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.

Assets are often associated with the banking and finance industries in reference to those things that have cash value like money market accounts and certificates of deposit. They are are those things and qualities that an organization owns that someone else deems it to have exchange value. It’s those things that you “own” that someone else is willing to exchange money, goods or services for in return. The question now is, what do you or your organizations own? Your website, your videos, your photos, your marketing campaigns, your employees? Using “own” as a relatively loose term here, you can argue that you or your organizations own all of these assets. In making these assets cross-functional, I am referring to the things that provide different functionality, but are used together to complete a common goal. Think of an internal employee resource group – they bring employees together from different departments to accomplish a common goal for the organization, which could be to increase employee morale and satisfaction.

For the sake of this post, when I refer to assets, I am speaking about website properties, videos, photos and marketing campaigns. In my experience with destination marketing, many destinations don’t create assets that are cross-functional. Most destinations develop their assets for a particular market segment, and don’t infuse it with the rest of the organization’s goals. Whether you are in town for a convention, a group tour activity, a sporting event or just with your family and friends – YOU ARE A LEISURE VISITOR. Different marketing segments experience the destination in different ways, but once they have decided to visit, they are a leisure visitor. That my friends, should be a common goal for all destinations – coming to an agreement that every visitor is a leisure traveler. Matter of fact, most destinations have secondary goals geared towards this market of people who come in town for various conventions, events and meetings, wanting them to return again in the future a more leisure-oriented getaway.

Now going to back to my statement about cross-functional assets, remember, anything cross-functional works toward a common goal. If we back-up one more step and look at what we categorize as assets, then we can assess our assets to see if they are doing what they are supposed to do. By making your assets cross-functional, it will improve the effectiveness of the organization in four ways:

  1. It creates a singular focus. All assets should be aligned and focused on the shared end result. You shouldn’t create videos or produce photos that have a singular use. By developing your assets with a common-use goal in mind, it provides the organization with a more linear path to success.
  2. It fosters a cohesive work environment. In some organizations, departments are pitted against one another, and we know that is not a favorable work environment. Cross-functional assets create an atmosphere where all departments are working together from the same playbook.
  3. It prevents you from re-inventing the wheel. How much time do you spend reinventing materials just to change the words, ever so slightly? If your assets are cross-functional, you don’t need to change anything, as the message will transcend all levels of the organization.
  4. It is a money-saver. All organizations want to save money. Before you start developing any assets, take a step back and think about how each of those assets can be used throughout the organization. If you can’t find at least 5 ways to use it, then you need to go back to the drawing board.

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