Tourism - Marketing and Promotion
Once the target audience has been identified and their needs recognised, marketers should determine the objectives of their promotional campaign.
The overall objectives of promotion are to inform customers about a product, to persuade them to purchase the product and/or to remind customers of their intention to purchase. With this in mind, promoters should decide on the specific objectives they want their campaign to achieve.
Objectives should be based on the customer buying process. This process is the way in which promotion/advertising influences customers to purchase a product. The customer buying process is as follows:
Gaining the customer’s attention
Developing an understanding of the benefits being offered
Creating positive attitudes about what is being promoted
Developing customer preferences for what is being sold
Persuading the customer to purchase
Convincing the tourist to purchase again
It is extremely unlikely that one campaign will guide customers through the whole process. Because of this, marketers should try to achieve 2-4 specific objectives with each campaign.
This approach is easier with destinations that are well known. For example, London, England is a very well-known tourist destination. A potential visitor might not have visited London but may know a lot about the city from watching movies/TV programs, reading articles and talking to friends that have visited the city. Furthermore, media coverage of London as a holiday location is almost universally positive and encourages a positive association with the city.
Therefore, potential customers will already have gone through stages 2 and 3 of the buying process. Hence, a campaign promoting London should skip from stage 1 to stage 4. The specific objectives for a London campaign would be to create a preference for London as a destination and get the potential visitor to purchase a vacation.
For lesser known tourist destinations, promotional efforts should be focused on creating interest in the area and creating an understanding about the attractions it offers i.e. stages 1, 2 and 3. While the focus may be on the first three stages, such a campaign will serve the ultimate goal of persuading people to holiday at the destination.
Adventurous travellers will be swayed by the initial campaign and travel to the lesser-known destination. These tourists will increase the word of mouth about the destination upon their return home. The word of mouth accompanied by a second campaign focused on stages 4, and 5 will greatly increase the number of tourists to a new destination.
Before the creation of the internet, a campaign focused on convincing tourists to return to a destination was difficult to create.
However, online advertising and e-mail marketing have made it much easier. Promoters are now aware of where tourists have travelled before. Thus these tourists can be targeted for campaigns that aim to entice tourists back to a destination they have visited before.
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