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Deadly Sin #1:  Trying to be all things to all people (posted May 28, 2013)

Roger says we filter out anything that is not important to us so we have to narrow the focus - you cannot be all things to all people.  Definitely avoid the "something for everyone" catch phrase.  He also claims that 97% of community based marketing is ineffective because it is so generic.  Here's a few words and phrases Roger advises to steer clear of:  explore, discover, unlike anywhere else, the four season destination, naturally fun, where adventure lives, unique, best kept secret, naturally fun, your playground....(there are lots more but I will stop here).

So what should you do?

  1. Be specific - what sets you apart?
  2. Tell me why - why should I visit/move to your town when there are so many other choices?
  3. Jettison the generic - look at your taglines, logos, photographs, website.  If the messages can fit anyone else, get rid of them
  4. Narrow your focus - what's your brand?  What puts you on the map?
  5. Never, ever use focus groups - this is the same as a group hug - you will end up with something generic trying to please everyone
  6. It takes a village to win - one loud voice as opposed to numerous small voices.  Everyone moving in the same direction.  Consistency is key.

Deadly Sin #2 - Telling the World Who instead of Why (posted June 6, 2013)

Rogers says.....

  • Tell my WHY I should visit you
  • WHY should I buy from you?
  • WHY should I invest in your community?
  • WHY should I live there?

Always tell your audience why first - what makes you different and then you can talk about the who, where and what else you have to offer.  Roger uses McDonald's as an example "You Deserve a Break Today" - this has nothing to do with their product but telling parents WHY they should go to McDondalds....and probably the most famous - Las Vegas - "What happens here, stays here".  This is the why - not the what who or where.

Deadly Sin #3 - Boring Ads and Headlines (posted June 18, 2013)

This is one of my favorite stories of the presentation!  Roger emphasized that you MUST stand out from the crowd and attract attention - he tells the following story to prove his point.  A while ago when he was hosting a workshop, Roger decided they would do an ad for a participant's business.  It was a local spa that was using the tagline "beyond expectations".  Roger asked the participants to come up with a great line that had nothing to do with spas but would get attention.  The line was "One out of four people in this country are mentally imbalanced".   Off to work!  Roger found a good stock photo of a girl who looked a little unbalanced (attention getting) and also used a spa picture.  Then he added the following body text:

"One out of four people in this country are mentally imbalanced.  Think of your three best friends.  If they seem OK, then you're the one.  Perhaps it's time you found your balance.  Book a spa stay at the incredible Kalahari Spa's "Sanity Retreat" for Mother's Day.  Bring your three best friends and save 30%.  Book it now while you're thinking clearly...." 

Way better than "beyond expectations"!

Deadly Sin #4 - Spending more on collateral than on the web (posted June 25) 

Roger sets the stage by stating that 90% of North American & Europeans have immediate access to the internet.  Of this population, 94% of them use the internet to decide where to travel, work, live, eat and establish a business.  He goes on to say that when searching, people type in the experience they are looking for and then a general location, not cities, towns and counties.  For example - "ski vacations British Columbia".  Location is always second to the activity.  Search engine optimization should be a priority as 86% of search engine users do not go beyond the first often do you?

So - if you want new visitors or business you must start in front of a computer screen.  Roger states that 88% of organizations spend more on printed materials than the web - it should be the other way around.  Your website must have enough good, specific information to close the sale.  If people can't find what they want - click - off they go somewhere else.  

This is Roger's general guide to a marketing budget:

45%  - internet/website/social media/apps
20% - public relations, brand building
20% - advertising (drive people to your website)
10% - printed materials
5% - outdoor, tradeshows, other

Deadly Sin #5 - Being everywhere yet nowhere (posted July 11, 2013)

Roger claims the days of placing 'drip ads' (small ads in lots of publications) are over.  You need to find your audience and promote to that audience over and over until it sticks.  He calls this TOMA (top of mind awareness).  Tell them once, then again and once more.  Roger says he still has the phrase from 20 years ago burned into his brain "two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles on a sesame seed bun".  Roger emphasizes this is the age of specialty marketing - seek out the niche publications, travel sites and others like clubs, guilds plus other nonprofit niche organizations.  Roger says that a person has to see an ad five times before it creates TOMA.

Deadly Sin #6 - Selling place before experience (posted July 18)

Roger first mentions selling experience over location in Deadly Sin #4.  He showed us a number of photographs with the experience in the foreground and location in the background (like a person on a zip line, a group white water rafting, etc). He says people want to's 'why' they choose the destination.  Roger recommends that your photos should always show people, not just pretty scenery.  This triggers emotion and people usually connect with people more than places. Roger goes on to say that people want to learn something (think culinary tourism) and also says that people are four times more likely to buy art when they meet the artisan.  Interactive attractions, exhibits and displays are also key.

Here's an Alberta example.  The text on the bottom is a bit hard to read (as mine is not a high quality copy):

"H.G. Wells once famously noted that "Cycle track will abound in Utopia".  Just 20 minutes from downtown Edmonton you'll find this very place.  Featuring nearly 30 kilometers of gear grinding hills, scenic riverside trails and flat-out pulse-pounding terrain.  Welcome to Alberta's biking utopia - Devon."

Bike Town Alberta

This is how Roger explains this ad:

  1. Use just one signature photo that sells the experience
  2. Use one headline that is attention getting and pulls the reader in
  3. The image and the header text should pull the reader into the body text (which must be compelling)
  4. THEN you tell the reader the name of the destination
  5. Give the reader a way to find out more information - website
  6. And close with the tag line "enjoy the ride" - the call to action after the "log on for more details"

Deadly Sin #7 - Missing a call to action (posted July 25, 2013)

So now that you have your customers attention, pulled them in, give them a call to action.  Roger says this is best done with a question.  He gives a Disney example "What will you celebrate?".  Do you have a call to action?  The key is to make it easy and convenient.

Roger's Recap:

Jettison the generic - find your niche and promote it like crazy

Tell me WHY before you tell me who, where or what

Get my attention - pull me in and I'll remember you

Create a call to action - What's on your bucket list?

Make sure theres a next step

Web first, print second - get your marketing priorities in order.  When is the last time you actually used the yellow pages?

Concentrate your efforts - repetition gets results

Narrow your focus - and keep it narrow.  Be the largest fish in the small pond.

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