“Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to empower, and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people. But stories can also repair that broken dignity.”Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Stories have the power to connect people, place and planet.
They convey who we are, where we come from and what we want from the future.
The world is changing
No matter what role we play in the visitor economy – if you are a tourism, art and culture attraction, or a retail and hospitality business, we can no longer rely on traditional ways of marketing and engagement with our audiences.
This economy used to be product driven, but that is changing and it is now becoming customer driven. Something other industries have already faced or lost out too, and many tourism organisations are realising that this means they need to change too.
We need to be ready for the next economy – a digitalised world, with business focused on purpose and a new generation of visitors who want to experience impactful and authentic connections with destinations and communities. And it needs to be socially, environmentally and economically sustainable.
Experiencing the future together
Digitalisation – Regenerative Economy – Visitor Experience – Sustainable Business Practices – Collaborative Value Creation – Purposeful Tourism
Six key terms which drive my work.
But these concepts are not something that businesses, organisations or destination management organisations should be fearful of. In fact, these concepts and ways of working are what you need to develop to make your business succeed in the future.
This is your opportunity to adapt, evolve and grow so that you are prepared for the next economy and understand your customers.
I work with small and medium size business (SMEs), arts and culture organisations, and destination management organisations (DMOs) to create and develop impactful and purposeful visitor experiences and audience engagement which brings social and economic benefits. Helping organisations to utilise the visitor economy and prepare for the next/new economy.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how I can support your organisation.
You can find out more about the research and practice in these areas by following my instagram account Tourism With Impact.
The power of a story
Storytelling is one of the oldest and most powerful skills humankind has. We have developed it from the beginning of our existence. It crosses barriers of all kinds, from language and culture, to ability and age. Its our most important asset, yet it is one of the most under-utilised tools in business and marketing when trying to engage and grow our audiences.
But every post, email or engagement with a customer or stakeholders is just that, a story.
We all have a story that connects us to who we are, our values and the choices we make.
Perhaps, for you it is a story your parents read to you as a child, a life story you heard by someone you admired which has influenced your passions; or even someone’s career journey which determined your professional pathway.
We can all related to the power of a story.
Most recently, the world has been connected in a worldwide fight against the effects of waste and climate change through three powerful stories. All of which started out small.
One a marine biologist carrying out her research at sea and came across an animal in distress – the cause an everyday plastic straw lodged in its nostril. The second, an environmental engineer who discovered the life journey plastic means that we are dumping 19billion pounds of plastic in to our oceans. And finally, a young girl, angry at the world for its lack of action in protecting the future of our planet for our children.
The tools for telling our stories
In business, there are now more channels for customer and visitor engagement than ever before… and this is predicted to continue growing as digitalisation continues to develop at its fast pace.
• Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest
• Social media advertising
• Press and Media
• Bloggers and influences
It is no longer just about having a website with basic details and a phone number.
Businesses need to keep in regular contact with their customers, using the channels their customers on and demonstrating that they share the same values. While this is what your customers are looking for, you also have digital platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using mathematical algorithms (which they change weekly) to dictate who and when your customers see your content. You need to think and understand your customer journey, the thought and decision process of when the customer realises a need, and then understand how your business fits into that process.
Customers also want to know more about other aspects of your business, such as your employees, your business journey, what you stand for, how you fit in with the community and the journey of your products.
All this can be a scary prospect for a small or medium business, with many questions coming to mind when the idea of ‘going digital’ comes up.
• How do I know which channel is right for me?
• Can I just use one or do I need to be on all of them?
• How do I find the time?
• Don’t I have to be an expert?
• Can I just post once a week?
• What do I even post about?
But just because going digital isn’t necessarily an easy journey doesn’t mean we should avoid it. Yes there are plenty of bad examples of people using social media wrong in business on a daily basis, but with the right guidance and support, we can avoid making these mistakes and make a real social and economic impact for your business.
And that is what I am here to help you do.
Creating meaningful connections for business and organisations
For businesses and organisations digitalisation, design thinking and storytelling supports brands values, growth and nurtures sustainable practices.
It helps to create agile ways of working, customer loyalty and business distinction.
Through these three pathways, businesses can enhance their customer experience and journey, putting the customer rather than product at the centre of their work. Therefore developing higher customer satisfaction. Not only is it important for the customer journey, but it also brings purpose and pride to stakeholders. Encouraging communities, employees and all involved to develop professionally, demonstrate knowledge and nurture collaborative working practices.
What I do for you
I understand that not only do small and medium size business have multiple priorities and challenges that they face on a day-to-day basis, they also do not have a lot of time or resources to commit themselves to researching, learning and developing in-depth marketing knowledge or creating multi-level marketing campaigns. But having worked in marketing and audience engagement for 9 years, I also know that small steps have big impacts.
In my work, I take the time to really understand the businesses I work with – what challenges you are facing, what resources you have available, your journey, your customers and most importantly your actual needs are. I am not interested in trying to sell you something you will not get value from. Because if you don’t see the value or understand it, then you want use it to its full potential and you will be loosing time and resources which could be placed elsewhere.
I develop bespoke packages, tools awareness and training that fit around you, focusing on using resources already available and at reasonable cost. Not only is it important to me that we work at a level you feel comfortable at, but I also know that digitalisation can be an uncomfortable area for some people – I work at a level you feel comfortable with, using examples and explanations which are not over complex. I take my time to allow you to get familiar without feeling lost once I am gone, so that you get the most out of this collaboration.
To discuss how I can support your business, please email email@example.com
Areas of support that I offer:
- Consultancy session about digital opportunities for your business.
- Introduction to Design Thinking approaches.
- Social media for business and content creation.
- Newsletter training
- Market research and industry trends
- Creating easy and engaging content.
- Social media and social media advertising – how to target it right.
- Developing an effective and informative social media strategy and sticking to it.
- Understanding social media algorithms – why is no-one seeing my posts?
- Social Media templates, tools and resources.
- Storytelling for business.
- Sustainability (environmental, economic, education and cultural) and regenerative approaches to tourism.
- Understanding my customer journey
- Bespoke on going social media and audience engagement support.
- Find and tell your business’s purpose.
For destinations – connecting visitors, locals and places through impactful visitor experiences
The old mentality of build it and they will come is no longer a viable option in tourism and the visitor economy sector. The market’s relationship with the visitor economy has changed and moved on, but destination marketing organisations (DMOs) have not.
Customers and destination stakeholders want meaningful connections which bring social and economic impact to the area. To share the value creation of tourism and the visitor economy with all stakeholders.
What we need are visitor experiences and for the Destination Marketing Organisation to become Destination Management Organisations, creating networks and with a visitor experience framework which connects visitors, locals and industry.
And this needs to be reflected in the DMOs engagement with its stakeholders and audience.
What I do for you
Using my knowledge of stakeholder engagement, customer experience design, collaborative and disciplinary work, and awareness of the trends and challenges facing tourism and the visitor economy; I work with DMOs and tourism organisations, to develop skills and knowledge which will allow them to work in agile ways to overcome this challenges.
Areas of support that I offer:
- Understanding the customer journey and how you impact it.
- Creative thinking – tackling the problem with the resources you have.
- The importance of customer and stakeholder stories.
- Workshops – using social media for stakeholder engagement, storytelling for destinations, social media tools to save time and money, promoting and nurturing team creativity.
- Talks and seminars, considering the how future trends in digitalisation and the visitor economy can be utilised by your organisation.
- A new way of working sustainable and regenerative tourism economy which brings positive impact to the local community.
To discuss how I can support your destination or organisation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Katie Anne Jowett
Katie is happy to answer any questions or discuss the challenges your business is facing in going digital – Katie also offers a small consultancy appointment option to allow you to think about the opportunities your business could be accessing, without you committing to a workshop or long-term support.