We live in a marketing and media-driven world. Any organization involved in the leisure and tourism business; arts centers, museums, sports clubs and small hotels to the largest theme parks, airlines and cruise companies, is interested in advertising Many companies think that they should cut expenditure on advertising and redirect it into sales promotions, direct mail, public relations and other forms of marketing communications. Advertising is not an expensive but, rather, is a strategic activity which should be regarded as an investment in the product or brand. Reducing advertising spend may yield short-term savings but may well lead to long-term loss of market share. In the late 1970s Adidas cut advertising spend on its sports shoes and found that the brand was not strong enough to maintain market share in the face of new competitors. It has struggled to recover its former position. Advertising must be sustained to maintain a brand’s market presence since people only buy those products they talk about. “Out of sight is out of mind for the customer” Effective advertising cannot guarantee success, but it certainly increases its chances. Advertising plays an important and limited role within the process of marketing. Advertising has three basic objectives: * To inform customers about new products, experiences, services and other information that they need to be know. * To persuade customers to purchase a destination or product, to perceive a destination or product differently or change a brand preference (as an example to perhaps change a customer’s preference for a destination or change of accommodation at a destination) or,
* To remind customers about a destination or product, where it may be purchased or how it may be purchased (booked).
* Good marketers see their business from the customer’s viewpoint and organize their entire enterprise to develop relationships with the customer based on trust.
Marketing is the ability to develop a mix of marketing strategies to influence customers to buy products and services. This mix consists of a set of four decisions: Product decisions, Pricing decisions, Distribution decisions, Promotional decisions. A product may be a tour package, an airline seat, a destination, a hotel, a meal. The product should provide benefits to the customer; the price ensures the product is priced at a level that reflects consumer value. The distribution component ensures access to the product in the right place at the right time in sufficient quantities to meet customer needs. ADVERTISING: PROMOTION
Advertising is only one element of the promotional mix. Advertising is defined and is taken to mean mass communication via newspapers, magazines, radio, television, billboards, the Internet, or direct-to-consumer communication via direct mail. Promotion: can be a short-term activity, but also, when seen at a strategic level, it is mid- and long-term investment aimed at building up a consistent and credible corporate or destination identity. THE IMPORTANCE OF ADVERTISING IN TOURISM:
In the tourism and hospitality sectors, where the product is a “service” promotion is more vital than other industries. The tourism product is “intangible”, “inseparable”, “variable” and “perishable”. There is nothing tangible for the customer to examine beforehand or to take away afterwards. The service is inseparable from its production. The experience is variable and subject to factors beyond marketer’s control. The product is perishable and cannot be stored for sale. The customer buys a holiday on the basis of symbolic expectations established promotionally through words, pictures, sounds .etc. Tourism experiences are constructed in our imagination through advertising and the media. The tourism product is also a discretionary (optional) product, which will be competing for both the customer’s time and money against essential items of expenditure and other discretionary purchases. These 5...