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Adaptive Marketing in Travel and Tourism, with Brian Bossuyt

Episode 154:

Brian Bossuyt has been marketing the Pocono Mountains for the past 20 years. He was the Sales and Marketing Director for Camelback Mountain Resort for 18 years, and now serves as the EVP, and CMO of the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau.

Developing marketing campaigns that target two of the country’s largest DMA’s, New York Metro and Philadelphia Metro, has kept Brian on top of his game by forcing him to learn and evolve. Both markets are on the cutting edge of technology and have a lot of competition for their attention. With limited budgets and marketing resources, he learned to adapt quickly. Brian’s use of analytical data has helped him thrive when planning strategies and developing partnerships. He incorporates fun, engaging creative and is not afraid to make a mistake. Those are the key factors that drive successful campaigns.

Brian loves family, being a husband, a dad, and playing in the outdoors as much as possible. He likes to keep things simple and to the point because he gets more done that way! Brian is pretty laid back and tries to look at everything with as much optimism as possible!

In this episode of Destination on the Left, I am joined by Brian Bossuyt, Executive Vice President and CMO of the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau. We discuss the benefits of building an in-house marketing team, their new approach to creative, and how they are leveraging data to break into new markets.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Brian Bossuyt’s journey into the role of EVP and CMO of Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau
  • How Bossuyt adapts his marketing strategy to unexpected change
  • What Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau is doing to set themselves apart
  • How Bossuyt is using data to increase the effectiveness of their marketing
  • How he built out an in-house marketing team
  • The launch of their own television program
  • How Bossuyt overcame the challenges associated with litter in the Poconos
  • How DMOs collaborate and work with the local communities
  • Bossuyt’s future plans for the organization

Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau

Brian Bossuyt started skiing at three years old, developing a passion for the mountains at a very early age. But growing up in the Poconos provided Bossuyt with more inspiration than hobbies. For him, it was a home, not a destination. And when you combine that notion with his background in hospitality, it is no surprise that he now serves as Executive Vice President and CMO of the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau.

Bossuyt paid his dues. And in college, he broke into the world of marketing as an intern for Hunter Mountain’s marketing team. During his internship, Bossuyt was immersed in the ski culture and was given significant responsibilities that involved him most of the resort’s daily operations. It was an opportunity that combined his passion for the mountains and experience in hospitality, laying the framework for his post-graduate career at Camelback and beyond.

Adaptive Marketing in Travel and Tourism

Weather and seasonality control the travel and tourism industry, so as a marketer you have to be innovative. Bossuyt’s first year as the Director of Marketing for Camelback posed the warmest winter they’d seen in decades. It created a myriad of new challenges and their initial strategy was pushed back to January. But, nonetheless, Bossuyt was able to adapt and redesigned his marketing program in real-time. Growing into a leadership role in marketing is a difficult task. However, by developing your versatility and managerial skills, your marketing efforts will start to yield impressive results no matter what is thrown your way.

New Creative, New Team, New Tools

In the last few years, Bossuyt and his team have focused on delivering top-notch creative. And a lot of their work starts with broadcast and stems into different mediums from there. By focusing on longer-form content for broadcast, they have more content to pull from. That enables them to create more impactful social media content and add depth as they repurpose it for a variety of other platforms. Bossuyt is determined to maintain the same message, but deliver it in a more strategic way by bringing all of their marketing efforts in-house.

Because they brought all facets of their marketing process in-house, the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau is able to use data to increase the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. Bossuyt analyzes data to determine what markets are the strongest, where they can grow in new markets, and what’s the best way to retarget those markets. Since they manage all of their own digital assets, they have access to metrics and analytics that will help them determine next steps.

The Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau is largely responsible for the growth of their resort in recent years. And with a team of nine full-time marketing and PR professionals, the brand will continue to transform. Brian Bossuyt has done outstanding work at the helm of the marketing team and he is constantly re-evaluating their strategy. Even with the competitive nature of the travel and tourism industry, Bossuyt continues to drive traffic and find different ways to set their brand apart.

Resources:

Episode Transcript

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