Analysis of celebrity endorsement as an effective destination marketing tool
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION
1.1 RATIONALE FOR STUDY
While promoting destinations, the primary and secondary characteristics are usually emphasised and it includes various qualities of the destinations including scenery, climate, hospitality of the local people and traditions. There are secondary factors as well, which add or reduce the value of a particular destination and they are basically the events, transportation, public facilities etc. The communication-saturation in the society is sufficient to adequately promote the above qualities, and the buyers and sellers get aware of these in advance. Morgan et al. (2002a) comments on the above situation, and he argues that there has been a great transition in the past few years and as a result, most of the destinations have luxury hotels, resorts and attractions and all of them claim to have a unique heritage and customer-focused tourist services, thus leading to a common set of offerings around the globe. Buhalis (2000) presents another view, pertaining to the discussion and suggests that due to an extensive increase in the number of customers, the expectations are also increasing proportionally and therefore there is a sudden need to reengineer the marketing efforts.
Hence, destination promoters are compelled to create well differentiated marketing campaigns to meet the tough competition and gain consumer’s attention. This study will concentrate on the use of celebrity endorsements to market the destinations; the inter-linkage between the two will provide a clear understanding of the pros and cons of the aforementioned concept. As per Morgan and Pritchard (2001) the involvement of celebrities is helpful in attracting the attention of consumers and considering destination marketing as difficult, this feature acts as a major differentiator. The Wales Tourist Board was the first one to use this concept back in the year 1994, where they created a campaign endorsing Welsh celebrities, (actor) Anthony Hopkins and (singer) Tom Jones. The campaign proved to be extremely successful and was replicated across the globe however the concept still needs a strategic research to indicate calculative results on obtaining promising results.
1.2 AIM AND OBJECTIVES
This study aims to evaluate the use of celebrity endorsements as a tool to market destinations. The aim as discussed can be achieved through the objectives as given below:-
(i) To acquire knowledge about the concept of using celebrity endorsement for marketing purposes.
(ii) To perform a detailed review of the current techniques related to destination marketing and to identify the related characteristics and issues.
(iii) To evaluate the effectiveness of celebrity endorsements in destination marketing and its usage as a marketing tool.
1.3 RESEARCH PLAN
This study will primarily be based on a dual information collection strategy, and the initial effort will be to review extensive literature related to the objective defined in the previous section. The next step will include analysis of case studies related to celebrity endorsements and other areas related to the discussed theoretical framework. Cases are bounded by time and activity, and researchers collect detailed information using a variety of data collection procedures over a sustained period of time. (Creswell 2009, p. 13). Case study method will be conducted in my research as the objective of my study to explore the benefits of celebrity endorsements in destination marketing practice.
1.4 STRUCTURE OF DISSERTATION
The structure of dissertation, involves a concrete study on celebrity endorsements and their overall impact on marketing; this study will further be utilized to obtain the potential that is there in ensuring value driven activities related to destination marketing. The initial chapters will provide a thorough study of the celebrity endorsement concepts and will be followed by case study analysis to gather data in order to successfully process the overall analysis and discussions.
CHAPTER II DESTINATION MARKETING
The actual definition of marketing is usually interrelated to the capacity to communicate with the customers about a particular product and to inform the positives of the product and acquire desired customer awareness. Vellas and Bécherel (2007) provide a clear explanation of the importance that effective marketing has on tourism and he provides us with a lot of data related to the subject. Middleton and Clarke (2001) put emphasis on the importance of the role of communication on destination marketing. Sautter and Leisen (2009) have mentioned in their study, that destination marketing is one of the most challenging marketing activities considering the fact that the local stakeholders play a very important in developing environmental, geographical and socio-cultural characteristics.
Batchelor (1999) comments about the product complexes which include various product lines related to destinations. The research will provide a detailed outlook on the presence of destination which have been marketing their presence effectively and the development of their campaigns on an international level. It is important to understand that destination also has processes and sub-processes, and although there can be a multipurpose marketing campaign to deal with the overall geographic destination, there can be segregated marketing campaigns to promote specific destinations located in those geographic areas.
2.3 DESTINATION IMAGE
Middleton and Clarke (2001) argue about the fact that the image of a destination and its global perception is the key to encourage the tourism activities. It is important to understand that while studying the interrelation between celebrity endorsement and destination performance, the change in this destination image among the potential consumers is the key factor. The study during this research will look into the various aspects related to the destination image as altered due to the celebrity endorsements that take place.
The study will primarily focus on the value development of the international tourism and therefore the market will comprise of the global procurement opportunity for tourists. Robinson (2003) talks about the sizeable populations related to the market who is potentially seeking an opportunity to visit a destination. Middleton and Clarke (2001) also mention that although the destinations usually consider international markets as their key target however there is huge number of domestic potential consumers who must also be equally concentrated on.
The effectiveness of the celebrity endorsement must be measured in order to identify the value of the endorsements in order to cover the identified markets. The co-ordination between the actual endorsements and the data supplied by the destination performance can be evaluated in order to understand the level of effectiveness which is a crucial part of this research.
The overall outcome of this section will be to provide clarity about the types and forms of destinations which are in existence. There will be a specific sub-section to discuss about the importance of the markets and their presence in accordance with the destination marketing purpose. The destination image will be the discussion about the importance of the perception of the destination and its actual link with the celebrity endorsement programs. The evaluation of effectiveness of celebrity endorsement will define the actual way of identification of the effectiveness and its calculation.
CHAPTER III CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT
3.1 ENDORSEMENTS AS A PROMOTIONAL STRATEGY
Although positive results of celebrity endorsements have been obtained among various product lines however homogeneous application of the concept may not be correct and therefore its application for hedonic consumption on the basis of particular destinations for tourism still remains an under-researched strategy.
3.2 CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT
The use of celebrity endorsements is very common now-a-days and commercial companies are using it as a pervasive factor in order to improve their advertising efforts and managerial communication. It becomes important to study the strategic and tactical information related to celebrity endorsements due to the fact that from a product marketing perspective it must be scrutinized adequately to conclude the benefits and at the same time also evaluate the risks that are involved.
3.3 CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT FOR CUSTOMERS
While marketing for any business to consumer model is important in order to create the right approach towards the availability of a particular service, and this is one factor which immediately builds the expectations from the services which are provided and therefore must be effectively initiated and controlled. There is lack of literature that can suggest the interconnection between marketing and customer satisfaction so that during the initial phase of marketing a controlled approach can be applied keeping in mind the impact of the same on the customer satisfaction level during the service delivery phase. Research in the B2C level is more complex than in the business-to-business level. This is because in the B2C level, an approach that is multi-faceted is required to meet the objectives of the study; it is rare to find answers in this level using only one method or approach. It is however important to analyze customer satisfaction so as to improve success in the businesses. Sustainability of a destination is another factor which is quite important in any business to business environment as in this case the customer loyalty has a lot of impact on the revenue due to the number of customers being less in comparison to business to consumer model.
3.4 FRAMEWORK OF CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT
The framework which will further be analyzed as a part of this research is mentioned below and will be used in order to study the various aspects of celebrity endorsements that take place for the purpose of destination marketing.
Planning and Pre-testing
Insuring the contract and putting required clauses
Image change and
Restricting endorsements for other brands in the same domain
Image change and loss of
Assessing the life-cycle of the celebrity and the perception among consumers
Selection of celebrities who are known by global audiences.
3.5 SELECTING THE ‘RIGHT’ CELEBRITY
It is very important to select the right celebrity of specific type of promotion campaigns in order to be successful and hence there is a five step methodology which will be discussed as a part of the research in order to equip the destination promoters with adequate techniques to select the right celebrities for promotional purposes. Conducting Q-ratings, celebrity credibility determination, celebrity match-up, attractiveness quotient and meaning transfer model will be the steps which will provide a defined theoretical framework to the overall selection process.
This chapter will be based on the core competency of identification of the role of celebrities in the actual campaigns and taking the right steps in order to sort and select the right celebrity for the destination marketing campaign. The initial review of celebrity endorsements as a promotional strategy will comment on the success rate of the same and will further talk about the actual framework, based on which the overall celebrity selection and endorsement contract takes place.
CHAPTER IV METHODOLOGY
4.1 RESEARCH PLAN
Analysis will be pegged to an exhaustive literature review to provide the necessary background and points of analysis of the research. The research will use a qualitative approach as it is has a humanistic aspect. This approach will be used to make relations between different sets of data obtained. The approach will also be used to make general statements and inferences on the research topic. This research would utilize a two-way methodology in order to conclude and find answers to the research questions as specified in this proposal. The primary research is an extensive literature review which would be followed by case studies and will further help to back the analysis and its results which are obtained from the study conducted over the data collected as a part of both the exercises.
The aim of this research paper is to get an overall map of various celebrity endorsement standards with respect to destination marketing that can be used in tourism industry for a better support of campaigns and boosting the business outcomes competitively.
4.3 PRIMARY DATA
Much of the information on which this work builds will come from ordered or downloaded cited books from the internet, published professional journals, quarterly and monthly reports from specialized institutions and organizations, and generally, the wide spread of informative web pages on the internet. All these resources were used to highlight the study context, profile and background the destination marketing and to review some identified works and cases relevant to this subject. These inputs, when applying a 360° view helped frame, select and support the methods, techniques and tools used in this work.
4.3.2 Data collection
The main data inputs have been used for this research are:
a) two case studies based on celebrity endorsements for destination marketing , and
b) Use of existing resources and literature with a view to looking further at what makes up each of our sources of aforementioned information.
4.4 Limitations to primary data
Findings from this research can be used to improve celebrity endorsements in order to achieve extensive marketing output as it focuses on how they satisfy their customers. Findings can also be used by businesses in this level that wish to modify how they get information on customer satisfaction. This is important as incorrect data collection procedures in analyzing effectiveness of celebrity endorsements may give inaccurate findings and hence a destination promoter may make uncalled for decisions and strategies.
The aforementioned research methodology, research design, analysis strategy, and validity and reliability strategies describe the tools that are used to collect the primary data and analyze it. Qualitative data yields rich, in-depth information while case studies allow for seed and research questions to be asked and for the discussion to openly flow so that additional, important information can be revealed.
CHAPTER VI FINDINGS AND CONCLUSION
The chapters mentioned above presented a description of the quantitative research method and descriptive research design that will be implemented to achieve the objectives of this study. The sample and the population are described in this study however will be selected and displayed as a part of the actual research. The data collection and the data analysis process will be revealed as well. The validity and reliability procedures in this study are also distinguished accordingly. Upon the approval of the proposed study, Chapter VI will provide in detail the study results and information obtained through the data analysis of literature and case studies and the discussion of findings obtained from this research will be published along with the established conclusion.
July: Researching and Reading stage
The researcher will read previous researches and books.
Books and journals will be collected from the library while online sources will be collected after internet queries on the research’s key words.
After the sources are collected the researcher will pick the ones that are relevant to the research.
August: Research sorting and marking stage
This period will involve reading the sources to get the information they contain. A second reading will be done where the researcher will skim through the print sources putting marks on pages that contain useful information.
September and October: Research writing and Formatting
This stage will involve first writing a draft which will be rewritten several times. The thesis statement will also be rewritten several times as the thesis shapes up. The researcher will also consult the supervisors on what needs to be changed in the drafts before the final thesis is written.
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