2020 has been an unpredictable and difficult time for tourism, and during times of crisis, as marketers, it is tempting to purely focus on activity that delivers immediate revenue. Especially as digital channels are an excellent way for tourism brands to gain quick-win ROI that satisfies our monthly revenue requirements.
Activity that drives instant results is important, both to make us feel safer as marketers, and to ensure a steady cash flow – but you should be careful to not for it to be the centrepiece of all your marketing efforts. Instead, it is about perfecting the balance between activation marketing and investment marketing to ensure long-term success.
What is investment marketing?
The modern customer doesn’t just buy a product, they experience a brand and customers in the tourism industry are no different. Investment marketing guarantees long term success as it switches your activity from purely being outbound messaging and encourages customers to find you when they are looking from you.
There are multiple aspects to investment marketing including:
Having a clearly defined profile and consistent personality across all of your channels will increase brand recognition, which is integral to speeding up a potential customer’s journey. If a customer knows your brand and what you do already, then you focus on selling your offering, not just your company.
Running campaigns that collect data such as competitions will enhance future email marketing and reduce future CPA as you will have gained a newly engaged audience that knows and loves your brand.
Optimising your site for mobile and search means that people will find your brand when they are looking for you and boost your inbound leads. Having a large organic reach reduces future dependence on paid media and makes your marketing budget more effective.
Posting regular, relevant content is great not only for further boosting your search rankings, but also helps build relationships with your customers that aren’t focused on sales messages, turning them from purely customers into strong advocates for your brand.
Why is investment marketing a good thing to do now?
With our clients, we have been achieving great success in activating immediate sales, but with many businesses at reduced capacity, there is only so much you can do.
We don’t know how long this changeable landscape will go on for, therefore the investment marketing activities give us a way of planning our future marketing, with the knowledge that these activities will eventually deliver benefits for our business – furthermore they will enhance success when the button is pressed to open up the throttle on your performance marketing activities such as digital advertising.
Performance marketing takes time, crafting and implementing the right SEO strategy takes time to implement and build and see the results, and we’ve got some time now.
Why wouldn’t you do investment marketing?
I appreciate budgets are now stretched. Businesses are running scared about the future impact of COVID, however, the simple fact is, if you are planning on being around in the future, investment marketing activities are where you should be focussing your efforts.
If you do this, future marketing activities will be more successful, future performance marketing could be cheaper and more successful also if you don’t when the market opens up again – and it will, one day – then you will be in a weakened position, and will have to spend much more on performance marketing to get the cut-through you need to secure the customers you need.
Overall, this makes sense, focus on investment marketing activities now, consider them as marketing activities that invest in the future growth of your business, know that now is the best time to do this and be encouraged that this will also put you in the best possible position for the future. Investment marketing must be central to your marketing strategy for 2021, but don’t wait until then, start now and get in touch.
Anthony Rawlins is the Founder and CEO of Digital Visitor with over 15 years experience in crafting successful marketing strategies for the travel and tourism businesses. He has worked with leading organisations in every part of the industry including airlines, cruiselines, global hotel chains, destinations and attractions.
Regarded as a visionary by many industry leaders, through his scientific background, data interpretation expertise and proclivity for creativity, he has a proven track record in accurately predicting future trends. Combined with expansive industry knowledge and pragmatic and commercial mindset he’s has been able to effectively translate these trends into actional strategies and tactics for Digital Visitor’s clients.