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Monday, May 13, 2013

South Africa’s integrated marketing mix

SA Tourism Chief Executive Officer,
Thulani Nzima
South Africa’s integrated marketing mix and its effectiveness in reaching global consumers received high praise from some of the biggest names in international tourism marketing and sales yesterday.

The National Geographic Channel, Expedia, TripAdvisor, and the iAmbassadors network joined South African Tourism at a powerful media briefing to look at the destination’s global marketing reach and campaigns.

“SA Tourism uses a wide variety of marketing platforms that all work together seamlessly to deliver our messages and to build our destination brand through the word of mouth endorsement of others.

“We are determined to be on the most effective platforms where people are talking about tourism and about holidays and to deliver messages that are credible, believable and that tell the wonderful, authentic stories of what people experience when they holiday in South Africa,” SA Tourism Chief Executive Officer, Thulani Nzima, said at the briefing.

Nzima was joined by Ross Kata, Africa Director of Expedia, Jerome Touze, founder, Helena Egan, TripAdvisor head of destination marketing sales in Africa, Lindsay Rocke from Media Sales and Partnership Marketing at the National Geographic Channel and Keith Jenkins, who represented the global iAmbassador network of bloggers.

Lindsay Rocke from Media Sales and Partnership
Marketing at the National Geographic Channel
SA Tourism reached more than a billion consumers through advertising and marketing partnerships with the likes of CNN, National Geographic and SuperSport Africa in the last financial year, with a further one billion online impressions delivered through partnerships with the likes of TripAdvisor, Facebook, Expedia, and You Tube.

In addition, over R4.5 billion in editorial exposure was achieved for the destination through its global media and public relations work.

In 2012, 205 189 trips to South Africa were booked – and paid for – via the online Expedia platform.

These trips collectively contributed R794 million to the national economy. “Significantly, Expedia bookings are growing at about 23 percent, showing how important the online environment is for closing sales and converting conversations and awareness into actual tourist arrivals,” Nzima said.

“We see other destinations follow what South Africa is doing and the country is one of the foremost digital destination marketers,” said Touze.

Helena Egan, TripAdvisor head of
destination marketing sales in Africa
TripAdvisor’s Egan said destination South Africa was pushing the envelope to do ‘more, more, more’ using social and digital platforms.

“We have always viewed our relationship with South Africa as a partnership, one characterised by innovation,” said Egan.

iAmbassassador’s Jenkins has just completed a bloggers’ tour of South Africa with 14 more of the world’s most influential travel and lifestyle bloggers.

Using the hash tag #MeetSouthAfrica, the campaign reached a potential audience of more than 55 million people in one week - on Twitter alone.

However phenomenal the numbers are, though, Jenkins said it was the people and the experiences he and his colleagues enjoyed that will stay with him.

“I love the enthusiasm of South Africans. This is a truly amazing place,” he said.

“People believe people. Our campaign stories are told by real people who are not models or actors.

This makes our destination compellingly real and all the more persuasive, because it’s neither scripted nor rehearsed.”
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