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On Marketing

❖ dave bodle

Keeping Up-to-Date in a Tech-Savvy World WiTh more Than 25 years in the

Relationships are born and nurtured.

a tremendous tool for regularly com-

travel industry I’m one of those grumpy

Likewise, group leaders regularly trust

municating with your customers and

old men who grumbles about “how the

their members to tour operators they

prospects. Suppliers, tour operators

industry has changed.” Although many

know and trust. For years successful

and group leaders all need to stay in

families still sit around the kitchen table

tour operators have hosted face-to-face

touch with their clients.

to make vacation decisions, now they’re

group leader functions and presenta-

doing so with a laptop and viewing

tions. It’s how we connected.

online brochures, discount travel web-

I admit to being a fan of marketing through e-newsletters. I believe a

However, today’s suppliers, tour

piece that’s attractively designed and

sites and purchasing e-tickets. Gone

operators and group leaders that are

filled with relevant information can be

are the days of paper airplane tickets

not in tune with the new marketing

a powerful tool. Remember, the key

and requesting vacation brochures from

enhancements will struggle in the

word here is “news.” Blatant self-pro-

destinations. How do these changes

future… and that future is now. The

motion is a no-no. Informative stories

impact the group segment and its

Boomer Generation is here. Case in

that share the character of your busi-

marketing component?

point is this writer. As an early baby

ness will be read. Of course, everyone

boomer, I am only partially tech-savvy.

likes a little tour & travel humor. Keep

tour & travel industry is still high touch,

Comfortable with the Internet and

the piece as personal as possible.

not yet high tech. Tour operators do

even Facebook, I’m still not into

business with suppliers they know.

YouTube, Twitter and mobile marketing.

National, regional and state market-

How are you going to deal with a

Years ago a dear friend told me the

places are critical to the industry.

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42 February 2012

Fall in love with video. It probably comes as no surprise to my

more technologically informed cus-

readers that I’m an “old guy, print guy.”

tomer? Here are three effective travel

Although it’s great to read about a

marketing steps that suppliers, tour

destination, I’ll admit video has the

operators and even group leaders

unique ability to demonstrate.

need to consider:

Looking Ahead to Our

3

Tour operators need to partner

Take an honeST look at your

1

with their suppliers and ask for help in

website. Get ahead of the curve.

promoting new tours. At the very least

Your website is the foundation of your

their destination video should be on

business’s future. Be ready to serve

your website, easily accessible from

those tech-savvy travelers.

the tour description.

Give your online visitor every

Travelers enjoy sharing their

opportunity to interact with you. Entice

experiences. Try sponsoring a video

them to sign up for your e-newsletter

contest with the winner’s work

(see point 2) or view a destination/tour

appearing on your website.

video (see point 3). Most important, have a staff member

Like it or not, the group tour industry is shifting, and how we market is

responsible for regularly updating

taking on a new face. I find many of

your site. Search engines like fresh

the new techniques can be rolled

content. A little effort can really pay off

easily into your sales and marketing

in search engine rankings.

plan, both conceptually and financially.

2

e-newsletters are the way to go. A quarterly newsletter can be

Contact Dave at 843-712-1140 or email dbodle@sc.rr.com.

LeisureGroupTravel.com



On Marketing