"What marketing" is the time-tested technique of informing visitors of opportunities prior to their visits. Traditionally, "what marketing" employs print publications and websites. More contemporary and rapidly evolving "What else marketing" employs newer technologies such as smart phones, social media, and QR-codes. "What else marketing" strategies increase commerce at the Point of Purchase (POP)—the geographic location of the visitor, within the destination marketplace, at any moment in time.

While "what marketing" remains essential to the destination marketing mix, "what else marketing" grows the destination pie by multiplying revenues beyond expectations and broadening the visitor’s experience. It does this because it links physical world objects and commerce with live visitors at the street level in real time.

"What else marketers" don’t see destinations as single geographic points. They see them from the visitor’s onsite perspective—an evolving set of innumerable launch points for further interaction, exploration, and commerce. I suppose that "what else marketing" could be called "destination orienteering " because it propels visitors beyond what is in front of them towards things that are undiscovered or hidden from view. For example, a QR installation site can be seen as an orienteering base camp for explorations into surrounding neighborhoods or sections of a city. In this example, a visitor exiting a museum might be hungry. "What else marketing" is the mechanism that shows that visitor where to get lunch within a 10 minute walking radius. "What else marketing" is the pure, point of purchase promotional strategy that every business needs. Moreover, it is what travelers and consumers need since it illuminates the world in real time surrounding real locations based on priorities designed by local destination marketers and their stakeholders.

The keys to developing a successful "What Else Marketplace Strategy" can be summarized simply:

1) See each point of interest as a launching pad for other points of interest. Don’t see points of interest as destinations. See them as temporary stops along larger destination pathways. "What else marketing" gets into the visitor’s head. When visitors wander out of the "what" anticipate "what else" they may want to experience. Think like a chess master—many moves in advance. Know that your visitors are constantly looking for new things and that the dynamics of their visits change every second of every day in ways that your website and core collateral marketing strategies can never hope to anticipate or fulfill. It is your job to facilitate the real dynamics of a visitor’s journey through smart technology solutions that match visitor expectations with local opportunities in a location-based, time-relevant manner.

2) Provide your visitors with tools for discovery and interaction. Give them reasons to do and spend more. Understand that building an itinerary at home from your website or Visitors Guide isn’t all visitors need. Real itinerary building is spontaneous at the point of interaction. Information provided in advance of an actual visit constitutes the “what” of a journey. On the flip-side, your organization can provide the all-essential “what else” of the visit by introducing tools that inform visitors in real time. Know that providing these new technologies is key to economic growth in a poor global economy that threatens to cap normal increases in the actual number of visitors to your destination.

3) Change your mindset. Say to yourself, “We may not be able to increase the number visitors to our destination in the way that we could in the past, but we can increase the number of economic and social interactions once they get here.” Remember, there are two ways to grow tourism economies. The first is to increase traffic through traditional destination branding and “what” marketing techniques. The second is to increase “interactions” using “what else” techniques and tools. The destination pie grows either way.

4) Never forget. There are infinitely more “what else” opportunities than you can ever find in the “what” category. This is simple and irrefutable. As soon as your visitor walks out of the “what” your entire destination turns into a magical land of “what else”. Its your job, as a destination marketer, to show your visitor how big the world is—not to confine expectations to a predetermined set of things prioritized in your Guide or on your web.


Contact us to learn about our “what else” technologies and plans for their implementation.