This week, we are going to look at five very common marketing mistakes many travel agents make in their practices that hinder real growth. The first one is by far the most common: the travel agent has no marketing plan. Regardless of the number of articles written about the value of a well-articulated, written marketing plan, many agents confidently point to their head and say with a knowing wink “It’s all in here.”
A marketing plan that is not written, not documented in a formal way, is not a plan. At best it is an ad hoc series of more or less consistent habits. A marketing plan is an absolute necessity to succeeding in business. Without it, a travel consultant can easily convince themselves that they are doing everything necessary but nothing is working. A marketing plan needs to be written, revised, and re-written a couple of times each year.
Beyond the written marketing plan, however, every travel agent needs a marketing calendar. Many agents take that first step of writing down their marketing plan and then fail to execute for lack of a solid action plan. Having a plan is not enough, it is important to put your plans into action. Without some mechanism for holding yourself accountable, days pass, then weeks and months without execution. Certainly there will be some sporadic activity and a few happy clients will leave on their travels, but there will be no drive to excel, no energy to fuel growth.
All of this is summed up in the old business saying of “Plan your work and work your plan”. Simple enough and true. The good news is that it is never too late to begin anew. It does not have to be January 1 to launch into a new marketing plan. If you want to push your travel planning practice to new levels, begin with the important first step of resolving to get your marketing plan on paper and then to putting it into action.
Tomorrow- No Mission