E-marketing is a part of the overall marketing mix, not a separate activity. The key benefits and functions of e-marketing include:
1) Delivery of massive amounts of information in a user-friendly way:cost-effectiveness in conveying information and products on sale directly, cheaply and at short notice to prime prospects
Brand-building, now made possible by the rapid spread of broadband connections, allowing users to experience dramatic imagery and animation, as well as enhanced communication and interaction
2) Two-way interaction:
• Between the supplier and the customer (B2C)
• Between customers and other like-minded customers (C2C)
3) Joining promotional activity seamlessly with online purchasing.
4) Joining offline marketing activities with online so that traffic can be driven in both directions, web to brochures or telephone, telephone to web and so on.
5) The ability to engage with customers on a one-to-one basis, but also to use ‘one-to-many’ and one-to-a-selected-few activities.
6) The facility to build integrated partnerships with other businesses and bodies. Partnerships may work at many levels, as neighbours, or as non-competing sharers of the same kind of visitor. The joint work could be:
• Joint product development
• Sharing market intelligence
• Operating co-operative marketing schemes
• Gathering supportive content via data feeds, for example weather reports, nearby attractions, events
E-marketers need to be clear about the business’s overall marketing objectives. These may be:
• Branding: developing and projecting the brand of your business and your destination.
• Sales: capturing new contacts and converting them into new customers
• I mproving customer retention: a chief aim may be to build more knowledge of existing customers as individuals, and to build stronger relationships with them
• Up-selling or cross-selling to existing customers to gain more value from them
Once the tasks and the priorities are clear, standard marketing disciplines can be applied:
• Target segments: define and understand the target segments. Describe them, their wishes and needs. Use the CRM database, original research.
• Decide the priorities among these segments: for example, are they first-timers or repeaters? If new customers, decide how important recommendations from previous customers are. If recommendations are very important, then recommendation marketing, and especially the encouragement of user-generated content, will be vital – as will the use of targeted email newsletters
• Decide key opportunities within the ‘Customer Journey’
Write a three-year marketing plan with work programmes for each year. Accept that even when you outsource your ICT requirements, the procurement and learning curve for e-marketing makes it difficult to work in one-year cycles. More continuity is needed for e-campaigning than for most offline campaigns. Revise the three-year plan annually. Set targets:
Targets may be very general, such as brand awareness in a key segment in a key market; or very specific, such as number of customers in the CRM database, rate of growth, key fields captured, number of interactions with them, cost per action, cost per acquisition (CPA), value of sale. Targets may focus on one channel you use- for example, number of e-newsletters sent/received/opened/clicked through.
It is usually most effective to operate campaigns jointly with partners- accommodation providers, attractions and event organisers should work together, (and with their tourist board) in commercial groups based on locality, theme and target segment. In any partnership arrangement, be sure to comply with the local data protection laws or codes of conduct in your own country and in the source market.
Whether the target audiences are end-customers, the media, or tour operators and retail agents in source markets, businesses require a wide set of e-marketing tools and techniques:
• Content: accurate, timely, comprehensive content, updated daily, including feeds in from other sites
• Distribution of content, if possible, to other third-party sites that increase reach into key markets
• Websites, including:
Inspirational branding – dozens of pics, panarounds, lots of video, happy faces, happy tone of voice
Information and linking to UGC
• Mapping, diary and itinerary planning tools
• Customer contact methods; at least 3 data capture methods
• Links to e-commerce
• Natural search engine optimisation
• RSS feeds to and from partners and site users
• Onsite research – questionnaires, Yes/No polls
• Web analytics, reporting on the traffic to the site and how it is used
• Email marketing
• Online PR
• Online advertising
• Search engine marketing
• Display advertising
• Viral campaigns
• Encouraging UGC through social networking
On 3rd-party travel sites
On 3rd-party non-travel sites eg Flickr and YouTube
On your site
By promoting tagging
• Mobile marketing
• Content given to aggregators of satnav content
• SMS services for travellers on arrival
• Mobile websites for potential visitors and travellers on arrival
• Interactive digital TV
E-Tourism Frontiers Resources
Staying ahead of the game in the dynamic world of e-tourism can be a real challenge, especially for those of us in emerging markets. E-Tourism Frontiers aims to provide tourism and ICT professionals with the resources and guidance they need to succeed online. The material in this section is a general overview of the topics covered and resources provided in our training courses.
To gain full understanding and make maximum use of these resources, join on of our training seminars, which provide attendees with intensive hands training in online sales, marketing and management skills for both destinations and tourism companies. Our trainers are experienced professionals with extensive experience working in online tourism around the world, including first hand experience of working in emerging markets. We use live demonstrations of working websites and technologies and will give you the skills, resources and support to begin making changes to your business and use the web to improve your organization and business. For full information on our training seminars please see our training section.
The following is a basic overview of the topics that we cover, complete with more information and advice on each area:
What Does Social Media mean for Tourism?.
Online Travel Trends.
Social Networking and Travel.
Travel Social Networks.
New Technologies for Tourism.
Customer Relations Management (CRM).
Gathering Customer Data.
Website Design & Management.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Content Management Systems.
E-TOURISM FRONTIERS Who We Are
E-Tourism Frontiers is a global programme to develop online tourism in emerging markets around the world.
Our aim is to open the developing world’s tourism trade to the world of online travel distribution and marketing- a sector in which the region has been left far behind- with very little inventory available to the online travel shopper. This situation threatens the sustainability and diversity of Tourism and the communities and environment that it supports.
We hold pro-active business driven conference events and training seminars featuring leading online tourism companies, experts and trainers- as well as regional road-shows targeting the travel trade, destination managers and National and regional tourism offices in all emerging markets, including the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia.
The success of our events speaks for itself and is changing the way both the public and private sector do business, manage their resources and market themselves globally, and creating new business relationships with leading international players and technology providers. We work with a range of major international sponsors to be sure that these events are of the highest international standards, as well as accessible and affordable to the complete spectrum of tourism players, including Small to Medium Enterprise (SMEs), Community and Eco-Tourism projects.
Our sponsor partners to date have included major global brands includingMicrosoft, VISA, Safaricom, Vodacom and Coca-Cola and many more together with regional tourism and ICT authorities. Our events have been attended and opened by Ministers and Vice Presidents- and attended by a diverse range of tourism players, from Multinational CEOs to University tourism students.
This article is quoted from E-TOURISM FRONTIERS.
The article is uploaded by Majbritt Magnussen, administrator on ‘Views On Tourism’. Please join the online Views On Tourism network and discussion group in order to achieve personal goals as well as encourage a sustainable tourism development in Bangladesh and South Asia. Read more about this group and how to become a member here.