New marketing channels are emerging daily and will continue to do so. No longer does the sole responsibility of promoting a destination lie in the hands of the marketing director. Yes, they still remain the steward of the brand. Yet now with social media, ordinary people are promoting brands they love, which in turn means they are promoting destinations they love.

This is the second blog post of my PED experience at the IMW in New York City. Integrated Marketing Week is a premier event that highlights best practices, opportunities, and technology solutions to help integrate marketing across multiple channels. One of the main focuses of the week included the industry movement to marry data and storytelling.

During his presentation, Tom Fishburne highlighted how people are taking it upon themselves to a promote brands and destinations. Visitors are blogging, creating micro sites, YouTube videos, generating printed materials, and sharing likes and dislikes over a variety of social media platforms.

Tom cited the Philippines CVB as an example of a destination embracing the social scene and their social audience. In partnership with the advertising firm BBDO, they came up with the tagline "It's more fun in the Philippines". They launched the effective interactive marketing campaign with three online posters and asked people to fill in the blank for  "______. More fun in the Philippines".

It went viral in just a few days. With 27 million Filipinos active on Facebook, BBDO created a "People's Campaign" that was an incredible social media success.

The simple tagline has an interactive component that makes it fun and easy to participate. People from all over the world are now generating their own content by filling in the blank, uploading their pictures and sharing with their social networks. As Tom said, the audience in this instance is "the star". And believe it or not, on my trip back from New York, I flipped open the airline magazine to find one of their compelling ads, "Getting upstairs. More fun in the Philippines."

If you attended our annual Summit, you may have heard Think Social Media speak about being "ready". What did they mean by being ready? Within a CVB organization, it becomes about planning to be ready to move, act, and ride the wave of unsolicited conversations and social sharing. That includes having internally processes already in place that can bring immediate speed in response. Not to mention, an internal consensus on how or what is the best response. Ultimately, it is about embracing the publicity and turning that into a positive push for the brand and destination.

Our customers, audiences, and visitors are our best resource to spread the word.  So make your audience the star and help inspire them to travel - it truly is a win-win for every destination! To read more about my experience at IMW, check out Part I of my blog post.