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dave bodle

Focusing on the 4 P’s in 2011 I MIGHT BE OLD SCHOOL, but I still believe in the “Four P’s of Marketing” —Product, Price, Promotion and Place. In 2011 we’ll do our best to share some insights into each of the “P’s” and how you can use them to better market your business. I’m excited to share some of my experiences with you and hope you’ll do the same with me. Here’s a look at some topics we’ll be exploring: New business is the lifeline of every business. About 100 years ago when I was a young account executive in a mid-size advertising agency, my mentor shared a sound piece of advice. We were basking in the joy of a sizeable piece of new business when he told me, “Today, you’re one day closer to losing this account. You should probably begin thinking how you’ll replace the lost business.” It was only after I matured and became more business savvy that I fully understood what he meant. He wasn’t putting down my account management skills. He was simply stating a fact. Today’s professional tour planner is faced with a host of challenges in maintaining and replacing business. Look for an upcoming issue to read about some thoughts in constructing a new business plan that fits your business. Where does new media fit into the mix? I’ll be the first to admit that most new media (and some not so new) has passed right over me. Frankly, with all the old media trying to re-invent themselves to look like new media there’s only one thing I know for sure—there are entirely too many media choices 36 December 2010

available. Much of the traditional media still has its place and probably always will. Watch for a column that highlights traditional media and then takes the plunge into a look at the new media. Hopefully, we discover how it all fits together. How much do you really know about your customer? The old adage “treat customers as you would like to be treated” needs some tweaking. Let’s try “treat customers how they’d like to be treated.” That brings us to the obvious question. How well do we really

Merchandise, price, presentation and even floor coverings all contribute to a store’s differential advantage. My task was to explore if the term related to nonretail businesses. Although the details escape me, a relatively logical argument was presented proving the obvious. Today, the hot button is branding and we do not have a shortfall of experts in the field to help your business discover its inner self. Although I’ll probably avoid “branding,” we will take a look at how we position ourselves in the marketplace.

Professional tour planners need to really know their customers because tourism is a high-touch, not a high-tech industry know our customers? Without the answer we’re going to waste considerable time and money. A dear friend, Mikie Wall of Wilmington Cape Fear Coast CVB (NC), once shared a statement that I’ve used hundreds of times. She told me, “Tour & travel is a high-touch, not high-tech industry.” With that as our guide we’ll look at what we need to know, why we need to know it and how we go about better knowing our customer. I’ve about had my fill of branding. While in college I wrote a thesis about a fairly new term in the retail industry, “Differential Advantage.” At the risk of oversimplification the term implies what sets retail stores apart from one another.

So, just where are we going with this column? As revealed in the opening paragraph, it’s a pretty safe bet this column will give considerable emphasis to marketing’s four “P’s.” Sometimes in our day-to-day business experiences we waiver from what we know. It’s my hope that for a few minutes in each issue I’ll be able to keep you on target and provide some ideas you can bring to the table that very same day. Dave Bodle is a 25-year veteran of the group travel industry, having served as publisher of the Carolina Explorer, Virginia Explorer and Tennessee Trails group travel publications. Dave will be sharing his knowledge and insight with readers on the pages of Leisure Group Travel in 2011. In addition to a regular marketing column, Dave will also head up Leisure Group Travel's southern region editorial coverage. Contact Dave at 843712-1140 or email dbodle@sc.rr.com.

LeisureGroupTravel.com



On Marketing