After a decade of success stories, has the tourism industry become over reliant on social media?

After a decade of success stories, has the tourism industry become over reliant on social media?

There has been a strong swing toward social media as the primary marketing channel for many tourism and travel brands over the last decade. Not just for those with larger budgets such as the airlines, hotels and tourism bodies, but particularly for smaller destinations and operators including many of Australia’s local indigenous tourism businesses whose marketing budgets can’t compete with the bigger players. This has been because social media in its earliest incarnation required a comparatively smaller investment in marketing.

The question now for many boards and CEOs is whether this heavy reliance on social media is the optimal use of their marketing budgets, particularly now that many of these social media channels are being strongly commercialised and are coming under increasing scrutiny around how they are managing the data they hold.

Marketers clamour to work on challenger brands, meaning the fundamental skills for managing leadership brands are slowly being forgotten

Marketers clamour to work on challenger brands, meaning the fundamental skills for managing leadership brands are slowly being forgotten

A generation ago marketers wanted to work only on leadership brands. There was an inherent pride in working with and learning from the best, from the market leader. Marketing graduates fought to be placed at Gillette, Colgate, Foster’s, McDonald’s, Nike and Coca-Cola. And there was a strong set of tried and true marketing strategies and tactics to manage leadership brands.

But today’s generation of marketers has clamoured to work on challenger brands following the success of companies such as Virgin, Red Bull and Aldi. And it’s been to the detriment of true leadership brands; those fundamental skills required for managing leadership brands have slowly been forgotten as the focus has shifted to the skills required for managing challenger brands.

In the rush to one to one marketing, the power of meaningful segmentation is being under utilised

In the rush to one to one marketing, the power of meaningful segmentation is being under utilised

Somewhere between one-to-one marketing and mass marketing, there’s a strategy which is slowly being lost. It’s the ability of marketers to segment and then target large groups of influential people with their product or service. Not the simplistic, default categories like millennials, grocery buyers, mums, primary cooks and over-50s. But groups that marketers understand even a little more deeply. Because first-time mums, cooking avoiders and active holidaymaking older couples conjure up far more interesting segments to target. And it’s these sorts of groups that are fast becoming marketing’s forgotten tribes.

The increasing need for building brand trust when faith is short and consumer data plentiful

The increasing need for building brand trust when faith is short and consumer data plentiful

Edelman’s annual Trust Barometer report in 2017 carried a headline “Trust is in crisis around the world”. A KPMG report last year found that “trust has declined in almost every major economy and many developing ones”. In a CNN interview recently, Salesforce’s founder and CEO Marc Benioff argued that “companies that are struggling today are struggling because of a crisis with trust”.

There seems no end to the brands, organisations and leaders that have lost the public’s trust. There has been a royal commission into our banks, multiple questions over Facebook’s use of personal data, cheating cricketers, fake news, church leaders charged, and political parties bickering among themselves.

Andrew Baxter interviewed on Ross Greenwood's 2GB Money News re Mastercard's updated logo

Andrew Baxter interviewed on Ross Greenwood's 2GB Money News re Mastercard's updated logo

Andrew Baxter interviewed on Ross Greenwood's 2GB Money News re Mastercard's decision to update its logo by dropping its name from it.

What’s in a name? For MasterCard, not enough to keep it in the logo. The company is removing the word Mastercard from the pair of interlocking red and yellow circles where it has resided for more than 50 years. Mastercard will join a small stable of brands like Nike, Apple and Target that rely on an image rather than a name in most marketing materials. The organisation says 80 per cent of people recognise the Mastercard logo even when its name isn’t present.

Senior Advisor at KPMG Andrew Baxter says Mastercard’s “branding of the red and orange circle is pretty well known”.