How to Select an International Marketing Partner for Destinations

When you want to expand your tourism business, the opportunities are limitless. You’re in the business of travel, after all, so it makes sense to go international. However, every foreign market has its own factors to consider. No one can be an expert in all of them. That’s why you need a marketing partner in the locations you want to expand to who knows the unique practices and nuances of tourism marketing in those destinations.

The tricky part is finding the right partner. You need someone or a team experienced in destination marketing, but there are other qualifications to consider as well. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you search for the perfect international marketing partner.

Determine your goals & needs

The first step in searching for an international destination marketing partner is to identify for yourself the qualities you require in a partner and what you need them to do for you. Take a step back and answer questions like:

  • What weakness does your business have that an international marketing firm could compensate for?
  • What background or understanding of a destination do you need them to have to help you help your business?
  • Do you need them to strategize for you, or merely translate your existing strategies into something more fitting for that particular market?

You won’t be able to find what you’re looking for unless you know what you’re looking for first.

Look for relevant experience

You likely have plenty of options as you search for an international destination marketing partner to help your business expand to a new market. But you’ll want to make sure you look for a partner who has ample experience working in the travel industry. You want to know that they’ve been a successful international partner before and are capable of meeting your standards of quality.

One way to do this is by reviewing the past clients they’ve worked with and asking for examples of projects they’ve completed previously for organizations similar to yours. As a destination marketing agency that’s been around for over 15 years, Connect Worldwide has worked with world-renowned destinations such as Visit California, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, New Caledonia, Indonesia etc.

Long-distance communication is another factor of experience to consider. Ask about their experience with different forms of communication and their success at navigating communication and workflow across different time zones.

Assess the resources

When you find potential partners with the credentials and experience you seek, make sure they have the resources to do the work you require. If they already collaborate with other partners, you want to ensure that your projects will be prioritized, and that they have the staff hours and expertise to deliver on everything they’ve promised.

Ask how many people and hours they can devote to your projects and what skill sets those employees have. With 20 offices globally, Connect Worldwide can always find the perfect local hero(s) to take care of your objectives, for one or more countries.

Besides speaking with a foreign marketer’s previous partners, you should also investigate who they are as a company. Search for any legal suits or formal complaints they’ve had brought against them.

Make sure it’s a good fit

A partner may come highly recommended and have all the right qualifications on paper, but not every marketing partner will be a good fit. Offer to work together on a preliminary project or establish a probationary period to make sure a partner will be what you need.

Know your budget

When the time comes to select an international marketing partner, you need to know how exactly much your business can afford, keeping in mind that a successful marketing solution partnership will provide direct ROI and growth for your brand in ways you may not be able to achieve on your own.

Start by sharing your sales goals, and your marketing partner will evaluate how much resources it will take to get you there.

One caveat: Make sure to translate your offer into the currency of your foreign partner. This will ensure you’ve got the most accurate number and that you’re both on the same page. You don’t want to end up paying too much or losing partnerships by offering too little because of this type of oversight.

However you go about selecting an international marketing partner for your desired destinations, make sure they have what it takes to work well with you and help you meet your business goals. After all, you are entrusting parts of your business and brand to someone who can help you expand and build your business in ways you could never do alone. Maximize your global sales efforts by partnering with CWW’s global marketing and sales travel experts who have the connections, local knowledge, and experience to help you achieve incremental sales.

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