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 »
Posted In: Editorial Musings
While Business Development Manager visits and calls are becoming more and more infrequent, the travel business must go on. Many suppliers have forced technology and online booking upon us by various means. But, when it comes down to it, we are still a people business. While our clients may not (or maybe they do) ever see us in person, we have nonetheless developed a relationship with them. Isn’t it the same way with suppliers? This past week, I began to think not. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Publishers Corner
More than any topic I know, people love reading and talking about travel. With that in mind, here are the titles of some travel articles for your consideration:
- 5 Ways to Travel Better this Year;
- How not to be a victim on your next vacation;
- Getting the most out of a cruise vacation;
- Secrets the airlines don’t want you to know;
- What You Don’t Know about Las Vegas – but Should!
Would you like to read those articles? I would, and my bet is that you would too. So would your clients! So why don’t you write them? Anyone reading a well-written thoughtful article on any of these topics would likely regard the author as an expert in the topic of travel. My suggestion is that you write the articles, get them placed locally, promote yourself as a speaker and get yourself recognized as a local expert. 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 »
Posted In: Agent Perspectives
Trade shows, travel shows, wedding shows – we’ve all been there, standing in a crowded room the size of Costco, trying to get noticed, start relationships, and maybe even close deals. But for the amount of money you’ve paid to be there, how much is your typical return on investment? Here’s how I make trade shows work for me. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Deck Plans
Our Air France flight touched down at Charles de Gaulle International Airport shortly after 3 this afternoon. We had come to the City of Light to experience something different: an eight-day cruise along the Seine on the low-price leader in river cruising. 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 »
Posted In: Supplier Profile
Since 1968 Hariworld has been providing the North American Travel Community with the most affordable fares on the broadest choice of Carriers to worldwide destinations.
Hariworld offers an unrivaled web-based booking engine that allows agents to book contracted and commissionable published air fares, choose trip itineraries, purchase tickets and add their own markups with a few clicks of the mouse. 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 »
Posted In: Point-to-Point
Well, I’ve finally done it! After much reflection, creativity, self-examination and plain old “blood sweat and tears,” I have finished the rebranding process for my company. When I started five years ago, it was as brandUcoaching, and over the years my business has grown and evolved to become CoryAndrichuk.com. The purpose for writing this article is to tell my story of evolution by unraveling some of the external and internal reasons why I have recently rebranded my company. I would also like to help and inspire others to manage change, adapt and then thrive with a more accurate picture of who they are as they move forward in their own rebranding process. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Outposts
Santiago, Chile is easily one of the most arresting cities in South America. A visitor will immediately be struck by the variety of the buildings, stretching from neoclassical constructions in the old town centre to modern developments (including the tallest South American skyscraper), and by the incredible Andes mountains which surround the greater Santiago area, forming the flat valley which hosts the capital. Modernity and development mixing with the old world runs throughout Santiago, making it a wondrous stop for anyone wishing to grasp the heart of Chile and South America. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: 60-Second Geography
Costa Rica is Central America’s special jewel and it is only a few short hours’ flight from anywhere in the US. Costa Rica appeals to travelers of all ages and the country’s natural attractions, wildlife and reputation for enlightened conservation draw visitors from all over the world. The government has made a real effort to preserve the country’s image as an eco-tourism haven; because of this watchfulness, Costa Rica shelters a whopping 5% of the existing biodiversity in the entire world. The country’s bio-diversity attracts nature lovers from all over the world. Add to this the incredible warmth and sincere hospitality of the local people and the exceptional variety of hotels along Guanacaste’s Pacific coast and you have a recipe for a unique and memorable destination for couples, singles and families.
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 »
Posted In: Travel Agent Diaries
I have been talking with some new agents who were upset because they were declined for a FAM trip because of their lack of experience in the industry. There were a few who were upset that they couldn’t even have access to FAM trips because they were not affiliated with a host agency.
Why is it so hard for new agents and agents without a host to be able to go on these FAM trips? Most of them are taking specialist courses, but are you really a specialist without ever experiencing the product? Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Publishers Corner
The manner in which you present your research efforts to clients can make all of the difference in their reactions in your recommendations. Too often, all of the effort that we have placed into our marketing, sales and research swirls around the drain and then disappears because of a weak presentation. Yet, this is the moment at which a travel consultant should be at their best, making a recommendation based on their experience and expertise. It is very true that it is not what we say but how we say it that matters. This is not a sales person’s trick, but a bona fide principle of communication. If you want to be an effective advocate for either your travel client or for travel product, give some consideration about how you present your recommendations to clients. 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 »
Posted In: Editorial Musings
Summer is here in the mid-Atlantic. With that comes unpredictable and unstable weather, thunderstorms, and the inevitable power outage! BGE supplies my electricity, and I am not sure how they rank against other utility companies, but it seems when the temperature climbs and the wind blows, I can be assured of a power outage. Unfortunately for me, my outages come in 2 flavors–under a minute and just less than a week.
Several years ago, I was woefully unprepared for an extended outage and it hurt my business. Clients were unable to get in touch with me, phone calls went unreturned; and in general, business ground to a halt. And grinding to a halt is no way to treat the people that are willing to put food on your table. So, as I prepare for what is to be another exciting Maryland summer, I thought I might revisit my emergency plans!
Posted In: Agent Perspectives
You’ve probably heard the adage, “sell what you know;” but,have you considered why?
You’ll enjoy yourself more if you spend it talking about a destination that thrills you. You can paint a more vivid portrait of this region and all its charms. When you share your personal travel experiences, you’re implicitly inviting clients to imagine themselves doing or seeing similar things. The destination comes alive!
And on a very self-serving note, when I’m recounting my own memorable experiences, I’m reliving them, too, in my mind’s eye. It’s almost like a virtual vacation. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Deck Plans
On June 20, I step aboard CroisiEurope’s Botticelli for a cruise from the heart of Paris to the heart of Honfleur. Not many river cruise vessels can make it into Honfleur. Most stop short in Rouen or they make it to Le Havre and bus guests to the picturesque port of Honfleur.
The fact that CroisiEurope’s vessels get into to the hearts of the cities to which they sail is a key point of distinction for the Strasbourg-based, family owned river cruise operator. CroisiEurope tells me that their ships’ shallow drafts allow the vessels to dock closer to key attractions, such as the Eiffel Tower, than any other river cruise company. I’ll let you know about that on June 20. Read the rest of this entry »