Poolside Marketing

Courtesy: The Palm Island Resort

Courtesy: The Palm Island Resort

Here we are, sitting poolside at a beautiful tropical resort. In the background, a gentle waterfall creates just enough ambient noise to calm our nerves.  The palm trees are swaying and the only use for an umbrella is to shade the mid-day sun or, in miniature form, to adorn a frozen cocktail. 

Marketing is a contest for people’s attention.
— Seth Godin

Nothing could break this calm, serene moment for me.  Nothing, except a thunderous splash from the pool. The kind of splash that could only be achieved by a wildly-excited young person whose life goal, to this point, has been to perfect the cannonball. 

What does any of this have to do with marketing? 

Tour operators, group leaders and travel planners are like the resort guests sitting in their comfortable lounge chairs, sipping on those delicious tropical drinks while perfecting the ultimate tan.

Destinations, restaurants, hotels, attractions, tour operators and other service providers are the pool. The cool blue water beckons the guest to take a dive, enjoy a leisurely swim, wash away the stinging sun and wade over to the pool bar. 

As marketers, it’s our job to create the steady stream of information that, like the waterfall, helps the guest feel at ease, safe and comfortable. The waterfall creates a constant awareness that the guest is just steps away from a comforting pool and miles away from the complications of work.

With that highly animated cannonball, the guest turns their head to the pool in an active response that serves as a poignant reminder that they are sitting poolside.

Each of these tools serves a special purpose that neither can do alone. As you plan your marketing efforts for the coming months, you decide how you will strike that perfect balance between steady streams of information, brand awareness and strong calls to action.  Below are some of our favorite tactics to help you do both. 

To speak with a member of our team about creating a marketing strategy that will work for your organization, contact us.

Steady Streams of Awareness:

  • A direct mail campaign that delivers your information to the buyer once per quarter
  • Ads in trade industry publications and/or membership directories
  • Well-balanced emails from your team to potential buyers (click here for tips on making your emails more successful)
  • Banner and/or box ads in emails sent by trusted industry partners to your target market 
  • Trade show attendance - while it may be a big splash to the supplier, you’re one of 100+ suppliers that buyer will meet and it’s impractical to think that every supplier will make a big splash.
  • Representation - if you don’t have someone (or a team) in the marketplace attending trade shows, going on sales missions and reaching out to buyers, you may be missing out.
  • Billboards - these are great if your customers are making their buying decisions once they are local to your business.

Big Splash & Calls to Action:

  • Postcard mailings to the target audience make a big impression and deliver a message that the buyer reads immediately. 
  • Trade show booth/sponsorship opportunities allow you to make a strong impression for a short period of time.
  • Face-to-face meetings with buyers outside of the conventions - go to their office
  • Fax broadcast - many buyers in this industry are small businesses, they still rely on fax to communicate with suppliers - the person who checks the fax machine is often the same person who decides which vendors to use. Be sure that the buyers have opted-in to receive your information before sending.

This article was written by Fire Starter Brands’ Stephen Ekstrom. Click here to connect with him or to talk about how Fire Starter Brands can help your organization reach new audiences.