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Tourism Marketing that Works
Flight Centre office, Cambridge EnglandMarketing is an essential ingredient for success of every business and Destination Marketing Organisation.

It is easy to develop an uncomplicated approach to attracting more customers to build sales and profits.

Marketing today is more than just advertising, promotions and brochures. Marketing today has to target business. The digital era has arrived and caused an unprecedented upheaval with marketing. The most profound change for over 30 years, many in tourism are puzzled as to why their customer numbers have been falling away. It's because professional competitors are attracting domestic customers away using modern merchandising methods on the next webpage “Web Marketing”.

Since the year 2000, all industries across Australia have seen significant changes with new marketing methods caused by the new digital era. But Australia's tourism industry has not kept abreast of these developments and is losing business.

For this reason every Destination Marketing Organisation and every tourism business needs to be more informed about these new, modern marketing methods if they want to protect existing business and attract more customers.

Tourism has these main functions

Strategic Marketing    Tactical Marketing    Operational Marketing

Tourism in the modern era is market driven, not product driven. Targeting business is far more important than promotional activities. All industries, not just tourism, now regard Web Marketing as a most important business tool.

Tourism marketing across Australia has moved from the practices of the 20th century to the new era of technology which has been embraced by customers who like using the Internet and other modern methods to plan and book their travel.

Also the extent and professionalism of competition facing regional destinations and local tourism businesses is unprecedented for Australia's tourism industry. Emphasis today is on

  • a market focus,
  • use of market demand research,
  • targeted strategies,
  • well resourced programs,
  • cooperative marketing to maximise resources,
  • professional planning, and
  • a primary focus on generating business for tourism-related enterprises.

"Tourism marketing" is a broad term to describe activities designed to raise awareness of destinations and their products, stimulate demand and capture such demand as business for the private sector so that economic benefits flow through to tourism-related enterprises and the wider community.

Tourism marketing is more than local product development and local visitor servicing, these are only a part of the process. Successful tourism marketing always has a market focus because, unlike most other industries, customers do not reside locally and have to be persuaded to visit instead of going to other choices available.

In the modern era, tourism marketing for destinations and tourism products is heavily focussed on the use of websites, online booking systems and other technology like downloading of brochures from websites of destination marketing organisations and even tourism businesses. Customers like having more information available preferably immediately, with easy booking arrangements.

Strategic marketing

The Strategic Plan for any business or Destination Marketing Organisation focuses on long-term goals and objectives, organisational structures, financial issues and overall direction of all operations. From this flows strategic marketing initiatives which aim to attract attention, motivate the market to buy and to differentiate from the competition. Strategies in tourism usually cover extended periods of 3-5 years to build market penetration and product development.

Strategic marketing also addresses why customers choose a destination or tourism business and why some don't buy. Strategic marketing also embraces market segment development, long term distribution arrangements and overseas marketing.

Tactical marketing

Tactical marketing is short term involving where and when to advertise, what promotional activities you should undertake such as consumer shows, what collateral to develop, what trade shows to attend, etc. in order to communicate your marketing message to the target audience. This includes maximising business from distribution channels.

Tactical marketing is also seen as those marketing activities undertaken on a day-to-day basis such as responding quickly to business opportunities or competitor pressures.

Operations

Tourism operations include Visitor Information Centre services, website maintenance, booking systems management, production and distribution of collateral material, sales promotion activities, development and management of package programs, travel industry servicing, planning and hosting visiting journalists and travel agents, image library and membership servicing. These activities under-pin strategic and tactical marketing initiatives.

Budgets

The extent of any marketing is always governed by objectives, budgets and other resources that may be available. Each of these elements helps to build better results.

Market research

This is a facet of modern marketing widely practiced in other Australian industries but not tourism. Individual tourism businesses can start by asking questions in a low key way of customers who make contact by phone or come to the reception desk or ticket window. Responses to simple questions can be easily logged and in time a picture can be gleaned about customer attitudes to market knowledge or new ideas that are being contemplated.

At the other end of the scale there are formal research findings which can be most valuable. How do you know if your business decisions are sound if there is no market data available?

Feel free to have a chat about your marketing needs with Norm White at


Advance Tourism
Melbourne
Tel: (03) 9888 1572  Mob: 0409 198 531

advtour@netspace.net.au

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Vital for better results
But is it expensive?

Market research is a vital marketing tool for better results. It is about asking potential customers or existing customers (sometimes both) some simple questions. The answers are then used to help your business decisions. And some market  research methods are not expensive.

Spend your marketing funds more effectively by first conducting market research.

When it comes to tourism, EMDA is a specialist market researcher with a great client list. For more details of EMDA services click here

EMDA
www.emda.com.au

Ph: 03 9830 0612

0408 300 725

emda@emda.com.au

© Advance Tourism 2010

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