Multisensory Marketing and Its Application in Tourism

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Multi-sensory Marketing
and its application in tourisM
Nearly all brand communications appeal to two senses - visual and auditory. Yet the way we interact with the environment around us contradicts this practice. In fact, branding is many times defined as the sum total of ALL experiences. Multisensory marketing allows tourism managers and marketers to directly impact all five senses and thus create a strong emotional bond with current and prospective customers for higher margins, higher recall rates and protection from price-based competition.

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joshua G GiordmaiNa
Joshua G Giordimaina is a graduate and member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (UK) and lectures for the Institute on a regular basis. He has contributed to and authored a number of thought leadership articles and white papers. He has been involved in several industries and for the last few years has specialised in the tourism sector. Presently, Mr Giordimaina is the Marketing Executive for VISET Malta plc, developers and operators of the Valletta Waterfront and Valletta Cruise Passenger Terminal.


WANTED: A new paradigm shift in tourism marketing The diminishing effectiveness of traditional marketing communication tools, the increased proliferation of undifferentiated tourism services and products, the augmented sophistication of today’s tourists … these are only some of the more pronounced trends that today’s marketers and managers of tourism services have to deal with. The standard response is usually to continue doing more of the same … increase advertising, spend, reduce prices, etc. However, the more innovative managers work smarter, rather than harder. They understand that a new paradigm shift is required in finding new and more engaging ways to interact with tourists during their visit, with the objective of getting them to walk into their restaurant, visit their attraction or spend money on the extra services in their hotel. Many times this pushes tourism services providers to seek to differentiate their position in the market using intangible, rather than tangible, benefits, by working more on the softer side of the product offer … by creating a bond between the tourist and their services, between the tourist and their brand. Multi-sensory marketing offers us a way of creating this emotional bond by directly impacting on the five senses of current and prospective customers, with the objective of influencing behaviour and attitudes towards a particular brand. This tapping into the emotional side of customers also influences the memories that visitors take away with them when they leave our Island. Multi-sensory marketing gives managers the emotional engagement with customers they need for their communications to fly over the clutter of advertising in the market, and differentiate their positioning from that of their competitors. For the brand manager multi-sensory marketing also adds longevity to branding and marketing efforts (improving return on marketing investment), whilst for the customer it reduces cognitive workload (making brand associations easier) and facilitates recall (making positive word-of-mouth promotion more likely). The current context Multi-sensory marketing is not new. It has been in use by various major brands across the globe for quite some time. For example, Kellogg’s design the sound of their cereals in a lab to appeal to the sense of sound, Singapore Airlines matches the aroma in the cabin (sense of smell) with the interior color scheme and the uniforms worn by flight attendants (sense of sight). What is still underexploited and sometimes underrated however, is the strategic approach required for the full benefits

of multisensory marketing to be harnessed, and the broad utilisation of more than 2 senses concurrently. The benefits that can be gained from...
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