Essay on Events and Destination Marketing
Number of words: 2820
Development of an infographic storyboard
An infographic is a visual representation of both data and information, so that the readers can synthesize complex topics into a more digestible form (Sezer 2021). It helps readers to understand the conveyed messages of the marketers.
This infographic storyboard is prepared to project the uniqueness and distinctive features of Kirkland, which is the chosen tourism destination for this paper. The information is mainly presented in the visual format, with minimal description of the elements. Through this infographic, the targeted audience will get to know about the signature places located within Kirkland and the reasons behind its popularity.
Figure: Infographic storyboard
Core Attractions – Shores of lake Washington, public parks, sandy beaches, boutique hotels, top-quality meeting spaces.
Secondary Attractions – Kirkland Performance Centre, enthusiastic community of local galleries and exhibitions, top-tier restaurants, distinctive salons.
Regional Networks & Activities – Attractive linkage through bicycle, train or air, ecologically unique, cultural attractions, art and architecture, information offices, signage.
Kirkland is a place, located on the shores of Lake Washington. The place is popular for its waterfront parks, boutique hotels, inspiring cuisine, and lively night life. Before formulating appropriate communication strategy, the management should determine various conditions, such as, key audiences, strengths and challenges of tourism outreach, project objectives, current versus desired perceptions of Kirkland and media-worthy events. The city can expand its earned media approach in order to make communication stronger, effective as well as cohesive (Koba 2020). The recommended communication strategy is likely to increase exposure, efficiency and reduce costs.
The above infographic shows the two types of attractions within Kirkland, that is, core attractions and secondary attractions. The third segment consists of the regional networks of the places. Core attractions are the unique regions or areas, which are preferred both by national and international tourists.
Secondary attractions are the specific places chosen for particular groups of travelers. The regional network segment consists of the various connections with the place, through which the travelers can easily reach the place. It also consists of other elements, such as, information offices, art and architecture and ecologically unique environment, social and economic development of the place (Wuryanta & Utami 2020). Taking into consideration all the above factors, the marketers of Kirkland can decide on the key audiences and design communication messages for them. The messages should be distinct, memorable and meaningful. Consistent use of these messages can strengthen the relationships with the chosen audience groups.
Marketing communication helps in driving brand equity and enhancing promotional performance of the marketers. Expansion of marketing communication can increase the reach of tourism to a wider market. The notable communication models can be advertising, sales promotion, word of mouth marketing, sales personnel, interactive marketing, public relations and events & experience (Amin & Priansah 2019). Additionally, marketing communication provides valuable information about the new product or service offerings of the company. In this case, marketing communication strategies will focus on the chosen tourism destination, that is, Kirkland. Situated on the shores of Lake Washington, the destination can easily be portrayed to the target audience through effective communication means.
In tourism, it is important to motivate people so that they visit the chosen place or city, either for an event, business purposes or leisure travel. Four targeted audiences for Kirkland can be outdoor enthusiasts, art lovers, “Good Life” Aficionados, and meeting-goers or event planners. For communicating with these audiences, the marketer must personalize messages so that they add strategic value to the destination (Renfors 2017). For outdoor enthusiasts, the message must contain elements like beautiful, natural or restorative. Key messages for art lovers can be accessible creative and fresh. For “Good Life” aficionados, the destination must be sophisticated, invigorating and surprising.
The communication strategy of Kirkland can include advertising, earned media outreach, direct marketing, public relations, audience-centric outreach and sales promotion. Advertising can be performed by both offline and online modes. Offline modes can include banners or billboards and print media advertising. Online modes can include social media marketing or direct e-mailing (Baggio et al. 2010). Large billboards can be displayed in Kirkland or nearby places just before any event or recreational activity. Print media advertising relates to placement of advertisements in the local or national print media like newspapers or magazine articles. Social media marketing can involve spreading messages through networking sites like Facebook or Instagram.
Earned media Outreach can occur through two important kinds of campaigns, that is, event-specific campaigns and general awareness-building campaigns. The first campaign can be named as “Artist Studio Tour”, which is directed towards art lovers. The second campaign can be named as “Bookfest” for art lovers. The third campaign can be named as “Kirkland: Enjoy Good Life”, which is a general awareness-building campaign (Sigala & Gretzel (eds) 2017). Out of these, the most important campaign can be third one, as it targets general visitors. The campaign should revolve around the stunning views, physical beauty, relaxing vibe and amazing food of the place.
The third communication strategy can be direct marketing. This can be done through two different methods, that is, blocking TV and Internet Marketing. Several television shows broadcast the natural recreation of destinations. Kirkland can use this opportunity to feature the interesting tourist programs of the place. The management can make contract with various television channels to perform this activity (Mrsc.org 2021). Internet marketing can be done through official Tourism websites or Government registered websites. The management can also advertise Kirkland through external marketing agencies, such as, Go-Ibibo or MakeMyTrip. Official website of Kirkland is the most important platform, where elaborate descriptions of places can be provided.
The fourth communication technique can be public relations. The management can partner with Information Centre or Tourism Activist Groups to promote Kirkland. Through research, the marketers can find out the nearest Information Centre, contact them and share relevant information of the place with them (Govers et al. 2007). Many tourists believe that the information provided by authentic centers are true and valid. Tourism Activist Groups play an active role in the development of tourism in the nearby locality. The management can either form an activist group with the help of local people or partner with other activist groups. Forming an activist group draws more customers as they get the taste of local facilities.
The fifth communication technique can be audience-centric approach. This can be performed through cross-promotion with neighboring communities, extension of the brand and reaching out to event planners. One of the neighboring communities can be cyclists, who enjoy the lakeside location of Kirkland. Seattle Kayakers explore the lake adventure of the wetland areas of Kirkland (Schianetz et al. 2007). The management can extend brand value through visuals, which will help in establishing better connection with the target audience. Images of waterfront, sailboats or sidewalks can be created to develop creative videos for the travelers. Event planners can promote Kirkland as a place for weddings or other events.
The final communication strategy can be sales promotion. Discount prices and attractive offers are useful tactics for drawing the attention of the travelers (Emmerson, C 1997). Discounts can be offered on entrance fees of popular places in the destination. For the art lovers, discounts can be offered on art exhibitions and other architectural delights of the place. For business travelers, discounts can be offered boutique hotels of the city. Business travelers may also want to book places for events or meetings. These places can come at discounted prices. For outdoor enthusiasts, rates of public parks can be reduced.
The three important criteria behind the communication strategy of Kirkland are “Offer diversity”, “Offer more” and “Offer the best”. The first criterion relates to activities and amenities that keep the visitors engaged for at least two hours, when they drive from Seattle to Kirkland (Seddighi & Theocharous 2002). Visitors must be kept busy for at least four times longer than their travelling time. They travel a 30-minute distance from Seattle to Kirkland and hence, should enjoy the major attractions and events of Kirkland for at least 2 hours. Next, Kirkland should be able to offer a wide variety of facilities to the visitors.
Packaging and cross-promotional activities can be additional advantages to be provided by the place. The travelers can take the route from Portland to Woodinville, enjoying the fresh dining experience in Kirkland. Boaters can visit Woodmark Hotel Spa for a quick relaxation. The third criterion can be promotion of parks or farmers’ market, which are unique attractions of the place. Other natural attractions can be beaches, amusement parks, fairs or festivals. The management can position Kirkland by finding out the superlatives within their promotional statements, such as, “more” or “most”. Kirkland can use the line “We have the most water frontage than any other Eastside city”.
Social Media Campaign supporting the communication strategy
Work. Eat. Live. Shop #Explore Kirkland
Aim – The tourism industry is having a tough time with a reduction of air travel by 95% (Kiráľová & Pavlíčeka 2015). During the phase of coronavirus, people have cancelled their summer vacation plans. This campaign is aimed towards capturing the attention of people so that they feel elated to be a part of Kirkland during their business or leisure travels.
Primary activities – Kirkland marketing agency can share a message of corporate social responsibility on the networking platforms, such as, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Images and videos of the different places can be shared in these platforms in order to attract a large audience. The message can portray the initiatives taken by Kirkland community towards protecting the travelers from the pandemic (Kirklandurban.com 2021). Kirkland should also display the major attractions of the place and show a glimpse to the travelers, who are still fearful of the pandemic and not travelling to places. People interested in visiting the place can explore the various channels of the tourism destination as the marketers continue to share valuable contents and keep them updated on the latest news. Kirkland community can offer attractive deals and discounts to travelers, who choose to visit the places during the pandemic.
Secondary activities – Kirkland can exhibit concern towards environment by portraying the destination as one of the most eco-friendly zones of the world. Trees can be planted in the amusement parks or other similar places to support afforestation (Palazzo et al. 2021). Roads should be cleaned to avoid pollution and create a healthy environment. People can be encouraged to share their own photos and videos along with their own stories or travel experiences.
Messages shared through campaign – Three important attributes of the place can be shared through the campaign. The target audience must be kept in mind while crafting these messages. The first attribute can be “Inviting and accessible”, which means the abundance of parks and laid-back atmosphere are the good jumping-off points for the various activities around the region (Kirklandurban.com 2021). For art-friendly people, the message can be “Artsy and Vibrant”, which means the place is a mecca for galleries and artists and supports both Performance Center and an Arts Center. The third attribute can be “Upscale yet relaxed”, which means visitors can enjoy fine dining experience in the kids-friendly restaurants (Lin et al. 2011). The third attribute can be targeted to outdoor enthusiasts, who love to explore different places and enjoy varieties of cuisines from all over the globe.
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