T. O'loughlin1 & K. lemon2
1 Marble Arch Caves European Geopark, Marlbank, Florencecout, Co., Fermanagh, BT92 1EW, Northern lreland, UK
2 Geological Survey of Northern lreland, Stranmillis Court, Malone Lower, Belfast, BT9 5BF, Northern lreland, UK
Keywords: Marketing, communication, promotion, target audiences
It isn't just enough to have a fantastic Geopark with rugged scenery and breathtaking landscapes, we have to be able to promote and publicise these incredible areas and share them. This is where marketing comes in; having a dynamic and innovative marketing strategy will not only benefit the Geopark itself but will also help to discover that there are many other Geoparks around the world.
No Geopark is perfect, each one can always be further developed and improved, for example with the provision of interpretation panels and publications, organization of special events and exhibitions and general advertising. By asking visitors what improvements could be made, what else could be offered or what's missing, each Geopark can evaluate their product and assess what changes can be made.
Geoparks are an excellent product to begin with, they appeal to a broad spectrum of people ranging from nursery schools to hillwalkers, from daytrippers to professional photographers. Perhaps then, the most important thing to recognize is that every single audience is different and they should be treated that way.
Communications and promotions are the key elements to marketing geological heritage. Each audience is very different and they need to be communicated to in their own language. By listening our audiences and learning to communicate with them at a level that they can relate to this is ultimately the key to successfully marketing a Geopark. Each Geopark is very different in terms of what they have to offer, but by observing these simple guidelines then we can all learn to market our unique products on the scale that they deserve.