E-TOURISM PRESENTER PROFILE: Leah Woolford, CEO, USDM.net.
USDM.net is an interactive marketing and design agency that has been serving marquee brands in DMOs, hotels, resorts, airlines, vacation rental companies and national. Woolford’s experience includes consumer brands and more than 170 clients worldwide. She has been interviewed and featured in hundreds of news media outlets include Ad Week, Ad Age and Investors Business Daily.
Q. Your topic at E-Tourism Summit NYC is
LW: Social+Search+mobile=the future. How have you seen your clients merge the three applications ?
Since as early as 2005 social and search have been married in all of our strategies, but still some brands have yet to take advantage of this relationship between the two. When we combine mobile with our social + search strategy we simply add another delivery platform and more importantly tap into a new, unsaturated market. Mobile marketing allows us to deliver an existing message in new ways and explore conversational marketing. Mobile is so much more than a mobile application, it is an overarching strategy. Mobile marketing is still new, so as we move forward with our clients we explore new ways to increase customer engagement beyond social networks. An online campaign for us has a social component + search strategy + mobile call to action. That’s where the mobile really comes in. And with mCommerce, hotel rooms are the third most popular item to buy on your smart phone.
Q. What kind of results have you seen?
Seeing your media/ad dollars go much farther than they’ve ever gone before is a reality with the convergence strategy of social + search + mobile. Facebook allowing campaigns is revolutionary for marketers. In the case of many of our DMOs we see increases of “likes” by as much as 20,000 fans in three months. In the mobile part of those campaigns we see co op advertisers with vacation offers realize higher than ever click-throughs, while the DMO benefits from building their mobile opt-in database. Brands are still having trouble putting a value on Soft Metrics. The hard data is still important but much more important is engagement and how you measure that for lifelong customer value. How do you measure a positive conversation that takes place within your fan page? I feel this is the future of measuring social media, and the once powerful CTR or CPM will soon diminish as we see the web itself become more social and begin to connect with the real world. Neilson Buzz Metrics is one of many tools we use to track performance.
Q. What are the most common mistakes you’ve seen clients make in their social media programs?
1. Lack of strategy: Diving right in without a well thought out strategy we see with many brands. Social is a different game today… sweeping changes from even two months ago.
2. Second mistake would definitely be budget. So many amateur consultants would have you believe that you can perform the total social strategy in-house. These consultants are there for the quick buck but not there when the tactic without strategy puts that client in the hot seat.
3. Lack of commitment from senior leadership. We know that there are parts a brand or DMO has to be intimately involved in, but we have also seen disaster when senior leadership is not a part of the strategy. You can get in hot water pretty fast. There is nothing worse than leaving a dead Fan page on Facebook or a Twitter handle that goes un-tracked or un-manned for any amount of time.
4. Lack of clearly defined measurement. The most fun for us is to see a client light up when you tell them that they have increased their fans by 200% and have added opt ins and have thousands of orders for visitor guides. It’s the results that get us excited.
To view the full agenda, go to: www.etourismsummit.com