Monday,  March 20, 2023  11:56 pm

Marketing shouldn't be a do-it-yourself program

Marketing shouldn't be a do-it-yourself program

Have you ever wondered why your marketing efforts are not successful?

It is probably because you are not a marketing expert!  If you are a travel agent your specialty should be, and likely is, sales! 

Yet, marketing is key to increasing your sales, reaching your customers, and customer retention….but it is an area where travel agents so often fail. 

Good marketing instincts are not human nature….it is a specialty….partly learned at college or university, partly gut instinct in those who have it.  The rest of us really should leave it up to them!

And so when you become a home based agent, the very last thing you should have to worry about is marketing your services and special products and promotions to your database.

Shop around for host agency marketing

One of the most important services you should look for in a host agency is marketing.  What do they provide? What does it cost? How much is included in your base fee?

Target marketing is vitally important if you want to keep your customers….and remember the old adage, it costs ten times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to retain the ones you’ve already got. Customer retention is where you should focus a lot of your marketing efforts.

It is vital in the 21st century to use different channels to reach all your customers….one size does NOT fit all. Once you understand all that you should be doing, it will be important to find a host agency that provides the most comprehensive marketing services.

Social Media

Let’s take Social Media….and remember, social media will NOT reach all your customers…we all know the diehard “I will never be on Facebook” people and many more who wouldn’t have a clue how to tweet.  Yet, the younger generation relies heavily on social media…and so do some of their parents.  You can’t afford to ignore this channel…and what’s more, it’s essentially free.

Now if this is sending you into a mild panic, relax!  Many host agencies have addressed social media as part of their marketing programs.  But some offer far more comprehensive social media marketing tools and technology than others, so when you are looking for a host agency, be sure to explore how they will help you use social media, and, most important, ask what the cost is.  

Can your host agency provide you the ability to post messages to a lot of social media sites simultaneously?   Do they provide templates for the social media sites?  How easy is it to create your message or flyer?  Are there social media-appropriate messages for you to adapt as your own?

Social media messages need to be short, to the point, funny, clever or poignant, and need to attract attention. Social media is not the place for hard sell, so you will need to tailor your messages to fit the medium. 

You get the idea…..the key is to ask all the right questions of your host agency so you can tap into this amazing marketing tool.  In the next column, we will discuss direct mail and email.