It is possible that search engines may have the largest influence on destination marketing. Google provides valuable data, trends and insight into how and where people search from. In many emerging destination markets, the first destination marketing research step is to determine what search interest, assets and strengths the subject destination has.
In order to determine this you can review the search volume and competitiveness from the AdWords keyword tool. We have found there to be a large amount of search volume just on the name of the destination. Next, we compare the subject destinations search volume to other comparable destinations in close proximity. When looking for comparable destinations consider the name of the province. Often times the region or neighborhood versus a particular destination gets high search volume with less competition too.
Assets for destination marketing maybe weather, whale watching, fishing, kayaking, skiing, location etc. These are all keyword opportunities where there can be high search volume and low competition. Then you can cross reference these assets by the previously mentioned location exercise to identify opportunities.
By utilizing the low competition and high search demand strategy above we can develop market supported positioning statements that are meaning to people researching your destination.
Additional data that we use to complement our destination marketing research is search origin. Often times we will look at the regional, province and city search terms by country origin and perform a profile comparison between different destination terms. Many times we will find searches coming from more countries when the search performed is regional or province based compared to a specific destination or neighborhood.
How are you utilizing destination research? We would love to hear from you.