Destination marketers live in a different world now than they did just a few years ago. Artificial Intelligence (AI), digital privacy, new platforms, and more technology revolutions have fundamentally changed the way we market.

Today we have more competition — and more complexity — than ever, which means more opportunities for savvy destination marketers ready to lead their organizations toward digital transformation. 

On this week’s episode of the Layover Live podcast, Director of Customer Success Sandee Jordan and I explore the latest stories about digital transformation and discuss our newly-released Simpleview Digital Maturity Model.

Digital transformation and digital maturity took off during the COVID-19 pandemic, as organizations that hadn’t previously smoothed out their operations or invested in the right technology and skills struggled to keep pace with the rate of change.

Essentially, it’s all about helping organizations evolve their skills, infrastructure, and capabilities to quickly respond to fluid trends and technology — and it has become an essential goal for organizations around the country. 

More than 87% of enterprises pursuing digital strategy and $10 trillion in spending on digital transformation through 2025 (Forbes). If you haven’t started your journey yet, you may already be behind. Here are a few tips to get started.

Understand the Why

If you aren’t already convinced that digital transformation and digital maturity are worthy goals to strive for, here are a few numbers to showcase why they matter.

  • 43% of highly digital mature companies see significantly higher net profits than their industry averages (Deloitte)

  • 71 days — that’s the average time between when a traveler starts thinking about a trip to booking it. During that time they spend 33 days seeking inspiration, and another 38 researching and planning (Expedia) — mostly coming from digital exploration through search and social media

  • 9% of brands realize the full potential of data-driven marketing (Boston Consulting Group)

  • 32.5 digital touchpoints in the average customer journey

  • 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions (McKinsey)

Don’t Get Overwhelmed

Digital transformation can seem daunting. After all, when you hear the conversation about enhancing your investments in technology and skillsets, it’s easy to see the dollar signs spinning. Instead of taking a scattered approach — or no approach at all — seek meaningful steps you can take to address weak spots or reinforce strengths. That can mean developing new skills among current staff, testing free AI or project management software, or focusing on leveraging the first-party data you already own. 

If you aren’t sure what areas to address first, you can sign up now for our free Simpleview Digital Maturity Model to measure your performance in the key categories of digital marketing — more on that shortly.

Explore AI

AI remains at the forefront of news (we covered the latest in a recent episode). However, many destination marketing organizations (DMOs) are still in the early stages of testing, adopting, or even just interest. It’s critical to first build your understanding of AI’s applications and limitations. Check out this episode of the Future of Tourism podcast for a deeper understanding. 

You can also start by using pre-built prompts to learn how these systems work. Here are a few practical ones from Simpleview’s own Paul McLeod, Director of Analytics, to get you started.

It’s important to build buy-in while exploring which AI platforms and applications to leverage moving forward. We touched on seven steps your DMO can take to adopt AI in our recent blog.

Simpleview Digital Maturity Model

The Simpleview Digital Maturity Model is the only framework custom-built to help DMOs measure their maturity in five core elements of digital marketing. It will help you better understand where you’re strong and where you can improve so you can systematically move toward digital transformation. It’s absolutely free, but you must sign up by July 9. Once you complete your assessment, we’ll send your results and personalized recommendations to empower you to take the next step in your journey.

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