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In-destination Visitor Marketing for Winners

John Wanamaker (1838-1922) is considered by many to be a pioneer in marketing. He operated a chain of department stores in the United States which eventually became part of Macy’s. He coined the phrase, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half”.

His ‘wasted’ phrase was coined in an era when the choices of where to advertise were narrow. Today, there are so many advertising channel options and so much spin and hype about the power and reach of each channel that, without a strategy, it is highly likely that much more than 50% of most businesses advertising is wasted.

At Glance, we see it all the time when it comes to in-destination visitor marketing. It prompted us to look at who are the Winners and Losers in Visitor Marketing.

Here is our NOT FOR DUMMIES Winner’s Guide.

  • Winners have an advertising strategy; losers don’t.
  • Winners carefully define their target market and make careful judgements on how best to reach them. Losers ‘Spray and Pray’ their message and hope that it lands… somewhere.
  • Winners are proactive; they seek out and vet the channels of interest. Losers are reactive – they only consider what’s presented to them.
  • Winners know spin. They know how to read inflated and hyped distribution pitches. They know that a free page or 50% off something that isn’t going to deliver business isn’t a deal. They know too that a pitch of a million, billion, zillion ‘page impressions’ is meaningless, but it is worth a smile when declining ‘the opportunity’. Losers buy ‘the deal’.
  • Winners know that advertisements in some publications have a fleeting impact; published today, gone tomorrow. Losers haven’t thought about it like that – but their advertisement looks nice!
  • Winners know that some guides, the Daily Adventure Guides being a great example, are ‘Sticky’. They stay available for months and are picked up and held by visitors. Losers just don’t get it.
  • Winners think through how best to reach visitors. Losers are often so absorbed by their own media choices, e.g. social media, that they believe everyone consumes information the same way.
  • Winners probe the reach and ‘pick up’ of each publication. They know that visitor publications for sale in retail outlets have limited pick-up. In contrast, they know that tens of thousands of free publications, of quality, placed where visitors frequent, are far more likely to be picked up and to win business. Say hello to the Daily Adventure Visitor Guides! Losers don’t think it through.
  • Winners know that it’s best to invest in strengthening their profile in the publications that reach their best prospects and are proven to deliver. Losers don’t weigh up the relative importance of each publication in reaching visitors (their verified print runs and placement) – and they take a smaller advertisement ‘here and there’ for coverage rather than impact.
  • Winners know digital is important, but that brochures work best in targeting visitors – in-destination. They know too that if a brochure or publication is selected by a visitor – the act of selection reflects an interest and dramatically increases the likelihood that they will visit or buy from the featured business. Losers haven’t thought about the power of selection.
  • Winners know from experience that brochures work. Losers ‘think’ they don’t work – sometimes influenced by others. They haven’t wondered why Tesco, Dunnes Stores, Aldi, Lidl, Supervalu, Centra and Costcutter – the powerhouse marketers of Irish retail – produce and then distribute millions of brochures in-store and through other channels. These sophisticated retail giants are guided by data, not by spin.
  • Winners know that a combination of print connecting to digital is the best way to reach and influence visitors during their trips. Losers think visitors will seek them out online during their trips – when they won’t, and they mostly can’t if they don’t know they exist in the first place.
  • Winners understand distance decay. They understand that reaching visitors near to where their business is will deliver more than reaching consumers at distance. Losers don’t factor it in.
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