Discuss about the Countries Journal of Hospitality Management.
Push Marketing Issues in Tourism Industry
Tourism industry is continuously influenced by the implementation of the latest technology which results in changing its operations. Internet and online based services have transformed the method of marketing for tourism companies. Most of the tourist agencies use ‘push marketing’ to advertise their services and offers to the customers. Push marketing is defined as an advertising approach which is implemented by corporations to advertise their product to potential customers even when they do not have any desire or interest to purchase the product or services. The example of push marketing includes showing up uninvited at home for selling products, short commercials before YouTube videos, newspaper advertisements, online floating banner advertisements, and unsolicited telephone calls (Ryan, 2013). The issues with these marketing styles are that customers are not interested in such advertisements. Instead of attracting, these advertisements annoy the customers which decrease company’s sales.
Billboards, newspaper advertisements, posters, pamphlets, television commercials, and telephone calls are some of the techniques use by travel agencies to target their potential customers. Due to the popularity of the internet and online-based services, the number of online travel agencies has grown substantially, and these companies use online platforms such as social media sites, YouTube, and other websites to display their advertisements. Another issue with push marketing is that companies are in charge of the advertisements rather than customers. The advertisements of travel agencies might come to strong on customers which frustrate them (Goodall and Ashworth, 2013). The expenses of push marketing are also considerably high than compared to other marketing methods because travel agencies have to display their advertisements on various sources such as billboards, websites, television, pamphlets, social media sites and others. The corporations also face the difficulty of irregular traffic because there are a larger number of organisations which use push marketing for attracting customers and it is difficult for a firm to stand out from the crowd (Jaafar et al., 2011).
Analysis of Push Marketing Issues
Satisfied customers are the key to business success, and they assist in sustaining travel agencies’ future growth. It is necessary that travel companies satisfy their customers’ demands and requirements, so they select them again during their travel requirements. In the 21st century, people did not prefer push marketing because it frustrates and annoys them (Veerasoontorn and Beise-Zee, 2010). The population of “pull marketing” has grown substantially due to the popularity of internet services. Pull marketing takes an opposite approach than push marketing; the goal is to attract customers towards the company instead of pushing advertisements over them. Most of the modern corporations’ use ‘pull marketing’ approach because it increases their reputation and maintains a positive brand image (Mohammad and Som, 2010). Organisations use ‘pull marketing’ by recognising their target audience, making information available to them and providing them incentives which attract them to select their services.
The growing popularity of social media sites has increased the role of pull marketing, and customers prefer the travel agencies which uses this method. The issues in push marketing are detrimental for travel corporations’ future development because it reduces sales and creates a bad brand reputation of the enterprise (Kassean and Gassita, 2013). The firms which use push marketing find it difficult to attract a large number of customers and making them loyal towards the company. Push marketing can also frustrate customers and disrupt their vacation which is detrimental to corporation’s growth because it annoys customers, and they started avoiding company’s services. The travel agencies also require maintaining large and complex amount of data in push marketing strategy which increases their expenses and reduce profits. The competition in the tourism industry is fierce, and corporations implement strategic policies to maintain customers’ loyalty (Pesonen et al., 2011). Therefore, the travel agencies are require to strategically implement policies to address the issues relating to ‘push marketing’ in order to sustain their future development.
Following recommendations can be implemented by the traveling agencies to address the issues relating to ‘push marketing’ strategy that can assist in the sustainable development of the enterprises and the industry.
Focus towards Pull Marketing Strategy
Internet and social media sites have connected people throughout the world with each other and corporations use these platforms to engage with their customers. People did not prefer push marketing methods because they feel annoyed and frustrated by the constant advertisements. Instead of using push marketing, travel agencies should focus on implementing pull marketing strategy in order to increase their sales and create a loyal customers base. According to a study conducted by GE Capital Retail Bank, more than 81 percent of the customers look for products online before deciding on buying them (Charbonneau, 2013).
As per the 2015 study of Expedia Media Solutions, the number of sites leisure travels visit before selecting their travel package has dropped 88 percent due to various factors (Hotel Marketing, 2017). Now, the sites are consolidated which means single travel site provides multiple traveling facilities; the services of travel sites have also improved, and Google’s services have become smarter, and they provide recommendations based on customers’ preferences. These studies prove that customers prefer to check offers before buying a traveling plan; therefore, travel agencies should focus on pull marketing instead of push marketing.
With the populations of social media sites, the role of customer engagement has grown between modern corporations, and they use it to sustain their future development. Many corporations use social media sites to engage with their customers which assist them in resolving their quarries, collect feedback, and improve their brand image. Starbucks is a good example; the corporation uses social media sites to engage with their customers that increase their brand image and create a loyal customer base which sustains their future development. Starbucks post advertisements through social media accounts which automatically target interested customers who follow the company and it reduces marketing expenses (Chua and Banerjee, 2013). Similarly, travel agencies should establish a dedicated customer engagement program on social media sites in which employees interact with customers to resolve their quarries and collect their feedbacks.
The data collected through customer engagement can assist travel agencies in creating new offers for their customers based on their requirements which increase company’s sales. The corporations can also create a loyal customer base by engaging with their customers and listening to their quarries and instantly solving them. This strategy can assist travel agencies in marketing their products through word-to-mouth advertisement and by posting their new offers through social media sites (Cabiddu, De Carlo and Piccoli, 2014). Customer engagement program also improve company’s online rating; any customer looking for a travel agency online will prefer to choose a highly rated company which increases firm’s sales.
Increasing Online Presence
Travel agencies should invest heavily in positively improving their online presence since it assists them in addressing the issues relating to ‘push marketing’. Instead of advertising to random people, travel agencies should target their specific customers who are genuinely interested in their products. The company can use social media sites and Google analytics to find their loyal customer bases and use push marketing strategy to target them. The advertisement should be based on customers’ requirements, and the firm should use click baits, discounts, incentives or attractive offers to attract customers (Smith, Costello and Muenchen, 2010). Travel agencies should increase their push marketing budget and use Google’s services to show their advertisements when people search for travel-related keywords. By implementing these policies, travel agencies can address the issues of push marketing and use it to sustain their future growth.
Cabiddu, F., De Carlo, M. and Piccoli, G. (2014) Social media affordances: Enabling customer engagement. Annals of Tourism Research, 48, pp.175-192.
Charbonneau, K. (2013) 81% of shoppers research online before buying. [Online] Thornley Fallis. Available at https://thornleyfallis.com/81-of-shoppers-research-online-before-buying/ [Accessed 13th January 2018].
Chua, A.Y. and Banerjee, S. (2013) Customer knowledge management via social media: the case of Starbucks. Journal of Knowledge Management, 17(2), pp.237-249.
Goodall, B. and Ashworth, G. eds. (2013) Marketing in the Tourism Industry (RLE Tourism): The Promotion of Destination Regions. Routledge.
Hotel Marketing. (2017) Number of sites leisure travellers visit before booking drops by 88%. [Online] Hotel Marketing. Available at https://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/number_of_sites_leisure_travelers_visit_before_booking_drops_by_88 [Accessed 13th January 2018].
Jaafar, M., Abdul-Aziz, A.R., Maideen, S.A. and Mohd, S.Z. (2011) Entrepreneurship in the tourism industry: Issues in developing countries. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 30(4), pp.827-835.
Kassean, H. and Gassita, R. (2013) Exploring tourists push and pull motivations to visit Mauritius as a tourist destination. African Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure, 2(3), pp.1-13.
Mohammad, B. and Som, A. (2010) An analysis of push and pull travel motivations of foreign tourists to Jordan. International Journal of Business and Management, 5(12), p.41.
Pesonen, J., Komppula, R., Kronenberg, C. and Peters, M. (2011) Understanding the relationship between push and pull motivations in rural tourism. Tourism Review, 66(3), pp.32-49.
Ryan, C. (2013) Pull Marketing vs. Push Marketing – The Shifting Battleground. [Online] Fusion Marketing Partners. Available at https://greatb2bmarketing.com/pull-marketing/pull-marketing-vs-push-marketing-the-shifting-battleground/ [Accessed 13th January 2018].
Smith, S., Costello, C. and Muenchen, R.A. (2010) Influence of push and pull motivations on satisfaction and behavioral intentions within a culinary tourism event. Journal of Quality Assurance in Hospitality & Tourism, 11(1), pp.17-35.
Veerasoontorn, R. and Beise-Zee, R. (2010) International hospital outshopping: a staged model of push and pull factors. International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, 4(3), pp.247-264.