Tourism is a huge venture in most global economies in the contemporary world. The industry invested an estimated 1.4 trillion dollars in 2015 in the global market (Hudson, 2017). Nonetheless, the tourism industry still has its setbacks , for instance the annual fluctuations in the number of sales experienced whereby some months could make massive sales whilst in others, the sales plummet significantly. In fact, some destinations experience low seasons on a regular basis and it is during these instances that digital marketing strategies are called for to augment those elusive funds (Font & McCabe, 2017). Although there has been a spike in the number of digital marketing companies in the recent years, a limited number actually possess the creativity and experience necessary to implement the solutions to uptick the tourism sales.
Matthew’s Italian Restaurant is located in Passaic County, New Jersey. The restaurant was opened ten years ago and has become a success. The service is recommendable and the owner is always available to look into the needs of his customers. Although it is a small eatery, it is always full of activity plus the Italian food is delicious attracting a multitude of people. Furthermore, it also hosts a bar that offers a variety of cocktails and wine. The fact that the restaurant is located in Passaic County which is a tourist destination further heightens its customers. The County’s objective is to foster heritage tourism and worthwhile experiences for tourists who visit the sites, by not only informing of the County’s story but the culture, landscapes and traditions of indigenous inhabitants as well. The County’s development is greatly ascribed to its transport network including the railways and canals. Even though most of the systems are currently inactive, they are embodied in the County’s Network due to their historical significance. Digital marketing has been embraced by the community as an efficient mode of communication (Mandal& Joshi, 2017). Even the Italian restaurant, utilizes digital marketing to advertise itself. Despite the continuous use of traditional methods of communication such as brochures which are also successful marketing strategies, digital marketing is utilized with the younger audience in mind and also to alert tourists and residents on upcoming proceedings and promotions. Moreover, mobile apps are becoming increasingly ordinary and their applications will continue to intensify in the near future. In the contemporary world, mobiles offer a broad range of services such as a user-friendly navigation system that is helpful in accessing necessary traveler’s information. To illustrate, a mobile app or website can act as a practical guide information centre as it segments information for easier use by the tourists.
Matthew’s Italian restaurant was started ten years ago and has rapidly grown to appoint where it not only receives the locals but people from other parts of the world. Moreover, though it serves local cuisines, different people still appreciate its delicacies.
The tourists visiting Passaic County will be targeted as they are likely to need somewhere to eat. Moreover, Italian tourists will appreciate their local dishes and are likely to visit the eatery. Competitors of Matthew’s Italian restaurant have also recognized the power of digital marketing hence they have implemented some strategies. This prompts the need for Matthew’s restaurant to also equip itself with more effective digital marketing approaches.
The hotel will implement email marketing, video ads as well as social marketing through Face Book and Instagram platforms. Print media such as posters and brochures will remain significant.
The Face Book and Instagram platforms will mainly target the younger audience. Email marketing will focus on reputable customers who will be willing to share their emails to receive mails from the hotel.
IT experts from the digital marketing field will be hired to inform on best approaches to reach the target market with the aforementioned tools. Moreover, they will aid in designing the advertisements on online media. Stakeholders and partners of the restaurant will contribute funding to aid in this project. Print media will be edited by renowned publishers within the locality.
The efficacy of the objectives will be assessed by considering if the set goals are met. For instance, if customer satisfaction increases by 15% within 18 months, then the objective has been met.
Identifying and Justifying the Target Market
To attract more customers and competitive sales, the goal is to implement a comprehensive marketing strategy that identifies the target market (Singh, 2018) .A combination of both primary and secondary sources is imperative when it comes to researching on the target market (Johnston, 2017) . Primary sources are relevant as they are up-to date while secondary sources such as online material are readily accessible (Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick, 2019). Both sources complement each other. Survey research is an extensively used methodology and it is necessary that the researchers pursue stringent measures to achieve the desired insights by collecting primary data. Variables such as age, gender and economic status may aid in determining the target group and effectual selling strategies that can be implemented to reach out. The next step is identifying customer needs whereby an organization aims to offer solutions to customers’ concerns. Determining modes of communication to utilize in marketing the organization is another critical step (Willoughby & Smith, 2016). In such a case, the organization focuses on the variables, for instance younger individuals are conversant with social media tools whilst the older ones may prefer a more traditional approach such as newspapers and brochures.
Utilize the funnel approach to narrow down the audience. For example, if the product or service is gender specific, it could be narrowed down to age –range and then socio-economic status. As you continuously filter out those components, the final filter will provide the focused target group of a particular product or service in question (Lee & Scott, 2015). Basically, whatever the service or product offered by a company, its primary values should be identified and listed then narrowed down sequentially to the last filter that is actually the target group. Social and advertising is a relevant online tool that can be utilized to connect with stakeholders, partners and tourists (Okazaki & Taylor,2013). In so doing, the target group can easily access informative material about the site. In Matthews restaurant, social media is more appealing to the younger individuals as they are well-versed with online related content due to their engagement in social networks such as Twitter and Face book. Although, the platform is also used to inform about upcoming social events to the wider audience. Mobile services are also increasingly receiving attention in the restaurant especially due to their wide coverage. Both young and older individuals are targeted in this case as mobile use cuts across variables such as age and socio-economic status and due to their wide accessibility. However, a combination of traditional and digital marketing strategies is important. Like in the case of Matthew’s restaurant, that uses social media marketing but still implements the traditional means of communication whereby it uses print material to present the menu of the different delicacies it offers (Guide, 2016). I would like to propose a combination of both traditional and modern modes of communication for the organization to reach a broader target audience. The mobile app and services, email marketing alongside traditional marketing strategies such as use of print materials would be an effective means of marketing in any organization.
The goals should be quantified to offer direction to the campaign plan. The goals will aid in the assessment of the success or failure of the campaign plan (Luxton, Reid & Mavondo, 2015). In fact, quantified goals will specify the extent of success or failure of the campaign.
The goals that need marketing should be identified and ideas formulated to determine which are the most efficient to achieve a particular goal. For instance, the restaurant’s main goal is to access a wider target group and this can be achieved by implementing better marketing strategies including digital advertising.
Evaluate the Current Market Trends
Another crucial step is to perform a market research to identify the trends and competitors (Ozkaya et. al., 2015). It is critical to comprehend the rationale behind what draws the already existing markets to local sites, to describe existing and prospective markets, classify potential partners and the role the restaurant contributes in the locality. The information collected will assist in formulating new messages that encourage more visitors as well as create target group awareness on what the hotel has to offer. Moreover, the information gathered from visitors will serve as a basis for targeting outreach programs and prospective partners. Information collected from the café will further aid in providing insight on how sites can work in a combined effort and profit from synchronized marketing.
The success of digital tourism marketing will depend on successful partnerships, and this has led to Matthew’s Italian Restaurant fostering good relationships with institutions, local businesses and recreation groups so as to enhance the chances of successful tourism marketing.
The restaurant aims to address the following concerns:
Public relations: The restaurant aims to enhance better relationships with its stakeholders by informing them about heritage tourism in the County. Tourists are also encouraged to visit the hotel to experience a change in delicacies from the Italian culture. Furthermore, it propagates the necessity to inform the media about the significance of tourism to the locals as well as tourist from other countries and this can be achieved by posting videos, developing a media list that informs of potential outlets whether regional or national that could have an interest in tourism and holding press releases.
Online advertising: Institute social media networking to connect with stakeholders, partners and tourists (Kiráľová & Pavlíčeka, 2015). Social networks such as Face book and Twitter that are gaining popularity even in marketing fields have been integrated to act as avenues that foster advertising and interactions.
Branding: The restaurant also targets to improve on its branding by creating a logo that is distinct and recognizable by the visitors. The brand should inculcate confidence and bestow credibility in the market (Resnick et.al., 2016). Moreover, the brand should stand out from that of its competitors.
Materials –the materials to be used in advertisements such as brochures, posters, mails and maps should be researched prior to their printing (Wang, 2008). As a result, fewer funds will be spent on advertisements and promotions and collaborative marketing will be enhanced. The goal is that the brochures and other print material should incorporate maps or photos that draw attention to the specific location of the restaurant.
Individuals who enjoy trying out different cuisines from other cultures are motivated to visit this eatery.
Matthew’s restaurant has identified its competitors and researched on the strategies it can implement to be successful. As a result, it has devised better strategies such as improved social networking to reach a wider audience (Felix, Rauschnabel & Hinsch, 2017). Moreover, the restaurant has a website that fully informs about the food and service it offers.
Email marketing will be used as a marketing strategy. Photos of the restaurant and maps will be emailed to tourists who visit Passaic County as long as they consent to receiving the mails. The platform will also serve to provide feedback on any queries in regards to the services offered by the hotel and further inform on new updates. Communication via email can also be utilized to establish partnerships and develop the already existing ones (Abdollahi & Omidvar, 2018). The main challenges of email marketing will be limited coverage as some visitors may not be willing to share their email addresses. Social media marketing will be utilized especially targeting the young audience (Zarrella, 2009). Information displayed will motivate the young individuals to avail themselves for opportunities to learn more about cultural diversity of the Italian people. Advertisements targeting the youth will be featured on social networks such as Twitter and Face book. Any arising queries will receive immediate feedback on the same platform.
Marketing strategies will not be limited to online communication but will combine even the traditional modes of communication. In this case, brochures, posters will continue to be used due to their efficacy in advertising (Summers et.al., 2006). Print materials will have a wide coverage as they will target the visitors who are already in the site, though challenges will arise in the cost of printing that will expend more than other advertising strategies.
It should be creative and straight-forward. Moreover, the message should grab the attention of the target market.
Matthew’s Italian restaurant takes into account how funds are utilized in its operation. Moreover, the communication materials are all included in the budget plus the cost of marketing. The marketing campaign expenses are also included in the budget as well as the costs incurred in advertisements and promotions (Li, Xu & Zhao, 2019). All the expenses are compiled to provide a rough estimate of the cost. The budget should be clear and precise and avoid any ambiguities.
January- Introduce email marketing as it is easier to implement.
February-Monitor email marketing and the impact it has on advertising the restaurant.
March –Incorporate social media networking by introducing Face Book. The platform will mainly target the youth.
April- Develop better content displayed on the Face Book .For instance, improve the messages and the information the y provide.
May-Introduce Instagram as a marketing platform by taking photos that market the restaurant and the dishes it offers.
June- Add the other online marketers in influencer marketers at Instagram where marketers depict their brands and share their marketing ideas.
July- Include a tab on the Face Book website that provides more information about the restaurant so that interested individuals can refer to it.
August- Implement print media including brochures and posters.
September- Increase more print media sources, for example, maps that can guide tourists.
October- Improve on the print media information.
November- Introduce video ads that showcase the restaurant premises and the services offered.
December- The video ads should feature e recognized figure to advertise the restaurant.
I expect at least 75% of the concerns to be attended to. For instance, the logo will be uniquely designed to reach out to the target population, improved partnerships with stakeholders and better strategies to reach to a broader audience will be employed. The success of the campaign will be assessed by the sales received at a specified set period of time, let’s say six months. An improvement of sales by 20% within six months will indicate a successful campaign plan. Additionally, an increase in the number of tourists who visit the County will indicate the effectiveness of the marketing strategies used.
Digital Tourism marketing is becoming a popular undertaking. Most tourism organizations are embracing this new concept due to its capability of wide coverage. Moreover, in the current society most ventures have shifted to online marketing as a tool to market their goods in the belief that it covers a wider audience. A good example is Matthew’s Italian restaurant in New Jersey, which has embraced digital marketing by utilizing social media and mobile apps to market itself with the integration of traditional marketing strategies such as the use of print media. Conclusively, digital marketing in tourism is an upcoming trend that is taking over the market due to its efficacy.
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