No matter how great your trips are, if your marketing materials are amateurish, it will be difficult to convince people to travel with you.
Many loyalty group travel planners have years of experience in customer service, but few have experience in marketing, especially marketing travel. These planners must convince their members to travel with their organizations instead of the array of online travel providers, so a professional marketing plan is paramount.
Fortunately, travel planners can seek tour operators that want to help them succeed. These tour operators frequently partner with travel planners by providing marketing support for materials, co-op ad funding and expertise. Instead of attempting to navigate the complicated world of group travel marketing alone, loyalty group travel planners should lean on their tour operators through the entire process.
Flyers to the Rescue
Instead of trying to piece together a flyer that encapsulates the affluent experience and cultural riches of a European luxury cruise, leave the task to the pros by requesting a custom flyer from a tour operator like Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours.
“More often than not, what a group planner wants is a flyer,” said Dave Lubchansky, group sales manager for Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours, sister organization of Emerald Waterways. “We have customized flyers that we can create for a group. We are a luxury brand, so it is a nice-looking flyer.”
The Boston-based, upscale European river cruise company regularly creates personalized flyers that mention information pertinent to the group, including the itinerary. The flyer comes in PDF form, so planners can either print it or email it, depending on their preference. Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours can use the basic flyer model for any other requests, such as a poster to display at a prominent location or member event.
The benefits of a flyer lie not only in the design quality, but also in the professional photos and text about a place less familiar to travel planners but well studied by the tour operator’s staff. Details a travel planner might not know are easy for a tour operator to grab for promotional use.
Collette, a tour operator based in Rhode Island, also regularly generates customized marketing materials for group leaders. Founded in 1918, Collette developed a set of marketing materials ready-made for groups.
“Whether it’s a flyer or a postcard inviting the group to view a slideshow promoting the trip, we have every tool they could need,” said Stephanie Mirando, marketing manager at Collette. “Basically, any time a group travel planner books their trip with us, they get a package of marketing materials automatically. Without them having to request it, we’ll send them an e-flyer they could send in the mail.”