Research Lead

Denise Miller

Executive Vice President Strategic Marketing and Research Insights

Denise Miller started her career as head of two local DMOs, and then served as the state travel director for Indiana. During this time, she discovered the power of data and research and how this could transform decision-making at the DMO. In 1992 she joined SMARInsights and has spent her career working with destinations to better understand consumers, stakeholders, residents and to gather information that can be used to improve decision-making – and results in continuous improvement.

She has been recognized for her work by the international Travel and Tourism Research Association with both the Distinguished Researcher Award (there are only 5 living recipients) and a Lifetime Achievement Award.

In its 35 years of conducting research for tourism destinations, SMARInsights has worked with more than 40 state tourism organizations, more than 85 local convention and visitors bureaus, and 20 attractions. Its mission is to provide each client with personalized consultation and research design based on fully integrated marketing research services. It works with a variety of local, regional, national, and international clients and has experience with many types of research techniques, both traditional and new. SMARInsights is currently working with HTA to measure the effectiveness of its US and Japanese marketing programs.

SMARInsights has steadily evolved throughout its history, as the travel and research industries have changed and developed new technologies and techniques. The firm has worked with numerous destinations to gain insight into their image and appeal, whether for a broad tourism audience or targeted segments. It also is experienced in identifying the best messaging to influence interest and visitation.

SMARInsights also has built expertise in conducting studies of resident opinion to help guide tourism development and marketing issues. Its key staff has experience heading DMOs, and thus understand the issues and challenges that a DMO faces.