“Breaking into the Industry”: Carrie Di Guido – Show Notes

  • Name: Adam Stoker
  • Position: Co-founder and CEO of Relic Agency
  • Favorite Destination: Fiji
  • Dream Destination: New Zealand
  • Name: Carrie Di Guido
  • Position: Marketing & Communications Manager at Visit Dana Point
  • Favorite Destination: her honeymoon in Saint Lucia, West Indies at the Ladera Resort
  • Dream Destination: Anywhere to see the northern lights — Alaska, Iceland, Norway, etc.

“Breaking into the Industry” – Show Notes and Highlights

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Show Highlights

About Carrie:

  • Carrie grew up in Twentynine Palms, California. The city is near Joshua Tree National Park. She couldn’t wait to get out. She went to college at Cal State Long Beach. Her grandfather worked at the Ritz Carlton Marina Del Rey at the time and got her connected with the right people to start her own journey in hospitality.
  • She moved from hotel to hotel, in both California and Florida, for over 10 years. She has been working now for Visit Dana Point for two months.

How Carrie got into DMO Marketing

  • While working for the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel, she would travel a lot and visit clients. Because this was the first resort in the Ritz Carlton company, they already knew about it. With knowledge already solidified about the hotel and their service, Carrie would talk to clients about the experience they could have in the area and the destination overall.
  • She talked about the location and how Dana Point was halfway between LA and San Diego. She would talk about how Dana Point is the dolphin and whale watching capital of the world, how surfing was a culture born in Dana Point, and more.
  • Seeing the light in peoples’ eyes when she would share about Dana Point was thrilling for Carrie. At the IPW conference last June, she learned about destination marketing and she knew she wanted to get into that area of expertise.
  • When Dana Point was hiring, she applied and got the job.

Learning about DMO Marketing

  • With her new job, Carrie knew she needed to learn more about tourism marketing. As she was looking for resources, she came across the Destination Marketing Podcast.
  • She realized that after living in the area for five years, she needed to rediscover it. She needed to try the restaurants, do the activities, and visit the attractions. All while seeing the area from the visitor’s point of view.
  • In rediscovering Dana Point, she was able to see that the customer experience is aligned with the marketing promises the DMO makes. They follow their brand values well in being authentic, local, and friendly.
  • Another thing she learned about from the Destination Marketing Podcast is the CrowdRiff product and technology. She didn’t even think too much about social media marketing in the past. Now, she is using this technology. It aggregates social media images and stories, automatically tagging everything for you. It filters out the photos that won’t perform well and gives you predictions. It is also a platform for uploading and storing all of your own photos.
  • Bandwango is another technology company she heard of through the Destination Marketing Podcast. This company helps destinations put together city passes and funnel people into different activities. You can see what people are enjoying the most. You can gather the data and also communicate with people after their trip to re-target them and have them come again. 
  • Carrie has quickly learned through the podcast that your neighbors are not your competitors, but your partners. Carrie is working with nearby locations to put together a road trip itinerary from Northern California to Southern California, along with many other projects with tourism industry members.
  • Remember, travel advisors are a marketing tool as well. People sometimes don’t know what to believe on the internet when doing their own research, but travel advisors and agencies will, hopefully, know your area well and will be able to give a positive recommendation for their clients. They are just as important as other marketing channels.
  • Get to know your stakeholders’ teams as well. Many times, tourism marketers communicate to the board members or directors of various teams and it doesn’t always trickle down as it should. Get to know people on the front lines, all of the sales managers, valets, and people interacting directly with the visitors. Make sure those people understand what a DMO is and what you do because “their feedback is sometimes even more important.”

Resources Mentioned in the Podcast