I hate Comcast because I am forced to buy bundles—99% of which I don’t want. In order to watch Boardwalk Empire, I must buy HBO as a premium channel that is a collection of movies that I’ve seen or have no interest in watching.
Now here is a novel idea. How about letting people buy what they want? Better yet, how about letting users gather together a package or bundle of only the things they want to see or places they want to visit?
I doubt anyone would object. In fact, I’ll bet they would be delighted. The question is how to make this possible.
To start, unbundling won’t happen using bundling technologies. Just like Comcast with it’s bundle packaging, destination marketers are guilty of over-offering and over-delivering and providers are guilty of overselling.
I’ve written about this numerous times in my blogs under different headings. Maybe this will part the clouds. People don’t want 99% of what you are marketing. Making them sort through that 99% in order to get to the 1% they want is annoying and costly for you in terms of supporting a technology stack that is largely irrelevant to people’s needs or desires.
What the industry needs is unbundling technology. Take for example mobile apps. Everyone has one or needs one. Each buyer bellies up to the bundling bar and buys a super-duper mobile app that has 100% of everything a destination has to offer. They buy this app without any regard for the fact that visitors don’t give a hoot about 99% of the app’s content.
I know. I used to make paper maps for destination marketing organizations. As I added the local zoo to the same map for every visitor, I shook my head. I dreamed of maps that could be tailored to individual interests. As a cartographer, I knew that a businessperson couldn’t care less about zoos or 99% of the information I was being paid to put on every sheet.
The problem with this approach was understandable back then given that there was no technological mechanism to unbundle data. It is inexcusable now as marketers still cast wide nets in an attempt to engage visitors that seek smaller and more tightly knit travel outcomes.
The closest solution to date is the website “itinerary builder” that offers some capacity to disassemble the destination bundle and reconstitute it as something useful that is tailored to unique visitor experiences.
Yet the itinerary builder fails because it utilizes the least advanced technology in the marketer’s arsenal. Selecting something and ganging it up in an email with other selections is hardly rocket science. It’s a script that any freshman computer science student can write in 15 minutes.
What would really be slick is to have a mobile app reconfigure itself instantly based on the visitor’s needs and preferences. What would really cut through mounds of irrelevance is technology that focused content instantly and powerfully on the 1% of those things that visitors want.
Would it surprise you if I were talking about something I invented? Contact me to see instant mobile itinerary building and destination outcomes for events, sales, and destination marketing.