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.
Could it really be that simple? Of course. Take a look...
Part 3 - The Call To Act.
Timing - Know when to deliver your message. In our 2014 Tour Operator Survey, we learned that more than 80% of tour operators determine travel itineraries more than 6 months in advance of the expected travel dates and over 30% of operators plan more than a year in advance. You must understand that tour operators have a very limited ability to incorporate new elements into itineraries that are already sold.
We often suggest that museums and performing arts venues sell the daily visitor experience as an itinerary 'must have' and use special exhibitions, season announcements and limited engagements as the 'added value' elements.
The Right Offer - The perfect offer includes a benefit to the end consumer, an easy solution or benefit for the operator's company and something for the decision maker who's responsible for the buying decision. Let's take a look at those elements:
Consumer benefits would include value add items - breakfast included, guided tour, VIP upgrades, fast-lane privileges, discounts toward onsite purchases, free gift with purchase, access to places before or after the public, etc.
Operator company benefits would include a better comp offer, deeper discounts, exclusivity, loyalty points on their corporate account, etc.
Operator personal benefits may include a Visa gift card for the person who books, personal loyalty points, breakfast or lunch delivered to the operator, gift baskets, etc.
An Announcement - Draw special attention to your product or service by making a big announcement. Did you get a new fleet of vehicles? Is some major headliner coming to your theater? Do you have new suggested itineraries/themes available? Is there a new exhibit opening soon?
Use these announcements to entice operators and to remind them that you offer relevance year-round. These are often great opportunities to qualify operator interests that may lead to future sales.
The Right Method - You want your call to action to stand out. The most effective methods we've seen are fax broadcast and postcard mailings.
Fax Broadcast - nearly 80% of tour operators in our network have opted-in to receive special offers from us via fax. With most operators working in small offices, the person reading the fax is most often also working on tour packages.
Postcard Mailing - You have 5 seconds to make a meaningful impression with direct mail. A postcard quickly identifies your product offer, features, benefits and visual appeal. Properly executed, they are neat, clean and concise, printed on quality paper and eye-catching.
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.