict that responsible stances in three main areas, environment, diversity and inclusion, and privacy will dominate destination in the coming year. 

Environmental Stewardship

With outdoor recreation seeing the greatest increase in the history of its measurement, there will be increasing calls for sustainable and regenerative tourism from residents and visitors alike. Using your marketing funnels and tools can help ensure your sustainability message is shared with your future visitors that welcomes them while also educating people on being good stewards of your community.

Idaho is a destination flush with natural assets and outdoor recreation experiences. The COVID-19 pandemic saw visitors flock to the state in high numbers as outdoor experiences because the most popular attraction. As Visit Idaho’s agency of record, we developed a marketing campaign in partnership with Idaho Fish & Game and Idaho State Parks & Recreation, encouraging Idaho residents and visitors to recreate responsibly. The multi-channel campaign included sustainability messaging being served to target audiences and driving online users to a landing page with key information and resources about conservation and respectful use of Idaho’s state and federal land. 

Diversity and Inclusion

This year, we predict there will be continued focus around diversity and inclusion, but that focus will expand beyond race and gender to include those with accessibility challenges. You should look to embrace representative storytelling within your creative and develop content that highlights the accessibility of your community. 

 Visit Mesa is a leader in this effort and it is time for more destinations to stop thinking purely about making their websites and marketing inclusive, and start looking for ways to make their destinations more inclusive.  What we have seen over the past two years is that prior barriers to change are eroding and the expectation of speed to change is continuing to increase. 

Consumer Privacy

Privacy and consumer control over their own digital content and their digital experience will continue to dominate investments made by the major brands and the news cycles. The collection of data, especially first-party data is going to continue to be important in understanding consumer behaviors and marketing towards your most valuable audiences. Doing so must be done transparently to provide a  better user experience for your visitors. 

While lead generation tactics are one way to gain these insights, user behavior on the website can inform recommendations through machine learning, such as the work we have done with Discover Atlanta. Another way to earn opt-in leads is through tactics that provide consumers with value or engaging experiences for their information, like this fall campaign we did with Visit Idaho.

More Predictions to Come

Be sure to keep an eye out for future blogs as we further explore each of these key concepts and trends, and follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn where we will be sharing more predictions for this year from our team. 

2022 Predictions Series: A Look Back at 2021

In the decade preceding the pandemic, the travel industry enjoyed unsurpassed growth. Business was good. March 2020, the world rapidly changed, and in less than two years, the tourism industry entered a new era of destination marketing. As modern media and consumer buying behavior shifted, so did we. Join us as we look back at some of 2021’s highlights.

VISIT TAMPA BAY: Unlock Your Inner Pirate Campaign

With more than a double-digit increase in hours watched by consumers across all platforms, there was nothing more important than video in 2021. That’s why when Visit Tampa Bay wanted to attract more Gen Z and Millennial travelers, we had just the answer. Madden partnered with Visit Tampa Bay to create the “Unlock Your Inner Pirate” video campaign. A series of three high-energy video sets that highlighted activities young people enjoy doing on vacation. Exhilarating attractions, a hip, bustling waterfront and a pumpin’ nightlife scene all worked to highlight Florida’s most diverse destination. Everything about the music and imagery aligned with this target audience’s interests, which effortlessly worked to capture both organic and paid media efforts for the client. 

VISIT IDAHO: Break Away Campaign

In the midst of a global pandemic, Idaho needed their messaging to be both flexible and relatable. That’s when Madden partnered with Visit Idaho to develop the “Break Away” campaign. With travelers wanting to break away from the everyday, and to take a break away from the day-to-day, this campaign elevated brand awareness to do just that. Through employing a multi-faceted media plan across a wide variety of channels (including Google, Amazon, TikTok, Pinterest, Connected TV, and more), prospective visitors were transported to the wide open spaces, outdoor recreation, and natural beauty of Idaho. 

DISCOVER ATLANTA: Diversity and Inclusion in Website Redesign

Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau (ACVB) was looking for an agency partner to bring their destination’s essence to life by inspiring audiences with a redesigned website, spotlighting the destination’s pride in its diversity, and creating a personalized experience for each website visitor. 

Now, when a user reaches the new DiscoverAtlanta.com, they are greeted with a large header video that features couples and families of all ages and ethnic backgrounds discovering things to do in the region. ACVB and Madden consciously selected and featured a majority of non-white models and included an older couple and gay couple. In addition to visual representation throughout the site, Madden worked with local Black content creators to write inspiring, personal stories of their favorite places to spend time in Atlanta so travelers would get a local’s view of the city’s outdoor activities, dining, history and more.

Traverse City Voyage dashboard

TRAVERSE CITY TOURISM: Data Marketing and Voyage 

Destination marketing organizations continue to make the evolutionary leap to destination management organizations. As they do so, our partners need data-driven tools to inform decision-making, measure impact, and fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities. In 2021, Traverse City Tourism needed data ammunition to show local and state legislatures that there was a direct correlation between where they placed paid media and increases in overnight stays to short term rentals. Working with Madden’s data analysis experts, Traverse City Tourism used Voyage’s geolocation data capabilities to analyze visitor traffic into highly saturated short term rental areas. Madden developed a Visitation Intelligence Report that analyzed Traverse City’s paid media efforts in the top 20 competing markets. This data was integrated and visualized in Voyage to analyze if there was a correlation between Traverse City’s advertising and an increase in overnight stays. Madden and Traverse City found a moderate to strong correlation between paid media impressions in the top 20 markets, and increases in overnight stays to short term rentals in Traverse City.

TRAVEL WYOMING: Innovative Technologies 

In 2021, we sought to create exceptional SEO-friendly content experiences that integrate text, video, gamification, and other interactive content. Travel Wyoming partnered with Madden to tailor technology to accommodate a number of unique search needs. One example of innovative technologies is the Travel Wyoming chatbot feature located on the Places to Go page. With nearly 98,000 square miles of exploration opportunities, the interactive chatbot (also known as Wyatt-Bot) helps visitors refine their search to feature experiences specific to their interests. 

Another innovative addition to the Travel Wyoming site is the interactive map, which takes data from multiple sources including external APIs, hand-sourced locations, and Wyoming Outdoor Recreation, and weaves them together to create an information-rich, filterable interactive map. At last count, the interactive map features over 18,000 points of interest, and is updated regularly. Each point of interest includes further details such as photos, access instructions, and contact information for businesses, as well as a link to step-by-step directions. The map can also be used offline, allowing users to reference it even in the Wyoming wilderness. Following its launch, it quickly became one of the most visited pages on TravelWyoming.com.

Goodbye, 2021. Hello, 2022!

Keep an eye out for future blogs as we further explore key concepts and trends as we say goodbye to 2021 and look ahead to what destination marketing will bring in 2022. Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn where we will be sharing more insights from our team in the New Year.

2022 Destination Marketing Predictions

This year, we have seen substantial shifts throughout the world. In 2021, people revisited everything from spending to working habits as they decided how to become a better, healthier version of themselves. We also saw consumers craving community and connectedness. They came together to support local businesses and check in on vulnerable family and friends. And as they became more confident in their safety, they sought out travel, events, and engagement — especially new and novel experiences. 

The good news for tourism is travel is seen as both essential and healthy. Consumers are researching travel options like never before, as evidenced by growing organic visitation on destination marketing websites. We know the marketing landscape is constantly evolving, and it is why your team at Madden Media always stays two steps ahead, as we embrace emerging trends that will best benefit our partners. 

Over the next two months, we will share our predictions for destination marketing in 2022, starting with this blog. We will dive into each of these predictions in-depth in the new year. Be sure to follow our Facebook and LinkedIn as well, where you can find additional insights and predictions from our Madden team. 

1. Responsibility Matters More than Ever

Responsibility in destination marketing has never been as crucial as it is today. We are working in a more conscientious consumer environment. Privacy and consumer control will continue to dominate investments made by the major brands and news cycles. We predict there will also be a continued focus around diversity and inclusion, with consideration expanding beyond race and gender to include those with accessibility challenges. 

Additionally, outdoor recreation is seeing the greatest YOY increase in interest in the history of its measurement. We predict there will be an increasing call for sustainable and regenerative tourism from residents and visitors alike. Using your marketing funnels and tools can help ensure your sustainability message is shared while welcoming and educating your future visitors on being good environmental stewards of your community.

2. Digital Tribes are Building the Creator Economy

Online communities and social influencers were a $13.8 billion industry in 2021. While the industry has long seen this group as a channel for marketing, they have quietly become the most powerful and trusted publishers and organizers. Whether it is social change, commerce, or the latest trends, their collective voices are leading us into a future that will be known as the “creator economy.” Attracting social influencers to your destination is no longer a transaction. We need to broaden how we think about engagement across all platforms and the evolution of metrics and engagement as social influencers provide higher-quality content. These creators will usher in the next evolution of the web. 

3. Need for Destination Intelligence

We know the need to capture insights to learn, evolve, and advocate for destination marketers is essential to their overall success. Destination marketing organizations continue to make the evolutionary leap to destination management organizations. As they do so, our partners need data-driven tools to inform decision-making, measure impact, and fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities. Emerging from the pandemic, we know consumer behavior has changed, and you need the tools to uncover insights on new and future travelers. Understanding travelers’ patterns should inform your media and creative strategy.

4. Search Continues to Evolve

Search as we know it is gone, with voice, video, and visual searches now defining the landscape. Consumers seek greater sensory experiences in their search approach and expect both their results and their tactile interactions with websites to evolve. Future search performance will be a balance of showing your deep expertise surrounding your destination, referential authority through user engagement and trusted links, and technical performance and compliance. Look to create exceptional SEO-friendly content experiences that integrate text, images, video, gamification, and other interactive content. The content should be focused on your ideal audience and the experience they are seeking, not just on the facts of your destination. 

5. Video is the Most Important Advertising Asset

There was nothing more important than video in 2021 — with more than a double-digit increase in hours watched by consumers across all platforms. The key to success with video in 2022 will be appealing to short attention spans. You want videos that are easy to consume, highly informative, and are as entertaining as possible. These videos will be vitally important in both organic and paid media efforts. 

6. User Experience Above All

The user experience is important across all marketing landscapes. The best organizations focus strategies on fewer channels to do fewer things to better connect with their audiences. We think experiential marketing will make a big comeback in 2022, with audiences looking to participate in live, immersive experiences. This will come in many forms, whether physical, live-stream, or virtual—including VR/AR platforms. Destinations should balance in-destination and target market origin locations, especially if there is an opportunity to engage the creator economy.

7. It’s Your Brand

It’s essential you find your voice, where you want to choose to play, and how you want to win. All brands and destinations are unique and shaped differently by their individual goals. Be different, and your own kind of weird—do not try to look like everyone else.

Be different, and your own kind of weird

More Predictions to Come

Be sure to keep an eye out for future blogs as we further explore each of these key concepts and trends, and follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn where we will be sharing more insights from our team in the New Year.

Destination Marketing Expert Joins Madden

Madden Media is excited to announce that Jamie Claudio has joined the agency as its newest Vice President, Destination Strategy. She will support Madden’s partners’ overall destination strategies and develop innovative marketing campaigns.

Claudio’s deep understanding of how tourism ties to economic development, combined with her agency experience across verticals, allows her to think like a DMO while guiding destination management organizations need towards success. In addition to her role leading the development of powerful marketing solutions for destinations, Claudio will assist in the expansion of Madden’s public relations services with a focus on creating cohesive client strategies across communications channels. 

Claudio previously served as Vice President, Marketing & Sales for Discover Long Island where she was responsible for overseeing marketing, meetings sales, and international travel trade endeavors on behalf of the organization. Prior to her DMO experience, she spent several years working for New York City public relations and marketing agencies with a focus on consumer and luxury goods before falling in love with the travel industry when she began working for Development Counsellors International. During her time at Discover Long Island, Claudio also served on the New York State Tourism Industry Association (NYSTIA) Board of Directors from 2016-2020.

Audio Advertising: Get in the Ear of Travelers

Streaming audio is experiencing a boom. According to a study by Edison Research and Triton Digital, users spent an average of over 16 hours a week listening to streaming audio — a 19 percent increase from three years ago. That same study showed 62 percent of the United States’ population had listened to online audio that week — a nine percent increase from three years ago. There is a prime opportunity for audio advertising.

Key players in the travel industry are demonstrating they understand the value of audio advertising. Tripadvisor recently partnered with Audible — giving Tripadvisor Plus members access to Audible’s audio originals, audiobooks, and podcasts. 

As the popularity of on-demand audio grows, destinations should take advantage of this channel to connect with their target audiences. Here’s how our media experts recommend deploying audio advertising through audio streaming platforms to amplify your brand message. 

Use Geo-Targeting

The audio streaming advertising environment allows destinations to target users based on where they are listening. DMOs should take advantage by deploying audio advertising in key origin or conquesting markets. You can segment targeting even further, deploying ads to users based on when and where they are listening, such as a morning commute or in the gym. 

Target Traveler Intents

Destinations have unique assets, such as culinary, outdoor recreation, sports, history, and more. Travelers have matching interests and choose their vacation destination based on what they enjoy doing. DMOs should develop intent-based target audiences, defined by why people should travel to their community, and then advertise on podcasts that discuss topics that align with their intent-based audiences’ interests.

Borrow Reputability  

Numerous thought leaders and celebrities have started podcasting over the past few years. These individuals have a loyal following of listeners who trust their judgment and give weight to their endorsements. DMOs can borrow this reputation and have hosts read ads organically — providing an authentic recommendation, vital in the travel industry. 

Message Pull-Through

Online web browsers have ad-blocking extensions, which make digital display and traditional ads easily overlooked or ignored. Advertising on audio streaming services guarantees your brand messaging will be heard as streaming services don’t allow users to skip pre-roll ads. 

Creative Ads

Some audio streaming platforms have complementary voice-over services that allow DMOs without audio recording equipment or voice-over talent to easily extend their advertising into the audio space — opening new doors in messaging, music, and concepts.

Niche Targeting

Some platforms enable destinations to target devices based on their browsing history, physical location, and how users are listening. This creates opportunities for DMOs to target users that have recently visited a competitor’s website, are listening in their car, and at the office or in the gym with unique messaging for each scenario.

Numerous Touchpoints

Streaming platforms intersect multiple times with users’ daily routines, whether on mobile devices, tablets, TVs, cars, or gaming devices. Audio advertising provides numerous opportunities to get your message in front of target audiences. 

Audio Advertising, Part of an Integrated Strategy

Advertising on streaming audio platforms is only part of a truly integrated marketing strategy. Your website must have landing pages that listeners will be directed to based on their interests. It would be best to have digital marketing tactics in place to remarketing users who have been served your audio ads. Audio advertising is an important component, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle. Madden specializes in putting all these pieces together and developing omnichannel media plans as part of integrated marketing campaigns. We’re standing by to bring your destination’s experiential marketing to life and fold it into your larger campaigns.

How to Know When to Rebuild Your Website

Your website is your most important marketing tool. You need it running at peak performance. Do you know when the time is right to rebuild your website? We work with DMOs across the country, and we hear a lot about MarTech challenges. Common pain points are often about destination websites.

  • “Our website is running so slow!”
  • “Working with our vendor is a headache.”
  • “It takes forever to make changes to our website.”
  • “Our website doesn’t do our brand justice.”
  • “Our marketing strategy has outgrown our website.”

Do any of these sound familiar? If so, it might be time to rebuild your website.

See how Madden rebuilt Atlanta CVB’s website. 

Troubleshooting Your Website

Our partners have a lot of websites challenges, but we’ve found that they all fit under one of three key themes:

  • Technology troubles on the backend
  • Lackluster design and layout
  • Lack of integration with the overall marketing campaign

Sometimes, these challenges are easily addressed with small tweaks or updates. However, some issues require a full rebuild. Here are some tips to help you identify when the time is right to rebuild.

Back-End Tech Trouble

When websites are not performing well there are often numerous backend problems that cause sites to slow down, and affect your SEO. Some common problems include, too many third party integrations, incorrect or inconsistent tags, metadata issues, missing or invalid H1 tags, and more. 

Sometimes, these problems are solved by addressing each problem individually, chipping away at the problems incrementally. However, this can be costly if your problems have piled up over time, and often if your website is running slow, there are numerous issues that could be costly to fix. 

Aside from the cost, there are also potential workflow issues that create bottlenecks. Many of our partners who work with other developers have trouble with ticket systems or turnaround times, so issues are not solved in a timely manner.

Stale Creative Concept

Rebranding or deploying a new creative strategy is exciting! Getting a new logo, colors, typography, and creative assets makes our DMO partners proud, and they rightfully want to show off their new brand. However, we hear many of our partners are frustrated that their website does not do their new brand justice. 

To address this, some partners have tweaked their layouts or added more elements to their existing website. However, many of their websites were created around the old brand, and their platforms are not dynamic enough to properly showcase their new brand. 

Other times, we hear partners wanting to update their websites with videos and photos more frequently. For example, swapping out creative assets quarterly to showcase seasonally appropriate brand assets. However, some partners do not have access or an easy way to update creative assets, so there is a visual dissonance on their website while they wait to have assets updated by vendors.

No Alignment with Overall Strategy

As time passes, marketing strategies evolve with changing objectives, campaigns, and emerging innovations. It’s vitally important that your website be optimized to work in concert with your other marketing tactics. For example, if your marketing strategy is targeting meeting planners and you have tactics driving them to your website, your website should include a meetings-specific landing page, virtual tours of your venues, forms to submit RFPs, and more. 

Some platforms allow DMOs to create additional elements on their websites, but years of building and building onto a site could create a “Frankenstein’s Monster” effect with incongruent content and an incohesive look and feel. In some instances, platforms do not allow DMOs to easily add elements to their websites and what ends up happening is ineffective websites or delays due to vendors.

Know When It’s Time to Rebuild Your Website

Through talking with our partners who have undergone a website rebuild, we’ve found they have a more effective website, more efficiently use resources, and can more easily manage their website.

You might be experiencing some of the challenges we discussed in this deck, but you’re still asking yourself if rebuilding your website is the right solution. Here’s how Madden approaches that question with our partners:

Would you rather…

Invest resources building a responsive website ORInvest resources into a sub-optimal website
Create a dynamic, beautiful website ORTry to beautify your static web pages
Seamlessly integrate with your strategy ORHave a stagnant website that is quickly outdated
Take control of your website ORRely on vendors and developers

If you chose the options on the left, rebuilding your website is the right choice for you.