The present product proposal concerns tourism as its primary marketing asset. More specifically, the product in question is tourism to the state of Nebraska. Essentially, a tourism product stands for the value offered to the potential customers who travel to a destination other than their place of residence (Government of Northwest Territories, n.d.). Currently, tourism to Nebraska is being advertised through the lens of humor and irony, claiming to the potential customers that, unlike the conventional travel destinations, Nebraska’s poor infrastructure calls for fun and creativity (Nebraska Tourism Commission). Although the overall premise of the marketing campaign is fresh and unconventional, it is unclear how exactly humor tends to modify consumer behavior. For this reason, this proposal represents cost leadership as one of the primary marketing tools to add to the existing campaign in order to increase consumer motivation.
The existing marketing model for promoting tourism is Nebraska pursues rather questionable objectives. Undeniably, while competing with such popular tourist destinations as California or Nevada, it is critical Nebraska Tourism Commission presents an awareness campaign. However, while moving in this direction, the product continues to draw attention to itself without affecting such tangible outcomes as sales and tourism segment’s profitability. According to Warren et al. (2018), “although humorous advertisements attract attention, for example, they often fail to achieve other objectives, such as improving brand attitudes or increasing sales” (p. 529). As a result, the humor employed in the strategy can alter the consumers’ perception of the tourist product, but it is unlikely to affect their purchasing behavior, as no value for the target market is stated clearly.
Moreover, the idea of self-irony embedded in the marketing agenda may be unclear for the potential customer unaware of Nebraska as a state or tourist site. In order to minimize the distance between the message and the recipient, clearly stated benefits such as cost leadership, fewer visitors, and unique experiences should be incorporated into the marketing strategy. In such a way, the customers will be more likely to pay attention to this traveling opportunity in the future.
Target Market Audience
The audience for the present marketing campaign is specified neither by age nor by gender, creating a proposition for every potential customer willing to go to the state. However, as far as the general characteristics of the target market are concerned, the profile of an average customer will include the following factors:
- Residence outside the state of Nebraska. It is necessary to account for the visitors who have little or no information about Nebraska.
- Willingness to travel. Ideally, a target customer either has the habit or wants to develop the habit of traveling within the country.
- National average income rate. Although traveling to Nebraska should be considerably cheaper compared to other states, the profile of the target customer should account for the ability to spend approximately $1,000 on accommodation and tourist attractions.
Currently, the target market for the campaign addresses two major population segments: young travelers aged 18-35 who seek active rest and, in many cases, cheaper accommodation options, and older group looking for a vacation planned in advance, including accommodation booking and daily activities. In order to create a more valuable proposition to the customer, it is vital to create a more specific customer segmentation that chooses preferences according to the social and financial peculiarities of the group (Wang et al., 2018). In such a way, the value proposition for the traveling plan will be custom picked.
Target Market Values and Beliefs
In order to justify the value of such a customer-oriented approach to the campaign, it is necessary to dwell on the major values typical to the tourists, namely:
- Security. When traveling to various destinations, customers are extremely preoccupied with the idea of security, which can be characterized by such factors as the absence of political instability, low criminal activity rates, and socio-economic situation in the area.
- Fulfillment. One of the main goals for every vacation and journey is the willingness to find happiness and emotional satisfaction while changing surroundings. Customer segmentation can be of help due to a better understanding of fulfillment for every target group.
- New experience. The tourism product as a concept implies that by moving to a different destination, customers will be impressed by something they could not experience elsewhere.
Bearing the factors above in mind, it is possible to define the most important product differentiators, including:
- Lack of product differentiation. Although it sounds the opposite to the definition of marketing value, the campaign presented by Nebraska Tourism Commission ironically emphasized the fact that the state does have a variety of experiences presented by other tourist destinations. For this reason, the message should exploit the opportunity to foster creativity and freedom to find the uniqueness of the product.
- Cost leadership. Traveling to Nebraska is relatively cheaper, so the opportunity to save money should be emphasized in terms of the campaign.
- Authenticity. Unlike a conventional tourist attraction, Nebraska has neither the visitor density nor the busy infrastructure of popular destinations. When presented as a unique feature, the lack of tourist adjustability can become an asset.
Thus, the value of the modified campaign is in its ironic yet customer-oriented approach. By attracting the audience with such bold statements as “There is nothing to do in Nebraska,” the further marketing value of this statement can change consumers’ behavior based on their purchasing profile. For example, using phrases like “There is nothing to do in Nebraska. It’s really cheap though” or “There is nothing to do in Nebraska, but you can you do it with no city fuss” target two completely different audiences by emphasizing the traveling characteristic crucial for them.
Government of Northwestern Territories. (n.d.). Marketing your tourism products [PDF document]. Web.
Nebraska Tourism Commission. (n.d.). Things to do. Web.
Wang, L., Liu, Y., & Wu, J. (2018). Research on financial advertisement personalised recommendation method based on customer segmentation. International Journal of Wireless and Mobile Computing, 14(1), 97-101.
Warren, C., Barsky, A., & McGraw, A. P. (2018). Humor, comedy, and consumer behavior. Journal of Consumer Research, 45(3), 529-552. Web.