It all starts with a strategy

When I started working with Travel Drumheller in 2016 it was an organization in transition. It was clear that the organization needed a strategy, a plan and subject matter expertise.

As a rural DMO (destination marketing organization) Travel Drumheller’s role is to promote the destination out of market; meaning advertising and marketing in locations outside Drumheller. I looked at the opportunity as a long-term relationship, that would take Drumheller from limited visibility to a premier year-round destination.

The first task was to create a proper strategy to determine the vision and mission of the organization, this then led to implementing a full-scale marketing plan designed to leverage the limited budget with partnerships and media coverage.

In the two years working with Travel Drumheller; we have been able to bring on outside expertise to assist with key deliverables designed to elevate the brand of Travel Drumheller, the organization as well as Drumheller the destination. Some of these initiatives included:

  • contracted an experienced digital firm to create and implement both digital and social media strategies

  • created media partnerships in Edmonton and Calgary that provide integrated marketing campaigns

  • hired a full-service production company to design, produce and print the visitor guide

  • worked with a professional photographer to capture inspiring and experiential images
    partnered with Travel Alberta on co-op marketing campaigns

  • implemented an industry relations plan to enhance communication to the local tourism sector

A lazy kayak down the Red Deer River - image courtesy Jeremy Fokkens

A lazy kayak down the Red Deer River - image courtesy Jeremy Fokkens


With the launch of a new website in 2018, we are now receiving proper analytics to show who is visiting the site and from where. The site is now getting over 30,000 page views a month from locations across Canada. The visitor guide has become so popular that is requires monthly re-stocking throughout the province.

Each of these tactics were outlined in the overarching strategy which has led to increased visitation to the Valley, specifically regional travellers from Alberta, Saskatchewan and southwestern BC.

Now with the strategy fully engaged, we are working on enhancements to the website to include more experience-based content and a section for tourism industry news and a greater focus on storytelling through written and visual content.

Every project, no matter the length should start with a proper strategy before commencing with tactics. If you need tips on how to put together a plan, check out my blog on Top five components of a marketing plan or connect with me directly and I will be happy to assist.