❖ dave bodle
Recapping a Year Filled with Marketing Advice OVER THIS PAST YEAR it has been an absolute delight to author this marketing column. It has been fun, but also a really positive learning exercise for me. With each issue’s writing I was drawing from personal business experiences. In more than one issue I came to realize my business had drifted away from what I was sharing with you! I’m certain that each and every Leisure Group Travel reader has blindly followed my every word. Well probably not, but even if you have read the column at times we’re all a little memory-challenged. So, I thought it might be good to take a look back at some highlights from previous issues. I will do so in the form of a non-graded quiz, but with promises of some Christmas pudding for those with the
better recall. Of course, this is an open book exercise.
We began the year in February with a column that basically dealt with listening to your customers. I spoke with a few tour operators that are close friends and discovered how one operator listened and developed a really interesting idea for a garden club that had traditionally only done day trips. What elements did he incorporate into a garden tour?
In April I faced my fear of social media by admitting I didn’t understand much about how it worked. Since then I’ve developed a Facebook page and website for my political campaign. I’m running for Myrtle Beach City Council. More on those results in a later issue. Who helped me with the technical stuff?
3 Looking Ahead to Our
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54 December 2011
In June we talked a little about “Branding.” It’s that term when you search it on Google you get more than 100 million hits in just seconds. I’m not a fan of branding, but I did recommend you bring in a facilitator if you were interested. Where did I suggest you look for that help?
With August came one of my favorite topics—public relations. We talked about how a good program needed to be planned and not “just when something happens.” What is the cornerstone of a good public relations effort?
October was another opportunity to get on a soapbox. The need for well-written, insightful copy was stressed. When there is a call for copy that
sells, where did I suggest you turn? Have some fun with this, but most importantly have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I was just kidding about the Christmas pudding. ANSWERS: 1. Ginny’s Garden Club is very interested in a destination’s formal gardens. However, it takes a little digging and some listening to know that Ginny’s Garden Club also does a progressive dinner every other month. At each of their monthly meetings they have a drawing and give away a bottle of wine. A tour that blends gardens, wineries and a unique dinner one evening just might work for Ginny. 2. My 15-year-old grandson helps me set up Facebook accounts for each of my small business ventures. 3. Get it started in-house by bringing in a facilitator (somebody from the industry) for a few days. Tell them you want to be certain that everything you’re doing is sending the same message to your customers. 4. Begin by developing a strong media list. A good list is the cornerstone of your public relations effort. In the end that list will be 60 percent responsible for the success of your program. 5. For magazines and newspapers, they’ll handle the editorial. For your catalogs, newsletters and online, the burden is on you. Here’s when you turn to your industry partners for their assistance. Remember, they’re invested in your success and may very well have in-hand the words and images you need. Contact Dave at 843-712-1140 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bloomington, Minnesota U.S.A.
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