Digital solutions, online marketing for tourism MSMEs


Posted at Jul 07 2021 12:51 PM | Updated as of Jul 07 2021 01:07 PM

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Coron, Philippines. Photo source: Pexels

In 2019, the total contribution of tourism to the Philippine economy rose to 12.7% of the gross domestic product (GDP). That is a noticeable increase from 11.7% and 12.3% in 2017 and 2018 respectively. 

With beautiful natural scenery and the warm hospitality of its people, it is no wonder why tourism is big in the Philippines, however, the 2020 health crisis put a stop to all of that. 

Despite the disheartening reality, one of the silver linings is the accelerated shift to digital, and this has provided more opportunities for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in the tourism sector to recover and restart. 

On June 15, Globe Business and ABS-CBN DASH conducted an online seminar called Tourism's Road to Recovery: Your Ticket to Digital Advertising Success. This event brought together business owners from all over the Philippines to equip them with new tools and digital solutions to help their tourism business survive and thrive in this situation. 

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Globe Business and ABS-CBN DASH teamed up to help tourism MSMEs discover digital solutions that can help their businesses recover. Photo source: Screenshot from the event

The interactive digital seminar talked about how the new normal has brought new challenges and paved the way for new solutions. One of the ways that can help is effective digital marketing including online advertising.

Here are some highlights of the seminar. 

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Moderated by RJ Ledesma, the event's resource speakers include AdSpark, Inc. Marketing Communications Manager Bianca Cammayo; ABS-CBN Head of Digital Marketing for Client Solutions Yvette Tan; ABS-CBN Marketing and Growth Lead for Digital Products Harry Leonardo; and Globe Business Industry Marketing Head for Tourism Frances Caluya. Photo source: Screenshot from the event

Knowing the New Consumer

Consumers are ever-evolving and it has become crucial for businesses to be able to catch up to them and be able to cater to their new needs. As Bianca Cammayo of AdSpark, Inc. has said, the way to traverse digital is to understand the consumer and create a holistic experience for them.

She shared that a combination of the right content (message) and the right context (right channel) is their recipe to success, and you can only do that if you know your consumer. Hearing their wants and needs, and reaching them on the right platforms at the right time is also crucial in digital marketing.

''It is really like a matter of understanding what is my consumer craving for 3 am? Or what kind of bucket lists teenagers are actually planning? What concept of vacation are we looking at now? And once we know that, we will be able to deliver,'' Cammayo said. 

Relevant Pivots for Food and Hospitality Marketing and Management

For a business to be able to select the right digital media solutions, the first thing they need to do is look at the bigger picture – what are the challenges and opportunities available for your business. 

According to Yvette Tan, ABS-CBN's Head of Digital Marketing for Client Solutions, there are four areas that tourism MSMEs can look into.

The first is social media. Businesses can use this to give personalized experiences to guests and maintain customer engagement even when the establishment is still closed. The next is content, a good example of this is how branded videos have become an effective marketing method. 

The third is technology. An emerging trend in hotel marketing is the use of alternate reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to create virtual tours to help showcase the various amenities that they have and the safety protocols in place. Last is research and development. Big data can help aid business owners to identify market and customer trends so they can tailor their offerings and take advantage of marketing opportunities.

''Silence could be deadly. When the pandemic hit, some brands chose to go silent. And while reducing ad spend was a necessity for some, it could also be quite risky, considering that it could take three to five years for your business to recover brand equity and revenue,'' shared Tan. 

User-friendly digital advertising solution

With too much noise on social media, it can be easy for businesses to get drowned out. For those who need a push in the right direction when it comes to online marketing, a user-friendly digital advertising solution is ABS-CBN DASH.

ABS-CBN Digital Advertising Self-serve Hub or DASH is a do-it-yourself advertising tool that businesses can use to
create and promote their online ads across the entire ABS-CBN network, reaching millions of Filipinos worldwide. This advertising platform is easy to use, cost-efficient, and is highly relevant for MSMEs who want their business to be seen. For as low as P500, anyone can start advertising on ABS-CBN websites and apps with this tool. 

''We want to be a key partner of local MSMEs and their agencies in promoting their businesses, utilizing ABS-CBN's high-reach and engaging online platforms amidst the COVID-19 crisis and beyond this pandemic,'' said Harry Leonardo, Marketing and Growth Lead for Digital Products of ABS-CBN.

With years of experience in providing relevant content for its Kapamilya audience, through DASH, ABS-CBN provides its advertisers with innovative ways of reaching potential customers, helping food and travel MSMEs effectively market their services and offerings.

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Interested advertisers only need to create an account on and start booking ad campaigns. Photo source: DASH

Digital solutions to enhance the traveler journey

Another relevant topic brought up in the webinar is how MSMEs can be present in every step of the traveler's journey. Frances Caluya, Globe Business Industry Marketing Head for Tourism, presented several digital solutions to help them do so. 

As the traveler’s journey starts even before the guests leave their homes and lasts until the trip ends and they leave, Caluya shared that technology can be used to their advantage in the whole process. 

One example is utilizing SMS (short message service) for personalized engagement. It may seem old school but it remains an effective way to reach out to guests. Hotels and resorts can send reminders a few days before the trip and share safety protocols. Caluya recommended web-based SMS platform Amber that can easily automate and personalize text messages for customers while using a customized sender ID.

In terms of getting customers to return, she suggested a customizable online loyalty program like Rush that business owners can use to reward their customers through points and additional perks for transacting with their business again.

''Digital solutions can really benefit businesses at every stage of the traveler journey, from digital advertising at the very start to continuously engaging your customers when they arrive, and ensuring their safety as they enjoy their stay. Eventually, when they end their trip and leave, hopefully, you have a way to get them to return,'' she added. 

As each part of the customer journey now requires a digital transformation, these digital solutions can help MSMEs make a better experience for travelers in their tourism establishment.

Partners for growth and success in the tourism sector

This webinar is part of a big initiative by Globe Business and ABS-CBN DASH. Seeing the effects of the health crisis on countless MSMEs, the two entities signed a partnership for a year-long collaboration to educate, handhold, and lead tourism MSMEs to digital advertising success. With the technological know-how that Globe Business provides and ABS-CBN's platforms with extensive reach, the collaboration aims to equip tourism businesses with the right digital advertising capability to reach their target customers.
''More than being a connectivity and solutions provider, we consider ourselves as one of your partners. We aim to support your business and join you throughout your journey as we explore ways to restart, recover, and be on the road to digital advertising success,'' said Globe Business MSME Group, Strategy and Marketing Head Maridol Ylanan.

Through this partnership, businesses are empowered to expand their digital advertising efforts to other platforms such as ABS-CBN's high-traffic websites and other online properties. It also hopes to make digital advertising more accessible to MSMEs.

''ABS-CBN lives by its ethos of being in the service of the Filipino and this cuts across the service that we are providing our MSMEs in partnership with Globe Business,'' ABS-CBN's Head of Digital Revenue Mattel Soliven-Celestino stated. ''With Globe providing the tools and connectivity for our MSME partners, ABS-CBN through DASH aims to extend its high-reach platforms online by enabling our MSMEs to create their own Always-on digital marketing campaigns to heighten their business' awareness levels.''

''We all want your businesses to grow with the help of the right digital tools. With Globe Business, MSMEs like you are empowered with tools and digital solutions that are made for business, which will help bring your enterprise forward, all future-proofed by the best-in-class network,'' Globe Business MSME Group, Market Development Head Donna Paez added. 

In the coming months, Globe Business subscribers and tourism business owners can expect more from its partnership with ABS-CBN, including learning content about digital advertising on Globe Business Academy and discount vouchers for digital ads on ABS-CBN DASH.

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Carmen, Bohol, Philippines. Photo source: Pexels

For businesses in the food, travel, and leisure sector, one key to recovery is embracing digital solutions that will shine a better spotlight on your business, and utilizing them to make the traveler journey convenient and memorable. With help from this partnership between Globe Business and ABS-CBN DASH, any MSME can possibly do this with ease. 

To begin advertising with ABS-CBN DASH, check out its website. For more digital solutions, you can visit Globe Business' website or sign up here. #TourismsRoadtoRecovery #GlobemyBusiness