Why Small and Medium Sized Travel Businesses need Marketing
You have a new website … now what?
Launching a bookable website, with a carefully crafted design can feel like you’re 95% of the way to competing online, but in fact, all you have done is ‘stock’ your shop…. You now have to find the customers.
To understand reality, it’s good to use an analogy of a Town Centre and 2 travel agents, both with identical shops and selling identical travel products. Both agents have spent the same amount on the fit-out of their shops and staff costs are the same. The only difference is location. One agent is in the town centre and one is in a back street.
The High Street gets the most footfall and is the most expensive place to rent premises. The agent that rents on the high street gets more passersby and potential eyes on their business ( although they still have to work hard to persuade that customer to come into the shop), but they pay more to get those customers (rent). They have to ensure that the cost of acquisition fits with the margin they can make on selling holidays.
The agent in the back street gets far fewer passers by and so even if their window display and products they sell are identical to the High Street Agent, they can never sell more holidays to passersby than the High Street Agent ( without marketing!)
In an online-only world, everyone is in the back street until they make people aware of their website, WHY they exist, HOW they differ from competitors, and WHY people should buy from them. It’s this marketing that gets your website to the online equivalent of the High Street.
Time > Money: “ We can no more afford to spend major time on minor things than we can to spend minor time on major things. Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time. Time is the best-kept secret of the rich.
What’s the biggest reason Travel Agents don’t do marketing? Answer = Time
TMS automates your travel marketing. The TMS platform uniquely enables small and medium-sized travel agents to compete efficiently with the bigger players online, without breaking the bank. Typically it can save a full-time marketing person’s salary and more by enabling the creation of a marketing asset library of:
- Scheduled Social posts
- Email templates
- Digital Screens for Promotions
- Website Landing Pages
The Travel Marketing System
to your success
Regardless of the size of your business, marketing is key to your success. In fact it is the master skill of business.
Allan Dib puts it in a nutshell when he describes marketing as:
‘The strategy you use to get your ideal target audience to know you, like you and trust you enough to become a customer.’
Winning new customers is the lifeblood of your business. There are all sorts of marketing tactics you can deploy in an attempt to do this – SEO, email marketing, Facebook ads etc etc. But unless these actions form part of a considered marketing strategy they simply become random acts. With no synergy between sporadic attempts, these efforts can’t deliver the growth results you are looking for. You may even be thinking ‘marketing doesn’t work in my business’.
The Attract phase is the very first step of the marketing system.
All businesses looking to grow need to have a process for attracting new prospects. Typically this will involve both offline and online marketing channels.
Capture potential clients details (email) so you can Nurture them and get them to like your business.
Having got your processes in place to attract new leads, the next step of the marketing system is to capture their contact details in a database.
Nurture leads with inspiring content / expertise delivered through your website content and email marketing / social marketing. Use Testimonials to get them to trust your expertise.
Nurturing your leads is the process of taking people from being interested in you (as shown by them requesting a quote or signing up to your email marketing list) to wanting to do business with you when they are ready
Take your potential client, create an amazing professional quote to clearly demonstrate that you are the person they should buy from, and convert the sale.
You have worked hard to present your business in a way that conveys trust and confidence.
Instil loyalty and trust, gain testimonials and re-engage/nurture them to spread the word.
Every successful business is built on repeat bookings. Having invested heavily (whether in time, money or both) to secure a booking, the retain phase is all about delivering exceptional service and an exceptional experience to ensure that the customer has no hesitation in coming back