Marketing Operations in the Travel Industry Benchmarks: Destinations

by Haixia Wang + Skift Team - Mar 2019

Skift Research Take

As travel CMOs and their teams take on more responsibilities, a well-designed and articulated operations plan is crucial for delivering marketing success. Use this series of Skift Research reports to see how you stack up against other companies in your sector in key operational areas and set up strategies to optimize.

Report Overview

Empowered by the explosion of data companies own or have access to about their existing customers as well as prospective customers, travel CMOs and their teams are on a mission to drive and transform business. Yet, more opportunities and promises mean more complexities in technological offerings and skill and function demands. It is within this context that marketing operations has risen as an important discipline in the past few years.

As a result, marketing operations is often tasked to manage channel and campaign processes and performance evaluation, select and manage technology partners, plan budget, and coordinate inter- and cross-team communications. Yet, core questions remain: Should there be a separate marketing operations specialist/team? What are the responsibilities and decision-making powers of the marketing operations function? In addition, there are broader questions that are related to operations and crucial to marketing success, including how marketing teams should be structured, what functions should report under marketing, and how budgets should be set.

To help travel marketing executives see how they stack up in the industry in these areas and set up strategies to optimize, Skift Research conducted a survey of senior executives and marketing professionals in various travel sectors on their practices and attitudes related to these questions. We will release the survey findings in a series of reports, each focusing on one specific sector. Our first report presented findings for hotels (see Marketing Operations in the Travel Industry Benchmarks: Hotels for more details). This report focuses on data for destinations, including destination marketing organizations (DMOs), convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) and other tourism organizations. To simplify, we use the term destination organizations or DMOs throughout the report to encompass various types of destination organizations.

Total sample size for this sector is 61. Please see the Appendix for more detailed sample demographics

What You'll Learn From This Report

  • 2019 marketing priorities for destination organizations
  • Prevalence of dedicated marketing operations functions in destination organizations
  • Responsibilities and effectiveness of marketing operations functions in destination organizations
  • How destination marketing teams are structured and the effectiveness of each structure
  • Ideal marketing team structures in delivering marketing success
  • Functions that report under marketing in destination organizations
  • How destination marketers set up marketing budgets and the effectiveness of each budgeting approach
  • How outperforming destination organizations stand out in key marketing operations areas