Strategic Planning Principle: Marketing Strategy

The third pillar of our strategic planning principles focuses on marketing strategy.

Strategic Planning and Marketing Strategy

It is essential to go through the strategic planning process systematically, starting from destination leadership to demand optimization and now to marketing strategy. By following this approach, you can maximize your ROI by applying very focused tactics and calculated investments rather than spraying the market with advertisements. 

What is Marketing Strategy?

Marketing Strategy involves devising tactics that support what you have learned in demand optimization and defined in destination leadership, with a focus on engaging quality visitors through your marketing tactics. It is crucial that your marketing strategy aligns with your destination's brand and resonates with your target audience, ultimately leading to quality visits rather than just visits. By taking a quality visit mindset, you can effectively support your campaign and all related marketing efforts. This approach emphasizes the importance of communicating early and often with your board members to ensure that your marketing efforts are tailored towards quality and not just volume.

How do I identify and create targeted marketing tactics? 

The goal is to ensure that the data being gathered is specific to how your markets and visitor profiles interact with your destination. An interesting point to note is that individuals from a particular area may behave differently depending on where they travel. For instance, residents of Salt Lake City may not contribute much to visitor spending when visiting outdoor-centric places, as they tend to focus on exploration and hiking without significant spending. However, when these same individuals visit destinations like Florida, they are more likely to spend on retail, dining, and other activities, actively engaging with the entire destination.

Therefore, it is crucial to base your market planning on how visitors behave in your specific destination, rather than relying solely on national averages. This approach allows for more precise marketing opportunities, enabling you to personalize your message to target markets effectively.

What to look at when identifying who and how to target marketing:

Identify those quality origin markets based on how they are behaving and how you want them to behave in your destination. This can be in respects to spending, movement, and motivation for visiting.


Here are some questions that ZDOS® can help answer under this marketing strategy umbrella:

  • Are my visitors QUALITY visits vs. volume estimates?
  • What personalized messaging should I be serving to my markets?
  • What are my opportunity markets?
  • What content resonates with my quality visitors?
  • Are the markets we’re targeting visiting and spending?
  • What are my “discretionary” travel spending categories? (avg spend - accommodation spend)

Watch this explanation of the Marketing Strategy principle


Want to learn more about Strategic Planning Principles? 

Read Strategic Planning Principles overview

Read Strategic Planning Principles: Destination Leadership

Read Strategic Planning Principles: Demand Optimization

Read Strategic Planning Principles: Impact Reporting