Episode #014 - David Gilbert (Destination Cleveland), Puerto Rico asks 'Have we met yet?', Oracle reports on hotels' mobile maturity
In Episode 13 we talk with David Gilbert CEO of Destination Cleveland about the mid-west city’s unique challenges in attracting visitors. A once prosperous industrial hub, Gilbert says Cleveland was the “Silicon Valley of the United States 120 years ago” but fell into a slump in the mid 1950s after its manufacturing industry declined. If Cleveland was known for anything in recent times it was known for being an “old dirty industrial city” and became the butt of jokes in the United States.
Gilbert talks about how the destination marketer has capitalised on the city’s resurgence and fierce pride of its residents to turn around the city’s image.
“One of the things that has changed dramatically in the last probably eight to 10 years has been the shift in Clevelanders’ perceptions of their own city, and that's probably been the most dramatic change,” he says. “For someone who is from here, and has really lived through a lot of this and spent a lot of my career in trying to advance Cleveland, it's very fun and exciting to see this dramatic change in local perceptions.”
As well as emphasising the city’s strengths in arts, culture and sports, the destination marketer has bravely embraced its gritty, industrial heritage. “There’s a grittiness that permeates the city from its industrial past,” says Gilbert. “It’s a manufacturing city still, but not nearly on the scale that it was, and it's part of why, to me it has such unique character to it.”
In Trend Monitor we analyse a new mobile maturity report from Oracle examining how well hotels are using mobile experiences. Co-host Andrés says the highlight of the report was the fact that nine out of 10 respondents said that guest-facing apps were their preferred method for requesting service from hotel staff - and a similar number said guest experience could be improved by using smartphones to manage basic functions such as checking in, opening your room and ordering food. Andrés noted there was also “a big gap in terms of how mobile could be used to improve the way that guests plan and interact with a local area.”
Last but not least, in Campaign News we break down a new campaign from Puerto Rico called Have we met yet?. Just 18 months after Hurricane Maria devastated the island nation is back in-market with some proactive messaging for the US market whereas some other disaster-struck destinations have taken much longer to return to actively marketing themselves.
Co-host Lauren remarks that it’s interesting how undifferentiated the Puerto Rico brand has historically been in the US given that the two nations have such a close relationship. (Puerto Ricans represent 1.5% of the overall population of the US and they're the second biggest Latino group.). Lauren says that is likely to have a lot to do with a lack of consistent messaging over a number of years. Andrés agrees saying, “In my opinion, a brand is just consistency. It can be white words on a black background in Arial Font - as long as it's consistent, that's what really matters.”
Content Marketing World 2019 // Content Marketing Institute
The End of Tourism // Wonderful Copenhagen