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The digital platform is a very powerful persuasion media tool for marketing in today’s IT era. National Tourism organizations and major multinational corporations are all focusing on digital campaigns eg. Australia Tourism Organization.
Tourism Malaysia is now embarking on digital marketing, promotions, advertising and branding through social media aimed at creating and developing six (6) tourism event campaigns as follows:
- Citrawarna 1Malaysia
- 1Malaysia Malaysia Mega Sale/Malaysia Year End Sale
- Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia
- 1Malaysia Contemporary Art Tourism contest
- 1Malaysia Green and Clean Campaign
- Fabulous Food 1Malaysia
The RM1.8million budget is used for:
- Content Development
- Online Advertising on Google and Facebook (Pay Per Click)
- Content Management
- Maintaining and updates on campaign
- Database Management and Compilation
The setup of this Facebook Fan Page is free and not a cent is spent. DAP has deliberately chose to completely twist the facts and said that the allocation was for the creation of the Facebook pages.
Digital campaigns require a team of qualified professionals as well as technical experts as this is not just about setting up Facebook pages. Our digital promotion, marketing and branding effort is entirely different from the political Facebook Fan Page that costs nothing to establish.
The success of a digital campaign is reflected in the number of fans joining the Fan Page. We have been very successful in the first campaign i.e the Citrawarna 2011 which has to date, recorded 24, 736 fans, thereby providing Tourism Malaysia with 24, 736 potential tourists; all these gotten within four (4) weeks only.
This is just the beginning of our entire intensive digital campaign; the fan-base is still rising and looks set to achieve its KPI of minimum 120,000 fans by end of December 2011.
In comparison with the Penang Tourism Facebook which DAP said is for free (which is the truth) as this is because they did not execute any campaigns in the Fan Page.
The Penang Tourism Facebook as cited by DAP as their model is only a basic Fan Page that uses basic Facebook features. It is not monitored nor does it conduct promotions, applications or contest unlike the Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia Facebook that features campaigns, promotions, games and contests.
The Penang Tourism Facebook Fan Page has only managed to recruit 114,739 fans in the span of 2 years. This is a very disappointing achievement. It cannot and should not be compared to the Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia Fan Page which is set on course to acquire 120,000 fans in the span of 7 months through its applications.
Tourism is the fifth economic industry bringing to the country RM56billion last year, or RM1 billion per week, and Malaysia is ranked 9th position of the most travelled to destination in the world by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNTWO).
Thus, all our marketing and promotional efforts must be professionally done and this include our digital campaigns as they are not merely about information but about persuasion, marketing and branding unlike the Ministry of Tourism Malaysia’s Facebook Fan Page which is meant to inform thus it is free.
Today, tourists’ behavior had changed to consuming information from social media and online channels. Therefore, any organizations, including neighboring National Tourism Organizations (NTO’s) have been quick to realize the potential of social media such as Facebook in their marketing strategies.
To cite a few, the Philippines Tourism Department has set aside 100 million pesos or RM7million in their 2011 budget, for their Facebook venture (source: newmedia.com.ph).
The Australia Tourism Board has allocated AUD150million over the next three years for their social media initiative (source: socialmedianews.com.au).
Nationmultimedia.com also reported that the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is boosting its online promotional activities in its efforts to maintain Thailand’s position as a leading tourist destination. The agency is to increase its budget for promotions via online channels to 40% (from 30% in 2010) of its total marketing budget. (source: nationmultimedia.com).
The beauty of digital platform is that information distributed is the most-up-to-date and very dynamic. It allows us to be more flexible and to promote the nearest events. Now, it is possible for even local tourism operators to feed tourism information in the social media world.
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