Lübeck und Travemünde Marketing GmbH developed a new strategy in 2017/18, which included a value discussion on brand identity that identified openness as an important component, among other things.

Openness – the topic of Open Data. It comes as no surprise when Christian Martin Lukas, Managing Director of Lübeck and Travemünde Marketing GmbH, says: “I think Open Data is great. And period.”

Open Data and Lübeck – It Fits

“Lübeck has always been a cosmopolitan city. That is part of our DNA. That’s why Lübeck and Open Data fit together so well. Lübeck with closed data and borders in our minds – that’s simply unimaginable,” says Christian Martin Lukas. Openness, he said, is the opposite of locking up data or sitting on your own data. Accordingly, the tourist destinations Lübeck and Travemünde are pursuing a clear open data strategy.

More focus due to Open Data

When Lübeck und Travemünde Marketing GmbH became more intensively involved with digitalisation – especially Open Data – this was the occasion to evaluate and revise its own brand from the year 2009.

The brand was sharpened with the brand essence “joyful, alive, nonchalant”. A clearer orientation also took place with regard to the target groups and the products, when lead products and proofs of competence were worked out even more clearly.

This approach was obvious, as the brand core, the defined products and target groups meant that the content audit could be carried out in a very focused way (What data do I actually have? And what data do I need?). Based on the strategy, the content for the channels is now designed.

Christian Martin Lukas is certain: “It makes a big difference whether certain content is only thought of for a single output channel such as a print product or a Facebook post, or more holistically, i.e. for all relevant channels.” The holistic implementation saves time and money, as content is used multiple times. At the same time, the content is consistent across the various channels.

Challenges with Open Data: Little is really new.

Many challenges that are mentioned in relation to Open Data have nothing to do with Open Data per se:

  • Thus, the involvement of top performers is often discussed. However, at the present time, Open Data – and the associated keyword of data maintenance – makes it clear above all that coordination between the various levels is generally not yet working as it should.

  • The same applies to the point that all stakeholders must make a concerted effort to contribute to the brand. This is not new either, but it is becoming more relevant through Open Data.

  • The fact that content production costs money has also always been the case, but is currently just as readily blamed on Open Data.

Open Data is not to blame for the challenges mentioned. However, Open Data reveals existing weaknesses in structures or communication processes.

What Christian Martin Lukas, on the other hand, sees as a real challenge around the topic of Open Data: jurisdiction. He himself – in keeping with his brand – would like to deal with this more openly and quite calmly. But openness and nonchalance are unfortunately often incompatible with official jurisprudence.

Implementation of Open Data in Lübeck

For the time being, the most important tourist POIs are maintained by Lübeck and Travemünde Marketing GmbH itself. By doing so, she wants to show how this works and what comes out of it. This should attract imitators and make the topic of Open Data more tangible.

The more relevant tourism products are, the more data is needed. From basic data to text and photo to video content. Especially for the lead products, the entire content should be available as open data. Because these products can only be marketed effectively if all content can be used everywhere, for all providers and platforms.

Are all other offers besides Lübeck’s lead products and proofs of competence now irrelevant in terms of data? Certainly not! Lukas says, “Data that we don’t put online sometimes doesn’t happen at all. However, we also don’t have the obligation to be responsible for everything.” It is therefore necessary to find one’s own way between 100% and 0%. And this is done in coordination with the cities and municipalities, because they also maintain data. Double management can be avoided here.

Open Data and Nonchalance? Yes!

For Christian Martin Lukas, it is vital that the importance of Open Data is understood by all stakeholders. The topic of Open Data must be thought big, otherwise nothing will happen in the end. According to Lukas, it is important to note that “Open Data is a process. The important thing is to move in the right direction!” This includes a common agreement that Open Data is the right way forward. Because only together, we can make a difference here.

Together is not to be limited to one’s own city or region. Stand-alone regional solutions make the whole process difficult. Germany-wide solutions are therefore just as important as the exchange among each other. “It is our claim that Lübeck retains an individual touch. But in the end, certain processes have to go hand in hand,” says Lukas.

Despite all the necessity for Open Data, which Lukas absolutely sees and supports, he also advocates for a little more composure, in line with his brand values: “Nobody dies if the tourism data is not correct somewhere. In times of general excitement, a positive tolerance for mistakes is a good advisor.”

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