The threat from marketing overkill:Communication challenges facing tourism todayBy Bruce Dickson (TDS),16th August, 2004"The number of people who are willing to talk to pollsters, who ring them on the phone, has decreased markedly." - Polling expert commenting on National Public Radio (USA),Beyond the challenge now posed by the dramatic new levels of competition for people’s leisure time and disposable income, lies a new threat to the tourism industry’s marketing efforts and success in communicating to visitors.TOTAL ONSLAUGHT: It stems from today’s equally astounding levels of frequently invasive and often unwelcome, 'in your face’ marketing. More and more, no area of human activity or interest appears immune, no space left sacred, no ‘opportunity’ missed, no means of delivery ignored.
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“Yet another marketing issue of real consequence is again overwhelmingly evident ... TRUST ... or more accurately people’s fundamental need for it.”
Even people's homes fail to offer a sanctuary from this daily barrage, with traditional door to door marketing being expanded to include telephone and email-based marketing calls and sales ploys ... federal laws allowing people to place themselves on 'no call' lists being the only known defence. Derogatory terms such as 'junk mail', ‘spam’ and ‘bloatware’ were not born out of love of these sales methods!TIPPING POINT: There is growing evidence that this relentless onslaught is being increasingly resented by ‘consumers’ to the point of potential consumer backlash (if this isn’t happening already). A major tipping point cannot be too far away.At the same time, market research is constantly finding that visitors are now more discerning, sophisticated and demanding than ever, and that personal ‘values’ and evidence of corporate ethics are starting to really matter. (People may use Facebook, but many abhor the ‘ethics’ of its sales focus.)