by Stephen Ekstrom | President & Founder of Fire Starter Brands LLC
Are you trying to land more tour & travel business? Did you know that there are really only four elements that every successful destination, attraction, restaurant and local sightseeing include in their marketing strategy. Yes, just four key elements.
In this, the second part of our series, we're going to take a look at the product. Take a look...
Part 2 - The Right Product.
Chances are that, without getting yourself a new job, you can't change the product you're tasked to market very much but you can change how you market it.
Sell the Experience - In a recent article entitled, "Don't Sell The Product, Sell the Experience," Gordon Plutsky described three ways by which we can build trust and affinity with potential buyers.
- Storytelling and Context - When hearing a story, the audience has a natural tendency to imagine themselves as the hero. Use stories to help your audience imagine how they can become better operators by utilizing your product.
- Be Visual - If having a face-to-face discussion with an operator, give them your profile sheet at the start so they can visualize the story you're about to tell. If on the phone, ask them to join you for a walk thru on your website.
- Connect Emotionally - People share needs. In understanding your customers' needs, you can connect with them on a deeper level than that of the typical vendor/customer.
Create Added Value - Whenever possible, give operators more than they might expect. You don't have to give away merchandise to do this. Sometimes it's the personal touch - the personal greeting when their guests arrive, a fun anecdote they can share with passengers, handwritten note after a new booking, ability to refer operators to other nearby partners, activities or suppliers that can help with their itinerary.
Price It Right - Be ready to answer questions about your pricing structure, group incentives, tiered pricing and comp policies. Operators aren't always looking for the lowest price, but they do want to know that you understand their needs and can price yourself accordingly.
And, especially for destination marketing organizations...
Themes - When pitching new ideas to tour operators, be sure to offer themes that are fun & relevant. Just because you're marketing to a group of senior citizens or students or corporate travelers, does not mean that they're willing to settle for the lowest common denominator. Suggest package themes that you and your friends would enjoy - adventure, humor, excitement, culture, beauty, uniqueness, etc. all work to your advantage.
Relevant Product - Understand that not every restaurant, hotel, attraction or activity in your area is right for tourists and tour groups. Tour operators will be equally turned-off by an itinerary that includes restaurants too small to accommodate groups, run down accommodations, attractions with no motor coach access and byways that lack appropriate signage as they would be turned on by an activity that will leave their guests wowed.
to be continued...
For more information on how Fire Starter Brands is helping industry suppliers connect with more tour operators or to schedule a complimentary consultation, contact us today.