Updated: Apr 13, 2021
The word strategy is one of the most misunderstood words in the tourism industry marketing lexicon. To start, it is essential to understand the context of how the word is used. Ad agencies, pr firms, digital agencies, and the like use the term strategy within the context or function they are working to implement. For example, advertising agencies will often refer to implementing a branding strategy or an advertising strategy. A public relations firm will refer to implementing a communication strategy; likewise, a digital firm will tell you they are implementing a digital strategy.
From a market strategist perspective, the word strategy and its related term strategic thinking are used differently when it comes to Destination Marketing Organizations (DMO’s) and tourism. When applied in this context, strategy and strategic thinking involve the creative development of unique insights and opportunities to create a sustainable competitive advantage for a DMO or a destination.
Ad agencies, public relations firms, digital agencies are talking about implementing the programs and tactics they are responsible to a DMO for. In contrast, the market strategist is concerned with how to change the competitive playing field to give a DMO or destination a sustainable competitive advantage.