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Module 8: The Fundamentals of Tourism Promotion

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Selecting the Advertising Methods

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Tourism - Marketing and Promotion
The Fundamentals of Tourism Promotion
Selecting the Methods of Advertising

Selecting the Methods of Advertising

While there are many methods of promoting tourism, the most widely used by far is advertising.

Each promotional campaign for a tourism product has different aims. Therefore it is important to select the correct forms of advertising for each promotional campaign.

This unit will describe the various types of advertising as well their advantages and disadvantages in terms of cost, selectivity and ability to convey the desired message.

Newspapers
Advertising in newspapers provides a number of benefits. Compared with other forms of advertising, newspapers are relatively inexpensive. They also allow advertisers to reach vast amounts of people. The lead time required to schedule an ad is low allowing promoters to be flexible. Furthermore, local newspapers can be utilised if marketers wish to be geographically selective. Also, most national newspapers have a travel section in their Sunday edition.

However, there are disadvantages to advertising in newspapers. Readership of print newspapers has fallen dramatically over the last few decades as more and more people began to get their news online. For example, in the early 1990s approximately 80% of the US adult population read at least one newspaper a day. Today that number has fallen to 43%. Also, the market selectivity of newspapers is low. A substantial portion of people reading a newspaper may be uninterested in purchasing a vacation. Newspapers also have a high "noise level". The noise level is the amount of stimuli competing for a person’s attention in each form of media. Additionally, the life span and pass-along rate of newspapers is low.

Magazines
For the most part, magazines are an excellent method of advertising and possibly the most effective method of print advertisement. Magazines are specialist in nature and as such provide excellent selectivity. This is especially useful in the tourism industry as many package holidays are based around hobbies or interests. For example, if a travel company was promoting surf holidays it could publish an ad in a surfing magazine. Other benefits of magazine advertising include its life span and pass-along rates, both of which are excellent. Additionally, the print and graphic quality found in magazines is superb.

Although it is very effective, there are some disadvantages to advertising in magazines. Because they provide a high level of selectivity, it is relatively expensive to advertise in magazines. Also, as with newspapers, magazine circulation numbers have fallen as more people prefer to read articles online.

Promotional E-mails
The popularisation of the internet has provided a new opportunity for advertisers to interact with customers directly. Every customer that purchases a product online is obliged to provide their e-mail address for confirmation purposes. This address can be used to again to contact customers with promotional e-mails.

Promotional e-mail provides a number of benefits to travel promoters. For the most part, people provide their e-mail address because they were purchasing a product. Therefore, companies are reaching an audience they know is interested in the types of product they offer. Most online booking systems allow customers to specify whether or not they would like to receive promotional e-mails. This is very useful as it ensures that the people that do receive the e-mails are interested in the promotions and do not consider them to be spam. Also, e-mails have a very low noise level. They allow marketers to provide a very clear message without having to compete for their attention.

Promotional E-mails
However, there are some disadvantages to promotional e-mails.

Some people are on mailing lists that they do not wish to be on. Despite the fact that people can unsubscribe from mailing lists, many simply ignore or delete every e-mail received from a certain company.

Furthermore, it is impossible to know exactly how many people open and view each e-mail.

Television
Television advertising is an excellent way of promoting tourism. The main advantage of television advertising is the impression it makes on an audience. It provides the fullest sense of what it is like to visit a certain location. Also, television reaches a wider audience than other forms of advertising and the cost/contact ratio is unmatched.

Despite its obvious benefits there are some disadvantages to television advertising. The cost of producing a television advertisement can be quite substantial. This is especially true in the tourism industry as companies and tourist boards spend large amounts of money on TV ads in an effort to compete with each other. Also, television advertisements offer less selectivity than other ads.

There is also no universal noise level for TV ads. People may be watching a TV show by themselves in a quiet room or they may be in a room full of people speaking loudly. Also, many people now own DVRs (digital video recorders) and record TV shows. When watching television programs, they simply fast-forward through the advertisements.

Radio
For the most part, radio advertising is not used in travel companies’ campaigns. This is because it is hard to evoke the sense of travelling to a tourist location through sound alone. However, some travel agencies do use it to highlight some of their more competitive offers.

Radio offers the advantages of low cost and a high level of timing flexibility. It is highly selective geographically and offers above-average market selectivity. However, as with television, there is no consistent noise level in a radio ad. Furthermore, people do not consume radio content in the same way they do other media. Often the radio simply serves as background noise; ads must be heard over and over again if they are to have an impact on potential tourists.

Outdoor Advertising
There are three main types of outdoor advertising; billboards, panels (found in bus and train stations) and transit advertisements (found on the sides of buses and trains). Generally outdoor signs are not used for tourism campaigns. This is because they offer low selectivity and are limited in the in the amount of information that can be provide.

However, outdoor advertising is low cost and reaches a high concentration of people. It is best used as part of a large campaign which focuses mostly on other forms of advertising. By incorporating slogans and images used in other parts of the campaign, outdoor advertisements can serve as a remainder to people that intend to purchase a tourism product.

END OF UNIT:
Selecting the Methods of Advertising