QUESTION: If your mother sold heroin and she taught Sunday School, how much money should you spend advertising the fact that she teaches Sunday School?
While the above question was not asked at the WPDE Mayoral Debate last night, questions that centered around Myrtle Beach area crime and advertising dollars spent by the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber were central.
Below is from the Facebook page of WPDE. What locals polled believe when asked: Do you think Myrtle Beach has a good reputation right now?
Comments on the WPDE Website
The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber spends over $30 million annually in combined taxes it receives in advertising. The Tourist Tax (TDF) has become a central issue in this year’s November elections.
Several challenger candidates have stated they believe as much as $11 million of those dollars should be re-allocated into the city of Myrtle Beach first to clean up the Myrtle Beach brand reputation.
Incumbents (including Mayor Rhodes, Councilman Wallace and Councilman Lowder) have stated that only Atax dollars, and no TDF (tourist tax dollars) should be re-allocated to the city.
THE AGE OF BRAND
As MyrtleBeachSC.com has continually informed our readers, American marketing moved beyond traditional, push message media, and into brand engagement beginning around the year 2004.
Meanwhile, Myrtle Beach elected officials and the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber continue to operate as though we live in a one-sided, push message media world.
The brand spiral scale above indicates that no amount of TDF advertising, tourist tax advertising dollars, move the metrics on new customers if the brand image is considered as bad as those in the comments section above suggest.
The MBACC is fighting vigorously in this election to keep the tax dollars it currently receives with mailers and brochures as below:
However, in a world of engagement, even those push media messages are being questioned and ridiculed on Social Media.
A current meme on social media for those who support the continuation of the Tourist Tax can be seen below.
Ad Age, a reputable marketing concern, states clearly that in today’s market, fix the brand first, then advertise.