My client has two hotels and a theme park in Tunisia and he wants to reinvigorate foreign tourists to come back. Obviously it's difficult after the attacks but it has been over a year and surely some markets like perhaps Russia and China will be tempted by great deals. Which channel springs to mind and how much of this is damage control in your opinion?
Hello! This is a great question! Very challenging and strategic. My name is Humberto Valle, I run www.unthink.me - a hybrid digital marketing team out of Texas. I think I know what brand you are speaking of. We have been helping SMBs for about 10 years across the globe. My focus is 100% Competitive Strategy.
With that said, I hope my feedback does bring you some clarity and perspective to the situation.
1. There needs to be a clear understanding on your behalf as far as what is marketing - because based on the situation, your "digital" strategy is actually more of a community marketing strategy and less of a marketing campaign - meaning you need to engage the communities around these locations in ways that allow you to create content that can then be used to promote through social media. I say social media because, again, you're dealing with communities.
2. You need a lot of P.R. - engaging certain key people from the most likely sources of visitors (what city/country/region does more of their guest come from before anything changed?) target celebrities, influencers, etc to share and engage with their properties or brands or content.
3. Publicity - You need some sort of public stunt - or multiple of them to get others to write about the parks and or the people involved.
If you run a circus and arrive in town, you may want to walk up the elephants to the Mayor's garden to step on the flowers and plants - this generates news coverage and articles - indirectly people find out that the circus is in town - this is publicity.
4. Meanwhile, this is happening or being planned you are heavily investing in social media such as Instagram, Facebook, and twitter - each of these platforms has its own strategy and may or may not be ok to duplicate content through out.
5. Ultimately your goal is to change people's perception of what happened, make them forget, or at minimum influence their value chain - so that they consider the likelihood of another attack versus having a great weekend retreat.
We have been part of and seen a big coalition like the one needed here for Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico.
This city was a major crime and cartel killings for many years, sparing no innocents and killing many young women as well. The corruption was at its worst in the nation, people from across the border in Texas stopped traveling causing major loss to the Mexican city. Families wouldn't visit each other, major restaurant chains literally picked up and left their city and opened across in the U.S. side abandoning everything they had. Now through consistent messaging and efforts - people are beginning to return and shop, visit, etc.
Find clever ways of leveraging resources, I wrote this article http://blog.unthink.me/the-best-kept-secret-of-the-rich - it may help bring more context to things.
Let me know if Unthink Marketing can be of any help :)
Yeah, this is a really interesting question.I would be thinking about:
1. An open letter from the CEO of your hotel chain that's hosted on your website. Something that shows empathy with customers who are considering booking your hotel but are majorly put off by the terrorist events. A letter that details out everything the hotel has done in the community, to help the victims and to increase security since it happened.
There's no escaping the fact that when customers are researching this hotel via Google, they are going to come stories detailing the terrorist event. Perhaps the only way you can combat that is by detailing your side of the story and showing an openness to tackle the issue head on.
This could also work well from a PR perspective because you could use the content to contact journalists and publications who covered the original story. PLUS from a reputation management perspective, you might be able to replace some of those news stories with an updated story on how you're handling the situation.
2. Revisit your deals, offers, and partnerships.
If the hotel is struggling with sales, no matter how dire the situation, travelers are always going to be attracted to good offers and deals. Maybe you need to test ramping up your offers and promoting them via affiliates?
Opening up an affiliate network is perhaps one way of creating an immediate boost in sales.
3. Find and reward your current advocates and returning customers.
Have you got customers that have been coming back for years and years?
How about customers that have CONTINUED to return, despite the events?
You need to thank these people. Reward them. Speak to them and hear their stories about why they returned to you. This will help you to create your strongest messages.
In addition to this, putting a strategy together to highlight great customer feedback, reviews etc. from this point forward is something I'd recommend.
Good luck and thanks for posting this question.
I would focus on the people who are already interested via retargeting and SEO.
When they come to the site on their own hit them with a retargeting pixel and follow them around the internet with your ads. As time goes on offer better deals if they don't bite.
Start an SEO campaign and build up your organic traffic. The more people who visit your site the more people you tag with your retargeting pixel and you build your list of people with interest. Hit them with ads after they leave.
Make sure you have a conversion optimization expert audit and fix your website before starting either of these though. You can have all the traffic in the world but of they don't buy it doesn't matter.