One of the most important marketing tools managed by the TURESPAÑA Marketing Sub-Directorate is undoubtedly ADVERTISING, understood in a broad sense as all activities carried out using paid media, as opposed to those carried out through the organisation's own media and the media earned as a result of PR efforts.
TURESPAÑA's ADVERTISING strategy is built on the following pillars:
- Firstly, advertising is used in coordination with and complementary to inbound marketing strategies, depending on communication objectives, markets and audiences.
- Secondly, digital channels are pre-eminently used over traditional media (print advertising, outdoor advertising or OOH, radio and TV).
- Thirdly, it is based on the full funnel principle, in the sense that it seeks to impact the user at all stages of the sales funnel, with one advertising model or another depending on the stage the user has reached.
- Finally, TURESPAÑA's advertising strategy highlights its vocation to gather destinations under the umbrella of the Spain tourism brand, promoting cooperative co-marketing campaigns.
Let's take delve into these aspects. In terms of the digital ecosystem where we focus our advertising efforts, social media advertising and VOL stand out above the rest. Programmatic display advertising is losing ground to direct agreements with particular publishers, as we understand that brand building is best done through pieces of content that are consumed in different ways (videos, editorials and image galleries). We continue to buy programmatic audiences in non-display formats, mainly editorials that are integrated into the content in a more organic and less invasive way (native advertising).
With regard to campaign types, depending on which stage of the sales funnel the user is in, we have defined three types of campaigns:
1. To impact users at the top of the funnel – from the perspective of the customer journey in the inspiration stage – we use “branded content campaigns”, which we arrange with various types of internationally renowned publishers (major newspapers, lifestyle magazines, travel magazines, etc.). These campaigns allow us to build up the brand in a visible way and highlight the lesser-known values and attributes that we want to position, such as sustainability or culture and heritage.
2. To impact users who are in the consideration stage, we design campaigns that we call “advertising recall” campaigns, which impact users who already know about us and are in the planning stage, but have not yet booked their trip. These campaigns are conducted on digital channels, especially on social media, and are also planned through buying audiences (programmatic advertising).
3. Finally, to impact users who are already in the final stage of the funnel and to “encourage conversion”, we run campaigns with operators who have specific inventory and offers, mainly OTAs and airlines, and to a lesser extent, tour operators. We call these campaigns “sales support” campaigns.
Finally, after a few years during which investment in advertising has been scaled back, we have resumed collaborative campaigns with destinations, covering all three types mentioned above – branded content, advertising recall and sales support – although the latter is where the involvement of destinations has intensified the most.
We believe that, in international markets – especially in long-haul and emerging markets – joint advertising under the umbrella of the Spain tourism brand is more powerful and adds value. It allows for unifying messages, reducing advertising noise and generating greater visibility.
With regard to cooperative BRANDED CONTENT campaigns, we work with prestigious publishers such as National Geographic, Condé Nast Group (Vogue, Condé Nast Traveller, AD, Vanity Fair), Hearst Group (Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper's Bazaar) who create content specifically for us (mainly digital, but also print) which is then amplified in their own channels and in those of TURESPAÑA and the collaborating destinations. Production is financed by Turespaña and the media plan is financed proportionally by Turespaña and the collaborating destinations, obtaining significant discounts (up to 45%) from the platforms.
Finally, in the sales-oriented cooperative campaigns, which we call CO-OPs, we work with OTAs, metasearch engines and other intermediaries with a large international presence (such as EXPEDIA, TRIPADVISOR and CTRIP) with a model that allows us to triple the destinations' investment, improve reporting and measurement of results (through a tracking pixel) and guarantees us access to a qualified target that is already in the purchasing stage.
In addition to these “generic” campaigns, we carry out specific campaigns to intensify our advertising efforts to position certain destinations (for example, to mitigate the drop in Russian tourism in Catalonia or the drop in international tourism in La Palma due to the volcanic eruption) or certain tourism products and experiences (most recently, the campaign launched in 2023 to promote the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Picasso's death).