Guerrilla Marketing for Travel Agents: How to Spend $150 | Travel Research Online


Guerrilla Marketing for Travel Agents: How to Spend $150

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. In this series of articles, we are going to focus on how a top-notch guerilla marketing travel agent might spend $150. In each article, we will provide you with three new ways you might invest your $150 marketing budget. We will cover both client acquisition and client retention efforts. The list we develop over the next few days will by no means be an exclusive list, but will hopefully give you some good ideas for turning up the volume on your own efforts.

A  weak market is one of the best possible times to increase your marketing efforts: the media wants the advertising and your competition is likely to foolishly cut back on their marketing altogether.  Hopefully, you continued to market during the Covid hiatus of the past two years. With a less cluttered marketing place, your message will come across to your clients more clearly. Now, as the economy picks up, the consumer mind-share you have acquired will remember your marketing when none other was around. Now that our economy appears to be on the upswing, you’ll want to execute highly personalized marketing efforts to be memorable. Lesson: the best time to market is NOW! So pick one that sounds good to you and execute!

Monday’s suggested guerilla tactics for $150:

  1. Buy 15 of your best clients a subscription of Travel and Leisure magazine. Let your clients know that travel is all about inspiration and that you are there to inspire them. At least once each month your clients will get a reminder that you are their travel agent in the form of a gift that keeps on giving. Money spent to retain clients is one of the best investments possible. In fact, the ROI on client retention is as much as 7 times greater than money spent on client acquisition. Your existing client base is the foundation of your company. Money well spent.
  2. Buy a client’s office coffee and pastries for breakfast. Even if only one of your clients works there, pick up some breakfast goodies and take them by the office. Arrange in advance with your client and drop off your package with a yellow ribbon and a bunch of your business cards. If you can sneak in a little time to meet everyone, do…bonus! Your client will be proud that their travel agent did something so thoughtful and the others in the office will wonder why they don’t have a travel agent that does cool things. Repeat this process with various clients until you have spent your $150. If you spend $15 per client, that’s 10 lucky offices filled with prospectives.
  3. Join some new organizations around town. Networking is an absolute key to building a local business. Find some organizations in town in which you can participate and about which you can be passionate. Show up well prepared not only to participate but also to answer the question “What do you do?” Chances are that the $150 will allow you to join more than one, so spread around your marketing investment.

Like any marketing effort, each of the above tactics will require planning and should be infused with your own personal touch. The downside? Very little. The upside? You retain your existing clients and you gain a few new ones. Not a bad way to invest your time and money.

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