Even the most appealing product requires some form of promotion in order to maximise sales and financial return. Advertising can help raise awareness of a product and create an appealing product image.
Advertising covers any communication that is paid for and can reach a large audience at once with the same message repeated many times.
Creating the right message
The advertisement should convey the following important information to the potential customer:
- Introduce a particular product and/or service
- Explain the product and/or service
- Demonstrate its unique selling points
- Provide an indication of price
- Indicate where the product is available/distributed for sale
Advertising in the tourism industry
Advertising in the tourism industry is different to other industries.
A holiday is an intangible product that the consumer can't see or touch before they buy. Often the customer will pay for the product before experiencing it. With this in mind, advertising priorities should consider:
- Who would find your product most appealing?
- What are the potential customers' needs and desires?
- What creative methods can be utilised to generate interest in a particular product?
- What is the best way to reach these customers?
Methods of advertising
- Leaflets and flyers – either distributed by hand, in letterboxes or inserted in publications
- Print advertising – placed in local, regional or national newspapers, ethnic publications, trade and tourist magazines, journals or newsletters and magazines relevant to your target market
- Canvassing – by way of sales visits, and sales phone calls
- Radio advertising – placed locally or regionally
- Wholesaler programs – promotional costs for such programs are shared and therefore less expensive, and they can also reach a wider audience
- Sponsorship – consider sponsoring local community events which attract large crowds and significant media coverage. Participating in such events can improve business exposure.
- Listings and displays – includes advertisements in telephone or business directories and cinema advertising
- Cooperative advertising – with your local, regional or industry association will help your message get wider distribution - because there are more businesses involved it will also cost you less.
Visit Victoria, in partnership with other state tourism organisations through the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW), has produced a series of online marketing tutorials for tourism operators. The online tourism e-kit covers everything from the basics of developing a good website to advanced topics such as search engine marketing and online product.
Brochures are an important means of conveying your image and message to potential customers. They should be easy to read with an eye-catching heading, a simple message, and easy-to-read print.
There are some basic decisions that need to be made early in the brochure production process:
- What do you want your brochure to do?
- Who is the brochure aimed at?
- What size/style should it be?
- What is your budget?
- How many do I need?
Your brochure should be consistent with other brochures in the industry. These are usually either A4 in size (210mm x 297mm) or DL (210mm x 100mm). Both these sizes fit standard size envelopes.
What to include in a brochure:
- Tour details – the number of days, departure dates, the itinerary, departure or pick-up points, start and finish times
- Booking conditions
- Contact details for bookings, such as phone and fax numbers, email and web addresses
- Validity dates of the brochure
- Tariffs or tours prices – this section should include discounts for pensioners, students, etc. and list what is and is not included in the price
- Alternative booking agencies
- Room on the back of the brochure for a travel agents stamp – if you're distributing to retail outlets
- A map is useful, particularly if you are intending to promote your product overseas or interstate, and should show the location of your product in relation to Victoria or Australia.
It's essential to honestly represent your product/service in promotional material.
There's been an increase in the number of legal actions bought against operators for loss of enjoyment or deceptive and misleading advertising, so make sure you don't include any unacceptable (illegal) clauses or misleading information when drafting the copy for your brochure. If in doubt, seek legal advice.
The impact of your brochure will be dependent on effective distribution. You must consider who you want to distribute your brochure to, and have a system in place to update stocks as required.
Potential distribution points include:
- personal delivery to other attractions and facilities
- display at your own facility, information centres and accommodation facilities
- availability at transport terminals including airport, rail and coach operations
- inclusion in local/regional information kits
- direct mail to former and potential customers, related government departments and travel media
- handouts at seminars, conferences and official functions
- appropriate travel shows, caravan and camping shows, specialist markets such as farmers markets
- visitor centres.