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Sunday, 01 March 2015 00:00

Hitting the Mark with Marketing

Written by  Katie Hultgren

To get the biggest bang for your marketing buck, it is important that you reach the right people, with the right message, at the
right time.

There has been a lot of research done which shows that the “millennial” generation (aged 18-35) is spending lots of money on travel. Being tech savvy, they may be booking their travel online themselves, but you may be able to convince them to use your services rather than going it alone. Travel agents have a lot to offer travelers, but you may need to show off the skills you have that they do not. They are interested in savings, discounts, and anything else that will help them stretch their travel dollar, and believe that a DIY trip will help them save - but we know that is not always the case. Your marketing pieces should reflect the benefits you can offer, presented in a relatable tone.

Luxury clients are more likely to use travel agents. They will need your help planning more complex itineraries, and have more of a clear idea what they want, and what they don’t. They are willing to pay for your services to ensure a perfect trip - from car service to dinner reservations for a special evening in an international locale. They may need your expertise to help them decide where to go, then leave you to make it all happen. Share news of new hotels or destinations they might consider, with lots of classy pictures.
Target your marketing efforts to the groups of people who you think will be interested in what you are promoting. Sending irrelevant information to a potential client is not effective - so blasting everyone in your contact list is unwise. Taking some time to segment your contact list will allow you to reach interested parties. Create segments based on destinations of interest, types of travel such as cruise, spending levels of high end or budget travel. The more focused you are with your segments, the more effective your marketing will be. You will have clients who may cross over into more than one segment. High-end clients may be interested in a luxury cruise, even if they have not booked a cruise with you before.

Also, take advantage of opportunity. If a major snowfall happens locally, send information out about Caribbean getaways. As the summer approaches, touch base with families whose kids will be on summer vacation, and see what you can do to help.

Build your client list by asking for referrals from happy customers. Exchange your business card with someone else whenever the opportunity presents itself. If you work with more than one person on a trip, be sure to add all contacts to your lists. Make every effort count!

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