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VISITOR AND MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS COMMON FLAWS WHEN COMMUNICATING WITH VISITORS 4 Mistakes of Significance: The message's structuring is not advantageous The destination’s messages and imagery are not structured to best effect or presented with greatest impact. Often, long standing and fundamental principles of communication are ignored or not properly applied.  With website design and navigation, this can be critical to retaining interest.    Maps and images are missing or unsatisfactory The vital communication aids (e.g. 'tourism' maps and evocative images) greatly valued by visitors are - simply missing, do not contain what visitors need, or are focusing attention on things that are not of greatest importance or influence  - e.g. the most appealing & relevant experiences offered/sought or the attributes and benefits that genuinely appeal.   Best selling points are not instantly upfront The critical messages, including these key images and maps, are not user friendly and immediately - or at least readily - accessible. (A particularly crucial concern in the context of websites.) And less significant content has been put first at their expense. A sense of conviction may be absent or no truly distinct or positive perceptions generated.   Project briefs (briefing advice) on communication needs - not explicit The briefings provided to hired writers, designers and agencies prove to be insufficiently explicit in their directions - particularly in relation to their most vital communication goals and creative needs.  Well written and well conceived briefs - which simply outline these key needs, product strengths and likely important links between the message, the market research and the target visitors - will help these professionals produce superior results. To meet this challenge, having an independent professional with proven experience help prepare the final brief can be particularly beneficial. Your final 'message' must be on (not off) the mark - wherever possible. A Quick and Easy Payoff: To maximize your future visitation and return on investment, independently reviewing & fine tuning your end messages and the functionality of their delivery should occur on a regular basis - no matter what the marketing tool being used. Tightening these nuts and bolts can only strengthen your marketing foundations. (The need for this process to be undertaken in an independent way stems from the fact that your own eyes are normally too familiar with what is being reviewed. And this results in your brain automatically filtering out potential mistakes - making it harder to detect where helpful corrections can be made, or valuable improvements in approach adopted. Fresh eyes don’t have this problem.) THE BOTTOM LINE: Making such simple, inexpensive and easy adjustments can pay off quickly and productively, without generating any added risk to the investment in marketing already being made by your destination. It is in this context, that paying greater attention to the 'little picture’ really matters!
© Tourism Development Solutions 2012
Specialists in: Destination Audits and Tourism Assessments  Visitor Experience & Market Communication Reviews Tourism Strategy Plans and Niche Market Development   Destination Positioning and Branding SOVA Scenic Byways Tourism Map.
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