Paul Soseman is the founder and CEO of Department Zero, an experiential marketing agency based in Kansas City, MO.
Paul began his career 20 years ago, running the marketing department for a consumer electronics retailer where he oversaw a multi-million dollar advertising budget and created special events and promotions that ultimately became a primary driver of the retailers business. He then brought his event and retail experience to Road Runner, a then startup broadband internet service provider, where he created event marketing efforts to help educate consumers about the difference between dial-up and broadband internet speeds.
In 2003, Paul left the corporate world to start his own event marketing company. Since then, Department Zero has been at the forefront of the experiential marketing industry, producing more than 40,000 unique event activations for a mixture of agency and brand side clients across the travel/tourism, automotive, CPG, and apparel industries.
Paul leads the creative and strategic direction of the company, collaborating with client partners to design, plan + deploy live brand experiences and consumer activation programs that educate participants, amplify brand awareness, attract press coverage, and deliver quantifiable results.
Some of their typical work includes pop-up shops, roadshows, and mobile tours, college campus events, sponsorship activation programs, social media content experiences, as well as press, and retail-focused events.
In this episode of Destination on the Left, Paul Soseman, founder and CEO of Department Zero, joins us to share his story. He discusses the topic of experiential marketing and he explains how DMOs can incorporate it into their marketing strategies to drive more results.
Paul Soseman is the founder and CEO of Department Zero, an experiential marketing agency based in Kansas City, MO. And while Paul has done projects across a wide range of verticals such as automotive, CPG, and apparel, he has started to make a significant impact on travel and tourism as well. In an industry based on experience and storytelling, experiential marketing is a powerful angle for engaging travelers in any destination. In the latest episode of Destination on the Left, Paul joins us to talk about the different ways DMOs can leverage experiential marketing tactics like pop-up shops, roadshows and mobile tours, college campus events, sponsorship activation programs, social media content experiences, and press and retail-focused events.
Department Zero has been running seventeen years strong and it has steadily transitioned from events to brand experiences. But experiential marketing is no longer just a trend, it is a staple in the marketing strategies of DMOs across the country. Brands are constantly trying to tell us about their products and services, but when a customer experiences them first hand, it resonates on a much deeper level. Destinations are seeing real results when they add destination marketing to their repertoire and social media is a major reason for this. Social media and experiential marketing are intertwined, and we want people to share their experiences for the world to see. Not only does experiential marketing lead travelers to create FOMO moments, but it sparks a reaction of user-generated content that markets your destination for you.
Whatever the experience is, it has to be designed around specific goals. And whether it’s generating leads, press coverage, or impressions, the experience and campaign must be built to achieve that goal. One example of this is the campaign Paul helped design for Lufthansa Airlines. They were introducing a new, direct-route between San Jose, CA and Frankfurt, DE, and they wanted to find a unique way to build awareness for the new route. Paul’s team created an interactive videogame experience that both educated travelers about Frankfurt and provided them with travel tips as well. And through a live feed with a flight attendant in Frankfurt, they gave out free first-class tickets on the new route, drawing a huge crowd. There are so many ways to interact with your target audience and leave an impression!
With more than 20 years of experience in the tourism and hospitality industry, Kristen Jarnagin oversees the official regional organization charged with furthering Long Islands $6.1 billion tourism economy. A Long Island transplant from Arizona, Jarnagin’s vast knowledge of the tourism industry spans from state tourism marketing, branding a luxury resort and serving as a lobbyist for tourism advocacy.
Kristen and her team at Discover Long Island work to promote a positive perception of Long Island across the globe, which draws lucrative visitors, stirs business attraction and drives economic development throughout the region.
She’s twice been named one of the Top 50 Women in Business on Long Island and is a graduate from the acclaimed Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. Her favorite pastime is discovering Long Island with her two daughters and reigniting the passion for this place we call home for Long Island natives.
In this episode of Destination on the Left, Kristen Jarnagin, President and CEO of Discover Long Island, joins us to explain how she and her team captured Long Island’s true story. She discusses their latest work and shares advice for using creativity and collaboration to solve difficult marketing challenges.
Kristen Jarnagin is the President and CEO of Discover Long Island, where she and her team work to promote a positive perception of Long Island across the globe. She may not be a New York native, but as an outsider, Kristen has taken a fresh perspective and a visitor’s lens to the marketing efforts of Discover Long Island. With experience in state tourism, hospitality, and the political sector, Kristen has seen almost every corner of the travel and tourism industry. She is a risk-taker and a talented marketer who is uncovering Long Island’s true story so the whole world can see it. On the latest episode of Destination on the Left, Kristen joins us to discuss her journey and talk about the art of collaboration and creativity in the travel and tourism industry.
It is easy to look at what other destinations are doing and think, “it worked for them; it will work for us too.” But Kristen believes the only way to achieve great success in destination marketing is to stay true to your voice. Long Island is different from every destination out there, so Discover Long Island put all of their energy into capturing that. To Kristen and her team, standing out means being themselves. And since Kristen is not a native, she sees the destination how a visitor would see it. You don’t have to redefine who you are, you just have to understand who you are. By listening to the community and articulating your destination’s true story, you can make an impact without reinventing the wheel.
Kristen and her team are finally telling Discover Long Island’s true story in their latest campaign, and it is all based around the idea that Long Island is not just a place to visit; it is a community. The campaign captures the distinct flavor of Long Island, the accent, the proximity to New York City, and a bunch of other factors that make it a one-of-a-kind destination. Whether you are a foodie, a historian, a beach bum, or anything else, Long Island is not a place you go to ‘do,’ it is a place you go to ‘be.’ Chances are your destination also has an amazing story to tell, so go out and discover it; then tell it wholeheartedly with authenticity.
Listed on Inc.’s listing of the Top 50 Leadership and Management Experts in the world, and #1 on Huffington Posts 12 Business Speakers to See, Steve Farber is a bestselling author, popular keynote speaker, and a seasoned leadership coach and consultant who has worked with a vast array of public and private organizations in virtually every arena.
Farber is the former Vice President of legendary management guru Tom Peters company and is the founder and CEO of The Extreme Leadership Institute, an organization devoted to helping its clients develop award-winning cultures and achieve radical results. The Institutes team has helped over 25 companies earn a ranking on the Best Places to Work list.
Farber’s third book, Greater Than Yourself, debuted as a Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller. His second book, The Radical Edge, was hailed as a playbook for harnessing the power of the human spirit. And his first book, The Radical Leap: A Personal Lesson in Extreme Leadership, was named one of the 100 Best Business Books of All Time.
His much-anticipated new book, Love is Just Damn Good Business, published by McGraw-Hill, is available now.
Farber is a member of the exclusive Transformational Leadership Council, and his column, The Extreme Leadership Chronicles, runs frequently on Inc.com.
In this episode of Destination on the Left, Steve Farber, founder and CEO of Extreme Leadership, joins us to talk about his new book, Love is Just Damn Good Business. Steve breaks down the fundamental framework that inspired his book and explains why love is a key element of good business practices.
Steve Farber is a best-selling author, a keynote speaker, and a veteran leadership coach whose framework in The Radical LEAP has inspired entrepreneurs across the country to realize their dreams. His new book, Love is Just Damn Good Business, builds on the principles in the Radical LEAP and explains why love is a fundamental element of good business practices. Like Steve says, “do what you love in the service of people who love what you do.” And in the latest episode of Destination on the Left, he dives into this leadership philosophy in detail. There is a lot to gain by understanding Extreme Leadership and how it applies to the travel and tourism industry, and there is a lot to learn from Steve’s journey as well.
Steve has been an entrepreneur for a long time, but in the beginning, he struggled to fight a waning passion for the industry in which he started his first business. It brought him to a fork in the road where he had to choose between seeking out his true calling or focusing on money alone. The meandering soul search exposed him to many different industries and businesses, introducing him to incredible mentors and providing him with a keen understanding of the one thing that separates great companies from not so great companies—the quality of their leadership. This turned out to be Steve’s sweet spot, and since that epiphany, he has been working to help shape leaders of meaning and significance who produce radical results.
Leaders are typically defined by a prestigious position or title. But the best leaders are defined by their actions alone. That is why Steve’s Radical LEAP framework expresses leadership as a result of cultivating love, generating energy, inspiring audacity, and providing proof. You don’t need a position or title to practice any of these things, and you can apply this operating system in any scenario by molding it to the way you do business. That means it will even work in the frustrating collaborative environments of the travel and tourism industry by increasing productivity and making DMOs operate more effectively. Love is the foundation of the entire framework, so if you can master that element, the rest will take care of themselves.
Marsha Walden is the President and Chief Executive Officer for Destination BC. A lifelong British Columbian, Marsha’s career spans corporate leadership roles in marketing, strategy, transformation, operations, communications, and social responsibility. Marsha holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of British Columbia, loves to travel, and takes full advantage of family life in our extraordinary province.
In this episode of Destination on the Left, Marsha Walden, President and CEO of Destination BC, talks strategy for provincial destination marketing. She shares insights about collaboration, digital marketing, and data in the travel and tourism industry.
President and Chief Executive Officer Marsha Walden has spearheaded Destination BC’s product development efforts, content commonwealth, and tourism data hub; the lifeblood of its growth strategy. And it has enabled Destination BC to realize its vision for the future while staying highly competitive in one of North America’s densest tourism markets. Marsha has spent most of her career in different marketing disciplines and she is a lifelong resident of British Columbia, so the opportunity to combine those parts of her life was irresistible. She joins us on the latest episode of Destination on the Left to talk about Destination BC and share insights about collaboration, digital marketing, and data in the travel and tourism industry.
To cut through the noise and make Destination BC standout from the crowd, Marsha’s approach is to focus on both sides of the revenue-driving equation. Destination BC puts a lot of energy and resources into building its brand and marketing it in the right ways. Marsha and her team maintain a strong digital presence so that they are constantly communicating with their target audience in the place where they spend the most time. Simultaneously, Destination BC creates remarkable experiences to ensure their communication strategy is portraying the most compelling possible product to the consumer. This is accomplished by formulating destination development plans to make each section of the destination the best it can be, and it is extremely effective.
Determining what you want to be known for as a destination requires a lot of collaboration. So, out of a necessity to grow, Destination BC has invited a lot of new parties to the table. Municipal governments, tourism businesses, industry stakeholders, and other governmental associations/organizations all need to be involved in setting the strategy. But these things take time, so Marsha and her team operate with ten-year plans which allow for realistic timelines to hit their goals. This strategy enables DMOs to take a more reactive approach to new market trends, and it provides an outline that keeps all of the collaborators on the same page.
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