NOTE: I previously shared with you my thoughts on 10 marketing trends that I plan to focus on in 2015. Of those 10 trends, I plan to break each one of them down into its simplest form so that you can understand it and implement it in your own destinations or places of business.

In this day and age of marketing, integration is critical. When we talk about integration, not only are we talking about how the various platforms of marketing work together, but also how your sales, services and public relations efforts tie into your overall marketing strategy. When you take a step back and look at organizational effectiveness, it’s important that the organization runs seamlessly, both externally and internally. Externally you want all of your efforts aligned to create consistency in the marketplace. Internally you want all departments on the same page, as each department is responsible for touching the potential consumer in different phases of the purchase cycle.

In destination marketing, I have seen and heard of organizations that are not having any type of conversation at all when it comes to content. In my experience, most departments have operated independently to achieve their departmental goals and have neglected how those same departmental goals affect the overall goals of the destination. A key way to get everyone on the same page is through a content marketing calendar. Your content is the creative material and information that you will share with potential travelers. The content for convention sales will be different from that of convention services, partnership and leisure tourism, but the overall subject matter should be interconnected. Creating a content calendar forces you to lay out all the efforts of each department to make sure that there is consistency department-wide and organization-wide. Doing this activity also creates synergy across the organization because everyone is playing the same song, just on different instruments. Each instrument is vital to the overall sound quality to create harmonious tones for the destination.

Personally, I have developed a content calendar the past 3 years, and each year as I get a better handle on it, I get more granular into the process. My past content calendars have been built using an Excel document outlining the monthly sales, marketing, advertising, e-communications and social media efforts that we planned to execute for every department. However, we never accounted for the content on our website or the content posted on our social channels, because they had a separate content calendar – and none of the three were interrelated. Going into this fiscal year, I plan to change that by adding those to the calendar, to create a more robust content calendar that includes all of the efforts that are affiliated with the marketing department. I challenge you to do the same, so that you can create a better team effort for the organization, will you try it?

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