Brand USA is launching a major new online platform giving members extensive research and insights into key international markets as they return to global marketing.
Called the International Pavilion, Brand USA calls it the next level of its Global Marketplace, a virtual platform that launched in October 2020 to serve as an online version of trade shows and industry events so the U.S. travel community could engage with the global travel industry during the pandemic lockdowns.
The International Pavilion is a virtual room within Global Marketplace, and it currently features data for the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Canada, Mexico, France, Australia and New Zealand. By the end of May, India, Brazil, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland and the Benelux countries will be added.
Tom Garzilli, chief marketing officer of Brand US. Photo Credit: Brand USA
"We want to help our stakeholders with the fundamental things they all need to do business internationally," said Tom Garzilli, chief marketing officer of Brand USA. "Every destination needs to know this research, have these databases and have access to this kind of info. By providing that, we're either making it easier for partners in those markets or lowering the barriers of entry to those middle and smaller markets just getting into international."
Garzilli said the International Pavilion is designed to give Brand USA partners key information to help make strategic marketing decisions and spend their marketing dollars more wisely. Data they can find on individual countries include the population's intent to travel and what they need to feel comfortable going overseas and how much those travelers spend. The platform has lists of key contacts in local media as well as in airlines and tour operators.
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Set up like an airport, with a flight board displaying countries, users will find data in a nation's "lounge" that will regularly be updated. Content also includes videos of conversations with key tour operators and the latest in-market updates. The trade and media landscape data will be updated quarterly.
The Pavilion soft-launched in November with the U.K. and Ireland and has been adding destinations ever since. Brand USA is currently creating videos with various airlines and tour operators and will also add conversations with trade media to talk about what it is that each market is looking for.
A complement to face-to-face events
Garzilli said the mission in creating what he calls "a virtual connection to the world" was to give stakeholders access to "as many marketing tools and as much efficiency as we can." And although Brand USA is moving forward with returning to face-to-face events and meetings, the Pavilion will exist as a location offering the frequently updated data available on demand.
"It's meant to be a bridge to these markets," he said.
Garzilli said the research and assets being made available would normally be very expensive, especially given that it will be constantly updated with the most recent data.
The destination "lounge" for Australia in the International Pavilion, part the Brand USA Global Marketplace. Photo Credit: Brand USA
"By us providing those things it just frees up marketing funds for them to do their jobs better and directly," he said.
Garzilli said that throughout the pandemic Brand USA has tried to be a bridge for the many U.S. destinations that had to let go of staff and pull out of markets.
"The goal was keep the lights on and the connections alive," he said, adding that Global Marketplace was formed to help keep such connections with the trade and journalists in international markets.
The Pavilion, he said, serves as a great training tool as destinations beef up their staffs again.
"It gives them an easy place to go to learn everything about international markets, and we will keep adding whatever information we think we can get our hands on that's useful," he added.
Efficiency and scale
Garzilli said efficiency is one of the main benefits of using the Pavilion, saying that there are hundreds of places in the U.S. promoting themselves to global markets.
"To the degree we can harness the collective power of that and give everybody the most efficient way to do what they do benefits everybody,' he said. "That's ultimately what this is about."
He described the International Pavilion as one of the three biggest projects Brand USA has undertaken, along with its Imax films and television channels.
"Even though we are happy to be getting back to what will approach normal in terms of face-to-face and live, this is a platform that will provide value long into the future," he said. "It's one of the most important things from a stakeholder's value perspective that we've done."
The International Pavilion can be accessed by registering via the Global Marketplace.