People: Seccombe Takes Tourist Tack For CMO Post At Visit Florida
March 17, 2008
By Mike Beirne
J. William Seccombe will spend the first few months on his new job being a Florida tourist. As he roams the
Sunshine state's attractions, the former Denver resident said he'll be bringing a true visitor's perspective to his role as CMO of Visit Florida, a public/private group based in Tallahassee, which is the state's official tourism marketing firm.
Seccombe has been a travel marketer ever since graduating from Southern Methodist University with a marketing degree in 1989. He has handled marketing duties for the Vail and Beaver Creek Resorts, the Denver Convention and Visitor Bureau, and the Colorado Tourism Office as CEO of Praco, a Denver and Colorado Springs ad agency. Most recently he started Revolution Communications, a Denver shop that specialized in destination marketing and launched online travel magazine SoGoNow.com.
"The Internet hasn't really changed the way we market," Seccombe said. "My belief is it changed how consumers behave, and how they gather and share information. I hope I can take . . . what is a really a forward thinking destination marketing effort for Visit Florida and help take that to the next level."
Visit Florida launched its inaugural national campaign in February. The $9 million effort, created by Fahlgren, Tampa, includes TV and print plus blogs on VisitFlorida.com by 10 experts who write about Florida activities like boating and fishing, nightlife and shopping, and off-the-beaten-path attractions. They even field trip-planning queries from consumers.
"We have to talk in a real voice when we talk to consumers," said Seccombe. "The expert [blogs] is a perfect example of a much more compelling message with using a real voice than I would talk to you in. Not a voice that was scripted out to answer your questions."
Seccombe is a member of the Assn. of Travel Marketing Executives and the National Western Assn. He started his new post this month after extending a three-day car trip with his 9-year-old son into a five-day journey with many stops along the Gulf of Mexico coastline. His son returned to Colorado to finish the school year, which is when