4. Marketing and Sales

Why read this section? We live in a cluttered world with consumers being bombarded by marketing messages every day. Unfortunately, the travel market can deliver far more bookings than customers want to buy. As a small business you are likely to need marketing and sales knowledge to stand out. For you this is likely to need very targeted ways of making your customers aware of what you can offer, and so consider you for a booking. Marketing has been successful when you are contacted by a customer who might be interested in your proposition. This section introduces these subjects.

What you need to know before you read this section:

The main stages to understanding your sales and marketing approach is

1. Decide on marketing messages

2. Decide on the communications channels your target customers listen to

3. Likely costs and availability of your chosen communication channels

4. Run a test marketing campaign

5. Run a test sales campaign

6. Agree on how and when your business will re-approach the customer

7. Assess your business

All of this can help decide whether you have a viable business. You ought to redraft your proposition and main assumptions now to capture the learning. You can also tell whether you are getting the buzz that you expected.

A lot of this section is aimed at non retail agency businesses, that is, for those without a shop front to market through. While some of the thinking still applies, it is less important. We will work on an additional section on marketing for a new travel agency.