Getting to the Visitor’s “Why”, with Gina Nacey

Episode 140:

Gina Nacey is president and executive creative director of Adventure Creative, an agency based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Their focus is on active lifestyle brands, recreation, and destination marketing. Gina has led the strategy and creative direction of Explore Minnesota’s brand new “Find Your True North” campaign, and the Minnesota Zoo’s “Where Amazing Lives.” Adventure Creative helped Sun RV Resorts launch a signature tier of resorts – among much more great work.

Throughout her 20 year career, Gina’s work has been recognized with hundreds of Addy awards, including many Best of Show and Judge’s Choice awards. She was also honored with the American Advertising Federation Silver Medal for achievement in advertising.

Gina has taught advertising, copywriting, and public relations. She has traveled nationally to judge advertising competitions, worked on several nonprofit boards, and served in a variety of roles with the American Advertising Federation.

On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Gina about the creative and strategic work it takes to connect emotionally with your target audience to build a great brand. We talk collaboration and doing work that transcends ego to put the client’s needs first. 

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Why solving business problems is the heart of marketing
  • How to make an emotional connection with people’s need to visit your destination
  • Why marketing needs a seat at the table in broader business decisions
  • How to use real experiences from visitors to tell your story
  • How to create truly collaborative relationships

Solving A Business Problem

Destination marketing is much more than finding the right words and images to describe your organization. Ultimately it is about solving a business problem to bring visitors to you again and again.

Gina describes her education and experience and how that connects directly with the wide range of skills needed to help solve destination business problems. She said, “We are never doing creative for creative sake. We’re always trying to solve a problem. That requires looking at the numbers and understanding the audience and understanding what the client is really trying to achieve.”

Whether you’re in the agency business, or you’re a DMO or a tour operator, or working in a museum; whatever your role is, you’re there to solve that business problem, move the organization forward, and meet visitor needs.

For Real Co-opetition

Whatever aspect of travel and tourism you are in, you want to win the business. We all know that co-opetition is sometimes the best way for a rising tide to lift all boats. But what if you are competing for exactly the same client at the same time?

That’s the situation Gina found herself in. When an RFP went out for a job, her company was a strong contender. It was between Adventure and another agency local to the client. That’s when Gina said, “Why don’t we share the work? They can do PR, and we can do the branding side and collaborate on everything.” The client was shocked that they would agree to that.

The project turned out well, and the collaboration was real. They made decisions based on what was best for the client. Everyone checked their ego at the door, and that made everyone a winner. We make a point to weave co-opetition into the podcast for exactly these reasons.


Episode Transcript

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