This week we will look at five characteristics of credibility and the impact on your marketing efforts. Credibility means believability – your marketing has an authentic sound to it. Marketing that is credible has more staying power: it “sticks” longer with the consumer. If your marketing lacks credibility, it damages your brand and is quickly dismissed. Credible marketing is mentally filed away by consumers for the next opportunity to use your services. Clients want credible marketing for one simple reason – it respects their intelligence. Credible marketing also displays an intelligence, a keen insight into the concerns and needs of the consumer. Giving all of your marketing efforts a credibility audit will help to ensure that the public will perceive your travel practice as authentic and trustworthy.
This 365 Marketing and Sales Tip is provided free to the travel agent community by:
Credible marketing is appropriate marketing. One of the most common mistakes that travel consultants make in their marketing is to treat all of their clients the same. Every client gets the same email, every client gets the same flyer and the same newsletter. Yet, not every client wants to hear about Disney, wants to take a cruise or is preparing for a honeymoon. Sending a client an inappropriate marketing effort is tantamount to telling them you don’t understand their needs or really care about them as individuals. The next time they think about travel, they won’t be thinking about you.
Nolan Burris has an excellent TRO article on the topic, well worth reading.
Spend time getting to know your clients. Every client has a life-long list of places they want to go and things they want to do that they carry with them at all times. You, as a travel consultant, need a copy of that list. Listen to your clients. What are they telling you about their likes and their dislikes, about their travel ambitions? Every travel consultant needs a CRM system of some type to track their client preferences and desires.
Segregate your marketing efforts. As you market, provide clients with information that is appropriate to their profile. Provide your clients with information on travel in which they have expressed an interest. Demonstrate the client-centric nature of your travel practice by treating your clients as individuals.
Couch your marketing in information and don’t lead with price whatever else you do! A good article on dining in Greece, shopping in Morocco or biking England will go much farther with a client than a long list of “travel specials”. Advertising or marketing that leads with price too often ends with price as the client begins to focus not on the romance of the trip but on its cost. Certainly you will want to choose travel that is appropriate to the spending habits of your individual clients, but the selection process needs to be transparent to the client, a part of your intelligent marketing effort.
Market appropriately and your marketing will be more credible. Clients will begin to trust in your sound judgment and your sense of concern for their well-being.
Richard Earls is the Publisher of Travel Research Online, an online travel industry resource dedicated to enhancing the professional lives of travel agents.