CMO50 #26-50: Guy Taylor, Tourism Tasmania
Guy Taylor started consulting to Tourism Australia in 2011 and became its executive GM of marketing in July 2014. He says the strategic aims of the CMO are to ensure refreshed thinking can prosper in a supportive environment where Tourism Tasmania team members are ‘opportunity defined’ rather than ‘role defined’.
“This means celebrating creativity in all its forms and rewarding people both on the questions they ask and the answers they deliver,” he says.
“We also need to be nimble enough to respond to our customers in real time with compelling narratives and thoughtful enough to be able to differentiate those narratives from our competitors and ensure their relevance in domains that bear little resemblance to the geographical boundaries of old.”
From the CMO50 submission
Business contribution and innovation
Taylor said he’s helping redefine the Tourism Tasmania brand away from an adjective-driven benefits model – cleanest, purest, whitest – to a nuanced cultural offering where the brand is as much about the people as it is about place.
To do this, the team has tapped into several heuristic tools as well as contemporary insights from neuroscience and behavioural economics, and has deployed this learning via facilitated workshops. Within those sessions, a stage-gate approach borrowed from the venture capital industry was used to validate, then double-verified outcomes and encouraged ownership of the brand across diverse stakeholder groups, Taylor said.
The objective was to unify industry and the organisation around a focused understanding of how Tasmania competitively differentiates itself in a crowded market, and to develop consumer marketing programs that expressed that evolved thinking.
The results have been impressive. In a time of flat nationwide domestic travel, Tasmanian Tourism recorded 16 per cent growth in inbound tourism for the last two years. The team’s ability to better comprehend, capture and express its differentiation in one overarching narrative was central to the program’s success, Taylor said.
Modern marketing and customer engagement thinking and effectiveness
The view at Tourism Tasmania is that everyone is a customer. As such, the brand must resonate with all stakeholders, internally and another externally, Taylor said.
As a result, the evolution of the brand also requires an evolution of the group’s people. To do this, Taylor is undertaking an internal marketing initiative to help teams build a personal understanding of the brand through their unique experiences, and in turn, ensure the organisation is an integrated, networked body.
Data and/or technology driven approach
Tourism Tasmania is looking to a future where communication channels are ranged round a content hub, within which multiple digital information streams flow. Plunging into these streams and extracting user-generated content that can be repurposed and republished is part of this ongoing strategy.
To help, the organisation desiloed the digital marketing functions in the past year. Taylor said it has also nurtured regional tourism organisations to maintain a much sharper and unified focus, ensuring Tasmania is viewed as one ‘region’, not as individual pieces of a larger puzzle.
“What this means in a social sense is that when people visit, they find Tasmania is bigger on the inside [one of our brand attributes] and yet it is one unified story,” Taylor said. “The experience is often greater than the expectation and that inspires repeat visitation - currently 70 per cent, the highest in the country.”
Tourism Tasmania’s approach to creative is focused currently on examining and questioning the approach to the customer journey.Typically, the linear customer journey is ‘dreaming – researching – planning – booking – experiencing - retelling’, Taylor said. However, recent research suggests this linear tourist experience is collapsing vertically, and people are retelling as they are experiencing.
This has profound implications, most simply in terms of targeting, Taylor said, and he flagged a redistribution of funds to target tourists already travelling in the state. This is about enabling them with tools to share and emotionally connect to others around the Tasmanian experience.