CTC News

EQ insights: How Tourism Yukon struck gold with CTC’s Explorer Quotient.

CTC’s innovative marketing segmentation tool joins the dots between marketing and product development.

18 January 2012
Print

The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC)’s Explorer Quotient® (EQ) is reshaping the tourism landscape across Canada. More and more organizations both large and small are seeing how it harnesses together product development and marketing.

One of those organizations is Tourism Yukon. In this open letter to CTC, Pierre Germain, Director of Tourism & Culture for Yukon Government, charts the benefits and insights from EQ and its research, Tourism Yukon’s new focus on experiences and its new global platform.

“We presented EQ to industry’s Senior Marketing Committee this past December, including a brief summary of the EQ journey through CTC and more recently Yukon’s investment as a licensee. Yukon first embraced segmentation marketing on the heels of a Yukon tourism brand development initiative back in 2005. We integrated our three target segments—Adventure Challengers, Cultural Explorers and Scenic Outdoor Travellers—into our marketing approach in the domestic and US markets. This had an immediate and positive impact on campaign efficiency and effectiveness. In the following years, we stayed on course in our overseas markets and continued to embrace and integrate EQ in our in-market activities.

“Fast forward to 2011 and Tourism Yukon’s decision to consolidate the Overseas and North America marketing units into one global marketing unit. One of our first ‘Aha!’ moments came with the realization that EQ could arm us with a new set of strategic tools to help us in unifying our global marketing strategy under one flexible, research-based, market-driven and consumer-centric platform.

“This led to discussions with the CTC and signing on as an EQ licensee. Frankly, we were not fully aware of the richness of the tools or the strategic opportunities that they would provide to Yukon as an EQ partner. The “EQ Family Reunion” held in Vancouver, BC, put any of these thoughts to rest when other EQ partners shared what had been happening in their provinces, regions and within their organizations.

“Some of the key benefits for Yukon became abundantly clear:

  • Gaining a clear understanding of our global customers
  • Alignment with CTC, the territorial marketing organization, destination marketing organizations and efficiently drilling down to our industry operators
  • Alignment within Tourism Yukon: using EQ has already strengthened the relationship and interdependencies between the Marketing, Research and Product Development teams in Tourism Yukon
  • Access to relevant research from all of our target markets
  • Access to experiential advice and best practices from other EQ licensees such as Travel Alberta and Tourism New Brunswick
  • Access to CTC’s Brand Experiences team and EQ-certified trainers.

“Our first definitive move was to retire our path-to-purchase model in favourof the CTC model, which is more in tune with social values and travel motivation. We’re now taking a slow and steady approach to EQ implementation and have started on an implementation plan.

“We have embarked on our EQ journey and would like to extend a hearty Yukon thank you to our CTC partners who were passionate, supportive and committed to Yukon’s success as an EQ licensee and as a partner in building a sustainable tourism industry in Canada.”

All the best,

Pierre

 

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Comments

Congratulations Yukon. Let's hope all the provinces follow. Values based marketing is the only way to go and it's gratifying that you now have some ROI data to prove it. While I recognise that with the EQ measuring tool Canada has a competitive edge, I have to wonder whether a greater contribution to Brand Canada could come from making it available elsewhere - particularly to developing countries whose "product" differs radically from that of northern, sometimes chilly, but relatively wealthy Canada. Might also help to offset canada's rapidly declining reputation as a country that cares - not.