A good example is King’s Bastion Leisure Centre: a huge government investment has gone into making this place a fantastic asset for Gibraltar with facilities such as cinemas, bowling, ice skating, restaurants and bars. Yet there isn’t a single sign or road post informing the millions of visitors who pass along Main Street every year that such facilities are available a mere 1-minute walk away! Such signs could have enticed visitors to enter the Leisure Centre, spend some money there and enrich their overall experience of Gibraltar especially for those visiting with kids.
And what about the lovely Commonwealth Park we have? How can visitors see this impressive green lung if there are hardly any signs informing about its existence? Even to Ocean Village there are very few signposts and unless one stands right at its entrance, knowledge of its existence to passers-by may be limited only to locals. And there are plenty more examples: the Alameda Zoo, Queensway Marina, Civil Registration office (for weddings etc.), the Gibraltar Museum and many more.
Signs can help plant the seed for future sales.
Especially these days with COVID-19, when tourism is down, every pound spent in Gibraltar helps local businesses and the economy as a whole. Indeed, signs serve as a type of silent salesperson for businesses. Exterior signs draw attention to the place of a business and help differentiate it from others on the street. Research has shown that customers are more likely to purchase from a business they have already heard of, so signs can help plant the seed for future sales.
The lack of signposting goes well beyond the realms of tourism into places which we may need to encounter in our everyday life. Indeed, it was only after several years of living in Gibraltar that we discovered that there is a public library in the John Mackintosh Hall! No street signs reveal this secret. And how many of you know where the Citizen Advice Bureau or Ombudsman Office are located? Things get even worse when it comes to sporting facilities: you may have passed thousands of times next to the Petanque Ground, Sandpits tennis courts, the Gibraltar Clay Target Shooting centre, the rifle shooting range or the scuba-diving club without even realising they actually exist. No wonder, as there are no signs announcing their presence! Just think about the extra business these facilities could have got (from locals and visitors alike) if they were properly signposted. It shouldn’t be taken for granted that residents know where these places are.
Proper signposting is one of the basic ingredients for attracting visitors’ traffic into shops and businesses. More than often, it is only when people come across signs that inform them about different places or activities that they would actually go to those places.
Things get even worse when it comes to sporting facilities.
While physical signposting is important to showcase presence, there is equal if not greater importance these days to digital online presence, especially given the COVID-19 crisis. Using marketing budget wisely to spend on online and offline marketing is even more important now than just a few months ago. Businesses need to increasingly analyse that everything spent is going to bring Return on Investment – preferably short-term.
This does not however mean to avoid planning for the long-term but rather adapting to the post coronavirus situation. This is a unique time for advertisers as on one side marketing budgets may be shrinking and on the other side more and more people are willing to consume online services and products. In fact, the opportunity to maximise marketing investment is greater than ever before. Prices for social media advertising and premium ad inventory have fallen to record lows. Across all digital channels, prices are falling – even though there is an increase in online activity. Facebook’s CPM rates for example, fell between 15% to 20% in recent months as advertisers are stopping planned campaigns.
Adapting your business online and offline marketing strategy to the corona crisis is a must. Doing so with rigorous testing of content and target audiences will lead to a cost-efficient campaign with higher impact. Finding ways for efficient marketing is one of the best ways to adapt to the current situation when ad rates are, in most cases, lower than ever. Indeed, over the past couple of months we, at Benefit Business Solutions, have been assisting our clients in devising a more cost-effective marketing and advertising strategy, assessing the feasibility of each marketing channel and defining the best product mix, whilst taking benefit of the recent downward trend in online advertising rates.