The marketing world has moved on. Today a raft of new
technologies and hundreds of new social sites mean there are many
new tools available to take New Zealand to a travel-hungry
Speaking at last week's Inbound Tour Operators' Council (ITOC)
annual conference in Blenheim, digital marketing expert Doug
Chapman told delegates that marketing was in the midst of a
revolution thanks to the Web.
A revolution Tourism New Zealand was well-positioned to take
advantage of to reach potential travellers in a cost-effective
"The beauty of digital media and marketing today is that we can
trace a person from the first day they show an interest in New
Zealand, to the day they pay. We can see what they like, how long
they spend on sites, what interests they have and what sources they
refer to. Frankly, it's marketing nirvana."
Executive Director of Client Services at Amnesia Razorfish, Doug
Chapman is working with Tourism New Zealand to develop and
implement a global digital marketing strategy.
"My job is to deliver the right message, to the right people, in
the right place at the right time. And the beauty of digital media
is that we can precisely target those people we want to talk to and
the message we want to send them.
"If a skier in Colorado is on the Internet reading up about a
new ski field somewhere, we can strategically place an
advertisement on the page advertising ski opportunities in New
"If they don't engage with the advertisement the first time, the
next time they are on the Internet we can send them a completely
different targeted message and continue to do that until they
Tourism New Zealand's digital marketing strategy sits firmly on
the foundations of new research identifying
those interested in a New Zealand holiday. The research, carried
out across 10 markets and unveiled at last week's ITOC Conference,
identified the Active Considerer as the new target audience for New
The digital strategy is the mechanism for delivering the
messages to that target audience.
Terming it 'digital door knocking', Doug Chapman said Tourism
New Zealand, like most organisations, was mostly monitoring online
conversations about New Zealand at the moment. "But at any time we
have the ability to join in to a conversation if there is something
relevant and engaging to say."
He said social media would be a key platform for Tourism New
Zealand's new digital strategy. With over 200,000 Facebook (see www.facebook.com/purenewzealand) fans - or
'likes' - to date, Tourism New Zealand aims to have one million by
Citing a recent TripAdvisor survey, Doug Chapman said 68 per
cent of travellers thought other travellers' recommendations were
more credible than that of a national tourism body; even if they
didn't know the other travellers.
"So getting into that social space is about listening, engaging
and building a band of brand advocates."
Looking ahead, Doug Chapman also talked about the redevelopment
of Tourism New Zealand's main consumer site www.newzealand.com. He said the redevelopment
would take the site from being a "brochureware" site to a
world-class destination wiki.
"There won't be a big launch date, but over time the website
will move from providing static information and referrals to a
dynamic interconnected site with content sourced from different
"The role of newzealand.com in future will be to support the
digital marketing with discreet, focused topics of interest. It
will be a marketplace to bring together visitors, operators, the
industry and Tourism New Zealand to support campaigns and convert
interest to sales," Doug Chapman said.