Episode 187: Destination Marketing in a Global Pandemic, with Adam Stoker

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Adam Stoker has been in marketing now since 2007. In 2012, he got his first experience in marketing for tourism destinations. From that point forward, he knew he had found his passion. Since then, Adam has worked with destinations across the country to improve their marketing, branding, and use of technology.

He is the President and CEO of an advertising agency focused on marketing for tourism destinations. It’s called Relic, and it’s in Provo, Utah.

Adam started the Destination Marketing Podcast in May of 2019. After having so many amazing guests come on the show and share their knowledge, he realized he needed to curate all of that content into a book. This is his first time doing something like that and he’s really proud of it.

Adam’s hope is to release a new edition every year, as the industry is always changing.

He is a father of four and married to the girl of his dreams. Without their support, this never would have been possible. Adam lives in Salem, Utah.

Destination on the Left is joined by Adam Stoker, the President and CEO of Relic, an advertising agency in Provo, Utah that specializes in destination marketing. On our podcast, Adam talks about the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the tourism industry as a whole. He shares examples of creative marketing that has helped destinations stand out at this time. And he also explains what destination marketers can do to reach the right audiences at the right time during reopening travel.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:
  • Adam’s journey into travel and tourism
  • How starting his career during the Great Recession prepared him to deal with the COVID-crisis
  • Brands that have done an amazing job using creativity and collaboration to stand out from the crowd
  • The impact of crisis on creativity in the world of destination marketing
  • How Adam’s agency has used creativity to overcome recent challenges
  • How Adam helped his clients navigate the unique obstacles presented by the pandemic
  • What Adam’s team came up with to help clients stay top of mind in a socially responsible way
  • How Relic approached its clients’ recovery campaigns
  • How to access Adam’s worksheet to create a plan and implement the changes
Marketing for Post-Lockdown Travel

Adam Stoker is the President and CEO of Relic, an advertising agency in Provo, Utah that specializes in destination marketing. He is also the host of the Destination Marketing Podcast, where he interviews industry experts from a wide range of tourism focuses. On our podcast, Adam joins us to talk about the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the tourism industry as a whole. He shares examples of creative marketing that has helped destinations stand out during this crisis. And he also explains what destination marketers can do to reach the right audiences at the right time in the reopening travel market.

A Resurgence of Creativity

There is a whole generation of people in the destination marketing industry that has not lived through a crisis. Adam’s journey into the travel and tourism industry started at the beginning of the great recession, and it ended up being a blessing in disguise. Learning how to navigate a crisis is going to benefit you for the rest of your career because challenges will continue to arise. Ten years of sustainable growth has devalued creativity in the travel and tourism industry, but this crisis has forced brands to find new ways to stand out from the crowd. DMOs generally operate within a small geographic area with similar features to their competitors, so it is important to move past the first idea at the brainstorming session. From Oregon’s animated campaign to Nebraska’s “Nebraska is Not for Everyone” campaign, there is a lot of good stuff out there right now.

Backs Against the Wall

Times of crisis produce some of the greatest challenges DMOs will ever have to overcome. But when our backs are against the wall, we inevitably do some of our very best work. Since every single one of Adam’s clients was facing similar struggles as a result of the pandemic, the first thing on the agenda was to create temporary destination messages to keep them top of mind. The next step was to help clients create their recovery campaigns, which for many of them would be the difference between having a job or not having a job when everything is all said and done. Adam’s team produced some of the greatest work they have ever done during that time, and it will have a significant impact on their clients moving forward.

203 episodes