– By #RSA
Now that the last guest has left and the "Closed" sign is hung until spring arrives, you may be tempted to breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy a break until the fun begins again next year. However, you may want to wait on packing for that vacation, because now is the time to get a head start by building a sound marketing strategy to ensure a successful 2020 tourism season. Read on for some pointers to build your marketing plan so that everything is planned and in order well before opening day!
#1 - Have a plan in place by the beginning of the year
Time has a way of creeping up on all of us. Although there may be 7-8 months between you shuttering your business for the winter to when you open your doors again for the tourism season, you’ll be left scrambling if you don’t have aspects of your strategy in motion until March or April. Things like creating quality online marketing assets and freshening up your company’s website take time, and skimping on that time can, and often will, result in poorly performing digital marketing assets and a website that isn’t effective at converting. A good rule of thumb is to determine your 2020 marketing budget by January, and get the ball rolling on asset creation, website updates, and other details of your plan by February. Doing so will allow you to start your marketing efforts before the tourism season actually starts, during that crucial summer vacation planning phase.
#2 – Measure 2019’s marketing efforts
If you have proper measuring tools in place, it should be fairly easy to determine which marketing campaigns and assets worked and which didn’t in 2019. There are many platforms that allow you to track individual campaign performance, such as call tracking services that assign a different phone number to each of your traditional and digital marketing campaigns, and website analytics that show you exactly how users are getting to your website and what they’re doing once they get there. If a portion of your strategy is not performing to your expectations, now is the time to vary your approach, which may include eliminating that particular campaign in the future.
By adjusting or removing marketing tactics that may not have worked in your favor, you can better allocate your marketing dollars so you receive the best return on investment.
#3 – Create new assets
The slower time of the year for your business is the perfect time to give a fresh look to your brand’s assets, which include websites, photos, videos, brochures, and much more. Doing so not only provides a different aesthetic for your current audience and keeps them interested in you, but also gives you a new opportunity to appeal to those outside of your current fan base.
Even simple things like changing the colors of an ad, adding new photos to your site or changing the profile photo on your business Facebook page can go far in providing a refreshing change for your customers, which is a crucial aspect in marketing in travel and tourism.
#4 – Consider customer feedback
Now is the time to empty out your comments and suggestions box, and check review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor and Google to see what your guests really had to say about their experience with your brand. Although negative comments are always dreaded, they provide a great opportunity to highlight areas of improvement within your company. Identifying issues during the off-season gives you time to do things like make repairs or provide additional training to your crew so that you can provide a better customer experience next year.
Are your visions set high for a profitable 2020? Contact the marketing experts at Robert Sharp & Associates, who can help you develop a customized marketing strategy and budget, create assets that are sure to catch your viewer’s eye, place ads that will reach your audience at the right time, and measure results every step of the way.
Interested in seeing what we can do for you and your tourism based business?
... for a free marketing consultation!