Paid Media: The Choice of Last Resort

In the old days, paid media – broadcast television, radio and print – was the way to get your strategic message out to a large audience. Most of your spend went to these mass media, and even though only a small percentage of the large consumer base responded, it was enough to fill your hotel or create long lines at the gates. The idea of investing in owned media was an afterthought, typically funded with the spare change left from the mass media buy. This model simply isn’t working anymore.

A recent issue of The Wanderlust Report looked at changing attitudes about media, and how travel and tourism marketers are leveraging owned and earned media to engage consumers and communicate more effectively. Mark D. Shipley, President and Chief Strategic Officer at Wanderlust said, “To move your marketing communications from this exposure and efficiencies model to one of engagement and effectiveness, you need to invert your plan, and move to one built around ‘owned’ media first, ‘earned’ media second and ‘paid’ media last. The more valuable communications – ones that are both relevant and desirable to your audience – reach your target audiences when they’re actively seeking information and ready to engage. And when you invest in paid media, you don’t have to assume that traditional mass media is the only choice: be creative to get the most for your money.
“We’ve employed many non-traditional paid tactics to great success, such as advertising on social networks, paid search, rich media banner advertising and behavioral retargeting, guerilla strategies at large venues, contextual advertising and product placement,” Shipley said.
Engage Audiences With Thoughtful Media Choices
Times have changed, and so must our travel and tourism marketing strategies. “We can’t expect mass media alone to reach the very targeted audiences and niche markets required to fill beds and sell tickets,” said Shipley. “We must leverage owned and earned media for more effective communications and a higher return on our investment. Already these strategies are resulting in greater consumer engagement: reaching audiences that are more receptive, responsive and willing to help spread the word about a brand or destination – often with greater influence than paid media ever could. Imagine how they can perform if they are part of an integrated travel marketing communications plan,” he adds.
If your destination measures media exposure and efficiency rather than effectiveness, maybe it’s time to engage a more profitable audience. “Embracing the new rules of engagement with customers can seem insurmountable, but by rethinking your media plan to make the most of your own channels, you can take advantage of low-cost, high-return opportunities to connect with your best customers and prospects,” Shipley asserts.
Read more of Rethinking Outdated Travel Media Strategies in the Wanderlust Report, Volume 2, Number 4.

About Wanderlust
Wanderlust provides marketing and branding expertise to destinations, resorts and tourism attractions. We uncover what drives people to choose where they go and build integrated marketing programs to attract them — using the internet, social networks, direct marketing and mass media

Contact: Mark Shipley
Phone: 518-272-2500