Choosing Between Direct and Online Marketing Channels in the Travel Industry

Travel agencies follow certain processes to identify tourists of their choice and to communicate with them to ascertain and influence their needs, requirements and motivations at local, national and international level. The main purpose is to develop and adapt their offerings in accordance with the optimal satisfaction of their clients and maximize the objectives of tourism.Tourism marketing is a branch of marketing specialising in the tourism industry. There are various ways of deploying a successful marketing campaign. In this article we discuss proposals which are relevant to all the forms it takes when applied to the tourism industry. These can be offerings that are designed, produced and promoted in the tourism market to serve specific needs for various clients according to their wishes. Tourism marketing is shaped and determined by the nature of demand and operating characteristics of the industries they supply. The forms of promotion and distribution used for tourist services also have their own characteristics that distinguish their use compared to other industries.Online marketing
Online marketing or e-marketing is the promotion of products or services through the Internet which has created many unique benefits due to the considerably low costs in distributing information. The interactive nature of online marketing connects the creative and technical aspects of the Internet with the main functions of design, development, advertising and sales. Online marketing includes search engine marketing, display advertising, e-mail marketing, affiliate marketing, interactive advertising, blog marketing and viral marketing.E-marketing like traditional marketing requires a solid plan with strategies based on research, market knowledge and common sense. Effective campaigns consist of a comprehensive strategy that matches the client’s business model and meets the company’s sales targets focusing on target markets through proper choice of advertising channels and planning.Comparison of online and direct marketing
There are some fundamental differences between online and direct marketing on an implementation level. For example, when it comes to market research traditional marketing uses primary data for consumers and competitors that are available in the market and secondary data from research companies. In online marketing, companies can collect data directly via online questionnaires and surveys as well as consumers profiles.With regards to the market segmentation, direct marketing distinguishes target groups based on psychometric and demographic characteristics and treats customers with similar profiles accordingly. Usually such methods depend on data that are not always up to date and it takes a considerable amount of time for new data and profiles to be created. In online marketing the statistical approach is more dynamic and is based on current user behaviour.Furthermore, in direct marketing product development is closely related to in-house resources and available technology while business activity is mainly focused on a small number of different business areas. In most cases, product testing is limited before it is released in the market. Online marketing offers a greater versatility via constant interaction between the company and the clients. Feedback from this interaction is used for the development of new products as well as for modifying existing offerings and services.Finally, the pricing in traditional marketing lacks transparency and price differentiation while informing customers about new offers and discounts is a process that increases the operating cost of a business. Using email marketing, distributing this information can be less expensive, faster and more efficient. At the same time there is a better level of price transparency between different markets and businesses are able to lower their prices further due to savings realised by such methods.