Do you have a written marketing plan? Do you have a written marketing budget? If not, you don’t have both oars in the water. Many travel professionals “wing it” and begin marketing at the first sign of business slowing down. The problem with doing things that way, of course, is timing. The business you have today likely resulted from your marketing efforts months ago. Likewise, your marketing efforts today may not pay off for some time.
Budgeting enforces the discipline necessary to actually calendar your marketing efforts. When spending real dollars, travel agents become very cognizant of the return on investment. In addition, the marketing budget can and should include such essentials as marketing collateral(business cards, flyers, capabilities brochures), websites, advertising, dues to local organizations and promotional items, all professionally produced. Having a marketing budget, and then wisely spending it, ensures that the travel agency is doing everything necessary to keep its profile high enough to gain mindshare in the community. Read the rest of this entry »
A travel agency can achieve a very effective public relations program for very little capital expenditure. However, to be effective, the program will almost certainly involve an extensive outlay of energy and effort. For the travel agent willing to put in the time necessary, a public relations campaign can be one of the most effective ways of raising the agency’s public profile. Public relations typically carries an inherent third-party endorsement. As a result, potential clients will feel more immediately confident in the expertise of the travel agent when the marketing message is received via a public relations channel. Read the rest of this entry »
Yesterday we used the example of leveraging your public relations efforts by sponsoring an event with a not-for-profit, an animal shelter. Continuing with that same example, we now want to involve the local press. An article written in the local paper will provide not only the publicity you are seeking for your event, but will raise the profile of your agency as readers associate it with a worthy cause.
The typical approach to involving the press is to craft a press release. Hopefully, you have been cultivating press relationships in your community prior to the time you need them. Even if you are without such first-hand knowledge of local press contacts, however, a bit of preparation can assist you in getting the appropriate attention you seek.
I often encounter a mindset that sees marketing as an expense. I suppose from the perspective of an accountant, that is absolutely accurate. However, in reality marketing should be viewed as an investment. Think of it this way: marketing is only expensive if it’s not working. If you made 5 dollars every time you spent two marketing dollars you would be spending money all day and be happy about it. Ideally, marketing is an investment.
We all live within the constraints of a budget. So this week we are going to address marketing on a shoestring, on choosing strategies that are smart and that work. Today, however, we are going to talk about avoiding turning our shoestrings into nooses – making mistakes with our marketing dollars that, like bad investments, are nothing but expensive errors. Read the rest of this entry »
We have devoted this week to Guerrilla Marketing and to the type of tactics that require very little capital but lots of initiative and work. Let’s finish off the week with a few ways to spend your small marketing budget on tools that will help you more effectively market for many months to come. Specifically, look to all of your “Points of Contact” – those areas where clients come into contact with your brand, and polish them just a bit. An occassional upgrade to your points of contact is a necessary part of keeping your business personality fresh and smart looking.
Friday’s guerrilla marketing tactics for $150: Read the rest of this entry »
“Guerrilla Marketing” is all about being smart with your marketing budget by using a lot of elbow grease to make each dollar go farther. If $150 is what you have to work with, you will want to find marketing venues that are tightly focused around your target demographic and then put in the requisite face-time with the prospective clients. The combination of a little bit of money and a whole lot of personality and physical effort will pay off for the travel agent willing to go the extra mile. Read the rest of this entry »
“Guerrilla Marketing”, is all about achieving the maximum marketing bang for the buck. This week, The 365 Guide has been focused on 15 ways a guerrilla travel agent marketer can spend the meager marketing budget of $150. Today we are going to seek out three new tactics to tap into groups of consumers and to spend our money in as leveraged a way possible:
Wednesday’s guerrilla marketing tactics for $150: Read the rest of this entry »
This week, The 365 Guide is paying homage to Jay Conrad Levinson’s “Guerrilla Marketing“, a manual for street-level marketing focused on achieving the maximum impact for the least capital expenditure. With the slim margins of travel consulting, guerilla marketing is particularly well suited for travel agents. But how does a guerilla travel agent advertise? With a small advertising budget, it is difficult to compete in mainstream media. But why “shotgun” your advertising in the first place? With some selective advertising, you can stretch your visible marketing further than you might think:
Tuesday’s suggested guerrilla tactics for $150: Read the rest of this entry »
Many years ago, Jay Conrad Levinson coined the phrase “Guerrilla Marketing” to reference marketing tactics that business people could execute with a minimal expenditure of capital. Since that time, more than 1,000,000 copies of his book have been sold. The success of Guerrilla Marketing is in its mandate to develop a marketing mindset, to continually look for the marketing opportunity at every turn and to keep the necessity of marketing top of mind.
Travel agents tend to be excellent guerilla marketers. This week we are going to focus on how a top notch guerilla marketing travel agent might spend $150. Each day we will provide you with three new ways you might invest your $150 marketing budget. Read the rest of this entry »
One of my favorite set of articles in the 365 Guide is the series on Guerrilla Marketing. The essence of good guerrilla marketing are marketing tactics travel professionals can execute with a minimal expenditure of capital. Certainly public relations can fall into this category. For maximum impact, however, the effort needs to possess a strong creative flair to “stick” in the public’s mind.
The public appreciates creative marketing stunts so long as the effort does not inconvenience others. The best efforts are fun and visually striking. The visual nature of the creative effort gives media an opportunity to video and photograph, exactly what the public relations building travel professional is looking to achieve! Read the rest of this entry »