1 May 2007
BFTE 2007: Putting together a good Marketing Kit
The typical resort brochure doesn't demonstrate how your business is different - create a suite of education based materials and stand out from the competition.
I get these calls from time to time, especially on the lead up to shows such as BFTE in 2 weeks . . ."Can you make me a brochure?" Many resort and dive centre owners have been sold on the notion that they need a tri-fold brochure or they are not in the tourism business. Forget it... everybody's got one and no one uses it. No not even the racks in the Rosie's Office in Nadi Airport!
Your potential guests and buyers need an education. They need to know how you are different. (the normal tri-fold brochure simply confirms that you are the same!)
Every small tourism business should create the following pieces of information and format them in a way that allows them be printed inexpensively and updated often. I like to call this approach, the Marketing Kit. Your marketing kit starts with several professionally printed pieces that are the basis for up to 12 or 15 different educational documents. The core components are:
1. A pocket folder - A multi-use workhorse, this piece alone, if designed well, can send the message that you are in business to stay. (This one will cost a little but it has many uses). Get it professionally printed, and not just a Acco black one with a stuck on label. If they are too pricy print fewer quantity not poorer quality!
2. A marketing template - This should be a professionally printed piece that carries your business logo and contact information but is different than your letterhead. This is the base piece then for the following pages that insert into your pocket folder. Your actual marketing files can be WORD or OpenOffice type documents that are printed. This gives you the ability to change and update your content and also allows you to tailor your marketing kit to specific prospects, shows and buyers.
A combination of the following should be created for your marketing kit.
The Difference Page - Tell your guests and buyers how you are different and shower them with benefits (not features!) of doing business with you. Don't tell them what you do. I like to keep this one to the top 3 or 4 things that you do that your target market will value. Think benefits that are unique...
A list of products and services - Okay, now tell them what you do or what amenities and features you offer at your operation, but make sure to do it the context of how they can benefit from your operation. Talk about how "you can sit next to the great pool" not that "we have a great pool".
Testimonials - Get quotes from real live guests and travel buyers and create a page titled - "See what others have to say about us." These quotes can be some of the strongest selling tools you have. New technologies make it easy to create audio and video testimonials too, and distribute on YouTube and as podcasts.
Your Story - Many resorts, cruise ships and dive/tour operations have interesting or even gut wrenching histories. Tell them your story in an open, honest, and entertaining way and you will win their hearts as well as their heads. Post cyclone recovery stories are actually great reading and add character to your story!
FAQs - Compile a list of the questions your prospects and guests ask most often (don't forget the ones they never ask, but should) and answer them on this page.
Ideal Client Description - In some cases a page that describes the type of person or travel buyer that you can help the most can allow a prospect to select or deselect themselves.
There are other pages that may or may not make sense for your particular tourism business situation and the kit can and should be constantly grown and updated as you gather more guests and travel buyers and refine your core messages.
After you complete your kit you may wonder if anyone will actually read all of that information. Probably not everyone, but many will skim and find what they were looking for as people learn in many different ways. Your kit allows them to read the same message, essentially, packaged in a number of formats.
All of the above pieces can, in many cases, be word processed files that are easily printed onto the template described above. This format allows for very inexpensive printing and a great deal of flexibility when you need to update, change and personalise your marketing materials.
Your marketing kit is not meant to be used as something your send out to a list of suspects, it is your lead conversion tool to be used ahead of or after a lead or referral asks for more information.