3 things you can learn about online marketing from tourism hot spots

Tourism is one of the biggest industries that utilizes marketing to its highest potential. What can small businesses learn from their strategies?

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When you do traditional marketing work, it’s easy to hit a wall. We’re constantly inundated by media, resulting in Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) and, ultimately, in content burnout.

Part of the problem, though, might not just be the volume of content we’re exposed to in this field, but the narrow scope of it. Siloed into traditional corporate concerns regarding finance, technology or other core industry topics, it can feel like all the angles have been covered. What’s left to say?

In order to break out of your marketing rut, consider turning to another industry for a new take on what promotional work can look like. For example, tourism hot spots around the globe are constantly working to break the mold — and they’ve got more than a few tricks to share with those in technology, analytics and digital security.

Bridge the gap

Every industry has an “off-season.” In tourism, off-seasons tend to correspond with regional weather patterns; Palm Beach is busy in winter and spring when it’s warm, but drops off in the summer when things get too hot. On the other hand, ski resorts, like Whistler in Canada, tend to empty out in the summer.

In tech, lulls typically occur based on economic conditions, when product innovation declines, or in the periods between major conference announcements. What’s a marketing team to do during these periods? The key is to give every period the appearance of being peak season and bridge that gap until the market perks up.

The travel industry has mastered seasonal manipulation by pushing the advantages of off-season travel. From smaller crowds to lower ticket costs, traveling off-season can allow you to do more on a limited budget and similar logic applies to technology. Big ticket items cost less in the run-up to a new release. There’s less competition for advertising space and attention during times with fewer releases. Take advantage of those moments.

Focus on disruption

Disruption is a hot term in the world of technology, but at its core, disruption applies to all industries. In the world of tourism, it’s how you attract a broader customer base. The same can be true in technology.

Let’s think about a traditional spring break destination like Cancun, known for drawing rowdy college students. How do you break that mold — disrupt it, as it were? Marketing that highlights low-key activities like snorkeling tours that are family-friendly, convenient and far from the alcohol-infused party scene can bring in a different crowd.

What does this look like in more traditional industries? Reorienting a product for a new audience, subdividing your services to meet specific needs, or speeding up and integrating an existing product with other offerings can really open up your options for marketing.

Find a niche

Most businesses inherently believe that they have a niche — that’s why you can build an audience and turn a profit. The fact of the matter, though, is that there’s a difference between having a niche and meeting a demand. Sometimes the audience is big enough to accommodate lots of competitors and you don’t need to dig deep — but in other cases, you need to increase your brand specificity in order to compete.

China is currently rebranding itself as the hot destination for medical tourism, which is a decidedly unique corner of the market. That’s a niche, not a broad brand. You want to find an equivalent corner for you brand. Whether there’s a particular industry that your brand targets, a small task that you do especially well, or an area of expertise you want to push to the fore, any of these concepts can advance your marketing process.

Marketing isn’t as simple as drawing up some ads and writing some blog posts — it’s about carving out a unique corner that draws an audience on a consistent basis. Don’t let industry blinders keep your strategy boxed in. Break the mold and learn from other fields. It’s the first step towards marketing revolution.

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