Destination Marketing: Strategies Beneath the Surface

destination marketing Arum Group

At Arum Group we like to say that in our destination marketing work we function like an iceberg. Many of the important things we do are below the surface; they are not evident at first glance. They can’t be seen if you don’t dig deep and analyze the decisions that have been made that give a place, a community, or a resort the unique personality that results in success.

The strategic work behind developing tourism and residential destinations goes beyond the visible commercial strategies and the advertisements designed to impact the final consumer. As experts in the development and management of tourism communities and products, our team works, first, to lay a strategic foundation, so what we create responds to the needs of the market and leverages the strengths of our assets, and then chooses the best channels through which to communicate. What consumers see is our final product: the tip of the iceberg, sitting atop all our prior work.

At the end, like a symphony or an ecosystem, all the pieces have to fit together so that, with the guidance of our analysis and practice, projects are created that flow and adapt to the needs of the destination and their target markets. Arum Group’s services as a consultant in the management and development of tourist destinations include creating and defining the product itself, as well as selecting and implementing the appropriate communication tactics.

Project feasibility strategy

Thanks to our more than 25 years of experience, at Arum Group we know that having a strong foundation is the key to a successful project anywhere in the world. This is why we will not work without undertaking an initial feasibility study for projects linked to tourism and residential destinations. We analyze the weaknesses and strengths of the project, and measure them against the market opportunities. As consultants, we have built projects from scratch, redirected destinations whose strategy required review, refocused approaches, and helped companies and investors to choose partners if so required. We believe that complete independence is vital for achieving the perfect fit that leads to success.

Product development

Over the last two decades, as we have worked on tourism and residential destination projects all around the world, we have confirmed that the secret of success is finding your Unique Value Proposition in relation to competitors. At Arum, our marketing team is versed in market trends and able to develop proposals tailored to particular locations, customer segments, or the long-term objectives of investors and stakeholders. We match vision with creativity to mold versatile projects that put lifestyle, sport or internationalization (to name just a few approaches) at the center of the entire development strategy.

Branding and brand image

Once the core of the project is clear, residential and tourism destinations require a strong and unique corporate image. This is when our design team begins developing a credible and valuable brand based on a strategic creative brief that defines the project objectives and our market. The aim is to create a brand that improves positioning and meets sales objectives by approaching brand design from an interdisciplinary perspective. The end product is a brand that is sustainable over time and ensures projects are identifiable and consistent in their own personality.

Content and Inbound Marketing

Whether we are developing a project from inception or analyzing how it can achieve its greatest strategic potential, narrating the history of the brand and making it accessible and human is essential. A destination marketing company must know how to extract the essence of each project through storytelling techniques to generate quality content and ensure that this content attracts customers through Inbound Marketing techniques. At Arum, we have been pioneers in the implementation of HubSpot in the real estate industry, and are experts in adapting this market-leading technology to our projects.

Digital marketing

When the product, the brand and the narrative are in place, technology becomes an ally in getting our messages to the right audience through the right channels. Marketing teams must be well versed in defining Buyer Personas and identifying Customer Journeys in order to define digital strategies that work. Knowing your audience and the problems they need to solve is key for developing a Media Mix where social networks, organic positioning (SEO) and PPC campaigns in search engines (SEM) or social media ads blend perfectly.

International Real Estate Sales

We live in a global world. You might wake in Europe and have dinner on another continent. And since the pandemic, certain trends, like working from destinations remote from urban environments, have been consolidated, breaking down the barriers between countries even further. The potential clients of your residential or tourism destination might be in any country, they can speak any language, and you can’t expect to reach them via online technologies alone. We are very proud of the strong international sales associate network we have developed at Arum. We also rely on a large network of experts in the marketing of real estate and tourism assets around the world. Our international brokers and specialized marketing professionals are engaged according to the requirements of each of our projects.

Technology for real estate management

Once a project begins, destination management requires increasingly specialized tech tools. A project may require ad hoc development for communication with clients, a CRM, an ERP, or accounting software, and each product has its own set of functionalities, limits, and costs. As we have come to more deeply understand the needs of our clients, we have developed a product ourselves designed to cover the gaps we saw in the market. A year ago, Arum launched our L4RE (Lorum for Real Estate) software, which offers companies tools to promote, build, rent and/or sell assets and products in an agile way. Built on the SAP Business ByDesign standard, L4RE is an adaptable and flexible solution that is revolutionizing ERPs for real estate because it was developed by a company that works in the sector on a daily basis.

PR and Events

Every target of your communication requires a precise approach, which is why it is so important to define and tailor your messages to their individual needs. As you develop a tourism destination, you must also identify stakeholders of interest and draw up a personalized plan to communicate with them. These Corporate Communication Plans will help you ensure strategic messages are correctly filtered to the media, to key society figures, and to the governmental bodies that you must align with through constructive and trusting relationships. At Arum, in addition to PR, we also assist with public-private sector relations and search for sponsors. The alliances formed can help further your sporting, social and sales events, and become a tactical tool to help meet project objectives.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Finally, companies today aspire not only to sell their products but to be appreciated for their values, and destinations are no different. Every destination forms part of a country, a surrounding environment and a community of people; sustainability must be at the core of project plans. As experts in business strategy, our team has extensive experience in helping companies make moves in their Environmental Social Governance strategies and focus on the environmental and social axes. We have experience in advising firms that want to review their ESG practices and communicate them to their stakeholders through a defined plan.

True real estate innovation takes on destination marketing from a multidisciplinary perspective that deploys both strategy and tactics. At Arum, we know the importance of a solid foundation, which will support every move you make and ensure its consistency. Much of this work may lie below the surface, but the fruits of a job well done will be very visible indeed.