Are printed brochures obsolete?

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This is an excerpt from Rodger Brooks weekly email:

In 2012 the Center for Marketing Technology at Bentley, University in Waltham, Massachusetts conducted a research study to answer the question about the need for printed materials. What they found:

How people gathered info in Planning a trip:

57% - The Internet
    48% - Word of mouth – recommendations from friends & relatives
    32% - Printed brochures
    25% - Maps or guides
    15% - Mobile apps
    8%   - Billboards, signage & advertising

But during the trip additional decisions were made as follows:

    81% from locally distributed brochures
    70% - Internet
    66% - Friends, relatives
    63% - Maps or guides
    34% - Mobile apps
    31% - Billboards, signage and advertising

If you would like to receive these very interesting and thought provoking FREE emails visit his site

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10/07/2008

Touristy areas need eye candy rack cards! YES! Horseback riding, boat trips, fishing charters, etc, the rack cards sell those, yes yes yes! B&B's where there is foot traffic...

But for a B&B in the middle of a small town...things are different. We can put them out at CVB's etc, but don't use very many of them.

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Joey Camb's picture
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whats new for 2014 is our tourist information has brought in Giant Ipad type things for looking up info on what to do and where to stay and you can even live book as well (with support if you are not very techy) they will see this www.visitharrogate.co.uk

Plus if say you look for accommodation on the 29th of june it will do a sort of mini pop up at the bottom which say "these things are on then" or you can look at what is on and it will do a pop up of "need somewhere to stay" cracking when they finally have it all working!

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seashanty's picture
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  i wouldn't invest in brochures but i do like rack cards.   not everyone has a smart phone, not every place has wifi or internet access ... though it might seem that way.  there are spots with no reception at all.  we got a lot of guests that way. folks following a road to the lighthouse ... found they had no internet and no cell phone access.  seemed like a nice area, it was getting late, they didn't want to drive 45 minutes back out to the 'big road'.  saw our rack cards in the visitor center or at the museum or at a coffee shop or the ferry or the general store and came over. 

 

Silverspoon's picture
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We put rack cards out front, on a granite post with a decorative pot of flowers to catch the eye of the tourist who is here touring the historic whaling captain's house across the street or walking the trails in the park. This keeps most tire-kickers away from the door to ask for a brochure.   I am always amazed at how many of our guests tell us that they found us while touring the area and kept the rack card.  We must go through 12-20 rack cards a week in the summer, just from the local foot traffic.  The rest of our rack cards are places at the Chamber of Commerce visitor's booth.  

We have never invested in a brochure so I can't compare their effectiveness.  

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Madeleine's picture
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I am telling DH, again, that this is a good idea that works!

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Madeleine wrote:

I am telling DH, again, that this is a good idea that works!

I see places I think would be neat to know about and write them down to "look up" later on, even with a website address. On a few diff trips I have stayed in one place and "looked into" another for NEXT TIME!

One place in particular, which Dumitru mentioned, Boone NC or Blowing Rock NC. Online you cannot tell what is really a mountain view with hot tub outside, or whatever. In person you see they are UNITS all sharing one drive, and not private or woodsy. Online NONE of this is evident. So I LOVE to get the rack cards and keep them for next time. I do, too.

Of course now we can use a cell phone camera to visually take an image for later, but it is still the same to me as writing it down, I won't ever see that photo again most likely...

seashanty's picture
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  i wouldn't invest in brochures but i do like rack cards.   not everyone has a smart phone, not every place has wifi or internet access ... though it might seem that way.  there are spots with no reception at all.  we got a lot of guests that way. folks following a road to the lighthouse ... found they had no internet and no cell phone access.  seemed like a nice area, it was getting late, they didn't want to drive 45 minutes back out to the 'big road'.  saw our rack cards in the visitor center or at the museum or at a coffee shop or the ferry or the general store and came over. 

 

TheBeachHouse's picture
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06/24/2013

Not where I come from.  People love them.  We have a rest stop on the only highway that touches us, an island chamber of comerce, a town coc, a town visitors' center, a town info center and lots of restaurants that have racks.  We continue to publish.  They aren't that expensive and people take them to hand to friends.

 

I think they are worth it.

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05/30/2008

Rack cards do net us new business but mostly in the busy summer months when lots of tourists show up in town without having booked accommodations in advance. They go to the info centres and browse the racks or have the rack cards handed to them by the centre staff.

Guests sometimes take rack cards at check out to pass along to friends. Some have told us they'll put it up on the bulletin board at work, that kind of thing. For us it's worth it, especially considering cheap printing costs.

Joey Camb's picture
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04/02/2010

I have business cards and we do use a lot both to guests staying ie when they leave if they didn't book directly then they get a card with details for the next time, or due to location we get people at the door etc We do rack cards but I don't do a full brochure - just isn't worth it.

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

I do not print brochures now - mainly because the print shop cannot get the paper I want now.  I do have rack cards and will continue to have them for Welcome Centers, etc. Just another way to get the word out. Many people are like DH - do not use computers, iPhones, etc. His Lordship has a flip phone that he considers too complicated - it has text & data capabilities although he has no clue how to use them.

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

We still get requests for 'brochures'. I mention the website and get back, 'I'm planning with a friend, we want things we can look at together.' Meaning they don't have smartphones or they don't have computers they want to share.

I send rack cards. I know it's not what they want. But it's all I have.

We just went to a place where we have a biz membership that includes our rack cards being in the lobby, a plaque saying we support them and a mention in their printed materials. I'm not sure if they have us on their website. They have my brochures from 5 years ago in the rack in the lobby. AND my new rack cards. They do not need more! It looks like no one has taken a single one.

But, we like them so getting guests from them is not the point.

Because I have another 1000 or so of them, they'll be around for awhile here. What I need now are biz cards. Totally out of those! After 10 years...

 

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05/22/2008

Yes, brochures are obsolete, but rack cards still have some value...at least I think so. Smiling

Breakfast Diva's picture
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05/26/2009

I think rack cards still have value.

When I travel, we do pick up rack cards, printed local brochures, etc., but unfortunately, most of them just get tossed or left behind in our room.

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03/11/2009

I opened in 2002, never has rack cards but my brochure is on my site and can be printed out.  It works for me  and my 3 room B&B.

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Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

Je ne comprends pas.

What trip? What's it talking about?!

OK, I re-read it. Makes perfect sense now!

Certainly people plan trips mostly using the Internet, but printed matter that catches their eye in a visitor welcome center can cause them to change or add to their travel plans. Printed matter has value. People do pick them up to read later, and sometimes they respond and spend money as a result.

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