Your 2009 Marketing Plan: Develop a Marketing Calendar – Part One | TravelResearchOnline

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Your 2009 Marketing Plan: Develop a Marketing Calendar – Part One

TRO is devoting the next few weeks to assisting agents in developing a 2009 Marketing Plan. Follow along with us each day to gain the traction you need to make 2009 your best year ever.

Every travel consultant is very much aware of the seasonality of the travel business. In the winter people head south and in the summer they head to Europe and in the fall they seek out New England, except for the real bargain hunters who decide to cruise during hurricane season. A time and a season for everything, right?

Actually, that is exactly right. We can improve on our marketing by being a bit more scientific in our examination of the calendar. Smart travel consultants who pro-actively market know they have to stay ahead of the calendar. They are constantly looking “down the road” to see what holidays and destinations are around the corner. Spring coming up? Let’s promote some early cruises during January and February. Valentine’s Day in February? Let’s make some calls to some husbands in January. Spring Break this year? Let’s promote Mexico to some families.

Too often, we rely on last minute urgency prompting us to market too late or too little. By rigorously using a Marketing Calendar travel consultants can better stay on top of their Marketing Plan. A Marketing Calendar, noting when to market and on what destinations to focus, will enable you to be better prepared and to market more efficiently. Set up a Marketing Calendar and revisit it each week, making notations of what marketing you did and how effective it was. Make adjustments as you read about new destinations, economic conditions or other factors influencing the market. Next year, you will have a terrific written record to assist you with formulating a new Marketing Calendar for each season.

Exercise – set aside time this weekend to sit down and begin to work on a marketing calendar, plotting when to market particular programs. Over the next few articles we will add new categories of information to your marketing calendar.  Let’s begin with seasons and  special holidays.  For example, with Valentine’s day occuring in February, you should begin marketing packages for the date in early January.  Likewise, how will you market to clients this year with birthdays and anniversaries?  When will you be marketing summer vacations, fall foilage and ski vacations?  Tomorrow we will look back over the past four weeks to see how we have progressed and will gather our thoughts for properly organizing and calendaring other aspects of our 2009 Marketing Plan.

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