Africa Geographic Travel

7 dumb comments from travel marketers


1. Our marketing plan/budget has been signed off for the year

In these days of always-on social media you HAVE to have a flexible element to your marketing campaigns, for those opportunistic campaigns. Agility rules.

2. We have no budget for advertising

Huh? You have a million Dollar hotel and you don’t have budget for advertising? Some establishments spend more on soft furnishings every season that they do on advertising. Go figure.

3. We have a person in xxx (city) that handles our social media

Get serious people. Outsourcing your social media is like outsourcing your child’s upbringing. Take professional advice about strategy and of course work with managers of large social media communities to get your content out there – but don’t outsource the ongoing engagement with social media communities to third parties.

4. Our PR agency handles our marketing

Social media is the new PR and you now have the tools to build your “own” community and to work directly with media owners to engage with their larger communities. Traditional PR’s strategy is to secure editorial coverage – and instead of paying the media owner you pay the PR agency. PR agencies will ignore and downplay marketing activities that threaten their own business model/revenue stream.

5. We have a policy of not paying for advertising/exposure

That’s like your guests saying they have a strict policy of not paying to stay in hotels. Media owners have to earn advertising in order to drive their business model. If you don’t pay for advertising they will never treat you seriously.

6. I don’t have the time to deal with the hectic digital world

Digital media comprises of increasing numbers of platforms/ecosystems/devices and this rapid growth is going to increase going forward, and possibly become even more confusing. Yet digital is where your guests increasingly now hang out, research and book their travels, so if you don’t evolve you will effectively marginalize yourself and even cease to exist in your guests’ lives.

7. We don’t like social media because people say bad things about us

No comment. Actually I do have a comment. Get out of the services industry.

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Simon Espley

I am a proud African, of the digital tribe, and honoured to be CEO of Africa Geographic. My travels in Africa are in search of wilderness, real people with interesting stories and elusive birds. I live in Hoedspruit, next to the Kruger National Park, with my wife Lizz and 2 Jack Russells. When not travelling or working I am usually on my mountain bike somewhere out there. I qualified as a chartered account, but found my calling sharing Africa's incredibleness with you. My motto is "Live for now, have fun, be good, tread lightly and respect others. And embrace change". Connect with me on LinkedIn and follow me on Twitter.

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