Jim Harenchar Talks Leadership, Technology and Destination Marketing with Brian London

RMG’s president and CEO Jim Harenchar spoke with Destination Marketing Today about leadership, technology, and marketing. Watch the full 22-minute interview, or jump ahead to hear Jim’s key takeaways:

  • 00:43 Jim characterizes his CEO-style and goal for partnerships, “I’d like to say first and foremost I’m collaborative. I think that certainly I have a point of view and encourage all on our team to have a point of view. Our clients certainly have a point of view. I think that while we would like to be positioned as the experts, and I think that we’ve got a great track record to be able to say that we are, the reality is when you gather a lot of different folks around the table, you do need to collaborate. Our hope is that that collaboration empowered by the data that we’ve been working in for a number of years allows us to really put together a roadmap for our clients.”
  • 01:54 Hear Jim’s take on what customers would say about their experience working with the Response Marketing Group team, “folks love working with RMG…We have a very disparate collection of individuals who have core strengths in their particular backgrounds… I think we’ve been very fortunate in that we’ve had a lot of great people over the years dating back, coming up on 37 years of the organization.”
  • 3:55 What can the tourism sector learn from insurance and finance industries? Jim shares a turning point he’s leveraged in RMG’s services, “the eye-opening, amazing moment for me was the fact that there was no measurement of ROI… it was not a routine part of the mathematics that was used in tourism advertising. And the fact that you could have a state spend $80 million, in the case of Florida at the time, and not be able to come up with an ROI was unbelievable for me… I had spent the previous 15+ years with every client wanting to know, before we even sign a contract, how can we determine what the ROI is on this campaign and how long is it going to take?”
  • 5:29 Learn about RMG’s Bullseye, a solution to help capture on-site visitors and maximize marketing opportunities, “Technology has advanced to the point now that yes, we can frame a visitor center, we can capture the information of the individual when they stop, we can aggregate all that information across those different locations. And if we build other frames, we could tell you where that individual would go, how long they spent in the state, what their point of entry, and what their point of exit is. The simple answer is yes, using the framing technology, we’re able to identify who’s coming and going.
  • 07:22 With Bullseye and multiple frames, Jim shares how RMG can provide clear, actionable data for his clients, “We frame the airport, we frame our destination, and we see what that interplay is between those two locations… What’s the percentage of people that will fly into Atlanta and then come down to Augusta? We’re able to identify that for them.”
  • 08:38 Hear about how RMG differs from the competition, “the biggest difference is, number one, all of those others are really designed to track location and device movement… but it is still anonymous data… what we do though, that we believe takes it to the next level, is the ability to add that personally identifiable information within full compliance. RMG’s ability to deliver that level of personalized data is unique and really a game changer.”
  • 11:21 Jim dives into the critical need for accountability around ad spend and translating data into actionable marketing,  “there is some amount of fear around the accountability to determine whether or not that $50,000 media buy that we did actually performed as we anticipated. Let’s use a use case with my friends at Augusta, Georgia who have a very big event in early April every year… We were able to identify the key Northeastern states where folks come down from–they’re anxious to get out of that tail end of winter–and so the follow-up campaign logically is ‘you saw us in the spring, you would love us in the fall.’ Meeting all compliance requirements, Augusta can reach out to these individuals with an email–which RMG’s able to capture from our ad technology–such that we can then invite them back to visit again.”
  • 13:14 Learn how RMG’s Bullseye technology can identify who is at an event, allowing the client to re-target the specific individual, “We’ve advanced to the point now where we do a latitude and longitude-based frame, so it can be any shape or size. When a device walks inside of that frame, we identify that Mobile Ad Id. We maintain a robust household database of 150 million consumers, and so we will then take that Mobile Ad ID and match it back to our database.”
  • 15:39 Jim highlights how RMG helped the Ritz Carlton tap into unknown markets, “We’re using data to make decisions. What we don’t want to make are assumptions…  we identified that 72% of their past guests had a child 17 or younger in the household. So we said, why aren’t we doing ad testing with kids on paddleboards building sandcastles promoting the Ritz Club campaign, Ritz kids? When we did, we saw a 30% jump in both clicks and opens, and also in bookings. So it’s a matter of being able to use the data.”
  • 17:03 RMG serves at the core of data-driven marketing to help turn insights into action, “it’s more a matter of aligning our audience, our imagery, our copy, and our call to action consistent with what we know and are able to learn from deploying this ad technology.”
  • 18:27 Jim shares how insights from RMG could help destination marketing strategically spend their advertising dollars through unprecedented events like COVID, “when the government was telling all of us we were supposed to stay at home and wear masks and not travel, it didn’t, it didn’t matter what type of data we had available, people were not going to be traveling. But how could we identify those that were likely to be some of the first to return, or those who came to your resort property or your destination every year for the last 12 years? They’re probably going to be one of the first returnees because we’ve established clearly that they love this location, and they’re likely to come back. If I’m going to spend a dollar on marketing, I’d rather spend it on these people, based on their past history, rather than on the individual that I don’t know whether or not they will come because I don’t have any intelligence.”
  • 19:26 Hear what’s new about today’s technology offerings and how they can give clients greater returns, “What’s new is the marrying of demographic data to the technology. I’m willing to stick my neck out and say whatever you’re spending in your budget, a hundred thousand, a million, $10 million, I believe that we can get a minimum of a 10% increased return on investment, up to 20% increased return on investment for not one incremental dollar more. I may not change, uh, a single thing… beyond the fact that we reallocate and retarget the dollars that you’re already spending into a segment of the population that is going to respond at a greater rate, that’s going to lift your occupancy, that’s going to increase your attendance, that’s going to allow you to be able to go back to your funding sources and say, I did get a greater ROI because now I can target those individuals that I know are interested in my activities.”

Ready to increase your marketing ROI with a collaborative, data-driven partner? Schedule a free 30-minute consultation and expand your marketing with the power of RMG.