This week we are looking at 10 fundamental marketing principles that will provide a basis for consistent and successful marketing efforts. The next two principles seem easy to understand and implement, but in fact, observation indicates they are among the most difficult lessons for travel agents to integrate into their practice. The best of intentions will not substitute for the first, and trial and error is inadequate for the second.
Work from a Written Plan – Put your marketing plan in writing. Again this year in November, this column will work through a basic marketing plan to assist agents in articulating and recording a marketing plan. When you put a plan in writing, you will better understand it and be better prepared to execute all of the tactics to which you have committed. Further, you will have a document to hold yourself accountable. Along with your Marketing Calendar, a written plan is an indispensible tool. You will re-visit the plan throughout the year, make changes and in some instances completely revise aspects. But the very act of putting your plan into writing is an invaluable exercise.
Market in Campaigns – Market consistently and with an adequate frequency to have an impact. Marketing is a commitment. Yet, it is easy to let a day go by, and then a week, and then two weeks, with no marketing activity. Sporadic burst of marketing activity will lack the consistency to imprint your brand in the minds of your clients and potential clients. You have to create an association in their minds – when they think of “travel”, they think of you. To create an association that strong, you must market with sufficient frequency to continually stay in front of your clients. In addition, your marketing plan must include a variety of media in order to hit your clients from a number of different angles. Ideally, over the course of a year, clients will see your company in display ads, in news articles, at an event in your community, will hear you speak, will see you networking, will hear other consumers and clients talking about you. Getting your message out in this manner, without spreading either yourself or your finances too thin takes planning…which takes us back to the first point…put it in writing!