5 questions to answer before implementing those winning travel marketing tips.

Finding marketing ideas, tips, tactics meant to boost your travel business revenues is the easy part. With a simple Google search you can identify tens of articles with catchy titles.

I’ve nothing against those type of articles. Don’t get me wrong. Some of them are quite inspiring and offer valuable advice. Who doesn’t want to:

  • Kill it on TikTok starting tomorrow?
  • Implement memorable campaigns on Instagram? Award material ones.
  • Have mesmerizing 360 VR video?
  • Enhance real life settings with augmented reality?
  • Make use of machine learning in the booking process?
  • Harness the power of content?

Who doesn’t want to be the next Booking or Airbnb? But the reality is that it’ll take a minute to get there. Each business has its own particularities. And the marketing strategy that performs is the one tailored to those specific particularities.

In 12+ years of working for and with travel brands, I’ve been fortunate to get in contact with different business models. It helped me get perspective. The more you test, measure and adapt, the more you realize that there isn’t a perfect recipe. What worked for a competitor, might not work for you. Especially when you don’t have a huge budget at your disposal, acting surgical with your marketing tactics is what makes a difference.

And that’s why,

1.Does your product deliver on its promise?

Is your business offering different? Or the marketing speech says so? Does it bring added value to your customers? How about the service? Is it flawless? Do you wow your customers? Great marketing requires great product. Otherwise, the investment in that amazing campaign will be wasted if you fail to process the received requests. Every time you fail to deliver on what your marketing slogans promise, you are losing. Even if, on the short term, that approach might make you money. 10 displeased potential customers will become 30 in a few hours.

2.Is your brand story consistent across all touchpoints?

Have you mapped your customers journey? Are all the interaction points identified? Now put yourself in a customer’s shoes. How’s the experience? Are you able to navigate smoothly on the website? Was the booking process easy? Have you learned something relevant after reading that blog article? Was the email you sent answered to? How about that offer promised over the telephone call? Did you get it? Were you treated with respect and honesty? Remember that customer experience sums up the engagements over time. It defines the overall relationship with your brand. Would you buy from you the second time?

3.How’s your technology infrastructure?

When is the last time you did an audit of your technology? Does it match your business infrastructure? Does it help your team? Or it brings more hassle? Have you implemented a soft that automates repetitive tasks? Do you make the most out of it? Having the right technological framework in place helps your business grow. A solid foundation will let you add-on new tools, save precious time for your team, adjust to market realities. It will help you scale your business and create the context for delivering memorable experiences for your customers.

4.What’s your marketing performance?

What’s your ad spend ratio? What’s the most performing channel? How about that winning mix? Is your content successful in creating a connection? Does it convert? Social media is working for you? Or you use it mainly to share tens of sales related posts? How’s your email marketing? Do you know your customer lifetime value? Marketing is not a support department. Its role goes beyond delivering nice presentations, banners & brochures, publish posts on social media channels or write a blog article from time to time. Marketing is the heart of a business. And it needs to perform.

5.What’s the status of the relationship with your customers?

Is it complicated? Or have you managed to create valuable relationships with your customers? Do you know their needs and wants? What about their pain points? Why did they choose you? Or didn’t the second time around? Ask them! Be open and listen. Learn from it. Grow as a consequence. Focus on your viable pool of customers. And delight them.

After looking at your answers, you’ll gain clarity on what your priorities are. When analysing the next marketing investment, focus on one thing. Will it generate growth? Be aware of the current challenges, look at your competitors. But when it comes to act, think at your team, customers, the quality of your offering. In a commodity war, you’ll gain either with the smaller price or by bringing added value to the life of your customers.