ways of thinking and a commitment to client success
are the hallmarks of San Francisco-based marketing
and research firm.
Question: How did this all get
started? We founded
with the understanding that membership-based associations--convention
& visitors bureaus, chambers of commerce and
other professional associations—need the
same level of high-quality market research and
creative marketing services as for-profit enterprises.
Our entire team has worked in the trenches, so
to speak, of not-for-profit and governmental organizations
and we understand intimately the special needs
and budget constraints they feel. Let’s
face it, the typical bureau or professional association
doesn’t have deep pockets. They may have
no pockets at all. Yet, they are under constant
pressure from their boards and management to create
innovative, impactful marketing programs that
create results. How can they be expected to do
this without resources? That’s where we
see Destination AnalystsTM
coming into play. We are fully-committed to using
new technology and exploring cost-sharing relationships
to drive down costs. Good market research is commonly
very expensive, prohibitively so for most non-profits.
We believe that it doesn’t have to be, and
we intend to explore these boundaries and find
innovative cost-effective solutions for our clients.
Is that your company’s mission?
That’s a big part of it. Our business model
revolves entirely around finding low-cost ways
to bring our clients’ marketing to new heights.
Doing research is great, but if it doesn’t
add to the bottom line of your goals, why do it?
We specialize in great research products and in
helping our clients use them effectively. The
second part of this can be just as important as
the first. Our entire reason for being is to help
our clients succeed, and this is reflected in
everything we do. We’re simply not interested
in relationships that don’t significantly
benefit everyone involved.
Tell me about your research products? We’re
equipped to handle any type of custom market research—from
qualitative work (focus groups and the like),
to hard-core quantitative projects, surveys, economic
modeling, etc. We’re very good at this type
of work. However, our business plan takes market
research for associations in an entirely new direction.
Here’s the bottom line. Think about a typical
convention & visitors bureau. They speak to
basically the same audiences as every other bureau
in the country, in the world for that matter.
They must effectively attract visitors to their
market, service their membership’s needs,
convince meeting planners to select their destination,
help the travel trade to sell their destination
and effectively communicate their messages to
the media. We looked at this situation and thought,
why must every bureau recreate the market research
wheel? Let’s create a customizable online
audience measurement tool that will collect exactly
the information a bureau needs about each audience,
then go out and get many bureaus on board to share
the costs of technology, questionnaire development,
respondent incentives and data analysis. What
might have been a five figure research product
can now be done for only a few thousand dollars.
In addition, participating bureaus can see how
they compare with other destinations, gaining
an entirely new level of understanding to their
market. It’s a win-win situation for everyone
involved—better information at a lower cost.
You’re more than just a research company,
though? Yes, we absolutely are. We see
ourselves as a full-service, research-centric
boutique marketing agency. Researchers can’t
live in a vacuum. They need to be fully versed
in marketing theory and application, and our team
brings both skills sets to the table. Our clients
have used us in a variety of ways. For example,
in our work with the Fiji Visitors Bureau, we
set out to help them with an entire online marketing
campaign. We built a unique travel website (bulafijinow.com)
where visitors could learn about Fiji and also
quickly and easily book their travel through the
bureau’s partner travel agencies. The website
also collected visitor information that allowed
us to go back later and survey those who had come
to the website and develop return on investment
metrics for the bureau. Nothing like this had
ever been done before, and it was a huge success
for the Fiji bureau.
also developed an extraordinary email campaign
for the bureau, our noted Message in a Bottle
campaign. This campaign was amazing, an immediate
over-the-top success. Thousands of email addresses
were collected (again on bulafijinow.com) and
readership rates were extraordinary, in the neighborhood
of 35%. In an atmosphere where the typical commercial
email is read by 1-2% of the subscriber base,
this is extraordinary. Follow-up research suggested
that many of our readers visited Fiji and believed
that the email campaign was a key factor in their
example is our work with Jackson Wine Estates.
They’re huge player in the wine business
and we created for them a unique and highly successful
customer acquisition tool, The Ultimate Wine IQ
Test. We also are conducting (in conjunction with
this) a major national consumer survey to integrate
with and support the Ultimate Wine IQ Test. There
are many other examples, but the bottom-line is
we’re a creative agency that believes in
integrating good decision-making, based on sound
research, into every aspect of marketing.
Based in San Francisco, California, Destination
is one of the travel industry’s premier
boutique marketing and research consultancies.
Destination Analysts was established in 2003 to
pioneer affordable, technology-based market research
and marketing solutions for tourism and lifestyle-related
businesses. The company’s portfolio has
quickly grown to include Jackson Wine Estates,
the Fiji Islands Visitors Bureau, the United States
Forest Service, and DDB-Seattle. The needs of
our clients are carefully analyzed and are the
centerpiece of everything we do. David Bratton,
founder of Destination AnalystsTM,
says it best, "Our entire reason for existing
is to help our clients thrive, and our goal is
always to provide them with affordable and innovative
methods to make their marketing soar."