Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Future of Travel Marketing

Across the ditch it is interesting what is happening with tourism marketing in the social media space.

First up we have Tourism Australia that has launched a social media promotion called Making Tracks that is part of their A$150 million "There’s nothing like Australia" campaign. A series of videos have been produced that builds up to Australia hosting the 2011 YouTube Symphony Orchestra by following four musicians as they make their way around Australia.

Extracts from the tour have been broadcast on YouTube and Tourism Australia’s website as a prelude to the musicians’ finale performance at the Sydney Opera House tomorrow (Sunday March 20).

The campaign is .....boring!

We give this a FAIL and challenge our dear readers to watch one of the videos all the way through:

Meanwhile, Tourism Queensland (TQ) has launched their latest social media campaign Million dollar Memo.  The concept is strangely familiar by drawing on the successes of their previous promotion, Best Job in the World

A "Million Dollar" memo is sent inviting companies and workplaces worldwide to submit a video explaining why they should win the Ultimate Reward - One million dollars worth of travel experiences in Queensland.

The campaign has the potential to gather self-perpetuating social media content as business groups compete to stand out while highlighting the virtues of Queensland as a travel destination. 

Some of this content is relatively well-done, however we have seen this before...

As social media evolves I suspect that these campaigns will find it increasingly difficult to justify ROI as audiences become jaded with big box destination campaigns. What we like about social media is that individuals and private businesses using innovative quirky ways to deliver an interesting message can use social media just as effectively.

The time when publicly funded tourism organisations using collective funds to launch mainstream media big-bang generic promotional campaigns is now behind us. We suspect that major social media campaigns that are now undertaken by tourism organisations (including Tourism NZ) will also become obsolete as they become less relevant and valued by an evolving audience.

As audiences look for more authentic and fresh content, we expect that private travel companies will soon start taking over this social media space with smaller, more cost-effective targeted campaigns.

So we reckon that the model of a government providing collective centralist marketing on behalf of a selected industry group will soon become obsolete with the advancement of social media

And that's why we love this space...

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